Should You Automate Your Citations?
Automation is such a sweet word. Just hearing the word touch air as it escapes my mouth gives me that happy chill. Okay, too much info? Maybe. If you can automate parts of your business, why not? It’ll save you time, money, energy and the big theory is having all that freedom will give YOU more time, money and energy to run your business and focus on other important factors in your life. But when it comes to citations, is automation the best way to go? Insert scary music. Let’s find out…
What Are Citations?
Think of citations as link building. You’re going around the internet giving shoutouts to your brand with a link pointing back at you. With citations, it’s kind of the same process. The only difference is you’re looking for ideally, websites like Yelp where you can build a profile that’s connected to your brand. The information in there will point back to your brand.
How Long Does It Take To Create a Citation?
You’re probably looking at one manual citation taking anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. The process for all of them is typically the same. For instance, you create an account on Yelp, verify it, update your company info, fill out the required fields, include a link back to you. All of the leg work is a bit tedious but necessary.
How Many Citations Should My Business Have?
The number will depend on 3 key factors.
A) How many locations do you have?
If you have ten locations get ready to build hundreds upon hundreds of citations. If you just have one, then it’s not so bad.
B) Where are you located?
If you’re in the Big Apple, competition may be high which will require you to build a lot more citations than if you were in let’s say middle America.
C) What if your niche?
A small startup company in a specific niche won’t have that much need to go crazy building citations. You will have to be strategic. Does it make it sense for your business to be on places like Yelp? For some brands, the answer is no, it doesn’t.
Should You Automate Your Citations?
Finally the big question. Most SEO Companies find ways to automate this process. It’s a fast solution to a needed task. But fast doesn’t always mean it’s the right way. You really want to do a combination of manual citation building and automation.
Why Do Manual Citation Building?
You know your niche better than a robot. You can look at a website and determine in three seconds if it’s a good fit for your brand. If it’s not, you move on to the next one.
When it automation software they are targeting a finite number of websites regardless of how it relates to you. On one hand having those links point back to you sounds cool, right? It’s effective link building. Well actually, if you’re website doesn’t make sense to be listed somewhere and a prospects click on said listing and goes to your site and realizes this, they will bounce. Now, times that by 1,000 people leaving your website. You’ll get dinged in search engines as providing irrelevant content.
Why Do Automate Citations?
No one wants to do citations. The intern in your office may smile and do this, but they hate it. The team member you have on salary building this out, HATES citation. If citation software could talk they would even say they HATE BUILDING CITATIONS. It’s not a fun process.
Luckily there are services out there you can pay to complete one citation and they will submit it to over 40 in some places over 80 websites.
A good place to start with that is Moz and Yext (click on the text to check out their sites). Keep in mind these are PAID services. I think MOZ has the cheaper deal and focuses on local citations. We recommend you first begin going after local with everything you do then expanding to the US and world. The reason why, if you can’t get people to come see your show in your hometown, you’re not going to get them follow you across the states. Start local and build.
PS. Should you automate your citations? Ask yourself how much time, money and energy are you willing to spend to pay for this. Then cut it by half. Spend half your budget doing this manually. Humans will always be far more effective then robots because most have common sense. If you’re interested in learning more citations, automation, link building the works reach out to us at www.Treehouse51.com