Photo courtesy of moz.com
You can go directly to the data aggregators or to the publishers but most people rely on syndication software such as Moz Local, Yext, UBL and Bright Local to do the heavy lifting. These platforms keep all of your data in one place and then share it across the board. Each platform is a little different and in our opinion, it depends on the brand and the needs to choose which one is best.
Here is our Local SEO Vendor Matrix:
Of the platforms listed above, we have used all but Whitespark over the last few years. Recently, we have been using Moz Local and Yext. The differentiator usually comes down to two things:
2. How bad is the brand's current citation situation
Moz Local Pros and Cons
We like to describe Moz Local
as a more passive way to manage your citation information. Moz local does not directly affect publishers, it only submits to aggregators which then has the trickle-down effect to publishers. The cost is much cheaper but it is also more labor intensive to set up and manage publishers outside of their network. Typically, we go with this option when budgets are low and the current citations aren't in too bad of shape.
Yext Pros and Cons
When it is necessary to pull out the big guns, we turn to Yext. Their duplicate suppression service is great when you have a lot of incorrect citations floating around. They also have some strengths with Bing, Facebook, Yelp, and Yahoo as they can create your listing directly on those platforms. Since they use an API for a direct connection with around 60 publishers, your data increases quickly and you have a lot of control over it. This is ideal for making changes such as business hours and sales. The biggest drawback is cost, and the fact that they only submit to one of the aggregators, so using Yext won't cover your citation data everywhere on the web.
Other platforms exist and have their own benefits, including manual citation building. By doing this, you actually own the citations which means you get the logins and have the freedom to do whatever you please with them. The other benefit of Whitespark
and Bright Local
is the flexibility to choose exactly which platforms you want. This creates more labor in managing multiple platforms and locations, but in the scenario that you only need help on one directory, it's a good option.
3. On Page Local SEO: Advise & Examples
Lastly, we have on-page SEO, which included creating individual location pages with unique location specific content. The name of the game here is making sure that search engines understand two things about each page: it's physical location / service area and the specific services that it provides that area. It is important to include location information such as city and state in the following html elements:
- Title tag
- H1 heading tag
- Meta description
- Schema markup
- Body copy
You want to provide as much distinction between locations as possible. If you have two locations that are in the same physical city, use unique identifiers such as the neighborhood they are in or the street they are located on. Try to think like a local in this scenario; do people search for "Restaurants in New York City" or "Restaurants in Manhattan" when looking for a nearby place to eat lunch. Try and utilize these user tendencies to your advantage. We often turn to each store manager to provide this sort of locals only knowledge.
The local SEO world can be a daunting place, so Red Door Interactive is here to provide your brand with guidance and execution on getting your locations to the top of the local results. Contact Red Door Interactive today