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  2. Citation Training
  3. Ultimate local citations profits system

Ultimate local citations profits system

If you revolve around the online marketing world, you might have heard a lot of mentions about citations and how important it is for a business to have as many as possible.

While most of you are aware of the benefits of building a local citation schema around a business, not many of you know that there’s a lot of money involved in helping other businesses in creating citations and managing them by ensuring data accuracy.

You probably didn’t know this, but there are some marketers banking a four-figure income ​weekly​ just by providing this one simple service.

Listen, we're not saying to drop everything that you’re doing and jump onto citation building. The purpose of this article is to train you on creating local citations and to make you aware of the financial benefits that they can bring to the table.

After you’re finished with this article, you’ll be able to incorporate citation building into your services list and scale your business to the next level.

Note:​ In order to make this guide as accessible as possible, we are going to keep the technical jargon to a minimum and stick to simple SEO terms only.

Section 1: What is a Citation?

A citation is essentially an online reference of the name, address and phone number for a local business.

But don’t narrow them down to business directories like Google Places, Bing Places or Yelp. Citations can occur on websites, social platforms, apps on top of local business directories.

To be broad, a local citation is any combination of the company name, phone number, address, zip or postal code and web address - keep in mind that not all items need to be included and the items can appear in any given order in order for the item to be considered a citation.

Why are citations so important?​ - There’s more to them than helping Internet users discover local businesses in their area.

It’s because ​citations are instrumental in impacting local search engine ranking results​. This is precisely why a lot of businesses are jumping through hoops to manage their citations and ensure data accuracy.

The consistency of structured citations is widely recognized as the 4th most important local ranking factor.

Types of local citations

Not all citations are created equal.​ Keep in mind that some citations will appear without any action taken by the business - but this is not necessarily a good thing.

Some citations are created from an automated aggregation. However, these can end up being detrimental to the business, since some information might be outdated or incorrect - this will end up confusing the algorithms behind the search engines.

Local citations are more than meets the eye, some further clarification is needed. Below you have a list with the three types of local citations that you’ll encounter across the web:

  • ●  Major local business data platforms citations​ - These are the most common type of local citations. You’ll find them on platforms like Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp or Infogroup. These are the most focused-on type of local citations (but not necessarily the most important ones).

  • ●  Industry-specific local citations​ - These local citations are specific to the geography and the industry of the targeted business. Local citations of this kind can typically be found on various chamber of commerce websites or professional associations or guilds.

  • ●  Wider web local citations​ - These are regarded as supplementary citations that can be built on a wide variety of online publications including news sites, maps, databases, blogs, etc. Typically, a well-regarded business will develop these automatically based on their online recognition, but there are practices to develop them intentionally.

    Keep in mind that all of the citations mentioned above can be developed manually or by an automated software (to some degree).

Now, since local citations are responsible for customer discovery and are proven to affect the local search engine rankings, it’s time to learn how to distinguish a good citation from a bad one.

Section 2: How to Identify BAD Citations
Did you ever hear of the term ​NAP​? It stands for ​Name, Address, Phone Number

and it’s a critical part of ranking well enough in the local organic results.

Since Google and all the other major search engines use business NAPs to decide which companies to show for geo-targeted searches, it’s crucial to learn the practice of identifying bad citations.

Keep in mind that Google and all the other search engines will cross-reference a business NAP information across a variety of websites - this is done to validate the business as a legitimate one.

It’s a good practice if you think about it: A bogus business is unlikely to have consistent NAP information on a variety of websites. Unfortunately, this safety net can backfire for a lot of businesses that are not careful with how they maintain their local citation fleet across the web.

For example, one wrong phone number or a slightly incorrect business name can be harmful to an establishment and negatively impact the local search rankings. Maybe the business has moved to a new address but some citations are still pointing towards the old place - that’s a big No-No!

Bad citations can be identified by their inconsistencies. There are several online tools that will help you identify and fix bad citations automatically (all of them all paid products).

The idea is to keep the correct NAP in mind and cross-check that with every citation that you find. Any citation containing anything different than the correct NAP should be considered a bad citation. It’s as simple as that.

The ultimate goal is to have a nice, uniform citation fleet across all directories that hold information about a particular business.

Section 3: How to fix BAD Citations

If you’re planning on doing the fixing part manually, we encourage you to keep a spreadsheet with any inconsistencies that you manage to identify. This will make it easier to ensure that you leave no stone unturned.

Also, prioritize the citations that are specific to your city and industry and leave the wider web citations at the end. Those are the hardest to correct since you’ll need to get in touch with the owners of the websites directly.

Start by identifying all the NAP variations of the business you’re targeting (good and bad) and not them down in a separate spreadsheet. It will help you maintain clarity throughout the actual cleaning process.

When you have your spreadsheet created and you know what you’re targeting, start reviewing the citations and note down any inconsistent NAP into the spreadsheet.

Do this until you review every citation that you can find about a particular business. Once this chore is finished, you should have a complete spreadsheet with inconsistent NAPs.

When you get this far, it’s good to prioritize those bad citations that can be fixed without contacting the website owner. Start by correcting Yelp, Bing Places, GMB and other business directories like those, since they can be edited quite easily.

Once you are left with the bad citations that require human assistance, start contacting the websites that hold incorrect NAP information about the business and ask them to fix the wider web citation.

Important:​ Don’t forget to follow up on these emails and keep the citation spreadsheet updated with the changes to the live listings. Some webmasters will require multiple contact attempts before fixing the citation listing.

Note:F​ ixingbadcitationsisalongandtediousprocess,butit’squiteexotic-local citation fixing is a much more expensive service. However, there’s not that much demand for it. The majority of business owners in this market are actually looking for new citations.

Note 2:​ Don’t stress too much about the technical aspects of fixing citations. In the next sections, we’ll show you how to outsource these services completely and still turn a big profit.

Section 4: How to Price Your citation services

Pricing you citation services can be a tricky thing if you’re just starting out. Right from the get-go, you need to figure out how much manual work you'll be willing to put in.

Taking the time to do some of the work yourself might allow you to lower the prices of your citation packages and make them more appealing, but you won’t be able to scale your business.

When it comes to making money from creating new local citations, we recommend that you outsource as much as you can. As you’ll see in the next section, there are many SEO workers willing to do this type of manual work for very little money.

When fixing bad citations, your price should be much higher, since that’s a chore that will require you to get your hands dirty in order to turn a profit.

If you want to turn local citations into a big earner for your business, we recommend setting up packages (​Section 6)​ . But you can also offer citation building services and citation repair services as an upsell to the other services that you provide. A one time charge of $25 for creating 30 new local citations should be enough.

For clients in need of identifying and fixing bad citations, we recommend charging over $100 since you’ll need to put in some manual work.

Section 5: Where to outsource citation building

This section is where the real value of this method is. We’ve told you at the beginning of this guide that you can turn a profit by outsourcing most of the work to professionals that do this thing for a living.

Because they do the work in bulk, their prices are more than reasonable. There are four main online marketplaces where you can outsource citation services. Three of them (​Fiverr,​ S​ EOClerk​, F​ reelancer)​ have mostly cheap listings while Upwork​ is more of a premium freelancing directory.

We researched the market and we encourage you to stick to Fiverr and SEOClerk. These freelancing marketplaces have the best price-quality rate and will allow you to keep a steady rate of profit with every client that you acquire.

It should be fairly simple to find someone willing to create 30 high-quality citations for $5. Typically, the more you buy, the bigger the discount.

Keep in mind that a lot of listings are location-based. A lot of sellers will offer local citations for a specific country. If you do this consistently, you’ll develop a working relationship with a lot of sellers, opening some doors for even bigger discounts.

Another thing you should consider when looking at sellers is their delivery time. When you have a time-sensitive client, it’s best to go for a more expensive seller capable of delivering the work in a timely manner.

Choosing the perfect citation worker to do the job for you really depends on the market where you conduct most of your business. If most of your business is in the US, stick to US sellers.

Section 6: Pricing Packages for Citation Building

If you got this far, you already have the know-how on identifying bad citations and outsourcing the work to professional workers.

You can always make some extra bucks by offering citation creation services as an upsell. But the real money comes from creating attractive standalone packages that you can intermediate for a high-profit margin with little to no work.

With this in mind, we’ve put together three local citation packages that will allow you to maintain a comfortable profit margin with minimum work. This pricing scheme is widely used across the US:

  • ●  Basic local citation package -​ $​ 49 (~$35 profit) 30 High-Quality citations

    NAP consistency

  • ●  Standard local citation package​ - ​$79 (~$50 profit)

    100 High-Quality citations
    10 High Domain Authority citations NAP consistency

  • ●  Premium local citation package​ - $​ 149 (~$100 profit)

    200 High-Quality citations
    20 High Domain Authority citation Nap consistency
    Live links

Use these packages as a general guide only. Depending on what kind of clients you have, feel free to up or down the pricing of the packages.

Section 7: How to Market your Citation Building Service

If you read through this whole guide, you know what local citations are all about. You are now able to research and identify bad citations, and you have the knowledge to fix them.
But who needs what’s the point of keeping yourself busy creating citations when you can outsource the whole work and still turn a 75% profit?

So the puzzle is almost complete. But there’s one key ingredient that is keeping you from making a consistent income out of local citations.

Since this is a relatively low-key service, some of you might have issues figuring out the best strategies to market your new citation building service. But don’t worry, the road is pretty straightforward.

First things first, when you are confident with local citations, start putting the service all over your communication channels. Modify all your online listings to reflect that you're a local citation expert (Facebook, GMB listing, LinkedIn, etc,).

Next, speak to a few local citation sellers (Section 5) and ask them to provide work samples as well as a confirmation on the delivery date. This will help you avoid those situations where you are unable to deliver the work because the citation worker didn’t finish in time.

Now to ​get the word out:​ We encourage you to use a custom email sequence designed to lure some clients your way. You can find an email sequence specifically designed for local citation building inside the members' area.

Just send the emails, stick to the script and the clients will come. Just be patient about it.

Remember that word-of-mouth is the best form of marketing. You clients are bound to talk to each other, so make sure that you only deliver quality work and stick to reputable citation sellers only.

And remember to offer this local citation business as an upsell to every client that you have. Be patient about it and don’t force it down on any of your client’s throats.

Offering local citation building services will not make you a millionaire, but it will provide you with a consistent income with minimum effort. With a little bit of work, you will be able to bank a four-figure income just by working a few hours a month.

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