Should you pay for managing quotes?

Local business search rankings

Before we explore the management of citations, let’s see how it fits into the display on Google.

Where you appear in local search when someone locally searches for what you do or sell is a function of three main factors:

  1. Your global SEO
  2. Proximity to the researcher
  3. Importance

Much of the rest of my website deals with overall SEO factors. And of course, you have no control over where someone is when they search. But prominence is something you can control by managing your quotes online.

What are quotes?

A citation is an online listing of your business on a platform, like directories, that publishes information about businesses and that is Bill Treloar. Here’s a sample quote on Yelp, showing basic contact information along with other valuable stuff like hours of operation, reviews, images, and a call to action.

Our own quote online on Yelp

The value of quotes in establishing and increasing your brand awareness is clearly explained by Google:

Brand awareness is also based on the information Google has about a business on the web, such as links, articles, and directories.

How important are quotes?

The folks at Moz conducted a study of 115,000 companies to answer the question: Is ad management still important to local SEO?

They tracked the results of maintaining listings on the “Big 4” only (Google, Apple, Facebook and Bing) versus managing citations on these sources. more 10 or more directories. You can download the full white paper at the link above, but here are some of the answers to that question.

Improved visibility

Visibility based on the increase in the number of local citationsVisibility according to the increase in the number of citations

In this table, Direct search represents people who have searched for a business by name or address. Indirect research represents searches for a product or service rather than a specific company. Map view represents searches on Google maps. And Show search is the number of times an ad has been found in normal Google search.

A 91% increase in search views certainly deserves special attention.

Improved conversions

The impact of more quotes on conversionsThe impact of more quotes on conversions

In this graph, we were not only looking at the number of people who see a list, but how many acts bring them closer to the purchase. Click to initiate a phone call to a business has not grown much, only 13%. Corn by clicking on the company website to learn more almost doubled. And clicking for directions to access your business even more than doubled.

How many local quotes do I need?

Visibility of small businesses based on the number of citations onlineVisibility of small businesses based on the number of citations online

This graph represents an attempt to identify the “sweet spot” in terms of the number of local citations that it is best to have. I think it fails by not including more than 40 quotes. This is because we don’t know if the increase in visibility would improve even more with additional quotes beyond 40. But going into the 31-40 range certainly adds significant value compared to having less than 40. quotes.

Why do you need citation management?

Isn’t it enough to just go out and get listed on the best citing platforms?

Maybe not.

The folks at BrightLocal discovered that 85% of consumers found incorrect or incomplete information on business listings this year. Perhaps the worst example is that more than 80% went to a business only to find it was closed despite their quotes online that it was open. Full 63% said incorrect registration information would prevent them from doing business with a store.

Online quotes may change without your knowledge. Information about your business can change and you may neglect to reflect it in your quotes. So is it enough to set up your quotes and not worry about their evolution? I do not think so.

Fair Disclosure: I offer quote management services to small businesses, so it would be selfish of me to insist that you need to hire someone (like, maybe, me) to do it for you. Instead, here’s how Moz answered that question.

Kevin A. Perras