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How to create a Citation Tracker Report

Helen Barnes -


In this guide, we’ll be explaining how to create a Citation Tracker report.


1) Initial Setup

    a.Create a Citation Tracker report with no existing Location  

    b.Create a Citation Tracker report with an existing Location

2) General Settings

3) Your Business Details

4) Setting up email alerts

5) Saving/Updating the report

6) After your report is set up

7) Citation Builder

1) Initial Setup

There are two ways to create a new Citation Tracker report, depending on whether you already have a Location set up or not.

   a) Create a Citation Tracker report with no existing Location

To create a Citation Tracker report without a location already set up, first click the ‘Tools’ dropdown in the Top Menu and select ‘Citation Tracker’.


This would show a list of existing Citation Tracker report if any locations had previously been created.

To create one, click the ‘New Citations Report’ button.


  b) Create a Citation Tracker report with an existing Location

If a Location has already been set up and you want to create a Citation Tracker report for it, please follow these steps:

Click ‘Clients & Locations’ in the Top Menu. You will then see a list of Locations.

Click the ‘View Dashboard’ button to the right of the Location you want to create the Citation Tracker report for.


Once the Location Dashboard is open, you will see the Location sidebar menu on the left. This shows a list of all the reports for the location.

Click ‘Citation Tracking’ from this menu, and then click ‘Monitor Citations’ to start setting up your Citation Tracker report.



You’ll now see a popup asking whether you want to monitor all your data at once, or just stick with citations. If you want to set up multiple reports, you can select ‘Monitor All My Data’. However, in these guide we’ll be focusing on Citation Tracker reports only, so click ‘Monitor Citations Only’ for now (you can always come back and choose to monitor more data later).


2) General Settings

The next step of setting up a Citation Tracker report involves selecting your General Settings. Here’s an overview of the General Settings section, which highlights what’s required for each field.


Which Location is this report for?: Here you can select the location for this Citation Report. This will be automatically filled if the Location already exists.

Do you want this report to be available on external URL?:You can publish this report to an external URL (outside brightlocal.com). This makes it easy to share with clients and others who don't have a login to BrightLocal. Reports are published to an anonymous URL (localmarketingreports.com) and can be white-labeled with your existing white-label profile.

Select White Label Profile: You can have multiple white-label profiles set up at once. Here you can select the white-label profile you’d like to use for this report, if applicable.

How often do you want this report run? You have three options here:

  • Ad hoc: report only runs when manually triggered
  • Weekly schedule: select which day of the week you’d like the report to run
  • Monthly schedule: select which day of the month you’d like the report to run

3) Your Business Details

Please find below an overview of the Your Business Details highlighting what each field requires.


It’s important to ensure the data you enter in this section is accurate, and that it reflects your registered business details. This is because this is the data we will use to search for existing citations. So it’s worthwhile double-checking that the data is accurate before you submit it.

Enter business name: We use your ‘Business Name’ to find Active Citations which exist for your business. Please enter your exact, registered business name and remove any ‘extra’ words or phrases, as these can skew the results and reduce the accuracy of this report.

Enter business telephone number: Be sure to use the correct format here (e.g. 888-645-0838 or 01224 872 553 or 02 7010 1123).

Select country this business is based in: Click the dropdown menu and select the country.

Enter state code (US only): Please enter the two-letter state code (only for USA addresses).

Enter business zipcode/postcode: This is required for all countries.

Enter town/city name: Please enter the name of the town or city in which this business is located (e.g. Tulsa or Denver or Pasadena).

Look for citations with an old business name, address or phone number?: Select ‘Yes’ if you’d like to expand the citation search to find citations with an older business name and address/zipcode/phone number. The Citation Tracker report will then show any old listings which need to be updated, merged or deleted.

Once you select ‘Yes’, this form will expand and you’ll have the opportunity to enter these older business details.


Type of Business: We use the information in the ‘Type of Business’ and ‘Primary Location’ fields to identify the top five Google My Business competitors. Please enter a specific business type (e.g. Hotel) rather than a business category (e.g. Hotels & Guest Houses). This will allow us to more accurately identify competitors.

Primary Location: Please enter your city/town name or zip/postcode. For US businesses: if you decide to use a zipcode as a Primary Location, rather than a town or city, we strongly recommend you only use the five-digit zip (99750, not 99750-0077) as if the zipcode is too specific, we’ll be unable to find competitors.

This is because when we look for competitors in Google My Business, we perform a Google search containing the Type of Business and the Primary Location you’ve entered (e.g. “hotel new york”).

Enter business website address: Enter the web page specific to this business location. business’s website URL (including the https:// or http://). If the business does not have a website, tick the ‘This business does not have website’ checkbox below.

4) Setting up email alerts

Here you can set up the notifications you’d like to receive once the Citation Tracker report is completed. You can add up to five email addresses to receive a notification. If you don’t wish to have notifications sent, just select ‘No’ in the dropdown menu.


Here’s a screenshot of the email that’s sent out :Inbox__253____helen_brightlocal_com___BrightLocal_Mail.png

Here’s a breakdown of the information included in the notification emails

Active Citations: This shows how many citations you have overall and how many are new

Top Citations: This shows how many top citations you have based on the top citation sites relevant to your location and business type.

Citation Score: This shows our Citation Score. Find out more about this here 

Potential Citations: This shows how many potential citations you have. Find out more about Potential Citations here 

NAP Status: This show you how many listings have correct or incorrect business name, address and phone numbers.

5) Saving/Updating the report

At the bottom of the report you’ll see the ‘Update report’ button. You’ll need to click this to ensure any changes you’ve made to the report setup are saved.


Selecting the ‘Update Locations & Other Reports’ checkbox will apply all information you’ve supplied and settings you’ve selected to the Location details and other reports.

Note: You won’t see any changes in the data from the other reports until they are re-run. Also note that this will not make changes to Citation Builder campaigns. To make changes to Citation Builder campaigns, please contact us here

6) After your report is set up

Once your Citation Tracker report has completed, there are several further actions you can take to make more use of the data. You can access these by clicking on the ‘Actions’ dropdown.


Re-run report: You can manually re-run the report here. Once you have made any updates in the settings, or you want to manually see new results without waiting on a schedule, you can manually re-run the report.

Edit Report: This takes you to the ‘General Settings’ of the report where you can make updates.

Download CSV: Here you can download the data in the Citation Tracker report in a CSV format.

Download PDF: Select this to download the Citation Tracker report in a PDF format, which can be white-labeled if required. 

View External Report: This opens the interactive report in a new tab of your internet browser, with all mention of BrightLocal removed, including in the URL. This is perfect to share with your clients and colleagues when you want to showcase progress with local marketing efforts.

7) Citation Builder

While clicking the ‘Create Citation Campaign’ on your Citation Tracker report will start the process to build a citation campaign within Citation Builder, it’s worth noting that Citation Builder is not connected to the Citation Tracker report. This means that data is not shared between the two, and that none of the notes are taken from Citation Tracker into Citation Builder campaigns.


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