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How to Understand Your Citation Tracker Report

Helen Barnes -

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In this overview we explain how to understand the results of your completed Citation Tracker report. Click here to understand what Citation Tracker does and if you want to know how to create a report please click here.

Contents

1) 'Top Citations' tab

2) Managing Top Citations

    a) Actions

    b) Updating your Citations

3) ‘Active Citations’ tab

4)Pending Citations’ tab

5) ‘Potential Citations’ tab

Once complete, a Citation Tracker Report will look like this:

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Here we explain what each section shows and how to understand the report data:

1) Top Citations tab

 When you first open the Citation Tracker report, you are met with the ‘Top Citations’ tab. The ‘Top Citations’ tab focuses on the most valuable citation sites and data aggregators in your country, based on location and business type.

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 You’ll see the ‘Top Citations’ chart which illustrates the results of a ‘Name, Address, and Phone number’ (NAP) audit.

To highlight errors, the report shows in red the citations which do not match the business details in your report settings, so you can quickly identify which listings have incorrect business information.

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Top sites: This shows the percentage of your listings found on the Top Citation sites. It also shows how many you have listed on the top citations.

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NAP Status: This shows the ‘Name, Address, and Phone Number’ (NAP) errors. Here you can see how many overall are correct, and how many may need the information updated. There is also a breakdown of which element has the most issues: Business Name, Phone Number or Zip/Postal Code.

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Citation Score: 

The Citation Score is located within the Citation Tracker report under the 'Top Citations' tab on the right-hand side.

This is a metric which is unique to BrightLocal. We showcase this score on all Citation Tracker reports, and is calculated in the following way:

Citation Score uses a simple formula which audits the listings found on the top citation sites, and considers four factors:

Listed / Not Listed
Business name (correct / incorrect)
Zip/Postal code (correct / incorrect)
Phone number (correct / incorrect)

The maximum score is 100. A score of 100 indicates the business is included on and has the correct information on all the top citation sites.

The score also takes into account:

  • Domain Authority Weighting
  • Sites with higher domain authority have a weighting over sites with lower authority.

For example, this means that correct listings on sites like Yelp and Facebook carry more weight towards the Citation Score than lesser-known sites such as Hotfrog and Salesspider.

‘Top Citations’ Table: Below the charts you will see the ‘Top Citations’ table. In this table we show you the NAP data (if any) that we have found on each citation site.

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The table is split into title categories:

Site/ Directory - This shows the name of the site/directory. You can hover over and click the name which links out to the citation URL.

Name - This shows the business name of the business which was found. If it doesn’t match the details that were given within the report settings, then it will show in red as an error.

Address - This shows the first line of address of the business which was found.

Zip/Postcode - This shows the Zip/Postcode of the business which was found. If it doesn’t match the details that were given, then it will show in red as an error.

Phone Number - This shows the Phone Number of the business which was found. If it doesn’t match the details that were given, then it will show in red as an error

Status -  Here you can see some auto-generated status icons.

To understand what each icon means you can hover over the icon and it will explain in a text box. These icons will highlight if duplicates are found or suspected NAP issues have been flagged.

You can also add your own status here to help you make a visual note of what citations you are happy with. If you have done so, you will see these here. There is also a filter option above the table that allows you to filter the status icons by type. You can find out more about this here

Actions- Here you will see three buttons which let you control and manage each citation. You can edit, refresh the NAP,  and link out to directories/sites.

2) Managing Top Citations

Here we'll show you how to manage the citations in the report.

    a) Actions

Each citation has a column with actions you can take, see below for more information on what each button does.

Edit” button

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If you select this you will be taken to the ‘Update Citation’ popup where you can make any changes. For more on this, click here

Refresh NAP button

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If selected, it will refresh the data we grabbed for that one individual citation result. This can be utilized if we were unable to grab the NAP data at the time the report was run but you did not want to re-run the entire report.

Get Citation button

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This will link you out directly to the directory/site in question so you can create a new listing. This button will only show if no citation is found.

‘View Citation’ button

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This button will take you straight to the listing on that directory/site using the citation URL of the business we found. This will only show if we found a listing on this site.

        b) Updating your Citations

To edit or update a Citation link URL, click the ‘Edit Citation’ button on the directory citation you wish to update.

You then can see the ‘Update Citation’ popup, which allows you to review and update the Citation URL, deal with duplicates, change the status and make a note of anything which needs to be fixed and date it. For more on this, click here. 

Please note this information is not connected to Citation Builder and is included to help you manage citations yourself.

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Citation Details: Here we give a breakdown of the NAP data of that particular listing.

Possible Duplicates: If a duplicate has been detected, we will illustrate this along with the NAP data.

You’ll notice an ‘Actions’ column, with buttons which allow you to select the highlighted duplicate, your primary citation or dismiss this completely, particularly if it’s pulled in a different business with similar NAP data.

Are you happy with this citation?: Here you can click the face icons to make a note if you’re happy with the NAP data, which will help you filter which citations may or may not need attention.

What needs to be fixed: This is for you to note any discrepancies and if you are looking to update anything. There are checkboxes which help highlight this.

Status: Here you can change the status of the citation, such as if you want to move this to the ‘Potential Citations’ tab or the ‘Pending Citations’ tab.

Date: Here you can select the date stamp for any update/note made for future purposes or for clients/other colleagues.

Note: Here you can add your own notes. However it needs to be stressed that this information is not connected to Citation Builder and is for you to manage citations yourself

Once you have updated your citation, ensure you click the green ‘Update Citation’ button for this to go live, otherwise your changes will not save. Click ‘Cancel’ if you do not wish to save anything updated.

3) ‘Active Citations’ tab

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This area of the report shows the active citations, which are mentions of the location on third-party websites which Google has indexed and made a record of.

Here you can monitor and edit any live citations you have on sites which we have not considered the ‘Top Citations’. However, if there are any active citations you want to move to the ‘Top Citations’ tab, you can. (See below for more information on how to achieve this.)

‘Active Citations’ chart

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This chart shows how many new citations we found each time the report was run. If this is set to run on a monthly basis, you may start to see new citations being picked up with each report run. To get the breakdown of each report, run simply hover over the bar columns to see the new number of citations picked up and the date this occurred.

‘Active Citations’ Table

Below the ‘Active Citations’ chart you will see a table of all the active citations the report has pulled through. In this table we show you the site/directories we found. The titles at the top of this table allow you to filter if you click the corresponding arrows.

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There is a checkbox on the left-hand side where you can select citations. Once selected, you can move them to the ‘Top Citations’ tab or you can delete them depending on the need. Please see below a breakdown of each field and what information is needed.

Site / Directory - This shows the name of the site/directory. You can hover over and click the name, which links out to the site where this was found.

Date Identified: This is the date we found this citation.

Citation Authority: This is provided by Moz. It is the SEO score for a website and a prediction of its ability to rank well in search engines, rated out of a score of 100. The higher, the better.

Citation Value: This is unique to BrightLocal. It is determined using the frequency with which a website appears in citation records. The more a website is used as a citation source, the higher its value. These values are calculated from unique research conducted by BrightLocal.

Site Type: If we can identify a type of citation source (if it’s a general directory, a local one, etc.), we will list it in this column.

Free/Paid: If we can identify whether users can submit listings for free or they have to pay for them - we will list it in this column.

Status: Here you can change the status of the citation, move it to the ‘Potential Citations’ tab, or move it to the ‘Pending Citations’ tab.

Actions: Here you will see three buttons that let you control and manage each citation. You can edit or link out to directories/sites. Same rules apply to actions, see above for details on what each button does.

4) ‘Pending Citations’ tab

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This area of the report shows the pending citations, which are listings which have been manually submitted to the citation site but aren't yet ‘Active’ (i.e. they are in a pending state, waiting for the site to make them live).

For citations to appear in the 'Pending Citations' table, they need to be manually set as pending, via the 'Potential Citations' table, or added via the ‘Add Citations’ button.

Once a citation site has been added to the ‘Pending Citations’ tab, the Citation Tracker report will try to find the listing on this site when the report is run (either manually or when it’s next scheduled). When the report finds a live listing, the citation site will be automatically moved from the ‘Pending Citations’ tab to the ‘Active Citations’ tab in the report. See below for more information.

When you first open the tab, you will not see any pending citations in the ‘Pending Citations’ table, as these need to be added manually.

There are two ways to add citations here:

  1. You can click the green ‘Add Citation’ button.

This give you two options: either upload multiple citations via CSV or add a single citation.

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If you select ‘Add Single Citation’ you will be taken to a popup to fill in some details.

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Citation URL: Copy and paste in the citation URL for the business in this box.

Status: Here you can change what type of citation site the particular listing is. If you add it to the ‘Pending Citations’ list, when the report is re-run (either automatically each week/month or manually by you) then we will look to see if the citation has gone live yet.

Date: Here you can select the date you added an update/note for future use or for clients/other colleagues.

Once you have completed all the details, don’t forget to click the green ‘Add Citation’ button to save the new citation you have added.

If you select ‘Upload Multiple Citations’ you will be taken to a different popup to upload a CSV file.

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Here you can upload your CSV file. Please use the Sample CSV file which you can download, and which shows the correct format to use when uploading pending citations. It is important to follow the data within the template to ensure no errors occur within the data source before you upload.

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Citation Domain/URL (Compulsory): A valid URL of your active listings. For pending and potential citations, you can just add a direct URL to a directory's homepage.

Status (Compulsory):The status of a citation: active, pending, or potential.

2) The second way to add a Pending Citation is from any of the citations tabs, be it from the ‘Potential Citations’ tab, ‘Top Citations’ tab or ‘Active Citations’ tab.

When you click the ‘Edit’ button attached to any citation on these tables, you are able to change the status to ‘Pending’. This will move it onto the Pending Citations table.

Once you have done this, click the  ‘Update Citation’ button to move it to the ‘Pending Citations’ tab.

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5) ‘Potential Citations’ tab

This area of the report shows the potential citations, which are any citations your competitors are using for your businesses type but that you aren’t.

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To gather potential citations, we first gather and collate your active citations.

We then identify the top five ranked businesses within Google Maps for your ‘business type’ and ‘location’ (i.e. your top five local competitors).

As an example, if the business type was ‘attorney’ and the location was ‘manhattan’, then we’d run this search to find the top five ranking businesses. We use these business names and postal code to find their listed citations. We then collate the citation sites we find and remove any duplicate sites. This gives us a clean list of sites which your competitors are listed on.

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We then remove your active citations from that list to give us a clean list of potential citations for you to go and claim.

‘Potential Citations’ table

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This table displays a list of potential citations and shows which ones your top five competitors feature on. We recommend you add your business details to these sites to give your competition a run for their money.

Site Directory: This shows the name of the site/directory. You can hover over and click on these to be linked out to the site.

Local Competitor Icon: Each icon here represents the competitor we have found. If you hover over the icon it displays the name of the competitor. If you click this icon then it will also filter the results based on the selection.

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Citation Authority: This is provided by Moz. It is the SEO score for a website and a prediction of its ability to rank well in search engines. This is calculated out of 100. The higher the number, the more influence that site may have.

Citation Value: This is unique to BrightLocal. It is determined using the frequency with which a website appears in citation records. The more a website is used as a citation source, the higher its value. These values are calculated from unique research conducted by BrightLocal.

Site Type: If we can identify a type of citation source (if its a general directory, a local one, etc.) we will list it in this column.

Free/Paid: If we can identify whether users can submit listings for free or they have to pay for them, we will list it in this column

Status: Here you can change the status of the citation, move it to the ‘Potential Citations’ tab or the ‘Pending Citations’ tab

Actions: Here you will see three buttons that let you control and manage each citation. You can edit or link out to directories/sites.

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