In this overview, we explain how to understand the results of your completed Citation Tracker report.
If you prefer to learn by watching videos, check out our free course in BrightLocal Academy that shows you how to set up and understand a Citation Tracker report 👇
Once complete, a Citation Tracker Report will look like this:
We will explain below what each section shows, and how to understand the report data:
1. Key Citations tab
When you first open the Citation Tracker report, the 'Key Citations' tab is displayed (see red box below), which focuses on the most valuable and important citation sites and data aggregators in your country, based on location and business type.
You’ll see the 'Key Citation' score and overview at the top:
Key Citation Score: This is a metric which is unique to BrightLocal, and we showcase this score on all Citation Tracker reports. It's 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 code / postcode (correct / incorrect)
- Phone number (correct / incorrect)
The maximum score is 100, which indicates that the business is included on — and has the correct information on — all of the top citation sites.
The score also takes into account Domain Authority Weighting, where 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.
Summary: Here, you will see a quick summary of the number of Key Citations found, together with the errors uncovered.
NAP Breakdown: This illustrates the results of a 'Name, Address, and Phone number' (NAP) audit. Here, 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.
Percentage Found: This shows the percentage of your listings found on the Key Citation sites. It also shows how many you have listed on the key citations.
Citations List: Beneath the charts, you will see the 'Key Citations' table, which shows you the NAP data (if any) that we have found on each citation site.
This table is split into title categories, as follows:
Site / Directory: This shows the name of the site / directory. You can hover over and click the name which links to the citation URL.
Name: This displays the business name that was found — if it doesn’t match the details that were given within the report settings, it will show in red as an error.
Address: This shows the first line of address of the business which was found — if it doesn’t match the details that were given, it will show in red as an error.
Zip code / Postcode: This shows the Zip code / Postcode of the business which was found — if it doesn’t match the details that were given, 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, it will show in red as an error.
Status: Here you can see some auto-generated status icons. To understand what each icon means, hover over the icon and an explanation will appear 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 discover more about this here.
2. Managing Citations
Here, you will see four buttons that let you control and manage each citation.
'Citation Information' button
If you select this, you will be taken to a popup where you can make any changes to the report. For more on this, click here.
'Refresh NAP' button
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
This will link 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
Clicking 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.
'Not your business' button
This button can only be used if the business we pulled in is not a listing of your business. You can can simply remove the NAP of the business from the report by clicking this icon; the listing will become blank once you click this.
b. Updating your Citations
To edit or update a Citation link URL, click the 'Citation Information' (the three-dot button in the actions column) button on the directory citation that you wish to update.
You then can see the citation information in a 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 details on this, click here.
Please note: This information is not connected to Citation Builder, and is included to help you manage citations yourself.
Citation Details: Here, we give a breakdown of the NAP data for that particular listing — this is shown in the report as well.
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 to dismiss this completely — particularly if it’s pulled in a different business with similar NAP data.
Citation Health: This section allows you to mark errors and make notes on what actions you or your team members should be taking for this citation.
Select Citation status: Here, you can click the face icons to make a note if you’re happy with the citation, which will help you filter which citations may or may not need attention. You'll see the face icons in the report under the 'status' column of the 'Key Citations' table, so this gives you a good visual on anything you may want to note.
What needs to be fixed: This is for you to note any discrepancies, and if you are looking to update anything — there are checkboxes that help highlight this. If you select one of these, they will turn the data red in your report, so you can visually see the fixes that are needed. You can also untick any that you have resolved.
Note: Here, you can add your own notes for yourself or a co-worker about anything to do with that citation. 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 Report' button for this to go live, otherwise your changes will not save. Just click 'Cancel' if you do not wish to save anything updated.
3. 'Live Citations' tab
This area of the report shows all of the live citations that are found (including Key Citations) — these are citations as well as the business mentions we found that Google has indexed and made a record of.
'Citations Growth' chart
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. Please note that we limit the graph to only show the last 12 runs.
'Found Citations' Table
Below the bar chart, you will see a table of all the live citations the report has pulled through. In this table, we show you the site / directories that we found. The titles at the top of this table allow you to filter by clicking the corresponding arrows.
There is a checkbox on the left-hand side where you can select citations. Once selected, they can be moved to other tabs, or archived. If you chose to archive, this is hidden from the external white-label reports and the scores will no longer include them. A breakdown of each field and what information is needed is shown below:
Bulk Actions: After you have selected your citations (by using the left-hand checkbox), you can click on the bulk actions to move the citation to another tab, or mark it as Key Citation, or archive / unarchive.
Site / Directory: This shows the name of the site / directory. You can hover over and click the name, which links 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 the citation website or directory, 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, and 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 view the status icon, if you mark this manually.
Actions: You will see three buttons here that let you control and manage each citation. You can edit the citations on the report or link out to directories / sites. The same rules apply to actions as they do for Key Citations; see above for details on what each button does.
4. 'Pending Citations' tab
This area of the report shows the pending citations, which are listings that have been manually submitted to the citation site but aren't yet live.
For citations to appear in the 'Pending Citations' table, they need to be manually set as pending, via the 'Competitor 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 'Live Citations' tab in the report. See below for more information.
Using Pending Citations
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 'Add Citation' button, which will give you two options:
- Upload multiple citations via CSV
- Add a single citation
If you select 'Add Single Citation', you will be taken to a popup to fill in some details.
Citation URL: Copy and paste in the citation URL for the business in this box.
If you select 'Upload Multiple Citations', you will be taken to a different popup to upload a CSV file.
Here, you can upload your CSV file. Please use the downloadable sample CSV file, which shows the correct format to use when uploading pending citations. It is important to follow the data within the template to ensure that no errors occur within the data source before you upload.
Citation Domain / URL (Compulsory): A valid URL of your live listings. For pending and competitor citations, you can just add a direct URL to a directory's homepage.
Status (Compulsory): The status of a citation: live, pending, or competitor.
2) The second way to add a Pending Citation is from any of the citations tabs (be it from the 'Competitor Citations' tab, 'Key Citations' tab, or 'Live Citations' tab) using the 'Bulk Actions' options to move the citations you have selected.
5. 'Competitor Citations' tab
This area of the report shows your search competitors' citations and business mentions, which could be potential citations for your business type that you aren’t currently registered on.
To gather competitor citations, we first gather and collate your live 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 codes to find their listed citations, and then collate the citation sites we find, removing any duplicate sites — this gives us a clean list of sites that your competitors are listed on.
We then remove your live citations from that list to give us a clean list of potential citations for you to go and claim.
'Competitor Citations' table
This table displays a list of potential citations, and shows which ones your top five competitors feature on.
Site Directory: This shows the name of the site / directory — 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.
Citation Authority: This is provided by Moz, and is the SEO score for a website, combined with 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 particular site may have.
Citation Value: This is unique to BrightLocal, and 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.), then 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 see the status you have set for this citation.
Actions: You will see three buttons here that let you control and manage each citation. You can view citation information or link out to directories / sites.
To learn more about monitoring existing citations and identifying new ones with Citation Tracker, enroll in BrightLocal Academy for free today.