How to sell and offer local citation and listing management services
11 mins read

How to sell and offer local citation and listing management services

Despite predictions to the contrary over the years, local citations and Management of entries didn’t go anywhere. Certainly, making citations is more of a foundation-building tactic than a quick hit to get from rocket to moon, but it’s still considered a key factor local SEO ranking factor.

Not only are they still important, but they’re still misunderstood, whether by the companies that need them or the agencies trying to sell them. Many major SEO agencies still don’t understand the real difference between local SEO and traditional SEO, let alone why local citations and business listings are like this still more more important for some companies than for others.

But here’s the thing: There’s an art to selling these services to stakeholders or customers. You must sell the value without overdoing it. As sales experts Citation creation services and listing management, with years of experience we know a thing or two about the mistakes people make.

Find out how to do it correct.

6 Tips for Selling Local Citation Services and Listings Management

1. Educate, educate, educate

So let’s start with the truth: many people just don’t know what local quotes are or why they are part of a strategy.

We often find that this applies to both the companies themselves and those making the sale. Some people understand the concept but then don’t understand the meaning or why they are still useful in 2023.

The easiest way is to educate. There is talk of posts, quotes, links and Google business profiles… bBut they don’t understand the differences between them.

2. Don’t sell posts and quotes as link building

The truth is that many companies are completely misled when it comes to local citations.

Many people still talk about business directories as if they are link building. Sure, if you used to add your site to a hundred directories, that was part of your link building campaign. However, creating citations is not the case quite the same. Yes, there are links, but there’s more to it than that.

Make use of the right terminology

  • Entries: Your storefront and your brand perception. If it looks crap, your brand looks crap too.
  • Quotes: Performance and Algorithmic Trust. More of a data movement and consistency.
  • Backlinks: Links from external sources to your website. Yes, links are included in listings and quotes, but it’s slightly different than traditional backlinks. For one, they only affect local results.
  • Profiles: Businesses often confuse this with their own website, but generally it means your listings and quotes or even your GBP.

Tell your customers what offers are and what citation formation actually is and explain how it differs from link building. If you don’t know it yourself, then read about local link building here.

Remember, they are not Links in the traditional sense, so they shouldn’t necessarily be used for link building. This means that when creating quotes, if you buy a batch from a service like BrightLocal, all the quotes will arrive in a short amount of time.

Agencies in particular have a habit of asking for batch purchases so they can report that they supply their clients with a certain amount each month.

So if you were hoping to pay a one-time fee and then push links out to clients over a period of several months, you’re wrong. Get out there and build real links.

3. Don’t oversell them and be honest

Quotes aren’t going to drive your client crazy, so stop telling them that.

We are regularly asked the classic SEO question “How quickly can I make it to number 1?”, which illustrates both a misunderstanding and a completely wrong presentation of entries to companies.

Citations and listings will not propel your business to the top of local rankings. But they provide you with a solid base to build on. Google generally prefers businesses to have a solid listing profile so they can verify information about your business. It’s just the first rung on the ladder.

Being dishonest with your clients will only lead to anger or disappointment when the work you deliver doesn’t get them to the top of the SERPs as promised. But that doesn’t mean you can’t show them real value.

4. But really show the value

It sounds like there’s no point in making quotes and listings in 2023. In reality, however, they offer much more value than just a link.

We have a much Experience selling actual value to help agencies and their clients truly understand what they are buying.

With local citations, we find that real value lies in elevating brand perception.

With local citations, we find that real value lies in elevating brand perception. You must ensure that all of your external listings are correct – if they are Inconsistencies between name, address and phone number (NAP)., it will look bad for potential buyers. Actively creating and managing your own citations will keep your information accurate.

Sure, this takes a lot of time and effort, but here are services like Citation Builder and Active sync come into the game

If you’re selling beyond advanced listing management services beyond a one-time citation creation campaign, things can get a bit more complex. However, the value is still a good starting point.

5. Consider styling quotes and listings differently

When we talk to potential customers, we often find it easier to distinguish between these two things.

When creating quotes, the conversations we have usually focus on:

  • Get to the bottom of the problem. Is there missing or inaccurate information? Does it cause poor brand perception?
  • Is there a knowledge and time gap? Often one affects the other, a lack of understanding makes the work seem either pointless or too big a task.
  • It’s rarely about SEO. People usually come up to us and say, “Oh $#!+, something’s wrong and it’s affecting business.”

When managing listings, we focus on the following during conversations:

  • We leverage the level of engagement and authority that ActiveSync targets.
  • We emphasize that these layers form a really solid foundation and are the first step everyone needs to take.
  • With our own system we can highlight that companies get access to their listings permanent, which is a real bonus to be able to sell to potential customers. This is a real bonus if you’re selling them yourself.
  • Once these important entries are created, there is always an option to add the maintenance layer if applicable. Interestingly, although he is a Bolt on, customers tend to want it.
  • We know people don’t go to page 6 to find, say, a MerchantCircle listing, and we’re open and honest about that.

6. Check the current status of your prospect

However, before you even start selling, you need to prepare. The most important thing is to check your prospect’s current status in terms of local citations and listings.

There’s no point targeting someone who already has a solid listing profile. But the truth is, many local businesses don’t.

Highlight the problem and you’ve got a winner. Do something like this:

  • Understand where they are performing in terms of share of voice. Do they resonate with the keywords they are interested in?
  • Check out their existing citation profile – use this with a tool like quote tracker or other citation scanning tools.
  • Then go to them and show them the inconsistencies. Highlight it and ask them if they know, then emphasize the negative impact these inconsistencies could have.
  • A common response here is “Arrrgh what happened here???” followed by a slight panic.
  • If they don’t rank, ask them when they last looked at this
  • After viewing the citation profile, perform a more in-depth review based on industry and geography. This will help them see the odds against their competitors.

What else is important?

Aside from these tips, we encourage you to learn the whole process yourself before you start selling quotes.


  • How long will it take if you do it yourself and how long will it take if you use a service like Citation Builder?
  • The platforms on which your client can be listed. Find the The best business directories.
  • Pay attention to which directories are actually important your customer or company. Find the Best Citation Sites by Location and the Best by Industry.
  • This allows you to monitor the entries as soon as they are online and keep them up to date.
  • That with some services only the rental of your entries is possible (not with us!).

It’s also worth noting that many of the bigger and more successful agencies don’t really know much about local SEO. A shock, I know. If you’re one of these agencies and you’re working on-site for clients, you should take some time to educate yourself. There are many resources such as BrightLocal Academy and Local SEO Learning Hub.

However, if you really don’t have the time and aren’t sure you can sell a service that you know is needed but aren’t that confident about, don’t be afraid to escalate the communication to people who to do this. We often work directly with the agency’s clients and help them sell the service they need.

Your “Too Long No Read” tips for selling listings

Basically, it all boils down to three simple things:

  • Inform yourself and your customers.
  • Be open and honest. Set expectations.
  • Check their presence.

If you do, you should be a winner. If you need assistance with any of the steps, be it citation service or Management of entries, BrightLocal is here to help. We are experts at selling the value and actually getting the job done, so we can support agencies every step of the process.

mike hawkes

Mike is Senior Content Marketing Manager at BrightLocal. With over nine years of digital marketing experience, he is responsible for developing and executing our content strategy and providing numerous local SEO insights to our audience.