Whitespark Review: Outsource Citation Building And Rank Higher In Local Results

Whitespark citation building service review

Citations are similar to online directories and are about 25% of local SEO.

I use Moz Local to build my top 15 citations (Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook…). Then I pay Whitespark around $400 to build 100 new profiles at $4-5 each so I never had to worry about citations again. This is one of the main reasons I’ve been able to rank clients in the top results for local keywords if you view my SEO work. It’s also one of the few things you can confidently outsource in local SEO since Whitespark has a 4.9/5 star rating with 125+ reviews.

While companies like Yext charge $500/year for 47 listings, you can pay Whitespark the same amount only it’s a one-time fee and you own your listings permantly. Whitespark also includes a follow-up report with 1 universal login if you need to update profiles in the future.

You can see how important citations are by looking at Google’s local search ranking factors


They are especially important for ranking higher in Google Maps (called the local stack / snack pack results) since citations are the #2, #5, and #14 ranking factors…


I have already ordered $2,081.21 worth of citations for both myself and clients…


This has helped them rank in the top results for local keywords. In this review, I will walk you through the process of ordering citations through Whitespark, then show you what to expect as far as pricing, time frame, and an improvement in your Google Map and localized rankings.

Noho seo

Kc seo work

Noho local seo

Kc seo work 2


Table Of Contents

  1. What Are Citations?
  2. Fill Out Whitespark’s Citation Intake
  3. Purchase Generic + Local/Niche Citations
  4. What Happens After You Purchase Citations
  5. Prevent Spam (Only Con To Citation Building)
  6. Integrate Citation Building Into Your SEO Services
  7. Don’t Forget About Moz Local (Top 15 Core Citations)


1. What Are Citations?

Citations are mentions of your business name (often in the form of directories) and are 25% of Google’s local search ranking factors. Citations are especially important in Google Maps (local stack / snack pack) where they’re the #2, #5, and #14 factor. They make you rank higher for multiple localized keywords are are one of the few things you can outsource in local SEO.

Top online directories

Can I Build These Myself?
Yes, Whitespark even has lists of the best citations by categorycity, and country. But it takes time and many people do this incorrectly. Finding the right citations, filling out profiles 100% complete, and making sure they’re consistent (eg. business name, address, phone) is very important. I just find it much easier to leave this to the experts and save your time, as it’s only $4-5 per citation and they keep everything organized with a follow-up report and 1 login.


2. Fill Out Whitespark’s Citation Intake

The first step is to download Whitespark’s citation building intake and fill everything out as best you can. Read Whitespark’s notes on the right of the spreadsheet for more instructions.


Bulk Submit Worksheet
If you want Whitespark to build citations for multiple locations (since each location needs to have their own profiles), scroll down to the ‘Bulk Submit Worksheet’ option at the bottom…



3. Purchase Generic + Local/Niche Citations

Once you fill out the intake, select your country and do a blend of generic and local/niche citations (there’s no perfect number but I think local/niche citations are more valuable). And obviously the more citations you order, the higher you’re likely to rank in local search results.

Upload your intake to Whitespark’s checkout page, then under the ‘additional options and features’ option in step 4 you will see the option to order follow-up reports, rush orders, and bulk orders (for multiple locations). Follow-up reports are NOT necessary as Whitespark will send you a report upon completion. It’s only if you want multiple reports as listings go live.



4. What Happens After You Purchase Citations

Whitespark will send you a receipt. Then you will wait 3 weeks for them to build the citations. Once completed they will send you an email with a report which includes 1 universal login to access your new citation profiles, along with the URLs where you can find those new profiles.

It can take 1-4 months for Google to update their results with your new rankings. You can use Whitespark’s local rank tracker to measure rankings, or Search Console’s search analytics.



5. Preventing Spam (The Only Con To Citation Building)

The only complaint I have with citations (not just Whitespark) is the potential spam you may get through your contact form or phone.

This is tricky because NAP (business name, phone, address) MUST be consistent across citations, but this also means you must list your business phone number where anyone can call/email you. Here’s an example of a spam email you might get after the citation building:


Prevent Spam On Your Contact Form:

  • Use Google captcha on your contact form
  • Configure an anti-spam plugin for WordPress
  • Tighten up your WordPress discussion settings


6. Add Citation Building To Your SEO Services

  • Become An Affiliate – if qualified, they will let you become an affiliate.
  • Upsell Whitespark Citations – you can easily charge clients $10 per citation and pay $4-5 per citation to Whitespark which can turn a quick profit of $300 depending on the order. Just show clients Google’s local search ranking factors and explain the importance of citations. Then as you order more from Whitespark you can get up to a 20% discount. There is little work on your end (plus the citation intake and follow-up reports aren’t branded to Whitespark) making it very easy to integrate into your SEO services. Just don’t forget to help clients with spam prevention and measuring results using Whitespark’s local rank tracker or Google Search Console’s search analytics.
  • List Top Citations In SEO Audits – if you’re doing a local SEO audit where the client wants to rank higher in Google Maps, provide them with a list of top citations using Whitespark’s resources page and give them the option to build these themselves, or use Whitespark’s citation building service. Because if you’re like me you try to provide as much value as you can in your SEO audits and a ‘top 30 citation’ list is a nice addition.


7. Don’t Forget About Moz Local (Top 15 Core Citations)

Moz Local will help you fix your top 15 citation profiles including Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and others. I would try to get your Moz Local score up before building new citations with Whitespark. You do this by running your site through Moz Local then clicking through the tabs to make these citation profiles 100% complete, consistent, then delete any duplicates.

Moz local

Under each tab Moz Local will tell you what needs to be fixed and includes an “update listing” link that goes directly to your profiles. It’s usually as easy as uploading more images, listing more categories, fixing inconsistencies with you business information, or deleting a duplicate.

Moz local citations



Here’s my citation building process:

  1. Create a 100% complete Google My Business Page
  2. Use Moz Local to fix your top 15 citation profiles
  3. Build additional citations for $4-5 each with Whitespark

I hope you liked my Whitespark citation building review! It’s a powerful service you can use for yourself, and for clients who are specifically looking to rank higher in Google Maps (local stack / snack pack results). Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions. Darren and his team at Whitespark are great with communication if you have questions. They also have a list of citation building FAQs if you want to learn more about their citation building service.


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  1. There is very little that can’t be done without specialized software, but using just Google for this sort of analysis, manually, is obviously going to be very time consuming. Not to mention how much expertise is required to draw the correct conclusions.

    Thanks, Tom!

    • What’s more time consuming though, spending 10 minutes on research to make sure you can rank, or spending hours on a piece of content you will never rank for ;)

      You’re welcome James :)

      Just look for weak content in search results and create content that’s better!

  2. I never thought of using search engine optimization software or keyword research software to rank better in Google. Is there something I’m potentially missing? I wish I was an expert at the game of content marketing and affiliate marketing.

    • Yes, Moz Keyword Explorer, MozBar, and SEMrush are all good software for keyword research, but I still rely on Google Autocomplete and manually analyzing Google’s search results (to see the competition) as my main way of selecting high opportunity keywords.

      I’m not expert in content marketing – I don’t do it lol. I should, but I’ve been relying pretty much solely on good content creation.

      Affiliate marketing is really not too hard. It’s really just a matter of finding your niche (WordPress speed for me, like how to configure cache plugins), then finding a solid/reputable affiliate that takes care of their customers and pays decent commissions (for me this was SiteGround). Grab your links, add them to the Thirsty Affiliates plugin, then place some affiliate links in your content when you recommend that company – and most importantly, tell people why they should use them over other companies.

      Getting traffic is the hard part, adding some affiliate links isn’t too hard. Once I had a good amount of traffic, I tried recommending people to SiteGround. Only took 1 month to see good results, and by month 3 my commissions went way up (once I took screenshots of Facebook polls where they were rated #1, etc).

      • I tried adding anchor text affiliate links to content Pages before and it hurt my SEO. I even experimented with the rel no follow tag and it still didn’t do any good. I’m kind of scared of adding affiliate links as anchor text links in the body of content nowadays so I don’t do it anymore. Is there a certain thing that you do when you add affiliate links to your post to avoid it hurting your SEO?

        • Too many affiliate links and you can get a Google Penalty, especially if you have thin content (short, not helpful). And if you create a list of “15 Best 4k Televisions On Amazon” and numbers 1-5 all have affiliate links, and 6-15 don’t, Google knows when you’re listing affiliate products first… so be careful with that.

          I cloak my affiliate links in the Thirsty Affiliate plugin and nofollow all them. You’ve probably seen my affiliate disclaimer in my SiteGround.review.. basically it says (hey, I’m using affiliate links, I also donate to charity, if you want to support me here’s my affiliate link). That way I don’t have to include as many affiliate links in the review (minimizing my chance of getting penalized) – and many people like that you’re upfront about it.

  3. Hi Tom,

    Been reading all of your reviews and they are incredible. I am someone who doesn’t know too much about this stuff as I am a network admin trying to help my fathers business. Question, I see Moz is 99$ for a year and all it mentions in that essentials plan is google which I have already verified. Does this allow you to do what you are referring to here? I greatly appreciate your insight! I’ll list below the description of this plan:

    Active Location Data Management

    NEW Google My Business Sync
    NEW Partner: Apple Maps

    Reputation Monitoring and Management

    NEW Google Reviews and Replies

    • I really don’t think you need those. It’s easy just to fix your citations using Mix Local and not pay an ongoing fee for something that should take maybe an hour. I think this is what active location data management does, but the other ones I see no need for.


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