Link building is one of the elemental parts of every SEO campaign. It has been like that for some time already and will, most likely, remain so. But, since getting the quality links can be difficult, there are other elements that can help you with this. Citations are one of those elements. Building citations can improve your link building campaign and help you improve your ranking. Moreover, citations are a fundamental ranking factor for local searches. If you are a business owner and want to promote your business efficiently, you’ll need both citations and links.
How citations help you improve your link building
In all the effort to make your business easier for customers to find you, it’s easy to overlook citations. But, everyone with serious intentions to increase business online presence should avoid making this mistake. Not only do citations help your customers but they also help search engines like Google to verify your credibility.
Combine citations with a good link building strategy and you will certainly improve your SERP ranking. Especially for local searches. But, if neglected, or done incorrectly, they can seriously make things harder and hurt your position. If you don’t have time to optimize and maintain your citation listings, you might want to search for SEO and citation experts such as AZ Citation Services to assist you. They will audit your citation profile, clean it, and run a promotion campaign for you.
What are the citations?
Citations are online mentions of your business. The information that is essential in these mentions is your business name, the physical address of your business, and your business phone number. This combination of name, address, and phone number is usually referred to as NAP. Besides NAP, citation listings, not all, can contain additional information like website URLs. And this is a perfect opportunity to help your link building campaign obtain additional links. The more information you provide the more valuable your citation becomes, as a variable for local ranking.
Different types of citations
When building citations, you should know that there are several types of citation listings on the web. Not all of them have the same value, but they can all bring benefit to your SEO. Especially if you list them on websites that are relevant to your business. With this in mind, here is a few necessary listings everyone should go for:
- Google My Business
- Popular and local directories
- Industry-specific directories
- Review websites
- Chamber of commerce websites
- Social Media platforms
- Big data aggregators
- Press releases
Google crawls all those places searching for relevant NAP information. But pays special attention to Google My Business as its primary reference. Whether you have just one or multiple locations, you can properly organize your NAP information everywhere.
What are the benefits and how citations can improve your link building?
Citations, in combination with links, can significantly increase your online exposure. Google also uses citations to verify if your business is authentic. Just like with links, the more citations you have, the better, but only in relevant places. And when Google is confident enough your business is credible, they can rank you higher. The benefits they provide are huge, especially if you are a smaller business that needs to compete with much larger competitors. Basically, here is how citations help you.
Citations complement links
Citations are like signals to search engines that your website, or should we say business, is existing in a particular location. Engines then connect this information to the specific geolocation and check your authenticity. According to the results, and in combinations with NAP, you get your place in rankings. The best thing is that citations can contain links. Since both citations and links are crucial for your local SEO campaign, this will additionally boost your position.
Improve your visibility
With relevant information you share with search engines, they share it further with a potential audience. Anyone looking for a product, or a service, or anything similar, will most likely use a search engine first. This gives you the opportunity to announce your existence and the type of service you provide to potential clients. The more people find you in their SERPs the more chance you have they will come to you.
Citations help with rankings
When it comes to increasing your ranking position, link building is the mother of all strategies. However, citations are taking this title when it comes to local ranking. For link building to take place, you need to have a website. But, for local results, you can only have citations for your business. Of course, you will get much better results if you create a website for your business. Nevertheless, in essence, it’s not obligatory because you can list your business anyway. Of course, you need to provide “clean citations”, and not just any kind. Use citation cleanup services to achieve this.
What definitely does matter here is, you can help your link building by placing links in citations. In long term, this can greatly affect your ranking, both global and local. The reason is, Google perceives your presence by evaluating listings, their consistency and accuracy, and if they are smartly listed on trusted online directories.
They increase your website traffic
Assuming you have a website for your business, citations can increase your website traffic. Since your visibility in local searches will increase, it will bring more visitors to your website. This is an important benefit citation can have to your link building strategy. That’s why it’s important to claim any mention of your business online, and include links if possible.
Citations help you establish trust
With a good citation profile, you will increase the trust of search engines and the public. The relevant and updated information on your listings, in combinations with high-authority links, are telling search engines that your business can be trusted. They then reward you with a better ranking, which leads to having more trust from potential customers.
People strive to connect themselves with quality. In the digital world, it can mean the difference between success and failure. When you have a valid listing in popular directories, social media, and other places, you provide proof that you are potentially trustworthy. In addition, some listings, like Google My Business, allow you to have direct communication with visitors. They can ask questions, leave a review, rate you, so make sure you are active on those channels.
Finally, citations are much more than simply placing your business information online. You need to nurture them, optimize, take good care of how they represent you. Today, citations are a part of every serious marketing campaign, and should not be taken lightly. Not only do they go hand in hand, but citations can improve your link building quite much.