The Guide to Building Linked Unstructured Citations for Local SEO

What should you do next when you’ve completed the first stage of local search marketing? Surely you have come crossed the term-building linked unstructured citations. Also, you surely are aware that having correct structured citations on key platforms like Yellow Pages, Facebook, Infogroup, Acxiom, and Yelp is a prerequisite for marketing any local business. Once these official listings have been generated and a method for managing them has been established, what else can local SEO experts do to improve their rankings in local search results? We at AZ Citations are here to get show you more. After all, this is what we do. So, keep reading.

The main reason why linked unstructured citations are so important

  1. Google is dominating the local consumer experience by retaining as many tasks as possible. They obviously did it within its own interface rather than directing users to third-party sites. Because of the weight that links have in that interface, it’s important for local businesses to be mentioned on as many relevant websites as possible. Unstructured citations can be the deciding factor in very competitive marketplaces, even though structured citations are rightfully called “table stakes” for all local enterprises.
  2. At the same time, Google is beginning to monetize local search results in a significant way. Google’s Local Service Ads or short LSA campaign is a great illustration of this because it connects people in need of services (like housekeeping for example) with local businesses that can provide such services. Intelligent regional brands (including traditional storefronts) will see the direction this is heading in. Then they can start developing alternatives to Google as a source of traffic and leads. To get leads and sales without spending a dollar on Google AdWords, all it takes is a well-linked, unstructured citation in a highly relevant magazine.
Google app on a phone
Every answer starts with the same word – Google.

Link Intersect has some amazing opportunities for you

So, let’s say you have a charming little B&B in Fort Worth. You can use the Link Intersect tool that, depending on how it’s used, can enable your B&B (for simplicity’s sake, we’ll name it “7 days”) to discover various link and unstructured connected citation opportunities. For instance, the tool might emerge as a :

  • Links your competitors have but you or in this case your B&B 7days don’t have
  • Locally relevant links about your location
  • Industry-relevant links – in this case, it would be the hospitality industry

First step

One method of fishing for potential sponsors is to research well-attended community events and the companies that support them. When a local business sponsors a major event, it shows that they are a well-established organization with the resources to experiment with different public relations strategies. In a broad sense, small businesses can learn from the successes of larger corporations. In this example, let’s pretend that the city of Albuquerque is the setting for the bed and breakfast in question. The world-famous Albuquerque Annual Balloon Fiesta needed sponsors, so we set out to find them. Both the Isleta and the Sandia resort-casinos in Albuquerque jumped out at us as immediately opulent. These are the organizations we hope our smaller clients would model themselves after.

woman in bed researching Linked Unstructured Citations
Are you thinking about opening B&B now?

Finding link opportunities

First, you need to input your domain and obviously your competitor(s) domains. Then you should click “Find Opportunities” and we have a place to start. By doing this you will get a full list of sites that link to your competitors. The problem here is that they do not link to you but we can change that right? Now you should research them and see what will work best for you (your business). You should know that there are different types of links and depending on them you can do many different things.

Types of links

For example, press releases are fairly common among businesses. You will surely encounter many of those. Although these links do not pass link authority (sometimes known as “SEO value”), they can nevertheless provide significant traffic and can be managed to pick up by sites that use follow links. If your rival is sharing newsworthy material through press releases, you should probably do the same. But, there is more!

Directories, or structured citation sites like, are common in the backlink profiles of local businesses because they provide a company’s NAP citations along with a link back to the company’s website. You should know that Press Releases are more popular. That’s because they are self-created rather than editorially provided. Having consistent and correct citations across important directory websites is, nevertheless, a crucial preliminary step in local search effectiveness.

Connecting with your link prospects

Here are three ways to get linked unstructured citations :

  1. Self-created hyperlinks are just like giving votes to yourself, thus sites like will NoFollow your business’ website link. This link still sends visitors to your site, but it doesn’t convey’s authority to your domain. Only websites that link to you should be considered authoritative.  NoFollow and Follow links are neutral. Misusing the following links can land you in conflict with Google.
  2. Prompted by any outreach – People won’t know about your material unless you tell them so, start spreading the word!  These links are editorially put by the owner of the website however you only contacted them about your material.
  3. Earned organically – Sometimes you get links without asking. People may connect to popular material on your site if they believe it is valuable.
blocks spelling the word organic
The third is always the best but it takes time and a lot of effort to start getting organic links.

Writing outreach emails can be helpful

If the link opportunity you’re pursuing isn’t something you can develop on your own you can use emails to help you. Also, if you can’t meet with the decision-makers directly, then you’ll need to use outreach emails to get in touch with them. When presented with such an opportunity, among the most crucial things to consider is why the website in question would want to link to you specifically. Building linked unstructured citations is not easy. This is obviously just the beginning. If you need any help – call us. After all, we are the experts.

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