Why Citations & Backlinks Matter For Local SEO
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Citations and backlinks are rated as the most important SEO ranking factors, apart from the quality of your website content. There are over 200 ranking factors in Google’s algorithms for determining search results.
What are citations?
Citations are mentions of your company online. This can be in reviews, forums, press releases, business directories and any other online platform.
A full citation includes NAP – name, address, phone number – and these are the most beneficial. A reference to your name only is a partial citation and still useful.
Citations enhance your online credibility and authority and demonstrate that you are a real business.
The most obvious source for small businesses to gain citations are business directories such as Google My Business, Bing and Yell . These are the most authoritative directories and all businesses should be registered with a verified account.
In addition to nationwide general directories small businesses should also seek out geo specific and industry specific directories. In other words those that relate to your geographical location or type of business. These are valuable sources too and improve local SEO.
It is vital that all information held about your business, and in particular the NAP, is consistent across all these directories.
Inconsistent NAP is harmful to your SEO as are other inconsistencies with your business description and categorisation.
Search engines collate all the information held on your business and use it in ranking your business.
Why your business needs backlinks
Links are integral to how the web works. They link individual pages and websites to one another to form one giant interconnected network – the internet.
Search engines view the number of links pointing to a webpage as votes. The more links a page has the better it must be is one way of putting it. Therefore, more links to a website are an indicator of quality and that improves a site’s ranking in search results.
However, the way your site obtains these links is even more important and tactics that worked in the past are no longer viable. Some link building strategies can actually be harmful and result in a penalty and drop in ranking.
Strategies to avoid include using link farms, other paid links and links from low quality directories.
Small business owners or those responsible for its SEO should look for relevant directories offering free backlinks and other link building opportunities.
The most beneficial links are those that occur naturally from authoritative and relevant websites.
A website’s authority is based on its Domain Authority and Page Authority.
Call Invicta SEO Services & Web Design on 07584 714032