The internet is a vast resource of information readily available at our fingertips. Yet your website may be lost in this swirling, limitless sea of information. What if there is a way for your website to stand out and easily be found by your target audience? There are two powerful and yet underutilized tools, given the opportunity, will catapult your search engine optimization and online presence from non-existent to a must-visit website.

To understand these two powerful tools I want you to think in terms of “Patterns.”

Patterns are the source of how the flow of internet traffic functions. Two very valuable online tools that look for patterns are the partnerships of backlinks and local citations. Although not new to the internet, backlinks and local citations are often overlooked.

For Search Engine Optimization (SEO) backlinks and local citations work best together for improving online search. Allow me to explain the difference between backlinks and local citations.

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are links from other websites linked to your website. A few examples are memberships you belong to such as The Chamber of Commerce or an article contributed to online newspaper such as the Huffington Post provides a link to their readership back to your website. I will go deeper into this subject in a future post.

How backlinks help Search Engine Optimization

Search engines view backlinks as signs of credibility and authority. Google, yahoo, bing and other search engines algorithms sense your website as an authority in your field. As a result, search engines will direct people to your site as a source for valid information. The more backlinks to your site, the more website visits you can expect.

Best way to build great backlinks

  • Create valuable content. Provide compelling content that is current, trending and interesting. Unless directly communicating to a specific audience, be careful using technical jargon.
  • Draw readers to your website. Make it convenient for them to create a backlink to your website URL to link to their website by providing shareable content.
  • Reciprocate by creating backlinks on your website. Create links to websites you want to support and the business or organizations will take notice.
  • Remove bad backlinks. As your reputation grows as an authority in your field, you might begin to notice less-favourable websites linking to you. To stop tarnishing your reputation, Google and Bing allow you to exclude unwanted backlinks for SEO consideration.

What are local citations?

Local citations are any mentions of your business NAP (name, address, phone number) without the use of an external link. Organizations you are affiliated with has your NAP and mentions you, your business has been cited. They can be a combination of professional designations, schools you attended, sports activities, or sometimes achievements. International companies you register with to cite your contact information are Google, Yellow Pages, Yelp, Chamber of Commerce, LinkedIn are a few.

How do local citations help SEO?

Local citations provide prominence, authenticity and relevance for your business. This provides search engines more confidence to lead local searches to your website.

Best way to build Citations

  • Local citations are more controllable than backlinks since citations require registering your NAP with different directories.
  • Target websites that have a broader, international reach for local citation listings, such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, Manta, and Canpage.
  • Find as many websites to list your NAP to display your business. Think of industry specific websites to list your business website. Your professional designation, memberships you belong to, sports activities, volunteer, board of directors, societies.
  • Develop your NAP identity. The key is consistency. Decide how your address will appear as St. and not Street or Ave. and not Avenue. This provides a clean flow for search engines find your local citations to easily interpret and verify.

How Local Citations and Backlinks work together

Local citations and backlinks are crucial for a business to be located for online searches. Backlinks help build authority for your business. Local citations provide higher benefits and business credentials. It is worth the time factor to register your local citations NAP and develop backlinks for your business website.

Pay attention to these two gems to help drive traffic to your website. Local citations and backlinks is a partnership used specifically to improve SEO and drive traffic to your website. Both require nurturing and attended regularly for best SEO results. The bottom line is to build a strong online presence for your business. An effective way is using the power of local citations and backlinks. Social Driven Sales is a Kelowna SEO marketing company. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your online presence.