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What You Need to Know about Links, Citations, and Mentions

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As you undoubtedly know by now, it’s a good thing to have your business or website being discussed in the right circles.

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Inbound links- those pointing from reputable websites to yours- are the cornerstone of search engine optimization( SEO ). And, being referred to positively by peers or the representatives of the press is always helpful when it comes to establishing your credibility.

However, there are differences between connects, citations, and mentions that online marketers should be aware of. They aren’t necessarily utilized the same way, and they might not have equal value depending on what you are trying to accomplish with your lead generation campaigns.

With that in intellect, let’s take a closer look at each one to see if we can make sense of the subtleties…

The Lowdown on Links

A link to your website is pretty easy to understand. You get one when someone else, maybe a blogger or from another business, links to you from one of their pages. You could be listed as a resource to the business, for example, or get a connect pointing directly to an article you had written that might be particularly informative for someone else’s readers.

The important thing for a marketer to know about inbound connects is that quality means everything. Unless the website associate to yours is believable and relevant to your business, it won’t benefit you in any way.

To give you a sense of how the present working, imagine for a moment that you have a website to promote your stationery renders store. Get a connect from your friend down the street who owns a bakery isn’t going to do anything for you.

Google will recognize the link as being not relevant, and few people are taking newspaper recommendations from the shop where they purchase cakes. Now, if you had a catering service, a link from the bakery would be very smart.

Taking it up a notch we can see that, a link to your stationery website from a school board, or an executive pens store, could give you a big boost in visibility. Both of these are closely aligned with the type of business you have, and thus Google is going to regard them very highly.

Understanding this simple principle can help you to see where so many companies get connects all incorrect. Earning a connection from your local business council or a trade publication helps you in numerous ways because they bestow credibility on many levels.

We can also see that buying connects from an overseas’ SEO’ firm can do more to hurt your cause than assistance because it merely shows you’re trying to game the organizations of the system rather than construct your company’s reputation.

Good links aren’t easy to come by which is why they are so valuable. Commit to getting the right ones and recognize that it’s going to take a little bit of time.

The Value of a Citation

You might recollect use citations for newspapers you wrote in high school or college, and they work in a similar way in the digital world. Citations are essentially links that can be used as a reference point to verify or supporting a piece of information procured elsewhere( for instance, on a blog post ).

For this reason, they have special value to Google- not to mention real-life buyers. Citations coming from specific types of websites can even give you the same various kinds of SEO boost as a strong backlink. That’s one reason it’s so important to have up-to-date information on business profile sites like Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and other relevant market or industry pages.

Exactly which pages those are to be able to could depend a lot on the type of business you operate. Running back to our catering store example, a link from Homestars wouldn’t is worthy of much. Again, it’s not relevant. However, a profile on TripAdvisor could be a very important citation if it’s a recommended dining place.

And, a listing there with lots of positive reviews would increase the caterer’s reputation potential, as well. Similarly, a real estate firm could benefit greatly from citations originating with local real estate boards or new community directories.

The important thing to remember about citations is that they are largely about visibility and credibility. Some of them can amass naturally as you register your business with the appropriate governmental agencies and regulatory boards.

Others require a bit more work to establish and maintain. In all cases, they need to have the right categories and contact details shown. Otherwise, your company could be confused with another one.

Citations are easier to amass than some other kinds of inbound connections and have a huge effect on your ability to appear in local search listings. It doesn’t take any special effort to accumulate them, so they should be a cornerstone of your online marketing strategy.

Something Worth Mentioning

Marketers tend to focus on connects and underrate the power of citations. However, many aren’t even recognizing also that they should be paying attention to mentions at all.

Mentions can take a lot of different forms, but they generally refer to any cases in which a specific business, company, or website is referred to online.

There may not be an accompanying connection( or one with a “nofollow” tag) so it’s presumed they don’t have any SEO value, especially when it comes to SEO. However, that hypothesi isn’t entirely correct.

It has been a badly-kept secret that Google has been watching mentions and “nofollow” links for several years. Although we don’t know exactly how they score them, we do know that they contribute positively to search engine visibility. Likewise, it never hurts to have prospects reading about you or your business on reputable forums.

Knowing that it’s easier to understand why there is a real benefit in being promoted through the local media or industry press. And, you can understand why online reviews, testimonies, or even social mentions can help you build your online reputation.

These mentions might not have the obvious SEO power of an actual inbound connection, but that doesn’t mean they don’t count- particularly if the referring website is one you knew and trust.

Want to Rebuild Your Digital Marketing Plans From the Ground Up?

At Kayak Online Marketing- our parent company- we aren’t just known throughout North America because we construct high-calibre websites. That’s an important part of our work, but clients love us because we can help them to establish themselves as industry leaders and dramatically improve their lead generation outcomes through a more holistic approach to all aspects of digital marketing, including a modern approach to SEO.

If that sounds like the kind of help you want, and you are ready to rebuild your online marketing campaign from the ground up, contact us today so we can schedule a free consultation.

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