One of the more popular search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies for increasing your
ranking in search engines such as Google, must not be overlooked. The importance of Link building and citations is paramount especially, across other websites.
You’re probably thinking: what’s the benefit of building links on other websites if it’s not your own?
Surely this will improve their website…But what will it do for mine?
Well, actually building links and citations on high authority websites boosts your own site – think of it as a recommendation and seal of approval between the two sites, thus allowing Google to bump up your ranking.
There are many different ways to increase both citations and links, however, a lot of the older strategies are not as effective. And there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.
Therefore, to provide you with the best SEO link building and citations strategies, as well as highlighting the importance of this, we have created this blog post.
So What are Citations?
According to Moz , a citation is a mention of a name, address, or phone number for a local business.
These citations can be anywhere, from their social media supported apps to their home page with the main purpose of allowing their readers the opportunity to discover local businesses.
Think of it as a much more intelligent phone book/yellow pages.
These citations help both local businesses and customers find your business, while in some cases, increasing your ranking in search engines such as Google. So as you can see, the importance of citations is paramount, especially if you run a local business.
Now that we’ve covered citations, Let’s answer the question ‘What is a Backlink’?
These links direct traffic from one website to another. While a citation may also include a link, a backlink must include a link for it to be considered one.
These links are useful in directing readers to important information, while also being an SEO goldmine. If you can get links from high-authority, well-ranked sites it is thought that your ranking in search engines will increase. This is because these high-quality sites have ‘approved’ you, telling Google that your page is worth being ranked higher.
As you can imagine, the more quality and high-authority backlinks you can obtain for a given page (given that your SEO is good) the higher you’ll be able to rank.
So, now that we know what both citations and links are, what is the best method for Link Building?
Well, truth be told there are many, many different ways to build both citations and backlinks for your website. While you will eventually get them naturally, towards the beginning of your site you’re going to have to go it on your own if you are wanting to see real results.
One of the best ways to gain citations as a local business is simply to ask. If you know other local businesses who have a website, Facebook page, etc. drop them a message, email, or speak to them in person and ask if they can leave your contact details so others can find you.
It’s as simple as that.
However, link building is often a little more difficult, mainly because we’re not just targeting local businesses who want to help each other, instead, we’re faced with the big bad world of competition across our individual niche.
With so many competitors, it’s important to bring something to the table. For example, you may offer to post a free guest post on a high-authority site within your area of expertise in exchange for a link or two.
This is especially lucrative for other blog owners if you are in fact an expert in your field, have a portfolio, or simply know what you’re on about.
If you’ve got a couple of blog posts already it may be worth leaving these within the email, allowing them to
check out the quality of your work.
However, it’s important to reach out to the right sites! Avoid sites with Google penalties and instead target sites with a high to medium domain authority. While you could probably get ten times as many links off of low quality/new sites, 1 high-quality link will benefit you much better – even if you do have to spend a little (this brings us to our next point – paying
Should you Pay for Backlinks?
This is one of those questions SEO experts and digital marketers alike generally say NO to, however, there is one exception. While Google can pick up on links that are bought (Note: Google hates it!), you can purchase guest posts on freelancing sites such as Fiverr or Upwork.
These are simply guest posts which allow you access to higher-quality sites, some of which you would not be able to obtain given the current size of your website, if you’re just starting out.
Generally, you will write these and send them in and often, they are published within 1-3 days.
While this is a more cost heavy method compared to getting links for free, you will see a quicker turnaround towards the beginning in your SEO and rankings within search engines.
However, as with most new websites, your budget isn’t exactly thanking you for purchasing these.
Therefore, we recommend investing in a handful as early as possible, and later using the free method to obtain further links.
This will boost the authority of your site quickly, letting Google know there’s great content being produced.
One fantastic way to increase exposure is to create a Post Linking to other creators and experts within your niche.
For example, let’s say you own a travel blog. We’d recommend creating a post titled along the lines of ‘Top 30 travel blogs in 2020’.
Within this post, you would provide backlinks to each of the blogs. However, that’s not where you would stop.
It’s time for the magic.
Now, we contact each of the blogs and let them know we’ve featured them within our blog post, asking them to give it a share on social media and if possible, check out your site too.
More often than not, 25-30% of blog owners will share your content. That’s around nine shares on social media from high-authority blogs with big traffic – all of which is coming your way.
Not only do you get new traffic, but this traffic will also most likely share the post, creating a ripple effect and increasing the exposure of your blog exponentially.
Likewise, it is believed that pointing to other high-authority blogs within your niche informs Google that your site belongs with these, further increasing your SEO and ranking.
Finally, one way to increase exposure while potentially gaining yourself a few links in the process is to simply ask for shares. Likewise, if using a platform such as Facebook as a local business you can always run a competition where users must tag their friends and share the post – providing great outreach to the local community .
This, in-turn should definitely increase the citations for your website, increasing your ranking within search engines and
your reputation as a local businessman or woman.
Is Building Links and Citations Important? If you haven’t noted already, building citations and links within your website tells Google your site is active, performing well, and Is approved by other well-established blogs.
If you’re not building links you’re missing out massively.
Likewise, if you are a small business owner not building citations will damage the growth of your business. Building these citations is as simple as reaching out. Within small communities, this is especially easy as many will want to help out local businesses.
The importance of link building and citations should not be underestimated. This SEO method has proved effective time after time, with many SEO experts regarding this as one of the best methods for increasing your rank in Google and increasing the overall traffic to your website.
To begin with, we recommend purchasing a handful of guest posts across some high- authority sites within your niche. This should provide a stepping stone approach to increase your ranking quickly when beginning.
Following on from this, we suggest reaching out to bloggers within your niche and offering to guest post on their blog in exchange for a backlink or two.
This is a great strategy and should be done at least a couple of times each month, allowing your site to constantly grow.
Finally, one of the more recent but less well-known approaches is creating a post linking to other creators and bloggers within your niche. While it first this approach may seem counterproductive, it actually yields the capacity to exponentially increase traffic to your website, social shares, and even backlinks – and quickly at that.
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