Citations, mentions, and SEO explained by Sara, owner of Trusted Saskatoon.
There are many benefits to being a Trusted Saskatoon partner. My local team spends all of our time and energy promoting the Saskatoon partners on the directory as the best options in their industry in Saskatoon and the surrounding area. Once a business passes our unique verification process we invest in consistent advertising and we promote them both individually, and as a community as trustworthy, reputable locally owned, and accountable businesses. We do not do this because they ' bought our favour', we do it because they have proven themselves to be trusted. Each of the businesses listed on Trusted Saskatoon has signed a contract where they agree to uphold the 5 Trusted Guarantees of Service.
There is a lot of work and effort that goes on behind the scenes that may not be immediately obvious or understood by our Partners. In this article, I explain how my team helps our partner's websites rank higher in local search independently of their listings on our Saskatoon directory.
The SEO Impact Being Trusted Has On Our Partners Local Search Rankings
The key to being found online is having correct, consistent information online. That combined with fresh\new, relevant content on sites that are both yours and NOT yours, is what the internet and search engines really value!
This is where local SEO citations and mentions on high-quality local directories such as Trusted Saskatoon, on social media, and other trustworthy websites and sources come into play.
What are citations and how do they impact local SEO?
Citations are online mentions of your business on 3rd party websites. If your business is listed on Trustedaskatoon.com, that counts as a local citation. The same goes if your business information is mentioned or featured on 3rd party blog posts or online newspaper/media articles- such as the Star Phoenix new faces new places for example. Citations and online mentions are important for local businesses online since they send out signals that tell Google and the other major search engines they can trust your Saskatoon business.
Why do we recommend focusing on citation building?
We all want to be on the 1st page of Google for our category in our local market for our main target search keywords. If your website ranks higher in search, then it should attract more visitors, generate leads and that should lead to more business.
To be well ranked in local searches, you need to make sure the search engines have all of the correct information they need about your business. If your most important data is not consistent, the search engines are less likely to put your website forward as a high-ranking option for local prospects searching for your products and/or servcies.
How The Local Search SEO Point System Works
Google is essentially the head librarian of the web, and as there are over 570,000 new websites added per DAY to the internet it’s a HUGE job! As such, Google has lots of 24/7 ‘library assistants’ helping with the massive and ongoing task of ranking the approximate 1.7 billion websites currently listed on the world wide web. If these assistants, or ‘web crawlers’, find links on 3rd party websites that link back to your business’s website, then they know it is trustworthy and you will earn an SEO point. If that backlink is on a quality local website, like www.trustedsaskatoon.com, then you are awarded additional, highly valued local SEO ‘points’. The same is true for citations; if web crawlers find your business information listed in important online directories, mentioned on other people's blogs, and featured in articles / local news, it solidifies the fact that they can trust your business information to be correct.
Citation building is a small but important piece of the local search marketing puzzle. Our team is working on our clients' behalf to ensure the information we have about them on Trusted Saskatoon is up to date and relevant.
Check out the video below for more information, and if you have questions please do reach out to our team!
What’s the difference between online citations and online mentions?
An online mention is when a business or brand is referenced, or "mentioned" on the internet. While often referring exclusively to social media mentions, they also count every time an online publication, website or blog ‘ mentions’ a brand or business name. If the mentions are combined with backlinks to your website and over 300 words of rich locally-focused content all the better. By rich, we mean that the content includes elements such as quality, copyright-free images, relevant keywords, embedded videos, location-specific words, etc. If that is the case, then the value of that mention increases A LOT! This is why we ask our Partners to work with us to provide information about their specific business/ industry. We take that information and write quality Trusted Saskatoon Tips that feature them as the local experts in their industry!
When we tag our Partners on our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter platforms the search engines and the web crawlers take note, this, in turn, adds additional SEO POINTS and improves their website’s organic search value. Their business and websites gain more ‘authority' within their respective industry categories in local search. Positive SEO leads to increased visibility, which can then prompt more mentions and further increased SEO points. Less is definitely NOT more when it comes to citations, mentions, and links to websites.
If Partners want to make the most of our expertise, promotions, and online klout, then they need to provide us with more information in the form of interesting, helpful and engaging expert tips about their industry. Our team will do the rest, we know how to take the content and get as many ‘ SEO points ‘ as possible. We then pay to promote that content locally so it reaches your ideal prospects. The more we can help our clients build a solid citation and link-building foundation the better they rank in local searches for their categories. Our goal is that our Trusted Saskatoon Partners get their unfair share of leads in their categories locally online!
The founder of Trusted Saskatoon, Sara Wheelwright has over 25 years of marketing experience. A multi-award-winning entrepreneur and marketer, she expanded Trusted’s services by launching a full-service Saskatchewan digital marketing agency, Trusted Marketing Services in 2014. The success of Trusted is a testament to the importance of having business integrity in a digital age, where access to free-flowing information is constantly influencing consumers. Her experiences and insight are relevant to all business owners interested in progressive marketing strategies. Her biggest strength is being able to communicate the complexities of online marketing and how the internet works to local business owners in a way that they can fully comprehend. This, in turn, empowers them and helps them compete in this new marketing landscape.