The Relevance of Citations

While most savvy Victoria SEO companies understand the value of link-building (links that point back to your domain), and the PageRank that is accumulated through this time tested practice, few seem to fully grasp the concept and value of “citations”. Unlike backlinks and directory profiles, citations are simple mentions of a business and don’t necessarily contain hyperlinks to web domains. Major search engines crawl and index citation pages, collecting the information found in order to assess authority and presence level of your website.

For citations to have any significant value in your SEO efforts, you’ll need to be consistent and create a good number across the web, utilizing a wide array of popular sources. Since Google partially relies on citations as a means of cross-referencing the accuracy and pertinent information on your business, employing a consistent method of creating these citations makes good sense. For example, if a business address includes a suite number, there are usually many ways the address can be listed around the Internet, sometimes preceding the street address and other times not listing it at all. Such NAP (name, address, phone number) listings can be a significant source for good SEO if used properly. Citations are not restricted exclusively to directories, and can be utilized through other areas, such as press releases & posts, as well as mentions in forum discussions or social media circles. As with backlinks, citations on pages with higher PR and popularity will have a more significant impact.

Social Signals and SEO

victoria seoWhile content (and proper page structure) is king, your website’s pages may not be seen as authoritative without its share of likes, tweets, shares, re-pins, +1’s and comments. Great content that offers depth and richness can stand alone for good SEO practice, but similar pages that register on social media channels can be propelled well into top positioning. Simply posting and tweeting humdrum content on a regular basis will do little to improve your website’s domain authority, while shared page content that can consistently inspire discussions will have a lasting and dramatic impact. Think before you post and ask yourself if what you are publishing is truly ‘share worthy’ content that will provoke a reaction from your audience.

SEO Content Quality Vs. Quantity

In order to stand out from the trillions of web pages on the Internet today, and to get noticed by search engines, you really need to judge your content objectively. Ask yourself what it is that your page is offering visitors that they haven’t seen on similar sites all over the web. Was your content created by brainstorming words onto a page or did you spend time planning, researching and studying, prior to publishing? Will your website visitors find your content pages useful, fascinating and worthy of social sharing? Since content writing is the very foundation of good SEO and could ultimately propel people to call your business, it’s really not the place to cut corners.

Keyword Stuffing and Word Associations

When creating content, one can easily make the mistake of overemphasizing topics on a page, to the point where the content integrity suffers. Good SEO content sounds natural when read aloud. Use keywords in context, and don’t make the mistake of insulting the intelligence of search engines. While search bots appreciate a bit of hand-holding, such as the proper use of page titles and headlines, repeatedly inserting keywords within your page content could have an adverse affect. It’s good to keep in mind that search engines are clever enough to understand ‘context’ and ‘intent’ and don’t need everything spelled out -particularly not in a fashion that is shallow and repetitive. Quite often searchers refine, change and rephrase queries, and search engines can begin to understand the correlation of content and wording within specific topics. This explains why you may see additional suggestions for searches, even when they don’t necessarily contain the same keywords.

Building PageRank

PageRank (PR) is a value system created by Google to determine your website’s relevance and importance. Using a link analysis algorithm, each domain is assigned a PageRank score between 0 and 10. Scores of 8 or higher are typically reserved for the most popular websites on the web, such as Facebook, Twitter and the New York Times. In essence, PageRank looks at linking profiles, analyzing the significance and linking ‘weight’ passed from one website to another. Considering that Google’s PR system does more than count the sheer number of links, this confirms that link quality will have a more significant impact on your rankings than will massive quantities from pages with low PR. Since PageRank is passed between domains, it stands to reason that you should be allocating more time and focus acquiring links from pages with high PR values.