What’s the Difference Between a Citation and a Backlink?

The Ultimate SEO Checklist for Medical Practices

SEO for medical practices is a little different than a normal business.

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Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a necessary process to improve your website’s visibility on search engine pages. For example, when people search for your company’s name in Google, you would ideally like your website to come up on the first search page. With the right SEO tactics, you can reach this goal. In this article, we will be discussing citations and backlinks, which can both benefit your SEO in many ways.

What is a Citation?

A citation is a mention of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on another website. Google views this information as a sign of proof that you are a legitimate business that is located at the address listed on your Google My Business (GMB) profile.

Citations can either be partial or full, and partial citations are not as beneficial. While a full citation would include your business’s name, address, and phone number in that order, a partial citation may only refer to your name and address, but not your phone number. In order for a citation to really benefit your SEO strategy, it should exactly match the information listed on your GMB account. Staying consistent in the way you spell and present your information is vital for success.

Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are hyperlinks from one website to another. When it comes to SEO, backlinks are important because they demonstrate to search engines that your website is a source of informative and trustworthy content. The more backlinks you have, the more a search engine will trust your website as authoritative and will tend to push your site up in the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs), improving your site’s search visibility.

So, now that you understand what a citation and backlink are, you’re probably wondering “How do I get them?” Well, there are a variety of methods that you can use, some of which we will discuss below.

Increasing Local Search Citations

The first step you should take is to fully fill out your GMB page, which is essential when it comes to citations. Another great way to begin is to learn from your competitors. Search keywords or phrases that you would like to rank for, and then pay attention to the companies that rank in the top spots for those searches. Doing a search of each of these companies and noting the directories and citations they have can give you a starting point for working on getting your business cited on those directories. There is an array of platforms available today where you can list your local business, including Apple Maps, Bing, Facebook, Yahoo!, and Yelp, just to name a few. You can also find opportunities for citations on local sites that may want to promote local businesses.

While there are many methods that we could cover, one popular and effective way to build backlinks is through guest blogging. Publishing content on other trustworthy websites is a great way to gain more exposure. Promoting your content is also a great tactic. Taking the time to contact websites and bloggers may be time-consuming, but it can pay off in the long run.

Contact Us Today

While gaining citations and backlinks may seem very time-consuming, it is well worth it once your website begins ranking higher on SERPs. At DLM, our team of SEO experts will put in the time to help increase your business visibility on popular search engines. Contact us today to learn more!