If you do your own SEO, you know by now that backlinks are still an important part of your campaign. But what about directories that don’t provide a link? Or those who put your link on the page in text form only. What about “mentions” of your business that don’t directly link to you?
1) Mention Backlinks
Mentions are simply a text mention of your brand name. Something like “I watch ESPN for sports news.” No link, context, but no information.
Mentions do help your SEO. It seems to fly in the face of SEO that without a backlink or your address on the page it could help but it does. Google is focused on brands. A simple search for your favorite brands reveals results that don’t make “sense” from a traditional SEO point of view. News articles that mention your brand, simple blog mentions, etc. do help. They are the “worst” type of help for your SEO but being mentioned definitely does help your “awareness” level.
2) Citation Backlinks
Citations are places where your business name, phone number & address are mentioned, possibly with a link on the page but in link format, not keyworded (ie. http://www.highonseo.com vs SEO for small business)
Local SEO heavily relies on citations for your ranking. You know the 7-pack of listings above many searches, right? These are sometimes 4-packs or 10-packs depending on the search. These link to your Google Plus account and are very important for your local searches (CITY KEYWORD or KEYWORD IN CITY STATE).
The best place to find citation sites is WhiteSpark. Whether you do a couple free searches or sign up for the basic account, you need to find these type of sites for local SEO backlinks.
3) Listing Backlinks
Listing backlinks are the most common links to your site. Whether they have keyworded anchor text or just a linked link (ie. http://www.highonseo.com ) they contain an active link to your site. A great example is TrueLocal. Click the link and look for “Visit website.” This is a direct link to my wedding photography website. These type of links directly help your SEO and are what most companies talk about when they say you need link building and backlinks.