Starting your Linkbuilding

In a previous post about linkbuilding (Is linkbuilding still worthwhile in 2014?) we discussed the full advantages and merits of linkbuilding and why it is still pertinent in today's SEO strategy, but do these same rules apply to new startup businesses? The answer is of course yes, the processes to acquire beneficial links still requires manpower and due diligence and is relevant regardless of the size of your business, but realistically, for startups we need to first take a step back.

For small businesses the NAP Protocol is more efficient in the early days. Let's run though that now. NAP protocol stands for Name Address Phone number and is the uniform approach to succeeding with your Citation listings. So here's the obvious next question... What's a citation listing?

What exactly are citation listings?

A citation is a record that Google has found of your business on other websites usually such as directories (most commonly known ones may be or, but there are thousands of listing directories), which note your company name, address and phone number, in the exact same manner as noted on your own website. Why is this at all important? Because, each of those listings also acts like a mini referral, just as common linkbuilding does. Citations are another form of linkbuilding. However the main difference is that instead of picking up on specific anchor text links in bodies of text, a citation is a record mainly of your location, and this is good when optimising for your local SEO rankings. Especially important if you run a bricks and mortar establishment, or service a specific geographic region. 

The importance of NAP protocol

So now we've established that citations help with local SEO, I hope you can already see the importance of the NAP protocol. It's simple... If you maintain the same uniformity of NAME ADDRESS and PHONE, when you submit the listing, the more likely that google will associate the listings as the same company and give you a better referral rating. 

There are reports suggesting the the NAP protocol must be exact. Variations will dilute your the benefit. Example. Ours (at time of writing this) should always be written as:

Whitefish Marketing, The Workshop, 32 - 40 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent,  CT210 1JU. Wth tel 01303 720 288

It can't be listed with incorrect spellings or abbreviations e.g.
White fish marketing
32 - 40, Tontine St

We always try to ensure our listing is exactly the same as noted on our website, to maintain hat uniformity. Obviously some website directories may not provide the option for that uniformity but as a rule of thumb, that is the target you should be aiming for.

Continuing reading our future blog posts for more about citation listings, or speak with Whitefish Marketing to discuss how we can help your bricks and mortar company.

Linkbuilding for small businesses and start ups - where to start?
Article Name
Linkbuilding for small businesses and start ups - where to start?
Small businesses need a form of traditional linkbuilding, just like any other site. But citations and NAP protocol for localised directories may offer a better solution to start with.

About Chris Surridge

Chris Surridge is an experienced Digital Marketing Director with a wealth of knowledge on Search Marketing Strategies and Conversion Analysis. His value is in strategic planning for client accounts, and his consultative services.

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