Citations and SEO 101: A Guide for Boutique Brands

Search engines use backlinks and citations as a measure of website content quality.

An external backlink is a link from one website to another that is embedded in the text. Search engines use it as a measure of quality and it can have a significant impact on your SEO ranking.

Understanding Backlink Quality

Backlink building techniques fall into one of two categories: white hat and black hat.

Black-hat techniques are aimed at duping search engines. They are poor practice and can get your website blacklisted. These methods involve showing different content to users than to search engine robots (a practice called cloaking), hacking websites you don’t own in order to place links, or buying citations in bundles from websites that are set up purely to link (this is called link-farming).

By contrast, white-hat techniques cultivate organic and authentic links that optimize user experience. Guest posts, link baiting, directory submissions and social media shares are all white-hat practices.

What Makes a Good Backlink?

Backlinks are a measure of quality. They show an author thought your site offered important supplementary information that was better than anyone else’s.

Backlinks from a relevant source – a page with similar keywords to those on the linking page – are far more value than a citation by an apparently unrelated article or website outside your niche.

Links from high-authority websites such as Forbes, TechCrunch and The Huffington Post also carry a lot of weight when it comes to SEO rankings. A link from these trusted sources shows Google your content is some of the best on the Net.

Backlinks and Search Engine Marketing

Backlinking has the power to increase search engine ranking and website authority. It is crucial to search engine marketing (SEM) and is a cornerstone of all good off-page SEO strategies.

Backlinking also supports wider content marketing objectives. Articles that include citations to your content have the potential to drive more traffic to your website. Users that follow external links may develop into customers or share your content with their social network, further increasing brand awareness and sales potential.

As such, a good backlinking strategy can increase your website ranking, enhance brand awareness, boost sales and introduce your business to a wider audience.

Managing Backlinks

Building quality backlinks takes time but, like all SEM investments, the potential return is substantial. Placing backlinks in guest posts, or encouraging social shares and links from high-authority websites, is an ongoing process. The experts at Mindspin are well-placed to undertake and manage backlinking on your behalf, enabling you to get on with running your business.


Many brands overlook the importance of off-page activities such as link building, but winning these citations can drive business growth and have a significant impact on SEO.

If you need help managing your on- and off-page SEO, then check out our monthly content marketing packages or website development services and discover the difference an effective strategy can make to your bottom line.