Define Your Online Identity – With Citations?

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“Citations are a key component of the ranking algorithms used by Google and Bing (Yahoo! uses Bing rankings). Other factors being equal, businesses with a greater number of citations will probably rank higher than businesses with fewer citations.”

In today’s post-Panda and Penguin world, it can be difficult to know where to go with your SEO strategy. Google and the other search engines have significantly changed the way they value links as well as the content on your website. Now, their top priority is to verify your online identity. To accomplish this, they use “citations.”

Citations are mentions of your business name and address on webpages other than your own; these mentions do not have to link to your website. An example of a citation would be your listing in the online Yellow Pages where your name and address are displayed with no link. Other entities from which businesses commonly receive citations include local business organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau. Professional listings are a third source of credible citations; these include listings from societies of which you are a member as well as listings in third party directories that are specific to your specialty or the procedures you perform (e.g., Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery or

Citations are used by the search engines to verify that the business that owns a given website is part of a real community. Procedure-related citations (i.e., those involving the procedures you perform) are particularly effective because they provide Google with both verification and validation of your identity. This type of recognition is key to the ranking of your website in the Google Local section of the search results and is even more important to your website’s ranking for geo-specific search terms, such as “cosmetic dentist Nashville” or “facelift Cleveland.”

Think about all of this from Google’s perspective. If Google can both verify that your practice is an integral part of a community and establish what you contribute to that community (i.e, your specialty/procedures), it will consider your site more credible — and therefore will boost your rankings for procedure search terms that pertain to your practice, in the geographic areas you are targeting. That is why, according to, “Citations are a key component of the ranking algorithms used by Google and Bing (Yahoo! uses Bing rankings). Other factors being equal, businesses with a greater number of citations will probably rank higher than businesses with fewer citations.”

Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. According to Universal Business Listings, more than 40 percent of citations are incorrect or incomplete. While accurate citations verify your practice as a bonafide member of a local community, erroneous, inconsistent or blank citations can (and do) send Google the opposite signal. If there are numerous erroneous bits of information about your practice floating around the Internet — or if there is no information about your practice on credible webpages where your competitors do have accurate information listed — Google is much more likely to rank your competitors’ websites above yours.

How do you combat this problem? Your SEO team should be working consistently to create new citations for your practice and to clean up your citations that are inconsistent. This type of vigilance builds credibility for your practice and makes your online footprint more authoritative. But, this doesn’t mean you can (or should) forget about links. A skilled SEO team will also pick up a few links from these highly credible local websites, making your citations even more powerful.

Let us know if you have any questions about your online identity.

Ask the experts

Q Is a responsive design or traditional mobile better for my SEO?

A According to Google, a responsive design is preferable. However, a mobile site can work just as well so long as it avoids split PageRank and duplicate content issues.

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Maximize Your Internet Strategy

Come by the Ceatus booth for a FREE website evaluation!


London, UK
September 13-17
Booth G01

Join Ceatus Media Group at the upcoming ESCRS conference in London. Ceatus CEO David Evans, PhD, will be giving a presentation aimed at helping you maximize your social media and ROI, so don’t miss out!

Introduction to Social Media
Practice Management & Development Programme

Monday, September 15
10:45am – 11:30am

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CEATUS Internet Marketing Tip of the Month

Social media do’s and don’ts

DO share internal practice pictures, activities and celebrations

DO add entertaining memes, videos and images

DO comment and respond to posts and patient comments

DO post regularly

DON’T post only text

DON’T post only medical content

DON’T post “salesy” content

DON’T forget that social media is… SOCIAL!!!

To increase your practice’s social media engagement, call us today and ask about the Ceatus Premium Social Media Package! 858-454-5505

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7 Things you didn’t know you could grill

1. Cheese

Add some grilling goodness to your cheese board. Stick to thick cheeses like provolone, brie and halloumi, so that you don’t end up with a melted mess. Lightly oil the cheese and grill on medium-high heat.

2. Avocado

As if there weren’t enough ways to bring out the delicious flavor of avocados, we have one more. Halve/pit an avocado, brush with oil and grill on medium heat. You can use it on burgers, in guacamole and everything in between. Any way you slice it, it’s going to taste delicious.

3. Salad

Silly burgers, grills are for salad too! Add some char to romaine, endive or cabbage. Brush with oil and grill on medium heat. Once grilled, add your favorite buttermilk ranch or creamy sauce.

4. Quesadillas

No more microwaving or pan-frying quesadillas. It’s time to have a grilling fiesta! Simply brush the tortillas with oil and grill until the cheese melts. You can even throw some jalapeños on the grill to add an extra kick! Olé!

5. Pizza

Pizza oven? How about pizza grill! After rolling out the dough, brush with oil and grill over medium heat, flipping it once. Once flipped, add your favorite toppings. That’s what we call amore!

6. Fruit

Peaches, pineapples, bananas, mangos and watermelon can all get in on the grilling fun. Slice, add to skewers, brush with oil and cook for a few minutes. Now add them to your ice cream, salads or favorite cake. You can have your cake and grilled fruit too!

7. Doughnuts

Yes, you heard us right. It might sound strange but trust us on this one. Grab a pack of Entenmann’s donuts at the gas station or grocery store, slice the donut like a bagel, douse with rum, sprinkle with cinnamon and add it to the grill. Want to add some ice cream to your grilled donuts, or some fruit you’ve grilled? Be our guest!

Happy Grilling!

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