Not a Local Business? Local Links Should Still be a Part of Your Linking Strategy!
Every company must build links to its site. Without links, even a perfectly optimized site will struggle to rank well. Your competitors that build links will easily outrank you, and you might even see worse looking websites or websites for worse companies that have better search results than you.
If you have an online-only business, or if your business isn’t limited to one specific region, you might think local listings aren’t relevant to your business’s online presence. You’d be wrong. There are many reasons why you should still create and manage local listings.
8 Reasons Why Local Links Are Actually Important for Online-Online or Non-Local Business
Number One: Link building is an ongoing process. I hate to break it to you, but you’ll never be done link building. Ask any SEO – we know the pain. So one of the reasons why we like local listings is because they’re quick and easy to create. (They’re also pretty much all free.) Why would you pass up the opportunity to get a bunch of links to your site this way?
Number Two: Building high quality links to your site increases your domain authority (DA). This positively correlates to your website’s overall ranking ability. Many local listings, such as Google My Business, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, Manta, Foursquare, etc., have high DAs, which helps improve your site’s DA.
You’ll also be able to rank for more competitive, long-tailed phrases.
Number Three: Even if your business is online-only, you have to have an address for it somewhere, right? It doesn’t even matter if the address is your house. You can take advantage of location-dependent links that your competitors can’t necessarily get if they don’t share your location.
For example, your biggest competitor might sell to the same town in which your company is located without actually being located there. You can increase your online visibility to people in your area by getting a link from the Chamber of Commerce. This is a link that your competitor, being located elsewhere, cannot get in order to improve its visibility in your physical location.
Number Four: Google is insecure. It has trust issues from people who have abused the system through “black hat” SEO practices. Having local listings with consistent information (specifically, name, address, and phone number – aka NAP) will help Google see your website as trustworthy.
Secondly, it seems a little shady when a business doesn’t have any online record of a physical location, even if it is just an office building somewhere. That said, using local listing to show that your business has an actual physical location will help solidify some trust with Google.
Number Five: Maybe you don’t consider your company to be “local” because you have locations throughout an entire state, across multiple states, or scattered all over the country. Each one of your branch offices, store chains, or other facilities can have its own local listings to improve its visibility in its location and increase its legitimacy (i.e. what I just talked about in Number 4).
Number Six: It’s free marketing. Take advantage of it!
Number Seven: Maybe your business is setting up shop in a space previously occupied by another business that still has local listings with your new address as its address. Claiming these local listings will help prevent misinformation even if your business isn’t technically local.
Number Eight: Local listings help others discover your business. In fact, a local listing could be the only way someone would know your business even exists.
Some Important Notes About Managing Your Local Links
Bing has decided that its local business listings will only display a business’s hours of operation for 6 months at a time. After 6 months, the information disappears from the listing. So out of all the other more important things you have to remember to do, now you have to remember to update your Bing Places listing.
Who uses an iPhone? Anyone…. Anyone…? It’s estimated that 1 billion iPhones have been sold worldwide. And in the United States, there are approximately 101 million people who use iPhones.
In case you missed it, Google paid Apple about $1 billion to be the default iOS browser in 2014. Many people were outraged to hear that Google was gleaning data from iOS searches – there was an obvious privacy concern here. Since this information surfaced, Apple decided to use DuckDuckGo as its default search engine for iOS8 because it doesn’t track user behavior.
Why is this significant? About a billion people will now be conducting searches, such as searches for your business, using this search engine. Obviously, you want your business to show up in its search results. DuckDuckGo does not have its own local listings like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Rather, it pulls information from Yelp, Bing, and Yahoo. (Notice that it doesn’t pull from Google – haha.) Thus, it is very important to make sure your listings on these three sites are accurate.