Inaccurate business listings are problematic because they can cause a decrease in the level of trust Google has in your business. Incorrect business listings can also confuse potential customers and they may struggle to communicate with you. This could cause them to move on to one of your competitors.
Links are a great source of relevant traffic to your websites and these visitors are usually more likely to become customers. If your business is mentioned on a website that is connected to your local area, then this is likely to be more valuable than a mention on a website with no local connection.
If the website the citation appears on has a high domain authority, then this citation will likely be more valuable to you than one from a website with low domain authority. Domain Authority (DA) is a metric that predicts how likely a domain is to appear in the search engine results pages compared to your competitors.
Appearing on websites that are related to your industry or niche is helpful from an SEO perspective.
We have built hundreds of websites and we take care not to remove links. For example, we built a website for a contract manufacturer but they didn’t have any local business listings. This meant no listing in industry niche directories for contract manufacturers, no local profile in their geographic area, and no links to improve their organic search rankings.
Building a site without a local profile listing limits your business’s reach and visibility in the industry and local publications such as Yellowpages, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau. Imagine a potential customer looking on Yelp and your business is not there but 3 competitors are.
Link building is all about getting other websites to link to pages on your own site. These links are called backlinks. The more high-quality backlinks a page has, the higher it can rank.
Historically, backlinks are one of Google’s most important ranking factors. Links are often earned by asking for them, adding them to a site request, or creating content that people want to share.
Each link is like a vote of confidence for the search engines. The more quality links from a good website, the greater your opportunity to rank higher than your competition. These links can also be great sources of referral traffic to your business too.
Citations are online references to a business that features the business name, address, URL, and phone number. You’ll often hear NAP meaning Name, Address, and Phone number. Most citations take the form of an online business directory. Google Business Profile, Facebook, Yelp, and Bing Places for Business are common citations.
Citations serve as a trusted and authentic source of information about your business. Google will identify that your business has been mentioned through the presence of your NAP citation data, and this is enough to influence trust signals toward your brand. All things being equal, you’ll rank higher than your competitors!
Being listed on business directories and third-party websites is generally free. It makes it a viable way to boost brand awareness, get referral traffic, and increase your search engine rankings. Some local business directory sites allow customers to provide reviews. Positive reviews will help your business stand out from the competition.
Links are beneficial to your local SEO because they build trust, domain authority, and relevant links from industry directories. These links usually lead to more traffic from relevant sources and increase the number of leads generated for your business. Because the traffic comes from relevant sources, it will increase the likelihood of a sale.
Bing Places for Business is Microsoft’s version of Google Business Profiles. By claiming your Bing Places for Business listing, you will increase your visibility in Bing search results. Bing search is the default search engine for Microsoft products.
Below are the steps to add or claim a business on Bing Places for Business:
Note: Postcards may take a week to reach the business address. You can also verify via the Bing Places app.
Below are a few common mistakes in link building and citations:
If you are looking to increase sales or awareness of your brand, your business needs accurate business listings. The business listings will help to separate you from competitors by providing referral traffic to your business. Also, your listings help to build trust and in many cases, provide access to review sites for customers to provide feedback on your products and services.
Remember that it is not just a link or your business information. It is a way to reinforce your industry niche and improve your domain authority so that you appear higher in the search engine results. Having a higher position increases the likelihood of visitors to your site and potential opportunities to sell your products and services.