If you have a business with a local scope i.e. a restaurant or retail store, you must have been told hundreds of times to claim your local business listings. When you claim your local listing, it helps your business greatly in terms of SEO because Google finds your business website more trustworthy due to these listings and ranks you high among its local search results. The best and most professional search engine optimization specialists would start your local SEO process by claiming your local listings first. What happens when you don't claim your local listing?
- You Lose Trust
Keep in mind that Google gives a lot of weight to people's response to your content, website and business as a whole when it comes to ranking your business. For example, if your website content has all the right keywords used perfectly, but it still does not offer any useful information to your visitors, you will be ranked lower. In a similar way, general public trust is an important factor for your website's SEO in many different ways. When your online listing is not claimed you don't get reviewed or rated often. Of course, when it comes to ranking, Google will rank positively reviewed and highly rated businesses higher.
- You Lose Backlinks Opportunity
It is highly recommended that you set a standard format for your contact information, opening and closing hours and location. Once you have set a standard, ensure you upload this information exactly the same way on all the listings for consistency. When you add this information to your listings, a backlink to your website is also added. This way you are increasing your backlinks on some of the most reputable websites on the internet. Now, Google loves quality backlinks and can sometimes punish too many low quality backlinks. The backlinks coming from these reputable websites are always given priority by Google.
- You Don't Get Professionally Reviewed
There are thousands upon thousands of online blogs helping people find useful information, cool websites, amazing businesses, etc. These bloggers will often review local businesses to help their local audiences make the right decision. When it comes to reviewing a business, they often go to the most famous local listing websites to get names of the best local businesses. From these listings they also get a general sense of a business' reputation based on customer comments and feedbacks. If you have claimed your business, and your business has received good comments from customers on these websites, you have a chance of being reviewed by trending bloggers. This is another opportunity of creating a backlink and building online reputation that really helps with your SEO.
- You Lose Discoverability
Keep in mind that the traffic that comes to your website is not direct traffic. In fact, most of the traffic on business websites comes from search engines, social networks and referral links. People will not know the name of your business out of nowhere. You have to make your business discoverable by being present on platforms that people visit the most i.e. search engines, local listing websites, reviewing websites, etc.Once you have claimed your business you make it visible on all these platforms. This creates more channels for internet traffic to land on your website. Large volumes of traffic on your website will help you identify the weak and strong points of your design and optimization. In short, you get further help with your SEO through larger sets of analytical data at your hand when you make your website more discoverable.