Back before the pandemic, several of us Hadens set out for Colorado via Kansas, and I whined at this blog about the way the local businesses along our road trip failed to provide mobile-friendly websites and also about the lack of restaurant information. Now, as we begin to consider gettin gout there again, I’m also going to whine about the fact that a lot of local businesses have to decided to skip linkbuilding. I guess I don’t know that for a fact, but I suspect it, especially of local businesses.
The point is that, as I researched good stopping points for our road trip online, I was reminded of the importance of linkbuilding, especially for local businesses.
Google uses a very complex algorithm to determine the quality of a website, and they’re getting better all the time at making judgements about websites that are almost as good as human judgements. Google’s efforts at Artificial Intelligence are allowing their bots to recognize the richness of real human language and to get a good grasp of whether a website has plenty of good content that is relevant to a search query. They can certainly tell whether a website is modern, accessible, and organized for usability. However, Google has always recognized that their algorithm can’t tell if a website is beautiful, creative, fun, or authoritative.
So they rely in part on links given by human webmasters to websites. When people link to a website as a source of useful information or as an example of something good, it shows that people trust and value that website. Considering the quantity of quality backlinks allows Google to incorporate human judgements into their algorithm for websites.
What’s more, human beings often use directories, just as we used to use the phone book. People go to Tripadvisor, Urbanspoon, and the like to find businesses. They click through links at these places to check out your company website — but only if your profile makes them want to learn more.
Why does anyone skip linkbuilding?
Given the importance of high quality links, why would anyone choose to skip linkbuilding?
Some people have gotten nervous about linkbuilding, since Google cracked down on poor-quality links. Many people have always had trouble fully understanding the value of links. And as a result, plenty of website owners now skip linkbuilding.
You can certainly see this if you’re looking for a place to stop on your road trip — or a new eye doctor, or a local CPA or an independent retail location. The most basic steps of linkbuilding — good listings in local directories like Yelp — are often ignored.
If you have only a little time for linkbuilding, do these things:
- Add photos and information at local directory sites like Yelp (where Siri gets a lot of the info shared with iPhone users). The screenshot below shows how all the dance studios in my neighborhood look. The one that makes the effort to update their information might be amazed by the results.
- Verify your Google My Business listings and update your business’s local social media pages.
- Google your primary goods and services, find any relevant lists or round-ups on quality websites including blogs and news sites, and ask to be included.
- If you’re not a local business, make sure you’re included at national or global directories for your goods and services.
Can you just skip linkbuilding? No. For SEO and for local customers, you need to make sure you’re getting the links you deserve.
More on linkbuilding:
If even the quick ideas are not a good use of your time, you can hire Haden Interactive for a linkbuilding campaign. We have been building links successfully since 2008, and we can do it for you.