Does your business exist solely online? Maybe you run an e-commerce website, own an online registration software company or work in online education—whatever you may do, your whole business exists on the Internet. You may or may not have a physical office (maybe all your employees telecommute), but it’s imperative that you get a physical address that you can leverage for SEO (so maybe not your home address!).
Here are 3 reasons why a physical address is essential for SEO:
1. You need a physical address to create business profiles.
At the very least every company should have a Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local business listing. There are also dozens of other business profile sites that require a physical address in order to get listed These profiles can rank in the search engines and provide both a link to your site as well as a valuable touch point for interacting with your audience. Even online businesses can benefit from more links and touch points! However, without a physical location to list none of these business profiles can be created. It’s hard enough to build quality links, why cut out an entire segment of your link building campaign simply because you don’t have a physical address?
2. Physical addresses instill consumer confidence.
In today’s online marketplace, transparency is critical to building consumer trust. Customers want to know how they are doing business with and part of that includes knowing how they can contact you. In addition to a phone number and branded email address (not just Contact Us form!) a physical address tells your audience that you are in fact a real company doing real business. There are plenty of online scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting searchers and many of them hide behind a lot of smoke and mirrors in order to escape detection. A physical address lets your customers know you aren’t about to take their money and run.
3. A physical address helps you build a local brand presence.
In addition to the national business listing sites like Yelp, YP.com, MerchantCircle and so forth, there are plenty of local sites your website could get listed on provided you have a physical address. Even sites like the local Chamber of Commerce are great, trusted sites that can really help with your link building efforts. Plus, having a physical address on your website helps you more effectively target potential customers in your own area. For instance, an online SEO certification course with a physical address in Boston could get involved in the offline Boston SEO, marketing and small business scene. Any links they get from sponsoring Boston events or conferences are contextually relevant because their physical address is based in Boston. Even though they can sell their product to anyone anywhere is the US, Boston becomes their “home turf” so to speak.
If you don’t have an actual office, at the very least consider getting a P.O. box for your company. That way you don’t have to list your home address as your company’s address. If you wanted to take it a step further you could rent a shared office space. Basically multiple companies “work” out of the same office in different suites, even though none of them actually conduct their day-to-day business in that space. You get the benefit of a real physical address, plus office space if you ever need to meet with clients!