Unarguably, local search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial if your business aims to entertain customers in the areas its products or services are based in. After all, who makes ice cream in Paris and sells it in New York. Unless, of course, the ice cream parlor has grown significantly and opened a branch in the US as well.
Besides, 46% of all the searches conducted on Google seek local information. Hence, it makes complete sense that you take care of your local SEO so that your business pops up in front of your target audience when they search for related services or products.
However, there are some common local SEO mistakes that business owners usually make when attempting to take the nuts and bolts of local browser optimization into their hands. That does not mean that you cannot correct them though.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the common local SEO mistakes and how you can avoid them:
1. No Google+ Local Listing
When you search for a service, for instance, ‘best plumber near me’ you will notice that the right side of the search engine will display a map, which will give the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of the service that you are searching.
Such a google map surfaces with every local search made. It does not come up due to the SEO efforts made on the business’s website. Instead, Google displays the map due to the business’s Google+ Local listing page.
How to Avoid Making Such a Mistake?
Alongside focusing on SEO best practices for your business website, set up a Google+ Local Listing page for your business as well. Ensure that you verify your business’s listing as it confirms your ownership of the business page. Consequently, no one can make any edits in the local list on your behalf except yourself.
2. Using the Wrong Keywords
Keywords are the bridging phrases that connect your potential clients with your business. You cannot tamper with them, and you need to use the correct ones only. This is because keywords are words or phrases that people type into their search bar, so you can’t decide them.
In this context, a common mistake is to use the wrong or falsely assumed keywords. However, this will get your business nowhere because it won’t be able to show up in your target audience’s search feed if you aren’t targeting the keywords being used by your perspective.
How to avoid using the wrong keywords?
Local SEO service providers can help you search the right keywords that will have you ranking in the browser. Besides, you need to focus on the intent, traffic, and the level of competition of a keyword while selecting the keywords to use.
3. Stuffing your business name with keywords
It may seem that stuffing keywords in your business name is a surefire way of ranking on the search engine giant. However, this only worked in the past. In the initial stages of Google Places introduction, businesses thought that adding keywords to their business’s name and description will help them rank high.
The action did reap fruits albeit bitter ones. This is because Google does not have a liking for keyword stuffing, which is why Google’s terms of service are also against it. Once the browser figures out that the business name is stuffed with keywords, you are likely to lose your ranking fast.
How to refrain from making such a local SEO mistake?
The best approach is to aim to improve your search engine ranking as well as plan to maintain the position. Therefore, avoid keyword stuffing to get to the top. It will hurt your business if your ranking falls.
Besides, if you’ve followed the keyword overuse approach in fulling other online citations, then you will be left to deal with extensive editing work. Hence, set your Google My Business profile with your genuine business name minus any additional keywords.
4. Posting low-quality content
Two chief factors that send signals of authenticity to Google are links and the content on your site. Quality content works to attract, engage, and retain your client by providing them with valuable information that solves their problem.
Besides, content also gives you ample opportunity to sew keywords into your work, therefore, upping your Google ranking. However, poor quality content works in exactly the opposite fashion.
Search Engine Journal explains, “At their best, they (content and SEO) form a bond that can catapult any website to the top of search engine rankings. But that’s only when they’re at their best. Because, when they’re at their worst, they can cause Google penalties that are near impossible to recover from.”
How to keep this local SEO issue at bay?
Strive to develop superb quality content for your website. Think about what information will be valuable to your audience and produce content accordingly. You can also hire professional writers to handle the content for your business if you think that writing content adds too much to your plate.
5. Having duplicate listings
It is possible that you thought that having duplicate business listings will get you more traffic. Or, it is possible that you accidentally created two listings for your business. The problem is that you can’t let such a mistake slip by because it can negatively affect your ranking.
On top of that, duplicate business listings leave your audience confused as well. They end up figuring out which listing belongs to the “real” business.
What do to about this mistake?
Make sure that you don’t have any duplicate business listings for your work. At the same time, ensure that the name, address, and phone number details that you use are same across every business listing.
6. Lack of proper contact information
Vendasta indicates that 65% of the site visitors are interested in reading contact information. This is, particularly, true in the case of local businesses because multiple daily searches are made to learn about a business’s address and contact.
This probably explains why 72% of consumers searching for local businesses visit the store within five miles of their radius. In addition to this, Google also takes into account your contact information for setting your positioning.
What to do to correct this issue?
Add proper contact information on your website. Also, ensure that the contact details that you add on your business listings are the same as the ones on your website. Google tends to investigate your authenticity by comparing the contact info that you add at various places. Therefore, this information snippet needs to be accurate and consistent across all online pages.
Briefly, local SEO is the magic measure that can drive in a targeted audience to your business and increase your sales. However, it should be done correctly to earn credibility in the eyes of the search engine giant and recognition among potential clients.
Therefore, be consistent with the details that you provide online, don’t forget to make your Google+ local listing page, share high-quality content on your website, and use the correct keywords among other things. It’s best to refrain from overusing keywords in your business name too.
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