Anyone who owns a local business needs to understand the importance of both general and local SEO. By focusing your marketing efforts on local SEO, you will be able to improve your business’s online exposure. As a result, you will increase your chances of reaching a target audience in your area. Typically, this is what SEO is all about. However, when focusing on a specific area, local SEO is the most effective tool. If you want to utilize it efficiently, remember there are many local SEO mistakes you should avoid.
Common local SEO mistakes you should avoid
While focusing on operating and growing a business, it’s easy to neglect a few things that can cause you trouble later. Since the market and competition are constantly expanding, ignoring great promotional strategies would be a huge mistake. When met with the opportunity, you should collect all the necessary marketing information to find potential ways to improve. This includes learning what and what not to do regarding local SEO.
To help you improve your marketing efforts and grow your business, here are few common local SEO mistakes you should avoid:
- Not paying attention to citations
- Not creating a Google My Business profile
- Having duplicate listings
- Lacking contact information on your website
- Creating a website that is not mobile-friendly
- Having a slow and unoptimized website
- Failing to acknowledge the importance of social media for business
- Ignoring reviews about your business
1. Not paying attention to citations
Citations represent every online mention of your business, so you can already assume how important they are. You need citations created in a certain way that will contain at least the basic information about your business. When building citations, you should always include your business name, address, and phone number. Or NAP information, to put it simply. This information has to be accurate and consistent across all citations, or you will miss an excellent opportunity to rank high on the search results pages.
Don’t forget to include your phone number with the area code of your business. Besides the address, this is what connects you to a specific geographical area, which is essential for local SEO requirements.
2. Not creating a Google My Business profile
Speaking of business information, Google My Business is essential. Every business needs to claim its GMB profile and optimize it properly. What makes it so important is the fact that the majority of online searches are conducted over Google. When someone is looking for a product or services, Google prioritizes business profiles from the searchers’ area. Then, it displays them with maps and ratings, separated from organic searches.
Remember to claim and verify your GMB profile, so none other than you can edit it. Finally, ensure you are submitting as much relevant information as possible and make sure to keep them up-to-date.
3. Having duplicate listings
For both citations and GMB, duplicate listings can create problems. For example, having more than one profile will confuse people who want to find your location, especially if the address and other information don’t match. In general, Google dislikes duplicate listings because they provide a bad user experience. This will, eventually, result in hurting your business by lowering your ranking position. If you want to discover whether you have duplicate listings, different SEO tools like Moz Local can help.
4. Lacking contact information on your website
There are numerous reasons why some businesses don’t display contact information on their websites. However, this can negatively affect your SEO. Even more so if you are a classical brick-and-mortar business. Clearly stated contact information that includes NAP helps visitors and Google associate your website with a specific location. This results in higher priority for a particular area’s search queries.
5. Creating a website that is not mobile-friendly
You can create a beautiful and highly functional website for your business but remember – the website needs to look good on different devices. Even though simple static websites made only for desktops are rare nowadays, it’s still worth mentioning. Since a large percentage of searches are conducted over smartphones and similar devices, a mobile-friendly design is a must.
6. Having a slow and non-optimized website
Despite internet speeds being incredibly high today, some websites still take too much time to load. For a business website, this is unacceptable. If you want to increase traffic and the number of returning visitors, you need speed. If your pages are loading slowly, people will lose patience and leave. Overall, this can seriously compromise your ranking positions and your chance of success.
7. Failing to acknowledge the importance of social media for business
You may or may not like how social media works, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. From a business perspective, social media is one of the most efficient ways to improve your marketing. With a well-thought-out SEO strategy, social media can complement your marketing efforts and further improve them. Since Google and other search engines pay attention to social media signals, you should too. Especially if you want to get access to a vast pool of potential audience (followers). The power of sharing social media possess is simply impossible to ignore.
8. Ignoring reviews about your business
Another mistake businesses often make is ignoring online reviews. You should avoid doing this as it can be a sign of a serious problem with customer relations. If you don’t have a decent number of positive reviews, this will negatively reflect your local SEO. Both people, your potential clients, and Google and other search engines will notice this.
However, if you take time to ask for reviews, considering customers are satisfied, you can quickly push your business to top positions. Especially with Google My Business localized results. The same goes for online comments. You need to take time to respond even if there are negative comments. Even better, if you make an effort to correct the issues, it will show you care for your customers.
In the end, don’t forget to monitor everything. Regularly audit your citations, online profiles, and your website to understand which local SEO mistakes you should avoid. If something is preventing you from getting better ranking positions, this can help you fix it. Optimization is a slow process, but if you give it enough time, it can do wonders for your local business.