Businesses need all the publicity that they can get. The internet makes it easier for that to be possible. Many people search online to find businesses, so it’s imperative for companies to maintain a strong online presence. It’s easy to make mistakes when trying to take advantage of local search engine optimization (SEO). The good news is you can learn from those mistakes.
Here are 9 of the most common local SEO mistakes and how to avoid them:
Not Using The Right Keywords
Keywords connect your potential clients with your business. Keywords (i.e. words and phrases) are the terms people type into a search bar. For example, if a user types in the phrase “how to eat sushi,” then the keywords on your site should revolve around that theme:
- How to eat sushi
- Types of sushi
- Eating sushi with friends
What are the best keywords to use? It depends on your specific niche. Check out resources like SEMrush for the best tips on keyword research for better SEO.
No Google My Business Profile
Notice when you pull up a search for your industry – restaurant, for example – a map will show up in the top right corner along with some results. Those results are from the brand’s “Google My Business” profile pages.
According to its overview page, Google My Business champions giving businesses more than just a business listing, and it lets you connect with your customers in more effective and faster ways than before. In short, it pays to have a Google My Business profile, or else you won’t show up in the map results. Create a profile for free and you’ll start seeing some great results.
No Customer Feedback
People look to testimonials in order to believe that a product or service is good. Though, asking for feedback can be difficult. You must make the customer happy first before earning a good word about your business.
Here’s what you can do to efficiently gain customer feedback:
- Keep asking customers to offer you feedback.
- Give customers easy ways to leave their feedback (i.e. email with a direct link to your profile page).
- Offer incentives (i.e. discounts).
No Contact Information
Your website should have a contact page where people can easily find your phone number, email address, physical address (if you have an office), and social media account information.
Also, list your business contact info as text rather than images. This allows Google to easily read your contact information and ensure that all is accurate for their search results.
Lack Of Great Content
Content is critical to your local SEO efforts. Creating SEO-optimized content allows you to be found online. Good-quality content attracts, engages, and retains users by providing them with valuable information that can solve their problem(s). Poor-quality content scares users away and doesn’t help you rank in search engines.
Therefore, develop superb content for your website. As you work to make your site attractive and engaging, make sure the content is original and engaging as well.
No Proper Categorization
When setting up your Google My Business profile, go through their extensive list of business categories. This helps you find relevant keywords for your business. Otherwise, when someone tries searching for your products or services, they won’t be able to find you.
For example, if you’re a business that sells products or services in many categories, ensure you add each and every possible category so that customers will find you easily.
Don’t create duplicate business listings because then you’ll be splitting your traffic. You’re basically competing against yourself. Plus, Google will penalize you for having multiple listings. According to its Help Center, users can report businesses that falsely create multiple listings on Google My Business.
No Mobile Optimization
Local SEO and mobile optimization go together. More and more people are using mobile devices to search for local businesses at home, work, or wherever. In turn, mobile users prefer mobile-friendly websites.
When Google updated their algorithm to include mobile-friendly webpages in April 2015, many brands shifted to responsive design websites. These are layouts that “flexibly adapt to different screen sizes, resolutions, and devices.” Google has since moved to mobile-first indexing, which helps determine your website’s rankings. Now, as of 2019, mobile-first indexing is set by default for all new websites.
Not Using Social Media
Businesses either utilize social media to boost their exposure, or they don’t use it at all. However, according to Moz, local search rankings determined that general factors like social signals (engagements on Facebook, Twitter, etc.) gained momentum over the years. More and more businesses implemented social media strategies to attract more customers and followers. Now, while social media isn’t the ultimate saving grace for local SEO success, it can play a role.
Keep in mind these 9 common mistakes when implementing your local SEO strategy. Give your customers what they want – high-quality content, credibility, and a professional look and feel.
Author Bio: Kristin Herman writes at Studydemic and State of Writing. She is also a contributing writer for Top Canadian writers. As a tech enthusiast, she blogs about the latest trends in technology.