Hands down, local search engine optimization (SEO) is the most important element local business need to shine in the local digital market. In fact, 46% of all searches specifically on Google are about local information.
With that said, it would be completely practical for you to engage in and take good care of your local SEO. It allows your business to become easily visible when your target audience searches for information about your products or services. To create an effective, flawless local SEO you should seek the assistance of an experienced SEO professional like the digital marketing agency Colorado or the digital marketing agency Denver local businesses prefer.
Unfortunately, many local businesses are sabotaging their local rankings on Google without even realizing it. Some local SEO acts or undoings can actually cause harm to a business’ goals for visibility. Here are the most common of these mistakes:
1. Absence of a Google My Business Profile
Generally speaking, SEO is nothing less than a race for the top of the search engine results pages (SERP). But it’s not exactly the same with local SEO because it comes with a little twist.
For example, when you search for “dentists near me,” Google will display a map at the top of the results page. Just below this map are names of dental clinics with their reviews, address, phone number and other information listed.
If you wonder where those names came from, they are actually information that come from the Google My Business (GMB) profile page of each dental clinic, and not from their website.
Google My Business can really help you to become more visible, and if you haven’t created a GMB profile page for your business, you’re really missing out a lot from a 100% free, quick and easy to set up tool that works to improve your visibility on search results pages.
2. Duplicate Listings
If you believe that creating duplicate listings on Google My Business or other local business directories can enhance your visibility online, think again.
As we are all aware of, Google hates duplicate listings especially because it can be confusing for users. This is the reason why Google doesn’t allow duplicate listings in its Terms of Service. If you think you have duplicate listings on one or more online business directories, use Moz Local to verify.
Simply type in the name of your business as well as its address and zip code to know if your business has duplicate listings in any of the business directories online. If duplicate listings are found, you should contact Google to have the duplicates deleted to eliminate their potential to drag your rankings down.
3. Using Wrong Keywords
Keywords are phrases that connect your business to its potential clients. These are the words or phrases people type into the search bar when they look for information from the web. You don’t have a hand in them, so there’s a need for you to determine which phrases are frequently used to be able to connect with potential clients.
The use of wrong keywords is a mistake because it can’t give your web pages a chance to show up in the search page of your target audience.
To identify the right keywords for your web pages, you should seek the help of experienced professionals like the digital marketing agency Denver business managers recommend. They have the right tools and techniques to determine the best keywords for your local business.
4. Missing Relevant Categories
This mistake usually happens right during the creation of a profile page in local online business directories like Google My Business.
You should take extra care when you set up a page in these websites. One way to determine the right category for your business is to identify all the relevant categories where your business can fit in. Select the ones chosen by top-ranking local businesses that offer the same products or services as your company.
5. The Contact Information of Your Business are not Reflected its Website
Even if you’re using the right keywords and you are offering your audience with valuable information, your business is still missing a lot if your audience doesn’t have a way to contact you for a business engagement.
According to the software company Vendasta, 65% of site visitors run to the web because they want to learn about the contact information of a local business. This may also be the reason why more than 70% of consumers that do a search for local businesses visit stores that are located within five miles within their radius.
To avoid missing contact information on your website, be sure to add your contact details into it. You also need to ascertain that the contact details displayed on your website are exactly the same as the ones you reflect on your business listings.
6. Inconsistent NAP Information
NAP is an acronym which stands for Name, Address and Phone Number. When you have it reflected on your website, you must be sure that this is the same contact information you have reflected on your business’ other web pages across the internet.
Check for inconsistent NAP by using the Moz Local search tool. This should let you know if your business is plagued with NAP inconsistency problems.
7. Absence of Customer Reviews
Customer reviews indicate authority and trustworthiness of a business. It also helps to improve your rankings especially if the reviews are positive because they can attract traffic.
About 91% of people who intend to know more about a product or service read online reviews, and 84% trust reviews as recommendations. Positive reviews can really help to speed up the growth of your business, but getting people to do it is the hard part.
In order to get reviews, the best thing you can do is to provide your customers with real value and ask them to leave a review of your product or service.
8. Low Quality Content
Low quality and thin content has a big impact on your local Google rankings. As a search engine, Google wants to give its users with web pages with the highest capability to answer searchers’ questions. Google assumes that web pages with longer content can provide more information than pages with fewer content. With that said, you must review your key web pages to make sure they have more than 500 words, or long enough to convey relevant information.
Thin or low quality content only leads to poor user experience. Hence, it will never be able to drive visits and quality time from visitors. Although Google states lately that website traffic is not a ranking factor, traffic is still an important element of our digital marketing goals.
9. Absence of Quality, Relevant Links
Quality links are and will always be a major player in establishing a website’s authority and trustworthiness. Google’s recent decision to add links as a local ranking factor has made quality links more important. While quality content does help to push your web pages up the ranking ladder, it can actually do better with relevant links from top caliber websites.
The best way to attract quality websites to link to yours is to invest time, effort and perhaps money to produce, publish and promote quality content. You may also have your business listed in quality directories to attract links.
10. Not Engaging in Social Media
Social media is a huge market. It is a virtual place where your local business can find thousands of potential customers. Additionally, Google uses an entity’s influence and activity in social media as a local ranking factor. If you ignore social media, you’ll certainly lose volumes of business opportunities and possible backlinks.
11. Not Optimizing your Website for Mobile
If you don’t care about optimizing your website for mobile, you’re actually losing a lot not only in ranking but also in terms of business opportunities. More than 50% of internet traffic comes from mobile phones and it is constantly increasing. You need to optimize your website for mobile to keep your business’ competitiveness alive.
The domination of mobile and local SEO is imminent because of the increasing number of people using their mobile devices to shop, search for local businesses, or read reviews about products they want to purchase.
It is really necessary for you to optimize your website for mobile because of it’s increasing importance in local Google ranking algorithm as well as its influence in local search results.
Mistakes can come by. In local SEO, it is important to identify them beforehand. This allows you to avoid costly consequences or lost business opportunities. Prevent local SEO mistakes from happening by seeking help from SEO professionals like the digital marketing agency Colorado small businesses trust.
Do you need help with your local SEO? Call us at (303) 466-3055.