One of the best ways to help your small business get more visibility online is through Local SEO. However, there are some common mistakes that can hurt your efforts.
A great way to avoid these mistakes is to hire an experienced SEO professional or website developer to audit your website on a regular basis. This will ensure that your site is technically sound and ready to rank in local search engine results.
Not Optimizing Your Website
One of the biggest mistakes that local business owners make is not optimizing their websites for search engines. This can be a costly mistake since it can negatively impact your rankings and overall business performance.
To avoid this issue, you should use available tools that will identify potential issues and help you improve your website. These tools will help you improve page speed, SEO, mobile usability, and more.
Another big mistake that many businesses make is not using the right keywords for their local SEO campaigns. This can have a huge impact on your success and can be easily avoided by researching the terms that your target audience is likely to use when searching for your services.
If you do not optimize your keywords, you will not be able to compete with other businesses in your niche. This is especially true if you’re competing against large firms that have established a strong presence in your local area.
In addition, it is important to keep your business information consistent across different sites and directories. This will ensure that Google has a clear understanding of your business and can rank you higher on the search results pages.
It is also important to update your NAP and other critical business data on a regular basis. This will increase your ranking on local search engines and can even boost traffic to your site from these sources.
Keeping your business updated on the right sites can be time-consuming and can be tricky. However, it is essential for your Local SEO efforts and will ensure that you do not miss out on any potential customers. You should also work with a top listing provider like Neustar Localize or Acxiom to ensure that all of your important business information is accurate and up-to-date.
Not Optimizing for Social Media
When optimizing your social media strategy, you need to ensure that your posts are relevant and engaging to your audience. This means creating content that your target audience is looking for, and making sure your posts are able to answer any questions they may have about your brand or products.
The next step is to create a strategy that allows you to monitor and analyze your progress. This is important, as it will help you determine what works and what doesn’t.
You’ll also want to choose strategies that align with your business goals. This will allow you to focus on the right goals and avoid wasting time on activities that don’t benefit your business.
For example, if you want to increase your online sales, you’ll need to find a way to connect with potential customers and encourage them to buy. You can do this by focusing on generating leads through your social media accounts.
To achieve this goal, you’ll need to ensure that your social media posts include a variety of keywords that are related to your business and your products or services. This will give your posts a boost in search results and drive more traffic to your website.
Once you’ve figured out which keywords to use, make sure that your posts contain a link back to your site. This will ensure that your content is found by Google, which can influence your search engine rankings.
You’ll also want to make sure that your social media profile is up-to-date and optimized. This will help Google determine your business’s accuracy and relevance. It will also encourage people to visit your page and post reviews about your business.
Not Encouraging Reviews and Ratings
Obtaining reviews and ratings from customers is an ongoing process, and one that should be encouraged. Not only does it give your business the opportunity to earn the trust of your customers, but it also helps you rank higher in local search results.
Having fresh and frequently received reviews on your Google Business Profile, website, and other third-party review sites is an essential factor for achieving success in local SEO. These reviews are also likely to be shared by consumers, which can improve your visibility even more.
In addition to getting your customer feedback from these sources, you should be sure to respond promptly to any positive or negative reviews that you receive. This will demonstrate your professionalism and personal touch, which will help you limit the number of negative reviews and encourage more positive ones.
Another important step is to ensure that all reviews are coming from legitimate sources – i.e., not from employees or friends who have a vested interest in the business. This is a practice known as review spamming and can be flagged by Google.
The other issue is that some companies are using “open” review systems, which allow anyone to submit reviews on their behalf. While this can lead to a more thorough collection of consumer feedback, it can also be difficult to determine whether these reviews are legitimate.
Moreover, the use of reviews to boost a business’s ranking in local search results can lead to some unsavory practices, such as creating fake accounts for the purpose of leaving negative reviews. This is a violation of Google’s terms of service and can be penalized. Ultimately, the most effective way to avoid this type of activity is by making sure that you are providing an excellent product or service to your customers.
Not Optimizing Your NAP
While there are a lot of things to consider when optimizing your local SEO strategy, one that often pops up is NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number). The NAP is a crucial element of your Local SEO, as it helps Google determine whether or not your business is legitimate.
In order to ensure the success of your local SEO efforts, you should make sure that your NAP is consistent across all citations. This includes your website, Google My Business listing, social media profiles, and other business directories.
NAP consistency is important because it can help improve your search engine rankings and overall online visibility. It also helps potential customers find the right information to contact you if they are interested in visiting your business.
To ensure that you are not making any NAP mistakes, perform an audit of all your business citations. Specifically, look for business directories, social media profiles, and blog posts that list your business.
If you notice inconsistencies in any of these, then it is time to get them fixed. This can be a tedious task, but it is important to do so to prevent your business from suffering in the long run.
It’s also a good idea to update your NAP information regularly, particularly if it changes. This could be due to a move, a new phone number, or another change.
To ensure that you are getting the most out of your NAP optimization, it’s a good idea to utilize tools like LocalFX. These platforms allow you to easily manage your NAP citations and update them when needed. They also allow you to sync your data across 100+ directories, which makes it easier for you to keep all of your listings in a consistent state.
Not Optimizing for Local Keywords
If you want to rank well in Google for local searches, it’s important to have a local SEO strategy. This means focusing on specific keywords and tactics that are relevant to your base of local customers.
You should use tools like Google Keyword Planner to identify keywords that people are searching for when looking for products or services in your area. These can be broad or geo-specific, depending on your business and the areas you serve.
Then, use those keywords in your content and website’s title tags and meta descriptions. Also, include mentions of region-specific landmarks and hotspots in your content.
Unlike generic search terms, which are often too competitive for local businesses to compete with, geo-specific terms are much easier to rank for and can be less costly to get on the first page of Google.
When optimizing for local SEO, you should make it easy for customers to find your business by adding a Google Map to your site. If possible, add a clickable phone number that allows users to call you.
In addition, ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. This will help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of ranking on local search results pages.
Another crucial part of your local SEO strategy is to make sure that you’re implementing the right Schema markup. This helps Google understand which elements you should include on your page and what type of information is most valuable to users.
Having a local SEO strategy is essential to increasing your online visibility and getting more visits to your site. But just as with any other SEO strategy, local SEO must be carefully thought out and implemented.