When you look for a local business, do you still open the yellow pages? Or are you searching online? If you search online, you’re definitely not the only one.
97% of internet users have searched for a local business online.
Local SEO is the ultimate way to achieve higher search engine results and receive more foot traffic to your business. To conquer in local searches, you need to use specific local SEO factors. But there are also common mistakes that can hold you back.
Common Local SEO Mistakes
While local SEO mistakes are common, that can sabotage your search engine results. Here are local SEO mistakes to avoid.
No Google My Business Page
Let’s look at Google My Business (GMB) as if it were the modern yellow pages.
You submit basic information to Google My Business, such as your business name, phone number, address, and even reviews. Google uses this information to rank your business.
The best part, it’s free to sign up.
Duplicate GMB Pages
Some businesses may not even have a GMB page while other businesses have several! The more the merrier? Well, not so much.
Google hates duplicate content. It wastes Google’s resources and also creates a bad experience for users. Duplicate listings are against Google’s terms of service. It can result in bad search engine results and even suspension.
Make sure there’s only one GMB listing per business. If there are more, you can contact Google to remove them. If your business has more than one location, you can add each location to the same listing by creating a location group.
Missing Contact Information
Just because Google My Business does a lot of the SEO for you doesn’t mean your website has to lag behind. A simple contact page is more powerful than you think.
Google’s bots will crawl your website, pulling out different contact methods. They will use this to optimize your search results.
For best results, state your contact information in the text. Google won’t be able to crawl images, videos, and other media.
Inconsistent NAP Information
NAP is an acronym that stands for “name, address, phone number.” This information should not only appear on your GMB listing but also on your website — ideally every page of your website.
But what if you change business locations or get a new phone number? Make sure this information is updated on all platforms. Google is smart and will compare your NAP GMB information to the NAP information on your website.
If your NAP information isn’t consistent, you risk outdated or incorrect contact information appearing online.
Low-Quality or Lack of Website Content
Just because you’re a local business doesn’t mean your digital presence has to suffer. Website content is one of the most valuable aspects of a great website.
Content serves as an educational tool for customers. High-quality and keyword-rich content will also improve your SEO results.
Make sure your service and product pages are filled with detailed descriptions, you regularly post blogs, and you should also have an in-depth About page. Tailor your content to a local audience whenever you can.
Local SEO Factors to Use Instead
Now that you know the mistakes that can kill your rankings, you can focus on these local SEO strategies to dominate the local market. Here are important local SEO tips.
Claim Bing Places and Google My Business
We already discussed Google My Business, but have you claimed a Bing business page? Don’t forget about Bing!
Bing Places for Business is also free and they require similar information as Google does.
Use Local-Specific Keywords
When optimizing your content for SEO, make sure to drive more local traffic by using local-specific keywords.
Let’s say you own a pizza restaurant. If you optimize your content for the keyword “pizza restaurant,” make sure you add your town or even your zip code. Google will better identify your restaurant and can target your local audience.
It’s also recommended you use keyword tools to find the highest-ranking local keywords. You can also consult with an organic SEO company for more advice.
Add Your Business to Online Directories
There are more online directories than you think and they can all boost your local SEO results. When you add local citations, Google can better identify your business and you receive easy backlinks to your website.
Find different online directories that fit into your business’ niche and create citations. These citations usually ask for the same information like Google and Bing.
There are many citations out there, so make sure you conduct research and only utilize the most trusted directories. As with the previous advice, ensure your contact information is consistent throughout these platforms.
Achieve High-Quality Backlinks
We mentioned backlinks in the last section, but what are they?
Backlinking is when another website links to your website in their content. Receiving backlinks tells Google you’re a trusted company and they will promote your website on search results.
There are many ways to achieve backlinks, such as through citations, press release services, guest posting, reviews, and more.
But your backlinks should come from a high-quality source. Toxic backlinks will only hurt your SEO results.
We Can Improve Your Local SEO Efforts
If you own a small and local business, you understand that attracting customers can be challenging. That’s why more local businesses are using the internet to enhance their visibility.
Local SEO is a specific strategy that targets a local audience on Google search results.
To have a successful local SEO campaign, you need to focus on specific local SEO factors while avoiding common mistakes. Use this advice to improve your search engine presence.
Would you rather trust the professionals? We offer organic SEO services as well as managed SEO plans. Contact us for a free consultation.