2020 is the beginning of an era in which mistakes would be intolerable and when it comes to local SEO, often I find it happening. You might also wonder why your business doesn’t find kudos despite receiving efforts. I know you wished to create a praiseworthy image in the local market but saw others growing instead. Before you lose your head, you must see what you are lacking. For that purpose, I have created a list of top 11 local SEO mistakes, even a single of them can hold you back.
Why is it a cause of concern for you? Being a small business you may ignore this but below listed problems that you may encounter can open your eyes.
- You may lose customers
- Get penalized
- Lose ranking
- Loss of trust among the audience
- Weak geographic presence
- May not receive a competitive edge
11 mistakes responsible for these problems and how to correct them-
#1 Not Having a Mobile-Friendly Website
Dated back, websites were not much important for local businesses due to the limited use of the internet. Today, the internet and smartphone work as a pillar for digital presence for any business. Nearly 46% of local searches are on a smartphone so, the not only website is important but making it mobile-friendly also is.
We hardly open our laptops to find local shops and service centers. When you are out the only option to access information is a smartphone.
How to correct this mistake?
The only solution is to optimize your website for mobile. The easier it is for users to access your site, the more advantageous this situation is for you. You can pull a number of customers to your site through this.
Expert’s tip – Search engines consider ease of using a website in ranking factors. Try to make it more navigable.
#2 Not Having Verified Account on Google My Business
Got your website optimized for mobile great! But of no use unless verified through GMB. “Near me” searches have become prominent in this era and your business can only show up there when you have a verified account on GMB.
As Google, my business list shows businesses that users are looking for in “near me” searches, you can also find a place in it. You will see a transformation in your business from breakdown to breakthrough in less time only.
Please don’t do this blunder and learn how to correct it now.
How to correct this mistake?
Go to business.google.com/create and fill all information related to your business. Clearly, mention each and every detail which is true to your best knowledge. It only takes your time, not money. This SEO effort could be the best than another vain one.
#3 Not Having Consistent NAP Information Across all Platforms
It is again a common mistake ignored by many. NAP or name, address, and phone number is the most important information for users who want to access you. NAP is the same details you fill in GMB and other directories.
Why consistent information is relevant?
The search engine crawls the information, if you give the mixed signals to the search engine by having inconsistent information, it may not trust your site. Say you have mentioned different phone numbers on your site and other platforms, it may cause a problem for you. The repercussion could vary from not listing your site to penalty.
How to fix it?
Recall all the platforms like rating sites or any other website where your business information is present. If you have changed location but have not updated it across all the platforms, update it as soon as possible.
Expert’s tip– Put every information in text and not in the image as a search engine can’t read the text in the image.
#4 Not Considering Duplicate Listing Bad
Duplicate listing is harmful to your business. A layman may perceive it as a good thing to show up twice on local directory searches. Only experts are wary of this situation as they know that search engines don’t like duplicate content much. Consequences could be harsh. If you want to stay away from penalties, a pragmatic approach is in fixing this problem as soon as you encounter it.
One of the possible reasons for this is variation in mention of your business name, phone number, or address, maybe you have mentioned different phone numbers in your GMB lists. Next time when you see something like this happening stop making jingles about it.
How to fix this?
More than two locations on your account can also pose this problem. If you are facing the same issue, follow the below step-
- Sign in to Google My Business
Click on the duplicate location, select location you want to remove, and, make sure all relevant information is there in your list that you want to keep.
#5 Not Mentioning Relevant Categories
Local searches are not so direct. Say someone looking for a laptop repair shop and yours is both selling and repairing. If you don’t mention in your account that yours is also repairing, you will not show up for that search. Yes, you will miss out on those audiences.
You will find this option on GMB and other citation sources where you can mention categories relevant to your business. IN GMB you can fill up to 10. It matters a lot in today’s competitive environment. Also, letting people know the businesses you run at the same location makes their life easy and yours too.
#6 Contact Information Not Same
Source of access like phone number, email address, location address, etc. must be the same across all the citation sources just to signal search engines. Your contact information, if varies, on dating sites, on your website, will create a spammed image. If the search engine finds something wrong, you will not get a mention on the prestigious list.
The search engine may perceive that either you don’t exist or is fake. Someone searching you get to your location and find nothing will also lead to negative reviews.
How to escape such problems?
If you have changed the location of your business, your priority should be to update it across all the sources, you have mentioned. Even if it is a small email id, keep the same attitude. Apart from slow growth, you could get penalties, so you need to fix such problems proactively.
#7 Missing Citations on Local Search Directories
Google, Bing, Facebook, Apple are some of the major citation sources. Google being mostly used; doesn’t mean you can ignore others. Be it a large or local any citation source matters for your business growth.
What is the real work of citation sources?
Citation sources are there to tell its users about a verified business that exists at a particular location at a particular time. It also tells whether it is open or not and also takes users thereby showing its location.
Relying on one citation source is not a brainy option when you can pick many for business growth.
#8 No Focus on Local Content
When your focus is on local SEO, why to ignore local content. Even if you have it, maybe it is not tailored to sound local. Contents designed for local business growth stress on specific keywords that focuses on geographic location. Say you have a restaurant and your niche is south Indian food, you can mention south Indian food + location. You can also discuss the lack of restaurants that serves this food in your location.
Local searches by users have the name of the location in their keywords. If you mention it in your content, you are likely to show up in SERP. Search engines also get your efforts for a geographic location and push you up.
#9 Not Looking for Quality Backlinks
Highly relevant backlinks are also a part of SEO efforts. If a famous website has a link that takes users to your site can make your job easy. If you can find your way to get a link on the chamber of commerce website, it would be great for you. Otherwise, you can also try for a local newspaper, any local famous organization.
Backlinks are the high source of connectivity only if users find the content relevant. Irrelevant backlinks lead to penalties, so make sure the site you get the backlink on creates relevant content for your business.
Don’t forget that you can also mention the link of your site on various directories that list you for local searchers.
#10 Ignoring Customer’s Review
Reviews are proof of your performance for customers. Ratings and reviews shape the opinion based on which users take their action. You think you are better than your competitors but the lack of reviews can give the lead to others.
You know what the style of local searches, “near me” & best + service/product near me”, you may show up in the list for the former keywords but may not show up for later. The search engine crawls every aspect related to your business, ratings, and reviews too. Of course, it will show businesses of ratings above 4, for the keywords corresponding to best.
What is the solution to this problem?
Ask for reviews and ratings from your existing customers. Rest maintain the quality of your service/product, one or two bad reviews won’t harm much. Try to gain as many reviews as you can and one day you’ll show up for the best ni search engine.
#11 Not Using Social Media to the Full Extent
Initially, marketers post all the content at once but after not getting enough response, they give up and stop posting. This strategy won’t work if you want to establish a strong image in the market. You already know the benefits of being active on social media. What differs is the presentation of your product and services. For enhancing local presence, you must present your stuff on social media with a local flavor. You can address in the local language, talk on local issues if relevant to your business.
What you must have realized by now that Local SEO efforts are slightly different than the normal one. If you are new or want to start afresh, these 11 points will help you in your local SEO efforts.