Local SEO Guide (Part 2): 9 Mistakes You’re Making
In the first part of this local SEO guide, we discussed the importance of local SEO and why your business should care.
This part, part 2, will look at the biggest mistakes businesses are making. Part 3 will discuss the best practices for businesses.
When running a local SEO campaign, many businesses don’t realize what they’re doing wrong. In fact, most businesses probably think they’re doing everything right. But that’s often not the case.
To outline some of these mistakes, we put together a list of the 9 local SEO mistakes you’re making and how you can improve your mistakes.
Biggest Local SEO Mistakes:
Don't get what the fuss is with local SEO?
Check and see if you're making any of these local SEO mistakes. If you are, it's probably costing you in search results.
1) Inconsistent NAP/Business Citation
The biggest mistake businesses make when doing local SEO is having inconsistent NAP information, which is your name, address, and phone number.
Often times, companies won’t update an address or phone number when it’s changed which not only makes it difficult if people are trying to find your location, but it can affect your rankings.
Businesses will also use similar names such as “Hunter Mountain,” and “Hunter Mt Ski Bowl.” While it might not make that much of a difference for larger companies, smaller companies need to keep consistent NAP information if they want visibility.
2) Ignoring Your Website
Another local SEO mistake many companies will make is to not optimize their website for local search. To improve your local search results, you have to include your contact information, feature great content, include your city in title tags, and have multiple location pages if you have multiple office locations.
3) Duplicate Listings
Whether by accident or because they forget login information, many small businesses have duplicate listings. This is an issue because it not only confuses Google, but if one of them has incorrect information it won’t be removed. It can also split up the amount of reviews you get.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution. You just have to claim your listing, that way you’re not creating duplicate listing.
4) Not Verifying Ownership
So you’ve taken the time to complete a listing and fully optimize it, but sometimes there’s one more step. Google and some other search directories require you to verify ownership before the listing is completed.
Not taking the time to verify a listing is a mistake that is easily avoidable.
5) Missing Information
Are you registering for these listings, entering your company’s basic information, and then calling it a day?
If so, you're doing your business a disservice.
The more information that you complete on local listings, the more value it has for your business.
When you’re creating listings, you should fully optimize them with numerous photos and detailed content.
6) Abandoning Your Listings
Search engines like to see that you’re actively managing your listings and not just leaving them out to dry. If you have new information or new photos, you should add them to your listings.
Since it can be time consuming, many small businesses won’t take the time because they feel it’s not important. But that’s the message that you’re relaying to search engines when you aren’t updating the content on your listings. You’re telling Google and Bing that these listings don’t really have much meaning to your business, and they’re able to confirm that because you haven’t made any updates.
7) Missing Relevant Categories
Even if your company handles several services, you don’t want to exclude categories. You should try to keep your main categories as consistent as possible when creating directory listings, but you should still include other categories that are relevant to your business.
8) Not Having Separate Pages for Multiple Locations
You’ll notice that many larger companies will have individual pages on their website for specific locations. This makes it easier to pair local listings with a particular location, but many companies fail to do so. This should be practiced even if you only have two locations.
For other information on doing local SEO for multiple locations, visit:
- The Complete Guide to Local SEO for Multiple Locations
- Local SEO Ranking Factors for Multi-Location Businesses
- Top 5 Issues Wrecking Local SEO for Multi-Location Businesses
9) No Customer Reviews
Positive reviews don’t just determine whether a customer wants to do business with you, but having positive reviews can influence your ranking.
This is why delivering the best customer service is important.
Step-By-Step Local SEO Guide:
Want to easily start implementing effective local SEO strategies, then download our eBook that covers all of the local SEO topics you'll need to improve your website's search visibility.
Questions and Feedback:
Have any questions about these local SEO mistakes? Or maybe you wanted to let me know what you thought of the blog.
Feel free to send me your feedback and any questions you have after reading it.