5 local SEO mistakes that every business must avoid
Latest posts, Local SEO
Did you know what percentage of all Google searches have a local intent? A whopping 46%. Yes. In almost half of all Google searches, users are looking for local results. Here’s more. As much as 78% of location-based searches made on smartphones result in offline purchases. There are a ton of stats we can throw at you, but you get the idea, right? Local SEO is mighty important if you want to make your business visible to local searchers. Businesses with a brick-and mortar presence, in particular, can immensely benefit from local SEO. However, in order to reap the benefits of local SEO, there are some key things that you need to get right. Unfortunately, many businesses end up making some mistakes that derail their chances of success.
1. Using broad keywords
When it comes to local SEO, one of the first steps that you need to take is identify and target geo-specific keywords. As strange as it may sound, many businesses stumble at this most basic task. Keyword research can be a cumbersome process and many businesses lack the expertise to find the right keywords. If you’re trying to capture a local audience, targeting generic and broad keywords is unlikely to yield any fruitful results as these keywords have higher search volume. The main goal of brick-and-mortar stores is to attract local customers. Therefore, the keywords should be location specific. While geo-based keywords are less competitive, it is important to remember that you may still face a high level of competition, thanks to Google 3-pack. Apart from your actual location, you can always include a few nearby areas while finalizing your keywords. However, it’s advisable not to stray too far from your original location.
2. Not optimizing your website for smartphones
Over the last few years, smartphone searches have increased drastically. In fact, more searches come from smartphones than from desktops. Many people search for local businesses while on the move. Even when they are home, many people prefer using their smartphones rather than laptops. Therefore, optimizing your website for mobile devices is not an option anymore. It’s a necessity. It’s true that many small businesses operate without a website. However, having a website comes with many benefits. It makes your business look credible and trustworthy. Plus, it acts as a source of information for your potential customers. However, considering the fact that a large number of searches are made on smartphones, your website won’t be of use if it is not mobile-optimized. Also, if your website is not mobile optimized, it is not likely to rank well, thanks to Google’s mobile-first indexing. Therefore, as a business owner, make sure that your website functions well on mobile devices.
3. Not paying attention to customer reviews
If you wish to visit a new restaurant or want to book a hotel for your next vacation, what do you do? If you’re like most people, you check out google reviews, right? This is the age of reviews when businesses can ill-afford to ignore customer reviews. Customer reviews not just provide information to your potential customers, but also help improve the organic rankings of your business. Moreover, it gives you a huge competitive advantage. Apart from Google, reviews on social media platforms and other websites such as Tripadvisor and Yelp also play an important role in shaping the buying decision of your potential customers. There is no harm in asking your customers to leave a review Not responding to negative reviews is one of the worst mistakes that businesses make while devising a local SEO strategy. Ignoring reviews of your customers gives the message that you’re not serious about resolving the concerns of your customers.
4. Inconsistent NAP across websites
Inconsistent NAP information is one of the most common mistakes that defeats the whole purpose of local SEO. NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone number of your business. There are several business directories where you need to mention the contact information of your business. However, many businesses make the mistake of providing wrong or inconsistent NAP information across various websites.
A consistent NAP is an important part of the local search algorithm of Google. Any conflicting information has a negative impact on your local rankings. Therefore, it is important to keep track of your local listings and keep them consistent and accurate. There are tools that you can use to do this.
5. No high-quality links
While having an optimized Google Business Profile is important, the important role played by high-quality, relevant links cannot be ignored. Getting links from high authority websites has always been an integral part of SEO, and is also useful in improving the local ranking of your business. Unfortunately, many businesses make the mistake of not focusing enough on getting high-quality links. To begin with, you can have your business listed in all local directories. However, gradually, you should focus on creating and publishing high-quality content on relevant websites. If done consistently, it will help you get the desired results and have a positive impact on the local ranking of your business.
Local SEO can go a long way when it comes to making your business easily discoverable. Getting listed in Google 3-pack can significantly boost the traffic in your brick-and-mortar store. However, in order to make your local SEO strategy successful, make sure that you avoid the above-mentioned mistakes.
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