5 Common Local SEO Mistakes to Avoid
Every business owner, big or small, knows by now that the online presence they maintain can be the single most important component of their company’s content marketing strategy. That starts with developing a strong website that consumers can not only navigate with ease but is also simple to find through a local search. We do everything on our laptops, tablets, and smartphones these days, so it’s absolutely crucial that businesses create their website and local business listings properly through successful optimization strategies.
But with all of the Google Algorithm changes that are routinely implemented, it can be a challenge to get your website ranked high enough in the results of the major search engines so that the most consumers can see it. The last thing you want to do is sabotage your own rankings, but that’s what most businesses do and they don’t even know it. Here are five of the most oft-repeated local SEO mistakes that you’ll want to be sure to avoid going forward.
1. Falling Asleep on NAP
NAP refers to name, address, and phone number – The vital statistics of your business. Since these are so important, you want to be sure they are entirely consistent across every website and online presence that lists your contact information. That includes the website that you own and operate, in addition to any Google+ Local business listing, Facebook page, and so on. Google takes all of the websites and online directories that feature the contact information of your company and compares them for consistency. The more discrepancies there are, the less likely you’re going to be optimized for maximum visibility on search pages. So make sure your NAP is the same all over the Internet.
2. Using the Wrong Keywords
One of the most basic elements of SEO is keywords. They are the most common terms or words that are entered into a search engine window when consumers are looking for something related to your business. The goal is for your website to pop up in front of them first as a result of proper keyword selection. Sounds easy enough, but many business owners make the mistake of choosing too many keywords or even the wrong ones which can reduce your visibility in search results. Using too few can also result in your website getting lost in the shuffle.
3. Not Soliciting Online Reviews
Customer reviews are becoming increasingly more imperative in today’s online world. A business that has too few of them can sometimes run into trouble with their local SEO. Positive or negative, you need to get reviews (the more positive, the better of course). A good way to get these reviews is easy – just ask. Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to go about requesting reviews from customers. If you have an actual brick and mortar storefront, then make the request in person when consumers patronize your business. But do get customers’ opinions. They will help you get better results.
4. Low Quality Content
Google Algorithm changes have put more of an emphasis on content. If your website has an insufficient amount of content (running lower than 500 words per page) or the content isn’t original or very informative, then that can also lower your rankings and reduce visibility. You put the time and money into developing a solid website, don’t waste all of that work by marring it with low quality content or too little of it in general.
5. Low Quality Inbound Links
This is one of the biggest challenges for any good SEO strategy to circumvent. But when you do get the hang of it, you’ll see your rankings rise significantly. Inbound links from high quality, reputable sources are one of the best ways to prove that your website is relevant and worthy of inclusion in local search results. Find some reliable, well-trusted sites to provide links to your site, you can also get similar success from digital display advertising that sends the consumer to your site once they click. The higher a profile your website has on other sites, then the more likely Google will recognize the relevance of your content. If the only inbound links found are with low-quality sources that don’t have much authority or credible associations, then you’re not going to get a very high ranking.