What Are The Most Common Local SEO Mistakes To Avoid?
Local SEO is a powerful tool to drive traffic to local businesses. Consider this – around 80% of local searches made on mobile devices resulted in offline sales! You are missing out on this huge opportunity if your site is not optimised for local searches. Local SEO can get tricky at times, and you may end up with ineffective strategies. So, what are the most common Local SEO mistakes, and how can you avoid them? Let’s find out.
Most Common Local SEO Mistakes
1. Lack of customer reviews
Google reviews are more of a “would be nice to have” than a “must-have” for many business owners. The main reason for this is that most customers don’t leave reviews unless they are asked to. Businesses hesitate to ask for reviews as they may fear being seen as desperate. However, reviews are more important than you might think. Potential customers turn to reviews before deciding on a purchase or trying your services. Good reviews also help in building trust between your business and the customers. They also convey to Google that your company is reputable and legitimate and help your websites rank higher in local searches. Thus, encouraging positive reviews is a critical step for local SEO and one that you can openly ask for.
2. Using unsuitable keywords
Keyboard research is a vital part of SEO. Targeting specific keywords is essential for Local SEO efforts. Optimising for broad keywords will not drive the local traffic to your website. So, concentrate on geo-specific keywords that are also exclusive to your services.
3. Not being active on social media
Social media channels are powerful for increasing brand recognition and site visibility. When maintained properly, they are efficient tools for local reach. An essential step in SEO is keeping your social media accounts active and engaging. If you’re inactive on social media, engagement will decrease and make your content come across as outdated.
Read our blog on how to increase engagement on social media for your business.
4. Not listing on GMB
Google My Business is an amazing tool to list and verify your business and increase local search visibility. If your business doesn’t have a GMB listing, it will make it harder for both your online and offline customers to discover and contact your brand. An optimised GMB profile is a necessary step for driving organic local traffic. Read how to optimise your GMB listing here.
5. Inefficient mobile optimization
One of the most damaging yet common local SEO mistakes is your website’s lack of mobile optimisation. We’ve already spoken about Google going mobile-first for search results. Also, now more customers use mobiles to search for the services they need rather than their PCs. This means that not optimising your website for mobiles will cause you to lose a huge chunk of your traffic. So, work with your developers and ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Your site should be fast, enable easy navigation and suit all devices.
6. Poor or outdated content
High-quality content is the main pillar of an efficient digital marketing strategy. When you provide valuable and informative content, it establishes you as an authority in your niche. Think about it – if you are looking to visit a local store or service, who will you trust more? A business with an outdated website with no recent content or a business that regularly posts relevant topics? It doesn’t have to be lengthy dissertations or blogs all the time. It can be any useful content – new arrivals, offers, pictures or videos of events – anything that shows you’re an active, busy and current business.
7. Not having backlinks
Not building backlinks is a very common Local SEO mistake. Again, as in the case of reviews, this can be because you need to depend on others to give your site a backlink. You will have to reach out to authoritative persons in your industry, which is not always easy. However, there are some effective strategies that can help you with link-building. Publishing guest posts, doing digital PR features and creating geo-specific content are some ways to earn backlinks. Check out our complete guide on link building for more tips.
8. Keyword stuffing
While keyword optimisation is a critical SEO tactic, we’ll never recommend keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing refers to overusing your keywords so much that the website becomes over-optimised. This can make your content look unnatural, and users may bounce off your site.
Eventually, search engines will notice this and demote your site in the local search results. Remember that when you create content, you should put your customers first and then the search engines. Use keywords as naturally as possible.
9. Inconsistent contact information
One of the worst local SEO mistakes you could make is not providing contact information on your website. Missing contact information will make it hard for customers to reach you. It will also be a hit on the credibility of your business. Be sure to double-check your contact information, complete with the location details, is easily accessible on your website. Also, ensure that your NAP is consistent across platforms.
10. Having no directory profiles
Entering your business information on online directories such as GMB, Yelp, Bing Places, and Yellow Pages will help rank your business in the local search. Sticking to one directory or neglecting to list your business anywhere will decrease the visibility and reputability of your business. Listing your business in multiple directories will help more users discover your website and increase the number of potential customers.
Intermittent and extended lockdowns may be here to stay for some time. Most people will prefer online, no-contact services, which directly translates to more local searches. You can’t afford to make these common Local SEO mistakes and hurt your business. Are you looking for help to get your business online? Not sure if your website is optimised for local searches? If you answered yes, here’s what you need to do next. Contact us or email us at email@example.com and let us help you!
GMB: Google My Business (GMB) is Google’s business listing service that allows you to update your business information and engage with existing and potential customers through Google reviews.
Backlink: A backlink is a link on another website that points to your website.
NAP: Short for Name, Address, and Phone number; this acronym is often used to mean contact information.