Local businesses should leverage SEO strategies if they expect to improve their search visibility. Yet somehow, they aren’t. Instead, they stick to the usual routine of creating a website, churning blog posts, engaging on social media, and getting online ads. These techniques are still effective and relevant today. However, Google has changed the way it identifies ranking signals and presents search results. And so, in order to get the visibility they’re after, businesses need to adopt newer strategies and avoid others.
In this article, we’ll talk about the things you could be doing, which are actually ruining your SEO.
A website can help you establish an online presence, which is why most SEO efforts are directed on it. If you don’t have a website, or if you have one and it lacks the ranking signals necessary to appear in local searches, then you’re off to a bad start.
Below are some common website problems that are bad for SEO:
- No location pages. Businesses with multiple locations should have dedicated pages for each store. Every page must be unique and contain information about a specific branch.
- Website is not accessible. Unless you have it indexed, search engines won’t be able to crawl your website and its pages, nor display them on the search results. You can make this possible by submitting a sitemap to Google.
- Missing information. Location pages with incomplete or inaccurate information won’t be much help to your SEO, let alone your customers.
2. Unreliable citations
Even if you don’t have a website, people can still find you through online listings. It should be as simple as getting your citations on the internet, right?
Not so fast.
The rule of quality over quantity applies here, and it’s important to get your details right. Citations have to be complete and trustworthy, so when people want to drop by or give you a call, they would know where, when, and how to reach you.
Here are examples of unreliable citations:
- Using keywords and locations as your business name
- Having an incomplete address and contact information
- Placing your listing in unrelated categories
- Inaccurate information
3. Bad location pages
For businesses with two or more physical stores, creating location pages is only the beginning. The clarity and conciseness of the information across these pages also have to be ascertained. But how do you know you’ve got bad location pages? Following are some signs to watch out for.
- Outdated information. You might have store locations that have closed or relocated to a new address, or maybe you decided to change the name of your business due to rebranding or acquisitions. Any change in business operations must reflect on location pages so people can stay up-to-date.
- Using national phone numbers. Location pages should have contact details that are specific to their corresponding store.
- Links to dead URLs. Changing the web address of your website or any of its pages can prevent customers from accessing the information they need about your business. You can avoid this by updating the links as they change.
4. No local content
Location pages shouldn’t be limited to (boring) information like your business name, address, and phone number – otherwise known as NAP. You can round it up with other location-specific content such as:
- Customer reviews and feedback
- Local news and events
- Case studies and press releases
- Photos of the store and staff