As with most guides, you have continuously been told what to do with your local SEO. Whether it’s digestible tips and tricks or detailed step-by-step instructions, most of the content around search engine optimization is focused on actionable goals.
Local business owners mistakenly think that following these guidelines guarantees results. But this is hardly the case. If you’re having trouble getting the results you want, you’re probably doing it wrong. So today, we’ll discuss what you should never do with local SEO.
Mistake #1 – You have poor NAPs
This isn’t about catching Z’s in the middle of the day. NAP stands for the Name, Address, and Phone Number of your business. It’s important to have this information on your website and online listings, but many businesses don’t even have them. In addition, your NAP has to be accurate and consistent across the internet.
A poorly-structured NAP could pull down your SEO. Experts believe that Google checks for your NAP online, and so any wrong info could lower your rankings on search results. In turn, this makes your business less accessible to potential customers and negatively impact your sales and conversions.
Mistake #2 – Unclaimed Google My Business
Google My Business is an online listing where you can submit your NAP. When someone uses Google to look for places nearby, this is where the search giant first looks. Failure to claim your listing on Google My Business is a grave sin in SEO, since it’s one of the most important factors that determines your placement in local searches. If you don’t own a website, creating a business profile on Google is the next best thing to having one.
Once you’ve claimed your business, make sure to verify your account. That way, you’d be able to control the information and ensure its accuracy fully.
Mistake #3 – Missing on-page local signals
Google displays search results based on their relevance. With the help of search bots and its unique algorithm, Google can identify signals which suggest what a page’s content is about, and how relevant it is in relation to a user’s query.
Some of the on-page signals are as follows:
- Name, Address, and Phone (NAP)
- Use of title tags, meta tags, and meta descriptions
- Backlinks from local sites
- Content quality and structure
- Local keyword optimization
Without these on-page signals, search engines won’t be able to tell that your website is about a local business. So when people search locally, your pages may not appear in the results page.
Mistake #4 – No online reviews
Ratings and customer feedback are strong SEO signals which, unfortunately, many are unaware of. For startups and SMB’s with plenty of competition, these reviews can make a big difference in rankings and how people perceive you. Ideally, you want to get as many good reviews as possible from your customers. It signals Google that you are both trustworthy and relevant, and helps you get a prominent place during searches.
Mistake #5 – Ignoring results
Search engine optimization is not a one-fix solution, but an ongoing strategy that can be further polished. Make room for improvement and mistakes throughout its implementation. The key to perfecting your SEO is to keep a close watch of your metrics, and see how people are engaging with your business online and offline. Based on these results, you should adjust your strategies accordingly.