More consumers are using search engines to seek local information about businesses. Undeniably, it makes sense to invest in local SEO, so your target audience finds your business when they search for related products or services. As a local business owner, you can attract more customers and improve your bottom line by optimizing your website to rank higher for local searches.
Unfortunately, there are a few common mistakes that local business owners and even SEO experts make from time to time. Here are the most common mistakes companies make and how to avoid them.
1. Overlooking Google My Business (GMB)
Having a verified and optimized Google My Business profile is one of the most critical parts of any local SEO strategy. Your GMB profile is a powerful ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. It allows your business to appear in Google Map searches or Google’s 3 pack results typically found at the top of Google’s search results for relevant local searches. If you don’t have a profile, many potential customers may not be able to find your business.
You can easily create a profile on Google My Business. Complete your profile to include your business name, email address, phone number, website address, street address, and other relevant information.
2. Unoptimized Contact Information
Every day, people make multiple daily searches to learn more about a business’s contact information and address. This explains why over 70% of customers searching for local businesses visit the stores within their five-mile radius.
Search engines also consider your contact information to set your location and cross-reference it across multiple sources to confirm that it’s accurate. If your contact information is missing, Google, for example, won’t list your business in its search results. Ensure sure your phone number(s), email address, and location are included on your website in text rather than images. This ensures the search engines can better crawl your site for contact information and match it to people searching for your details.
You also want to avoid inconsistent mentions of your Business Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP). Search engines look for consistent NAP so ensure the details you add on your business listings are the same as those on your website and across all citations or directory sources. Do a thorough search whenever your business is mentioned online to confirm that it shows the correct NAP.
3. Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly
SEO is more than just about keywords and content. It’s also about your website’s quality, particularly its performance on mobile devices, which users prefer for browsing today.
More people use their mobile phones to search for local businesses such as local restaurants or hardware stores. This sets the need for a mobile-friendly website that will keep people on your site longer and increase your ranking. Ultimately, you’ll have increased mobile traffic and improved conversion rates.
That’s why search engines consider mobile-friendliness a significant ranking factor. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly web design, you’ll cost yourself a lot of traffic and potential customers.
The same goes for site loading speed, as search engines are starting to consider your website’s user experience more heavily.
Here are a few tips to optimize your site for mobile:
- Create mobile content aimed at giving users a better mobile experience
- Optimize your site to align mobile and local strategies
- Invest in a responsive web design to guarantee a seamless browsing experience for users
4. Low-Quality Content or No Local Content on Your Website
Two critical factors that send signals of authenticity to search engines are the content on your site and links. High-quality content engages and retains site visitors, providing them with valuable information that answers their questions. Businesses can leverage both content and SEO to catapult their websites to the top of search engine rankings. Poor-quality content can result in Google penalties that are difficult to recover from.
Content also allows you to incorporate targeted keywords into your work, improving your Google ranking. Posting low-quality content, on the other hand, does the exact opposite.
For local SEO, you should also make sure to add local content, from local keywords and phrases to entire pieces of content. Search engines use local content to understand your geographic focus. Good quality content with local keywords communicates the focus of your business. Both, when properly utilized, raise your ranking in local search results.
5. Not Having Customer Reviews
Many businesses don’t make an effort to encourage their customers to write online reviews. They assume they will receive negative reviews. According to local SEO studies, this is another mistake companies should avoid. Research shows that people are more likely to pick a company with plenty or better than average reviews. If your company has a bad review score, no reviews, or only a few reviews from years ago, people will look elsewhere.
Chances are your company won’t even show up in some searches at all. When potential customers use the search term “Best [business type] near me,” Google, by default, will only show local businesses with a review rating of 4 stars or better.
6. Ignoring Social Media
Search engines use business links shared on social media sites to up your position in search results. By ignoring social media, you miss the chance to build an audience that, in turn, will grow your customer base and search engine ranking.
Moreover, sharing your business page in your social media profile sends signals of trustworthiness and credibility on Google, translating into an improved ranking.
One of the best ways to improve your social media presence is to choose one social media network at a time and build an engaging audience. Share high-quality, valuable, and engaging content that will grab the attention of your local customers. That awareness might lead to backlinks. You can also use social media to study what’s making the local news and upcoming events to get great ideas for locally relevant content.
7. Having Duplicate Listings
It’s possible to assume that having duplicate listings will get you more traffic. Or, you may have accidentally created two or more listings for your business on a local citation source. Unfortunately, these mistakes can negatively affect your ranking.
Duplicate listings also confuse potential clients as they have to figure out the original listing. Search engines might penalize you if you have too many duplicate listings because they think you’re trying to deliberately spam search results. Don’t overlook any duplicate listing. If you find repetitive information, do everything you can to have it removed immediately.
Avoiding these local SEO mistakes can help you drive a targeted audience to your business and increase conversion rates. If you realize you’ve already made these mistakes, fixing them sooner rather than later will give you an edge over many of your competitors. It will help you appear in more searches and make more sales.
Are you looking for a dependable local Dallas SEO company? At theSOULwithin LLC, we offer the best local SEO Dallas has to offer. You can count on us to help your Dallas, TX business stay ahead of the competition. Contact us today for more information.