If your company is struggling with local business SEO, you’re not alone. In fact, local SEO is by far one of the most difficult things for SMBs to master. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most important factors in defining a company’s success and attracting customers. To help your business perform to its full potential, be sure that you’re avoiding these common local business SEO mistakes:
Failing to add additional locations correctly
Small businesses grow by opening new locations and while the unveiling of a new store is an exciting process, it can also kill your local SEO if you’re not careful. Because adding a new location to the web requires you to make changes to your company’s NAP (name, address, and phone number) information, it’s easy to get dinged by Google for what the search engine perceives as inconsistencies. To avoid this, consider these tips:
- Don’t change your domain name.Altering your company’s domain name is an arduous process that will make you want to pull your hair out. Instead of going that route, Instead, simply tie your new web presence in with your existing domain for maximum cohesion.
- Keep all of your company information current.As you add new locations, you’ll want to be incredibly vigilant about updating your business’s information and locating and doing away with any old NAP information that’s floating around on the web, especially on your most visited pages. When you find outdated NAP information, get rid of it immediately. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to update all of your business info on your Google My Business page.
Not paying enough attention to link building
Link building is difficult for businesses of all sizes, but this is particularly the case for small, local companies. Unfortunately, link building is incredibly important since Google’s Pigeon and Penguin algorithm updates – which both sought to punish sites that purchased links or got them through sub-par methodology, like trolling link networks while rewarding pages that earned legitimate backlinks. Since then, pages that focus on developing quality linking strategies rank higher and get more traffic than those that don’t. If you’re having a tough time gaining backlinks for your page, follow these steps:
- Start sponsoring someone.Sponsoring a charity or local community organization and then listing the group on your website is an excellent way to start earning backlinks. Plus, when you start doing things like developing content for their site, sponsoring events, or offering a platform for their content, it’s easy to start earning links from other sources, as well.
- Guest post.We can’t stress the importance of guest posting enough. For most industries, there are several niche-specific publications or platforms that offer news, updates, and information about events. Failing to get your content onto these platforms will result in an enormous missed SEO opportunity. In light of that, ensure that you’re reaching out to niche publications with offers of content. While it may take awhile to secure a guest posting opportunity, it’s an important part of building your local business SEO presence.
- Be sure your citations are up to par.You should have all of your local citations updated on sites like Yelp and Google My Business. This is one of the best ways to direct links to your site.
Using keywords poorly
There’s no question that keywords still have a place in local SEO, but if you’re not using them correctly, you’re only going to cost your site valuable traffic and rankings. One of the most common ways companies use keywords poorly is to “stuff” them all over a site. Today, it’s more important than ever that content feel natural, and search engines like Google aren’t hesitating on penalizing sites that miss the mark. To avoid negative SEO consequences as a result of your keyword use, make sure that you’re sprinkling your keywords naturally throughout your content. Think about writing your web copy for people first and search engines second. If it sounds crazy to the human ear, scrap it and start over.
Not including enough personal information
Far too many companies claim listings on dozens of third-party sites without realizing that, at the end of the day, their business website is one of their most important tools for local SEO. While it’s important to ensure you’re taking the right steps to bolster your local business SEO around the web, you can’t afford to forget that your website is your foundation. With that in mind, be sure to add personal information about your business, your mission, your products, and your founders to your website. In addition to giving you the structure you need to embed valuable keywords, this also gives your company a personal feel and helps you draw customers.
Not proofing your sites
While it sounds too simple to be true, sloppy sites are one of the most common SEO mistakes known to SMBs. To avoid unnecessary Google penalties and customer click-backs, be sure that you’re giving your site the attention it needs before you click “publish.” All content should be easy to read and free of errors, links should work, pages should be easy to navigate, and all information should be up to date. This step alone will go a long way toward helping you boost your company’s local SEO.
While local business SEO can be difficult to master, avoiding these five common mistakes is a great way to ensure that your business has a solid online presence that helps you gain customers and produce the conversions you deserve.
To learn more about improving your company’s local business SEO or to get in touch with a qualified team to help you do it, contact Quantum Point Strategies today!