As the world shifts their lives and activities to the online sphere, all commercial websites today need their own web presence. Small businesses continue to turn to affordable local SEO services to establish their brand on the Web.
What is local SEO? Simply put, local SEO services help businesses become more visible online to local customers within a geographic location. Basically, it’s the practice of grooming your online profile so you’re found for the local searches that are relevant to your products and services.
For instance, let’s pretend you provide plumbing services. When a person’s shower suddenly breaks, they don’t go to Google to search for a plumber that’s a hundred miles away. They want a reputable plumber who’s near them. Almost everyone does. According to a survey conducted by Hubspot, 72% of consumers conduct local searches before they visit a store within a five-mile radius. When they search ‘plumber near me’ on Google, local SEO services will help you get on the top of the first page so that you’re the first link they see.
Why does local SEO matter?
Okay, now we know what is local SEO, but why does it matter in the first place?
Simply put, it’s because local customers rely on Google to find information about your the products and services of your business. As searches for local businesses are often are based on geographic factors, investing only on organic SEO won’t be enough for you to rank, especially if your competitors are already heavily investing in local SEO services.
Additionally, to rank in Google maps, you’ll need to learn how to dominate the local SEO landscape. Many people use Google map listings to find the location of a business and with a solid local SEO strategy, you can be at the top of the listings for local searches related to your business.
The result? More visibility that can turn into organic traffic, leads and conversions. Additionally, as local SEO is highly targeted and timely — you can target people at the exact time they need your product or service.
It’s a strategy that’s more people-centric, which means you customise a personal experience for each user.
How can you improve your local SEO? By avoiding these pitfalls:
While investing in local SEO services is certainly advantageous, there are also common pitfalls to avoid when implementing a local campaign. Here’s a few to avoid:
Google detests having duplicate content in their search results. Not only is it a waste of Google’s resources to analyse and store duplicate information, but it’s also a bad experience for their users to see the same content twice in the search results.
It is for this reason that having duplicate listings goes against Google’s terms of service. Your business should only have one profile page on Google My Business. To see if you have more than one listing, you can use the Moz Local tool.
Simply type in the name and address of your business. The tool will let you know if there are duplicate listings of your business floating around the Internet. If there are, reach out to Google so they can quickly remove those as the duplicate listings will drag down your rankings.
Missing Contact Information On Your Website
Head over to your website’s Contact Us page and check if all of your contact details are listed on the page. Make sure that the name, address, and phone number/s of your business are listed as text, not as images. This ensures that Google can easily detect and verify the accuracy of your contact information.
Google tries its best to avoid placing incorrect information in their search results. That would decrease their credibility, which would end up in them losing users over time. In turn, they make it a point to compare the information listed on your website with the details listed on your Google My Business listing. If your website and listing aren’t displaying the same exact details, you’ll want to edit them so that they’re consistent.
Local SEO consists of many listings, and with this technique, you’d have to provide your name, address, and phone number or NAP. Often, marketers provide different addresses and phone numbers to their listings in the same location. As a result, the campaign suffers as Google penalises inconsistent information. You have to post uniform data to streamline your campaign.
Wrong keyword targeting
Keyword research is highly important, as many local campaigns target keywords that are too broad or too general for their market. This isn’t going to result in penalties from Google, but small businesses would have an uphill battle against bigger, more authoritative websites when it comes to dealing with general keywords. Geo-specific keywords are more useful for local campaigns, as these narrow down the parameters to your location.
Abusing geo-specific keywords
Speaking of geo-specific keywords, abusing its use could merit you a few devastating penalties from search engines. Particularly in anchor texts, you should avoid overusing exact match keywords. This is where you have to be a little more creative and vary your anchor text, along with the use of partial match and long-tail keywords.
No Customer Reviews
Most businesses struggle to get feedback or reviews online from customers. So if you currently lack reviews on your Google My Business page, then don’t beat yourself up as you’re not alone. However, that also doesn’t mean that you can easily give up.
You’ll need to put in some real effort if you want customers to leave reviews, specifically positive ones. You can ask them via email, phone call, or even face to face. What’s important is that you make it as easy as possible for them to leave reviews. Even better if you can provide them with incentives after doing so. Simple stuff like a discount coupon will suffice.
Getting positive reviews can be slow and arduous process, but over time they will add up and provide you with a competitive advantage that is hard to replicate.
Poor content quality
Never expect to amass links from sloppy content. The first thing visitors will see on your site is the content. Even if you have the finest web design around, the audience wouldn’t see any value from it due to poor quality content. When you plan to use content marketing as a tactic to obtain links, know that you have to provide the audience some value, which is why you have to ensure the quality of what you post.
For better visibility, you should always incorporate social media buttons on your site and create pages and listings for your business to maintain an active social presence. According to Moz’s local SEO ranking factors, social media activity is one of the signals that Google utilises when ranking businesses.
There’s often a lot of debate surrounding this, but regardless of whether you agree or not that social media has a direct impacts on local SEO rankings, you can’t deny that social media is a great platform to create more buzz and increase exposure for your business. With social media, you can promote your content right in front of your target audience.
Invest in Local SEO services with us today
At SEO Services, we guide our clients through their campaign and make sure they get the most out of their marketing efforts. We could help you boost your rankings in local and global search results. Talk to us today to know more about our affordable local SEO services.