In today’s super-connected world, your name online means as much as your name in public. When consumers in your locality make a Google search for your product or service, you want your name to be the one that greets them. That’s where search engine optimization, or SEO, comes in. A good SEO strategy can put your business’s name before your prospective customers every time they research.
That said, there are plenty of SEO pitfalls that can see your name falling to the bottom of the Google rankings, or worse, being penalized. Don’t make the same kind of mistakes as your competitors. Here are seven local SEO mistakes to avoid for your next campaign.
Setting up Google My Business without an address
Google My Business requires an address to complete registration. Using a home address isn’t advisable because it can indicate to Google that you’re not a real business and lower your ranking in the search results. It also increases the likelihood of strangers or disgruntled customers showing up on your front porch.
For your safety and SEO purposes, it’s better to invest in a virtual business address. Google won’t allow a P.O. box in your business listing, but a virtual business address is an actual location that you can use as your official address. As a bonus, the virtual business address can also intercept mail on your behalf, ensuring you never lose vital correspondence.
Location landing pages include duplicate content
You can’t copy and paste content to create your landing pages across several towns. Each location must have unique content to avoid getting flagged by Google.
Turn this bug into a feature by capitalizing on the opportunity to market to each locality: what makes this location special? Explore these distinctions in each of your landing pages for a better ranking and a closer relationship with your consumers.
Failing to monitor and optimize your GMB page regularly
You must ensure you’re keeping your information current and using keywords that match what your customers search for. The reason to monitor your Google My Business page regularly is to look for negative reviews or anything else that requires your attention. Respond timely to any negative reviews and keep an eye on the latest keyword trends in your niche.
Blog content isn’t optimized
Your blog posts must use keywords that your target market is searching for, or else how will they find you? It also helps to include keywords throughout your post rather than using them only one time in the first paragraph. Employ a quality backlink strategy for each blog post as well.
Failing to follow up on negative reviews
Responding to negative feedback helps to spare your reputation. It also builds trust with customers since they know you’re willing to work on problems they have.
You can address negative feedback in a few ways, depending on what it’s about. For instance, if the problem has no resolution yet, apologize for the inconvenience, and tell them you’ll contact them as soon as it is. If the issue is resolved, thank the reviewer for bringing it to your attention.
Missing contact information
Make sure all company contact information is accurate on your website to help Google verify your listing. Missing contact information gives website visitors a horrible user experience and prevents guests from finding your website or physical location. Fix these issues immediately for a more professional image and a better SEO ranking.
Website isn’t optimized for mobile devices
It’s now more important than ever to optimize for mobile devices. People are now more likely to have a smartphone than a landline phone. If you aren’t running your business’ website on mobile-optimized technology, then many of those customers can no longer interact with your business via the Internet.
Luckily, this fix isn’t complicated. All it takes is an investment in time to create a responsive design that automatically adjusts the layout for any device that might access it. The result is a smaller bounce rate (people leaving the site instead of staying and looking around) and a better overall user experience.
In the fight for a consumer’s attention, you want to come out on top. Avoiding these local SEO blunders will see you standing at the top of the search engine podium.