If you are struggling with your local SEO, don’t panic, it happens to many experts at a certain point. Also, you have come to the right place since we can help you determine where you are making the most mistakes.
The most important thing is that these mistakes that we’ll list in this article are crucial to be fixed but also easy to fix. The ultimate goal is simple yet essential – to positively impact your website and improve your rankings.
Before we begin the list, we would like to note that continuously using local SEO services is highly beneficial, even if you don’t have any issues, since it’s the best way to stay ahead of your competitors in the SERPs.
Let’s begin the list of eight local SEO mistakes to avoid.
Not Having Google My Business
One of the essential things you have to do to improve your local SEO is to claim your Google My Business. It’s one of the crucial local SEO mistakes to avoid since if you haven’t claimed your GMB listing, you won’t be able to achieve the full potential of your business locally on the Search Engine Results Page.
The primary reason is that Google My Business accounts for around 15% of local ranking signals. However, what’s even more important is that each time someone searches for local businesses on Google, the info mainly comes from your GMB listing.
Therefore, it would be ludicrous not to claim your Google My Business page since it’s both easy to do and highly beneficial for local searches by users, who are your potential customers.
Unverified GMB Listing
Another one of the critical SEO mistakes to avoid is claiming a Google My Business listing but leaving it unverified.
Here you may gain even a more significant advantage over your primary competitors since many local business owners who claim their GMB listing fail to verify it. By not making this mistake, you’ll be ahead of them immediately.
Still, why is verification so important?
Because it will prevent other people from editing your page and allow you to have complete control of the information and the listing you desire to share with your existing and potential buyers.
In addition, it’s pretty irresponsible to claim your Google My Business listing and not verify it since you are halfway through; why wouldn’t you finish the process entirely since you know it will be beneficial for your local business?
Inaccurate NAP Information
Local SEO for small businesses is beneficial but also necessary to be successful in today’s online world. Still, it wouldn’t mean much if you have inaccurate or unavailable NAP information.
Because NAP is an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone Number, therefore, having correct and up-to-date NAP information is a vital aspect of local SEO mainly because of the following two reasons:
- It directly impacts your conversion rate and sales since customers can find you fast.
- It will improve your SEO as a local business since Google pays attention to whether your NAP is available.
Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if your local business needs marketplace SEO, eCommerce SEO, or “normal” SEO for the products you sell since not having accurate NAP information is like throwing money out of the window. The reason is that around 85% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps, and around 75% of local searches lead to a phone call that can become your next sale.
Another reason why having inaccurate NAP information is one of the essential local SEO mistakes to avoid is because Google cross-checks your NAP info with other sites. We know that Google’s ultimate goal is to provide its users with the best user experience, so if your site has inaccurate NAP information, Google will see it as not valuable for its users; this will lead to poor search engine rankings.
Not Being Mobile-Friendly
You have to put one thing in your head – you must be mobile-friendly even if you are not, since more local searches are done on smartphones than on desktop PCs and laptops. It doesn’t matter whether we like this trend; what matters is that it’s an undeniable fact and one that will be even more essential in the future.
That’s why you have to use affordable local SEO services from a company that can also provide you with excellent web design professionals since knowing how to make your site mobile-friendly isn’t as simple as it seems.
Your website has to be optimized and made to function and display things in a mobile-friendly way for your potential customers. Not just because it’s necessary according to how many people use mobile devices but also because of SEO. Google and other search engines prefer mobile-optimized sites, so if your site isn’t properly optimized for mobile devices won’t rank high.
Also, even if someone finds your site somehow, they will leave it in less than three seconds if it’s slow and looks poorly on a mobile device and what’s even worse is that they will go to one of your competitor’s websites.
Not Displaying Local Reviews
Reviews have become a regular and must-have thing for all businesses, small, medium, or large since people want to see reviews, especially when they face an entirely new business they don’t know anything about.
However, the main difference between small businesses, medium and large, is that reviews for small businesses are even more essential because they don’t have enormous marketing budgets but still have massive competition. Therefore, reviews are fantastic for presenting your business and products excellently without spending too much money.
However, that’s not the only reason reviews are important. Reviews are also critical because they provide one of the various local SEO benefits since they account for around 13% of local ranking signals.
Still, there’s a trick you mustn’t fall into. The quantity of reviews isn’t the only important factor since the review quality is also essential, as is diversity, velocity, and so on. You need to get as many quality reviews as you can from various groups of people and other sources. Also, the frequency of reviews is important, and not displaying them is a common mistake many small business owners make and then regret it once they see their actual value.
Lastly, reviews are excellent for connecting with potential customers, so make sure to respond to reviews and attract more buyers.
Building Links Just for the Sake of It
Link building is still one of the essential parts of any local SEO strategy since links are one of the most important ranking factors and signals in search engine algorithms. Even though Google has made massive advances in AI in the last few years, it still relies on links as one of the crucial content quality signals.
Still, one of the most difficult local SEO mistakes to avoid is building links just for the sake of it. The reason is that a small business doesn’t have the advantage of huge budgets, close industry connections, and a level of trust among others to earn links from other businesses’ websites and publishers naturally. Therefore, it’s challenging not to use any possible link you can get immediately.
However, it’s crucial to know that not all links are equally beneficial, so Google wants to see relevant and natural links pointing to your site. That’s why it’s harmful to use links that aren’t going to benefit your business and its search engine presence.
It’s like everything else in life; it’s better to have several things worth a lot than to have hundreds of things that don’t mean anything. The same goes for links.
Targeting Unlocalized Keywords
Local SEO mistakes to avoid are also those in connection with keywords since they are the essence of SEO, most importantly, targeting unlocalized keywords. One of the most common SEO mistakes is targeting generic and wide keywords.
Because the keyword difficulty is enormous even for websites with high domain ratings, let alone for your small business website. For instance, if an SEO company from Long Island wants to rank high for its services, it’s much wiser to use a keyword such as Long Island local SEO than just local SEO because the first one shows the location and has a low keyword difficulty. In contrast, the second is a keyword that millions of sites already use.
The ultimate goal is to pick the most suitable keywords through the Ahrefs SEO toolset or similar programs to grow your local search traffic and optimize your website pages. In essence, not targeting specific keywords will result in low local traffic results.
Expecting Results Immediately
Expecting results right away is the last of the eight local SEO mistakes to avoid on this list, even though you may think it’s not an important one.
Well, you are most certainly wrong if you think so.
The reason is that expecting results instantly is the easiest mistake you can make, which can cost you a lot. After you optimize your website and boost your pages’ rankings, you probably are preparing to sit at the top of Google and other search engines and watch organic traffic flow all the time.
However, it doesn’t work that way since search engine optimization is a long and challenging process. So, ranking at the top requires regularly publishing high-quality content that shows your site is a reliable source of information and a helping hand to Google users.
Even more importantly, even if you manage to get to that number one spot at the top of Google, your work is still not over since competitors are constantly working to bring you down, and you must work on your SEO again and again, to stay at the top.
Now you know the most crucial local SEO mistakes to avoid, so two things remain for you to do – to avoid these mistakes and to hire local SEO experts to do the job for you.
Because SEO professionals will do a much better job and free space for you to concentrate on other essential aspects of your business!