Local SEO adds an additional layer of responsibility to your already existing SEO goals. And it can be tricky.
But once you are equipped with a deeper understanding of the local SEO practices, it becomes easier for you to put your business at the forefront.
Local SEO is what gives you an edge. It is so important that almost half of all Google searches are expected to be locally related in 2018.
Despite knowing the role it plays in helping you build a strong local identity, many of us tend to overlook some of the basic (yet crucial) details that go into creating a good local profile.
Here is a list of 10 things people ignore about local SEO:
1. Not asking for customer reviews
To your audience, reviews are almost like personal recommendations. Positive reviews instill faith in customers about your brand while negative ones tend to create a bad impression.
In fact, when users perform a Google search, the local businesses with better ratings and reviews get a priority in the results.
Customer reviews dictate your local success so it is important for you to ask your users to review your business.
And it is not something that your customers would do on their own. You need to encourage them to do it.
This can be done by offering them discounts.
Also, a very effective way of guiding your audience for writing reviews is by creating a dedicated section on your website which gives the directions to for the same.
2. Failing to gather local citations
Earning local citations strengthens your local presence because they help people know about your presence.
Plus, they influence your rankings.
But gathering local citations isn’t about showing up everywhere. You have to find the right platforms which will actually help you highlight your local business.
Additionally, you need to ensure that your information is accurate. Local citations can even harm your local reputation if your data is incorrect.
Look out for the quality and relevancy of the platforms before putting efforts in building these citations. And always ensure accuracy.
3. Not Customizing local landing pages
You really have to focus on customizing your local landing pages especially if your business caters to audience from different locations.
So if you have a presence in more than one location, you should create different landing pages to cater to this audience. It also helps you in inserting the right keywords for that particular location (else you would end up stuffing irrelevant words).
4. Not optimizing Google My Business page
Any business information that you add to Google My Business page reflects on Google maps, Google search and even Google+.
This is why it is so important to optimize your GMB account.
Fill out all the possible details. Make sure the location is owner-verified. Also, have all the categories you choose in line with your product.
5. Having duplicate information in local listings
Online duplication always comes at a price.
If duplicate content issues are problematic, duplication in local listings can be fatal. Such discrepancies can cause inconvenience to people and you can lose your potential and existing customers because of these duplications that often get overlooked.
Duplicate information can misdirect your audience and can create hassles for them. It occurs when you have more than one listing on given platform.
Such instances of duplication can occur due to various reasons. Sometimes they can happen accidentally while in other cases they can occur during acquisitions or automation of citations/listings.
Take a look at the information fields your audience is usually looking out for:
6. Poor quality images
Having bad images on your GMB listing can negatively impact your click through rates. While on one hand, poor images are an indicator of halfhearted efforts made on your end, they also send a bad visual message to your potential audience.
In this era, where the world has turned visual, the images take an even bigger role in deciding how your audience responds to your content.
So invest some time and add a layer of visual appeal to your business.
If you own a restaurant, you can do this through food photography. In case you have a pet store, you can use the animals as a subject in your pictures. For those of you who run a house painting business, showcase your past projects to attract your customers visually.
7. Absence of map on the website
When you think of local SEO, the first and foremost thing to consider is “local”. How do you make your website user friendly for local search results?
One good way of doing it is by embedding a map on your website. This is one of the key strategies in winning local SEO through the use of Google maps.
Having a map that contains the directions to your address will also help in avoiding any navigation issues and make it easier for your audience to reach out to you.
Additionally, maps add an interactive layer for users.
Tip: Don’t forget to mention your opening and closing hours on the website.
8. Lack of call to action
It is the call to action that ultimately drives the marketing results. Having a call to action button is important to guide your audience to take the next (necessary) step.
If you are targeting your audience through social profiles but are doing it without a CTA, your efforts are wasted.
Additionally, with a carefully designed call to action button, you can reduce the number of steps your user takes to avail your services or buy your product. Users are more likely to look for a business which help them navigate easily in their buying journey.
Many marketers tend to think that these CTAs only impact their global presence while the truth is that this one feature helps you distinguish yourself locally as well. So make use of it!
9. Ignoring social presence
For any brand that caters to a diverse audience, it is very essential to have a good social presence.
Local SEO isn’t solely dependent on having a website. In the words of Neil Patel: “A local business can thrive on local SEO without even having a website”.
So ignoring your social media profiles can become a setback for your SEO goals.
Many of your customers will try to look you up on Facebook or even TripAdvisor.
And if you forget to be on social media, they might as well stop looking for you.
Treat your social media accounts like your website because people are constantly searching about brand pages.
10. Not setting a radius for your business
For service based businesses, Google lets you set a radius around your business address.
Filling up this very necessary detail can save you from negative customer feedback.
Don’t skip this important information in your GMB page. In case you don’t offer your services at any particular physical location, your audience should be aware of it.
Think of someone who arrives at your physical location only to find out that you provide phone-only consultation. You will end up losing this potential customer and any negative feedback from them can negatively affect your online image.
- Customers are important to your business and so are their reviews.
- Your local landing pages should address geographic queries. That’s why it’s so important to have specific pages for different audience.
- A website alone cannot boost your local presence. Having a good social presence can do the trick.
- Embedding map on website shows that you care about your local identity. They won’t only give direction to your users but also help you direct your SEO goals to achieve better results.
- It is essential to prevent any incorrect or duplicate data issues. Eliminate the duplication errors in local fields like Address, Telephone numbers etc.
- Let your customers know the radius in which you render your services by setting a radius in your GMB account.
Local SEO isn’t easy. Some blame is on the myths that surround it.
To make your business more visible in the local results, you need to invest in reviews and build a strong local presence through citations. Additionally, you need to ensure that the information in these listings is correct and also that you avoid duplication.
Google is giving more and more importance to GMB listing so optimize your GMB accounts right away.
And be socially active. Your appearance in local results isn’t completely governed by owning a website. It very much depends on your social image.
May the local SEO be with you!
Image Credits –
Featured image taken from Pexels.com