A lot of small businesses in different industries and niches end up ruining their local search rankings and they don’t even realize it. Local search is important because that is how businesses are perceived or seen by potential consumers in a service area.
If your business is not showing up in the local rankings for the services you provide, then it means that you are missing out on potential customers and revenues. There are some mistakes that you may be making which may be hurting your business, without you even realizing it.
Hence, this piece has been put together to enlist the top 4 local SEO mistakes that you must avoid making at all times. Let’s get started!
NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone Number and it is very important for any business which aims to rank well in local search results. If you have inconsistent names, addresses and phone numbers listed on different platforms on the internet, then it is going to hurt your business in more ways than you can think of. To avoid this, you need to maintain NAP consistency and list your name, address and phone number, in the same way across all places on the web.
This practice of maintaining consistency should begin from your website and extend to your social media profiles and directory listings. It is important to maintain consistency because if search engines find contrasting information about your NAP, then they won’t know for sure what your business is or where is it located. If you have inconsistent NAP information, then you will not only lose leads to your local competitors but you will also ruin your rankings.
Fortunately, there are certain ways in which you can easily resolve NAP inconsistencies in your business. You can implement these ways on your own or hire the services of a digital marketing service provider for the same.
No Google My Business Profile:
If you don’t have a Google My Business profile, then you are going to ruin your rankings in a lot of different ways. It makes no sense to have a google my business profile mainly because it’s free and very easy to set up. Google My Business is very important for a business’s local search rankings because it gives access to the company’s location and other important information.
When you have an updated Google My Business profile, it increases your chances of showing up for local search queries relating to the services that you provide. If you don’t have a Google My Business and your competitors do, then there are very high chances that you are losing out potential customers to your competitors.
No Reviews or You Don’t Respond to Them:
It is common knowledge that an overwhelming majority of internet users look at reviews before paying for goods or services. Reviews are very important for local businesses as they determine the quality and quantity of customers that you eventually get.
Customers like to know about products and services before they pay for them and if you don’t have reviews and your competitors do, then you are surely going to be losing a lot of business to your competitors.
Fortunately, getting reviews is quite easy and there are a lot of ways in which you can encourage your satisfied clients in leaving reviews. You can even engage the services of a digital marketing service provider to make sure that you get enough reviews.
The second part is equally important. Getting reviews and not responding to them! You can take care of this with a little initiative on your part and it is imperative that you do so because responding to reviews will only make you come across as sincere and dedicated.
Take time out to respond to both positive and negative reviews which will show that you are invested in the company and people will appreciate you for the same.
Fake Office Locations:
Setting up Google My Business pages for locations where you don’t have an office is a mistake that you should try to avoid at all costs. It is a bad idea because if and when you get caught, you will be penalized quite severely Google.
You run a high risk of getting caught if you indulge in such practices because there is a chance that you might get reported by your competitors. You can also get reported for the same by frustrated customers. The risk isn’t worth it as you can vanish from all search results if you are found guilty of using fake addresses.
Whether you are starting out with local SEO or have been doing it for quite some time, knowing what you should not do is a MUST in both cases. If you indeed have made the mistakes as mentioned above, all is not lost, as there are still some things that you can do to fix your mistakes and improve your local visibility.
If and when you change your NPA to fix your mistakes, you need to make sure that you edit the same information on all platforms to maintain consistency. If you have a small business and you don’t think you can manage these tactics then you hire a digital marketing agency for small businesses, for the same purpose.