SEO is constantly changing and there are always a handful of new strategies that become hot topics of discussion. It’s important to remember, though, that certain other strategies become useless as the web continues to change. If you want your local business to be successful, you’ll want to avoid the nine local SEO techniques below.
Keyword stuffing is an older type of black-hat SEO that hasn’t been used for years. If anyone mentions the idea of stuffing your site full of locally relevant keywords, it’s a good indicator that he or she has no idea how SEO works these days. Use keywords sparingly and spend your time focusing on making a better user experience.
It can seem like a good idea to replicate the site of a business that already has a successful SEO plan. Unfortunately, what works for them won’t always work for you. Pay attention to the principles they’ve put into action but don’t replicate the whole thing – you’re definitely not guaranteed the same results.
Ignoring ‘Traditional’ SEO
Local SEO is vitally important for anyone with a brick and mortar location. This doesn’t mean you can ignore traditional SEO, though. You’ll need to embrace it all if you want to succeed.
Faking Your Information
Don’t fake your information to make it seem more attractive for SEO purposes. Keep your business’ real name on the listing, don’t try to substitute a P.O. Box for its address, and never try to leech off of the popularity of another location to get more business for your own. It won’t work in the long run.
There are many who advocate a shotgun method of local SEO. In this method, you make multiple sites for your business in hopes that one of them will eventually be ranked well. In truth, this is only a good way to water down your marketing and to help you lose money on multiple sites. Put your effort into one central business website.
Going Social Only
Social media is important for SEO. It is not, however, all you’ll need. As cheap and efficient as it can be to have only a Facebook page, it’s still a mistake. Your customers want you to have a web page, and they’ll go elsewhere if they can’t get the information they need. Social SEO is just one part of the SEO world, so don’t put all of your eggs in that basket.
Some would encourage you to get backlinks by any means necessary. It’s much better to have a few well-curated links than to have dozens of links that come from link farms. The last thing your business needs is to be connected to a site that finds itself with a poor domain authority or that gets delisted by Google for breaking its policies.
Don’t try to fool Google by having duplicate listings for your business. Not only will you run into the problems that were mentioned by having multiple sites, but you’ll also run afoul of the search engine’s guidelines. This is a good way to get all of your information de-ranked, so don’t try to play the system even when it seems lucrative.
Aggressive Review Response
Reputation management is, of course, very important. Do not go out of your way to totally scrub everything negative off the web. Instead, balance it out and respond to negative reviews with honesty and helpfulness. Never get aggressive online – a bad response is more dangerous than a hundred one star reviews.