Obtaining good search engine optimization is always difficult. However, there are special challengers for website owners that are trying to market to a local audience. To help, below are seven common local SEO mistakes you should be sure to avoid.
1. Conflicting Contact Information
When people want to find or call a business with a brick and mortar location, they want to have the ability to do it as quickly as possible. One common problem occurs when business owners do not make an attempt to keep their business’s contact information updated across the web. The result can end up being something as disastrous as a call to a disconnected phone number that leads to a customer choosing to call a competitor instead.
2. Not Taking Advantage of Google’s Business Services
One thing that is important these days to local SEO is using Google My Business. Creating a page for your business with this Google service that includes your physical address and photos of your establishment is absolutely integral to making your business easy to find. In fact, entries on Google My Business are part of the algorithm Google uses to find relevant local search results. If you have a pizza parlor, for example, Google will give preference to restaurants with Google My Business pages and Boston addresses when users search for “Boston pizza.”
3. Not Optimizing Page Titles with Local SEO
Another common mistake webmasters make is not thinking about local SEO when creating the titles that appear on each page on a website. Page titles are something that still is a big factor in what ranking will be given to a website in Google or any other search engine. To make sure your page titles are optimized for local SEO, you should include both the name of the business as well as the city. “Papa Mario’s Pizza,” for example, is not as effective as, “Papa Mario’s, Boston’s Favorite Pizza.”
4. Not Using Local Based Inbound Links
One of the ways that Google ranks websites is through relevant inbound links. An inbound link is a link somewhere else on the net that directs people to a website. Having quality inbound links is crucial. However, to optimize your SEO for a local audience, you will need to choose different websites to get linked on. For example, the Boston pizzeria owner would certainly want to get linked on pages relevant to Boston such as the official Boston tourism website and online food guides for Boston eateries.
5. Spamming Local SEO Key Terms
While you absolutely want to implement local based keywords in your website to optimize your SEO for a certain area, it is very possible to overdo it. One of the things that Google now punishes is the use of keywords in a way that seems like spam. If you repeat “Boston pizza” 12 times on a single page, you will no doubt be penalized by Google’s algorithms. Instead, you should only implement your local keywords and terms in a way that seems natural.
6. Changing Your Domain Name
Another common mistake local businesses make is changing their domain name. When you first open your website, make sure you put good thought into what domain name you want to use. If you change your mind later and abandon that domain for a new one, it could cause problems. For one, all of your previous inbound links may begin pointing to a domain name placeholder. This could drive business away.
7. Not Carefully Rebranding
Many businesses at some point in their existence decide to rebrand. This may include a new name for the company and new names for its products. If you do this, you want to be careful not to throw all your previous progress with local SEO away. Including “formerly known as Papa Mario’s Pizza” on your website and other online information can go a long way towards preventing some of these problems.