Much like everything in the digital world, SEO is constantly changing to embrace new trends and new behavioral preferences of internet users. Google and other search engines do their best to reflect the needs of their users, send them to the most reputable and relevant pages, and enhance their experience. In recent years, SEO has been significantly affected by how local businesses position themselves on the web – or to be more specific, how well they use their location to help their users and potential customers find them more easily on the web. Even with the knowledge that local SEO matters, certain brands fail to utilize it fully to their own advantage.
Knowing that 46% of all Google searches are in fact local should be more than enough to get every business to invest time and effort into crafting more effective SEO strategies that target your local audience. Here we’ll go over several of the most common local SEO mistakes modern brands tend to make, and the best ways to avoid them.Knowing that 46% of all Google searches are in fact local should be more than enough to get every business to invest time and effort into crafting more effective SEO strategies that target your local audience. Here we’ll go over several of the most common local SEO mistakes modern brands tend to make, and the best ways to avoid them.
Lack of business listings
Google is an exceptionally helpful tool when it comes to searching and locating the businesses your customers need. When they type in a search query, especially if they have their location turned on and they use words such as “near me”, Google will quickly deliver not only a list of businesses that match the description, but a map with their locations as well. To be able to deliver this information, Google needs to be able to recognize your business listing as an accurate and valid one across the web.
Enter: Google My Business. Together with a slew of other business pages out there such as Yelp or Foursquare, Google My Business benefits both you and your potential customer. That simply means that while your website does deserve a spruce in local SEO as well, you also need to use these listings to let Google and other search engines confirm your presence.
No local keywords
If your brand aims to work with local customers, how can you make sure that they know you exist in their region? Too many brands still fail to use enough local keywords on their website pages, which in turn affects how Google and other search engines perceive them. Using industry-related keywords alone, especially in a growing market with too much competition will hardly be enough to get you on Google’s first page. However, if you specify your location, Google will recognize you as a relevant find for the people in your region.
Simply put, if you’re selling your services or products to the local crowd, you don’t need to be relevant for the global market. So, a creperie in New York will want to focus on getting more people from the neighborhood to visit their shop as opposed to a crepe-lover from the Netherlands. Local keywords are one of the most effective beacons that send the right signal to Google and your local crowd.
Poor quality content
Although we have learned by now that content is king and that delivering optimized content is vital in the success of any brand out there, there are still businesses out there that neglect this piece of the SEO puzzle. This is especially vital in rapidly growing markets such as the sunny Land Down Under. In fact, while 84% of marketers in Australia make sure their content is reliable and credible, what about the rest? Google’s algorithm changes on a regular basis to ensure that more and more signals are included in their assessment of a website, and content remains one of them.
Keeping in mind the local relevance of your content, best practices of SEO in Gold Coast will differ from the tactics a Sydney-based business will use to make sure their content remains locally relevant. Content on your website is a vital source of information for your visitors, but also a useful well of data for search engine crawlers, hence the need for optimizing your content, including keywords, and working towards giving more authority to your website.
Inconsistent information across the web
Out of so many different things that affect local rankings for your business, NAP inconsistency is the number one you should take into account when revising your SEO strategy. It’s astounding how many businesses fail to take control of their name, address, and phone listings across the web, thus letting such a minor neglect turn into a major SEO issue. Whether you’re dealing with duplicate pages on business listing websites, or you have a number of inconsistent pages even on your own website and across the internet, Google and other search engines will hardly recognize you as a trusted source.
In addition to checking your NAP data on the web, Google actually compares all the information it collects across the internet – that includes your own website, business listings, and any other place your basic information can be found. To ensure better local rankings, make sure that your NAP information is consistent on all those listings and websites.
Local SEO is refined on a regular basis, so your brand needs to use all the tools at its disposal to make sure that it ranks better every day. Use these essential tips to avoid certain SEO mistakes, and you’ll give your business a fair chance to outrank its competitors on the local map.