Local SEO Mistakes

Local SEO is quickly becoming the popular way that people search. We want local results for the keywords we are searching and if your business isn’t optimized for local SEO, you could potentially be losing a lot of business. We’re going to take a look at common SEO mistakes you might not even know you are making and hopefully it will jumpstart you to making some much needed changes to improve traffic to your site.

Not Creating Google, Bing, and Yahoo Listings for Each Location

One of the most common mistakes is having a single local listing. If you have a company with locations in the surrounding towns around you, you should have a specific listing to each location. Even if you have a single business location, you should still be offering your services to the towns and neighborhoods around you. For example, if your business is located in Tacoma, consider marketing to Seattle, Bellevue, Olympia, Gig Harbor, Redmond, etc. This may mean more work for you, but the return could be well worth it.

Not Actively Seeking Reviews From Clients

You definitely need reviews for your business. People tend to trust what others have written about you, so don’t be afraid to ask for them. Clients can leave reviews in your Google+ pages and in several other local listings. You could offer a discount or special offer for an honest review, but even offering the best customer service and treating each customer like they are #1 will get you great reviews. 

Choosing Poor Keywords

Choosing the wrong keywords can set you up for failure. When thinking about what terms you want to use, there needs to be a balance of traffic, intent, and competition level. Long tail keywords are a good place to start your search.

Forgetting to Check Out the Competition

Right away you should be checking out your competition in your particular niche and see what keywords they are using, and what types of backlinks are needed to rank for each term. As your site improves, it’s still important to keep an eye on the competition to see what is working for them and what you could possibly improve upon.

Stuffing Keywords Where They Don’t Fit Naturally

While it is important to have keywords, you don’t want to overstuff your content. Quality content will outweigh the benefit of stuffing keywords into every last nook and cranny of your website. It is okay to use keywords in your title, URL, subheadings, and throughout the content, but make sure it makes sense to have it there.

Not Adding Fresh Content

You have to have content! And not just content that you wrote when you first developed your site either. Fresh content is so important because every page you create is another opportunity to earn inbound links and improve your rankings while at the same time gaining you exposure within your niche. Whether you add a blog, articles, or other resources, make sure updates are frequent.

Not Mentioning Location Specific Terms in Content

We’ve already learned not to stuff keywords within content, but you do need keywords somewhere on your page - preferably in the content, meta description, and title page. Balance is a must in organic and local SEO, so be careful not to overload.

Failing to Optimize Navigation

It is of the utmost importance to have a site that is easy to navigate. People expect your site to be easy to search for services and products and search engines reward it. If you don’t have a clear hierarchy on your site, how will Google know what is most important on your site? And if customers can’t navigate your buttons and find out what services you offer, they will leave and go elsewhere. This will only do you harm as it lowers your conversation rates and lets Google know your site is not the best search when people quickly return to the search results and visit another site.

Not Including Contact Information on All Pages

Many websites use the contact page for all their contact information and that’s it. But if you want to make it easy for your customers to call or message you, include your local address and phone number on each page. This will help provide you better local rankings.

Not Being Mobile Ready

Over 50% of searches are done from mobile devices, so if you haven’t hopped on board the mobile train, you better do so soon! If your site isn’t compatible with mobile, your traffic and rankings will drop.

Neglecting Social Media

Social media is huge and it’s a great opportunity to get your content in front of more people who may want to link to it. It’s debated whether social media has any real influence on SEO, but it sure doesn’t hurt to have social profiles for your business so that more people can find you.

Not Being Consistent

This is easy to slip up on from time to time. Once you’ve built a following, people expect great things from you on a regular basis. They begin to anticipate your posting schedule and check for new content. If you haven’t posted anything new in awhile, people will notice and stop coming to your site. Whether you post once a week or several times a day, consistency is key to successful blogging.

Giving Up Too Soon

Let us state this from the beginning: SEO does not work overnight. It’s true that some keywords can be ranked quickly, but generally target keywords can take 9-12 months to rank. Be realistic about the time and money it will take to invest to rank on search engines. And be very wary of people offering you fast results. SEO takes time, so whether you are trying to improve your own rankings or working with a reputable SEO company, be patient.

Never Getting Started

SEO is becoming increasingly complex and many business shy away from it and completely avoid doing SEO work. But if your website is not getting any organic traffic, what do you have to lose by trying? Give SEO a chance, either on your own or with the help of a SEO firm. It’s perfectly okay to start small with onsite SEO and work your way up from there. You might just surprise yourself when more traffic begins to trickle in.