When you’re running a small business, the right local SEO strategy and tactics can make a big difference to your bottom line.
But there are plenty of mistakes you can make along the way. SEO, even local SEO, is a complex machine with a lot of moving parts. There’s more to it than just technical stuff, but that technical stuff is important. There’s also more to it than pleasing the Google algorithm – there are several other search engines that you should be trying to draw in traffic from. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common mistakes people make with local SEO.
Google is the leader in the search industry and most of your search traffic is going to come from Google searches. However, there are several other less popular search engines that still see a lot of use, like Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo. You need to make sure you’re optimizing for these search engines, too. For example, adding your business listing to Google Maps only helps for Google searches. You’re going to need to add your business to Bing Places, Apple Maps, and so on to get that traffic from alternative search engines.
A lack of appropriate website maintenance can prove to be a big obstacle to strong local SEO. Neglecting maintenance can cause issues that make it harder for search engines to index your site, or can make your site seem like it’s no longer active. You should keep links active, add a location page for each of your locations, keep information on the website accurate, and post new locally optimized content regularly.
Technical SEO issues can also crop up over time and they make it harder for your site to appear in the top of search returns for your primary keywords. These issues make it harder for search engines to index your site correctly. You need to make sure that links work, that images are being loaded correctly, that videos play, that pages load fast, and that metadata and title tags are properly optimized. It’s going to be easier for many small businesses to hire a Phoenix agency that does SEO services than to keep up with SEO issues on their own.
SEO isn’t just about adding the right metadata and tags to a site. Don’t forget that SEO also has a huge social component. Some would even say that the social aspect of SEO is more important than the technical one.
For example, in order to build backlinks, you often have to first forge relationships with influencers, bloggers, local business associations, and other business owners in your area. Only after you have forged those relationships can you ask for backlinks.
There’s also a lot of potential for local SEO in search engines and local online forums. You can use these platforms to engage directly with customers and potential customers, talk about what these people want from you, and promote your products, services, and events. You can share content from your website and generate buzz in the form of hashtags and shared links. Social media is great for building backlinks and reaching people who might not engage with your brand any other way.
Eighty-five percent of Americans own a smartphone. That means the majority of the people in your target customer base are going to be searching for your business online using a smartphone. Others will use a tablet. Not so many will be using a desktop or laptop computer.
That means your website needs to be optimized for search in order to rank well in search engine returns. Google will ding your site in the rankings if it’s not mobile responsive, so if you want to get to the top of returns for the most popular search engine in the world, you need to make sure your site is mobile responsive. The majority of people who search for a local business on a mobile device visit that business, so it’s well worth it to you to make your site easy to navigate and use on a mobile device.
When you’re optimizing your website for local search, it’s easy to make mistakes. Know what some of the most common pitfalls are for businesses seeking to boost their local SEO, so you can make sure your company’s SEO strategy is done right.