What is local SEO?
It’s the process of ranking your website higher in search engines for your physical location.
I’m sure we all had seen the screenshot below.
Google wants to know your location so that they can provide the right information to the person asking the question.
When people search for businesses on Google, if you are closer than your competition, you will most probably rank higher in the search results. This allows your message to reach more customers who are looking for the products and services you provide.
If you want to attract new customers, increase traffic, and drive sales to your business, you need a targeted strategy for local SEO.
In this article, JustRank had listed out the top 10 most common mistakes that people make when it comes to local SEO and how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Failure to determine the correct geo-target
The first step in local SEO is to determine what area you want to target.
Next, you must determine which search engines are best for your business.
Then you need to choose a geographic service that can help you.
Should it be Google Places, Bing Places or Yahoo Local?
To figure that out you must consider which search engines are the most popular in your country and which ones are most likely to deliver qualified traffic and return on investment (ROI).
For Malaysia local SEO, the answer got to be Google with over 98% of market share.
Mistake #2 – Lack of organization of local information
Once you’ve determined which search engines to use, you need to make sure they have all the data you need.
Do they have information about your business’s address, contact info (business hours, telephone number, map location, etc.), and your website address?
If not, then you need to provide it to them.
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. It’s the information you must have on your website, business cards, etc. For example: “JustRank, Kuala Lumpur, 50350 Malaysia”.
The first step in the NAP process is to make sure that you have a consistent naming convention and address format.
Although the NAP format isn’t always the same, the information should always be consistent across different websites and platforms.
Mistake #3 – Bad website
According to a recent survey, 84% of local searchers are more likely to call a business when they can find it on a map.
So before you start working on your local SEO strategy, make sure that you have a great website.
Try out our free website builder using Google Sites here or some other free simple drag and drop website builders such as Wix or Weebly.
Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile as well as desktop devices and search engines.
Mistake #4 – Bad links
The number one reason why people lose rankings on Google and Bing is that they haven’t built enough high-quality backlinks or local citations to their websites.
Backlinks or off-page optimization are very important to local SEO because it helps search engines identify your website as the top result for your area.
Backlink act as a vote of confidence towards your website or business when people mentioning them.
When you do not have enough good links, it means you have less authority, which will lower your ranking in organic search results.
Tips: Do not build links for the sake of it. Instead, create awesome and killer content that people need to link to you for references or resources.
Mistake #5 – No local social media
Local SEO is all about building a strong online footprint.
The more social media platforms you use to promote your business, the better.
Your customers are probably on social media, why aren’t you?
Mistake #6 – No local reviews
Reviews are a good indication of your business’s reputation.
According to one study, it took an average of 5.9 reviews for Yelp users to feel confident about visiting a new business.
In fact, almost 88% of small business owners claim that Yelp is an important source of traffic for their business.
And over 60% said they had more customers as a result of positive reviews on Yelp.
Implement Google review rating widget system to start collecting reviews.
Mistake #7 – Not using the right keywords
Keywords are the words or phrases that you want your website to be found for when it comes to local SEO.
You really need a targeting keyword that is specific to your area of service and local market for you to rank higher in search engines.
When picking a keyword, consideration must be given not only what your target customers are searching for but also what your competitors are using as well.
Adding places or locations to your keyword selection might be a wise move when coming up with a local SEO strategy.
Mistake #8 – Inadequate maps
Google Maps has a lot of information behind it.
When you provide Google maps with good old-fashioned street addresses, Google will try to match them up with the corresponding latitude and longitude information for every address in their database.
There are two ways to get this information: Ask Google Maps or use a free utility called OpenStreetMap.com (OSM).
Mistake #9 – Not using local pack
When searchers look for businesses on Google, they can easily find you in the search results.
Local packs are displayed on the left-hand side: just next to the map.
Businesses that appear in these packs are much more likely to be clicked on by users.
If your business name appears in the local pack there is a greater chance that your business will be selected by click by users and will therefore receive more traffic, leads, and ultimately more sales.
Verifying your business on GMB is a must and doing so will also help your business to rank higher in local maps.
Local 3 pack and 4 pack in Google Maps will help you increase your local search traffic.
Mistake #10 – Linking to old, dead, or broken content
When you link your website to an old or outdated article or resource on the web, search engines will not see it as a high-quality piece of content.
Not only these will not be helpful to your website’s success, but they will also hurt your rankings.
With that said it is important to know that Google will often think that the page you link to is no longer active and will give it a lower ranking.
Linking to old or dead pages on your website and off-site can negatively impact your business by causing both search engines and users to lose trust in you. These are 101 On-Page Optimization.
Broken links are also another problem that can be a downfall for local SEO.
Fixing broken links is the easiest part of your local SEO strategy.
The key to success in local SEO is to start with a plan. SEO is never a guessing game.
Figure out what search engines you want to use and what geography you want to target.
Then take time to organize your business information so that it’s available on all the sites you’ve chosen, remove any broken links from your website, and voice out your branding and unique proposition for your business.
Get in touch with us for more insights about local SEO and let us make your business blossom.
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