As a small and local business, you might read all about SEO ranking and all these complicated strategies to make your business stand out from the rest of the world. However, your customers aren’t in the rest of the world – they’re in your local area.
No matter how much you try, you may be falling into some common SEO traps online. This can cost you traffic, and of course, you don’t want to lose out. Here are 7 common mistakes that most companies make when they start out, and how you can correct them.
Not Using Google My Business
Google automatically gives your business its own page for people to refer to. This includes opening times, contact information, location and links to your website and much more. If you haven’t claimed yours for your business, you could be missing out on a serious amount of sales.
This page icon is 100% free to set up. You’ll have to prove that it is you that owns the business, but the process is fairly simple. Once you have it done, you’ll find you get a lot more traffic as people can actually find you online.
Not Considering All the Categories
Imagine you’re looking for a plumber in the Yellow Pages. When you’re searching, you’ll look at several different categories, in order to get as much information as possible. For example, a plumber could be under ‘plumbing’, ‘home services’, or ‘repairs’.
“As you can see, there are many sections that a plumber could come under and the same can be said for your business. Consider all the possible tags and categories that your business could be listed under, or that your customers will look for” – explains Jean Tenney, an SEO Manager at Resumention.
Sit and create a list of all these tags that could be used to describe your business. Once you have them, you can then look at using them on your website. Use them as keywords, ensuring that whatever tags your customers are searching for, they’ll find your business.
Not Utilizing Local Keywords
Keyword research may seem like a game that the bigger companies play, but it’s just as important for a local business such as yours.
Of course, using keywords poorly can result in penalties from Google but using a keyword density checker, or online SEO tools such as SEMRush or AHREFS, can help you to use them effectively. Remember, use your keywords naturally in your text, and don’t overstuff your content with them. This will help you get the best results.
Doubling Up Your Listings
It’s easier than you’d think to accidentally create double listings on Google and other search engines. This is especially true if you create a ‘Google My Business’ listing, without checking if there’s already one available.
Check what’s already online for your business, before creating any more. Google doesn’t give extra listings any favors, so you may find that you’re making things harder for yourself by creating doubles.
A Lack of Contact Information
Your contact information may be on your ‘Google My Business’ listing, but is it actually on your website? You’d be amazed at how many businesses neglect to include this vital information.
You’ll want to make sure that your website has a very clear contact page, or that your information is clearly labeled somewhere in the header of your website.
If you’re not doing this, it could easily be costing you a lot of business. People can’t get hold of you if they can’t find your details, and it will also rank you down in the local search engine results pages.
Not Using Citations
A citation for a local business includes information such as your name, address and phone number, more commonly referred to as NAP. By missing out this information in key areas of your business, you can be encouraging a lot of damage to your local SEO ranking.
Remember, Google is all about giving the customers the best experience possible, which is why you want to make sure that everything is perfect.
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to get around this. Using online tools, such as the Moz Local Search tool, you can see which citations your business is missing and fill them appropriately.
The more information about your business that’s available, the higher Google will rank your business, and the more customers will be drawn to your business.
A Lack of High-Quality Website Content
However, your local SEO ranking is not all on your Google My Business profile. It’s also directly affected by the actual design, functionality, and content of your website.
Again, consider that Google is ranking you in the quality of your content. Therefore, if the content of your website is poor, you’re going to get marked down, and I mean way down. This also refers to thin content, which is typically described as page content that has less than 500 words.
Content writing is no easy business. After all, there are people who have jobs just perfecting keywords to use in content, which explains the caliber of the role. You can hire someone to deal with this if you feel you don’t have the expertise to do it yourself, so don’t be afraid to do so.
Tools for the creation of high-quality content
Simple Grad – This free online tool can check the word count of your content to ensure it’s optimal.
UK Top Writers – This is an online writing service that can provide you with comprehensive guides and assistance to guide you through the content creation process for your website.
Viawriting – This is an online blog full of posts and articles related to all things writing-related, especially when it comes to improving your grammar skills.
Best British Essays Is a professional writing service that can complete the editing process of your content on your behalf, making sure every sentence is perfectly readable.
Revieweal – Similar to Viawriting, this is a professional writing agency that can help you proofread your website content, so it’s perfect and free from any errors.
Grade on Fire – If you’re still in the process of creating website content, this is an online writing agency who can complete it on your behalf.
As a local business, knowing how to use SEO is crucial to your success. Without it, potential customers won’t be able to find you online. Make sure you avoid these common mistakes, and you’ll find that you’re getting much more traffic than usual.