I know, SEO can be intimidating. It’s difficult to keep up. Google’s sorting algorithms keep changing all the time, and trying to follow the search engine’s convoluted history is like going through the lamest zoo ever.
As always, it’s the little guy who takes a heavy toll. Small local businesses don’t always have the most tech-savvy teams, and SEO experts are often prohibitively expensive. This is why small businesses are so often drowned to the bottom of Google’s search result lists.
But if you’re a small business owner, don’t let this discourage you. Just make sure you don’t make these 7 common local SEO mistakes and see your business climb in the result list without bothering with Penguins and Pandas.
Mistake 1: Ignoring Customer Reviews
It’s painfully common to see local businesses with no online ratings at all. It always gives a bad image, and business owners tend to be forgetful about the matter.
The solution? Easy: just ask. If a customer has had a good experience with your company, she will be happy to help. The problem is that writing reviews demands some effort on your customer’s part. Try to make it easy for her. Sending e-mails with a links to the reviewing site is always a good idea. Don’t be afraid to be personal with the customer: ask her for a review rather than sending a bland form review request.
Granted, it can be a slow process, but getting good online ratings is one of the best ways to optimize your online presence.
Mistake 2: Not Optimizing Your Site for Mobile Devices
This is a biggie. Websites are often developed on computers and with computers in mind, but the general public is much more likely to turn to their phones if they want to check on a site than booting up their computers. Since 2015, Google has ranked mobile-friendly sites over the rest. Make sure your developer keeps this in mind when building your site.
Mistake 3: Ignoring Social Media
There’s an ongoing debate about the merits of social media as a marketing tool for small businesses, but whatever you think about it, there’s no doubt Google takes great stock in it. Of course, not all small business owners have the time or the know-how to manage a big social media presence. That’s why the role of the Community Manager is key in modern marketing.
But even companies who don’t want to invest in a Community Manager can manage their social media presence fairly easily. Online tools such as Wordstream are getting big as an alternative for these companies. There’s no excuse for not being on social media.
Mistake 4: No Quality Content
This is the number one mistake made by modern companies. As they say, content is king. This is truer now than ever. You might protest that you’re not a writer and you don’t want to be. But commissioning quality content from professionals is extremely easy thanks to the internet. Sites like Essayroo and Boom Essays offer articles for next to nothing.
Even writing sites like Australian help are now offering copywriting services. But even if you refuse to put any money on your content, there are still plenty of online sites like State of Writing and Easywordcount that help you creating SEO-friendly content yourself.
Mistake 5: Having Inconsistent Info across the Web
Your business is one business and one only. But Google is a machine, and it gets easily confused. You have to make sure it knows who you are. How? First, make sure your company has a Google My Business profile. This is essential to make it easy for the engine to recognize you.
Second, make sure you’re consistent: your company’s name and your contact info (NAP) must be identical across the Internet. Beware of rebrandings and double listings. Take good care of your identity.
Third, use some online SEO tool like Yoast or Elite Assignment Help to preview the result and make sure you don’t make mistakes along the way.
Mistake 6: Forgetting keywords
Let me be redundant for a second: keywords are key. However, lately some professionals are afraid of them because of the penalties Google can impose on you if you use them incorrectly. This is easy to avoid, though. Use a Keyword density checker or Academadvisor to see the current trends in high-ranking sites in your field and use your keywords accordingly.
Mistake 7: No Quality Links
Links may not be as important as they were during SEO’s infancy, but they’re still vital. However, it’s not always easy to be linked by respected sites. A little back-scratching goes a long way. Build alliances with businesses that compliment your own. Link them in your site and let yourself be linked by them. Otherwise, look for sites and tools that help you link-building. Ahrefs helps you find link opportunities. Use them.
There’s no excuse now not to use SEO to optimize your online presence. Remember, the Internet is a business’ best friend. Cultivate the friendship.