All I’m saying is that I can tell you few things that I am certain did not cause your drop in the local rankings, and that are unlikely to cause you problems in the future. The less effort you can waste on perceived problems, the more you can focus on real problems and on what’s past those problems. Best of all, some of the things you may have feared hurt your rankings often can help them. I hope this post adds a little peace of mind.
To drive more traffic to your small business, it is crucial to implement an effective local SEO strategy. However, optimizing for local search is not always the simplest task. Keep reading to discover several Local SEO mistakes you must avoid to improve your Local SEO results!
The absence of a Google My Business profile
Many businesses fail to create or establish their own Google My Business profiles. Google My Business is a free tool provided by Google to businesses to help them inform their consumers and enhance their chances of ranking locally as well as in Google’s Map Pack—essential for local businesses.
When you think about search engine optimization (SEO), you probably see your website ranking high in Google’s search results. However, there is a catch with local SEO. When you search for “SEO Services Company in California” you’ll see a large map in the upper right corner. In addition, dental offices will be featured in the primary results (i.e. name, address, phone number, reviews, etc.).
The truth is, that information comes from each company’s Google My Business profile page, not their website! You’re losing out if you don’t yet have a Google My Business profile page. This is completely free to set up and shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes of your time.
Creating a Google My Business Account without an Address
Even if a firm serves a specific location, it should not have a Google My Business page if it does not have a physical shop there. If you serve more than simply the region around your physical location, it’s best to create location landing pages on your website to indicate to Google and visitors that you do. Without a real address, Google cannot authenticate a Google My Business listing.
Contact Information Is Missing
Including a Contact Us page on a website is a wise decision for businesses, particularly local firms. Because many people visit a local company’s website to get contact information, this page improves the user experience. It also enables Google to validate your contact information on your Google My Business listing and elsewhere on the internet.
Google does not want erroneous information to appear in its search results. That would be disastrous for their credibility, and they would lose users over time.
As a result, one of the steps Google takes to verify accuracy is to compare the information on your website to the information on your Google My Business profile page. If your website and/or Google My Business profile do not display the same exact contact information, you should change your website and/or Google My Business profile to make them consistent.
Decreasing the Rate of New Google Reviews
If your most recent Google reviews are underwhelming, or if the previous one was more than two years ago, you may receive fewer calls, but your rankings will remain stable. Getting fresh Google reviews on a consistent (if slow) basis will increase your 3-pack / Maps presence for specialty searches, and it may benefit you a bit for competitive phrases when Google is selecting between powerful rivals by inches or ounces. However, a delay in Google reviews is simply a wasted opportunity, not a mistake that will set you back.
No Customer Reviews & Bad Reviews
Similar to my claim about the “Decreasing the Rate of New Google Reviews” (above). If it is both tough and convincing, you may experience a decline in leads. If you receive so many negative reviews that you have a 1- or 2-star average and no one clicks on you, your ranking may fall. But almost everyone gets a poor review at some point, and anyone can slap anyone else with a negative review, which is why I’ve never seen a dip from a few bad reviews.
Most businesses struggle to obtain online client evaluations. So, if you don’t have any reviews on your Google My Business site, don’t be too hard on yourself; you’re not alone. The issue is that adding a review requires significant work on the part of your consumers.
We’ve discovered that asking by email, coupled with a link and directions, is the most successful technique since your consumer doesn’t have to search for your profile. You’re directing them directly to it. Obtaining favorable feedback will most likely be a gradual process, but it will pile up over time and provide you with a significant competitive edge that will be tough to reproduce.
Paying For a Link or Few Links
Google is used to seeing all kinds of links: locally relevant links, professionally relevant links, links that stay up for a long time, links that come and go quickly, links from shady sites, links that have typos in the anchor text, and so on. Most high-performing sites have a mishmash of backlinks, and some invisible sites do, too. If paying for a membership, a sponsorship, an expired domain that you 301-rediect is the only way you have to get a good link, then that may be a problem: Sooner or later it will look strange to Google, and either it’ll stop working, or you may incur a penalty, or both.
There Are Neither High-Quality nor Relevant Links
Links from other high-quality, relevant websites have always been important in SEO, and Google has lately begun to incorporate links into their local ranking algorithm.
That implies you can’t only rely on citations and an optimized Google My Business profile page. You must also invest in strategies to obtain high-quality, relevant connections.
The greatest strategy to get quality links in the long run is to post and promote exceptional content. I know it’s probably not what you want to hear, but creating something worth connecting to be the greatest approach to encourage other websites to link to yours. Short-tail and high competitive keywords could be more typical such as “Seattle SEO Company”. If you try to take shortcuts, you will almost certainly end up in difficulty later on.
Ignoring Social Media
There’s a lot of dispute about whether social media activity actually affects rankings, but there’s no doubting that social media may be a useful avenue for increasing awareness and talk about your brand.
As previously said, quality content is the greatest strategy to attract connections to your site. And one of the greatest methods to get your material in front of your target audience is through social media. While we do not believe that social media is the key driver of local SEO performance, we believe that ignoring social media is a mistake.
Let’s Finalize Here with Some Best of Tips
You must perform (or have performed) basic preventive maintenance on your site. You need to keep an eye out for spamming rivals on the map and do everything you can to limit their number, so they don’t hogtie you in your sleep. If your biggest visibility and fattest profit have approximately coincided to reviews, good information you’ve added to the site, and links and press you’ve received, you’d be foolish not to maintain it.
What you don’t need to do is work on SEO every day, week, or even month. This is because action items vary over time, successful work tends to linger, and you typically won’t see the results of what you accomplish for weeks or months. Just because you took a break between bursts of work doesn’t mean your rankings have suffered as a result. Frequent check-ups are essential, and if you can, frequent work is ideal. Constant fiddling or adjusting is neither.
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