Common Local SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Increase Adwords CTRThe wonderful thing about Local SEO is that it truly allows the small local mom and pop business to maximise their effectiveness in the SERPs and compete with the internationals.

However, it’s necessary to remember than an SEO strategy is a highly personal one and the one size fits all cap doesn’t work. Limited time, resources and smaller audiences mean however that small business needs to do SEO correctly. However, time and time again we run into problems and mistakes – so here are five of the most common – all of which can be easily avoided.

Ignoring Local Altogether

You’d be astounded at the number of small businesses that ignore local search altogether and yet it can be their biggest driver of traffic quite easily. With around half of all searches in the local bracket, there’s a lot of traffic from local searches. Businesses need to ensure that they are ranking as highly as they possibly can for these local searches. To do this business needs to:

  • Use relevant and local directories for listings
  • Use keywords and physical locations to showcase where your business works and what it does
  • Optimise for the mobile web

For small businesses that have little chance of otherwise competing with larger businesses, this is the most efficient way to increase visibility. There are numerous factors in the local SEO puzzle, as there are in the overall online marketing bracket – however you need to be in it to win it.

Low Quality Content

One small business mistake that we see again and again is small businesses creating the same landing page with just the place names changed. Even though some studies suggest that pages with more content have more authority; there’s very little to suggest that this low quality keyword stuffing is really of benefit. Duplicate or spun content with a geographical twist is a mistake and will only hurt your site in the long term.

Content Creation

Quality content creation is the cornerstone of good websites and a lot of small businesses never post anything new on-site, so Google shows a lot less interest in them. Posting quality content increases user experience and also improves your search engine rankings. There are numerous ways to create new content that Google loves. Whether it’s a blog that’s regularly maintained or even a newsfeed – fresh content helps greatly.

It’s a One Off

You create your site and optimise it for search engines and now you will rank highly forever. Wrong! SEO is a constant and evolving area and if you want to stay at the top of the current rankings and improve in others then you’ll need to continuingly work on your strategy. SEO is dynamic and as such needs to be constantly honed and improved. To succeed you need to create new content, build links and optimise for user experience. Google is constantly making changes and the more you implement them the better your site will be.

Social Media

Let’s not be naïve here, social media matters – now more than ever. However, time and time again we see small businesses omit it from their strategy. Social media adds to exposure and also may feed into search engines through social signals.

Small businesses need to not only set up social media accounts, but also maintain them and utilise them regularly. It’s a great way to get your fresh content out there, get links and create interest in your site.

One word of advice is to only use social media to as much of a degree as you can handle it. There’s nothing worse than an unkempt or unutilised account sitting there. So, keep it fresh and post regularly.

SEO is an area of marketing that requires constant care. However, done correctly the reward greatly outweighs the effort put into it.

About Cormac Reynolds

Tech journalist, copywriter and lover of all things gadget, Cormac Reynolds has covered the whole technology spectrum at one time or another and remains geek at heart.When he’s not working – he’s swotting up a book or thinking about his next project. Contact him @Brightoncormac

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