First off lets start with what is local SEO? SEO is short for search engine optimization, search engine optimization is the process of getting your website to rank on page one of search engine result pages for keyword search phrases like “web designer.”
Local SEO would be optimizing for search terms that usually include some type of geographic indicator like “web designer new bedford ma.” But, then again not always as some terms even with out a geographic indicator will pull up local results based on your IP address, for instance google “electrician.”
You can see by this screen shot, that although I did not use any other terms, google knows this search is usually done with the intent of finding local results, and you will see more of this as search engines become more intuitive and users realize that.
With that said, here are The Top Ten Local SEO Mistakes companies make.
1. Not adding fresh content. Websites should not become monolithic. Search engines favor websites that continue to add fresh content. This is usually done through a blog.
2. Not mentioning location specific terms in your content. I met with an attorney and she told me one of the terms she wanted to rank for was “personal injury attorney new bedford ma.” Problem was nowhere on her site could that phrase be found. So how are the search engines supposed to know?
3. Not seeking reviews from clients. Many studies have shown the correlation between companies with lots of reviews out performing those that don’t. So actively seek reviews from customers on sites like facebook, yelp, google plus etc.
4. Choosing the wrong keywords. What you use to refer to yourself and what the general public may use to search for you could be two different things. You must balance traffic, competition and intent. Long tail terms are a good place to start. Try some free keyword search tools like SEM Rush.
5. Not including keywords in images. One of the most common mistakes we see is not including keywords on your images. You can add your keywords as alt text and title for your images. Do it.
6. Ignoring Hyper-Local Directories. By now surely you have your business listed on the major directories like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp etc. However, your area may have some hyper local directories that rank well locally. Be sure to get your self included.
7. Providing Inconsistent NAP Data. NAP is name, address, phone #. The search engines cross reference your NAP data on directories and your website. If this data is inconsistent because you moved, changed phone numbers etc. this can affect your ranking. Even something as silly as using St. in some places and Street in others.
8. Overlooking Site Speed. One of the metrics search engines use to rank your site is loading speed. Be sure that your loading time is up to snuff.
9. Not submitting to search engines. Beleive it or not many web designers still dont submit their clients websites to the search engines. Be sure that your website has been submitted and verified with the major search engines so they can be properly crawled.
10. Not using webmaster tools. Be sure to sign up for google and bing webmaster tools. This can help you in many ways and alert you of errors. Particuarly if you have changed your website over you want to make sure you are addressing any 404 errors.
So that’s our list of top ten local seo mistakes. Be sure to ask your web developer if they have done this for you. If you need some help improving your rankings with the search engines and driving more traffic to your website, then feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation.