9 Common local SEO mistakes and how to avoid them

Many small business owners try optimizing their websites for local SEO with limited success. Without proper training and expertise, it’s easy to make crucial errors that will sabotage your local search rankings.

  1. Not completing your google my business profile

For local SEO, it is crucial to have a Google My Business listing. Failing to properly fill out and verify your GMB profile causes you to miss out on valuable visibility in Google Maps and search. Be sure to complete all sections with keywords, descriptions, hours, photos, services, and contact info. Then verify the listing through Google’s mailed code or postcard method for maximum effectiveness.

  1. Choosing the wrong optimization categories

Google My Business has over 140 business category options you can select. Picking non-relevant or overly broad categories diminishes your local visibility for searches related to your offerings. Work with a local SEO expert to select the most specific and accurate categories aligned with your products and services.

  1. Not optimizing for voice search

Over 50% of smartphone users now rely on voice commands over typing keywords. If your website content isn’t optimized for long-tail conversational voice search queries, you’re missing out on connecting with mobile searchers. A local SEO professional can optimize your pages for natural spoken questions and commands.

  1. Using a generic physical address

Your business address must be correct and associated with your location to earn local ranking rewards. Avoid using vague addresses like a UPS store or unrelated office space. List your exact street address where customers can visit your business to improve local SEO authority.

  1. Lacking quality local content

Your website needs locally focused pages and blogs targeting keywords for your city, county, and state. Avoid just using your homepage for geographic keywords. Develop location-specific content that also includes your city name, streets, neighborhoods, and points of interest. It shows search engines your relevance for localized customer searches.

  1. Not gathering reviews

Customer reviews influence local search visibility, so failing to generate them hurts your rankings. Proactively encourage happy customers to leave positive Google, Facebook, and Yelp reviews. Consider rewards or discounts for reviewing. Reviews build critical local SEO trust and authority.

  1. Using a national SEO approach

Generic national SEO tactics aren’t enough for local success. Work with a local SEO company that specializes in optimizing for geographic keywords, improving local links/citations, and enhancing your GMB listing. Their geo-targeted strategies drive more local customer conversions.

  1. Not tracking SEO performance

Analyze your key SEO metrics regularly to gauge your local optimization results. Top data points include rankings, organic traffic, phone/email leads, and conversions. Without tracking your progress, you can’t maximize your return on investment. Use analytics tools and reports to monitor effectiveness.

  1. Choosing the wrong agency

Some SEO companies lack local expertise, so partner with one experienced in local search optimization. Make sure the SEO agency near me you hire delivers great ROI by increasing local visibility, leads, and sales for local businesses like yours by reviewing their background, case studies, and reviews. Their location-specific experience gives you an advantage.