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3 Local SEO Mistakes Small Businesses Must Avoid

Feb 29, 2016
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3_Local_SEO_Mistakes_Small_Businesses_Must_Avoid_.jpgHaving a focused Local SEO strategy is essential to any small business looking to grow. For many small business owners, SEO was never even on their radar when they set out to put their dream into motion. But with a world that is dominated by mobile phones and search engines, having a local SEO expert to guide you through the rough waters of online marketing can be lifesaving. So let’s take a quick look at the 3 most common local SEO mistakes and some solutions.

When it comes to local SEO, things are always moving. Google has special considerations when it comes to ranking locally and in order to be sure your site shows up, there are a few things you must do. The 3 most common mistakes I see are; bad mobile experience, incorrect or misplaced NAPs and leaving your citations and listings unclaimed. 

Mobile Drives Local Search

Did you know that local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within one day? Yep, a study done by Google into local search behavior shows that local searchers on mobile devices are poised to take action. According to their findings, “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same.”

Ranking in local search has a direct impact on in-store traffic. Since the rate of mobile users is nearly 20 percentage points higher than desktop or tablet users, local businesses need to have a good mobile experience.  @Bond_Group found that 73% of consumers access websites on their mobile devices but only 20% of companies have a mobile optimized site. Having a good mobile site will set you apart from the competition.

Where’s Your NAP?

With the rise of easy website builders that can deliver a trendy website in under 60 minutes, a number of small and local businesses forget about the practical. This means the name, address and phone number aren’t always clearly definable.

Most business get the name thing right (you’d be surprised how many don’t) but many still forget to make the address and phone number clear and, for mobile users, clickable. Make sure that your NAP is above the fold and easy to for your users to find.

Take Your Listings Back

When it comes to your local business, your location is key. The same goes for your online locations. Managing the location listings of your business is crucial to creating an effective local SEO campaign. Many businesses are surprised by how many listings are actually out there and that there is so much incorrect information about them online. One of the great things about the internet is anyone can share anything at anytime. One of the worst things about the internet is anyone can share anything at anytime. See my point? People can add information, make edits and really make a mess of your listings. But as a business owner you can take your listings back.

Using a listing scanner, like ours here, can let you know what is wrong and where to fix it. Just create an account with the site where your business is listed and claim the listing. The issue is, this can be very time consuming. This is where hiring a local SEO expert can really help out!

When it comes to the long term success of your small business, having a strategic local SEO strategy can help a ton. We’ve helped dozens of small businesses get ranked and grow with the help of SEO. If you are creating your own strategy for success, remember mobile drives local search, don’t forget about NAPS and claim your listings!

Local SEO scanner - Local SEO agency Melbourne FL
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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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