Your local community is online searching for answers, locations, and services every single day. A large percentage of these searches are coming from their mobile devices. The data also shows that a high percentage of the local community, the ones doing these searches on their devices, visit the physical location within one to two days after searching. This alone shows the importance of making sure your local SEO (search engine optimization) is directing your potential customers or patients to your location, as well as giving them the simplest experience possible.

As with most digital marketing efforts, local SEO can be complicated and has many things that can influence where your business shows up on the page after someone has searched for something. With so many things influencing position in a search, it’s pretty easy to make simple mistakes. However, with the information in this blog post, you and your business can avoid making these mistakes in the future.  

What is Local SEO?

Before we know how to avoid mistakes, we have to understand what local SEO is. Local SEO means your website is fully keyword optimized and you’re directing your content and back-links towards your site and the local community.

Local SEO involves your online information, the value your site provides to your community, and making sure everything is pointed to your website correctly. Doing these things helps Google find your site more easily. Local SEO should be an essential part of your digital marketing strategy if you have a physical location.

Why is Local SEO Important?

A large part of your local community is searching for their needs and wants every day. A large percentage of these individuals won’t read/scroll past the first four spots on the page (after ads). That means if you are not near the top, you are not likely to be seen. This is why your local SEO is so important. 

The Common Mistakes That Happen With Local SEO

Website Not Optimized for Mobile Devices

Going into 2020, customers expect that all websites should be optimized for mobile devices. However, this is even more important for local reach. Think about what you do when you are out and about. You grab your keys, your phone, and you begin checking off your to-do list. You then realize you need to find a certain hair product, or you need to find a medical professional to help with your bad shoulder. You take out your phone and start typing to find answers.

A website that is not optimized for mobile can, and will, prevent users from finding your building or wanting to engage with your business. If it’s too hard, they will find someone who will make it easy. 

Inconsistent Name, Address, and Phone Number

“Correct” consistency is key. The information you have online needs to match everywhere, especially your business name, phone number, and address.

Google will trust your business more if you are where you say you are. We live in a research world now, so customers of every age are doing their own research to confirm you are where Google says you are before they will make a call or get directions to your location. 

Reviews

Having good, honest reviews is important for search engine optimization, yes, but it is more important to the local community who is searching. Reviews mean you are real and credible. They also show that others in the community have trusted you and have experienced what your business offers.

Responding to reviews is just as important as getting reviews. Responding helps show that you’re a legit business, a leader in your industry, and that your customers and patients are invested in what you have to offer. Reviews are a local SEO trust-builder and give you that sought-after third-party validation. Reviews and responses to reviews ultimately show that you care about your community.

No Social Media Profiles. No Community.

Social media profiles such as Facebook, Instagram, and others are the best way to engage with your local users. Your local community has a certain pride about where they live and these platforms give them a voice and a way to connect with businesses in their community. Your social profiles leave your potential customers or potential patients with another platform to find more information about your business. 

These profiles are so important that many customers turn to social profiles to research local services before ever going to Google. These platforms also give your business and website more credibility with Google, which, in turn, increases your organic reach on Google. If you are a local business looking to improve your local reach, aim to avoid these mistakes listed above. Local SEO gives you a competitive edge in the community you, and your business, call home.