If your business has a geographically defined market or functions locally, itâ€™s very important that you should focus on Local SEO. Though it is not very different from Organic SEO, many business owners seem to make critical mistakes when it comes to optimizing their business sites for Google ranking. The rise of internet usage from mobile devices also means a lot to the visibility on local search result pages.
To start with, you should make sure your business shows up when someone uses Google maps at your location. There are many common mistakes people make when optimizing their site for local search; here are the ones that can turn your campaign upside down.
Using a splash screen instead of homepage
It goes without saying that the descriptive content has to be placed above the fold and highlighted for maximum exposure. Having a splash screen as homepage is completely contrary to this as they tend to have very less descriptive content on them. Many businesses include a cool logo and slogan on their splash screens, but fail to be important and precise.
From the view of someone who needs to find a local store urgently, a splash screen is actually an obstacle. They might find the whole site confusing and just take an exit route. Even search engine bots canâ€™t usually read splash screens and this might affect your siteâ€™s ranking negatively. It is simply better not to bug your precious visitor with an extra effort of navigating through the splash screen.
Ignoring link building
Many people think that link building is dead or not critical in Local SEO like in its organic counterpart. But thatâ€™s a big mistake. Black hat link building is going to do more bad than good, especially after the penguin update; but that doesnâ€™t mean you should stop building links. Rather, links are the only binding elements on the web and building them should be done naturally, with caution. If you happen to employ third party SEO services, make sure they are from reputed provider. Diversify your links to different pages on your site. Google is now smart enough to identify paid and automated links; so just make sure you do it in moderation.
Failing to add contact information on every page
Nobody simply visits a local business entityâ€™s website casually; they are on your site with an intention to make a purchase. It is very important that you make sure the contact information is available on each of your pages, so that they donâ€™t have to navigate any further than the page they currently are on. It is also important that the contact information is easily noticeable and legible. It should also be taken care of to update your contact information if it ever changes.
Not targeting localized keywords
No businessman needs to be taught about the importance of having relevant keywords on their site. But when it comes to local SEO, the keywords you include should not be mere product names. Include ZIP codes, neighborhoods, and as many local terms as possible. People tend to add these in their search queries and you should be ready to rank for them as well. Taking the extra effort of adding these to your targeted keywords will surely boost your traffic than you ever imagined.