By Sam Saidman
In the digital age, ranking in local search results is essential for businesses that want to remain competitive within their area. Although some business owners rely on word of mouth and vibrant signage to catch the attention of new customers, more have realized the massive benefits that local SEO provides as a marketing strategy.
Despite their knowledge, many business owners are currently making critical mistakes in the midst of their efforts to improve local SEO rankings.
Check out some of the biggest errors business owners are making in regards to local SEO, as well as ways to fix them.
1. Not Prioritizing Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews play a larger role in the success of local businesses than ever before. Potential customers and search engines alike rely on ratings and reviews as valuable social signals when deciding on which businesses to prioritize in local searches, so it’s essential that your business has them.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, more people are turning to the internet for their information. A recent Forbes article confirmed this, noting that 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business, 84% trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and 67% of purchasing decisions are affected by online reviews. The only way for businesses to remain competitive in the digital age is to maintain a positive online reputation, with positive reviews on platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook.
How to Fix It:
Online reputation management goes beyond just getting positive reviews posted; it also means responding to and addressing negative reviews that customers may leave. Google prefers to list businesses that actively engage with their customers and only recommends businesses that are going to give the highest quality customer experience. Be sure to direct customers to your review pages and stay diligent with responding quickly to the reviews that they leave.
2. No Local Directory Listings
When it comes to increasing the visibility of your business locally, local directory listings are a vital tool. Aggregating businesses from numerous industries and putting them all in one easily accessible place, directory listings providing searchers are credible resources that give consumers easy access to the best businesses in every niche.
Furthermore, directory listings help your business because they give your business mentions in other places online, which Google pays close attention to when crawling the web. Having your business name, website, and phone number listed on multiple credible sites associated with your region shows Google that your business is legitimate and a viable option for consumers in the area.
How to Fix It:
To increase your brand’s visibility, be sure to search for local directories specific to your niche, and get listed in popular directories with influence, such as local chambers of commerce, Yellow Pages, the Better Business Bureau, and more.
3. Non-User-Friendly Website
With so many customers accessing businesses solely from the digital space, it goes without saying that a successful business needs a powerful website. But a great website requires more than a bunch of images and some …read more
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