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Do you want to hear a really scary story? In towns all over the country, small businesses just like yours are ruining their own local search rankings… And they don’t even know it! *Cue high-pitched screams from small business owners everywhere*
Scary enough of a story for you? Let’s add in a little gory detail: local search rankings dictate how your business is seen by potential customers in your service area. Typically, if you’re not showing up in the local rankings for the services your company provides, that means no one in your service area is reaching out to you for those services—which means you’re not getting leads from your website, and you’re missing out on potential customers and revenue. And that’s the scariest story of all.
Want to make sure you’re not a character in this scary story? Start by making sure your business isn’t making any of these local SEO mistakes.
Mistake #1: Your NAP Information Is Inconsistent
If your business has different names, addresses, or phone numbers listed in different places across the web, then I’m sorry to break it to you, but you’re the protagonist in an SEO horror flick.
The acronym NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number, and it’s critical for any business that wants to rank well in local organic search results. NAP consistency is when your company’s name, address, and phone number are listed the same way across the web, from your website to your social media profiles to directory listings (such as Google My Business, Yelp, etc.) and beyond.
If search engines are finding conflicting information about your NAP, they’re not going to know for certain what your business is or where it’s located. When the search engines find varied details about your company, they lose confidence in your listing—so they are more likely to provide users with another listing that they’re more confident about.
So if your company’s NAP information is inconsistent, you could be losing leads to local competitors! Doesn’t that story give you goosebumps?
Don’t worry, you can download our free NAP consistency eBook, which will show you how to quickly and easily resolve any NAP inconsistencies your company may have floating around the web. See? Now you don’t have to have any nightmares about missing out on potential customers. Just click below for the free download!
Mistake #2: You Don’t Have a Google My Business Profile
You know the part of the scary movie where everyone in the audience is yelling, “Don’t go in there! The killer is obviously in there! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?” and questions the sanity of the main character? That’s pretty much how our digital marketing team responds to companies without Google My Business profiles. We’re over here shrieking, “It’s free to make a profile! How else is Google going to display your business information in the Local Pack? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” and covering our eyes.
Kidding (mostly). Horror movie responses aside, Google My Business is seriously crucial for your business’s local search rankings. A Google My Business profile is a marketing tool that gives users instant access to your company’s location, address, hours of operation, phone number, website, customer reviews, photos, and more when they search for your business online. And even better, you can make one for free here!
Having an up-to-date Google My Business profile reinforces to Google what kind of business you have and where your business is located, increasing your chances of showing up for local search queries about services you provide.
And if you don’t have a Google My Business profile, but your competitors do, you could be losing potential customers and revenue to other businesses in the area. If that thought doesn’t chill you to the bone, nothing will.
Mistake #3: You Don’t Have (or Haven’t Responded to) Any Reviews
Whether you’re choosing a restaurant for dinner or picking out new appliances for your home, what’s one of the first things you look at when making your decision? The reviews! Online reviews for your local business have a lot of sway in the amount and quality of customers you get.
There are two spooky possibilities at play here, and usually businesses face one or the other.
Possibility number one is that you don’t have any reviews at all. The bad news is, if you don’t have any reviews but your competitors do, you may lose potential customers to them (are you noticing a theme?), since customers prefer to know what kind of service they’re getting before committing to work with a business. The good news is, we wrote this easy guide to getting more reviews from your customers! We also wrote a blog post about how custom Google+ review links can help you get more reviews. Read through both of these guys, and you’ll be on your way to a nightmare-free zone full of reviews from happy customers.
Possibility number two is that you haven’t responded to any reviews people have left for your company. If you have reviews, it’s important to keep up with them! As a small business owner, you need to show that you are invested in your company. A great way to do this is by responding to the reviews on your Google+ page, whether they’re positive or negative. Thankfully, we wrote a little diddy about how to respond to both positive and negative reviews, which you can read here.
No Tricks, Just Treats: How to Improve Your Company’s Local SEO
If the scariest part of this post was thinking about how you’ll ever find the time to implement these local SEO tactics, have no fear! Our team of digital marketing specialists is here to help. We can take your local SEO from spooky to spectacular in no time.
Want proof? Sign up for a free SEO analysis below! We’ll show you what your company is doing right (and not-so-right) in terms of local SEO, and how you can get the most leads and sales possible from your website.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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