While you may be aware of the best local SEO tactics to practice, you may not be aware of which tactics that you should avoid at all costs. Unfortunately, there are many local SEO pitfalls that online marketers can find themselves caught up in. Some of these local SEO pitfalls are fairly obvious, while others are less so. Whether you’re new to search engine optimization or a seasoned veteran, here are a few local SEO practices that you should avoid for your business at all costs.
Local SEO Practices to Avoid
1. Unoriginal Name
You’ve probably heard of the Shakespeare quote, “A rose by any other name would be just as sweet.” Unfortunately, this quote doesn’t really ring true when it comes to local SEO practices. A common pitfall that many online marketers find themselves in is having an unoriginal and undescriptive name. Your customers should have no problem finding your business via branded search. If a potential customer hears the name of your business mentioned and decides to look it up, he or she shouldn’t have to look through multiple pages of search results to find your business.
For example, if you decide to name your men’s clothing shop “Boy’s Club,” Google may pull up search results about the comic instead. At some point, your brand may be able to build up enough authority so that Google knows that searchers are looking up a men’s clothing shop rather than a comic. Unfortunately, in the meantime, an non-descriptive name could hurt your rankings and brand recognition.
2. Restrictive Name
Another mistake that many online marketers make when it comes to local SEO practices is having a restrictive name. If you plan offering more services or expanding your business to other locations, don’t choose a restrictive or limiting name. For example, if you name your business “Sacramento Bookstore,” you may have a hard time expanding your bookstore business to Citrus Heights. Therefore, you should select a name for your business that will give you room for future growth. If you’re uncertain whether you will expand your business in the future, it’s better to be safe than sorry and choose a name that is not restrictive.
3. Ineligible Address
An ineligible address will make marketing far more difficult for you. Some examples of ineligible addresses include a PO box and unstaffed virtual offices. Both types of addresses will make your business ineligible to make local business listings, which are essential when it comes to increasing the visibility of your business on the Internet. If your business doesn’t have a real office for whatever reason, you should just use your home address. You should only create a profile for your business on directories that allow you to hide your address.
Another local SEO pitfall is a location that is unattractive for whatever reason. Chances are, you will only rank locally for the city in which your business is physically located. Therefore, if you’re opening your business on the outskirts of a large city, you may find it difficult to rank locally for the large city. If you want your business to serve customers in a major city, you need to have an office in the city. If you’re uncertain about the borders of a city, you should look up the city in Google Maps. You should strive to get an office for your business within the red boundary of the city.
4. Having a Filter-Sensitive Location
A few years ago, Internet marketers considered locating a business next to businesses within the same same industry a good practice. It was viewed as beneficial to be located near the hub of an industry in a town. However, a few years ago, Google’s algorithm changed it so that competitors in the same block or building may be filtered out in the results for a local keyword. Therefore, it is in your best interest to choose a location for your business that is a good distance apart from other businesses in the same industry. Of course, this is not always possible to do, depending on the size and layout of your town.
Part of having a solid local SEO strategy is avoiding bad practices. If you’re already practicing good local SEO tactics and haven’t seen significant results when it comes to your website’s ranking for local keywords, it’s possible that local SEO pitfalls may be hurting the ranking of your website. Therefore, you should evaluate your local SEO strategy to make sure you’re not committing any of these mistakes. For more information about local SEO practices to avoid at all costs, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Poet Media.