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Five Local SEO Mistakes to Avoid

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Published: December 10, 2013

SEO is the most important online business task you can attend to as a business owner. Poor or nonexistent SEO means that your website doesn’t attract much traffic, and without traffic there are no sales or conversions to be made. Local SEO is a great way to bring in customers from your area, but it should be approached with the same standards of quality and relevancy as any other SEO endeavor. Many business owners make mistakes when trying to reach local audiences via SEO, so learning how to avoid some of the most common blunders can help you create a highly effective local marketing campaign using top SEO techniques that will help you grow your business.

The first mistake business owners tend to make when engaging in local SEO is to post duplicate content. Whether on-site or off-site, duplicate content is one of the single quickest ways to kill your SEO ranking. Duplicate content means that identical or very similar content is found in more than one place online. Wherever you post online, make sure you have unique ad copy to avoid getting dinged for duplicate content.

No Local Content Marketing

Getting people to your site isn’t everything when it comes to local and generic SEO. Once users are on your site, they must have relevant content to browse that is informative and helpful. If you have products suited to certain cities or regions, or you offer services in many areas, make a page for “locations served”, and a sub-page for each individual city or region you cover. These sub-pages should have helpful content targeted to people living in the city or region in question. Not only will this improve your SEO rank, but it will also help you create a website with depth, which attracts search engines, as well.

No Mobile Optimization

For both local and general SEO, it’s important to have a website that is optimized for mobile use. Most people search and browse from their mobile devices, so if your website can’t be viewed by tablet and mobile phone, you’re alienating a large portion of your audience. If your site can’t be viewed, your prospects will likely jump to a competitor whose site they can browse from their mobile device.

Poor Site Organization

Targeting people in certain localities doesn’t do any good if they can’t easily find the products and services tailored to them once they are on your site. Make sure you organize your website, just like you would a brick and mortar store or office. SEO professionals will tell you time and again that ensuring each page of your site focuses on one thing and one thing only is the best way to keep organized and attract search engines.

Short Tail Keywords

Most keyword tools will offer up one to three-word keywords and phrases as suggestions, but search engines are starting to “think” more like humans, and short keywords no longer cut it. Hummingbird, the latest Google algorithm, is a perfect example of this, as it now focuses on search terms that people are most likely to use. For example, “where to buy fertilizer in Seattle” is more likely to be searched than “fertilizer Seattle”.

Using keywords that people are most likely to search, organizing your site, optimizing your site for mobile devices, and ensuring that you have a page for each city or locality you serve can help you increase the success of your local SEO efforts. Don’t duplicate content, and always ensure you’re keeping content marketing as your focus.