If you are a small business owner with plans to launch a new website…
So, your website boasts beautiful visuals, a frequently updated blog, and social media integration… but you're still not ranking locally on Google for your services. There might be a fault in your SEO practices that is keeping you from ranking, despite your best efforts. Good news is, we're here to help you identify & resolve those hiccups!
Google strongly factors in location data when it ranks your site in its search results. More often people are using location-based queries to search for businesses and services, i.e. "Local SEO services nh", "portsmouth auto shops", etc. Consumers tend to prefer local businesses to large brands; local businesses have a better understanding of their locale and customers' unique needs, whereas big brands must generalize to cater to the masses. Taking advantage of your specific market knowledge can have great benefits.
Following are the top 7 issues that might hold back your website from achieving local SEO positions:
Multiple Domains – Managing multiple domains is complex and tedious. Each domain is indexed separately; therefore local SEO efforts are not compound. Multiple "About Us" pages are required, information is duplicated, and website and SEO management expenses increase. It is easier and more cost-effective to manage subfolders within one domain.
Generic Pages for Global Market – If your audience is made up of specific groups and demographics that you can identify, you should use that knowledge in your local SEO ventures. Instead of generic one-size-fits-all content, create content that is optimized for target audiences. Also, try geo-targeting so that your site adapts its content to the user based on their location.
Leaving Out Phone Lines – Never use a toll free number for a local listing! Each local number that accompanies various locations should be provided for Google to better recognize your location. If you have a toll free number for multiple locations, make sure it's consistently listed among all citations to avoid confusion.
Lack of Schema and Structured Data – Incorporating schema and structured data in your content helps Google to pair your content with values for indexing purposes. For example, if you are promoting a recipe you can mention the cooking time, or recipe rating on Facebook or Yelp.
Poor Inbound Link Quality – A lot of effort goes into link building by SEO companies. Ensure that people are linking back to you by showing that you are a relevant business and have high page rank. Pages linking to your site should be high quality, if they contain excessive ads or do not relate to your business, they could be hurting your rank and action should be taken to remove your link from that site.
Lack of Consumer Reviews – Online reviews make up a considerable portion of how Google ranks your website, around 10%. This is because customers value online reviews, they're a form of "social proof" that provide extra assurance and insight to their decision making process. If you don't have any online reviews for your business, it's time to start encouraging your loyal customers to get typing!
Shortage of Keyworded Content – Search engines can't evaluate the visual elements of your site, only the words. Researching relevant keywords for your business and utilizing them in your content frequently will help boost your local SEO ranking. Determining the most effective keywords for your brand can be tricky; the best results can be achieved by working with a local SEO company.
Getting these issues sorted will have your site ranking well for local SEO search results.