Beginner’s Local SEO Mistakes: How To Avoid Common Pitfalls

example local SEO profile

If you’re a small business owner with a physical presence or you see your clients IRL, then you’ll likely be trying to use Local SEO to grow your business.

But are you doing local SEO right, or are there some common mistakes that could be easy to avoid?

This blog post dives into the most common local SEO mistakes that you might be making, and how to rectify them!

Specifically, we tackled the eight most common local SEO mistakes that could be holding your business back and how to fix them. Whether you’re an electrician, a hairdresser, or any local service provider, this post is crafted to help you refine your strategy and dominate your local market.

If you’re more into learning by listening, then make sure you listen to this blog post in podcast form on the Beginner’s SEO Podcast, click the link below!

The Local SEO Landscape: What Is Local SEO?

Let’s start by understanding what local SEO is before discussing common mistakes. Local SEO is the practice of enhancing your online presence to attract more business from local searches that are relevant to your location.

These searches are typically conducted on search engines such as Google. Therefore, it’s essential for businesses with a physical location or a Google Business profile to optimize their presence accurately.

If you haven’t claimed your free Google Business Profile yet, then head to Google Business to sort it out!

Mistake #1: Not Niching Down On Your Local Area

One of the most common mistakes that businesses make is not narrowing down their service area.

While it may be tempting to cover as much ground as possible, the truth is that by focusing on a specific location, you can significantly improve your local SEO rankings.

Did you know that one of the most important ranking factors on Local SEO (Google Maps) is the proximity to the search user.

That means that if you’re searching for a plumber in Sydney and you’re based in North Sydney, then it’s going to show you results in North Sydney. And the businesses that have optimised for North Sydney are going to come up above the plumbers that are trying to rank for the whole of Sydney.

For instance, let’s consider the case of an emergency electrician in London.

By targeting a realistic service area, you can achieve faster growth and establish yourself as a local authority before even thinking about expanding your reach.

To grow faster with Local SEO as a small business, make sure you are niching down to one suburb or council area. Then once your business starts growing, you can start making your local service area bigger.

Mistake #2: Underestimating the Power of Reviews

Reviews play a crucial role in local SEO.

Did you know over 77% of people are happy to leave a local review, but only 10% actually do?

That’s because businesses forget to ask! You actually need to ASK your clients and customers to leave a review!

One effective approach is to offer incentives and discounts as a means of encouraging reviews.

However, getting reviews is just one part of the equation; responding to them is equally essential. It demonstrates that you value customer feedback and are dedicated to enhancing your service.

Mistake #3: Neglecting Your Google Business Profile

Your Google Business profile is often the first impression potential customers have of your business. Failing to provide a detailed, keyword-optimized description is a missed opportunity.

I can’t stress enough the importance of using the full character limit to showcase your unique selling points and services.

Consistency is key—ensure your profile information aligns with your business website, which should be well-designed with individual service pages for optimal SEO performance.

To create a great Google Business Profile, you need to make sure you have done your keyword research and are extremely clear on your services or products.

Then using that keyword research, you can fill out your Google Business Profile with confidence.

I often see people not using the description space to the maximum, they give you around 750 characters.

Use every single one of those 750 character to write a detailed description that explains exactly WHERE and WHAT your business does. You need to make it clear to both Google bots crawling your profile and to Human Search Users that want to find out more about your business.

Mistake #4: Building Your Internet Presence

Blogging is a great way to build your brand, but it’s important not to overlook other channels like Facebook, Instagram or even paid ads.

Nowadays, Google looks at ALL your internet presence when determining your local SEO ranking.

Social signals is an actual ranking factor now, which means Google looks at your social media accounts or press mentions of your business on the internet. And it uses that information to help determine whether or not you’re a good business to recommend on Google Maps.

As small business owners, you can’t be on all channels at once. We just haven’t got the time to do it!

Instead, choose to focus on your website, and one or two other marketing channels to build your brand.

These platforms provide additional opportunities to interact with your audience and improve your brand presence.

For example, an emergency electrician could write blog posts about safety tips or community events, and create local groups for networking and referrals. You could create a local Facebook group in your service area that recommends other tradies and builders.

Mistake #5: Consistent NAP Details

It is important to maintain consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) information while listing your business on directories. To boost your local SEO efforts, it is recommended to only invest in reputable directories and paid listings.

Don’t add your website to every single directory website, as this SEO tactic is outdated and no longer works!

Finally, be cautious of duplicate business profiles as they can cause confusion and weaken your online presence.e presence.

Wrapping It Up: Your Local SEO Checklist

Throughout the podcast, I aimed to equip you with the knowledge to avoid these common pitfalls and enhance your local SEO strategy.

By focusing on your service area, harnessing the power of reviews, optimizing your Google Business profile, engaging across various channels, and ensuring consistency in your business details, you’re setting the stage for increased visibility and growth.

Remember, local SEO is an ongoing process, and staying on top of these elements is key to maintaining a robust online presence.

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