What most people, who implement Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for their business’s marketing, often confuse local SEO as general SEO. But the fact is, local SEO is a part of the digital marketing platform. There are many factors specific to local marketing that places it in an altogether different zone, which must be understood by marketers.
Most businesses, which target Google local rankings, are harming their rankings, even without realising their mistake. It is always better to consult with your professional SEO service provider what local SEO practices needs to be implemented and how to ensure a practiced process and to get fruitful results. Here are some local SEO practices that you or your digital marketing service provider must avoid at all costs:
1. Wrong GMB (Google My Business) Pages Implementation
The first and foremost thing about local SEO is to set up a Google My Business profile. And it won’t take more than half an hour on average for you. Secondly, Google clearly states that your GMB pages should not be created for the locations where your business is not present physically. This is in clear violations of the Google’s policy. False or empty business listing is clearly a no-no, if you want to remain in good books of Google.
Try to avoid inconsistent NAP (Name, Address & Phone number) information online. Make sure that your site and your GMB page have same contact information and business address.
2. Same Phone Numbers for Different Entities
If you have two different entities, and both are linked to a same contact number, not only this is confusing to customers, but for the Google as well. Google clearly states that your localised business must be linked with a direct contact number. This contact number must be a local number instead of a call centre helpline or a central number of your business representing different locations.
3. Duplicate GMB Listing
In order to rank higher and create a wider impact to attract more customers, many marketers and business owners play the game of creating duplicate GMB profile pages. While you already know that Google hates duplicate content, attempting such an activity for your local SEO will do more harm.
4. No Proper Textual Contact & Address Information on Your Website
When you are targeting local customers, it is essential to provide them with your local business location and contact information. Ensure that all this information is present as text, not as image. This way you enable the Google to read and verify your NAP information easily.
5. Stuffing Cities and Zip Codes in the Footer
Many businesses implemented this strategy, where they list cities and zip codes of several locations where they would be providing service or products. Initially, it helped them for location based searches, until Google took a note of this.
Now Google penalises the sites which use such tactics to rank for location based search queries. According the tech giant, such stuffing of irrelevant keywords is a manipulation and must not be implemented at all.
Avoiding the above mentioned practices will certainly help your business stay away from any negative harm, or worse, penalisation from Google. Consult your Search Engine Optimisation company and create a robust, ethical and quality marketing that helps you deliver value and rank higher.