Local SEO can be tricky. First, you have to do all the run of the mill SEO stuff, but then you have to do a new layer of complex SEO activities. Most tech-savvy local-business owners have a decent idea of how to do local SEO, but getting into a deeper level can get confusing.
For example, most people think that in order to have successful local SEO, you must have all directory listings in order. This is true — to a point. First, though, you have to make sure that several other things are in order. (Directory listings don’t come first in Brandon Ms SEO.)
Then you have to make sure that you’re getting listed with high quality and visited directories. Also, you have to know how and where to find the local directories that are unique to your geographical area.
For me to address some of these major issues, I’ve explained the some things that most people forget about local SEO.
1. Accuracy of online listings.
A Constant Contact survey revealed some discouraging trends among SMBs. While 85 percent of small businesses say that it’s important for them to be found on local search apps and directories, onlyHALF of these businesses have ever updated their online listings! 50% of these businesses know they have inaccurate listings, but 70 percent say that they just don’t have the time to update them at all!
The No. 1 negative local ranking factor, according to Moz, is a “listing detected at false business location.” The third biggest negative ranking factor is a mismatched NAP. Inaccuracies like these will absolutely destroy your local seo results.
Clearly, small and local businesses are facing a big challenge when it comes to getting their local listings. Let me break this down into two specific areas — accuracy and consistency, and why they matter so much.
5. Zoning in on Local SEO.
This final issue is still in its infancy. Google has indicated that they are using or testing a what they call “neighborhood-algorithim”.
Local neighborhoods are hard to fit into a search engine algorithm. They lack boundaries and clearly-defined names. Thus, the moniker “informal space” has come to characterize regions. Locals may call an area something different from what appears on a formal map. It can be harder to rank for local SEO in Brandon, MS that has a name different from its official map designation.
This is where the power of a website can come into play. By optimizing your company website with neighborhood terminology, you can make strides in local searches that target the “informal” space of your neighborhood while also ranking in the official algorithm-selected region.
There are things that you can do to optimize your business for the possible neighborhood algorithm from a strictly local optimization perspective.
- Add your neighborhood name as a descriptor at the end of your business name on your Google My Business page (e.g., “Cabo Grill East Side”).
- Add your neighborhood name to the description on your Google My Business page.
- Add your neighborhood name in text to your website (if you have one).
- Add your neighborhood name to title tags on your website.
- Make sure Google Maps has your neighborhood defined correctly. If not, go into Google MapMaker and submit an update.
- Add your neighborhood to all of your local citation profiles.
As hyperlocal search evolves, it will become more and more important to make the biggest local impact in the smallest geographical area.