Do you believe these Local SEO Myths?
For local businesses in 2020, the importance of being on Page 1 of Google is greater than ever! With Google making updates that have a detrimental effect on a regular basis, there has never been a more critical time to know exactly what you are doing to make your website stand out above the crowd. There are many marketing myths out there but these top 6 local SEO myths we think are the ones to focus on.
But who do you listen too?
No longer is it just about having a great looking website (although it helps). Nowadays you must employ other strategies that all link together to ensure your website becomes the sales machine that it was intended to be.
So, are you guilty of believing any of these top 6 local SEO myths?
You don’t think you need a Google My Business listing?
This is a huge mistake to make. With local SEO being at the forefront of any business’ online strategy, having a GMB listing is one of THE most important things to do. But it is not just a case of having one, you need to have one that is properly optimised and being used to its full effect. The number of phone calls produced by GMB listings is growing like wildfire despite Googles recent update. This has seen GMB listings not showing up in areas more than a few miles from your actual address. However, if you are in the top 3 Google My Business listings in your area, you WILL get calls. If you want to find out how to complete your listing properly, check out our Google My Business post here
2. Citations are a waste of time
This is another huge myth. One of the biggest ranking factors (there are over 200!) in Googles local listings is citations. But, you must ensure that all your citations are consistent. By that, I mean, they have the same business name, address, telephone number and details exactly, across all of them. Even an abbreviation (e.g Rd not Road) will cause that citation to be discounted.
The most important citations are local ones, followed by industry specific ones with more general ones after that.
3. Backlinks are dead!
So, many times we hear that backlinks are becoming a thing of the past. Wrong! Google has actually stated themselves that backlinks are still one of the most important ranking factors for an website.
How you get them though is a whole different story! Just getting a ton of crappy backlinks, or worse still buying thousands from places like Fiverr.com will harm your site. You also need to drip feed them in on a regular basis so that they look as natural as possible.
Getting backlinks form local or industry sites are probably the best to have. Just try to make sure that they are from authoratative sites with a good domain authority.
4. Nobody really takes notice of reviews.
Again, a fallacy. Studies show that over 80% of people trust online reviews over personal reviews. Most people, these days, do their due diligence before using a local business and check out their reviews. Having few or no reviews will not do your business any favours. In fact, reviews are high on the importance level for Google My Business listing ranking factors.
Be proactive and ask for reviews whenever you can. If people have enjoyed using your business, they will be more than happy to leave you a good review.
5. My website does not have to be mobile friendly.
With over 60% of all searches now made on a mobile, your website MUST be mobile friendly – for 2 main reasons.
Firstly, if your website looks rubbish on a mobile the person searching will immediately click away and they will be lost to you forever.
Secondly, and more importantly, Google now ranks websites that are mobile friendly higher than those that aren’t.
6. It doesn’t really matter what your website looks like.
Did you know, you only have about 3 seconds to hook someones attention once they land on your website? If your website is not professional looking and is clear with its message about what your business does, they will click away very fast.
This again has an impact on where your website is shown in Googles search results. If people click away and do not spend time on your website (called bounce rate), Google will penalise your website by pushing it further down the rankings.
Bottom line, if your website looks like it was built in the late 1990’s get it updated now!
Social media is a waste of time for my business!
This is a biggie and again, one we come across regularly. Business owners see social media as nothing more than a time suck! It can indeed be time consuming but with the right tools it can be a relatively quick process which brings you many benefits.
These benefits include more exposure as people start seeing your business all over the place online
Also, posting to social media sites gives you backlinks which we have already said are important.
Google also counts social engagement with your business and your website as a ranking factor.
Hopefully you can see from these top 6 local SEO myths that many are linked.
If you would like any help with working out what will wor for your business or what you need to do, please get in touch here