The reality is that local SEO is a different ball game and there are a few things that you can do wrong that can hurt your local SEO rankings today. We’re going to cover the most crucial mistakes that I see a lot of local businesses making and how you can avoid them.
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If you’re new here my name is JAMA I’m head of SEO at a startup here in Barcelona and in this channel, we cover strategies and tools to help you grow your online business. Google is constantly changing and they’re always trying to make sure that we have the best experience possible on our platform so that experience is actually tied to finding whatever we’re looking for in the best and in the fastest way possible.
A while back they realized that local search is totally different from ordinary search so in local search people are looking for local businesses. They’re looking for local options to help them fulfill that user intent so for local businesses. They realize that it made a lot more sense to present results in a map pack or a three-pack or however you want to call it based on popularity based on distance and just based on overall relevance depending on which area. You are at that current time guys and here’s a crazy fact 86 of consumers use Google maps to find a local business so there’s a lot of traffic going to these Google map packs and we need to optimize for them.
The number one mistake that I see local businesses making is not creating a Google my business account and showing up on that map pack. So creating a Google my business account is completely free. All you need to do is fill out some basic information they’re going to send you a confirmation code to prove that that’s a real business and that’s a real location. You’re operating out of but guys it doesn’t end here we can’t just create a Google my business account and then just expect to get rankings. So this is the second mistake that most local business owners do and that’s not filling out their Google my business to the full extent. So we want to consider our Google my business account as a second website so there’s going to be a lot of traffic coming here and a lot of leads. We want to treat it like a second business asset we would never build a website halfway and just leave it so we’re not going to do that with our Google my business so we want to fill out everything in Google my business anywhere where Google is giving us an option to add information.
We want to make sure that it’s super optimized and everything is filled out and don’t forget high-quality photos. This is super important a lot of users use visuals to make the final decision on which business to take in local SEO. We need to pay extra attention to our name, our address, and our phone number. This basic business information is what we’re going to use to add our business to as many directories as possible. Directories and local SEO are the equivalents of links in organic SEO so what we’re looking for here is we’re trying to add this specific information to as many business directors as possible. The more relevant the business directory is to our business, the better the signals that we’re gonna send Google. So for a brand new dentist and who want to add our business to Google maps it would be really interesting to look at as many dental business directories as possible, but guys I need to say this again the most important thing is to have the same exact information throughout on all these business directories to give Google a really clear signal of our basic information and to show that we’re a real business.
A pro tip is to also add this basic information on our website so that Google sees that it’s the same information everywhere. Another mistake that people do with your google my business account is ignoring customer reviews, you need to take into account all these customer reviews. Often times Google will look into those customer reviews to find specific keywords that will help your relevance in local SEO. If we’re following the densest example if we have a brand new dentist, Google my business and I get a bunch of reviews where people are saying how great my wisdom tooth surgery is? They’re gonna see that keyword that’s spread throughout those reviews and if someone looks up wisdom tooth surgeries in my area, I could come up for that just because the reviews mention that.
We want to nurture these reviews if we get a bad review. We want to reply and we want to take care of that customer who also really values when Google my business owners reply to all different types of reviews and are active on their Google my business account. Guys go out and create some incentive for your customers to leave you a good review because that will definitely help you rank properly in the Google map pack again just to cover the main points. We want to make sure that we filled out all important information on Google my business. We have our basic business information listed in on a bunch of directories, especially relevant directories and we’ve taken care and looked into our reviews to make sure that we’re nurturing our reviews because that’s what’s going to push us over the top.