Local businesses that utilise SEO on their website stand a much better chance of achieving high rankings, and as result benefitting from the increased levels of traffic that creates.

Obviously, increased traffic means more prospects seeing what you have to offer, and that in turn leads to more sales and each sale enhances the profitability of that business.

Apologies for us stating the obvious in terms of how a business becomes profitable, but the reason we mention it is that none of this can happen if basic SEO mistakes are made.

Profits do not occur without sales which can’t happen without prospects, who were all part of the traffic that isn’t coming now, because basic SEO actions were not undertaken by the business owner…or whoever the business owner employed to do them not in place.

The crying shame is that none of these basic SEO mistakes are particularly difficult to overcome,  if you are not even aware of them, then no matter how diligent you are when it comes to marketing, you may still make them. So, let us clarify what these SEO basic failures are, and how to avoid them.

Not Claiming Your Google My Business Listing (GMB)

This is one of the first actions any local business should take if it plans to have an effective online marketing campaign. Your GMB listing is the basic information about your business as it appears on Google.

You need to claim it, and then verify your business information which includes company name, address, telephone number, and hours of opening. It will also have your website URL, and you can add photos of your business, staff, and products too.

One point to note is that Google will mail you a verification card which you need to complete and mail back to them.

Studies show that having a GMB listing completed can lead to over 40% more people checking the directions to a business’s premises, and over 30% more clicks to a business’s website.

Not Optimising Your Website for Relevant Keywords

The correlation between how well a website is optimized for particular keywords, and the amount of traffic it receives whenever those keywords are searched for, is well documented. Yet, there are countless businesses that have not optimised their websites correctly and are thus missing out on huge levels of organic traffic.

Keyword research is critical, but if you are unsure how, or do not have the tools and software to do so, then look for experts who do, such as a local SEO agency. The research will pinpoint what keywords to target, and then the matter of optimising your website for those keywords is not that difficult.

Fixing your title tag, description header tags, and body text, on each page of your website will ensure that it is not just your home page which optimised, but your entire website.

Also, note that the more keywords you optimize your website for, the more search terms you are going to appear high on the rankings for. Lots of your competitors will have ignored many of them and merely tried to rank for the most popular keywords, giving you an open goal with all the other keywords.

Website Is Not Mobile Friendly

Data tells us that over 30% of searches conducted on a mobile device are searches related to local businesses or to a specific location. With that in mind, if your website has not yet been made mobile-friendly, none of the people making those searches will be seeing your website in the results.

With a website that is not mobile-friendly, even if you were to have someone land on your website, the fact that it will not look right on their display means they will click away immediately.

It also shouldn’t be forgotten that the majority of all online activity happens from a mobile device versus a desktop computer, so it makes no sense whatsoever to not want to appeal to that majority.

Inconsistent Citations

Once you have your Google My Business listing set up, you will also want to start looking for other locations online where your business details can be found.

This can include online business directories, with some of the more important ones being Yelp and Bing Places, and some high authority local sites such as Chamber of Commerce websites.

Each listing you have on these websites is called a citation, and it is imperative that every single one of them is consistent. Even using an abbreviation such as ‘Rd’ instead of ‘Road’ can mean that a citation is ignored by the search engines, especially if ‘Road’ is what appears on your GMB listing.

If Google sees too many inconsistencies, they can even suspend your GMB listing so if you already have citations, do an audit of them, and correct inconsistencies, and if you are just starting, make sure every new one is identical.