These are the 5 most common Local SEO mistakes made by small businesses.
Often small business owners can feel overwhelmed when trying to explore the most suitable digital marketing opportunities. Here are some of the most common local SEO mistakes they can avoid in 2017.

1) Don’t forget about local traffic
97% of Internet users search for local businesses online, which means that a business cannot afford to ignore local SEO and its potential benefits.
Local SEO helps you attract customers who perform searches for a particular location, such as “plumber narre warren”. By optimising your site for local queries, you are helping customers discover your business and your services. Targeting local searches can be far easier if your business is positioned where users are looking.
There’s some simple ways to boost your local SEO:

Verify your Google My Business listing: Google My Business connects your business with customers. You will first need to claim your listings, then verify your page. Once you verify your page you can update your name, address, phone, add photos, add the right categories for your business and a relevant description. This helps customers find more information about your business, increasing the chances of attracting more visits.

Use consistent contact information online profiles: It is important for every business to maintain a consistency on its contact information on every online source, from its site, to its social networks, or Google My Business, Bing and Yellow Pages.

Embed a Google Map in your website: A Google Map that links to the Google Plus local listing allows your business to offer all the required information to its customers.

Optimise meta tags and page content for local keywords: It can be beneficial if your business is in a physical location and want more local traffic to add the city and the state in the title tag and the meta description to increase the clicks derived from local search results.

2) Not having a responsive website
As modern users become more demanding, businesses should ensure that they pay special attention to mobile optimisation, site speed, and overall usability.
According to a survey from Google, 72% of mobile users consider it important for a website to be mobile-friendly. In fact, a mobile-friendly website increases the chances of conversion and similar results occur when focusing on increasing site speed. Even a 1 second delay in a website’s loading time can lead to a lost conversion of 7%. This makes it more important than ever for a business to measure the performance of its website to examine the best ways to reduce its loading time. If you search google for site speed test, it will show you how your current site performs.
As modern users become impatient in a fast-paced world, an accessible website should be a priority for a small business, improving the customer experience and beating the competition on important issues that are frequently ignored, although they still affect conversion.

3) Not taking advantage of customer reviews
Online reviews are a really important part of consumers’ purchasing decisions, 88% of them trusting reviews as much as personal recommendations. The more reviews a business has, the higher the chances of earning trust among new customers. It’s like putting your word of mouth customers on the internet.
Small businesses should encourage reviews as they serve as the best social proof when they are highlighted in a website. It’s important to find the best time to ask for them, while it may also be useful to incentivise consumers for each review with the right rewards. As online reviews count as fresh content for a website, they can also contribute to an improved SEO, with review signals accounting for 9.8% of the total ranking factors that define a page’s position on search results. To generate more local reviews, see Review Generation

4) Not joining the dots between online, offline and mobile
There is a growing challenge for small businesses expanding their online presence to come up with the best way to measure the effectiveness of their efforts. It’s not just about examining the ROI for online marketing, now it’s more important to explore the best method to combine the data between online, offline and mobile marketing. This allows businesses to get a better understanding of how they should allocate their budget, finding what works and what can be improved. The inability to combine these data sets leads to incomplete conclusions, which may turn into missed opportunities for increasing sales.

5) Not communicating with their customers
It’s vitally important for a business to understand its audience, as this will guide it towards future commercial goals.
A business with a good online presence pays attention to its customers and listens to their needs to become genuinely helpful. There’s more chance of increasing sales when businesses seek authentic relationships with existing and prospect clients.

Concept of digital marketing
The goal of building an online presence is to get closer to where the customers are and build meaningful, tangible engagement. Two-way communication between the business and the customer, all the way from initial user experience to any method of contact, should be measured and analysed to prove the value and effectiveness of all touchpoints.
This will help businesses optimise every key point of engagement, helping to improve and iterate, to get maximum value from each. These mistakes may be common, but they can all be fixed with a series of small steps in the right direction. And if a small businesses is feeling too daunted by these steps, we are devoted to helping your business strengthen your SEO.

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