Building a strong internet presence with smart local SEO strategies is essential in today’s market. Buyers do global searches but buy locally. Learning and using local search optimization practices will drive customers to your door.
Search engines don’t just present and recognize what individual businesses publish authoritatively, but they also aggregate user-generated comments and connect them to individual businesses. Reviews and ratings are gathered through Google and shown against any brand searches.
Even if a business website doesn’t get top ranking, the brand name they carry may rank high, and that will drive in local business.
Wow, that’s a lot to digest. Sometimes building strong local SEO may seem too complicated or confusing. Maybe that’s why some business owners have tried to cut corners or attempted to trick the search engines. Don’t do it! Sloppy business practices and efforts to circumvent Google, Bing and other search engines often end up causing considerable damage.
Below is a list of 5 things that don’t work and can cause harm for small business local SEO efforts.
- Don’t ignore your customers. Remember the Internet is a vibrant marketplace that allows all voices an opportunity to be heard. Poor customer service can provoke reactions and generate very bad PR. Three years ago, United Airlines broke Dave Caroll’s guitar. He spent a year trying to get compensation but was ignored, so he posted a music video on YouTube. It’s generated more than 12,000,000 hits and United lost lots of business.
- Don’t ignore customer complaints in social media. Fast and curious responses can resolve issues, however if you don’t respond, bad feelings can spin into negative feedback that will hurt your local SEO efforts. Visit your Facebook and Twitter pages regularly and respond to customer feedback.
- Don’t use multiple business addresses and phone numbers on the Web. Be consistent with contact information. Check out http://Getlisted.org, which allows businesses to see how they are listed on Google, Bing and other major local search engines.
- Don’t post false or manufactured reviews and ratings for your business on public sites. Search engines are very sophisticated. They catch and penalize businesses that post false reviews.
- Don’t send spam E-mails selling your business to existing prospects.
Remember the Internet is a vital and powerful marketplace. It can drive customers to your front door, but it can also drive them away. Take the time needed to build strong local SEO practices and avoid negative ones. It might take longer but your business will benefit from your diligence and hard work.