As a small or local business, understanding and mastering local SEO is integral to compete with competitors online.
Whether you’re in the motor trade, whether you offer a specific service, or merely run a café or small restaurant, ensuring a sound knowledge of SEO is key.
That said, there are also certain myths and legends of SEO that you’ll need to recognise and avoid.
Let’s take a look through some of the most common myths that get banded around.
A Google listing doesn’t help SEO
This is something that you hear quite often, but all local businesses should claim their business listing.
By doing so, you will help your business show up on things like Google Maps, Local Finder, and organic rankings in general.
Remember to complete all the information that Google asks for and remember to be accurate about details including address and telephone number.
Social media is a waste of time when it comes to SEO
This is often a claim that you’ll hear by people who either don’t like social media or don’t use it regularly.
Of course, this doesn’t help when Google makes contradictory statements regarding whether at all social media plays any role in SERP exposure.
That said, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that social media does indeed help businesses find their way in SERPs, and a good social media campaign certainly won’t hinder your standing.
It also offers a potential for gaining links if you share original content, as well as helping to build your brand’s online audience and increase brand searches.
Citations are just as good as links
There’s no doubt that citations can help local visibility, but when it comes to links, the latter is really where your priorities should be.
Companies that only use citations, and forget about links, are likely not to rank as well, and this is especially important in very competitive markets.
You can garner links from a range of different campaigns, from PR efforts and announcements in the press, through to charity work, and even links from eco-friendly work that your business might conduct.
Just remember that not all links are the same and that you should try and get the best quality and most ones as possible.
User experience doesn’t matter for local SEO
If someone tells you this, I would advise turning around and walking away as soon as possible.
Small businesses need to be able to provide a streamlined and convenient user experience while remembering that their website is in fact the face of their business in the online world.
Websites that don’t pay attention to user experience, or aren’t geared up for mobile, aren’t likely to fair well across SERPs.