Local SEO: Myth and Reality
Local SEO is now one of the core components of an effective SEO strategy for any business. Inevitably, as local SEO has grown in significance, so too have the myths and mysteries surrounding it. To get the best results from local SEO, it pays to understand exactly what is myth and what is reality.
Myth: A Large Service Area Will Help Rank in Multiple Towns
Many service-based businesses set an extremely large service area radius in Google My Business, believing that this will help them to rank in all the towns within the radius. Actually, Google will likely only rank the business in the town where the business is actually located.
Myth: Being Active on Google+ Will Help Local Rankings
On the face of it, it seems logical that Google might reward businesses with higher local rankings if they post regular quality content on Google+. However, it is hard for users to even find a company’s Google+ pages without using the company’s name. Google does not include a link to a company’s Google+ page in the ‘local pack’. In reality, activity on Google+ seems to have little or no influence on local rankings.
Myth: Google Reviews Are More Valuable Than Reviews Submitted Elsewhere
Whilst it’s true that having five or more Google reviews will result in stars showing for your business, it isn’t true that Google values its own reviews more highly than reviews placed on other trusted review sites. Google reviews are certainly nice to have and can help with click-through rates, but the emphasis should be on securing reviews on whatever platform the customer prefers.
Myth: Your Website Needs to Mention Your Place of Business Frequently
This myth could actually jeopardise your rankings. It’s common to see firms overdoing the mentions of their target city – to the point where their website copy reads terribly. Dublin SEO agency Ryco Marketing (rycomarketing.ie) recommends writing website copy with the end user in mind and not trying to convince Google of your local market dominance by repetition.
It’s essential to fully understand the current state of play for local rankings. Moz.com issues an annual guide for local ranking factors, which is an excellent starting point.
With some sound research and a degree of common sense, the myths and mysteries surrounding local SEO can be avoided, resulting in an effective local strategy.