Local SEO is one of the best ways for small business to get their mark on their community. However, too many small businesses are simply unaware of how to approach local SEO or think it simply boils down to having a neat profile. They also tend to commit some irreparable mistakes that make them virtually invisible to local searchers. Local SEO is about much more than that. In this article, we’re going to expose some crucial local SEO mistakes many small businesses make.

Failure to Assess the Competition

While local search allows small businesses to jump ahead of large corporations for visibility, it does not mean that you shouldn’t take competition into consideration. Yes, while reviews play a major role in local marketing and having a good name will play a part in how visible the listing will be, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about doing thorough competition analysis on your keywords.

Keyword Analysis

Too many small business owners make the mistake of focusing on keywords closely related to their line of business, completely ignoring the fact that their competitors may have optimized their profiles for the exact same words. This is why you should perform thorough keyword analysis and try to go for unexploited keywords with low competition.

If you’re struggling with keyword analysis, you could always work with an SEO agency that will help you come up with a list of relevant keywords for your locality. However, it is always better to go with a local SEO expert that understands your market well. For instance, if you live in New York, an NYC SEO agency might be more in tune with your market needs and know which keywords will get you the best results.

Not Paying Enough Attention to Reviews

On the other end of the spectrum, you have businesses who tend to focus solely on the SEO aspect of local search and completely ignore the fact that reviews are what drive local searches, and for a reason. Google wants only the best businesses to appear on top to make their results as relevant to the user as possible. This is why it is not only important to focus on quality and service as well, but encourage happy customers to leave reviews.

If you’re operating a physical business, a simple way to do that would be to use your print material to push reviews. Just a simple “review our business on Google” on your bags, menus, and table tents can make a huge difference, especially if you’re providing good service. If your business operates online, a simple prompt at the checkout or a follow-up email will do.

While local searches can be a literal goldmine for some small businesses, you still have to go about it the right way to get substantial results. But, if I were to give you one piece of advice, it would be to offer the best service possible and push for reviews. Building a profile is rather simple, but building trust in your community demands dedication.