5 local SEO mistakes to avoid

Local SEO is a crucial aspect of any business's digital marketing strategy, as it helps to ensure that customers in the local area can easily find and learn about your business online. However, there are many common mistakes that businesses make when it comes to local SEO, which can impede their ability to rank well in search engine results.

In this article, we will discuss five of the most common local SEO mistakes and provide tips on how to avoid them. Whether you're a small business just getting started with local SEO or a more established company looking to improve your results, this article will help you to improve your local search visibility and drive more customers to your business.

Mistake #1 Not claiming your business listing

When you leave your listing unclaimed or unattended, anyone can potentially claim or edit it. In some cases, competitors may swap their phone number for a business's listing in order to redirect calls and potentially gain customers from the competition, or even mark businesses as permanently closed.

Given that Google doesn’t require verification from the person suggesting changes before accepting edits to a listing, it’s better to take your GBP listing under control. This allows you to manage the information that appears about your business on Google Maps and in Google's Local Search results.

Moreover, Google Maps relies on Google Business Profile to determine a business’s position in the local pack. Claiming your business listing helps to ensure that the information displayed about your business is accurate and up-to-date, which can improve your chances of attracting customers through Google Maps and Local Search.
When you leave you listing unclaimed, literally everyone (including your competitors) can edit the information.

Mistake #2 Not taking the consistency seriously

It may sound too obvious but still. It’s important to ensure that all information about a business, including the name, address, and phone number, is consistent across business listings, social media, and the website. There are at least two reasons for this:

1. The convenience for your clients. It allows them to quickly and easily find accurate information about your business. This is particularly useful for people who are searching for it on their mobile devices while they are on the go. If clients can’t find that information, they’re likely to go to a competitor’s business instead.

2. The influence it has on local search results. Let’s talk about phone numbers or addresses for example: if you have different information in such basic data across various platforms, it may have a negative impact on your your listings’ ranking. Even if all of them lead to the same point of contact.

Inconsistencies in information such as business hours can also cause problems for local businesses. For example, if a business has incorrect hours listed on Google Maps but the correct hours are listed on other websites, Google Maps may consider the business to have no listed hours at all and will not update the information until it is also listed on their site. This type of inconsistency can result in lost business opportunities and damage to a business's reputation.

Mistake #3 Not Responding to Reviews and Ignoring Reputations

It’s all logical and simple here: Google reviews are an important factor in local search rankings and having positive ones is beneficial for your business. The numbers speak for themselves:
  • 87% of users read online reviews about local companies or services.

  • 79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family.

  • reviews make up 17% of Google's local SEO ranking.
It’s important to answer all reviews, including those without text and especially negative ones. This will help to improve your local SEO ranking (Google’s algorithms recognize every effort) and show that you value customer feedback. We cover all key methods of managing reviews in our comprehensive guide.
Ritz Paris takes the feedback and opinion of their clients very seriously and respond to all reviews.
Answering reviews can also help to address any concerns that customers may have and potentially turn a negative review into a positive one. Additionally, it helps to establish trust and credibility with potential customers who are reading the reviews.
The good news is that businesses are able to influence the number of reviews, apart from providing excellent products and services. You can simply… ​​ask for reviews in person, via email, QR codes placed in your location or through social media. The next step is to make it easy for customers to leave reviews, e.g. provide links to your listing on Google Maps or other review websites.

Mistake #4 Using Keywords in the Business Name to Increase Search Engine Visibility

It may be tempting to name your business something like “The best massage salon in XX” or “Italian pasta in old town” in an effort to attract more views and traffic, but this practice, known as "keyword stuffing," is not recommended. Google’s algorithms are not the ones to play with. You may hack the system once but such tricks are actually harmful to your brand recognition and recall. Local SEO is long-term and, fortunately, the rules are quite simple.
It’s better to focus on “white hat” local marketing strategies that, when implemented correctly, have been shown effective in ranking high in local search results.
When you apply the right local SEO strategy, all your efforts start having a cumulative effect, known as the snowball SEO effect. In other words, as you invest over time by regularly working with your listing—claiming it, maintaining consistency, working with reviews etc. — the ranking of your listing effectively ‘snowballs’.

Mistake #5 Not Automating Manual Work

Clients search for the information everywhere: on maps, review websites, social media, and company’s websites. And it’s important to ensure that your business is accurately represented to potential customers on those platforms. If your business information is incorrect or out of date, it may be difficult for customers to find your business or contact you.

Inaccurate information can also lead to missed opportunities for your business, such as customers choosing a competitor over you because they were unable to find your business or were unable to get in touch with you. By keeping your business information up to date, you can help attract more customers and increase the chances of success for your business. However, it can be a really time-consuming process if you manage a multi-location business.

One way to streamline manual tasks is to incorporate a Store locator widget on your website. This integration syncs information about your locations across location-based services and your website, eliminating the need for manual updates and revisions, that is - saving precious hours of work.


By avoiding these 5 local SEO mistakes, businesses can improve their visibility on Maps, drive more foot traffic to their locations, and boost their overall digital performance. Let’s summarize the strategies to overcome these common local SEO mistakes.

The strategy #1 is to claim your business listing. By doing so, you can ensure that your business is accurately represented on Google Maps and in Google's Local Search results.

The strategy #2 is to take consistency seriously to make it all clear for customers and positively impact local search results.

The strategy #3 is to update the information on your business listing to avoid any confusion and difficulty for customers in finding and contacting your business.

The strategy #4 is to actively respond to all reviews and actively manage online reputation to demonstrate that the feedback and opinions of your clients are important to your business.

Finally, the strategy #5 is to avoid keyword staffing as search engine algorithms are efficient in identifying and penalizing businesses that engage in such practices.

The most effective approach to local SEO is to take a long-term perspective: setting a goal and working backwards to create a strategy that will help you achieve it. Happily, there are smart tools like BrandWizard that are designed to help you improve the visibility and reach, build a loyal customer base, automate routine tasks, and drive foot traffic.

7 steps to boost your Google listing
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In this guide, we share easy-to-follow steps to boost your business listing on Google and get the most of your local SEO efforts
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