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Are you using the right local optimising strategies for your small business?

Sonal Mishra
4th Aug 2016
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Has your effort at local optimisation gone wrong? Don’t fret, you’re not alone. Often, startups and small businesses fall into the trap of hiring inexperienced digital marketing companies that do no justice to the process. On the other hand, some business owners prefer taking the matter into their own hands and end up messing up the whole process, which can only be fixed by an expert, thus adding to increased costs for damage control. Remember, when in business, you cannot be ‘penny wise, pound foolish’. There are a few investments that might seem tough in the beginning but tend to give you extremely good ROI in the future. Local optimisation is one of them.

local optimisation

For those who are still getting their heads around the phenomenon, local optimisation is a tool that takes advantage of Google’s separate local ranking algorithm. This system helps small businesses appear above traditional organic search results whenever someone searches for a product of a similar nature. Local optimisation produces geographically relevant results for local queries. These results are based on certain factors such as reviews, location, quality and local citations. Getting your game on point with this tool can help you earn a spot in the ‘local 3-pack’, making your business more visible to your target audience.

In order to help you understand the mistakes that business owners make with local optimisation, we’ll discuss two hypothetical cases that will help you ditch traditional methods and move on in the right direction.

Situation 1: Mr. Gupta stuffed too many keywords in his website content and blog articles thinking that it would instantly put his website at the top of the search results. Did he succeed?

Mr. Gupta learnt that using right keywords in his content will help him improve his website’s rank, instantly. But here, he missed two crucial rules of the game—first, keywords have to be relevant to the content, and second, keyword stuffing is a big NO. Stuffing keywords or phrases like, “food delivery India”, “deliver food Mumbai”, “cheap food delivery Delhi”, make your content appear manipulative and can be really frustrating for readers. Mr. Gupta noticed that his practice was severely affecting the users’ average time spent on his page and the conversion rate almost hit rock bottom. Needless to say, his search engine rankings never showed any results.

What you should learn from this mistake: Adding relevant keywords, strategically placed throughout the copy will help increase local relevance. However, the best practice is to use them in moderation. A few months of practising the right approach will ensure better and sustainable ranking.

Situation 2: Ms. Lynna paid writers to write five-star reviews for her business. Did it work? Google’s algorithm didn’t really appreciate it!

We all know how important it is to get positive reviews, but practising a dishonest approach to acquire those reviews can trigger a red-flag for your business. The same happened with Ms. Lynna. Instead of investing in a well thought out review optimisation strategy, she preferred paying for a batch of five-star customer reviews to make her business stand out among other competitors. All these reviews were posted on multiple review sites, using the same third-party system. This made these reviews appear repetitive, and after a thorough investigation, the business was marked as red-flag by major review sites and kicked out of these platforms. Ms. Lynna’s search engine ranking also took a nosedive and her business could never recover the loss.

What you should learn from this mistake: You need to have a strong client base, and your focus should always be on getting genuine testimonials, even if it means only a couple to start with. Having a strong review strategy in place is important to leverage from this platform. Apart from this, it is also important to track all the reviews posted by your customers. Getting bad reviews can be critical for your business. It can decrease click-through rates on search engines and lower your rankings.

Never commit such thoughtless mistakes while trying to save a few bucks. The crux of a good local optimisation strategy lies in taking small steps and letting your business grow step by step with small investments. Using the right SEO tactics in moderation will help you earn a good position, which will lead to better conversion rates eventually. Remember, there are no shortcuts to success!

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