Debunking 5 Common Myths on Local Search Optimization

Dmitry Kurbanov Featured Articles

The use of local SEO as a digital marketing tool has considerably grown in the past years. But with its growth come a number of misconceptions about it. Do you need to focus on a local SEO strategy when you already have a website that’s up and running? Do local SEO efforts really translate into an increase in revenues? Are you missing out on anything with regards to local SEO?

The best way to fight misinformation is to counter it with facts. Let us shed light on a number of common myths that relate to local search.

Myth #1: My business is too small for local SEO to be worth my while (or my investment).

For a small business, it can be tempting to ignore this aspect of marketing. But picture this: It’s nearly lunchtime and you suddenly get a craving for dumplings. You are in the Waverton area. The most convenient way to find out is to whip out your smartphone, open up your choice of search engine and type “dumplings Waverton Sydney”. Chances are, you will go or call the store that falls at the top of the search results, ready to make your purchase. The lucky store gets to make a sale that was generated from online traffic.

Now, multiply this by a hundred times and you will see that local SEO is indeed worth investing time and resources into. If you’re not convinced, let the numbers do the talking: statistics indicate that a whopping 72% of people who made a local search ended up buying from a store within a five mile-radius of their address.

Myth #2: I am already doing SEO, so there is no need for local SEO efforts.

Organic SEO efforts help to ensure that your website shows up at the top of the search results when a searcher uses relevant keywords pertaining to your products or services. You use relevant keywords to optimize your website for search engines. However, local SEO is about putting a local intent to the search. You are pointing to a specific location and building reliable information about that address. Local SEO enables you to be easily found by people who are in the proximity of your address. The truth is organic SEO and local SEO should both be part of your Internet marketing strategy.

Myth #3: Local SEO simply involves claiming my page on Google.

Verifying your listing your Google My Business page (and other relevant pages) is a good first step. However, local SEO does not stop there. It focuses on content not just on your website but also on local business directories. There should also be an effort to ensure that your data (especially your NAP) is logical and consistent where it can be found. NAP refers to your name, address and phone information.

Myth #4: When I verify my business listing in Google My Business, I get to control what is displayed there.

When you verify your page, it is important to note that this does not necessarily mean that Google will consider the information you provided as the authoritative source. Google will take a look at other sources such as data scraped from your business website, third-party data sources and any inputs made on Google Maps. This means that you do not control what is shown in your Google page. You need to focus on areas where you have control and ensure that you are providing accurate date that Google can access. This means checking duplicate listings and correcting these listings to provide a more consistent set of information for Google to display.

Myth #5: I need to make sure that my details are exactly the same. 

You just need to check that the information is consistent all throughout. However, you need not concern yourself about ensuring that you use “Street” and not “St.” all the time. Google’s algorithm is able to distinguish these minor discrepancies.

These are just some of the misconceptions regarding local SEO. There are still more out there. And with the constant evolution of SEO and algorithms, it is best to keep constantly updated on the latest trends in the world of digital marketing and local SEO.