85% of small businesses say they value local website traffic, yet only half update their information in internet business directories. Of these businesses, only 50% know their listings are inaccurate and 70% say they don’t have the time to keep their information updated– (Entrepreneur).
With so many businesses unaware of the problem, and just as many unable to fix it, myths about local search optimization are many.
So, if you’re looking for new business—and who isn’t—take a look at six local search myths it’s time to debunk.
- Local information is not used that frequently by searchers.
False. Four out of five searchers are using Google to find local business information.
- Local search is only useful for users who need directions to the business.
False. While customers that already know who you are can find you on Google, that’s not where local information stops being valuable. What’s just as important, is that when you appear among local businesses, you have the opportunity to stand in front of the searchers—new customers—looking for a business like yours.
- Local search does not help your site’s ranking or authority in Google.
False. Google knows searchers prefer local information, which is why it places local business results directly under paid ads. That means if you’re a local business, you’re important to Google.
- As long as you’re doing search engine optimization, you don’t need a local strategy.
False. Having an SEO strategy is necessary in order to show up in search results for the products or services you provide. But with a local strategy, you’re able to target the searchers who are in proximity to your location, ready to make a purchase. In fact, nearly 70% of local searches will result in business. (Search Engine Land)
- It is not necessary to have your website and company submitted to local business directories.
False. Online directories, such as Yellowpages, Yelp and MerchantCircle, display your business information every day for searchers and they get their information from other directories. If you don’t diligently maintain your local information, your business will transmit inconsistent signals. Don’t let your customer choose your competitor simply because their local information is less confusing.
- It is not as important to maintain accurate local information, as it is to maintain your website.
False. Sure, a website is necessary for converting customers, but how do you plan to drive users to your site? Appearing among local businesses is the first opportunity for a searcher to consider you an option. Therefore, your website shouldn’t take preference over anything else.
Getting local search engine optimization right is not as simple as ensuring your website’s local information is accurate. The internet is comprised of millions of websites, a good portion of which mention your business. Making sure every mention of your business is consistent with the next can be a daunting proposition. Start by making sure you’re not falling prey to these fundamental myths and you’ll be in better shape than most.
How do you ensure you’re transmitting accurate local information to directories and search engines? Have you fell victim to another myth not mentioned here. If so, share your experience.