Search Engine Optimization has become one of the most complicated aspects of having an online presence.
The variables that are key to earning your rank constantly update and change and there are many things that can go wrong.
Moreover, SEO for service-based businesses have goals that are not necessarily going to be achieved through strategies built for other types of businesses. In this article we’re going to look at 3 pitfalls you should avoid when marketing your service-based business online.
Your business’s online presence will only help you if it’s aligned with guidelines and expectations laid out by Google and any website you use to help rank your website.
Make sure you’ve got these all covered!
1. Google My Business
We previously reviewed the Google My Business service to let you know that you need to claim your business, mark its location on Google Maps, and fill everything out. If you haven’t done this yet or even if you have and just want to review it, it’s important to get it done right.
Make sure you have the exact right location. Inputting any location incorrectly will not only mislead users but Google will eventually find out. You’ll get caught either through a user complaint or their own algorithm and you’ll lose your listing placement in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) if not the listing entirely.
Also make sure you’ve got the right business type category filled in. This is an often-missed element some businesses don’t even touch. Make sure you’ve got your category, address, and every other element filled in properly and have great photos.
Google presents this info to users to help them find the right business so misleading the user in any way with the wrong information will severely impact your online marketing and website ranking efforts.
2. Don’t Overdo It
You have your keywords (if you don’t please review this post) and you want Google to know you want to rank for them. That’s great and it’s definitely essential to have those keywords on your website in the copy and the various meta tags.
Too much though will raise a flag with Google. SEO has a big problem with fraud. There are too many fraudulent agencies all over the world who define themselves by their ability to abuse Google and falsify ranking signals.
One technique that unfortunately did work years ago was keyword stuffing. That was a long time ago though and now Google can see clearly when someone is overstating their relevance.
Use the keywords but only enough to state it. Once you have made the point with your page that it’s about that subject, start looking at semantic variations. The copy should flow well and be easily readable, so write your copy first and then edit it for SEO terms.
It’s a good idea to limit the term to 3 – 5 instances depending on the length of the page. For service-based businesses who deal locally this definitely applies to your location serviced.
Don’t overdo it or Google will think you’re being dishonest.
3. Be consistent
Your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) needs to be the same on all listings. If you have several locations, make unique listings for each when adding your business to websites like yp.com, superpages.com, and Yelp.
If you only have the one location, then you just have to be very careful that each location listing has identical contact information. Scrutinize this heavily because some websites may display elements slightly differently and some fields can get filled in wrong.
Review these so you’re not sending mixed signals to Google and to users.
Don’t panic if you’re guilty of any of these pitfalls. They’re easy problems to fix and once you have them right, you’ll be in much better shape to earn higher placement in Google. They’ll also help your users by providing the right information, and in a way that doesn’t seem like you’re misleading them in any way.
If you’ve got all these done right and you’re working on earning rank but finding there is just too much to do or you can’t figure it all out, then please let us know. Our SEO professionals will review your entire online presence, goals, and use those to develop a strategy that works to earn your website rank for the terms you want it to rank for.
Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.