Top Five Local SEO Ranking Killers. Sometimes it’s more important to know what will kill your rankings than what will help your local rankings.
1.) Inconsistent Name , Address or Phone, on different web sites.
Clean up old listings that have the old address by searching that address in Google, and then contacting each site and up dating it to the new address.
Same thing for a changed phone number. Google the number to see what sites have it listed and get it changed or deleted, and if for some odd reason (and we have seen this several times) you have a different URL, with a different phone number, please remove the site!
As a side note make sure your business listings are consistent in every directory. Same exact name, same exact phone number and same exact address.
A confused robot is not your friend! ( Robots are what Search engines use to look at your site)
2.) No Address on the Site
I don’t know why I see so many local web sites with no address listed. I assume it’s because they are home based. In most cases, you should either list your home address, or get an office. You can hide your home address on Google Places (as a matter of fact its part of their terms of service that if you are home based, to click do not show my address). Any way, if its really important that you don’t want your prospects to know you are working in your pajama’s, as if they won’t figure it out anyway, your not going to have good rankings. And if you had good rankings you could probably afford the little office up the street. LIST YOUR ADDRESS, PHONE and Company name on the home page.
3.) No local citations
It takes an hour or two to list your company in the important local directories. Go to getlisted.org (It’s free and a great resource). List your business with most of the directories they recommend.
4.) Using Dex tracking numbers for your PPC
There is some disagreement in the SEO world about how damaging this is. I have had several discussions with some of the countries best Local Maps and Local SEO experts , most notably Mike Blumenthal (see his blog here http://blumenthals.com/blog/ and follow it if you are a serious local SEO student), But they all do agree that after looking at some case studies, a DEX tracking number published on multiple different local directories is not good for your rankings.
I would take it a bit further, IT IS A COMPLETE RANKING KILLER for Google Places. It’s the same thing as having different phone numbers published on different web sites. It confuses the Robots, and then you are in rankings trouble.
5.) No Meta Titles or descriptions or poorly written ones.
So your nephew did your web site when he was studying web design… nice! The most important part of your web site for SEO, is your meta title. If you don’t know what that is (and you can not see it BTW on your site) call a web design firm or SEO and ask them to check. If its your company name, your hurting your rankings, unless you want to rank for people who all ready know who you are). Have a pro take a look at your meta tags, and your on site SEO in general while they are there. This one may cost you a few hundred dollars on up to fix (including the on Site SEO changes), and yes 90% of the web design firms you speak with with tell you to build a new site (and maybe you should), but, just get the tags right to start!
These are the top 5 ranking killers for Local sites that we have seen. And any one of them can keep your site from being well ranked. It’s worth the time to have a company ( like us) fix this issues if Search Engine traffic is important.