Avoid Negative Local SEO Ranking Factors
Google is not human. Google’s technology and search algorithms are smart, but since they can’t actually think (not yet) it is very easy for the algorithms to trip up and local search is one of the primary areas Google often has problems validating important information about your business. While this chapter is short on content it isn’t short on importance. The truth is that more often than not your search results are more affected by what you are doing wrong than what you are doing right. In the case of local search all it takes is one or two negative ranking factors to tank your SEO efforts. Therefore, carefully go through this section of the book and make sure you take immediate action to eliminate anything that might be tripping Google’s search algorithm when it comes to ranking your business at the top of Google local search.
For that reason alone, we always recommend finding digital marketing firms that specialize in SEO, and have strong knowledge of any potential negative impact an SEO campaign can have on your business.
Avoid local seo negative ranking factors….
Here are six (6) of the most common negative ranking factors that will tank your Local SEO efforts:
- Inconsistent Business Phone Numbers Across Local Data SourcesAs simple as it sounds the most common negative ranking factor in local search is when your business phone number is represented inconsistently across local data sources, such as your website, Google+ Local Page, Yelp, ReferLocal Business Page, and other similar website directories. You must make certain that your phone number is consistent across all local data sources. If you have multiple local phone numbers it is best to decide on just one primary local phone number and use it across all mentions of your local business on the Web.
- Duplicate Pages with the Same Phone NumberAnother common negative ranking factor in local search is duplicate pages with the same phone number in the same directory. For instance, two separate yet distinct Google+ Local pages with the same phone number. In short, if you have multiple businesses you need separate local phone numbers for purposes of LSEO. If you inadvertently created or were unaware that you have multiple listings for the same business you need to delete one or more of the listings so that you only have one dedicated page within any given directory. Don’t assume that Google, Yelp, or ReferLocal will recognize that there are duplicate page listings – be proactive and work to delete duplicate pages with the same phone number.
- Duplicate Pages with the Same or Similar Business Names and AddressesSimilar to negative ranking factor #2 above, a common negative ranking factor includes pages with the same or similar names and addresses. This can happen because you may be unaware that you or someone from your team has already built a certain directory page or it could be that the directory itself failed to take down a locked page that includes duplicate business information to your unlocked page. Regardless, you need to identify duplicate pages that include similar business names and addresses and work to rectify any negative impact such occurrence can have on your local SEO prowess.
- Inconsistent Address Information Across Local Data SourcesHaving inconsistent address information across local data sources can have a negative effect on your local search ranking. Inconsistent address information across various online sources from your website to local directories is very common, because it’s common to change addresses – and that’s ok. However, when you change your address you must locate all of the places online where your website is listed, including Google+ Local, Merchant Circle, Yahoo Local, ReferLocal, Yelp and others and update your address to reflect consistency and accuracy.
Listing Your 800 Number as the Only Contact Number Across Local Data Sources
Local directory listings on websites such as Google+ Local and ReferLocal require a consistent local number in order to avoid confusing Google that you are not the local business you purport to be. Remember, Google can’t think. While it may be an inconvenience for you to secure a local phone number it is very important to your success in ranking high in local search results. Get a local number and either delete your 800 number from local directories or include it at most as a secondary contact number.
Did you find this content on avoiding negative ranking factors useful?
If so here is another post we made on “Four (4) Common SEO Mistakes that Can Tank Your Business” by our Founder and CEO Kristopher Jones.
So when push comes to shove improving your search ranking in local results comes down to optimizing specific local SEO ranking factors. Here you’ll find detailed information on local search engine optimization ranking factors, including:
Start here with an Introduction to Local Search Engine Optimization.
Local SEO Education:
At LSEO we take great pride in helping you execute your local SEO strategy – if we can help, contact us. If not we still want to help you.
Local SEO is a process that includes a series of steps. We conceptualize each step as a “Ranking Factor, which Google used to determine whether to rank your business over the competition. Optimize each ranking factor and you’ll be in the drivers seat. Click any of the links below to learn more about Local SEO.
Ranking Factor #1 – Google Business Listing Optimization (formerly Google Places and Google+ Business)
Ranking Factor #2 – Business Reviews (Quantity, Velocity, Sentiment)
Ranking Factor #3 – Local Link Building (Quantity and Quality)
Ranking Factor #4 –Content (Quality, Quantity, Resource Laden)
Ranking Factor #5 – Local Citation Management (Consistency of NAP Information)
Ranking Factor #6 –Social Media Signals (Size of Audience; Quality of Engagement)
Ranking Factor #7 – Avoid Negative Ranking Factors
Ranking Factor Bonus – Small Business Local SEO Tips from 15 Top SEO Experts, including Bruce Clay, Neil Patel, David Mihm, Matt McGowan, Chris Boggs, Christoph Cemper, Marcus Tober, Matt Bailey, Andrew Goodman, Eric Enge, Thom Craver, Todd Malicoat, Fili Wiese, and Chris Boggs.