If you’re a Chattanooga, TN area business, you probably already understand how important it is to appear prominently for Chattanooga search results for your niche and locale, but do you know the many needless SEO mistakes you’re also probably making, wven with your current Chattanooga SEO agency services in play? Be sure that your top competitors do and are grateful for it!
9 Most Common Local SEO Mistakes
1. Not optimizing your Google "My Business" (Maps) listing
You can’t appear on Google Maps for your business if you don’t have a listing, and you can’t get a listing if you don’t yet know how to create a proper full listing. It normally requires that you confirm your mailing address and other contact info used on the listing. You’re looking at a 1-2 week minimum to get started, and the mailing address verification card response is the bulk of that waiting period.
2. Not optimizing your GMB listing properly *for SEO*
This one can be frustrating for smaller local businesses who are already swamped. Fortunately, you don’t have to DIY this one. You can get expert, experienced (25+ yr) leadership on how to properly optimize your local business maps listing to exploit all of the opportunities provided and use all the best hacks to put you over the top more quickly by hiring Iguana Sage.
We understand how to use text, listing features, images, and cross-linking opportunities to their fullest. It’s understandable if your current all-in-one marketing agency isn’t doing this yet. We can help them to help you. We LOVE working with other agencies and giving expert insights into our specialties like local SEO optimization.
3. Overlooking local SEO on-page optimization opportunities
Your website’s on-page SEO optimization implementation can often overlook local SEO optimization opportunities as part of your initial national SEO focus. We can help correct that focusing to include ALL of the local area optimization opportunities with professional, industry tools and methods that have become the standard for SEO agencies already helping your niche competitors.
4. Neglecting local & niche curators
Many businesses whose focus is well outside of the SEO community may not see the importance of creating optimized content for other local directories and hubs, curators and blogs that touch on the categories of business, local or aspects of your niche. This is a big mistake! You need all the help you can get from websites with greater domain authority and backlinks than you can easily obtain. That’s where curators of all varieties come in. After all, there are certain third-party sites you won’t be able to beat for your niche locally. As the saying goes, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!
Iguana Sage can help find ways to use these sites to the advantage of not just your third-party search results visibility, but to your own site’s direct SERPs visibility, as well.
5. Buying backlinks (wait...don't do it!)
You’ve probably already been offered the chance the “improve domain authority and rankings quickly”, etc. from the shadier grey and black hat Chattanooga SEO agencies and consultants out there. Whoa…don’t do it!
Most outfits offering paid backlinks are knowingly breaking the explicit policies of the search engines, including Google. Even if they don’t fully understand why this is a bad idea and harmful to the end client, you should.
Simply put, paid backlinks don’t work. Paid backlinks have been phased out of even the most grey of grey hat SEO firms over the years due to the proven example of the many sites who plummet to the bottom of rankings over time as these backlinks age on their websites. Why? We’ll explain.
Paid backlinks get exposed to Google’s algorthm bots, they get devalued to junk (“spam”), and then they sink your site to the bottom of SERPs, literally destroying your organic traffic potential. In fact, after investing into enough of these backlinks, you may have to simply start over with a new website domain! Just think of all the money you put into promoting this one with good (organic) and bad backlinks as well as relationships tp your existing domain.
Even though you can start over, you’ll never get back all of the lost domain authority once you change domain names, but it’s still much better than losing all of it! And in many cases, the expectation is about 80% salvage of your domain authority, which is so better than 0%!
6. Using deceptive page redirects or "cloaking"
Many times, redirects can veer over into deceptive terrain by accident when a webmaster is helping with your marketing without adequate marketing expertise to support their technological choices. SImply put, if you’re using vanity URLs, etc., your only viable choices are a 301 redirect (permanent) or at the very least a 302 redirect (only temporary). Always opt for a 301 when in doubt, especially if you don’t expect to be changing the end URL. Beware of any Chattanooga SEO agency services that feature redirecting a link from one site or page to a completely unexpected other page with any other form of redirect. It will not go well from there.
The issue of redirects can be touchy! And failing to note and then redirect all of your old page URLs (copy and pasting to keep them exact) from an old site domain to forward correctly to the new site domain will be one of the sorest memories your business will ever have, because it will mean losing all of the legitimate backlink power you had up to that point
7. Failing to optimize for structured data and rich snippets
Missing out on the ability to answer questions to common niche questions in search results? Ouch.
This huge oversight can be resolved by optimizing for structured data correctly. It can get complicated though, so make sure your agency knows this terrain. And if not, then hire us. We work with structured data every day for our clients to create win-win opportunities in SERPs with the minimum cost and effort for your business!
Why does it matter? Imagine all the times someone in your target audience looks up a question that you only wish that your business could be the first to answer! And now imagine how your family is already using smart assistants to search for such answers?
Now do you see what structured data optimization matters for your business? Check out these statistics for more on why this is a legitimate concern. Do you spot your industry mentioned already using voice assistant search technologies? Voice assistant marketing is primarily powered by voice layer optimization (or voice user interface optimization) and SEO principles and techn ologies like structured data.
8. Failing to track your SEO agency's efforts
What good are your SEO efforts if you’re not tracking the results and tweaking the spots that need it? Iguana Sage believes in tracking everything we do. In fact, we insist. If you don’t already have Google Analytics on your website, we’ll help you get it up and running before starting.
Since GA works with HubSpot and other CRM systems, you have nothing to fear by getting a free GA install and your initial funnel goals tracked. In fact, you’d be crazy not to, right?
9. Forgetting to review your SEO program quarterly
Without a regular SEO review, you’re flying blind in SERPs. With just a 30 minute meeting quarterly, you can adjust your SEO focus and your keyword lists to expand or refocus your SEO efforts to better account for new trending keywords and phrases.
Any SEO agency or consultant who hasn’t been insisting on this is very likely robbing you blind. The terrain changes. So should your SEO, to adapt to the moving ground beneath you.
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