You would be surprised to learn how many businesses are damaging their Google rankings without even knowing it! A recent free SEO audit revealed this and we found that absolutely all of the businesses were making at least one of the mistakes we are going to address in this article. If you have a business with clients who look on Google to find you, then you should pay close attention to this article! Be sure to use the information listed below as a list to check so that you can be sure all your listings across the Internet are done properly. Failing to learn these lessons will only mean lost business and customers for you. If you see a mistake from this list you know you are making, don’t be dismayed! These mistakes are totally fixable and once you have to the right information, you’ll be able to go clean up the mistakes and enjoy better Google results.
Here are the most common mistakes that can affect your Google ranking negatively:
1. You are not listed on Google +
Perhaps the first thing you think of when seeing the term “SEO” is the Google ranking for your business. SEO simply means “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting your business at the top of the page when anyone searches Google for content related to yours. SEO, however, takes it one step farther. If you do a search for “restaurants nearby,” a map will pop up in the right hand corner. You will also see all the main contact information like the phone number, address, etc., appear in the top results. However, the twist is that all that information is not coming from the business website, but rather their Google + page. This means that if you want to be ranked in Google in this same way, you must have a Google + page!
- Multiple listings.
Another mistake I often find is being listed in Google + more than once. This is very negative in the eyes of Google! It creates frustration for users to sift through duplicate content, and Google will have to store the data, as well as analyze it, which takes up a lot of space. For this reason, you should know that it is a breach of the terms of service for Google to have duplicate listings. This means that if you do, your rankings within Google will not be as high as they could be. It’s important to check for more than one listing and clean it up if you have duplicates.
- Not including categories that are relevant to your business.
This mistake can be costly, so you need to really take time to cover it properly when setting up your Google + page. It might be helpful for you to consider the Yellow Pages as you are thinking of categories. Just like the many sections of the Yellow Pages, your business needs many categories in which your potential customers can find you. You might want to look at other highly ranked businesses in your category and see how they have listed their categories within their business profiles.
- No contact information on your business website.
This might seem basic, but take a moment to go to your business website and be sure that all the contact info you have there is complete and correct. Also, make sure it is not listed as an image, but rather as text. Google will not pick it up otherwise. To ensure accuracy, Google will compare contact info on your website with that on your Google + page, so it’s critical that you keep them correct.
- NAP information online is inconsistent.
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number. Not only does Google verify your contact info by comparing your company website with your company Google + page, but they will also do a check across the whole of the Internet to make sure it is consistent. This means that they are checking to see that every other website that could list your business also has the same information. So, you can see why it is so critical for you to make sure your information is listed consistently and correctly!