6 Common Mistakes to Avoid for Local SEO

Getting a high ranking on local results can really enhance the value and grow your business at a rapid pace. How do you achieve this high ranking, though? What are the things you should keep in mind? Search engines like Google give a lot of value to the websites that offer right and relevant information to the readers.

Extensions such as WhatsMySERP can help immensely in growing the business in the right direction. Here are a few things you would want to avoid to ensure that your local SEO practices yield the ideal results. 

1.  Stuffing the keywords with ZIP Codes in the footer

A lot of people out there believe that adding zip or city codes to the footer on their website would yield amazing reviews. However, it will be a rare case in which this strategy will work. Google’s algorithm can easily catch such sites. In fact, in some cases, these websites are even penalized for opting for such a technique to manipulate the search engines.

After coming across multiple such sites, Google has released the Quality Guidelines, which clearly mention that the process of incorporating zip codes in the keywords in the footer can have a significant impact on your ranking.

2. Overusing the “money keyword” anchor text

Even though you should be using descriptive texts for your anchors, over-optimizing them would be a really wrong choice. This can seriously impact your website rankings. The main reason behind search engines going for such a rule is that search engines believe that the site should be for the users and not for search engines.

Websites that follow this rule are continuously rewarded, and on the other hand, websites that overuse the money keyword anchor text are penalized. Consulting with a New York SEO company can give you useful input about what you need to do. It is never wrong to seek professional help.

3. Setting up Google My Business for places where you don’t have a physical presence

A lot of businesses and individuals have been trying to work around search engines by showing their business in nearby cities and locations. Trying to show your physical presence for a location where you do not have an office or workspace can lead to serious issues. 

Google has released stringent guidelines for showing your business address on Google. All the basic details such as P.O. Boxes, Virtual offices, etc. where there are no people active will be cleaned. These addresses are not acceptable and will not show up on Google My Business listings. 

4. Duplicate content for every location page 

Having the same content on different pages can lead to some serious issues with the search engines. In fact, having duplicate content might lead the search engines to take any page as the best version. However, this might not match your idea of the ideal page for that content.

This also leads to negative ranking as there will be internal completions for ranking. Your site can also be removed from the search engines in case you create duplicate content to manipulate the search engines. 

5. Putting incorrect categories on Google My Business Page

 Why would some put wrong categories for their business, right? Well, there are a lot of people and business owners who try to rank for multiple categories. 

Google will look at the very first category that you have selected as the primary one. Therefore, it is always recommended to go for categories which are specific to your business. Instead of picking a master and main category, go for the exact niche, and you will find it easier to rank there.

Also, there are businesses that try to pick and stuff keywords into various general categories. The ideal technique would be to rank the keywords or service for only a couple of categories at best. 

6. Call tracking the numbers on business listings 

There are directories such as Superpages.com, which form a critical part of the local search ecosystem. To cross-check all these details, Google will tally the data such as name, phone number, address, etc. to rank the business accordingly. You can ensure that there is consistency in terms of the NAP footprint.

There have been cases where the businesses have used various call tracking numbers on all the listings to track the effectiveness. However, this is something that is definitely going to land you into trouble. In fact, these directories do not generate nearly the same number of views as Google My Business listings do. Therefore, it is ideal to have the same name, address, and phone number footprint for all your listings. 

By doing this, you will also bring a level of trust amongst the search engines. Keep the listings consistent and keep yourself and your business out of such issues with Google. 


Quite often, a lot of business owners try to take advantage of search engines to rank higher. However, more often than not, these practices can put you in serious trouble. With the advanced and smart algorithms that Google has, it can be really difficult to fool the search engine. 

So, keep these common mistakes in mind while trying to rank for local SEO. Make sure your investment is not going to waste!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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