It’s 2015 and the SEO landscape is very different than it was 2-3 years ago. There are still many misconceptions out there about what you should and should not do. Here are three SEO strategies that local businesses should avoid at all costs:
1. Paid Link schemes
Getting your SEO company to build quality links for you (links from credible, relevant, high quality websites) is good. Paying for article spinning and links from unrelated, low quality sites will not only not work anymore, it will almost certainly catch up with you in the form of a penalty. If you do links, make sure they are built manually by your SEO company. Avoid companies that tell you they will build you hundreds or thousands of links per month. Quality is much more important than quantity.
2. Inconsistent Citation Building
Building Citations and adding your business to local listings is important to ranking locally. Some businesses decide that they will use a version of their company name that is stuffed with keywords to enhance their rankings. This will actually hurt rankings in the long run because Google will look for consistency between your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) across the internet and they are looking for the same information. The chance of an incorrect, spammy name being consistently executed is very low. Always use your real business name and make sure it is stated correctly at all times. This will impact your Google map ranking, for example.
3. Low Quality or ‘Thin’ Content
Content matters a lot and is an essential component of your 2015 SEO plan. Small business owners know that blogging can be important as well as building good quality content on their websites. However, on a budget, many look for economical labor. Often, the result is a cheaply written blog or duplicate content, both of which can lead Google to look at your content as “thin,” unhelpful or not informative enough. The quality of the content on your site will impact your rankings. Take the time to ensure high quality standards and vet any writers who you hire. Be suspicious of artificially low pricing. You often do get what you pay for.
In sum, 2015 is not the year to take shortcuts with your local SEO. Take a conservative approach to link building, but do not overlook its importance. Make sure you are Citation building the right way. And, pay special attention to writing good quality content for your website. SEO is no longer (and has not been for a while) about keyword integration—your brand, its message, its content and its consistency across the web will impact your SEO campaign.