When it come to promoting your business online there are plenty of things you could do to improve your odds of getting ranked highly by Google. But, have you considered that there's also a list of things that you shouldn't do?
We'll take you through the top five, although there are many more we could highlight. When you're done reading, you can also get the entire list of 34 things to avoid when promoting your local business online.
Without further delay, here are the top five factors that could be hurting your local search results on Google.
#5 - Mismatched Business Details Across The Internet
When Google crawls the various websites and pages across the internet, it will find your business and all your contact details listed for your company. When your contact details are the same across the internet it builds Google's confidence that your address and contact details are correct.
When you think about it, this makes perfect sense. If you were looking up a company's address and found two different addresses you would be unsure of which one was correct.
If you have recently changed your business address, this could be a real problem for your business. Thankfully, there are several ways to fix this problem. Check out our article on how to fix your online business listings.
#4 - Evidence Your Website Was Hacked Or Has Malware
No one wants to risk a virus attacking their computer or other internet connected device just to visit your website and Google doesn't want to risk it either. In order for Google to preserve their goal of being consumer centered, they're not going to send their users to a website that looks suspicious.
While it may be hard to protect your website from being hacked, there are a few things you can do to show Google your website can be trusted like utilizing HTTPS security certificates. There are also free tools to check if your website has any malware on it.
#3 - Your Google My Business Listing Has Violated Rules
There are a number of things a business owner could do to violate Google's guidelines for representing your business on Google. Some violations are minor while others will result in more serious consequences from Google. While you should review Google's guidelines carefully, the abbreviated list of common violations include:
You aren't linking directly to your website
You are adding extra keywords to your legal business name
You didn't hide your physical address even thou you don't meet customers at your address
You have multiple verified listings for the same business
Your type of business is sensitive or not allowed to have a Google Plus account
You registered your business using a PO Box or at an address that is not your primary business address
You registered an online business that doesn't come into contact with customers face-to-face
You register your business at an address which primary service is not your own
#2 - You Used An Incorrect Business Category
Google probably has a pretty good idea for what your company does and based on your website content and other data on your business from around the internet. So, if you run a salon and list your business under the category of grocery store just because you happen to sell a limited supply of hair products in your store, you are going to get flagged by Google as using the wrong category.
Be sure to follow Google's guidelines for choosing a business category to ensure your business is following their intended use case.
#1 - Listing Detected at False Business Address
This is the number one factor that will get your business dropped from Google's local search results. While this is kind of obvious, some businesses still try to falsify their information online which is the worst thing a business can do when trying to influence your local search engine results.
Getting your local business to rank highly on Google local search results will pay huge dividends but it isn't easy. If you want to rank highly, you should do everything you can to optimize your local business profile.