Unfortunately, there are many search engine myths out there and it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. Your rankings could be boosted by simply knowing a few of these SEO elements. We’ve pulled together a list of the most common local SEO myths and busted them so you don’t have to.


Common Local SEO Myths

Local SEO is important for any business today. And it’s getting even more important – Google is getting better at refining results to show local businesses when a user searches for a product or service. That’s why you should know the truth about local SEO and how you can use it to optimise your SEO.

If you delete your listing in Google My Business, it removes the listing from Google.

Business owners will sometimes ask how they can get rid of duplicate listings on Google. People sometimes claim the duplicate listing and then log on to their Google My Business Dashboard to delete it. Google then brings up a warning, asking if you really want to delete the listing. The truth is, when you delete a listing here, it only makes it unverified, it will still show up on Google Maps.

If you don’t claim your page it won’t be listed anywhere.

If you’ve received a message that says your business is not currently verified and you should claim it, you may be one of the business owners that worry your business won’t be listed. People who call you with this message are likely not experts in the industry. Even if you don’t verify your listing it will still be ranked. It might just rank better if you add more information to it.

Professional or practitioner listings on Google can be deleted for being duplicate listings.

It’s not uncommon for Google to create listings for public-facing professionals like doctors, lawyers, realtors, etc. But the owner may not want these listings to exist. In these cases, Google will remove the listing on one of two conditions. First, the professional should not be public facing. Secondly, the business only has one public-facing individual. If you have your own law firm, for example, you can be a solo practitioner and can merge the listing with the one for the office.

Posting updates on Google+ will help boost your rankings.

Your posts will not commonly be seen by people unless they specifically search for it. When it comes to local listings, Google doesn’t include your Google+ page in these results. Although you should not completely ignore Google+ as a social platform, it won’t make your rankings increase significantly.

Maps SEO can be effective separately from organic SEO

People often see good results with organic SEO but don’t see their business showing up on local listings. They then wonder if they can hire an SEO professional to handle their local SEO. The truth is that local SEO is not something that you can separate from organic SEO. Local listings and organic SEO is very closely connected. If you have a good budget available, you should get an SEO company that knows that these two are connected and handle your SEO as a whole.

Google employees know best when it comes to which ranking signals you should focus on.

Google employees may be knowledgeable about a lot of things, but they don’t have any incentive to spill any secret tips on how you can rank top within Googles result pages. Some of them have said that duplicate listings can fix themselves, Google+ postings can help your rankings, and by altering your business description you can rank better in the 3-pack. These are simply not true.

Setting a huge service area will rank your business for all the additional cities and towns.

If you have a service-based business, you can set a radius around your business to show where you offer your services. It indicates how far you are willing to travel to help a customer. Some business owners choose to set this radius very large as they believe it might help them to rank higher. Setting your service area larger will not result in better rankings. You will likely still rank in the area your business is in.

If you relocate your business, you need to close your old business listing.

This is not true. If you mark your listing as ‘closed’ you will have a big label that says ‘permanently closed’ and this will show up when someone searches for your business. All you need to do is log into Google My Business and change your address or contact details. If a duplicate unverified listing exists, make sure you mark it as ‘moved’. You do not need to delete any old listing as it may look like you’ve closed down.

Google will publish whatever information you add in Google My Business.

Google gets information from various sources, so it’s not only coming from your Google My Business dashboard. You can edit the information to reflect your business accurately, but it will still be verified against third party data, information on your business website, and Google Maps. So Google does not only get its information from Google My Business profiles.

Social media cannot help your local SEO efforts.

Content from social media websites like Facebook and Twitter can potentially lead to millions of other sites that can create backlinks to your website. This means social media is, in fact, an important factor in local SEO success. That’s why it’s always recommended that you keep your social media profiles current and that the information on all your profiles is accurate and similar. This is especially true when it comes to contact details such as addresses and telephone numbers.

We’re here to help

Though SEO myths will come and go, high-quality content will never lose its value. With successful content being so vital for SEO, working with an experienced and reliable content team is essential. Get in touch with our experts at The Content Works for valuable, optimised content to suit your unique SEO needs. Drop us a line on 0207 305 55 99 or email hello@thecontentworks.uk to talk to us about how we can help you.

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