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Hello there! My name is Joe Bern from Big West Academy, and today, I’ll be debunking the top seven misconceptions about local SEO in 2023. There’s a heap of misinformation out there about what strategies work and what don’t, and it’s time to clear the air and save you time and resources. Let’s dive in.
1. Geotagging Photos in Google Business Profile (GBP)
Back in the day, geotagging photos uploaded to your Google My Business account (now known as Google Business Profile) was all the rage. People would turn on location settings on their smartphones, snap pictures in various locations, and upload them to GBP, hoping to improve rankings. However, current data suggests that geotagging photos have no direct impact on SEO rankings.
That’s not to say that photos don’t matter – they do. Pictures showcasing your work, featuring your logo, your van, or even local landmarks can be helpful for AI interpretation. But for direct ranking impact? Geotagging doesn’t cut it anymore.
2. Keywords in the GBP Description
Many believe that packing keywords into your GBP description will boost your rankings. However, this isn’t the case. While I talk about SEO, web design, and online marketing in my description, it’s not for the sake of rankings. Instead, it serves to provide a helpful overview for those who stumble upon my knowledge panel. Keyword stuffing, especially with local identifiers, won’t directly impact your ranking.
3. Keywords in Owner Responses to Reviews
Responding to reviews left on your GBP is essential. It shows Google that you’re actively engaging with your customers and reassures potential customers of your attentiveness. But sprinkling keywords in your responses won’t boost your rankings. That’s a myth.
4. Transactions Identified Through Credit Card Partners
This is a somewhat obscure point, but there’s a rumor that transactions identified through credit card partners can impact your rankings. According to top local SEO authorities, this simply isn’t true.
5. Enabling GBP Messaging Feature
The GBP messaging feature, akin to a text messaging system, allows potential clients to communicate with you directly. It’s primarily visible on mobile, and while it’s a useful feature, enabling it won’t enhance your rankings.
6. Keywords in Google Q&A
Google’s Q&A feature allows people to ask questions and get answers, creating a valuable resource for potential clients. However, despite its usefulness, having keywords in your Q&A doesn’t affect your rankings.
7. Quantity of Questions in Google Q&A
Some believe that the more questions you have in your Q&A section, the higher your ranking will be. Yet again, this is a myth. While it’s beneficial to have an active Q&A, the number of questions won’t directly affect your ranking.
It’s important to note that the above points aren’t just my opinion. They’re derived from the latest White Spark Local Ranking Factors article, a highly reliable source based on a survey of top local SEO authorities. Feel free to check it out for more in-depth information.
Now that we’ve covered what doesn’t work, you might be wondering: what does work? To answer that, I’ve created a free, easy-to-understand cheat sheet for business owners who want to grasp local SEO without the jargon. It contains helpful links to in-depth YouTube videos on each topic. Check it out in the description below.
Stay tuned for more enlightening content on digital marketing and SEO. Until then, keep debunking those SEO myths and work on strategies that truly matter.