10 Common Local SEO Mistakes for Service Area Businesses (SABs)

16 Oct 2023 Last updated: 14 Jan 2024 By Simeon Prokopov

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plays a pivotal role in the ability of Service Area Businesses (SABs) to attract local customers, making it essential to implement effective SEO strategies for your SEO campaign.

Here are some common local SEO mistakes to avoid, along with solutions that could significantly impact your online visibility and SEO success.

1. Using Non-Specific Local Keywords

One of the biggest mistakes that service area businesses (SABs) often make when it comes to local SEO is using broad keyword targets. Let’s face it, if you’re a plumbing company in Madrid, using generic keywords like “plumbing services” or “best plumber” isn’t going to do much for attracting local customers.

Instead, you need to focus on incorporating location-specific keywords into your website and online content. For example, you might want to target keywords like “Madrid plumbing company” or “plumbing company Madrid“. By doing so, you’ll not only stand a better chance of ranking higher in local search results but also increase your chances of capturing the attention of potential customers in your area.

2. Underestimating the Influence of Customer Reviews

Customer reviews hold immense value in local SEO. They offer valuable insights for your business while also significantly impacting your search engine visibility. Despite this, numerous businesses overlook the importance of customer reviews within their local SEO strategy.

When potential customers search for local businesses, one of the first things they look at is online reviews. These reviews give them a glimpse into the quality of your products or services and help them make informed decisions.

Positive reviews act as social proof, building trust and credibility for your business. Conversely, negative reviews can significantly impact a customer’s perception and influence their decision-making process, underscoring the importance of managing and addressing them effectively.

Happy woman showing 5 star reviews

Ignoring customer reviews can have a direct impact on your local search rankings. Search engines like Google take into account the number and quality of customer reviews when determining search results. Businesses with a high number of positive reviews are likely to rank higher than those with little to no reviews.

To improve your local SEO performance, it’s essential to encourage happy customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, or TripAdvisor. Responding to both positive and bad reviews is equally important as it shows that you value customer feedback and are willing to address any concerns.

Read also: Risks of Buying Google Reviews

3. Disregarding Online Citations

Citations are references to your business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP) across the web. Consistency is key here! Make sure your NAP is accurate and identical across all platforms – from business directories to social media profiles – for better local SEO rankings.

Search engines rely on accurate information to provide users with relevant search results. If search engines find conflicting information about your business’s NAPW (NAP + Website) data, they may become unsure about which information is correct. As a result, your business may not show up in local search results as effectively as it should.

To avoid this issue, make sure that your NAPW data is consistent across all online platforms where your business is listed. This includes your website, social media profiles, online directories, business listings, and review sites. Double-check that your business name, address, zip code, phone number, and website URL are identical in every listing.

If you have recently changed any of this information for your business, you should update it across all platforms to maintain consistency. Regularly audit your online listings to identify and correct any inconsistencies that may arise.

Read also: Mastering Multi-Location SEO for Local Business Success

4. Neglecting Your Google Business Profile

Another critical mistake many SABs make is neglecting their Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) listing. GBP is a powerful tool that helps businesses manage their online presence and provides valuable information to Google about your business’s location and services. It’s like having a virtual storefront that showcases your business to potential customers in your area.

By claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile listing, you can provide accurate and up-to-date information about your business, such as your address, phone number, business hours, and even customer reviews. This not only helps improve your visibility on Google Maps but also increases the likelihood of showing up in the Local Pack – the highly sought-after three-pack of businesses that appear at the top of search results for local queries.

5. Misuse of Keywords in Titles and Descriptions

Keywords play a crucial role in optimizing your website for local SEO. However, misusing keywords in titles and descriptions is a common mistake made by many business owners.

While it’s essential to include relevant keywords in your website’s titles and descriptions, keyword stuffing can do more harm than good. Search engines are smart enough to recognize when keywords are used unnaturally or excessively. This can result in penalties that negatively impact your search rankings.

Instead of cramming as many target keywords as possible into your titles and descriptions, focus on creating high-quality content that provides value for your audience. Use your geo-specific keywords naturally, and ensure that the overall message of your titles and descriptions remains clear, informative, and relevant to both search engines and your potential visitors. Balancing the use of keywords with meaningful and engaging content helps maintain a user-friendly experience while still catering to search engine algorithms. This approach not only enhances your website’s visibility but also fosters a positive user perception, leading to improved rankings over time.

6. Missing Focus on Local Landing Pages

Another common mistake that businesses make when optimizing their website for local SEO is neglecting the creation of local landing pages. Local landing pages are specific web pages that are tailored to a particular location or region.

FlowDrains UK - Areas Covered

Having dedicated landing pages for each of your target locations is key for improving your website’s visibility in local search results. These pages allow you to include location-based keywords and provide valuable information about your business in that area.

In order to establish credibility and trust with potential customers, local landing pages should contain accurate and comprehensive information about your business, such as your address, phone number, and operating hours. You can also include customer reviews and testimonials.

By creating unique and informative local landing pages, you increase your chances of appearing in the top results when someone searches for businesses in their specific location. This can greatly enhance your online visibility and drive more relevant traffic to your website.

7. Low-Quality or Irrelevant Website Content

Let’s face it, nobody likes to waste their precious time on a website that offers little value. We’ve all been there – landing on a page only to find it filled with content that is poorly written, uninteresting, or completely irrelevant to what we were searching for. It’s like a punch in the gut – disappointing and frustrating!

Having inferior-quality content on your website is a surefire way to drive away potential visitors. After all, your audience is looking for information or entertainment that adds value to their lives. If your content fails to deliver, they won’t hesitate to click that dreaded back button without giving you a second chance.

To keep your visitors engaged and coming back for more, it’s vital to invest time and effort into creating high-quality content. Take the time to do thorough research, write engaging and well-structured articles, and use visuals that complement your message. Remember, quality over quantity always wins!

Imagine this – you’ve poured your heart and soul into creating valuable content, but no one seems to be able to find it. It’s like shouting into an empty void! Missing out on high-quality backlinks might just be the missing piece of this puzzle.

Backlinks are like little endorsements from other websites telling search engines that your content is worth checking out. It’s like having someone vouch for you at a job interview! When reputable websites link back to you, search engines view it as a sign of trust and authority, boosting your chances of ranking higher in search results.

So how do you go about acquiring those precious backlinks? There are several key strategies you can employ. First and foremost, focus on creating outstanding content that others naturally want to link to. Craft informative articles, engaging infographics, or insightful guides that provide value and information within your industry or niche. Content that stands out as authoritative or uniquely valuable often attracts attention organically, leading to backlink opportunities.

Another effective approach is reaching out to other website owners, industry influencers, or bloggers in your niche. Establishing relationships within your industry can open doors for guest posting opportunities. Propose contributing a guest post on their platform that offers valuable insights or solutions to their audience’s needs. By providing high-quality content, you not only gain exposure to a new audience but also secure backlinks from reputable sites.

Moreover, partnerships or collaborations with like-minded individuals can lead to mutually beneficial opportunities to build those backlinks. Consider co-authoring articles, hosting joint webinars, or collaborating on projects that add value to your respective audiences. By leveraging each other’s expertise and audience reach, you can create content that attracts attention and garners backlinks from diverse sources.

Remember, while pursuing backlinks, avoid these link-building mistakes. The focus should always be on offering valuable content and fostering genuine connections within your industry. These strategies not only help in acquiring backlinks but also contribute to building a strong network and establishing credibility within your niche.

9. Ignoring Social Media Engagement

Social media isn’t just for sharing cute cat videos (although that’s important too!). Managing your social media presence and engaging with your audience on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter helps build brand loyalty and trust. Plus, it can positively impact your local SEO efforts as search engines take social signals into account.

10. Overlooking Mobile Optimization

Ah, the glorious age of smartphones! These handheld devices have completely revolutionized the way we interact with the digital world. With the rise of on-the-go searches, more and more people are accessing websites through their mobile devices. And here’s the thing – if your website is not optimized for mobile, you are missing out on a huge chunk of potential traffic.

Think about it: when someone visits a website on their phone and it’s not optimized for mobile, they’re likely to have a terrible user experience. The text might be too small to read, the images might be distorted, and the navigation might be a nightmare. And what do people do when they have a bad experience? They bounce right off your website and onto a competitor’s site. Ouch!

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Optimizing your website for mobile users is easier than ever before. There are plenty of responsive website templates and plugins that can help you achieve this. Make sure your text is readable without zooming in, your images are properly sized and load quickly, and your navigation is easy to use with just a thumb.


So there you have it – 10 common SEO mistakes that service area businesses often make. By avoiding these blunders and focusing on building a robust online presence within your local community, you’ll be well on your way to climbing the ranks of local search results.

How Agile can help

At Agile Digital, we specialize in amplifying your online visibility through strategic SEO solutions. Our team is dedicated to tailoring comprehensive SEO strategies that align with your business goals, ensuring enhanced local visibility and increased customer engagement.

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Simeon Prokopov Simeon Prokopov

I am a managing partner at Agile Digital. A graduate of Modern Balkan history, I made a complete pivot in my career when, together with Juan Pineda, we founded a nearshore design and development studio Sofyma in 2009, followed by our digital agency Agile Digital several years later. Over time, I have worked on hundreds of digital projects from small startups to global brands. I enjoy writing in our Blog about topics I am actively involved in at work.