/How to troubleshoot local SEO ranking failures for your financial website
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How to troubleshoot local SEO ranking failures for your financial website

Promoting businesses online is the new trend. This trend has emerged with the continuous growth and new introductions in the world of digital marketing. While some concepts have been around for a long time now, newer concepts are being welcomed by entrepreneurs to make their business a success. One such amazing concept when it comes to tapping the target audience within the vicinity of the business operations is the local SEO.

Local SEO is a term used to describe the process of search engine optimization, keeping in mind the location of the business. For example, if you have an accounting firm which only caters to clients within the Alberta province, then the SEO of your firm should enable you to rank high for Alberta based search only. For wasting your time to enhance the SEO of your accounting firm for the whole of Canada may not be ideal. This location-based benefits of local SEO make it an amazing tool for small businesses and firms.

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There is no doubt about it that local SEO works wonders when it comes to tapping the local masses for your small or medium-sized business. However, no marketing tactic can work wonders unless it is planned well. There are always some important aspects to keep in mind when planning local SEO. However, there are also some major mistakes which can lead to the local SEO ranking failures for financial websites. It is necessary to avoid these mistakes in order to have a good local rank in the search results. However, some mistakes do happen without you knowing about it. So how do you correct such mistakes? The answer is by troubleshooting the local SEO ranking failures for your financial website. Let us have a look at how you can do that.

Check for Bugging Updates in Google

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The most preferred search engine used by a large chunk is Google. Google is highly preferred for its reach and at the same time the kind of SEO options it provides. From the perspective of local SEO, Google has an amazing option known as Google My Business listing which enables businesses to create a business listing. This listing appears on the search engine result page (SERP) when someone might look up for your business. Apart from this, Google has other tools such as Google AnalyticsGoogle Webmaster, and Google Keyword Planner, which together help businesses to plan their SEO.

As these tools are a part of the virtual platform, they are made up of codes and programming languages. Common defects noticed in such coded programming languages are known as bugs. Bugs are small errors in the programming code which can lead to a sudden change in the smooth functioning of a webpage, in this case, the Google. This kind of bug in Google can have a direct impact on your local SEO ranking. Another issue that can have an impact on your local SEO is the constant updates that Google keeps introducing from time to time. These bugs and Google updates can cause your financial website’s local SEO rank to fluctuate.

The solution to this problem lies in maintaining your patience as the team at Google is also quick enough to notice the changes a bug or update can have on its functions. Once they notice and fix these issues, the local SEO ranking failures for your financial website that you have been experiencing will be solved. Then you can continue to work on the local SEO of your accounting firm.

Check for Duplicate Listings

When you list your business on the directories and online listings, the idea is to promote your business among the local masses. But what happens when your website rank starts dropping suddenly? Of course, people move on to your competitors, who are now ranking better on the search engine result pages. So what other problem could be the reason for this? A common issue to look for is duplicate listings of your business.

Duplicate listings of your business are listings with similar information and details which tend to confuse the search engines, thereby reducing your ranking by dividing it among all the listings present online. These duplicate listings are often seen firms owned by multiple owners such as law firms and accounting firms. Apart from such firms, Google does not allow any other business to have multiple listings. If duplicate listings are still created, it could be because of three reasons. First, the owner of the business might create duplicate listing due to lack of online knowledge. Second, Google itself might have created a duplicate entry when the NAP consistency is lost due to change in contact details or address. And third, some spammers do so to purposely harm your business’s ranking on the SERP.

So how do you find out whether your business has a duplicate listing or not? You first need to compile all the addresses, phone numbers and other contact details that your business has had over time. Now verify them all using the free Moz Check Listing Tool. This tool will then throwback the listings that are present in your business name online. Have a thorough look at all of them and check for duplicates, especially on Google My Business (GMB). Once you have your hands on the duplicate listings, check for the minor spelling or detail error, rectify it and combine the two listings. In case the duplicate listing was created by an ex-partner of your accounting firm then the procedure gets a little complicated. This will raise questions such as, is the partner an ex-employee or not, whether he is deceased, whether this listing is claimed or not and so on. Based on the situation, Google will then analyze what needs to be done with this listing. A word of advice, take the help of an SEO expert to tackle this situation.

Check for Your Ranking and Listing Eligibility

Creating a Google My Business listing is an easy task, but to bring up your ranking on the search engine result page is something that you need to put some thought process in. It is a comprehensive process which requires you to ensure that both your website and your Google My Business page are well optimized. So how do you do that? Website content is optimized for a better ranking by optimum use of keywords. As for your Google My Business ranking, you need to have proper NAP details, and the profile should be complete.

If your rankings are still not good even after thoroughly optimizing your website and Google My Business, then the problem is not in your optimization. The problem you need to check for is whether your business is eligible for listing and ranking or not. There are various reasons which make you non-eligible for listings and ranking on Google My Business. The very first thing to have a look at is your address. As a fully functional financial firm, you will have a physical address, which you will use on your listing. However, there are freelance accountants who do not have a physical address. Such accountants tend to make use of PO Box or virtual addresses. Not having a physical address, where customers can visit you, makes you non-eligible to have a Google My Business listing. The next aspect which has a direct impact on your Google My Business ranking is the usage of keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that we use to rank high on SERPs. These keywords are commonly searched terms used by online users. Local SEO ranking failures for financial websites happens when improper use of keywords is made. Keeping local SEO in mind, keywords should have the location of your business. If the same is not mentioned, your listing may get uncategorized, and this could lower your ranking. For example, if you are a financial firm services only in the city of Edmonton, then you cannot expect Google to rank you high for the searches made in Calgary. For this purpose location-based keywords is what you need to use to get properly categorized ranking.

Recheck Your NAP Uniformity

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Time and again, NAP has been mentioned for a good local SEO ranking. And why not! The whole concept of local SEO works by identifying your business location and accordingly ranking you on specific search results. To boost your rank, consistency of your NAP throughout the web is the key. But why is the consistency or uniformity of your contact details so important?

Google is a very smart search engine. When it identifies you as a business, it lists you based on your physical location as well as your website. This is why NAP is also known as NAP+W. Apart from your Google My Business listing and website, Google does its own little research and connects your business with every other page or website which have your business details. These other pages which have your NAP details are known as citations. For Google to be able to connect every citation about your financial business to you, there needs to be consistency in your NAP mentions on every citation. A little use of abbreviation here and there is fine, but certain major differences can cost you your ranking. Major differences such as business name spelling difference, contact number difference, citations diverting the visitors to two different websites for one business, etc. are something you should look out for.

Once you have found out the discrepancies in your NAP throughout your citations, you need to take some time to sit down and rectify these mistakes to troubleshoot the local SEO ranking failures for financial websites.

Check for Unintentional Spamming

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Enriching your online content with keywords is a technique we discussed earlier to bring up your local SEO ranking. It is a definite way to boost your local SEO rankings. However, there is a very thin line between making optimum use of keywords in your content and stuffing keywords in your content. When you unnecessarily stuff your content with keywords, you are contributing to spam, which is not really approved by Google.

Spamming is a failed attempt to increase your ranking as Google is smart enough to identify spams. When Google does identify spams, it automatically decreases the rankings of such websites and listings as it considers them to be unreliable. Of course, spamming is something which people do to increase their rankings, but are you aware that you might be doing it too? This is known as unintentional spamming, which happens without you trying to do it. But Google will still take it as a normal case of spamming and decrease your ranking. So how do you avoid this unintentional spamming?

When troubleshooting the local SEO ranking failures for financial websites, try and identify where you might be spamming unintentionally. The first mistake to avoid is the inclusion of keyword in your business name field. That place is only meant for mentioning your exact business name. The other mistake businesses make is creating multiple listings for different departments of the same organization. For example, in your financial firm, if you have two separate teams working on financial advice and accounting services, you do not make a separate listing for them. Other mistakes that could be considered as spam by Google include an incorrect phone number and website URL implementation.

To avoid lowering your search ranking, keep your eyes open for spamming methods and stay away from them. Always make sure to recheck your content and details before posting them online as Google is quick to mark them as spam when noticed.

For every digital marketing tool prevailing in today’s time, there are certain failures that every business tends to make at some point in time. This happens due to misguided decisions and lack of knowledge about the SEO process. With the above-mentioned pointers, you will be able to troubleshoot the local SEO ranking failures for financial websites. However, the best way to avoid such failures from happening altogether is by letting an expert in local SEO do the job, while you focus on your business.

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Digital marketing, sales and technology expert. Public speaker, and entrepreneur. Co-founder of Rapid Boost Marketing. Ali's Lifelong Goal is to help propel and market businesses. Ali brings out of the box thinking to the table because he believes what worked yesterday won't work tomorrow. For him the bottom line matters, but relationships matter the most. His passion is to connect with people and help them market their businesses. Connect with Ali on linkedIn or visit http://rapidboostmarketing.com