Usually, when someone comes to our Phoenix local search engine optimization firm, they’re diving into the world of digital marketing for the first time. Sometimes, clients will come for help after getting burned by an incompetent SEO consultant.

The stakes are high. As one of the fastest growing cities in the country, the Phoenix local search engine optimization landscape is crowded with your competitors. And you’re not just competing with other businesses here in Phoenix. Every week, Americans view 645 million local web pages, and each day, about 27 million pieces of content are shared online.

With all that competition, you can’t afford to keep making beginner’s mistakes. Every local search optimization campaign starts by laying a solid groundwork from which your website can start to grow. And often, the most common local SEO mistakes can ruin this groundwork like weeds in a garden.

The Top Mistakes We See in Phoenix Local Search Engine Optimization

1. Taking a Nap on Your NAP Listings

This is the easiest mistake to start fixing today, and it’s one of the first things our local SEO company looks for when taking on a new client. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number.

Pretty basic, right?

You’d be surprised how often this information is inconsistent. Your website and business should be cited on local business directories like Yelp, but it’s crucial that your NAP information is identical in every listing. Your NAP information on your website must match the info on business directories. Even something as small as Road vs. Rd. can make a difference.

2. Keyword Stuffing

Good writing can be hard to come by, and even the best writers struggle to include awkward local keywords like “plumbers phoenix az reviews” into web copy. Unfortunately, some Do-It-Yourself SEO “experts” try to take shortcuts, stuffing all of these keywords onto a page one after another.

That trick used to work in 2004. Today, it sends a signal to Google that your website is spammy and unworthy of those precious local rankings.

3. Going It Alone

There’s a reason our Phoenix local search engine optimization company has grown so quickly over the past few years. Whether you require national or local SEO services, digital marketing requires a very specific skill set. While some business owners assume they can’t afford SEO services, digital marketing is far less expensive than traditional TV, print, or radio advertising.

4. Bing It On

Today, 93% of online experiences start with a search engine like Google or Bing, but Google absolutely dominates 65 to 70% of the search engine market at any given time. While Bing can sometimes be an important value-added service, there’s a reason local SEO services focus on Google.

For better or worse, it’s Google’s world, and we’re all just living in it.

5. Self Plagiarism

When you want to rank on a string of nearly identical keywords like “tuscon widgets,” “phoenix widgets,” and “widgets arizona,” it can seem redundant to create separate webpages for each keyword. So people do one of two things: they stuff all those keywords onto a single page (see local SEO mistake #2), or they simply duplicate webpages and swap out the keywords.

Unfortunately, Google uses advanced natural language processing and machine learning to filter out duplicated content like this, even if you change out the keywords.

Copy and paste at your own risk.

Of course, these are just five of the most common local SEO mistakes we see. Many more mistakes are made behind the scenes, in your website’s code.