Local SEO Myths Debunked 2024


Understanding how to effectively market your business online is crucial. However, there are many myths about Local business SEO that can lead you astray.

With nearly ten years of experience in Local SEO, I’ve seen countless misconceptions that can hinder your success. Let’s debunk some common Local SEO myths and provide you with accurate strategies to improve your local search visibility and attract more customers.

Quick Answer

The question “local seo myths” refers to common misconceptions about optimizing for local search rankings. For example two major local SEO myths in 2024 are: 1) Claiming your Google Business Profile directly boosts rankings, and 2) Nobody reads online reviews anymore.

For a more in-depth look at local seo myths debunked please read on.

Myths About Local SEO

In the dynamic world of local SEO for 2024, busting myths is crucial for effective optimization. Understanding these distinctions can significantly enhance your local SEO strategy.

Myth 1. Claiming Your Google Business Profile Boosts Rankings

Claiming your Google Business Profile alone won’t necessarily improve your search rankings. While setting up your GBP is an important step in your local SEO strategy, it’s just the beginning.

To truly impact your SEO rankings, you need to optimize your profile with accurate information and regular updates.

claim your free GMB

Think of your Google My Business as the foundation. With further strategic actions, such as collecting genuine reviews and posting relevant content, your visibility in local searches might improve much.

It’s a common misconception that simply claiming your GBP will do the trick.

Instead, view it as part of a broader, dynamic local SEO strategy that requires ongoing attention and refinement to truly maximize its potential in boosting your visibility online.

Myth 2. Stuffing Keywords in Your GBP Business Description Helps

While optimizing your Google Business Profile, stuffing keywords into your business description might help, however this approach can actually backfire.

Overloading your description with keywords can make it difficult for potential customers to understand what your business actually does.

In addition, search engines like Google are sophisticated enough to recognize keyword stuffing and may penalize your profile by lowering its ranking in search results.

Instead, focus on creating a clear, concise, and relevant description that naturally incorporates keywords.

This strategy not only improves readability but also boosts your standing in local SEO, making your business more likely to appear in relevant Google searches.

Myth 3. Using Call Tracking Numbers Hurts Local Rankings

Many believe that using call tracking numbers can damage your local SEO rankings.

However, this is only sometimes accurate. When implemented correctly, call tracking numbers won’t adversely affect your ability to rank within Google Maps.

The key is consistency. Make sure that your call tracking number is consistently listed across all your local profiles and citations.

This consistency helps Google recognize and verify your business’s identity, which is essential for effective local SEO tactics.

Furthermore, using a call tracking number allows you to gather valuable data on your customers, aiding in refining marketing strategies without harming your local SEO.

Therefore, when done correctly, a call tracking number doesn’t have to impede your SEO efforts but can improve your understanding of customer interactions.

Myth 4. Running Google Ads Boosts Local Pack Rankings

You might’ve heard that running Google Ads can improve your rankings in the Local Pack, but this is a misconception.

Engaging in PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns through Google doesn’t directly affect your position in local search results or Google SERPs for search engine optimization purposes.

Google maintains a separation between its ad revenue and its organic search results to guarantee fairness and relevance in search listings.

While Google Ads can increase visibility and drive traffic to your website, they don’t influence the organic local ranking factors such as your proximity, relevance, and prominence within the local search algorithm.

It’s important to focus on solid SEO practices to enjoy the big benefits of local SEO rather than relying on ads to enhance local pack standings.

Take a look a this great post about the 13 benefits of local SEO

Myth 5. Setting a Service Area Radius Improves Business Listing

Another common myth is that expanding your service area radius on Google My Business (GMB) will improve your local rankings.

This belief persists among many business owners, but it’s important to understand that local marketing doesn’t operate on a ‘the bigger, the better’ principle.

Here’s a simple breakdown in a table format to clarify the concept:

Factor Impact on Local SEO
Larger Radius Does not directly boost rankings
Relevance More vital for local SEO success
Accuracy Vital in GMB listings

In reality, businesses can utilize GMB more effectively by focusing on relevance and accuracy in their entries rather than just expanding their service area.

This approach aligns better with SEO strategies and truly serves to improve your local visibility.

Myth 6. You Only Need Citations from Major Data Providers

It’s a myth that citations from only major data providers are enough to boost your local SEO effectively.

Indeed, while these citations are fundamental, they don’t cover the entire spectrum of what can improve your rank in search results.

The algorithm that determines local search rankings values a diverse range of citations.

This includes listings from niche or industry-specific directories, local news websites, and community portals, which are often more relevant to local businesses.

Broadening your citation profile can signal to search engines that your business is well-recognized and trusted within your local community, thereby improving your visibility and potential to climb higher in search results.

Keep your strategy open; expand your citation reach to include varied and localized sources.

Myth 7. You Must Have a Physical Office to Rank Locally

Having a physical office is optional to secure a local ranking in search results.

In the world of local SEO, what matters most is how effectively you use your business name and other relevant details on platforms like google.com.

You can still rank on the map and in local searches without a brick-and-mortar location.

GMB profile details

Many businesses operate virtually and achieve high local visibility by optimizing their SEO strategies.

Instead of focusing on a physical office, concentrate on accurate and strategic placement of location-based keywords and make sure your business name is consistent across all digital platforms.

This approach helps signal to search engines the relevance of your services to specific localities, enhancing your local SEO efforts.

Myth 8. Linking Your Website to Your Google Business Profile Does Not Help

Connecting your website to your Google Business Profile can significantly improve your local search rankings.

When you link your site, you’re not just creating a direct path for potential customers to find you; you’re also engaging in a powerful form of link-building that signals to search engines the relevance and authenticity of your business.

This connection helps elevate your visibility in local SEO searches, making it a vital step in optimizing your online presence.

Moreover, the backlinks formed through this association strengthen your site’s authority, further improving your rankings.

It’s essential to understand that in local SEO, both the quality of your Google Business Profile and its interlinking with your website play integral roles in boosting your rankings.

Myth 9. Nobody Reads Customer Reviews Anymore

Contrary to popular belief, many people still read reviews before making purchasing decisions. It’s important to recognize that reviews on social media and other platforms can greatly influence consumer behavior.

When you respond to a review, it not only shows engagement but can also positively impact your business’s visibility and credibility online.

This engagement encourages more click-through rates as potential customers are more likely to trust a business that actively manages its customer interactions.

Additionally, effective management of reviews can lower your site’s bounce rate, as visitors stay longer to read positive interactions.

Don’t underestimate the power of reviews; they’re a crucial component of local SEO and digital reputation.


In summary, maneuvering through the complexities of local SEO involves debunking prevalent myths.

It’s crucial to understand that simple actions like claiming your Google Business Profile or adding keywords won’t necessarily enhance your rankings greatly.

Instead, focus on genuine content, accurate information, and customer engagement.

Remember, strategies that seem too convenient might be myths; effective SEO requires a more nuanced approach.

Stay informed, adapt to ongoing changes, and prioritize authenticity in your local SEO endeavours.

Key Takeaways

  1. Claiming a Google Business Profile alone does not improve search rankings; ongoing optimization is required.
  2. Expanding a service area radius does not directly increase local SEO rankings.
  3. Google Ads do not affect the organic local rankings in search results.
  4. Having a physical office is optional for achieving high local rankings.
  5. Keyword stuffing in business descriptions can negatively impact visibility due to search engine penalties.

Get In Touch

I can help get your small local business to the top of the search engines. Download my FREE pdf guide to local SEO guide via this link below.

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  • John Johnston

    John Johnston is a seasoned local SEO specialist with 8+ years of experience. He has built and optimized numerous lead generation websites, showcasing his versatility. Currently, John works with a top London skincare clinic, leveraging local SEO to drive targeted traffic and visibility. With a data-driven approach and expertise in keyword research, content creation, and on-page/off-page optimization, John consistently delivers outstanding results, helping clients outrank competitors and attract qualified leads in the local search landscape.

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