If you run a local or multi-location company, then you can grow your business a lot with the help of local SEO. It will help you to drive local traffic to your site and allow your business to grow your business exponentially.
It is easy to understand the importance of local SEO but making your site ready for the local customers is still a difficult job because local SEO ranking factors are still a black box.
Nobody knows what Google values when it comes to local SEO. But from our experiences and different studies, we can tell you about those factors that have a real impact on the Google ranking.
In this post, we will discuss some of the most effective on-site and off-site things that you need to check in order to level up your local SEO performance. These action-oriented checklists will help you to optimize your website in a better way.
In this section, we will discuss the on-page elements that you need to check and optimize during your on-site SEO audit.
These are the three most important pages of your website. And because of this you have to check these three pages first. Include your target keywords on your home and about us page. In addition to that, you also have to ensure that the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of your business is perfectly mentioned on your contact page.
Ensure that your phone number is clickable. It will help you to get more call from your potential customers.
We always recommend individuals to add the most important information on their on the footer section. If you have multiple locations, then you should also consider mentioning all the locations of your business on the footer.
We always recommend individuals to be consistent about their NAP information. For instance, your shop is located on the “1234 Anywhere Street”. So you might think that “1234 Any-where St.” will also stand for the same thing. Your users might not feel any inconvenience in decoding your address, but it can muddy up your SEO effort. Due to this reason, we always recommend individuals to stay consistent about their NAP information.
Google Search Console or GSC is free, which will help you to understand how many people visit your site, how they get to your site, and how they use your site. If your site has any technical issue even then, it will help you to find that out. So enable the Google Search Console of your website and stay active on it.
Bing is another popular search engine created by Microsoft. In a recent study, it has been found that many people in the USA use this search engine to access the internet. So if you run your business in the USA and if you want to optimize your website for Bing, then you also have to stay active on Bing. Bing Webmaster Tools is an alternative of Google Search Console, but in this case, you will be optimizing your site for the Bing search engine.
You also have to ensure that your site has structured data markup, including all the relevant information.
While optimizing the title tags of your website, you have to ensure that they contain your location and the target keyword.
You also have to add the location of your business on all the meta descriptions. Each of them should have around 160 characters.
You also have to optimize all the images that you have used on your website. We always recommend using the geo term in the image tags.
We always recommend business owners to optimize the URLs of all of their web pages. While optimizing your URLs, you have to ensure that all of your URLs contain the location of your business.
Several studies have revealed the fact that most of the local searchers use their smartphone to perform an online search. So if you want to target them, then you have to ensure that the site is mobile friendly. So focus on developing a responsive site which will work perfectly on different types of devices.
We always recommend businesses to embed Google Maps in their location. It will help you to create a great user experience.
If you have multiple locations of your business, then you consider having a dedicated location page. In this page, you have to list all the locations of your shops.
If your business is spread across multiple regions or states, then you should also consider adding a regional page on your site.
In your website, you need to consider linking other local businesses, relevant places or offices. While linking out, you have to ensure that they are not your direct competitors.
For each of your business location, you need to consider creating and applying a different content strategy. Let us suppose two of your shops are located in London and New York. So when writing content for your London page, you have to do in the British style. On the other hand, you should stick with US writing style while developing content for the New York site.
You should create a blog section on your website and post easy guides and how-to lists on that blog section. It will help you to educate your potential customers and allow you to boost your conversion rate. If you are running a B2B-centric business even, then you should consider following this trick.
Don’t use blogs only as a marketing tool. You can also use the, to reveal your thoughts, plans, company history. Sharing these things will help you to connect with your potential customers at an emotional level and allow you to build the brand identity.
You need to create a news section on your website where you should consider publishing content which is highly localized.
The load time of your website is a very important ranking factor, even in local SEO, it plays a crucial role. If you want to optimize your site at an advanced level, then you have to focus on improving its load time. Apart from just enhancing the UX of your site, it will also boost your local SEO ranking.
You need to place CTA buttons on your site strategically. It will help you to generate more leads.
You should also consider optimizing all the H1 and H2 tags of your website. Consider adding primary and secondary keywords in these two sections.
At least you have to take a close look the sitemap and ensure that the looks tidy. If it is not, then put them in order.
Finally, you also have to update your site on a regular basis. It will give a positive signal to Google as well as to your users.
In this part of the post, we will discuss those off-page elements where you need to focus and optimize in order to level up your SEO game.
Google My Business is the leading web directory where you can list your business for free. Your GMB profile is a very important off-page ranking factor. So don’t just list your business on GMB but also optimize your listing properly. At first, you have to claim your business and after that, set up your NAP information and business hours. In addition to that, you also have to choose the right category for your business.
Every business should have its Facebook page. While making your business page, you have to add your NAP information properly. In addition to that, add a professional business description and high-quality images which will help your followers to know about your business in details.
This is Microsoft’s analogue for Google My Business. So if you want to optimize your business for Bing, then you also have to list your business on Bing Places for Business.
This is the most important place where you have to be present if you want to dominate the local search. After optimizing your local search, you will get access to it.
You also have to create your profile on review sites such as BBB, Angie’sAngie’s List and Yelp. While creating your profile, optimize it properly and add your NAP information and website URL on your listing carefully.
When it comes to links, the rule of the game is same as the regular SEO. So focus on creating a variety of inbound links.
However, you will need a dedicated strategy to create high-quality local backlinks to improve your overall local SEO ranking.
In this section, you have to create a list of all the map resources that are available online. And after that, you have to list your business on all of them.
You also have to list your business on different directory sites. It will help you to boost your SERP ranking.
Apart from just Facebook, you also have to list your business on different social media sites. Choose those sites based on your business profile and types.
In this section of the journey, you have to check your existing business reviews. You can do it manually or also use tools like Brand Yourself for addressing this need. If you find negative reviews on your profile, then you have to focus on suppressing them by generating more positive reviews. It will help you with creating and managing brand reputation.
You also have to focus on transforming your business into a local brand. Developing high-quality useful content and organizing local events will help you with it.
This is an additional part of setting your Google My Business profile. Upload high-quality images of your business on your GMB profile. These photos will help your potential customers to know about your business.
By the end of 2018, Google has added a dedicated section for Q&A rich results. This is technically an on-site thing, but you should take it under your off-site game plan. By leveraging the power of Google Q&A, you will be able to add more values for your customers. It will directly boost your ranking.
By using your GMB profile, you will be able to post something directly on Google. You should use this feature to publish news, promoting new products etc.
Throughout the business journey, you have to encourage your customers to leave positive business reviews on your GMB profile.
You have to stay active on your GMB profile to keep a close look on the reviews. While managing your GMB account, you have to respond to reviews, answer the questions of the customers and update photos. These things will help you to improve your local SEO ranking.
You also have to keep a close eye on your competitors’ GMB profiles. If you find anything fishy in their activity, then consider reporting it to Google.
In a competitive marketplace, people often use black hat techniques to rank faster. Always keep your eyes opt to spot such activities.
If you have a personal connection with any online influencer, then you should take his/her help to promote your business. You can also consider opting for paid influencer campaigns to boost the reach of your business.
The top-tier citations are still an important ranking factor. But don’t waste your time on creating low-quality citations.
You should also consider creating video content to improve your brand value.
This is a tricky thing that you can do to improve your local SEO ranking. So ask your customers to Google with your brand name and then visit your website. It will help you to improve your click through rate, which will result in higher SEO ranking.
You can also consider giving your customers check-In offers on Yelp. It will help you to improve your online visibility.
List your website on every industry-specific websites where your potential customers visit to find those products that you offer.
These are the 50 things here you should focus on order to improve your local SEO ranking.