Drive Local Traffic: Follow Our Local SEO Checklist for Success!
April 18, 2019
Implementing Local SEO is indispensable for any business aiming to enhance its digital marketing strategy. With the right approach, businesses can significantly improve their online presence and visibility, which can lead to more traffic, conversions, and revenue. In this blog, we’ve created a checklist of essential local SEO strategies to help you optimize your online presence and attract more local customers.
13 Points Local SEO Checklist
1. Claim and optimize your Google My Business profile
Your Google My Business (GMB) profile serves as the foundation of your local SEO strategy. This free tool empowers businesses to manage their online presence on Google, including Search and Maps. By claiming your GMB profile, you can ensure the accuracy of your business information and its visibility in local search results.
As emphasized by Joy Hawkins, Founder of Sterling Sky Inc. to optimize your local SEO effectively, it is crucial to complete all the details, including business name, address, phone number, website, and operating hours. Additionally, enrich your listing with high-quality photos and encourage customers to leave reviews and maintain an active presence by regularly updating your profile with fresh content like posts and events.
Source: Joy Hawkins’ Local SEO Checklist: Optimizing Google My Business Listings (https://www.sterlingsky.ca/local-seo-checklist/)
Some tips to optimize your GMB profile:
- Ensure that your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are accurate and consistent across all directories.
- Add engaging photos and videos of your business, products, and services to attract more clicks and visits to your website.
- Keep your operating hours up-to-date to avoid frustrating potential customers.
- Monitor and respond to customer reviews to showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction.
2. Focus on local keywords
To improve your local search rankings, you need to focus on local keywords. Local keywords are search terms that include a specific location, such as “best coffee shop in Los Angeles.” By incorporating these keywords into your website’s content, meta tags, and page titles, you can improve your local search rankings and attract more local customers.
Here’s how you can identify relevant local search terms:
- Use Google’s Keyword Planner to find local keywords related to your industry or location.
- Analyze your competitors’ websites to see what keywords they’re targeting.
- Use location-specific terms in your content, such as city names, neighborhoods, and landmarks.
To enhance your website’s local SEO, incorporate local keywords in title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and content. Create location-specific pages for each physical business location, mentioning local landmarks and neighborhoods in the content. Utilize schema markup to improve search engine comprehension of your website’s local relevance. These strategies, advised by Casey Meraz, Founder of Juris Digital, will definitely bolster your online presence in local searches.
Source: Local SEO Checklist: 9 Essential Tips for Ranking in Local Search (https://jurisdigital.com/local-seo-checklist/)
3. Build local citations
Building local citations is another essential local SEO strategy. Local citations are online mentions of your business on directories, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and other niche directories related to your industry or location. Consistent citations build trust and credibility with search engines, leading to improved rankings.
Improving your local SEO can be achieved effectively by building local citations and directories. It isessential to list your business on reputable platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Yellowpages, ensuring accurate and consistent business information across all platforms. Regularly monitoring your citations and updating them as needed will further boost your local SEO efforts. These steps, as recommended by Andrew Shotland, Founder of Local SEO Guide, can significantly enhance your local online presence.
Source: Local SEO Guide’s Local Citation Building Guide (https://www.localseoguide.com/local-citation-building-guide/)
Here are some tips on building local citations:
- Ensure that your NAP information is consistent across all directories.
- Claim and optimize your listings on popular directories like Yelp and Yellow Pages.
- Identify niche directories related to your industry or location and create listings on them.
4. Get backlinks from local sources
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. They’re an essential ranking factor for search engines because they signal your business’s prominence and relevance. Getting backlinks from local sources can enhance your local SEO efforts.
Here are some tips to get backlinks from local sources:
- Partner with other local businesses to exchange backlinks.
- Contribute guest posts to local blogs and include links to your website.
- Secure mentions from local media outlets by pitching your business to reporters.
One of the key elements in local SEO is obtaining positive online reviews. Actively encourage customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook, while also promptly addressing any negative feedback. Utilize reviews as an opportunity to enhance your business’s products and services, as highlighted by Dan Leibson, Vice President of Search at Local SEO Guide.
Source: Local SEO Guide’s Ultimate Guide to Online Reviews (https://www.localseoguide.com/ultimate-guide-to-online-reviews/)
5. Generate reviews from customers
Customer reviews are critical for local SEO because they provide social proof of your business’s quality and credibility. Positive reviews can improve your rankings and attract more customers, while negative reviews can harm your reputation. Encouraging reviews from customers and responding to feedback can help you build trust and loyalty with your audience.
Here are some tips to generate reviews from customers:
- Ask satisfied customers to leave a review on your GMB profile, social media pages, and other online platforms.
- Make it easy for customers to leave a review by including links to your review pages on your website and email signature.
- Respond promptly and professionally to all reviews, whether positive or negative.
Ben Fisher, Founder and CEO of Steady Demand, recommends leveraging local content to enhance local SEO and connect with the local audience effectively. Crafting blog posts, videos, and infographics tailored to your business’s location and target audience proves impactful. Incorporate local keywords and hashtags to boost your content’s visibility, thereby elevating your business’s local online presence and engagement.
Source: Steady Demand’s Local SEO Guide: How to Optimize Your Website for Local Search (https://www.steadydemand.com/local-seo-guide/)
6. Create local content
Creating local content is an effective way to engage your local audience and improve your local SEO. Local content is content that’s tailored to the interests and needs of your local audience, such as news, events, and stories related to your community. By creating valuable and relevant content, you can attract more local customers and establish your business as a trusted authority in your industry.
Here are some tips to create local content:
- Conduct research to identify local topics and trends related to your industry or audience.
- Use local keywords and location-specific terms in your content.
- Publish your content on your website, social media pages, and other online platforms.
Joy Hawkins, Founder of Sterling Sky Inc., highlights the significance of optimizing your website for mobile devices in local SEO. With an increasing number of users searching for local businesses on smartphones and tablets, ensuring your website’s mobile-friendliness, fast loading speed, and seamless user experience is crucial. Implementing responsive design is essential to ensure your website looks exceptional on all screen sizes, enhancing your chances of attracting and retaining mobile users and improving your local online presence.
Source: Joy Hawkins’ Local SEO Checklist: Mobile Optimization (https://www.sterlingsky.ca/local-seo-checklist/)
7. Use schema markup
Schema markup is a code that you can add to your website to provide search engines with more information about your business, such as your address, phone number, and reviews. By using schema markup, you can improve your search visibility and attract more local customers.
Here are some tips to use schema markup:
- Use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to create schema markup for your website.
- Include schema markup on your GMB profile and other online directories.
- Test your markup using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to ensure it’s working correctly.
To optimize your local SEO and target local customers effectively, incorporating location-based keywords in your Google Ads campaigns is essential. Incorporate local keywords into your ad copy, mentioning your city or neighborhood name. Additionally, utilize location extensions to display your business’s physical location and phone number in your ads. Following these strategies, as advised by Greg Gifford, Vice President of Search at SearchLab, will increase your visibility to local audiences and enhance your local online presence.
Source: SearchLab’s Guide to Local PPC: How to Target Local Customers with Google Ads (https://searchlabdigital.com/guide-to-local-ppc/)
8. Optimize your website for mobile
Mobile optimization is essential for local SEO because more and more people are using their mobile devices to search for local businesses. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll miss out on potential customers and harm your search rankings.
Here are some tips to optimize your website for mobile:
- Use a responsive design that automatically adjusts to different screen sizes.
- Use large font sizes and clear call-to-action buttons to make navigation easy on small screens.
- Test your website on different mobile devices to ensure it’s working correctly.
To bolster your website’s local relevance and aid search engines in understanding your business information, implementing structured data markup is crucial. Ensure your schema markup includes vital details like your business’s name, address, phone number, and other pertinent information. Additionally, leverage local business schema markup to provide supplementary details, such as your business’s hours of operation and customer reviews. By following these recommendations from Casey Meraz, Founder of Juris Digital, you can significantly enhance your local SEO efforts and improve your website’s visibility in local search results.
Source: Juris Digital’s Local SEO Checklist: Structured Data Markup (https://jurisdigital.com/local-seo-checklist/)
9. Monitor your online presence
Monitoring your online presence is essential for maintaining a positive brand image and addressing any inaccuracies or negative feedback promptly. By staying on top of your online reputation, you can improve your credibility and attract more customers.
Here are some tips to monitor your online presence:
- Set up Google Alerts to track mentions of your business online.
- Monitor your reviews and respond promptly to any feedback.
- Check your business information on directories and social media pages to ensure accuracy.
Joy Hawkins, Founder of Sterling Sky Inc., underscores the importance of monitoring your online presence to uphold a positive brand image and handle inaccuracies or negative feedback promptly. Set up Google Alerts to track mentions of your business across the web, keep a close eye on customer reviews, and regularly verify your business information on directories and social media pages to ensure accuracy. By actively monitoring your online reputation, you can maintain a strong and favorable brand identity in the digital landscape.
Source: Joy Hawkins’ Local SEO Checklist: Online Presence Monitoring (https://www.sterlingsky.ca/local-seo-checklist/)
Social media is an effective way to promote your business and engage with your local audience. By creating and sharing valuable content on social media, you can attract more followers, build brand awareness, and drive more traffic to your website.
Here are some tips to use social media for local SEO:
- Choose the right social media platforms for your business and audience.
- Create and share valuable content, such as blog posts, videos, and images.
- Use local hashtags and location tags to reach more local customers.
Leveraging social media to promote your business effectively engages your local audience and boosts website traffic. Optimize results by selecting the appropriate social media platforms for your business and target audience. Share valuable content regularly and utilize local hashtags and location tags to expand your reach among local customers. By implementing these strategies, as suggested by Ben Fisher, Founder and CEO of Steady Demand, you can maximize your local online presence and foster meaningful connections with your audience.
Source: Steady Demand’s Local SEO Guide: How to Optimize Your Website for Local Search (https://www.steadydemand.com/local-seo-guide/)
11. Implement a local link-building strategy
Link-building is an essential component of any SEO strategy, but it’s especially important for local SEO. By getting backlinks from other local websites, you can improve your local search rankings and establish your business as an authority in your community.
Here are some tips to implement a local link-building strategy:
- Reach out to local bloggers and influencers to request backlinks.
- Sponsor local events or charities and request a backlink in return.
- Create valuable content that other local websites will want to link to.
Andrew Shotland, Founder of Local SEO Guide, advocates for the implementation of a local link-building strategy to enhance local search rankings and establish business authority in the community. Key steps include reaching out to local bloggers and influencers for backlinks, sponsoring local events or charities and requesting reciprocal backlinks, and creating valuable content that other local websites will be eager to link to. These efforts contribute significantly to improving your business’s local online presence and visibility.
Source: Local SEO Guide’s Local Link-Building Guide (https://www.localseoguide.com/local-link-building-guide/)
12. Optimize your website’s loading speed
Website loading speed is a critical factor for both user experience and SEO. If your website takes too long to load, users will likely leave and go to a competitor’s site. Moreover, search engines consider website loading speed when ranking websites.
For local SEO, optimizing your website’s loading speed is essential. Slow-loading sites can cause a high bounce rate, adversely affecting search rankings. To enhance loading speed, compress images, minify code, and implement a content delivery network (CDN). Consistently monitor your site’s speed using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix, as recommended by Casey Meraz, Founder of Juris Digital.
Source: Juris Digital’s Local SEO Checklist: Website Speed (https://jurisdigital.com/local-seo-checklist/)
Tips to optimize your site’s loading speed:
- Use a content delivery network (CDN) to improve your website’s loading speed.
- Optimize images and videos to reduce their file size.
- Minimize HTTP requests by removing unnecessary plugins and scripts.
13. Track and analyze your local SEO efforts
Finally, it’s essential to track and analyze your local SEO efforts to understand what’s working and what’s not. By monitoring your website traffic, rankings, and other metrics, you can identify opportunities for improvement and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Here’s how you can track and analyze your local SEO efforts:
- Use Google Analytics to track your website traffic and user behavior.
- Monitor your search rankings for relevant local keywords.
- Track your online reviews and reputation across different platforms.
Joy Hawkins, Founder of Sterling Sky Inc., emphasizes the importance of monitoring and analyzing your local SEO performance. By tracking Google My Business rankings, monitoring website traffic and conversions, and utilizing tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you can gain valuable insights into your audience’s behavior and identify areas for improvement in local search performance.
Source: Joy Hawkins’ Local SEO Checklist: Performance Monitoring (https://www.sterlingsky.ca/local-seo-checklist/)
In conclusion, local SEO offers a powerful means for businesses to attract local customers and boost their presence in the market. By optimizing their Google My Business profile, generating compelling local content, building citations, and securing positive reviews, businesses can strengthen their visibility in local search results. If you’re not sure how to implement these tips, or if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, hiring a proficient local SEO expert can further streamline these efforts, ensuring a targeted strategy to achieve higher local search rankings and sustained growth in the competitive landscape.
Contact us today to learn more about our local SEO services.