If you are searching for Local SEO Checklist, you might own a local business, might be someone who is running a Local SEO agency, or someone who wants to help their friends & family with the search engine optimizations for their local business. For that reason, I will keep this article very simple and to the point so that each and everyone could understand word by word.
What is Local SEO & Local SEO Checklist?
Before we move into the checklist for Local SEO, let’s understand what is Local SEO. We all know SEO stands for search engine optimization and adding local in here means local business, which stands for SEO for local business.
Local SEO will help your local business to get more visibility in your locality or any locality, which you want to target. You or anyone you know might have any business whether it’s in plumbing, roofing, dental, designing, real estate, or even a lawyer, with these checklists you will be able to know what you need to follow in order to get more visibility in SERPs.
Why Local SEO is Important?
Gone are the days when the competition was low, businesses used to set up GMB and start getting calls from the local residents, today in 2022 when there are tons of businesses in the same locality plus in the same vertical, how to stand out is the main concern. The more you show up, the more people will trust you and the more calls you will be getting for your services. Without wasting much time, let’s get on to the checklist for which we are here.
10 Important Local SEO Checklist
I assume you have a website & GMB for your business, if you don’t have one, get yourself one. Buy your business domain from any trusted domain registrar and host it in a hosting whose server is in the country which you planning to target, you can use WordPress as a CMS and get a responsive theme for your business from Themeforest or anywhere you like.
Now, let’s move on to the checklist.
1. Setup Google Webmaster, Analytics. (First thing first)
After you set up your website, sign up in Google Webmaster, Google Analytics, Bing Webmaster, or any other webmaster if you want. These are the places where you will get all the data of your website’s performance.
How many users are visiting your website, what queries are they making, and even if your website has any error/issues, you will get the warning in webmaster, which will let you know if there is anything which needed to be fixed and get going.
2. Optimize your Website Properly
- Choose right keywords
Finding the right keyword is crucial and the first part before starting to write/create any page/post. For keyword research, you can use tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, Google Keyword Planner to understand what keywords users are searching to search services that you provide.
Another way to get keywords is by researching on your competitor’s website, you will be able to see what keywords they are focusing on and after that, you can do your own research and select the right keywords for your business.
- Create Service Pages (Service + Location)
Create pages for the service that you provide, If you are providing plumbing service, create pages like “plumbing service in new york”, if you are providing interior services, create pages “interior designer in las vegas” and so on based on the keyword research you have done.
- Take care of your Heading Tags H1, H2, H3 etc.
Your heading should be always on H1, subheading on H2 and inner title under H2 should be H3, Heading tags will tell more about your content.
- Keep URL Simple
Keep your URL/permalink simple and exact to your keyword
- Optimize Images
Images can be heavy and it can affect the loading time of your website, make sure you are compressing your images before uploading them to your website. If you are using WordPress, you can use plugins like EWWW Image Optimizer, Smush to compress your images.
You must also make sure that you are adding proper alt text to your images.
- Accurate NAP Details
Make sure the name, address, phone number is the same on your website which you have used in other places on the internet.
- Proper Silo Structure
Organize your content, category, pages in a proper way, this silo architect of organizing your website subpages will help you achieve better UX for your users, better silo structure will also help search engines bots to crawl, index better.
- Canonical Issues
Make sure your website doesn’t have any multiple duplicate URLs that lead to the same content. The most common canonical issues are found with www/non-www and http/https. Check for them and fix it so that search engines don’t index multiple URLs for the same page, this also affects your SERP ranking.
3. Setup & Optimize Google My Business
If you don’t have a GMB account as of now, sign up & create it from here & after you fill up all the details, verify your business. If you have a GMB listing, these are the point you need to take care of while optimizing your google my business listing.
- Business name should be same which you are using everywhere online, NAP is important and should be same across the internet for your business. (NAP stand for Name, Address, Phone Number)
- Choose proper categories of your business.
- Upload logo & appealing images of your services.
- Add Operation timing & business days.
- Add Phone number (try not using toll free number like 0800, 0888)
- Add website URL to the listing.
- List your product/services.
- Write proper and in-depth description for your business with keywords for your services.
- Get review from existing/future customer & make sure you reply to their review.
- Keep adding more content to google post & increase the frequency with time.
4. Local Directories & Citations
Now that you have the website and GMB setup done, start signing up to the local directories, It will not just help you to promote your business but it will also work as a backlink/citation whatever you call it.
While signing up, just make sure your business has the same name, address, and phone number across all the listings. Yelp, Angie’s List, Foursquare, MapQuest, Better Business Bureau are some of the directories you can sign up for and you can find more by doing research for local directories, you will be able to find a lot.
5. Increase Reviews
Reviews are a sign of trust, the more positive reviews you have for your business, the chances of getting calls and converting them would be easier.
The best possible way to increase your reviews is by contacting your old customers and asking them to leave a review in the GMB listing, or any directories. Another thing you can do is give them a discount on your service if they leave a review for you or give them a coupon for their next order.
You can brainstorm more ideas like this which will help you to get more reviews, and this will eventually help your business to grow in SERP as well.
6. Build Backlinks & Get Local Coverage
Backlinks, the off-page part of SEO is crucial for your website to get more visibility in SERP. No how do you get more backlinks for your business?
The best way you can get organic backlinks for your local business is by reaching out to local online magazines and share your story.
7. Invest in Content
Content in your website/social media is the communication between your business and your customers, good copywriting is like love at first sight, giving them the best content around your niche/business, sharing the DIY articles, giving honest opinions about your product, writing in-depth content for your services/products.
Sometimes, people don’t want services at the moment but when you give information that impacted their life and saved them money, you will have their trust and when the urgency comes, that same customer can’t think of anyone better than you because they always know you and know about your work, business.
8. Improve your Social Media Presence
This doesn’t come directly in the SEO, but a crucial part in getting more visibility, if you wondering how? ask yourself, let’s say you want to lose weight and you got images that tell you the exact exercise you need to do and the diet you need to follow and you will get results. If you are someone who wanted to get fit, you will save it for later.
That’s how impactful social media is, you never know what information your audience is searching for, but when you are able to directly get into their social feed and give them great content, you will get better engagement and trust for your business in the long run.
9. Responsive Website
The share internet usage in desktop, mobile devices, smartphones, tablets are growing every day, Today more than half of the internet users are using mobile devices, if you don’t want to lose customers or potential clients, you need to have an optimized website for mobile and other device’s browsing as well.
If it’s not responsive, the user experience will go down, and eventually, they will leave the website. A responsive design will fit perfectly in every device your customers have at the instant moment and give them a better user experience.
10. Check for Improvement
While you keep optimizing website/GMB listing, promote your business & distribute your content across the web to get more eyeballs, you will get a lot of ways to improve more and more, whether it the loading time of the website, some broken links, adding schema to your pages/posts or it could be something else.
Keep looking at the search console from time to time and check whether there is anything technical you need to fix or not.
That is all from my side as of now, we will see you on some other content. Feel free to comment down below if you have any other doubts/questions/queries. I will keep adding more to this article to provide you more value which will help you to know more about local seo checklist.