Your Ultimate Checklist for Local SEO

Setting up separate landing page for each location

Coming up with an efficient local SEO strategy and executing it well is a tough challenge. To help you succeed, we’re offering this checklist to give you some structure.

The steps in this article can help you optimise a strategy that will attract and gain local customers from your target audience. If you’re just starting and want to know some local SEO basics head to our guide on  What is Local SEO.

Our checklist breaks down your local SEO tasks into four main steps:

  1. Setting up Google My Business Profile
  2. Optimising Your Website for Local SEO
  3. Watching Your Online Reputation
  4. Tracking Your Local SEO Performance

Let’s talk about each point on our checklist in more detail.

Google My Business

The first thing you should check off your local SEO checklist is setting up your Google My Business page.

Why is setting up Google My Business profile important for local SEO?

A Google My Business profile lets you be more visible on Google search and Google Maps where your potential customers can find your info.

You’ll have your own profile where you can add your business’s information, photos and showcase reviews right in the search results.

Your business appears by name search on Google thanks to GMB

To set yours up, either add your business or claim the existing business on Google Maps. Google offers instructions with a helpful video as well.

Strategically Choose the Best Business Category

One important step in this process is to choose the most relevant category for your business.

In terms of SEO, choosing this category is like choosing your site’s main target keyword that describes your product or service.

As of 2020, there are close to 4,000 categories you can choose from to label your business.

You’ll want to choose a category that not only applies to your business but will also be a popular search term.

For example, if you have a restaurant specialised in Portuguese chicken, you could simply choose “Portuguese Restaurant”.

GMB category

There are tons of ways to further optimise your business listing. With our expert help, you can stand out among search results, grab attention and convince people to choose your business through your GMB listing.

The details you add to your profile will be appreciated by potential customers searching online as it could help answer some of their questions or concerns about choosing your business.

In conclusion, your checklist for GMB is:

  • Create your page
  • Claim/add/verify your profile
  • Choose the category that suits you
  • Optimize your profile with images and info all about your business

Website Optimisation

Now, how can you optimise your local business website for local SEO?

Generally, you’ll need to follow the basics of SEO like any other website:

  • Creating high-quality content
  • Optimizing your pages for target keywords
  • Build links to those pages

Then, there are a couple of ranking factors that become more important for local SEO like Citation Management and mobile-friendliness.

Citation management is important because it will help Google trust your business when it sees more consistent citations of your business name, address, phone number and other info.

Mobile-friendliness is important because of how many people search for local services while on their smartphones.

Insight Top4 - Optimise Hyperlocal SEO for MicroMoments

Citation Management

First, display your business information clearly on your home page or footer so visitors will easily find it. This means your NAP (name, address and phone number) and other important info.

This information must be consistent with every citation in order to send trust signals to search engines. Conflicting info about a business can negatively impact your SEO.

This issue can be fixed with citation management.

Technical SEO Audit

Next, you’ll need to identify your websites’ technical issues that could be impacting Google’s ability to find your web pages.

To do this, run a site audit to check a list of top errors, warnings and notices as well as instructions on how to fix each issue.

Simple things like fixing any broken pages, writing title tags and meta descriptions and having optimized internal links will go a long way towards future SEO success.

To audit how well your site is optimized for mobile, simply choose to crawl the mobile version of your site in the configuration settings.

For more tips on mobile SEO, check out our previous articles.

So, you’ve set up Google My Business, managed the rest of your citations and now have a list of technical issues to address to improve your site. What else can you do?

The basics of link building come down to simply making connections. Can you make connections in your local community and in turn receive links from other websites?

Can you create content that other sites in your niche will want to link to?

Getting linked-to from local blogs, neighbouring businesses or other websites about your specific niche or industry could go a long way in boosting your SEO.

Schema Markup for Local SEO

Schema markup can help a local business show up and appear in special SERP Features like carousels and answer boxes.

For example, here are some schema markups relevant to local business:

  • Events
  • Reviews
  • Local business
  • Organization
  • Electrician
  • HVAC Business
  • Plumber
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Store
  • Landmark or Historical Building
  • Volcano

These markups help search engines better understand and trust your site.

In conclusion, your checklist for Website Optimisation is:

  • Fix citations with Listing Management
  • Perform a site audit (IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you’re mobile-friendly)
  • Obtain locally relevant backlinks
  • Add structured data markups

Online Reputation & Reviews

Your online reputation is a huge factor in winning over potential new customers that are searching for local services online.

 

You can manage your reputation in a few ways:

  • Gather positive reviews on Google, social media, and review platforms
  • Engage customers on social media

How to Use Review Management for Local Business

The first thing you can do to get more online reviews is to simply ask for them from your customers.

Google actually offers a Marketing Kit where you can get free stickers, posters and more to encourage people to review you on Google.

When you start to get reviews, respond to show you are engaged with your customers. Let them know you appreciate their positive reviews and have an answer or apology for any negative reviews.

Reviews and testimonials from your customers help your local SEO efforts

The fully-featured Review module on our proprietary platform Top4 makes it a breeze to get more reviews. Take control of your own online reputation by managing reviews from any social media and webtool platforms. Delivered by experts, Top4 helps your business get the review you deserve.

How to Manage Reputation by Engaging with Customers on Social Media

Social media gives you a great chance to connect with the local market and speak directly to customers.

But — managing your representation on multiple channels is not an easy job.

Build online authority by going social

To make things easier, you can use a scheduling tool like the Social Media Poster to plan out your posts in advance and stay ahead of the curve:

  • Plan out questions and polls on Twitter to get suggestions from your customers.
  • Share happy hours or deals on Facebook.
  • Post images of your store/service/friendly staff on Instagram.
  • Start a following on Pinterest if you operate a visually appealing business.

In conclusion, your checklist for local online reputation is:

  • Ask your customers for reviews in person
  • Reply to reviews on GMB and Facebook
  • Engage your social media audience with a scheduling tool

Tracking

Lastly, you’ll need to track the impact of your efforts, namely your visibility on Google search and Google Maps as well as in the local packs and hotel packs and other SERP features that are on your target SERPs.

Track visibility, engagement, and conversion metrics as deep as you can connect them to your business.

Beyond that, you’ll need to identify the right progress metrics tied to goals so you know you’re moving in the right direction.

Google will send you an email summary with your page performance, usually once a month. You can also see it by going to the insights section of your page.

For example, you can look at how many times you have appeared on the search results, how many people have taken an action whether they called you, or they went to your site.


To find out how we can help you with your Website + Marketing, using our unique location marketing platform called Top4, get in touch today at www.top4marketing.com

Looking to build customer loyalty through social media? Don’t forget to add your business to Top4.com.au

List your business, create your own digital store to sell goods and services, and share posts on social media. Promote your business on Google instantly! Should you need help with local digital marketing then view our new Google Marketing Platform and services Top4 Marketing

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Source: SEMRush

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