Local SEO Checklist to Generate Sales in any Business in 2021
The term local SEO is unknown to many small business owners, but this is all they need to succeed online for some businesses. Our complete local SEO checklist will help you optimize your website for local SEO.
About the Local SEO Checklist
With our checklist, you’ll gain insight into the range of tasks required to improve your local SEO, which will help you plan your time and efforts accordingly. It’ll ensure that your efforts will get the maximum impact on your business.
First things first. To build a solid plan, you need to gather all the necessary information and data. This includes insight into your keywords, rankings, competition, and site health. By following these steps below, you’ll avoid making blind determinations to your SEO strategy, which saves you time and money.
Identify your keywords
By performing research on which keywords and locations are worth targeting, you’ll better understand what will bring you the best results. To start your research, follow these strategies:
- Brainstorm a list of primary keywords related to your business. If you were a customer looking for your company’s products or services, what would you type into the search engine?
- Looking for some quick ideas? Check out Reddit and choose a subreddit where your customers hang out; this will give you insights into what your customers are talking about. For instance, if you’re running a bakery and want to find ideas regarding pastries, you can look through r/pastry.
- Use Google’s related searches. After you think of your main keywords, please type them in one-by-one and see what Google generates automatically at the bottom.
- Use location-based keywords. People often look for businesses close to them, and it’s essential to include these location-specific keywords into your website (KEYWORD + LOCATION). For example, a bakery in Toronto, a mechanic in New York, etc.
Check your competition
- Find your competitors by a) performing a search with your keywords and identifying which companies are the top rankers or b) using a tool like SimilarWeb.
- With the list of competitors, you can check their Google My Business profile for their business categories and customer reviews.
Run a site audit
A site audit will give you a detailed look into your site’s health so you can make improvements.
You can do this by using Nightwatch’s site audit feature, and you can perform regular and automated crawls, which will then identify all problematic issues and warnings on your website.
Check your current local ranking
It’s essential to get a baseline for your rankings. With that approach, you can measure how much you improve every month. Nightwatch supports tracking various search engine results for both local and organic rankings. This makes it extremely useful to precisely see how your Google My Business profile performs compared to your organic rankings.
Now that we have gathered all of this data, it’s time to put it to fair use.
Optimize your website from top to bottom
In enhancement to your collected data, search engines will take your website’s performance into ranking consideration. The next step is to apply your keywords to your website and make sure that your website is in tip-top shape.
Include targeted keywords into your website
- Content — both website copy and blog posts
- Meta description and website title
- URL — for goods pages, landing pages, blog posts
Optimize your page for a better user experience
- Have a great website design
- Organize your website’s page architecture for better navigation
- Have a sitemap handy for visitors
Optimize your website’s speed and performance
- Minimize HTTP requests
- Use CDNs and remove unused scripts/files
- Use caching service
- Compress images.
Optimize your website’s dwell time
- Write longer content
- Build a community and use comments
- Maximize PageSpeed
- Place your internal links strategically to support further reading
- Break content into chunks
Optimize for mobile SEO
- Make your site responsive
- Create a seamless experience
- Use mobile-friendly pop-ups
Optimize for schema
- Use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper
- Tag data
- Create HTML
- Add the schema to your web page
- Test the web page
Optimize your other online properties
Being omnipresent on the web is essential, but you have to make sure anything related to your business is optimized. Having consistent and accurate data is key here because search engines will perceive your business as trustworthy and credible which are also important ranking factors.
Optimize your Google My Business listing
- Business name
- Business location
- Service areas
- Business hours
- Business categories
- Phone number and call tracking
- Website and other URLs
- Service, products, menu (if applicable)
- Business attributes
- Business description
- Add photos, videos, virtual tours
- Use a consistent profile image across accounts
- Include relevant information in your bio
- Include the appropriate link in your profile
- Post updates regularly
- Grow and engage your social community
Optimize your listings on relevant directories
Using the same information that you’ve inputted in your Google listing, enter that into relevant directories with a high value of trust:
- Chamber of Commerce
- Better Business Bureau
- Bing Places for Business
- Yellow Pages
- Avvo for lawyers
- Zillow for real estate agents
- The Knot for wedding vendors
Boost the performance on all your online assets
Once you’ve managed to build all these properties, it’s important to know that setting and forgetting them will only get you nowhere.
Let’s face it, and it will require extra work before they transform into money-making machines.
An opening action step is to be active in the local community — keep in touch with other businesses and your customers. These ongoing efforts will help build up your online profile and grow brand awareness across your local area, which further signals search engines that you are a trustworthy business.
Get Google reviews and listing reviews
Reviews are the biggest driver of clicks in loplagcal SERPs. They are also a part of search engines used to calculate your search position since they help customers find the best local business for their needs.
- Ask satisfied customers to leave a review
- Share Google review form link to customers
- Send email requests
- Monitor and reply to your reviews
Citations are any mentions or references to a company on the internet. A complete citation includes the business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP), which needs to be consistent across the web. Unlike backlinks, citations don’t have to insert a link, and even if there is, it’s a no follow link. The goal of citations is to help Google verify the authenticity of your business.
- Build citations.
- Check your competitor’s directory listings and their citations
- Make a list of the famous sites you want to be cited on
- Make a list of industry-specific citation opportunities
- Check local listing sites
Participating in local sponsorships or events? Getting mentioned in press releases? Not only are these great ways to build relationships with your community and to put your brand in front of potential customers, but it also helps boost your local backlink profile. Here are ways to earn local backlinks:
- Guest blogging for local blogs
- Getting featured on local publications
- Participating in local events
- Hosting local events
- Sponsoring important causes
Local Partnerships, Referrals, Groups
By working with others in your society or industry, there is much to gain online and offline.
Here are steps to increase your presence at a local level:
- Create local alliances with businesses that share your customers
- Trade reviews, resources, and references with your partnerships
- Support local fundraisers
- Visit local conferences to get to know people in the community
- Build mutually beneficial relationships