15 Tips for Improving Local SEO Audit & Strategy

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I think we can all agree that SEO is a big reason why your customers found you in the first place.

Thanks to the traffic you receive from ranking high on search results, you attract leads that easily convert into clients.

SEO is so effective that even developing nations like South Africa are gearing up for digital marketing.

In fact, it is due to the popularity of SEO that competition is fiercer and more cut-throat than ever before.

While this competition has definitely worked to improve the quality of SEO services, there is a huge pitfall (for people hoping to make a quick buck from SEO).

Google is even more active with algo updates and targeting spammy practices.

Don’t get me wrong – this is generally a great thing!

It means you no longer need to worry about wasting time on the internet looking for high quality websites.

Moreover…

More competitors just means more opportunities for profit, especially when you’ll be one of the best in the SEO game after reading all of our guides.

However, your business really does need to go to war with its competitors now!

You need to improve the way you audit your local SEO and develop a strategy fit for Sun Tzu. This way you can stay competitive.

Why local SEO?

This branch of SEO has become even more important now; more and more users are taking to Google to find local stores, products and services.

What this tactic provides is a better chance for your local business to generate more traffic to your website.

Once that happens, you can turn online traffic into real leads and real life traffic jams and bustling queues of people waiting outside your shop or office.

After reading this post, you will be able to understand and put into practice the following:

  1. Differentiate local SEO from regular SEO
  2. Learn the different local SEO tactics and strategies observed by the best local businesses.
  3. Use 22 powerful tactics to help you conduct a comprehensive local SEO audit of your site

Interested to learn more? Then keep reading!

What Is Local SEO?

Before we deep dive into local SEO, we need to discuss what it is first and how different is it from regular SEO.

The truth is:

The strategies are more or less the same. The difference lies in who you’re targeting.

With plain old SEO, you’re improving your site to cater to everyone. For the most part, that should be enough.

However – and as mentioned earlier – businesses are way more competitive now. As much as possible, you want your site to rank only where it matters.

Let’s say you have a physical store in a small town somewhere in Ohio.

It wouldn’t make sense for your site to rank for queries made by someone in downtown Los Angeles.

Think about it:

Most businesses spend anywhere between $2,500 to $5,000 on online marketing. You want your marketing dollars to go towards residents in and around your area.

Also, ChatMeter — a huge brand management company — analysed conversions from tons of sites to show that 72% of people who conduct a local search are likely to visit a store within 5 miles. In addition, the same post suggests that 46% of Google’s search queries are local.

You can’t afford to miss that opportunity by targeting the wrong people.

And that’s what a local SEO audit is all about.

It’s optimizing your site to cater to the right audience.

Not only does it help customers find you faster, but it also gives you an edge over the competition.

15 Killer Tactics to Include In Your Local SEO Strategy

 

Next, let’s talk about the different factors you need to manage your local SEO campaign.

 

Similar to your regular SEO, you need to take care of the on-page and on-page aspects of your local website.

 

However, there are specific techniques that work best for local businesses.

 

The number of available tactics might overwhelm the average business owner.

 

Should you feel this way, remember that you don’t have to tackle everything at once.

 

You can always start with something simple and save the complicated ones for a later date.

 

On-Page SEO for Local Businesses

On-page SEO is a good place to start your journey. These are fixes that can be made without the need for outside help.

 

Tip 1. Fix Your Title Tags

 

Let’s start with something simple.

 

Title tags are the first thing people see when searching for a business online. If you’ve ever Googled something, you’ve likely seen one.

 

pet shop

Title tags describe to users what your page is all about (as briefly as possible).

 

Title tags are the first opportunity to capture someone’s attention and drive them to your site.

 

Google values title tags highly as it helps improve user experience by increasing clarity; they will change your title tag if they don’t think it’s able to show its relevance to users.

 

But having the search giant do your meta titles for you is such a wasted opportunity.

 

You must capitalise on your well… humanness and creativity to build title tags that are designed to drive traffic to your site.

 

What Makes a Good Title Tag

 

There is no limited character count as such, but, if your title tag is too long, it will be cut from the SERPs and followed by an ellipsis which frankly just looks ugly. Also, it will mean that important details about the nature of your website might be missed out.

 

However,

 

Too short and you’ve wasted precious SERP real estate.

 

It’s recommended that marketers limit their title tags to 50-60 characters.

 

You can use Moz’s Title Tag Preview Tool to see what your tags will look once they’re published.

 

title tag preview tool

There are other factors to take into consideration when editing your tag. 

 

Title tags need to be relevant to search queries.

 

You should make it clear to your audience that you have the information they’re looking for.

 

You also want to make title tags unique. You can’t use the same title tags for every page because this will only confuse search engines as well as your readers.

 

It’s a good idea to include your business location in your title tag if possible.

 

This information will assist Google in showing your site to mostly those in your area.

 

Title Tag Optimization Tools

 

Fortunately, there title tag tools that can help you improve your pages.

 

What is even better is that these tools are often available free of charge.

 

WordPress users can install plugins to make the job easier: the All-In-One SEOPack, for example, allows you to update meta titles before or after publishing.

 

all in one meta title

 

Once installed, the All-In-One SEO Pack will be visible just below the WP text editor.

Bonus:

You can also use All-In-One to edit title tags for social media sharing.

all in one social

 

For Wix users…

 

Only joking. Wix sucks. 

 

For non-WordPress users, there are crawling tools like Screaming Frog for you.

 

Screaming Frog is an essential tool for SEO and marketers, which identifies errors in your site pages.

 

It is also FREE! (for the first 500 pages of your site).

 

How do I use Screaming Frog to check my meta title quality?

 

Install Screaming Frog and open the application afterwards.

 

Enter your domain in the empty field and click Start. Give the tool a minute to crawl through your site.

 

frog url

Once complete, click the Title Tag tab. You’ll be shown a list of all your pages and the title tags for each.

frog title tag

One of the columns will also tell you the character length of each tag.

 

You can use these results as a reference to determine which pages you should update.

 

Tip 2. Make Better URLs

 

When was the last time you gave your URLs any thought?

 

We’re not just talking about your homepage. The deeper you go in your site, the more likely URLs become a series of long, nonsensical strings.

 

These do not help anyone.

 

Nobody expects users to memorize URLs. But at the very least, they should be able to understand them.

 

The better you structure them, the better you can engage your audience.

 

Let’s take Neil Patel’s URL structure as an example.

neil patel url

It gives you a clear view of where the information is stored. The content is stored inside a category (in this case, it’s been filed under Blog).

 

At a glimpse, you’d guess that the post will be about the future of content marketing.

 

And you’d be right.

content marketing heading

That brief information is enough for search engines to go on. It will give search engines context as to the information you’re presenting.

 

Fortunately editing URLs is easy, especially for WordPress users.

 

While editing a post, click the Edit button under Permalink. It should be below your page or post title.

 

permalink

However, this will only affect the URL for that individual page. If you want to implement site-wide changes to your URL structure, you’d have to edit your permalinks.

 

Go to Settings > Permalinks. Here you can edit how your URLs are structured throughout the domain.

 

permalink settings

When creating a URL for a page, try to include a target keyword. And keep them as concise as possible.

 

Tip 3. Use Images

 

Images used in articles are not just visual candy. They have SEO value too.

It’s true that search engines can’t tell what an image is on their own, however, you can easily optimize your images to give them context.

 

By using images, you make your content more enjoyable to read and digest and google likes this.

 

Note: You don’t have to stop at images. Any type of media that provide additional value to users are always welcome.

 

You can use videos, infographics, audio tracks, screenshots, GIFs, and the like.

 

But you can’t just add huge memory crunching media willy-nilly. They need context and they need to be used in a memory efficient manner.

 

You need to learn how to optimize your media files.

 

 

Why Optimize Images?

 

Any element you add to a page contributes to its load time. Google prefers pages to load quickly.

 

In fact, for years, page speed has been a major factor at play when it comes to their search algorithm. 

 

Vic Gundotra, former Google VP of Engineering, once stressed the importance of the company’s speed initiative.

 

This gives us a problem…

 

Adding images COULD slow down your site and make it rank worse!

 

Seeing high-resolution images are fantastic for your readers but it puts some stress on your servers.

 

Then there’s the image context issue that was alluded to earlier.

 

Google needs to understand what your images represent. Otherwise, it won’t be able to see the link between your image and the content you’ve written.

 

In summary:

 

You need to address two issues – image file size and image context.

 

Note: You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to assess the speed of your domain.

 

How to Optimize Images

 

Let’s start with adding context. You can do this by including an ALT tag in every picture you use.

 

Your typical image code on your website might look something like this:

no alt

But add an ALT tag and it would look more like this:

with alt

Notice the addition of <alt=”chicken wings”>.

 

This brief line gives context to the image. It lets Google know that the picture used shows chicken wings.

 

It will use this information along with others to determine what the article is possibly about.

 

Adding an ALT text can be done through code like in the example. But most content management systems (CMS) have built-in solutions for inserting ALT tags.

In WordPress, ALT tags can be added when you upload an image to your library.

alt text wordpress

What information should you include to an ALT text?

 

This is a great place to insert your target keyword so long as it makes sense to do so.

 

In the case of local business SEO, however, you might want to include your location.

 

Instead of using a generic filename, you might want to edit it before uploading. Use a descriptive filename so it too can add value.

 

But wait:

What about the image size?

 

Photoshop users can reduce the image size by using its Save for Web feature.

 

Press Shift + Ctrl + Alt + S to open to launch Save for Web. Here you can adjust your settings so you can hit your target file size.

save for web

You can change the file format, image size, and quality. The lesser the quality, the smaller the file size.

 

There are also sites that compress images to reduce the file size.

 

TinyJPG, for example, lets users upload their images to the site and shrink their images down. The site claims that their compressed images are similar in quality to the original.

tinyjpg

Of course, there are other options. Some of which can be installed on your computer so you can work offline.

WordPress also offers plugins that can do the job from inside the CMS.

 

Tip 4. Add a Navigation Menu

This is important especially for e-commerce sites.

You can’t expect your guests to work their way through your site without help. A navigation menu is a great starting point.

 

However:

Did you know that the navigation menu is just as useful for search engines?

Google crawls your site – meaning it goes through every link on your site and every subsequent link thereafter.

It does so to get a better understanding of what your site is about.

As a site owner, you want to arrange your pages in such a way that your site structure becomes clear for both search engines and visitors.

Imagine an office organizational chart. It makes it pretty clear who the key players before working its way down the chain.

org chart

The same can be said about site structure.

site structure

Getting Indexed

That said, you should make it immediately clear to Google and users which pages are the most important.

Put the most relevant pages in the navigation menu.

Sony puts its two most important pages in its navigation – products and about page.

sony

If you’re using Squarespace or WordPress, the navigation settings can be accessed through one of the dashboard menu options.

On WordPress, it is usually inside Appearance.

menu

Note: Menu location might differ depending on what WordPress template is used.

If your site was developed by a webmaster, you might want to discuss the changes you want to be implemented.

Tip 5. Keep NAP consistent across all online channels

NAP stands for name, address, and phone number.

Using the same NAP on all online properties (social media, business directories, etc.) is important!

It’s a cue for Google to authenticate your business even further.

Even though you’ve verified your business using Google My Business, it’s not enough unless your NAP is the same!

Let’s look at a possible situation for you:

Here’s the NAP you entered on your website and Google My Business:

Cool Beans Inc.
1207  Rollins Road
Cozad City
NE
Nebraska
69130
308-784-4202

P.S. This is a fake and hypothetical business so please don’t use the details above!

This should be the same on other business directories.

Imagine if you signed up on Yelp using this NAP:

Cool Beans Business
1207 Rollins
Cozad
NE
Nebraska
69130
308784420

While for your customers, it’s the same NAP as the one above, for Google it’s not!

Due to the slight changes in the NAP, Google may consider the business you signed up for on Yelp as different from the one on Google My Business even though it’s the same.

So, how do you keep your NAP consistent?

 

I have written a comprehensive guide on how to manage your business citations.

 

However, i’ll just list SOME of the advice from the guide here. 

 

First, tools like Moz Local can disseminate your business listings across different and relevant directories in your vicinity.

 

Just enter your information and Moz will take care of distributing it online.

 

Moz Local also tracks your visibility and reputation to stay on top of your local SEO efforts.

 

But how about sites you signed up for using the wrong NAP? Surely, you don’t remember all of them!

 

Unfortunately, you must comb through business directory sites you’ve visited and update them one by one. Alternatively, you could consider it a sunk cost and just rebuild your citation from scratch.

 

In the citation management guide I have listed the best ways to trawl through the internet effectively to find incorrect NAP information.

 

Tip 6. Build Location Pages

 

If your entire website is dedicated to finding clients and customers from one specific location, all the content on the website should be designed to target customers from that location. 

 

This includes targeting keywords relevant to that location as well as changing the title, the URL and completely shaping your On-Page in a way that is optimized for your location. 

 

However, the story is a bit different if you are operating in multiple locations. 

 

Location pages are pages that are optimized to rank on Google for keywords relating to the target location. 

 

For example, if you have a mortgage consultancy business that operates in 5 different areas, you would design a page for each of the locations.

 

One page would therefore optimise for location specific queries like “Mortgages in ‘location A'” whereas another page could rank for other queries such as “Mortgages in ‘location B'” and variations of that keyword like”Mortgages ‘location B'”.

 

On the page, it should have the name of your venture, the location specific business address, and phone number.

 

This can help Google track where their users can get in touch with you.

 

Importantly you need to have unique content on each of the pages.

 

Most sites make the crucial mistake of replicating content on their location pages. This could even get you penalised for duplicate content.

 

You will need to do better.

 

How Could You Make Unique Location Pages

 

  1. You could add location-specific content like staffing information or customer testimonials.
  2.  
  3. Add friendly, easy to understand directions.  This will help customers get to your store easier.
  4.  
  5. Add nearby landmarks to make it even more convenient.

 

  1. Include localised reviews – these will indicate to users that your goods and services are high quality in every location. If you can get testimonials from well known local people as well, this can be great. All it takes is for you to quickly ask any customers you have for a quick testimonial after they use your service.
  2. 97% of consumers said reviews had influenced their decision. Also, 97% of shoppers read reviews before they make a purchase.
  3.  
  4. Have unique meta titles and descriptions that cater to a specific area in your community.

 

Embed Google Maps

 

Embedding Google Map on your localized page will also help.

 

Go to Google Maps and enter your location in the search field.

knotts berry

Open the menu. Work your way down the options until you see Share or Embed Map.

 

embed map

In the pop-up menu, click the Embed a Map tab. Here you will find an HTML code. Copy the embed code and add it to your location page where you like. 

embed a map

The drop-down menu will let you choose how small or big you want your map to be.

 

Tip 7. Add Schema Markup

 

Schema markup is a piece of code that you put on your business website.

 

Its main objective is to assist Google in relaying information about your business to their users.

 

The best way to explain the concept is by providing an example.

holiday inn

The results for Holiday Inn Los Angeles had ratings and room information.

Isn’t that helpful for Google users? Google seems to think so.

 

That’s why they’ve been pushing people to use schema markup. And third-party tools are making it easier to add schema to your pages.

 

The Right Schema for You

There are different types of schema markups.

 

You have a schema for articles, books, restaurants, movies, events, and more.

 

There are even markups for recipes online.

recipe schema

But for local SEO, you’d want to use a small business schema.

 

Not adding schema would be a shame considering how many businesses skip on it.

 

This could be the competitive advantage you’ve been looking for.

 

How to Add Schema Markup

There are third-party products out there but if you’re a startup, you can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.

 

The tool is quite simple to use.

 

First, select the type of data you’ll be working on.

 

schema google

Don’t forget to enter your URL afterward.

 

On the next page, you’ll be asked to tag data. To do this, simply highlight sections of your page and select the appropriate tag from the list Google will provide.

 

miracle mile

Tags can include your business name, images, phone number, email, store address, reviews, and more.

 

Go over the entire page and tag as many details as possible.

When you’re done, click Create HTML.

create html

You will then be presented a schema markup you can add to your page.

json

If you’re having trouble with adding your schema markup, you may want to consult your webmaster.

 

Tip 8. Generate XML Sitemaps for Your Site

 

XML sitemaps are yet another way to tell Google which pages are important in your site.

 

The idea is that you probably won’t be able to link all your pages together. So most will be buried somewhere in your site.

 

Your XML sitemap makes sure that at least the key pages will be crawled by Google.

 

It’s also important for sites that tend to update pages frequently which is always the case for e-commerce sites.

 

Search engines can look at your XML sitemap to see which pages need to be checked every so often.

 

How to Create a Sitemap

WordPress users rejoice! There are plugins that can create one for you.

 

A quick search should provide you a list of plugins to choose from.

wordpress xml

There are also some sites that can generate sitemaps for free.

xml sitemaps site

Google has created guidelines for building and submitting sitemaps. Use it if you need some help setting yours up.

 

Note: You will need access to Google Search Console to submit a sitemap for review.

 

Google Tools

 

Google has several tools that can help with your local SEO efforts.

Even better, they are all free to use!

These tools won’t necessarily help you rank in the SERPs but they can give you a better understanding of what’s going on under the hood.

 

If you have the time, these are definitely worth checking out.

 

Note: These tools require that you have a Google account that’s associated with your business. You should also be using the same account across all Google tools so they’re integrated properly.

Tip 9. Google My Business

Being in Google’s business listing can only be good for business.

After all, people searching for a specific type of business (along the lines of “restaurant near me”) will likely convert into paying customers.

Note: Google My Business requires its users to have a physical store. This is not for businesses that only exist online.

Here’s how you create a Google business listing.

Go to Google My Business and sign into your account. You will then be prompted to enter your business name.

business name

After you enter your business name, click Next. The next few pages will prompt you to enter other business information like your business address. Answer accordingly.

When asked to enter a business category, select one that best fits your venture. Google will give suggestions as to what categories might work best for you.

what kind of business

At the end of the process, Google will ask you to verify your business. Click Finish to proceed.

finish and verify

You will be presented with ways you can verify your business. Choose the most convenient method for you.

verify my business

You can verify by mail, by phone, by email, through instant verification, or by bulk verification.

 

Google simply wants to confirm the existence of your store and see if the address is correct.

 

Once verified, your Google My Business dashboard should now show all the relevant information about your listing.

 

listing

Update the listing as needed.

 

Tip 10. Google Search Console

Google Search Console (also referred to as Google Webmaster Tools) has a checklist of all the technical details that webmasters should be aware of.

 

Google will send a report that says what they like or doesn’t like about your site. These are helpful for business owners who want an overview of what they should be looking out for.

 

It’s a great tool to have especially for those who are just starting out.

Go to Webmaster Tools and sign into your Google account.

search console

Enter your domain to register it to the site. Click Add Property to continue.

You’ll then be asked to verify your site.

verify webmaster

Google will provide a few ways to do this. However, Google will recommend that you upload the file it will provide to your site.

Note: If you already linked your site to Google Analytics, you can verify your site through that.

Once verified, you should now have access to your Search Console Dashboard.

search console dashboard

Here you’ll receive updates from Google about crawlability errors and site traffic. You’ll also be able to submit your sitemap here.

Explore Search Console to get a feel of what it can really offer.

Tip 11. Google Analytics

Some users can argue that of all the free tools Google offers, Google Analytics is the most important.

Analytics is the backbone of all SEO strategies.

It dictates what you can do and how your marketing plan will move forward.

What it does is track and reports traffic for your entire site. It will show you which pages are gaining traction and which ones are falling by the wayside.

It’s a great indicator of what your audience wants from you.

Go to Google Analytics and sign into your account.

sign up analytics

Go ahead and fill up all the required fields to register.

set up analytics

Click Get Tracking ID once you’re finished.

You’ll then be redirected to your profile. Go to Property > Tracking Info > Tracking Code.

tracking code

Copy and paste the code into your site’stag. How you do this will depend on the CMS or site builder you’re using.

WordPress users can use third-party tools or themes to install the code.

paste analytics code

If configured correctly, you should now have access to your Analytics dashboard.

analytics dahsboard

It will show you how much traffic you’re getting among other statistics.

New users will have to wait a while to see some numbers. Give it a day or two.

Off-Page Local SEO

Off-page SEO, in general, can be reduced to a single word: backlinks.

And in our line of work, backlinks need no introduction.

So let’s jump straight on how link building relates to local SEO.

Tip 12. Quality Over Quantity

We all know that acquiring links from authoritative and high-quality sites is difficult.

This reason is why some took advantage of loopholes in Google’s guidelines and rigged the system in their favor.

Instead of relying on organic links, some marketers tried their hands on blackhat tactics.

And while that worked for a short while, Google eventually leveled the playing field. Sites that used underhanded strategies were punished.

You may have heard about Google punishing JC Penney and Forbes for their suspicious backlink activity in the past.

forbes

Today, Google expects site owners to comply with their backlink guidelines.

They also stressed that having quality backlinks are more important than volume.

And even if Google’s algorithms miss bad backlinks here and there, they are constantly improving and gathering feedback from their users. That way they can remove abusive websites from the system.

The bottom line:

Invest in getting links from high-quality sites and don’t even try to use blackhat tactics to get ahead.

Tip 13. Backlinks for Local SEO

You want to be able to establish authority in your locale.

One of the ways you do that is by getting relevant backlinks from other members of the community.

It may not be easy, but there are a few ways you can get the ball rolling.

Connect With People Through Social Media

Build a presence on social media.

Your business should be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.

After all, according to a ChatMeter post, 76% of US consumers purchase a product they’ve seen on social media.

social media stats

Promote your content through those channels. Not only will this help people find your store, but it will also help with link building.

If your followers find your content useful, they will definitely promote in on their blogs and other channels.

It would also help if you launch a targeted campaign and promote your content to residents of your area.

Work With the Local Community

Get in touch with local newspapers, magazines, and other organizations in your community.

You want to get backlinks from prominent sites in your neighborhood. One way of doing that is by reaching out and offer a helping hand.

Not only will this earn you brownie points with fellow residents, but you might also get that precious backlink too.

Guest Posting

If there’s a great site that targets your local community, try guest posting.

The idea behind guest posts is getting backlinks in exchange of quality content. It’s a win-win situation for both you and the site owner.

Guest posting can sound intimidating but it really is as simple as reaching out and waiting for a response.

Just remember to be genuine and act like a real person.

sample guest post

Guest posting is popular because they deliver unbelievable results.

Believe me:

One company raised its revenue by 23.85% after six months of guest posting.

They did this by finding bloggers who are passionate about their niche. Eight people worked on the project.

That’s not bad at all considering the small number of resources it took.

As an added bonus, you’ll gain recognition from people in your niche. This helps you establish authority on the same subject matter they’re interested in.

Tip 14. Follow vs No Follow Links

You’ve been linked to a bunch of times. But you’re not showing up in the SERPs.

What gives?

Well, it’s possibly because your links could have a no follow attribute.

A normal link would look something like this:

do follow

But a no-followed link would look like this:

no follow

What’s the difference?

The <rel’”nofollow”> tag tells Google to ignore the link. So your link is no longer crawled.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about it.

However, there are times when online marketers reach out to site owners and ask if they can reconsider. Especially if the link comes from a high-authority site.

But this can be to your advantage if the ones who are linking aren’t great sources or aren’t useful to your niche.

Tip 15. Hire Local SEO Experts

If local SEO feels too hard or if you’d rather just focus on other aspects of your business, you can always hire outside help.

However, finding the right one isn’t always easy.

There are times that the hired local SEO “expert” causes your site to plummet on SERPs!

A very good indicator of one’s proficiency in local SEO is by looking at the work s/he has done in the past.

If they can’t produce sample works where they got their clients to rank on top of local searches for very competitive keywords, then it’s a no go for them!

But since you’re already reading our blog, what the heck:

We at DFYLinks have tons of experience in local SEO and can handle the workload for you.

We offer the following:

  • On-page audit – Staff will go over your website and look for on-page issues. They’ll report all the changes you need to make so that the site is optimized for search engines.
  • Citations – These are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). They usually appear on local directories and other websites. You want as many citations as possible to boost your SEO. DFY Links can provide a citation audit for you.
  • Niche Edits – You need powerful backlinks pointing to your site. DFY Links has the experience necessary to make that happen. Why do it yourself when there are seasoned professionals who can do it for you, our niche edits links offer the relevancy and power you need to rank any local client with ease.

DFY Links have several local SEO packages to choose from. You can learn more about them by clicking here.

A Quick List of Local SEO Audit Factors

Now that we’ve extensively discussed local SEO and how you can hike up your rankings on local search, it’s time to put them into action!

Looking at the post above, it would be difficult to stay on top of all the local SEO factors.

Therefore, I’ve compiled a short list of questions related to local SEO to keep your site optimized.

Use it as a checklist to help push through with the local SEO campaign for your site or client’s.

So here goes nothing:

Title Tags

  • Are there less than 60 characters in your title?
  • Is your target keyword included in your title?
  • Is your location included in the title?
  • Is the title unique from other pages on your site?
  • Does it encourage people to click through the link?

URL Structure

  • Did you mention your keyword in the URL?
  • IS the URL static, readable, and stable?
  • If applicable, are you using language markers on your URL? ex. sample.site/EN/sample and sample.site/FR/sample

Images

  • Are your images lower than 100 kb each? If not, did you compress the file size of your images?
  • Do your images have alt images? Did you include your keyword in the alt tag?
  • Are the filenames of your image files readable?

Navigation Menu

  • Is the hierarchy of your site pages organized?
  • Does your navigation menu have less than six linked pages?

Location Data (for businesses with more than one location for their shop)

  • Did you mention your correct NAP on the page?
  • Did you include your business hours?
  • Did you feature customer testimonials for the correct location?
  • Did you embed your Google Maps on the page?

Structured Data Markup

  • Did you add a Schema markup for all relevant pages? (use a tool or plugin to help you implement this)

XML Sitemaps

  • Did you generate an XML sitemap for your site?

Site design

  • Is your site loading faster than four seconds?
  • Is it responsive, i.e. does it adjust to the screen size of the visitor’s device?

Google Products

  • Did you create a verified Google My Business listing for your business?
  • Did you sign up for a Google Analytics account for your site so you can track its performance?
  • Did you sign up for a Google Search Console account for your site to gather relevant SEO data?

Link building

Directories and Citation

  • Did you list your site on the most relevant business directories like Bing and Yelp?
  • Did you sign up your site on niche-specific directories relevant to your business? Refer to this list and comb through each site.
  • Did you sign up for citations on different and relevant online channels in your vicinity? You can start here.

Basically, if you answer a resounding “YES” on all the questions above, then your site is optimized for local search!

However, the work is not done yet.

You still need to implement some factors like link and citation building continuously to outrank your competitors.

As mentioned earlier, you can hire us to do your local SEO backlinks.

Instead of doing it yourself, you can rest easy and focus on other aspects of your business while we take care of ranking your site higher for your target keywords.

Regardless, local SEO is a constant battle.

The best thing you can do right now is to take action of the advice mentioned in this post so you can increase your site’s SEO performance.

Good luck!

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1 Comment

Reply Nathan Scheer May 17, 2019 at 11:45 am

I like to use whitesparks.ca to dig into my competitions citations! You can find some really good geo based citations you might not otherwise find… also good to GEO tag your images, so when you are building your social foundation (brand) you can score a few of those which can help.

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