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The Must-Read Local SEO Checklist: 10 Steps

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April 24, 2023
local seo checklist

Without a strong local SEO strategy in 2023, you’re missing out on potential clients looking for businesses like yours. 

Your website needs to be helpful to users, answer their questions, and create a good experience in the search results, not just the local ones.

To help you out, we have compiled a handy 10-step local SEO checklist, covering also the following:

  • What is Local SEO and its benefits
  • The ultimate local SEO checklist
  • Key takeaways

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) improves search engine visibility which relies on signals such as local content, social profile pages, links, and quotes, especially for local businesses with a physical location.

By following local SEO best practices, you can improve organic traffic from searches by nearby customers. Whether you own a small shop, a manufacturing business, or a DIY art store, local SEO can help your business appear in local search results.

Benefits of Local SEO

Below, we will list some of the benefits of Local SEO.

  • Improved competitiveness: Local SEO gives you a competitive edge by encouraging you to research what your competitors are doing well.
  • Increase walk-in customers in store: Better local visibility means more traffic to a physical location.
  • Increased visibility on the internet: Local SEO activities like citations and link building increase your online visibility. This makes it easier for new customers to find your business.
  • Target website traffic: Optimizing your site for local search can deliver more targeted traffic, leading to more leads, subscriptions, signups, and sales.
  • More calls: Optimization of your Google Business Profile can result in more calls and in-person visits to your store.
  • Increased trust level: Reputation management creates trust in the company. 
  • Other sales: Consumers check online reviews when choosing a local business.
  • Improved conversion rate: Website optimization can increase conversion rates and contact form submissions, phone calls, email subscriptions, or sales.

The Ultimate Local SEO Checklist

As mentioned in the introduction, we will walk through a 10-step local SEO checklist. Read below.

Create A Google My Business Profile

The first step of the local SEO checklist is your GMB profile. Google approves, verifies, and shares unique content, making Google My Business the ideal tool to help your business meet Google’s requirements.

To optimize your Google My Business profile, you should:

  • Create and verify your Google My Business page.
  • Write Google My Business posts. Here is a guide on how to.
  • Encourage your customers to share their reviews online. 
  • Respond to positive and negative reviews.
  • If Google can verify that your business is genuine, search engines can reward your business with a higher sidebar ranking in local Google searches.

Besides SEO, consider updating your contact information and business hours to help potential customers find you easier.

It might interest you: Schedule Google My Business Posts: Events and Offers

Fine And Use Your Keywords

As a local business, you must know the keywords and key phrases you want to rank for in relevant searches. You should incorporate them naturally into the content.

But that doesn’t mean you have to spam the keywords on your website content. Today, search engines can detect keyword stuffing in articles, and this kind of content usually ends up far down in the search results. So think about balancing the number of keywords in your content using online software.

Keep Your NAP Consistent

You need to be easily discoverable by people and search engines to set up a NAP.

NAP is an acronym for Name, Address and Phone Number. NAPs should be considered searchable HTML text on your website so that Google can display them appropriately in response to location-based search results.

Pro Tip 1: Avoid the common mistake of simply putting a NAP into the image. Images cannot be crawled by search engines such as HTML text. The most common place for NAPs is in the footer or header of your website. 

Pro Tip 2: In addition, you should also include your NAP on your “Contact Us” page. 

Use High-Quality Citation Providers

Local SEO uses citations, which are mentions of your company’s NAP on external websites. They signal to Google’s local algorithm that your business is legitimate and located at the address listed on your Google My Business profile.

If Google can’t determine which information about your business is correct, your business may not appear in search results.

Build Online Reviews

Before purchasing a product or service, most people research online reviews.

In fact, potential customers actively explore online reviews to learn about a company, product, service, or experience before deciding to buy that specific product or service.

Take advantage of it by asking happy customers to leave you a review. You can link them to a specific website, use the in-mail platform to rate their experience or have them respond directly.

Install Schema Markup

In case you don’t know, Schema Markup is a code you put on your website to allow search engines to return more useful results to users. 

Schema Markup helps your website rank better for all kinds of content types. There is data markup for various data types, such as:

  • Article
  • Product
  • Event
  • Local company
  • Restaurant
  • TV episodes
  • Book review
  • Movie
  • Software application

Websites that use Schema Markup rank higher in SERP than companies that don’t use markup. A study shows that websites with markup ranked an average of 4 places higher in the SERPs than websites without Schema Markup. 

Fun Fact: Less than a third of websites use Schema Markup. In other words, there are millions of websites missing out on huge SEO potential. Schema Markup automatically gives you an edge over your competitors. 

Source Quality Backlinks

If you want to rank high in organic search, you need to source quality backlinks.

Fun Fact: Backlinks are one of the top 3 ranking factors.

Quality links increase the overall authority and credibility of your site. Linking to various websites on a regular basis can also contribute to an improvement in rankings across domains over time.

Invest In Local PR

Another effective way to improve your SEO is to participate in the local community.

For example, you can join events such as volunteer days or by partnering with non-profit organizations and improving your local PR.

It will increase your media coverage and brand awareness, positively impacting your website traffic and improving your search engine rankings.

Optimize Your Website

You can’t have great local SEO without a solid foundation. And the website is the most important component. 

Without a great website that follows SEO best practices, no amount of optimization will give you the results you want.

Follow these tips to optimize your website:

  • Fast page speed. Page speed is an important ranking factor, and searchers will abandon your website if it doesn’t load quickly.
  • Internal link. Linking to relevant pages on your site helps Google and users find information on your site. 
  • Correct URL structure. Website structure is important to both searchers and search engines. 
  • Mobile-friendly or responsive design. Google now indexes mobile versions of websites more than desktop versions, so this is a must for local SEO.

Create Quality Content

Creating regular content in the form of blogs helps exponentially in these areas. Blogs provide businesses with a place to showcase their expertise and authority while also providing fresh, keyword-rich content.

You can also use the content you create for your website throughout your marketing. For example, share links to posts on social media sites, feature blog posts in regular newsletters, or create more in-depth downloadable content that allows you to email.

If you already have a blog for your business, create keyword-focused content. If you don’t have a blog for your business yet and would like to start, do keyword research and use tools like Google Trends to find out what people are searching for and what you want your customers to see.

Read More: Top 10 Local SEO Tools You Need To Know About

Key Takeaways 

As discussed today, local SEO allows businesses to position their products and services to local prospects and search customers. As we always do, here are some key takeaways from this article.

  • Whether you own a small shop, a manufacturing business, or a DIY art store, local SEO can help your business appear in local search results.
  • Create and optimize your Google My Business profile.
  • Remember to incorporate keywords naturally into the content.
  • Make sure your local SEO NAP is consistent.
  • Use high-quality citation providers.
  • Schema markup automatically gives you an edge over your competitors.
  • To rank high in organic search, you need to source quality backlinks.
  • Invest in local PR, optimize your website, and create quality content.

We would like to hear from you. How do you optimize your local presence to show up for people near you? Write a comment below!

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