Hi and welcome to our 2022 local seo checklist my name is Chris and i am the founder of search-pilot, in this blog post i’ll walk you through a complete guide to local SEO checklist that we use to help our clients reach their local seo targets.
Why is local SEO important?
Let’s take for instance that you run a coffee shop.
Of course you know there are loads of other coffee shops out there, and typing ‘coffee shop’ into Google will provide an extremely large number of results.
Amongst these results, you will find large chains occupying the top spots. Where I’m based, 4 household name coffee shops occupy positions in the top search for this phrase.
Despite that, my local independent coffee shop outranks them all and is the first result I see when I search for a coffee shop.
Because search engines pay attention to the geographical location of the searcher and my local coffee shop owner was smart to recognize this and took some simple steps to ensure maximum visibility for his store in my area.
How to take advantage of local SEO?
let’s get started by looking at the first step you have to make if you Want to succeed in local seo
1. Create a Google business profile.
Creating a Google business profile is the first step to gaining local visibility this will allow you to appear in local searches and on Google maps you also get to showcase important information about your business on the search results page.
If you do everything correctly, users can explore and compare your business to others by looking at opening hours, Location, how to contact you and your overall rating,
if the users scroll, they will also find out what customers are saying about your business.
When setting up your Google Business profile, it is important that you provide all the information that Google asks you for, including business category, services, products and opening hours.
This is because the more information that you can submit to Google, the more likely it is to surface your business in local search results and map packs.
As you enter your business information, Google gives you a score for how complete your listing is — try as much as you can to get this up to 100%.
The video below gives you some additional tips on how to improve your local ranking with Google Business.
2. Optimize your website content to target your local audience.
If you run an air conditioning service it can be tempting to target that keyword, while it might have high search volumes in your country, it might not be the Right keyword to target for your local business.
If your air conditioning service is located in Jacksonville a call from Washington or New York will have no value to you but a call from downtown Jacksonville does list your company in local directories.
When you do local SEO, it’s important to remember that Google and Bing are not the only search engines to target.
People also use local directories to find products and services, that’s why you have to list your company with high quality local directories.
3. Submit your website to quality local directories
Adding your websites to high-quality local directories will help you rank higher in search results.
First, Google indexes directory entries, and if the directory is reliable, it may rank the directory entry highly in search results.
This means that even if you are having trouble getting a high ranking for a certain URL on your site, your business may still be seen through search results from other sites.
Second, you might obtain a backlink from it, which can help you rank higher in search results.
Third, you will increase the visibility of your company to anyone who uses those directories.
however, It is very important to only submit your website details to high-quality directories, not all directories are reputable, and submitting your site to the wrong ones can have a negative effect on rankings.
Now that you have created a Google business profile, optimized your content and listed your company with local directories there are four more steps
4. Collect reviews from happy customers.
Positive reviews can help convince potential buyers to choose you, they can also have an effect on search engine rankings which makes this a win-win situation for your business.
Using schema to markup content will help search engines understand important pieces of information on your site, an example of this is the price of your product or service.
If done correctly search engines reward you with additional information on the search results page.
Next step, if you are in a competitive industry you might have to look into link building.
5. Build backlinks
Backlinks which are links from other sites are very important and vital to the general visibility of your site in search results.
Help search engines determine the Authority and relevancy of your website, the one determined to be most relevant and the most powerful will end up on top of the search engines.
To boost performance in local search results, you should occasionally encourage anyone kind enough to give you a backlink to include the location of your business in the backlink.
This emphasizes the location of your business to search engines.
To go back to our coffee shop example, this would simply mean trying to build links to ‘coffee shop in Brixton’ instead of ‘coffee shop.’
I say ‘occasionally’ because you don’t want to overdo this — too much inclusion of location keywords can come across as spammy, raise red flags to search engine algorithms and result in a penalization.
Finally, it’s a good idea to source local backlinks if possible too (i.e., from businesses that operate near you). This can send a signal to search engines that your site is relevant to a particular geographic area.
6. Create high quality content that references your local area
In-depth, comprehensive articles on topics that people are really interested in tend to rank highly in search results.
This is due to two factors: first, they tend to be keyword-rich, making your material more likely to match a variety of search queries.
Secondly, if they’re exceptionally useful resources, other website owners will build ‘backlinks’ to them, which, as previously said, leads in improved search rankings.
The same rules apply to local SEO, so if you write high quality blog posts about your business niche that involve the geographical area you operate in, you may find yourself doing rather nicely in local search results.
7. Ensure your website is mobile friendly
This is another major ranking factor for a page, how friendly it is for people viewing it on their mobile devices. This is called “mobile-friendliness”.
It’s pointless to have excellent content if customers can’t view it on their smartphones.
Phones account for more than half of all online traffic. As a result, Google no longer indexes websites based on their desktop pages, but rather on their mobile pages.
To be considered “mobile-friendly,” a page must be simple to read and operate. When a page is designed for desktop first, the text or images become too small to read when it is adjusted for mobile. Or, other interactive features stop working, become hidden or broken, and so on.
There are tools that can tell you if your page is mobile friendly. You can use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test tool to see how mobile-friendly your page is. If it scores poorly, you know you need to make some changes.
The few steps mentioned above are simple but crucial ways you can take advantage of local SEO and ensure maximum visibility for your business in your area.
So go and try them out and if you enjoyed reading this article, then make sure to share and subscribe for more actionable SEO and digital marketing post.
What in this post were you excited about? was it helpful? What would you like to read more about?
Or maybe you just have a question about something you read.
Either way, let us know in the comments below.
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