If you are the owner of a small business or working for local clients you need to have a local SEO checklist.
Here is the checklist for local or start-ups or small businesses.
On-Page Factors in Local SEO Checklist
It’s important to target location-specific keywords as it is difficult to rank for generic keywords due to high competition. Insert city or state-specific keywords in the title to easily rank in the search engine result pages for a particular product or service. For writing an appealing title, check title optimization tips.
Use URLs that are SEO-friendly and contain location-specific keywords according to your service locations. If a business is having multiple locations, then it is better to target a single page for a single location.
Remove the duplicate pages by checking it in a plagiarism checker tool such as Copyscape or small SEO tools plagiarism checker and put the canonical tag to prioritize the preferred URL if both URLs have link juice. Otherwise, it is better to use 301 redirection or remove duplicate pages.
Logos & Images
Images should be of high resolution and optimize it for size and add ALT text containing the main keyword. The file name should be proper because if the text doesn’t get indexed then the file name will do a much better job in describing the image than a generic name plus it will help in rankings than generic terms.
Non-www to www
If you have both versions of www and non-www indexing then select the preferred domain in the search console and put 301 permanent redirection to the non-preferred version.
Set up your account and ensure that site is crawled by bots and fix technical errors such as crawling errors, broken links, robot testing, and manual spam.
Set up a Google Analytics account and verify it. Monitor audience, acquisition, and behavior pattern and analyze results regularly. For more details about Google Analytics, check Google Analytics guide.
Set your primary menu in WordPress. The primary menu should be properly navigable. Also, set front page as Home and posts page as a blog and that should be chosen in reading settings of WordPress.
This is a most crucial factor in local SEO checklist. Citation i.e. Name, Address and Phone No. should be accurate across the web. For local SEO, focus on citation building to increase the citation flow of the website.
City Service Page
Add city specific words with the generic words to rank higher in the search engine results. If you have multiple locations, then add city page to the website.
For ranking faster and keeping website content fresh, you need to regularly update the blog section of the website. Check content marketing guide to generate ideas, optimization, planning strategies and measurement.
Mobile Friendly Website
A website should be mobile friendly to cater the needs of increasing number of website users.
Google + Profile
Check whether your Google+ profile is set or not. Claim Google My Business page. Link Google + Profile and Google My Business Page and optimize it by following the below-mentioned procedure.
1. Add or update the full name of a business and don’t stuff any target keywords in the company’s name.
2. Add the business site so that you will get one inbound link from the business profile.
3. Use the local phone number rather than a toll-free number as it is unacceptable to Google.
4. Upload the real and authentic images which can be related to your work or team or other images that represent your business.
5. Select a proper category in the category section as it is the most important factor in the Google My Business Listing.
6. Keep the description of your business to the point without any keyword stuffing.
7. Mention the correct operating hours so that people can contact for the local services.
8. Identify and clean the duplicate listings which are not adding any value by verifying them and deleting it with a caution
9. Focus on the ranking factors, including the number of followers of your GMB page, posting blog posts frequently, engagement of posts, number of online reviews.
10. Keep the profile active by responding to the reviews even the negative reviews and by posting the blog posts regularly and engaging with your audience by replying and commenting.
Schema Mark Ups
Check schema markup for local business and generate schema code using JSON-LD. Add and implement schema for product reviews, organization schema and article schema.
Important Directories for Citation
Bing, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare are the main web directories but there are some others as well, such as express update, Manta, Superpages, brownbook.net for the USA.
This is the most important part of local SEO checklist. Submit the local bushiness listing on the important web directories. Fix the listings
and also submit the business listing to the industry or niche specific directories. Check and compare the competitor’s citations in the majestic or Ahrefs tool. Modify the old citations with accurate NAP.
Respond to your online reviews and negative reviews as well. Focus on generating online reviews and also link the reviews or badges on your site in order to develop credibility and trust among your visitors.
Keep call to action button, phone no, email id, testimonials easily navigable for conversions. Track these conversions by setting goals in Google Analytics. Improve your SEO strategies to get more conversions.
Build a profile on the best local social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare with the accurate NAP and a website link. Keep the profiles active by posting and replying regularly.
Over to you!!
Hope you will follow this local SEO checklist and get more traffic and conversions for your small business or local projects. Share your comments below if the above strategies worked for you or share any additional strategy worked for your business or project.