Local SEO Checklist for Small Business

5 Easy Ways to Improve SEO for Your Service Business
November 28, 2020

Local SEO Checklist for Small Business

Local SEO is how businesses improve their internet visibility to reach a geo-specific target audience. The core tenets of general SEO apply, but marketers and webmasters place a greater emphasis on place-based keywords, ranking factors, and customer testimonials.
Here’s a handy local SEO checklist to get your marketing plan in top shape:

  1. Know Ranking Factor
    Local SEO ranking factors differ slightly from general SEO. So if you’re familiar with the latter, the former will come rather naturally to you.
    The eight most important factors to keep in mind are Link signals, On-page signals, Behavioral signals, Google My Business signals, Citation signals, Personalization, Review signals, and Social signals.
    What stands out most here is that social media, though not traditionally thought of as a direct factor in SEO, plays a prominent role in local SEO. Additionally, brand mentions (citations) are key. Even if your content doesn’t produce backlinks, the mere mention of your company name can have a positive impact on your overall site rankings.
  2. Optimize your domain
    With a strong grasp of what matters most in local SEO, evaluate your site. Run a site crawl to clear up any issues pertaining to Duplicate content, Zombie pages, broken links, Accessibility, Indexability, Missing metadata.
    You can conduct a local SEO audit using an SEO tool like SEMrush or Screaming Frog. You should optimize Title tags, images, navigation, Meta descriptions, URL string, contact information, internal links, and keywords. These forms of on-page optimization are often simple tweaks that can yield big results for your local search strategy.
  3. Optimize Google My business
    Google My Business (GMB) is the primary network for feeding search engines contextualized local content and information about your company.
    GMB then populates that data across its many integrated applications and features, like Google Maps, Local 3-packs, Google Posts, Knowledge Panels, mobile SERP carousels, and more. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, GMB is a top-four ranking signal, and one of the most important to-do items on our local SEO checklist.
  4. Get Social
    GMB isn’t the only platform for publishing and sharing localized content. There are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. But there are also more niche, industry-specific forums, and local business directories to consider for a local citation.
    Likely all of your competitors have some form of a social media presence. But are they properly indexed and visible on sites like Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Yellow Pages, and TripAdvisor?
  5. Reviews and Rating
    Reputation management is paramount in local SEO. How your customers and site visitors interact with your brand online correlates to ranking potential. It’s a simple concept. Positive brand mentions, thoughtful customer testimonials, and high ratings are so meaningful. They support your claims of superior service, and they empower other online searchers to trust your business and potentially purchase from you.
  6.  Generate backlinks and referral traffic
    Circling back to where we began, take traditional SEO practices like content creation and link building and localize them.
    Inbound links and backlinks are the No. 1 ranking factor for both general and local SEO, and they’re often time-intensive to generate. If you create content around high-value local keywords and then get high-authority local influencers to link to it, your chances of surging in rankings increase mightily.

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