It’s 2017 and local SEO is a huge factor for businesses nowadays. Is your listing showing up in page 1 of Google’s search results? If not, we present to you our local SEO checklist to help usher you into the local listings and beyond those local search results as well. Whether you’re just getting started and need a local SEO checklist, or want to bolster your whole entire SEO program, this list will absolutely get you moving in the right direction.
With search engines’ local search results being more important than ever, local SEO is something to take seriously. Begin by setting up local profiles on Google My Business, Yahoo Local, and Bing Places. Don’t have a physical location? No longer an issue.
Be sure your listings include all of the following components: Business name, address, contact info, category, hours of business, map, photos and video(s), introduction, and keywords.
Take a good look at your competitors’ listings. How many reviews are they getting? Start with your best customers and ask them to write reviews of their experience with your business.
Search for industry specific directories, and check to see where your competitors are listed around the web as well. Once you find them, aim to get your business listed in the same exact places.
If not, this can be a great way to get more information to your customers and quality content for search engines. Consider listing every product or service you offer, and creating a unique page for every one of them.
A long form page would be page containing a minimum of 500 words, which search engines care about. Check your hard drive for content you can use, such as emails sent, FAQs, proposals, and presentations.
Identify target keywords for every page based on your keyword research rather than trying to use basic keyword research for your website as a whole. Create unique meta tags, create keyword rich URLs, add keywords to heading tags and text, and link to other pages from within your text. Also be sure to optimize images — both in file size and file name.
Backlinks are very important when it comes to telling search engines how important your website is. Go for some quick wins, but keep in mind the “nofollow” rule. Look at sites that link to competition for more ideas. Keep in mind that quality will help you more than quantity here, and of course avoid “black hat” SEO tactics at all costs.
Run speed tests, optimize images, remove unnecessary coding, and switch to improved hosting plans to speed up your loading.
Set up a mobile site or switch to a more responsive design. Just like keeping page load times down, this is now a HUGE factor in SEO.
If not, consider switching to SSL. Also consider obtaining and A/B testing an anti-malware site seal. While there are a number of companies out there that want you to pay to put their badge on your website, be sure to test whether or not you’re seeing strong ROI.
If not, set up a blog! Check competitors’ blogs for ideas. Identify leading blogs in your niche, and then aim initially for a nice, new blog post every month.
For those marketing to businesses, here are some ideas: newsletters, buying guides, “how to” articles, “top 10” articles, product reviews, “ways to use” articles, screen capture videos, predictions/forecasting articles, infographics, FAQs, common mistakes articles, case studies, and checklist content are all great places to start.
For those marketing to individuals, here are some other ideas: newsletters, “how to” articles, local interest, “top 10” articles, product reviews, seasonal/holiday guides, upcoming events, “ways to use” articles, product videos, prediction/forecasting articles, FAQs, common mistakes articles, product/service comparisons, checklist content, and latest trends.
Use attention-grabbing headlines. Link internally to other posts. Link externally to authority content. Add sharing buttons to ensure users can quickly and easily post your content to social media.
If not, set up a YouTube channel! For those happy to appear on camera, here are some ideas for content: whiteboard presentations, product or service descriptions, headshot/interview style, talking FAQs/hints and tips. For those who wish not to appear on camera, here are some other ideas for content: before and after examples, talking slides, cartoons, and screen captures.
Choose keywords for each video based on your keyword research. Add keyword-rich title and meta tags in YouTube. Transcribe your video and create a blog post with video embedded. Then, optimize your blog post title tag, meta description, headings, etc.
Be sure to obtain professional accreditations, supplier logos and guarantees. Display all these clearly on all pages.
This local SEO checklist gives you a great foundation to get your business to the top of your local search engine results listings and beyond. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to test to see what’s appropriate for your business in particular. Improving your SEO can be a lot of work, and should be well thought out, taking just one step at a time.
Having Moz Pro access, we can help with your SEO needs, from keyword research to SEO site audits. If this information has been helpful and you have more detail-oriented questions regarding SEO, please let us know.