Local SEO Checklist

Local SEO checklists are crucial for ensuring that your website and Google Business Profile are properly optimized for search engines, reducing friction in the search engine ranking process.

Just like an experienced pilot still uses a checklist when flying a plane, you too should use a checklist when completing Local SEO.

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Website Local SEO Checklist

Checklists help you identify and address any technical issues, optimize your content, and improve your website’s user experience.

By following this Local SEO checklist, you’ll be on your way to increasing your website and Google Business Profile’s visibility, attract more traffic, and ultimately, drive more sales.

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Website-Local-SEO-Checklist

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the process of identifying the words and phrases that people use to search for information related to your products or services online.

Using SEO software and your own analysis, you can determine the popularity, competition, and relevance of different keywords and identify high value keywords to target on your website.

Keyword Strategy

Next, formulate your Keyword Strategy by selecting the most relevant and attractive keywords from your Keyword Research to use in online content, such as website pages and blog posts.

Part of a successful Keyword Strategy is laying out the blueprint of your website content to include these keywords in a natural and compelling way.

On-Site Optimization

On-Site Optimization includes updating your website with content that reflects your Keyword Strategy. When updating website content, it’s important to consider both search engines and customers.

Although you need to craft content that reflects your Keyword Strategy, you also need to write the content in a manner that engages with potential customers. Let’s break this down into another checklist.

Implement Local Schema

This refers to a type of structured data markup added to a website that helps search engines understand the location and contact information of a business. It includes information such as the business name, address, phone number, website URL, and hours of operation.

By implementing local schema on a website, businesses can improve their visibility in local search results.

Optimize URLs

Proper URL implementation is crucial for On-Site Optimization as they improve the organization and structure of a website, making it easier for both search engines and users to find and access relevant information.

URLs also help users navigate a website and understand the content of each page. Finally, properly formatted URLs can improve the overall user experience, increasing the likelihood of visitors returning to the site.

Optimize Meta Tags

Meta tags are HTML elements that provide information about a webpage to search engines and website visitors. They include the title tag, description tag, and keyword tag.

These tags are crucial for SEO because they help search engines understand the content of a webpage and determine its relevance to a user’s search query.

The title tag (also known as the SEO title) appears in search engine results as the clickable headline for a webpage, while the description tag (also known as a Meta Description) provides a brief summary of the page’s content.

The keyword tag, although less important than it used to be, still provides additional information about the page’s topic. Properly optimized meta tags improve a webpage’s visibility and click-through rate in search results.

Update Content

By incorporating relevant keywords into your website content, you greatly increase the chances of your website appearing in search engine results pages for your target keywords.

However, it’s important to not “keyword stuff”, meaning adding too many keywords to your website content. The content then appears unnatural to both search engines and customers, which won’t help search visibility or conversion.

When updating content with keywords, it’s also important to consider user experience. Website content needs to be crafted in a manner that both signals to search engines what the page is about, but also speaks to the wants and needs of your target customer.

Create Redirects

A redirect is a technique used to send a user from one page to another page about the same topic. Redirects are useful when a page has been moved, deleted, or is outdated or when a website has undergone a redesign.

This is because those old pages may still be ranking on Google’s search engine. By creating a redirect from the old page to the newer version, you signal to Google that the old page is no longer relevant, and to show the new page on search engines instead.

Redirects can also be used to consolidate multiple pages into one, which can help to improve the overall user experience of a website. However, it is important to use redirects correctly, as improper use can result in negative SEO consequences such as loss of page authority. You only want to create a redirect from an old page to a new page when the pages are about the same thing.

Ensure Mobile-Friendly Website

With the increasing use of mobile devices for browsing the internet, search engines like Google prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their search results. 

A mobile-friendly website is one that is designed to adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions, making it easy to navigate and read on a mobile device. This improves the website’s usability, which in turn leads to higher engagement, longer visit durations, and lower bounce rates.

Google offers various free tools to audit your website’s mobile friendliness, including in Google Search Console.

Ensure User-Friendly Website

It’s important to make it easy for website visitors to navigate and find the information they need on your website easily and without frustration.

Some key elements of a user-friendly website include clear and concise navigation, fast loading times, mobile responsiveness, and high-quality content that is easy to read and understand.

If your website isn’t user-friendly, website visitors will quickly leave, increasing your website’s “bounce rate”. Google takes bounce rate into account when ranking your website pages. When the Google algorithm determines that website visitors leave your website very quickly after entering it, this signals to Google that your website isn’t relevant for that specific search query, reducing your rankings.

Build Localized Website Pages

Depending on your target market, you need to create website pages that meet the needs of your customers in your target geographic location.

Localized website pages should offer a personalized experience for users by presenting content in their native language and incorporating cultural nuances that are relevant to their region. Localized website pages should also incorporate keywords that signal locality as well as products and services offered to that area for search engine ranking purposes.

Backlink Building

Next, you need to begin the process of acquiring links from other websites and pointing them to your own website. These links are important for SEO as they signal to search engines that your website is a credible and authoritative source of information.

Backlinks can be obtained through various methods such as creating highly shareable content on your company blog and guest blogging.

It’s important to note that not all backlinks are created equal, as links from high-quality and relevant websites carry more weight in terms of Local SEO. Therefore, it’s crucial to focus on building a diverse and high-quality backlink profile to improve your website’s search engine rankings, using Google endorsed methods.

Produce Fresh Content

Consistently generating original content is crucial for SEO as it helps to keep your website relevant and up-to-date. Search engines like Google prioritize websites that regularly publish new content, as it signals to their algorithm that your website is active and providing value to its users.

Fresh content also provides opportunities to target new keywords and phrases, which helps to improve your website’s visibility in search results. Finally, new localized pages and blog posts help to attract local traffic and improve your website’s relevance for specific geographic areas.

"76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day, and 27% of those searches for something nearby result in a purchase."

Google Business Profile (GBP) Checklist

Google-Business-Profile-Checklist

With more and more people turning to Google to find local businesses, optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP) has become an essential part of any local digital marketing strategy.

By optimizing your GBP with this checklist, you can increase your visibility in search engine results, attract more customers, and improve your overall online reputation.

Verify Your Listing

For new or unclaimed listings, first you need to verify that you are the owner of the business.

In certain scenarios, Google permits users to verify via Google Search Console, phone, text, video recording, live video, or email. Businesses with physical storefronts will likely need verification through a postcard process. Until you’ve claimed your listing, GBP management will be unavailable to you.

Ensure Accurate Business Info

Ensuring correct and up-to-date business information, such as Name, Address, & Phone number (NAP), website, hours of operations and opening date is essential for GBP credibility, search engine ranking and customer conversion.

Ensure GBP NAP Aligns with Website

It’s important to make sure the Name, Address & Phone Number (NAP) on your GBP aligns with the NAP on your website. This helps with ranking purposes and helps to avoid suspensions of your profile.

Add Logo & Cover Photo

Adding a logo and cover photo to GBP that best communicates your brand and services to customers is essential for profile conversion. Since the logo slot on your GBP is small and circular, it’s best to add the short form version of your logo.

When uploading a cover photo, it’s great to add a photo of your team at work or smiling with customers in front of completed projects, or your work vans with branded decals. For your cover photo you want to communicate your brand as well as your products and services.

Ensure Proper Calls-to-Action Buttons

Having the correct call-to-action buttons on your Google Business Profile is crucial because it directs potential customers on what action to take next, whether it’s visiting your website, calling your business, or getting directions. CTAs help drive more traffic to your business and ultimately increase conversions.

Ensure Most Relevant Business Category

Make sure you’ve selected the right Business Category for your profile. The Business Category that you select should reflect the core products or services offered by your business.

From our agency’s own experience, having the correct Business Category is essential for high search engine rankings for relevant keywords.

Add Services Offered

After adding your primary Business Category, next add your Services. The services you add can also include your primary business category, but here’s your opportunity to add all your additional services.

Optimize Areas Served

It’s important to add Areas Served that aligns with your service areas or areas you’d like to serve or expand into.

When adding service areas, going to broad can backfire – for example, if you only serve Long Island, don’t add “USA” to your areas served. Start by adding “Long Island, NY”, and then add your focus areas in Long Island. Choose your areas served carefully, as you can only add a maximum of 20 areas served.

Add Menu & Products

If you’re a restaurant or food establishment, add a picture of your physical menu to your Google Business Profile under “Menu”. If you sell products, add your products under the “Products” section with corresponding pictures and descriptions.

If you only offer services, you can get creative with the “Products” section and add the products used in your services, such as different roofing materials if your a roofing company.

Optimize Business Description

Based on your Keyword Strategy for your website, update your GBP Business Description in a manner that both engages with potential customers, and communicates to Google the products and services you offer, and the regions you serve.

Implement a Review Strategy

It’s very important to implement a Review Strategy in your company that generates authentic, high quality Google Reviews once every project is completed or products are sold. Strategies include offering a rebate if a review is posted after project completion, or offering a small free product at the Point of Sale in return for a review.

Quality and velocity of reviews are one of the strongest ranking factors for your Google Business Profile.

Update Business Attributes

Based on your unique business and products and services, update your Business Attributes to give additional information to customers. This can include accessibility options, information about parking, products offered that meet certain dietary restrictions (if you’re a food establishment), and more.

Add Questions & Answers

Each GBP has a Questions & Answers section that customers can read which reduces the friction in the selling process. Customers can ask questions, and you can also ask questions on behalf of your customers and answer them yourself.

Think through the top questions a customer may want answered before calling your business, and list those questions with corresponding answers to reduce friction in the selling process and increase conversion rates.

Photo & Business Updates

Consistently adding high-quality photos and videos of your business, products, services and completed projects signals to both customers and search engines that your business is active and providing value to its customers.

Also, publishing Business Updates to keep customers informed of company news, as well as advertising promotions keep your audience engaged and indicates to both Google and customers that your business is providing continuous value.

Review Management

Encouraging customers to leave reviews and responding to them promptly conveys trustworthiness and builds confidence with both Google and customers viewing your profile.

Local Citation Generation

By listing your business information across various directories, you gain credibility in Google’s eyes, increasing the visibility of your GBP to potential customers.

Ongoing GBP Monitoring

Active management at regularly scheduled intervals ensures your Google Business Profile is active, up-to-date and attracting customers. Also, by implementing insights derived from performance metrics, you can make data driven decisions to better optimize your GBP to target relevant traffic.

There you have it! A high-level Google Business Profile checklist to make sure you’re on the right track to increasing calls, website clicks and sales.

Use Checklists for Local SEO Success

Just like professionals that we trust with our safety, like pilots, rely on checklists to make sure all there i’s are dotted and their t’s are crossed, we too need a checklist when implementing Local SEO to make sure we don’t miss any important optimization factors.

By following this checklist, and referring to other resources to help with implementation, you’ll be increasing leads and sales in no time.

Start Your Local SEO Campaign Today

Dreamvast Agency takes SEO strategies proven to grow the largest online brands and applies them to your local business. This translates to more leads, more calls, more foot traffic, and more sales.

Check out our case studies to learn about our client success stories, or schedule a free SEO consultation with us today to discover low-hanging fruit opportunities for your business.

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