Get Local SEO Right: The Ultimate Local On-Page SEO Checklist
SEO for Local is a truly essential business and marketing strategy when you have a physical business.
Well, any action taken that contributes to increasing the footfall for your business can be the ultimate game changer.
Search engines like Google usually consider location aspects for showing the best results to the users.
Google’s local search algorithm has a proximity factor. This effectively means that when you search for a local keyword or phrase, Google considers your location. Even when you exclude a city name or “near to me” from your search query, Google will still consider your location.
46% of all searches on Google include searches that seek local information.
This is why any business that operates in a physical place or that caters to a bigger geographic region must put efforts to get their local SEO right. Generally, you can start with working towards your local on-page SEO.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand what the right local SEO can do to your physical business.
Search engine optimization can typically be on-page and off-page. Let’s try to understand more about the local on-page SEO along with a go-to checklist for it.
So, keep reading!
What Is Local SEO? & Why it is Important?
SEO for Local (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of enhancing local businesses’ visibility on search engines, particularly for those having a physical presence.
Similar to standard SEO, local search engine optimization entails working with local customers and their searches to optimize a website for increasing search visibility.
As per RangRanger, there is a local pack present in 29% of all Google SERPs. Hence, businesses can increase organic traffic from queries made by local customers and by adhering to local SEO best practices.
Local SEO is a great approach for you to support the online expansion of your business. This will assist more local leads to find and visit your business.
This means that businesses need to tailor their digital strategies to ensure that they appear in front of the right audience at the right time. Local SEO involves a combination of on-page and off-page optimization techniques, including optimizing your website, managing online reviews, building local citations, and targeting localized keywords.
Importance of SEO for Local
Local SEO is essential for businesses of all sizes, especially those with a physical location or a specific service area. By optimizing your online presence for local search, you can increase your visibility and attract highly targeted traffic from potential customers in your local community. According to recent studies, 46% of all Google searches have local intent, meaning that people are actively looking for products or services near them. By neglecting to invest in local SEO, businesses risk losing out on valuable opportunities to connect with their target audience and drive foot traffic or inquiries.
Key factors that affect local search rankings
Several factors determine how search engines rank local businesses in search results. Understanding these factors and optimizing accordingly is crucial for improving your local search rankings. Here are some key elements to consider:
- Google My Business Listing: Your Google My Business (GMB) listing is a critical component of local SEO. It provides essential information about your business, such as your address, phone number, operating hours, and customer reviews. Optimizing your GMB listing by ensuring accurate and up-to-date information, selecting the appropriate categories, and adding high-quality photos can significantly boost your visibility in local search results.
- Online Reviews and Reputation: Positive online reviews and a strong reputation play a vital role in local SEO. Encourage your satisfied customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and can help improve your overall reputation.
- Local Citations and Backlinks: Citations are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other websites, directories, and social media platforms. These citations help search engines verify the accuracy and legitimacy of your business information. Backlinks, on the other hand, are links from other websites that point to your website. Both citations and backlinks are important factors in local search rankings, so it’s crucial to build a strong network of trusted citations and quality backlinks.
- Localized Keywords: Targeting localized keywords is essential for local SEO. These are keywords that include geographic modifiers, such as “best pizza in [city]” or “affordable plumber near me.” Researching and incorporating relevant localized keywords into your website content, meta tags, and business listings can significantly improve your chances of ranking higher in local search results.
Optimizing your website for local SEO
Optimizing your website is a fundamental aspect of local SEO. Here are some key steps to optimize your website for local search:
- Keyword Research: Conduct thorough keyword research to identify relevant localized keywords that your target audience is using to find businesses like yours. Use keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to discover high-volume, low-competition keywords.
- On-Page Optimization: Incorporate localized keywords into your website’s meta tags, headings, content, and image alt text. Ensure that your website’s structure is user-friendly and easy to navigate, with clear calls-to-action and contact information prominently displayed.
- Local Content: Create location-specific content that provides value to your target audience. This could include blog posts, guides, or resources that address local topics, events, or issues. By creating localized content, you not only optimize your website for local search but also establish yourself as a trusted authority in your community.
- Mobile Optimization: With the majority of local searches happening on mobile devices, it’s crucial to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Optimize your website’s design and functionality for a seamless mobile experience, including fast loading times and responsive design.
- Schema Markup: Implement schema markup on your website to provide search engines with additional information about your business, such as your address, phone number, and operating hours. This helps search engines understand and index your website more accurately.
- Local Landing Pages: If your business serves multiple locations or has a specific service area, create dedicated landing pages for each location. Optimize these pages with localized keywords and provide unique, valuable content for each location.By following these optimization techniques, you can improve your website’s visibility in local search results and attract relevant traffic to your business.
Checklist for Local On-Page SEO
Local on-page SEO comprises techniques and procedures used to optimize a web page for better search results and increased organic traffic.
This can include optimizing your headlines, HTML tags, meta descriptions, and images in addition to producing high-quality, pertinent content. Let’s dive deeper into this with the below time-tested and go-to local on-page SEO checklist.
Have A Robust Website
The most crucial and foundational element for doing the right SEO for Local is your website. No amount of optimization will be effective if your site isn’t outstanding as per the SEO best practices.
As Google now indexes the mobile versions of websites, ensure that your website has a responsive design. Also, optimize your website for faster speed and the right URL structure.
Lastly, interlink relevant pages on the website to help searchers. The search engine easily find more business information on the site.
Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Generally, the first batch of results that are shown below ads for any local search on Google is usually the Google Business Profiles.
It’s essential to ensure that your GMB listing is complete, accurate, and optimized. There is a ton of information in Google Business Profiles. That can drive customers to take the desired action right from your profile, so you must optimize your Google Business Profile for local SEO.
- Claim Your Listing: If you haven’t already, claim your GMB listing by verifying your business with Google. This allows you to take control of your listing and make updates as needed. After verifying your Google Business Profile and ensuring its claim. Make sure that all the crucial information such as the name, phone number, and address are mentioned accurately and consistently across the listing.
- Provide Accurate Information: Fill out all the fields in your GMB listing with accurate and up-to-date information about your business. This includes your business name, address, phone number, website URL, and operating hours. Make sure that this information matches what is listed on your website and other online directories. Try to fill out all the sections with suitably as much information as possible.
- Choose Relevant Categories: Don’t forget to choose the correct business category. Select the most relevant categories for your business to help Google understand your offerings and match your listing to relevant search queries. Be specific and choose categories that accurately reflect your products or services.
- Write a Compelling Business Description: Craft a concise and compelling business description that highlights your unique selling points and key offerings. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally, but avoid keyword stuffing.
- Add High-Quality Photos: Lastly, upload relevant pictures such as pictures of the business logo, cover photo, pictures of the interior and exterior of your physical store, and so on. Also, upload high-quality photos of your business, products, or services to your GMB listing. Visual content can significantly impact potential customers’ perception of your business and increase engagement.
- Manage Customer Reviews: Regularly monitor and respond to customer reviews on your GMB listing. Engage with both positive and negative reviews, addressing any concerns, and showcasing your commitment to customer satisfaction.By optimizing your GMB listing, you increase your chances of appearing in the coveted “Local Pack” and attracting more customers to your business.
Target Local Keywords
As part of your local SEO strategy, you can target specific local keywords and improve your chances of showing up for those searches.
To target local searchers, your keywords should be connected to your business, your products or services, and your local area. By understanding the search terms your target audience is using, you can optimize your website content and improve your visibility in local search results. For example, the best interior designer in Brooklyn, Brooklyn interior designer, and so on.
Here’s how to conduct local keyword research:
- Brainstorm Localized Keywords: Start by brainstorming keywords that are relevant to your business and location. Consider the products or services you offer, as well as the specific geographic areas you serve.
- Use Keyword Research Tools: Utilize keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Moz Keyword Explorer to discover high-volume, low-competition keywords. Look for keywords that include location-specific modifiers, such as “near me,” city names, or neighborhood names.
- Analyze Competitor Keywords: Analyze the keywords your competitors are targeting and ranking for. This can provide insights into the keywords that are driving traffic and conversions in your industry and location.
- Long-Tail Keywords: Target long-tail keywords, which are longer and more specific search phrases. Additionally, you can develop high-impacting content around the long-tail keyword phrases that your customers use in search queries for finding a business like yours. These keywords often have less competition and can attract highly targeted traffic to your website.
- Content Optimization: Incorporate your targeted localized keywords naturally into your website content, meta tags, headings, and image alt text. Avoid keyword stuffing, as this can negatively impact your search rankings.To benefit more you can use the local keywords in your title tags, meta descriptions, on-page content, social media profiles, and Google Business Profile. By conducting thorough keyword research and targeting localized keywords, you can increase your visibility in local search results and attract highly relevant traffic to your website.
Optimize Meta Title And Meta Descriptions
The meta title is a powerful factor that influences the search ranking for selected keywords. Because it contains on-point useful information. The local keyword you wish to rank for should be included in the meta title as far as possible.
To offer searchers a better idea of what to expect before they click on the page appearing in the search results. Meta descriptions are the HTML code that appears beneath the meta title of a page.
Ensure that your meta descriptions contain your target keywords and a summary of the page’s content. Also, make sure that they are not more than 150-160 characters.
Manage Online Reviews
Managing reviews is yet another important factor to be considered for local ranking. Positive reviews can significantly impact your local search rankings and attract more customers, while negative reviews can have the opposite effect. As maximum of the searches read online reviews for the local businesses listed online before taking any action.
That is why search engines consider the sentiments in the reviews and the keyword used in them. If you try to get more positive reviews from your happy customers, and manage to respond to all types of reviews promptly. It can help you increase your local ranking performance.
Further, ensure to get higher ratings, so that Google considers your business when someone searches for phrases including words like “best”.
Here are some strategies for managing online reviews and building a positive reputation:
- Encourage Reviews: Proactively ask your satisfied customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, Facebook, and industry-specific review sites. You can do this through email campaigns, personalized follow-ups, or by including review requests on your website or invoices.
- Respond to Reviews: Respond to both positive and negative reviews in a timely and professional manner. Thank customers for their positive feedback and address any concerns or issues raised in negative reviews. Show empathy, take responsibility, and offer solutions whenever possible.
- Monitor Review Platforms: Regularly monitor review platforms to stay informed about what customers are saying about your business. Set up alerts or use reputation management tools to receive notifications whenever a new review is posted.
- Leverage Positive Reviews: Showcase your positive reviews on your website, social media profiles, and other marketing materials. This helps build trust and credibility with potential customers.Remember, managing your online reputation is an ongoing process. By actively engaging with customer feedback and addressing any issues that arise, you can build a strong and positive reputation that enhances your local search rankings.
This is pretty much it!
Building local citations and backlinks
Local citations and backlinks are essential for improving your local search rankings. Citations are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other websites, directories, and social media platforms. Backlinks, on the other hand, are links from other websites that point to your website. Here’s how to build local citations and backlinks:
- Local Directories: Submit your business information to reputable local directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and TripAdvisor. Ensure that your business details are consistent across all directories to avoid confusion or conflicting information.
- Niche Directories: Identify industry-specific directories and submit your business information to relevant categories. This can help you target a specific audience and improve your visibility in niche markets.
- Local Chambers of Commerce: Join your local chamber of commerce and take advantage of the opportunities they provide to showcase your business. Many chambers of commerce have online directories or listings that can boost your local SEO efforts.
- Guest Blogging: Reach out to local bloggers or industry influencers and offer to write a guest blog post. Include a link back to your website within the content to generate a valuable backlink.
- Local Sponsorships: Consider sponsoring local events, charities, or organizations. This can often lead to mentions or links from their websites, which can boost your local SEO efforts.Remember, the quality of your citations and backlinks is more important than the quantity. Focus on building relationships with reputable websites and directories that are relevant to your industry and location.
How To Track & analyze your local search performance
Tracking and analyzing your local search performance is essential to understand the effectiveness of your local SEO efforts. Here are some key metrics to monitor:
- Rankings: Regularly check your website’s rankings in local search results for your targeted keywords. Identify any fluctuations or trends and make adjustments to your SEO strategy accordingly.
- Website Traffic: Monitor the amount of organic traffic your website receives from local search results. Look for increases or decreases in traffic and analyze the impact of any changes you’ve made to your local SEO efforts.
- Click-Through Rates (CTRs): Analyze the CTRs of your website’s search listings in local search results. Optimizing your meta tags and titles can improve your CTR as well as attract more clicks from potential customers.
- Conversion Rates: Track the conversion rates of your website, such as form submissions, phone calls, or online purchases. Analyze the impact of your local SEO efforts on these conversion rates and identify areas for improvement.
- Online Reviews: Monitor the quantity and quality of your online reviews. Track changes in review ratings and analyze the impact on your local search rankings as well as customer perception. By regularly tracking and analyzing these metrics, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your local SEO strategy as well as make data-driven decisions to optimize your online presence.
Local SEO tools and resources
Several tools and resources not only help you streamline but also enhance your local SEO efforts. Here are some recommended tools to consider:
- Google My Business: Utilize the features and insights provided by your Google My Business listing to optimize your local search presence and monitor performance.
- Google Search Console: Use Google Search Console to monitor your website’s performance in search results, so identify crawl errors, and submit sitemaps.
- Google Analytics: Track and analyze website traffic, user behavior, and conversions with Google Analytics. Gain insights into the effectiveness of your local SEO efforts and identify opportunities for improvement.
- Moz Local: Moz Local helps you manage your online business listings and citations, so that will ensuring consistency and accuracy across various directories.
- BrightLocal: BrightLocal offers a suite of local SEO tools, including citation building, reputation management, and local search rank tracking.
- SEMrush: SEMrush provides keyword research, competitive analysis, and website auditing tools to optimize your local SEO strategy.Remember to explore these tools and resources to find the ones that best suit your business needs and objectives.
Improving your local search rankings is vital for attracting customers from your community and staying ahead of your competitors. By understanding the principles
We hope that you find more value in this when you execute the above. Arista Systems enforce a set of time-tested strategies developed through years of experience with the help of exceptional marketing experts at the core of its team.
You can connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get access to the local SEO best practices. We’ll make the most out of your marketing activities.