Local SEO Essentials: A Checklist

For many businesses with actual stores in specific locations, their local customers are their lifeblood. Turning to a local SEO marketing agency for assistance is often necessary if you want to get the most out of your online campaigns. But are you sure they cover everything required to make your business stand out? This checklist will help you see if you have everything you need to get your local SEO efforts on the right track.

High Quality, Geo-Targeted Content

Google’s search algorithms have always stressed the importance of unique, high-quality content. Your site needs to have great, geo-targeted content that ranks high on SERPs and keeps your local customers engaged. Maintaining an on-page blog is a great way to keep adding fresh, relevant, and valuable content to your website. Use your website to highlight business success stories, present case studies for your services, or keep customers posted on the latest local and industry news.

Optimized Crucial On-Page Elements

As with all SEO efforts, optimizing for local search will require you to optimize the five most important elements of your web pages:

  • Page Title and Meta Data
  • URLs
  • Page Headers
  • Internal Linking Structure
  • On-Page Content

Long-Tail, Geo-Targeted Keyword Targeting

Your selected keywords should include long-tail, geo-targeted variations. For example, if you’re selling homemade cupcakes at your shop in Makati City, you should include “homemade cupcakes in Makati”, “homemade cupcakes in Makati City,” “homemade cupcakes Makati”, and other variants in your keyword research. There’s less competition for these long-tail keywords, and they can help you benefit from the different ways users search for you online.

Location and Business Hours

Your website should clearly show your local customers where to find you and when they can visit your store. If you have different locations, creating a unique page to feature each might be a good idea, but make sure each page has unique, relevant content.

You also need to implement the right schema.org markups to improve your snippets on SERPs. Rich snippets show important information about your business, such as business hours, store locations, and author information for your blog or articles. Users are also more likely to click on items with rich snippets.

Starbucks.com displays rich snippets for specific locations included in their Find a Store page.

Mobile Optimization

Many customers perform local searches on their mobile devices, especially when on the go. Optimizing your website for mobile using responsive design is a good way to make sure these customers find and visit your website using their devices.

Local Business Listings

Claiming and updating your business listings for websites like Yelp, Google+ Local, Bing Local, and Yahoo Local, and the Yellow Pages can help increase your brand’s visibility in SERPs. You can also get great reviews from satisfied customers on these sites, and encourage them to “check in” whenever they visit your store.

Social Media Management

Improving your social signals is important if you want your website to rank high in search results. Keep your pages on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media sites updated, post and share content regularly, and interact with customers who start discussions or leave comments on these pages.

Customer Reviews

Displaying genuine reviews from customers on your website or social media pages can convince other visitors to buy from you. Millions of customers and online shoppers use other people’s reviews to decide whether to buy or not. Hiring someone to write a positive review for you can be a big mistake, and several other local SEO companies have been penalized for creating or posting “fake” reviews for their clients. Actively ask your customers to write reviews for you instead, especially the ones who are particularly happy with your services or products. They’re more likely to provide great feedback, and they can encourage others to do the same.

When we do local SEO for our own clients, we make sure to cover all these essentials and more. Contact us today and allow us to improve your rankings and visibility for local search.

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