Last Updated on November 8, 2023
On the internet, there are millions upon millions of web pages. Small business owners attempting to advertise their local establishments may find competing in such a wide global economy difficult. But don’t be afraid. Your company can still manage to stand out and engage with local customers.
This can be accomplished through local SEO. Local SEO benefits local businesses get seen in search results even when competing with huge brands and national enterprises with a substantial internet presence. Every day, more than a third of consumers look for local businesses on the internet, and over half of all Google searches are for local information, which makes local SEO all the more important.
Don’t forget, we’re also providing a FREE SEO Report to those who aren’t aware of how their website is performing online.
To help your local business get started, here’s a comprehensive Local SEO checklist with 12 essential strategies.
1. Register your company with Google Business
Creating a Google Business profile (previously known as a Google My Business profile) takes just a few minutes and is one of the simplest ways to boost exposure in local search engine results.
When you create your profile, you provide Google with the relevant information about your business. You must ensure that all information is accurate and up to date. This includes your business name, address, phone number, working hours, and website URL. Additionally, you should use high-quality images that showcase your business and respond promptly to reviews and questions.
2. Local SEO keyword research
Keyword research is the foundation for any Local SEO strategy. Focus on identifying keywords that potential customers in your area use. Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and SEMrush can help you discover relevant keywords.
These tools will allow you to discover the most popular search terms for local businesses like yours and how tough it will be to rank for them locally. This is why keyword research is important to this local SEO checklist.
3. Submit your website to reputable local directories
Submitting your website to high-quality local directories will help you rank higher in search results. Secondly, you may obtain a backlink, which can improve overall performance in search engine results. Furthermore, you will increase your company’s visibility to those using such directories.
It is crucial, however, to only submit your website data to high-quality directories – not all directories are respectable, and submitting your site to the wrong ones could negatively impact your rankings.
4. Seek out online reviews
Online reviews significantly impact your local search rankings, especially those from Google Business – as Google considers these reviews to be a ranking indication. Hence, it’s necessary to encourage consumers who are satisfied with your product or service to submit a review.
These reviews may help you get a higher position, but the small stars next to your company name displayed when a consumer leaves a review can also make your business stand out from the masses on Google Maps.
5. Schema markup
Schema markup is a structured data markup you can add to your website’s code. It provides search engines nationally, and locally with more information about your business – for example, star ratings, pricing, etc., which can lead to rich snippets in search results. These snippets make your listing more appealing and informative to users. This is why schema markup is listed in our local SEO checklist for local businesses.
6. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices
The design of your website has a significant impact on its search engine optimization (SEO). Google has a mobile-first indexing strategy. As a result, if your website cannot be accessible on mobile devices, your rankings locally and nationally will suffer substantially. Use online tools to see if your website is mobile-friendly. Consider hiring a web developer if you need to refresh a mobile-friendly website. Another important item to consider is speed. There are more types of SEO than local, but all take mobile sites and speed seriously.
If your site takes more than 30 seconds to load, most people will leave and go to your competitor’s.
7. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is one of the main SEO services that help local businesses, it involves optimizing the content on your website. This includes optimizing meta titles, descriptions, and header tags (H1, H2, H3) with your chosen local keywords. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as Google places significant importance on mobile compatibility. Also, aim for fast loading times, as slow websites can deter users.
8. Local link building
It is crucial for local SEO to build high-quality, local backlinks. Contact local chambers of commerce, community organizations, and industry-specific groups to get mentioned or linked to from their websites. This can boost your local credibility and visibility.
9. Try to gain local online publicity
It’s worth visiting local news outlets and requesting publicity for your business. Given the local element, news sites will gladly offer you a backlink if it provides value to their audience – and this backlink may carry a large amount of ‘link juice.’
Because many other sites link to them, news sites —even local ones! — have much authority. This indicates that backlinks from these sites can potentially improve your ranking in search results.
10. Social media engagement
It would be best to manage your profiles across social media channels regularly. Social media sites frequently show in local search results for your company name, so having profiles on many social media platforms may offer your business greater exposure on search results pages when someone searches for your business.
It’s also crucial to remember that while search engines are still the most common area for individuals to seek businesses, social media is becoming a more popular choice. As a result, if you fully use social media, you may increase your chances of getting noticed by potential clients through various platforms.
11. Tracking and Analytics
Set up tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics to monitor your website’s performance. These tools provide valuable insights into organic traffic, click-through, and conversion rates. Regularly analyze these metrics to refine your local SEO strategy.
12. Local Community Engagement
Engaging with your local community is about more than just online presence. Take an active role in your local community by sponsoring, participating in events, and forming partnerships. Not only does this foster goodwill, but it can also lead to valuable backlinks and mentions from local organizations, further boosting your local SEO efforts.
Conclusion: Local SEO Checklist for local businesses
By implementing these 12 vital components and tactics, your business will profit from establishing a strong local SEO strategy that will actively bring in business and help your business reach its goals.