If you’re looking for the best local SEO checklist for 2023, you’ve come to the right place! Local SEO (search engine optimization) helps businesses to rank within their local area based on their product or service. After all, for many businesses, clients come from within their local community. This small radius is why an online presence is so crucial for companies of all sizes.
If you manage a local business, there is a lot you can do to capitalize on gaining more local traffic. Nearly half of Google users use the platform to find local businesses. Getting the most out of local searches will help you stay ahead of the competition.
In this article, we will explore the best methods for improving your local search engine rankings. Let’s jump in!
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO encompasses the methods used to improve both the quantity and quality of local online traffic to a website organically. Generally speaking, it is most important for businesses that offer their products or services within a specific geographic area. Local SEO includes elements such as on-page SEO, local website content, Google tools, directory listing, reviews, and local link building.
Local SEO is an important element of any marketing plan. It helps local businesses increase their visibility in local search engine results, leading to more website visits and potential customers.
If you’re a business or agency, check out our definitive guide to local SEO!
Why You Should Use a Local SEO Checklist
To ensure local success, it is essential to follow a local SEO checklist. This checklist should include all the things that need to be done to make sure your local business is being seen. This could include setting up citations, creating location-specific pages for your website or even getting more Google Reviews.
Checklist priorities may vary depending on the type of business but the importance of taking such measures can’t be overstated. If you want a leg up on competitors, read on for 6 areas to improve your local visibility.
Local SEO Checklist: 6 Areas to Focus on to Improve Your Local Visibility
1. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO elements are vital for websites to rank well on search engines. This starts with updating title tags and meta descriptions with the target keywords. In addition, include the target keyword within the heading tags, alt image tags, and throughout the content. This shows Google and other search engines that your site is relevant based on the search.
Make sure every web page or blog post on your website is optimized with the target keyword. Including the target keywords within the important areas mentioned above will help enhance visibility. All of these elements when used together can help you achieve better SEO rankings – driving more people to your website.
2. Local Content
When it comes to local SEO, content plays a major role in helping local customers to find your business. It’s important to create content such as an optimized local ranking page with the use of localized keywords.
For example, let’s say you manage a carpet cleaning business in Kansas City.
The keyword you would like to rank for locally is “carpet cleaning services kansas city, MO”. You’ll want to include that keyword on your site, preferably on a services or location page. Make sure to include the location as part of the keyword. This ensures search engines can connect you with customers within the area.
In addition, it’s critical to include your name, address, and phone number (NAP information) throughout your site. Providing accurate information allows local customers to more easily locate your business. It can also improve local visibility and rank higher in local search engine results pages (SERPs).
Local content should include relevant hours of operation, contact information, and directions to your business location. You could also include special discounts or promos and events related to the local area.
Ultimately, leveraging local content and localized words can be immensely beneficial. It helps to drive traffic from local sources who are interested in doing business with you.
3. Google Tools
Setting up and effectively using your Google tools may be the most important part of this local SEO checklist. In this next section, we’ll go over the essentials for Google Business Profile, Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), may be your most important tool as a local business. GMB is an online tool that allows businesses to curate their online presence on Google. This service is an essential component of any local SEO strategy. Your profile on GMB affects searches on Google Maps and Search, helping customers find you.
To get started, verifying and setting up your Google Business Profile is fundamental. You need to make sure the information is accurate, comprehensive, and detailed. This means having a complete profile with reviews, photos, a description, and more. This will allow you to improve your visibility when customers search for businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps.
Making sure you have an accurate Google My Business profile could mean the difference between potential clients finding you or not. The information people see on their results page when they look for a business does not come from a website. It comes from information Google finds on your profile. Keeping addresses, phone numbers, and other business details updated, and accurate will go a long way to being found online.
Setting up Google Analytics provides valuable insight about how visitors interact with your website. It tracks important metrics like traffic, CTR (click through rate), conversions, and more. These metrics will allow you to fine tune your content for success. Instead of blindly implementing strategies, Google Analytics helps you understand the effectiveness of your efforts.
Google Search Console
Finally, don’t forget about setting up Google Search Console. It is your go-to source for Google’s technical SEO instruction about how to improve the searchability of your website. You can track metrics like clicks and impressions based on specific keywords. It also allows you to request indexing for specific pages and seeing which pages need improvement.
Ultimately, all of these Google tools can help increase the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
4. Business Directory Listings
Creating accurate, consistent local citations within directories for your business can help you reach new potential customers. They can also provide local ranking signals to search engines, helping to improve your authority. When building local citations, focus on accuracy and consistency. Even small errors can lead to confusion or may even be considered spammy.
Pay close attention to updating local directories such as opening or closing hours. Use the same format across each listing to ensure consistency. Taking care to properly compile local business listings is essential. It helps introduce your business to potential local customers while also maximizing your local SEO benefit.
5. Customer Reviews
Did you know reviews influence 88% of consumers when discovering a local business? Reviews make a world of difference when potential customers are trying to decide about your product or service. That’s why it is so important to regularly check, manage and ask for customer reviews. Checkup on all relevant review platforms, such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
Not only do positive reviews signal trustworthiness, but it helps to boost your local SEO rankings. For example, the more 5 star reviews you receive on your GBP profile, the better. It will likely cause your profile to rank higher in Google Maps and the local search map pack.
It’s a win-win scenario for your business! Once they find your profile on Google, the more likely they will click on your profile based on your positive reviews.
Interact with Your Clients
Google places a lot of weight on reviews and so do potential clients. How often have you searched for a business and checked the reviews to see what people had to say? Almost every time you search, right?
Asking for reviews from happy customers is a great way to start building an online reputation. Thank the customers who left positive reviews to show you value their business. For the negative reviews, ask what you can do to make their experience better. Look to change their mind. This is not just good SEO practice, but good public relations as well.
In the end, your potential customers need to know how others feel about your capabilities. This comes through reviews from other satisfied customers before making the decision to choose your product or service.
6. Link Building
Link building is another essential local SEO element. Link building is the practice of acquiring and distributing hyperlinks from and to other websites other than your own. The more pages with high-quality link interactions you have on a website, the higher you rank.
Essentially, Google takes this as a sign of reliability and trustworthiness. After all, they want to recommend websites that provide an excellent user experience.
Making connections with local (non-competitor) businesses that serve similar demographics is an excellent way to start. Sharing links between each other can be mutually beneficial in growing a client-base and raising your online rankings. Backlinks should come from established websites, such as those connected with local outlets or associations with the community.
Link building helps assist local businesses in displaying their Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T). This is a core concept of local SEO best practices. Developing local links helps to boost authority in local searches, allowing potential customers to find the business more easily.
Local SEO Checklist 2023: Partner with Boostability Today
Now that you understand how to optimize your website for better local results, it’s time to get started. Improving your online presence at a local level is one of the most effective means of increasing visibility and customers. If you want help with your local SEO efforts, check out our partner SEO program today!
As the #1 white label SEO company in the world, our team helps businesses of all types rank higher on Google. Trust our team of experts to help with your local SEO strategy, taking your business to the next level.
If you need additional resources about local SEO, check out our guide to Local SEO for businesses and agencies.