Local SEO Checklist for Businesses (2020)

Earlier local businesses missed the opportunity to be seen online when their customers searched on Google. But now it’s become easy for businesses to drive red hot leads into local businesses. All thanks to local SEO.

Did you know 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a physical place within 24 hours and 28% of those searches result in a purchase. So businesses which haven’t created any local SEO plan missed a huge opportunity to get more leads, sales & customers. 

Our local SEO checklist will help you to make your site rank high in your area.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website with the goal of increasing your traffic and leads for search results or keywords that your potential customers are searching for. 

Task associated with local SEO:-

  1. Find local keywords
  2. Optimize your website
  3. Optimization of Google My Business Listing
  4. Local link building

If none of that makes any sense, don’t panic. We make this checklist as clear as possible.

Why is local SEO important?

According to a study done by Forbes, 95% of smartphone users have used their device to perform local searches, out of which 61% called the business and 59% visited.

And SearchEngineWatch found that 70% of mobile users click to call a business directly from Google search results using their mobile phones.

Difference between local SEO and general SEO?

Local SEO limits itself to a small geographical region. For instance, a coffee shop in NYC looking for local customers and planning to channelize Google should focus on Local SEO.

Local SEO is mainly performed by limiting your work to local searches. So, if we continue the above example, the search terms will become:

  1. Best coffee shops in NYC
  2. cool coffee shops in NYC
  3. Must-visit coffee shops in NYC
  4. Coffee shops near me
local seo checklist

Regular SEO

Normal SEO is wider and doesn’t usually take into account location focused search terms and phrases. So, if an LED company will be looking at SEO, it will be looking at looking keywords:

  1. buy LED lighting
  2. LED lighting manufacturer
  3. LED lighting supplier
  4. Best LED company

SEO in its core essence means tapping into Google to generate business mileage. In local SEO, it’s just that the location factor becomes a major factor.

Local SEO Checklist

How do you ensure that you have solid SEO that will guarantee much more traffic and leads on your site? Well, we have compiled an essential checklist designed to help you achieve better rankings. Let’s start with Google My Business.

Google My Business 

(GMB) is obviously your first priority. Optimize your Google My Business listing with as much information as possible. Whenever a query is made about places, specific services or specific products Google will pull that information directly from your GMB profile. 

NOTE :- Having keyword-rich descriptions and the right categories will improve your results.

Here are some tips to get started and improve your Google My Business listing.

Proper category – Picking the right category can be difficult, especially now that Google no longer allows custom categories, meaning you will have to select from a predefined selection. For the best results, pick the category most relevant to your business’s services and try and limit the number of categories you select to 2 or 3 instead of using the full 10.

Adding photographs – Photographs of your business are a great way to help customers. They identify your business while searching, they may have seen your business before and will be able to find you quicker than without reference. This also helps give a good first impression to new customers finding you through search, sending a clear and positive message.

Add your daily business hours – Opening and closing periods tend to shift from year to year, make sure customers know when you’re open for business and avoid negative experiences, such as a customer traveling to your business just to find out it is closed.

Reviews – one of the main ranking factors to consider when using Google my business. Ask for reviews from your customers and try to encourage and promote positive ones by doing great work, reviews are a great indicator of how much trust to place in a business and when a customer can see multiple positive reviews they can rest assured that they are going to receive a good service. Incurring negative reviews and not keeping up to date on how your business is presented over search listings can be a big mistake, especially if you spend a lot on marketing.

By optimizing your listing, you will help drive more local traffic for your business.

It’s the first thing you’ll want to check off your local SEO checklist.

Citations

Structured citations are top practices. Structured citations are table stakes at this point yet they are necessary for building traction and confirming NAP details (name, address, phone number) to give your site more local presence.

Unstructured citations will give your website a huge boost in credibility. Getting your NAP details on a site that doesn’t specifically ask for them (like another local business as opposed to a directory) is an excellent way to improve your localized search results.

Local Link Building

Quality backlinks will always give your ranking a boost. A link from a website within your niche that has a high DA is a welcome and sometimes necessary acquisition in order to make your site appear in the local searches.

We have found that it is most beneficial to firstly build links from targeted business directories & citations.

These types of links provide locational relevance to your site, particularly for location-based directories such as ‘Boston plumber directory’ 

The next thing we would suggest is to build trust and authority to the site with the use of high quality links from authoritative sites in your niche. These aren’t created to build an association with a geographical location, but they are instead providing an additional boost in the trust that Google has for your site.

Ain’t got time to do it all while managing your business? Hire our affordable seo services trusted by local as well as global businesses.

Image optimization

Images are the heaviest elements in websites, therefore never underestimate the power of optimizing images to ensure better performance, as doing so can drastically decrease your website load time by a few seconds.

Pro tip: Don’t upload images to your site before compressing their size

Positive Reviews 

Google reviews are definitely the top choice for encouraging five-star reviews from your clients however other major review sites will have an impact on your visibility. 

local seo checklist

Make sure you respond to both reviews whether it is positive or negative. You can also insert some keywords in your replies too. Cleverly. In a subtle way.

Internal linking 

Internal linking can help your site achieve improved organic rankings. It helps search engines to better crawl and understand your site. More importantly, it helps internal pages to receive “AUTHORITY” from higher level pages. 

I know this alone will not do much but it is another small step in your overall optimization process. 

Mobile Friendly Website

It’s 2020, the world went mobile a long time ago, and Google likes to remind us about that too. Whenever designing a new site or page, make sure the design is 100% responsive and mobile friendly. 

One key aspect to improve mobile design is to optimize mobile site speeds, which is our next point.

Optimize site speed

Google loves fast-loading sites and they will often rank faster loading sites on the top instead of slow loading sites. 

What can you do about it? 

Always grab the template preview URLs and test them in Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool before installing it. If you’re using custom designs, before developing, make sure you’re following all general recommendations on improving site speed.

You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to help you know where you need to make improvements and do them on your own.

local seo checklist

Use modifiers in your titles

Using modifiers (eg. “top”, “best”, “most”, “for 2020”), can often help you achieve improved results for two basic reasons.

  1. Modifiers naturally help you expand your main keyword to potentially high volume long tail keywords.
  2. They are often attractive to human eyes in search results, potentially delivering increased CTRs, which could in turn directly affect your ranking.

The purpose of this Local SEO checklist is to, first, make you believe in yourself, second empower you with the basic knowledge of how a local SEO game is played, and third help you make a detailed SEO plan for your local business. 

BransionMedia is always looking to rescue businesses. If you are planning to take your business online and want help from experts, email us at info@bransionmedia.com to discuss your SEO goals with us and get a unique SEO plan for your business!

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