SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an essential factor for the growth of any local business. When it comes to small businesses the local search accounts for its maximum growth. Customers at first look for local businesses on the internet. If your business website is not optimized with local SEO strategies, you could lack to sustain in the competition.
Therefore, it is important to implement and follow local SEO checklist to your business website as a part of local business SEO strategies.
Do you know, how you can do that? To help you get the answer to that question, we have come up with a comprehensive local SEO checklist for business websites in 2023.
By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of local search engine optimization tactics, their benefits and the ways you can implement them on your website. So, without wasting further ado let’s get started.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website or online business for local search results. Local SEO is subset of the general Search engine optimization. The main goal of local SEO strategy is to increase visibility and drive traffic to a business’s website, especially for those searching for products or services within a specific geographic location.
This can be achieved through a variety of tactics, such as optimizing website content, building local citations, and creating listings on local directories. Local SEO tactics also include geo keyword optimization, building social media presence, using schema markup to improve their visibility in local search results.
Businesses that Need Local SEO
Businesses having a physical location or targeting the local market of a specific geographical area needs local SEO. Restaurants, medical service providers, gyms etc. can utilize local search engine optimization tactics to target more potential customers.
Any business that provides its services or products to a specific geographical area benefits the most from local Search engine optimization strategies.
Why Local SEO is Important
SEO for local business, is becoming increasingly important for small and medium-sized businesses looking to compete in today’s digital marketplace.
With the rise of mobile search and the proliferation of review sites, local SEO is more important than ever for businesses looking to drive traffic to their website and increase their visibility in local search results.
Local SEO plays crucial role for small businesses to reach potential customers who are searching for products and services in their area.
When people search for something online, they often include their location in the search query. For example, “coffee shop near me” or “hair salon in downtown.” By optimizing for local SEO, small businesses can make sure that their website appears in search results when people search for relevant keywords in their area.
Benefits of Local SEO
One of the main benefits of local business SEO is that it helps businesses to reach a more targeted audience. By optimizing for local search terms, businesses can increase their visibility in search results for people who are searching for products or services in their area.
Local SEO allows businesses to attract the customers who are more likely to be interested in what your business have to offer. This can lead to higher conversion rates and more sales.
Another benefit of local business SEO is that it can help to improve your company reputation and credibility. With the rise of review sites such as Yelp and Google My Business, it is increasingly important for businesses to have a positive online reputation.
By optimizing website and online presence for local search terms, businesses can increase their visibility in review sites, which can lead to more positive reviews and a better overall reputation.
Finally, local SEO strategies can also help businesses to stand out from their competitors. With so many businesses vying for attention in local search results, it can be difficult to stand out. By optimizing for local search terms, businesses can increase their visibility in search results, which can make them more likely to be seen by potential customers.
Overall, local SEO is an essential tool for businesses looking to compete in today’s digital marketplace. By optimizing for local search terms, businesses can increase their visibility in search results, improve their reputation, and stand out from their competitors. This can lead to higher traffic to their website, more sales, and ultimately, more success for their business.
Comprehensive Local SEO Strategies and Checklist
You can use this local search optimization checklist to boost online presence of your business website.
- Local SEO Audit
- Focus on Geo-specific Keywords
- Optimize Google My Business
- Update Name, Address and Contact Number
- Optimize Website for Voice Search
- Publish Local News and Event Based Content
- Optimize Website for Mobile
- Register Business on Biz Directories
- Use of Schema Markup
- Setup Social Media Signals
Let’s take a look at all of these local search engine optimization strategies in detail.
Local SEO Audit
Before implementing the local SEO strategies, make sure to perform a local SEO audit to understand where your site stands and the area you need to work on to improve your local Search engine optimization game.
A local SEO audit consists of auditing your Google my business account, your website, on-page SEO, and Google search console and analyzing your competitors. Let’s see how it is going to help in understanding your business website’s area of improvement for optimizing local search engine optimization.
Auditing Google my business will allow you to understand the way, your business is showcased in the search result pages. You can also check whether the information shown about your business is correct or not.
The website audit will give you a clear idea about the performance of your website. You will get to see the insights such as the engagement or bounce rate of a particular webpage. It will assist you to understand the taste of your customer so, you can create content that can make them engage more with your website.
Analyzing On-page search engine optimization will help you to understand whether your current on-page strategies are efficient to shoot up your website’s rankings in the Google search results. Google search console audit helps you to check, if your website is indexed and appearing inside Google search results.
Doing competitor analysis will make you aware of the space between you and your competitor. In addition, you can also get to know the unique things done by your competitor to gain more leads and increase their revenue.
Focus on Geo-Specific Keywords
Well, whenever we are trying to find a restaurant or any shopping place, we input a search query as “restaurants near me” or “nearby markets”. Search engines scan through the location of users and show results of businesses available in that area.
To rank higher and increase your visibility in the “near me” kind of searches, it is important that you focus on including Geo-specific keywords on your website. Geo-specific keywords target a specific location to enhance the search engine visibility of your business in case of local search of that particular location.
The hawaii seafood restaurant or San Francisco pizza place is an example of a Geo-specific keyword. It has incorporated Hawaii in its name to help search for and understand its physical location.
Geo-specific keywords allow businesses to target a specific set of customers based on the location. It ensures that your website reaches the users searching for services or products related to your business in your physical location.
They will help to boost the visibility of your website in Google search results, especially in the case of local searches. Due to this, the footfall on the physical location of your business will increase and the revenue of your business is more likely to shoot up.
So, if you are a business providing services or products in a particular geographical area and looking forward improve the local SEO of your business and want to gain new customers then make sure to include Geo-specific keywords on your website.
Optimize Google My Business
Google my business is a great tool to verify ownership of your business profile in Google search results and access the additional features to increase the visibility of your business on the web.
You can easily create an account on Google my business and submit it to let Google verify your business. Once your business has been verified, Google will start to show a specialized sidebar space in the search results. The sidebar includes information about your business and puts a great impression on your customer’s minds.
To verify the business your Google my business account needs to be optimized. To optimize your Google my business account considers taking the following steps.
Enter Complete Business Details
Make sure that you provide every possible information about your business to Google. So, it can understand your business effectively and verify it.
Answer Every Question on GMB Profile
Keep in mind to answer each question asked by your customers about your business. Doing so will clear the queries and doubts of your customers and help them get a better understanding of your business. It will make the customers trust you more and will boost the local search engine optimization of your website.
Get Honest and Genuine Business Reviews
Customer testimonials and reviews assist customers to understand the experience of other customers with your business. Positive reviews help to establish your business as a trusted authority among your competitors. It also helps Google to verify the authenticity of your business and verify it effectively.
Looking forward to showing your business as a verified entity in the Google search results and wanting to win the trust of your potential customers then, make sure to optimize your Google my business account.
Accurate Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) Citations
Providing an address, name and contact number for your business is an important factor especially when it comes to implementing local search engine optimization on your business website. Name, address and phone number are collectively called NAP.
The NAP is crawled by search engine bots during a local search to provide the best possible results to the users. Not updating the NAP will make you miss out on a lot of potential customers. Hence, updating the NAP on your website is essential to get into the search results of local search queries.
NAP consist of your business contact information hence; it will allow your potential customers to directly contact you through your number or by visiting the physical address of your business.
It will assist your business in generating new inbound leads and increasing its revenue. The best space to place the NAP on your business website could be a header or footer both spaces are eye-catching. Don’t forget to include the NAP on the contact us page of your website too.
If you want to increase the reach of your business and generate more revenue by allowing potential customers to visit the physical address of your business then make sure to keep the NAP well-updated.
Optimize Website for Voice Search
Hey Alexa, find a pizza place for me. How many times have you used a voice assistant to perform a local search query? Well, I do most of the time. Many customers these days use voice assistants to do local searches. Hence, it is important to optimize your website for voice otherwise you might lose potential web traffic.
Voice search speeds up the search process for your potential customers and it allows easy access to your company’s information to them. As your website visitors can locate you easily, it results in to increase in your website traffic.
It is an essential feature, especially when your customers use voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri to find nearby businesses. The majority of the “near me” searches are performed through voice search
Optimizing your website for voice search will improve its visibility in Google search results. Due to this, you can effectively market your business and spread brand awareness among your potential customers.
The collective benefits of voice search will increase the visibility and traffic of your business website. As a result, the conversion rates and revenue of your business will grow substantially.
So, if you want to gain new customers and want search assistants to say out loud the name of your business when searching for a local query, then make sure to optimize your website for voice search.
Publish Content Based on Local News and Events
As we are focusing on local SEO, publishing content based on local news and events will be a great strategy. Posting it will allow you to provide users with what they’re looking for in most cases.
It’s essential to post content based on the interests of your customers and not just to please search engines. Publishing content based on local news and events will attract a huge customer base.
Since its local content, it must be helping them in some way or providing value to their lives therefore, they will engage more with your site and its content. As a result, the engagement rate of your business website will tend to increase.
Posting content based on local events will help build authority and trust among your business customers. So, if you want to improve the local SEO of your business then make sure to publish content based on local news and events on your business website.
Optimize Website for Mobile
Optimizing your website for mobile devices is a must, as majority of users access internet on mobile phones. A lot of internet user base uses their phone to surf the internet. Not optimizing your website for mobile phones can make your business to lose a huge amount of traffic.
To avoid that make sure to optimize your website for mobile devices. It will make your website look great on mobile devices and your potential customers will easily access your website through their mobile phones. It will create a good user experience for your website visitors.
Optimizing your website for mobile phones will open the doors for huge amounts of traffic and potential customers. In addition, the reach of your business website will increase substantially.
Search engines such as Google gives priority to websites with a mobile-optimized design in the search results pages. Hence, mobile optimization of your website will increase its visibility and rankings in the Google search results pages.
If you want to optimize your site for mobile devices, you can install a premium WordPress theme. The themes offered by WordPress come up with a well-optimized mobile-friendly design. It will make your website look great on the screen of each mobile device.
Register Business on Biz Directories
Biz directories are nothing but the online listing of your business. While listing, your business is categorized based on its niche, name, address, contact information and the services or products offered.
After listing your business it will start to show all the required information to your prospect customers. This information is showcased to your potential customers and search engines so, they can understand your business more effectively.
These biz directories are indexed by Google bots every time a user enters a query related to your business. Your business listing from the biz directory will be shown as a separate search result with all the information about your business. This will help to gain new potential customers.
Hence, registering your business on biz directories will show up every time a user searches for the related keywords. It will increase the visibility and reach of your business to new potential customers. If you want to improve visibility and rankings of your business make sure to list it in the biz directories.
Effective Use of Schema Markup
Do you know in which language search engines read the content of your website? Well, it uses schema markup which is also called structured data. Schema markup is a language used by search engines to analyze, read and understand the content present on your website.
Implementation of schema markup will assist search engines to read and understand the content of your web page. These markup makes your website rank higher in the search result pages.
To use schema markup, first, visit Google’s structured data markup helper and then you have to select the data. There are various types of data you can select such as an organization, a product or a local business.
As a local we want to provide information about our business to the customers, so select the data as a local business. Now generate a schema markup for your page using any online schema markup generator tools.
Once it has been generated, then embed it into the desired web page using the page builder of your website. Now test it using an online markup tester tool and see whether it works properly or not.
Set up Social Media Signals
Social media signals can have a significant impact on a local business’s SEO. These signals refer engagement and interactions receives on their social media accounts, such as likes, shares, and comments.
Search engines like google use social media signals as a way to gauge the popularity and authority of a business. A business with a large and high level following on social media gains more reputation and trust. This can help to improve the business’s visibility in search results.
There are several ways that a local business can use social media signals to improve their SEO:
Increase Engagement: Encourage your customers to interact with your social media posts by asking questions, running contests, and sharing interesting content.
Build a Followers: Businesses with more followers on social media are more likely to be seen as trustworthy. So try to gain as more as genuine followers for your business.
Share Quality Content: Share high-quality content that is relevant to your business and your customers. This will help to attract more followers and increase engagement.
Optimize for Social Media Profiles: Optimize your business social media profile with keywords, a link to your website, and contact information.
Use Social Media to Build Backlinks: Share your content on social media and encourage others to share it as well. This will help to build backlinks to your website, which can improve your SEO.
Local SEO strategies may need to change depending on the area of your business target customers. When it comes to local business, the local search brings up most of the leads.
Therefore, to ace your business inside the local searches it is essential to implement local SEO strategies. The local SEO guide we shared in this article will improve your rankings and visibility in the local search. So, don’t forget to implement those local SEO strategies on your business website.