If you operate a local small business that is dependent on sales from customers in close vicinity, then implementing a local SEO campaign is extremely helpful to your business.
- Increase your local brand awareness
- Target highly qualified traffic
- Drives more store visits
- Less competition than organic SEO
All of these factors lead to an increase in sales and have an impact on your bottom line. Here’s a basic checklist for a successful local SEO campaign.
Your Checklist To Local SEO Success
1. Optimize Your Website
- Page Title Tags should:
- Include your business name, keyword, and your city.
- Not have the same title tag on every page.
- Not be keyword stuffed.
- Not be longer than 60 characters.
- Enhance/Update homepage content.
- Have separate product and/or service pages.
- Add a customized location page. One for each location if you have more than one.
2. Implement Schema On Your Website
Add Schema Mark-Up to your website. Schema code helps search engines understand more quickly what your business does and where it does it. For example, make it easy for search engines to understand that you’re a lawyer in Chicago who deals in criminal law. Chances are you’re indexed faster and show up higher in the results.
3. Get a Google+ Local Listing & Optimize it
Have you claimed your listing? Great! No listing = No local ranking results in Google so go get listed now. An optimized Google+ local page entices potential clients and stands out against competitors.
Here are some best practices to follow for your Google+ listing:
Business Name – Add your official ‘doing business as’ (DBA) name.
Address – Format with U.S.P.S. guidelines.
Contact Info – Primary phone number should be your main landline.
Description – Create a unique and easy to read description of your business.
Photos – Add a profile photo, cover photo, and a few unique images of your business.
4. Get Local Business Listings (Citations)
Business directories (citations) are essential to your local SEO success. Make sure your NAP – Business Name, Address, and Phone Number – are consistent on all your listings. Search for citations in your industry and city, for instance join your local chamber of commerce.
Incorrect citations have a negative impact on your ability to rank locally. Search for any old/outdated citations, duplicates, or incorrect business listings that require updates or removal.
5. Get Reviews!
Positive online reviews not only help your business establish trust and standout from the competition, but reviews also help you connect with your clients, improve your services and build your reputation. Review sites available to consumers are Google+, Yelp, Facebook, and industry specific sites like UrbanSpoon and Avvo.
Request customer feedback through: follow up emails, after you complete your service, on your receipts and invoices, or through a review management platform, place review site stickers in your store like, Find Us on Yelp, or Like Us on Facebook.
Respond to reviews, both positive and negative reviews. This shows your customers you’re listening and value their feedback.
6. Create Local Content
Create local content that is relevant to your business and the city you live in. For example, talk about local events you’re involved in or review local events. If you are part of a local charity, tell your customers about it, use images, and link to the charity.
There’s endless opportunities when you use creative thinking about the events and businesses in your area of town.
7. Find Local Link Opportunities
Positive local links that point to your website impacts your sites ability to rank well geographically. It may seem challenging at first, but there are many ways to acquire links.
Not sure where to start? Brainstorm and evaluate what you already do as a company, for example:
- Do you have any local partnerships or business relationships?
- Are you a member of any business communities?
- Have you hosted an industry meet-up?
Still stuck in the brainstorming department? Review this guide to local link building.
This checklist is intended to help you successfully implement a local SEO campaign for your business. This is a great starting point for any business owner looking to enhance their current online marketing strategy from a local standpoint.
Whitespark is an online marketing company that builds specialized software and provides services to help businesses manage their local search. We constantly develop and grow our business to ensure our clients receive intelligent and viable marketing solutions.