Local SEO is essential for every business. Without it, you are leaving a lot of money on the table and missing out on potential customers in your area. This checklist will show you what needs to be done to rank locally and keep up with local trends.
- Get Found On Google
Google is the #1 search engine around, so you need to get on there to rank locally. Here are some things you can do:
Create a Google Business page (it’s free) and link it to your website with an “Enhanced” listing. Make sure that all of your business information is correct, including hours of operation.
- Publish your website to Google New
Ensure that all of your directories are up-to-date and consistent with each other, especially the following: NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number ) citations across the web. Registrar listings on popular TLD’s like .com, .net, .biz, etc. Geo-targeting across the web (ex: [New York] in the footer of every page tells Google that you’re targetting New York)
- Get Social
This one is huge for local SEO — get on all major social platforms and make sure your business information is consistent across them all. You should also try to interact with other businesses in your area and other people in your industry.
- Create a Local Presence
If you want to rank locally, you need to have a physical presence in the area. That means that your business needs to have a physical location where customers can come in and spend money. This separates you from most local businesses, so don’t ignore this requirement if you want to rank locally.
- Get Reviews On Third-Party Sites
Getting reviews on third party sites like Yelp! and Google My Business is a huge signal to Google that you are an active business in the area, so you need to find ways to get reviews from your customers. Keep in mind that getting them quickly will not only give you the SEO benefit of having local reviews, but it also shows Google that people like your business, and it gives them more reason to rank you in local search.
- Add Structured Data To Your Site
Add structured data to your site and make sure it’s consistent across all of your web properties — especially the following: Schema.org metadata (inside product pages, for example) Local Business markup (which should be added to every location page)
- Get Listed On Third-Party Directories
YouTube, Wikipedia, Google+, etc., are just a few of the top directories you should try to get listed on. Google already indexes them, so reaching out to them is easy to make your business more visible in search results.
- Create Unique Content For Your Local Audience
There are two types of Content that should be created for local SEO: Content that you can use to attract local customers (ex: “10 Things To Do In [Your City]” or “[Business Name] In The News”) Content meant to rank organically in Google search results, which will benefit your local SEO efforts as well.
- Use Structured Data Markup
It’s the easiest way to make your website appear in Google’s Knowledge Graph and Google rich snippets — it will also boost your search rankings and help you show up in local search results. Implementing this markup on all of your pages will take a bit of time, but it’s well worth it because it gives you many benefits that will improve your local SEO.
- Write Localized Content
You should try to create Content for people in your area, so look at what keywords local customers are using and create Content around them. This is one of the easiest ways to get more traffic from Google’s organic search results, so it’s worth implementing. You can also check out competitor’s pages to see what kind of Content they have on their website.
- Assign A Local SEO Manager
This is a job that someone in your company should take care of with a thorough knowledge of local search best practices. This person will be responsible for ensuring the job gets done and staying on top of any changes that Google makes to its local search algorithm.
- Use Schema Markup
Schema markup will help you rank in the Knowledge Graph and Google rich snippets, so it’s something you should implement on your website. This is another simple thing that will give you many benefits, so there’s no reason for you not to do it.
- Optimize Your Contact Us Page
Your contact us page is one of the very first pages searchers will visit when they’re trying to find your business’ location, so you want this page to look as good as possible and contain all of the information people are looking for. You can also use rating markup on this page to get your business listed in Google’s Knowledge Panel.
- Optimize Your Business Hours Page
This page should be just as optimized as the contact us page, so you want to provide all of the information people are looking for when they’re trying to find out if your business is open. This will not only help improve local rankings, but you might also get more calls and appointments if people can easily find out when your business is open.
- Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews
Ignoring negative reviews will only make them worse, so it’s best to address them as soon as possible. Try to work with the person who left the review and try to fix the problem because ultimately, it will make your business look better — and you might even make a customer out of the reviewer.
- Optimize Your Local Landing Page
Your local landing page is like any other landing page on your website, so you need to optimize it for conversions and provide as much information as possible. This will not only improve your rankings, but you might get more local customers if they can easily find the information they’re looking for on your website.
- Don’t Forget About Reviews On Your Local Landing Page
Make sure to get reviews from people in your area because that will make this page rank better locally, which will help you attract more local customers. You can use Google’s review widget on this page, which makes it easy to get reviews.
- Participate In Local Competitions
Local events are another great way to attract more local customers, so you should participate in any local competition that has a prize that will benefit your business. This is yet another simple thing you can do to boost your local rankings, so you should implement it.
- Create A Video For Local SEO
Embedding videos from sites like YouTube is a great way to improve your local search rankings because Google loves video content. You can create a video about the services you offer and embed it on your website because that will give you a big advantage over the competition.
- Get Reviews On YouTube
Getting reviews on popular video sites like YouTube is very important for local rankings, so that’s something you should do if making videos is part of your strategy. You can use the same Google review widget you used on your local landing page to get reviews on other popular video platforms as well.
The bottom line is, local SEO is about more than just getting your website to rank in Google. It’s about providing legitimate information that will help you attract more customers.
If you are looking for Local SEO Services in Sydney, Helpline Marketing can help you.