Do you ever feel like your business is operating in a vacuum? You’re doing everything you can to attract customers and grow your business, but it feels like you’re just spinning your wheels. If so, you’re not alone! A lot of business owners are feeling the same way. However, paying attention to your local SEO may be just what you need.
But what exactly is a local SEO? And what goes into a local SEO audit?
Keep reading to learn more!
What is a local SEO and why is it important for businesses?
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content to make it more visible to people who are searching for businesses like yours in their local area. For example, if you own a coffee shop in Seattle, WA, you want to make sure that when people search for “coffee shops in Seattle”, your business comes up as one of the top results.
There are a few reasons why local SEO is so important for businesses. First, more and more people are using the internet to find businesses in their local area. Second, if your business comes up as one of the top results in major search engines, it will increase your brand awareness and credibility. And last, but not least, local SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies you can use.
How does local SEO work?
Since local SEO is the optimization of your online presence so you can be found in local searches, this is done through a variety of factors – including ensuring your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) is accurate and up to date on your website and all other directories. You’ll also want to make sure you have positive reviews, as those are factored into local SEO rankings. And, of course, you’ll want to make sure your website is optimized for local keywords that potential customers in your area would be searching for.
If you’re not sure how well your local SEO is currently performing, or if you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to optimize it, what you should consider is doing a local SEO audit. Let’s see first what a local SEO audit entails.
What goes into a local SEO audit?
A local SEO audit is a comprehensive analysis of your website’s ability to rank in local search results. It covers everything from on-page optimization to off-page factors like citations and customer reviews.
To make sure that all your bases are covered, your local SEO audit should include an analysis of the following:
- NAP Consistency: Your name, business address, and business phone number should be consistent across all platforms. Inconsistent NAP information confuses Google and can lead to lower search rankings.
- Citation Building: One of the most important local search engine ranking factors are citation opportunities. Citations are mentions of your business on other websites, with your NAP information included. The more high-quality citations you have, the better.
- On-Page Optimization: A local SEO audit should check things like your page titles, metatags, and header tags to make sure they’re all optimized for local SEO. It’s also important to check for things like duplicate content and keyword stuffing, which can hurt your organic ranking too.
- Reviews and Testimonials: Google uses reviews as a ranking signal, so it’s important to make sure you’re actively encouraging customers to leave reviews. A local SEO audit will check to see how many reviews you have and where they’re coming from.
- Link Building: Internal links are another important ranking factor for local SEO. An audit will check the quality and quantity of links pointing to your website.
Once a local audit is complete, you’ll have a good idea of where your website stands and what needs to be improved. From there, you can start working on making the necessary changes to improve your local SEO ranking.
The benefits of conducting a Local SEO Audit
There are many benefits that come with conducting a Local SEO Audit. Perhaps the most important benefit is that it can help you identify areas where your website needs improvement. This is vital information because it can help you make the necessary changes to improve your ranking in local search results. Other benefits to consider:
- A local SEO audit can help you improve your organic search ranking
- A local SEO audit can help you save money
- A local SEO audit can help you find new citation opportunities
- A local SEO audit can help you improve your website’s on-page optimization
- A local SEO audit can help you identify negative reviews and take steps to mitigate them
- A local SEO audit can help you build more high-quality links to your website.
With that in mind, let’s see how to get started and what tools you can use to conduct a local SEO audit.
Local SEO Tools
Now that you know what local SEO audit covers and what are its benefits, you might be wondering where and how to start?
You may want a professional to take a look at your website and give you a comprehensive analysis. Or maybe you want to do it yourself? In both cases, you need the right tools to get the job done, and here are some of our favorite local SEO tools:
- Google Business Profile: Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business or GMB) is a tool that allows you to control how your business appears in Google Maps and organic search results.
- Moz Local: This tool helps you check your NAP information and scan for incorrect or missing listings across the web.
- Whitespark: Whitespark is a great tool for citation building. It helps you find the best directories to list your business on and track your progress over time.
- Screaming Frog: This is a website crawler that can help you find on-page optimization issues like duplicate content, broken links, and more.
- BuzzSumo: With this tool, you can see how often your content is being shared and where it’s being shared.
- Ahrefs: Arhefs is a link analysis tool that can help you track your progress over time and see where you need to improve.
- Google Analytics: Of course, Google Analytics is one of the essential tools for tracking your website’s search traffic and performance.
No matter what tools you use, the most important thing is to make sure you’re regularly auditing your local SEO. By doing so, you can catch any potential issues early on and make the necessary changes to improve your ranking.
In case you decide you want a professional to help you with the process, our team has years of experience in conducting local SEO audits and we would be more than happy to help you out! Just reach out to us and we’ll get the ball rolling.
Do you have any questions about local SEO audits or want to know more about how they can help your business? Let us know in the comments below!
Why should I get my customers to write reviews?
Getting your customers to write glowing reviews for your business doesn’t just optimize your Google Business presence; it also encourages more local customers to buy from you. Customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so making sure your Google Business Profile is up-to-date with positive customer feedback can make a big difference.
How does Google crawl content?
Google uses a process called “crawling” to discover new and updated content for its search results. When Google crawls your site, it looks at your page’s title, header tags, meta descriptions, and any other relevant on-page factors to determine what your page is about.
If you’re running a local business, it’s especially important to make sure your Google Business Profile listing is optimized for local SEO. Google gives preference to businesses that are closer to the searcher, so if your Google Business Profile listing isn’t optimized, you could be losing out on potential customers.
How do I claim my Google Business Profile listing?
If you haven’t claimed your Google Business Profile listing yet, now is the time! Claiming your listing verifies that you are the owner or manager of the business, and it gives you control over what information is displayed on your Google Business Profile.
To claim your Google Business Profile listing, go to their website and search for your business. If your business is already listed, you’ll see the option to “manage” your listing. Click on this, and then follow the prompts to verify your business.
If your business isn’t already listed, you’ll have the option to “add” your listing. Follow the prompts to enter your business information and verify your business.
How do I know if my website is attracting the right audience?
One way to tell if your website is attracting the right audience is by looking at your website’s traffic sources. You can do this using Google Analytics.
If you see that your website mainly has organic traffic – that means people are finding it through SEO-optimized content. This is a good sign that you’re attracting the right audience.
You can also use Google Analytics to track other metrics, such as time on page and bounce rate. If people are spending a lot of time on your site, that’s a good sign that they’re finding what they’re looking for. And if your bounce rate is low, that means people are sticking around to explore your site.
What is the difference between local SEO and Local Search?
Both Local SEO and Local Search are important for businesses that want to be found by local customers.
Local SEO is the process of optimizing a website for local search results. This includes optimizing your website’s title tags, header tags, meta descriptions, and other on-page factors to make your site more relevant to local searchers. On the other hand, Local Search is the act of searching for a business or service using Google Maps. Local Search results show businesses that are near the searcher, and they often include important information like business hours, address, and phone number.
What is the Local Pack?
The Local Pack is the section of Google’s search results that shows three local businesses. The Local Pack appears when someone searches for a local business or service. For example, if someone searches for “pizza near me,” they will see the Local Pack with three nearby pizza places. This is important because it gives businesses the opportunity to be found by potential customers who are looking for what they offer.
What are the Local Organic Results?
The localized organic results appear below the Local Pack: The listing order is decided by the local search algorithm and is based on a range of ranking factors including on-page optimization, reviews, and inbound links.
What is Local keyword research?
Local keyword research is the process of finding keywords that are relevant to your business and location. You can use local keyword research to target customers in your city, state, or country. There are a few different ways to do local keyword research. One way is to use keyword tools such as Google Keyword Planner. Another way is to use a tool like Semrush.
Once you have a list of relevant search terms, you can start adding them to your website. You can add them to your website’s title, meta tags, header tags, and content.
How do I know if my keywords are good for SEO?
We already mentioned Google Keyword Planner which is the best way to find out if your keywords are good for SEO. Google Keyword Planner will show you how many people are searching for your keywords every month. It will also show you how difficult it is to rank for your target keywords, and if you want to rank for a certain keyword, it’s important to choose a keyword that has a high monthly search volume and a low difficulty score.
What are the local algorithm considerations?
The local algorithm is the set of rules that Google uses to rank websites in its search engine. When you do a search, Google will show you the websites that are most relevant to your search queries.
There are a few different factors that go into the local algorithm, but some of the most important ones are:
– Relevance: This is how relevant your website is to the searcher’s query.
– Distance: This is how far away your business is from the searcher.
– Prominence: This is how well-known and popular your business is.
What are geo-modified keywords?
Geo-modified keywords are keywords that include business locations. For example, if you’re a plumber in Los Angeles, you might use the keyword “plumber Los Angeles”.
What is the Map Pack?
The Map Pack rankings are a Google SERP feature that shows the top local business listings and a map. It’s triggered by local keywords and is one of the first things you see when you do a local search.
What is Google Business Profile?
A Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business or GMB) is a free online listing that puts your business listing within the regular search results pages and on Google Maps.