Introducing the most complete Local SEO Checklist… Ever!
How can your website rank higher for localized searches in Google, Bing, and Yahoo!? That’s a question that business owners and marketers have asked since the invention of modern search engines. You can take the mystery out of higher rankings and visibility for your website today with this Local SEO Checklist from GMB Gorilla.
Table of Contents
Technical Local SEO Checklist
How to ensure your website is built for people and search engines
Technical Local SEO deals with the underlying software and technology powering your website. Each of these elements influence how people use and search engines rank your website. The main goal is to have an issue free website that is easy to use and properly indexed in the major search engines.
- The website is hosted within the country it is primarily targeting website visitors
- The website page load speed is above average using Google Page Speed tool
- The website looks good, and functions properly on mobile phones, tablets, and computers
- The website navigation is simple to use and makes it easy to find information
- There are no 404 error pages or other redirection issues preventing visitor or search engine access
- A Google Search Console account is present and properly configured for use
- All website pages are appearing in the Google index
- A Bing Webmaster Tools account is present and properly configured for use
- All website pages are appearing in the Bing index
On-page Local SEO Checklist
What your website needs to delight people and search engines
On-page Local SEO addresses the actual content found on every page of your website. Each of these elements influence how people take action on and search engines rank your website. The main goal is to have an informational website that makes it easy for people and search engines to understand what you do best.
- There is a unique page title for each website page
- Each website page title is optimized for search phrases that match the pages content
- There is a compelling meta description for each website page
- Each website page has an H1 tag containing the targeted search phrase
- Each website page uses H2 tags containing related search phrases
- Each website page uses H3 tags containing related search phrases
- Each website pages uses image alt and title tags describing the image
- There is a location page for each business location that contains address, hours, and a map
- The business name, address, and phone number is found on every page
- The business name, address, and phone number is implement with structured markup
- Each website page has a specific call to action for the visitor to take
Off-page Local SEO Checklist
How the websites in even the most competitive niches outrank the rest
Off-page Local SEO concerns how other websites on the internet interact with your website. Each of these elements influence how visitors can find your website and how search engines rank your website. The main goal is to have as many links from other relevant websites as possible (or more than your competitors).
- The total number of backlinks to the website are on-par with competitors (or better)
- There are no unusual anchor text patterns or excessive use of optimized anchor texts in backlinks
- There are no manual penalties related to links pointing to your website in Google Search Console
- There is a plan in place for promoting your website online to increase links and business mentions
Google My Business Checklist
The amazing secret to increased local search engine visibility and rankings
Google My Business is a subset of Off-page Local SEO that greatly influences your rankings for localized searches and visibility within Google Maps. Each of these elements influences the relative weighting of your Google My Business profile versus others in your area. The main goal is to have claimed, accurate, profiles for all of your business locations, providers, or professionals.
- There is a Google My Business profile for each business, office location and or provider
- Each Google My Business profile for the business has been claimed and properly categorized
- Each Google My Business profile for the business has accurate and up-to-date information
- Each Google My Business profile has at least 30 positive reviews (4, 5 stars)
- Each Google My Business Profile responds to it’s review as they are left
Local Directory Listings Checklist
What people see first before they even visit your website or location
Local Directory Listings are a subset of Off-page Local SEO that often appear for search of your brand and have a small influence on search rankings. Each of the elements can potentially impact the first impressions of your and online reputation of your business.
- The business information has been scanned to find popular online listings and profiles
- All major listings and profiles for each business location, and or provider have been claimed
- All major listings and profiles for each business location, and or provider have accurate information
- All major listings and profiles for each business location, and or provider are being monitored
How to Get Started With Your Local SEO Checklist
What you need to do next to improve your local SEO
Now that you have a Local SEO Checklist, you’re probably eager to start auditing your online presence. After all, the goal of the checklist is improving your local SEO. If you’re not a seasoned internet marketer or SEO, you might not be confident in taking the next steps to put the Local SEO Checklist into action.
Below you will find a series of steps you should take. These steps should be taken in order to make auditing your online presence using the Local SEO Checklist. Let’s take a look at how you can successfully get started.
1. Setup Your Google Search Console
Find technical issues, ensure there’s no manual penalties, and get keyword search data. Creating and setting up your Google Search Console account gives you important data and tools. These data insights and search tools make determining issues with your website simple, and finding SEO opportunities, easy.
2. Setup Your Bing Webmaster Tools
View indexing information, find technical problems, and get keyword data about your website. With a Bing Webmaster Tools, you get similar data and tooling to what you get with Google Search Console, but specifically for the Bing search engine. This additional data and insights will give you further validation of any issues and or opportunities.
3. Setup Your Google Analytics
Learn how people use your website, get usage data, and uncover best performing pages. With a Google Analytics account, you will be able to understand exactly what happens once a person gets to your website. The information you find will allow you to understand if you need to make website performance improvements, on-page changes, such as stickier content.
4. Find and Setup Your Local SEO Software
Scan your website, and online presence to find issues, opportunities, and how you stack-up against your competition. Using a local SEO software tool, you can scan your website and online presence to get hundreds of relevant data points and comparisons. The best part of using a local SEO software is that it helps make the manual review much more efficient, and effective.
5. Head Over to Google Page Speed Tools
See how well your website performs when loaded on a desktop or mobile phone. Page load times are a technical SEO element that has recently gotten more attention. Remember, a search engine wants to show the best search results. If people want fast loading, good looking websites, and yours is not, you won’t rank highly.
6. Time to Review Your Website
Manually review each of your website’s pages for complete, engaging, content, and proper on-page technical structure. With all the information you will have at your fingertips from the first five steps, you can now begin reviewing all of your website pages. The most important thing to consider is what a person looking at the page would think. Of course, you will also want to look at the actual HTML of the page to ensure page titles, meta descriptions, headers, and other elements are present, and properly used. Expect to spend a lot of time here
7. Scan Your Online Profiles
If your local SEO software did not include a scan of your online listings, now is the time to do that. This should also include your Google My Business profile. There are a number of different solutions for scanning your online listings, even some that are free! That said, you choose one that will give you a broad scan of the most popular profiles for your business type and industry. Finding any issues with your data and correcting them is important for customer experience, and your local SEO.
Don’t Have the Time or Confidence to Do Local SEO Yourself?
At this stage, you should well on your way to checking off the boxes on your Local SEO Checklist. If you find that you are struggling to complete the steps or simply don’t have the time to do it yourself, consider getting your local SEO audit from us. We have dozens of years of experience, conducting hundreds of local SEO audits, that have resulted in more traffic, leads, appointments, and revenues for our clients.
Download the Local SEO Checklist
If you’re ready to get started assessing your local SEO performance, this local SEO checklist PDF will be helpful. Simply click on the link below to download!