Ranking in local searches is a must if you’re open to serving local customers besides your online business. Or, if serving the local customer is your focus, you shouldn’t ignore it. You should take additional steps besides your regular SEO effort to rank in local searches.
In this local SEO checklist, I’ll share the must-do steps to optimize your website for local search. I’ve designed this checklist after my long experience in ranking local businesses. The points here won’t immediately rank you on local searches, but missing them will seriously hurt your SEO effort.
So, here is what you must focus on while doing local SEO. Look closely.
The Ultimate Local SEO Checklist
1. Keyword Research
Maybe you’ve already done it. However, local SEO demands slightly deeper research. Here, you should search for some location-specific keywords. For example- ‘best pawn shop in San Francisco’. It is a location-specific keyword that helps you optimize for location-specific searches.
Also, you should look for long-tail keywords with more specific queries. For example- ‘authentic sushi place in San Francisco’ or ‘vegan sushi restaurant in San Francisco’.
Keywords can be found directly from search engines. Write your main keyword or a part of it in the search bar, and you’ll see a list of potential keywords to focus on.
Also, you can use keyword research tools to get insights like keyword difficulty, search volume, etc.
Play with synonyms to find less competitive keywords.
2. Claim Local Listings
Placing your business in local listings is important. Google Business Profile, Yelp, Apple Maps, etc., are some of the most common listings you shouldn’t avoid.
Most listings require your business name, location, contact number, hours of operation, business category, photos, website or locality-specific landing page link, products and services. Make sure you put the right information. Also, add keywords where possible.
Thus, look for more local listing opportunities and list your business.
However, duplicate listing is a big NO. So, search for duplicate listings and clean them.
3. Optimize Local Page
For each location, add a local page to your website. The contents will be almost the same as local listings. But as it is completely in your hands, you have the scope to show creativity.
Add business name, address, phone number, operating hours, products and services, photos, reviews, and more. Also, add ongoing promotions accordingly. Don’t forget to optimize everything with keywords.
4. Setup Store Locator
A store locator page on your website helps in the local SEO approach. No matter you have one store or multiple, add a store locator page to the website to help people locate your store. It helps search engines to know the local area you serve.
If you’re a manufacturer without any store, locate stores where your products are found.
5. Optimize On-Page SEO Basics
Don’t forget to optimize your page titles, meta descriptions, posts, and URLs with location-specific keywords. Use easy and clean words. Don’t push keywords inappropriately anywhere.
Also, optimize the schema markup for local SEO.
6. Build Citations
Building citations helps your website rank up in local searches. Citations typically include the business name, address, phone number, and website URL. They can be created anywhere on the internet.
Also, you must remove bad citations because they are bad for your business. Several citation-building services are available. You can go for automatic citation building. It saves time but may build wrong citations.
7. Create Local Contents
To increase your trust score around local customers, create local content. This may include anything about the locality with slight or no relation to your business. Write keyword-optimized contents to rank them.
8. Gain Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews are important for ranking up in local searches. Search engines love businesses with a high volume of positive ratings.
Ask gently for feedback from customers. Also, you can offer a small discount or support for each honest review customers provide.
Besides, work on developing quality. Doing this brings you more positive feedback.
Everything discussed above is critical for your business if you want to rank in local searches. So, don’t avoid any of them. I won’t say that they are enough to rank at the top because they aren’t. But you shouldn’t miss any of them if you want to reach the top.
Start working on them today and see what you can do. If you’re stuck somewhere, don’t worry. We’re here. Contact us for any help regarding local SEO.