If you want to rank in local search results, you need to adopt a different strategy to mainstream SEO. This is due to the different algorithm that Google uses to generate local results. So it is understandable that some of the techniques used for the mainstream SEO won’t work for the Local SEO. One way to begin fully optimizing your website for local SEO is by first knowing where you stand through an audit. A local SEO audit ensures that the basics of your site are working and there are no penalties involved. It will help you create a much more effective local SEO strategy in the future. Not sure how to complete a local SEO audit? Today’s your lucky day as we reveal all below.
Check on your Google My Business profile
Google My Business is the new version of the Google+ Business page. And if you don’t have one yet, we recommend that you start creating your own profile. This is where you put important information about your business such as the phone number, location, directions, and opening hours. It helps potential users and visitors track down your business. Google My Business makes a difference to local search results, so it is important to fill it out. It also lets you include some images and customer reviews which can attract users into visiting and trusting your website more.
If you already have one, make sure to check your business name reach as well as your NAP (name, address, and phone number), and whether they are updated and consistent. Also, study the city and geographical location of your business together with your business listing, website, or blog. Through these things, you can extract valuable data and information for further competitor analysis.
Check your keywords
One of the essential building blocks of local SEO audit is the use of keywords. Keywords have the power to determine the strength and value of your website, so it is vital that you use the right keywords. To know that your keywords are effective and not underperforming, you must conduct a keyword analysis. There are so many tools available online to help you do this.
Check your content
Another area that you must look at is your site’s content. Google’s new algorithm, Google Panda, can now easily throw away websites with thin and spammy content right at the bottom of search results. By conducting a content audit, you will be able to remove thin, spun, duplicated, and irrelevant content on your website. This will also enable you to avoid being penalized. Content should also be targeted towards specific areas that your business services. The more specific, the better.
Check your NAPs
Backlinks aren’t as important in local SEO, but the quality of your NAPs is vital. Use a service like Moz or YEXT to check the quality of your business’ listings on different directories. If your listing is inconsistent or you aren’t listed at all on the major directories you will need to rectify this immediately.