The SEO strategy for a local business is usually completely different from a company operating on a national or global level. In many instances, it is much more important and requires a more precise and detailed approach. If you’re creating a local SEO strategy, you’ll want to ensure you’re covering all your bases.
Here is a 12-point checklist to ensure you create a strong local SEO strategy:
1. Local Keywords
The keywords you select are often the base of your SEO strategy. While you want to choose keywords that are frequently searched, you also don’t want to select a keyword that is heavily diluted with competition. Finding the right balance of keywords can be difficult, but it is incredibly important for creating a strong strategy.
As often as possible, you will want your titles to display the keywords that you have selected. This is one of the most important components of an SEO strategy and will be what appears in the results of a search. You’ll want your titles to be as descriptive as possible but still entice the viewer to click on your page rather than the other results.
3. Meta Descriptions
Your meta description is the text that appears in the search results after your title. This should also include your keywords and supplementary information about what the page contains.
4. Image Optimization
To optimize an image, you’ll want to consider the filename, the title text, the alt-text, and the size of the image. Each of these components will come together to give a clear indication of what the image is for the search engine, which cannot process the visual component of an image.
5. Responsive Web Design
A responsive web design makes it easier for individuals to view websites on their phones or tablets. Many local searches are done on the go through a mobile device, so if you aren’t catering to those individuals, they are likely to go somewhere else.
6. Google My Business
Google gives preference to completed My Business pages. Filling out the information and having My Business reviews can help you find a place at the top of the results.
7. Social Media
Social media now appeals to search engine results, so be sure your pages are up to date with your logos and contact information.
8. Anchor Text Optimization
Anchor text refers to the words that are used in copy to hyperlink to another site. Whenever possible you should use your keywords as an anchor text point, forcing the search engine to draw attention to the keyword and make the connection that this is what the page is about.
9. Customer Reviews
Google likes to provide recommendations for companies that other people have enjoyed, so it will usually push the companies with the most favorable reviews towards the top. But remember, bad reviews will hurt your strategy, so always provide a great service.
10. Schema Markup
The schema markup makes it easy for searchers to see your rating, how many reviews you have, and the price point of your services or products right from the search bar.
11. Link Building
Google uses links to a page to ensure it provides quality information. The more you have other websites that link to you, the more credible a search engine will find you.
12. NAP Information
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number, which are all incredibly important resources for a local SEO strategy. You’ll want to ensure that these are clearly displayed throughout your website and that the information is consistent on your other pages, including social media.
A strong local SEO strategy is the difference between customers walking through your door or the door of your competition. When someone conducts a “near me” search, you’ll want to ensure you appear in the top list of results. Following this checklist can help you get there.