2017 Local SEO Checklist for Website Owners

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 03, 2017
Do you need a checklist for local SEO in 2017? Look no further. This page will give you a checklist optimized for the new year, along with short explanations to show the importance of the items.

CTA– A CTA is also known as call-to-action. It’s no mistake this item is first. When people come on your web page, your goal is to make them take one action. Usually, you want them to give their email address so you can market to them in the future. A good CTA will allow you to collect their email and is vital for local SEO.

Phone Number– The phone number is a part of the NAP acronym, an essential for local SEO. The acronym means name, address, and phone. These items should be displayed prominently on your site. Your phone number, in particular, should be on every page, even if only in the footer.

Negative Reviews– Have you responded to negative reviews? You don’t need to respond to every positive review, however, you should reply to every negative review. There are two sides to every story. Don’t let potential customers just hear the other side. Explain the situation honestly and clearly, as this is one of the most effective ways to reduce the effect of negative reviews.

Hyper Local– There are some directories that are hyperlocal, meaning they are on the city level, as opposed to county or state level. Oftentimes these directories get overlooked. Yet, you should leave no stone unturned. Submit to hyperlocal and smaller directories to get an edge over the competition.

Niche Specific Sites– By definition, a niche site is small. However, it’s not always possible to get published in Forbes, Huffington Post, or Entrepreneur. Actually, that may not even be ideal for reaching certain customers. Are you in the pizza business? Reach out to a local blogger, and try to get a review. Or make positive contributions to a form about pizza-making, such as one on Reddit. If you do this, you’ll get links back to your website, giving you link juice, and also opening up opportunities to connect with people in your industry.

Bing– Google is the search engine that everyone talks about. Yet, Bing is Microsoft’s search engine, and they push it heavily. It’s the default engine for Microsoft Edge (formerly IE), a popular internet browser. Create and claim your local listing on Bing if you haven’t already.

Schema Markup– This is the future of local SEO, and it’s time to start paying attention if you haven’t already. Schema Markup allows search engines to display important information to more web searchers. This information includes hours, testimonials, reviews, and even menus in easy search results. Use the Signup tool to test your website for Schema. If your web designer put it in, that’s great. If not, you can use Schema Creator Tools to start generating Schema on the pages that don’t have it.

Accurate Listing– Ensure that your name is listed exactly how you want it in Google Places. A typo can be devastating to your efforts.

Claim Google Business Page– Many webmasters don’t claim their Google Business Page. Needless to say, this is a mistake. If you haven’t claimed it yet, it’s a relatively painless process.

Google Plus Profile– Setup a Google Plus profile for your business. This page has vital information about your business, including reviews and testimonials.

Mobile Responsive Pages– Check your website on your phone. How does it work? Is it a comparable experience to the desktop? Is it a comfortable experience? If the answer is no, you need to make some changes. Many searches are done through mobile.

Here’s a local SEO checklist for website owners. If you check these items off your list, you’ll start to rise in the local rankings in no time.