2018: A Complete Local SEO Technical Audit

Written by: Jason Bayless | December 12, 2017

The best sites out there are the ones that take SEO seriously and keep up with current trends. As the year winds down and a 2018 rapidly approaches, your company should be making a firm resolution to optimize your website for maximum exposure.

If it has been a while since you did a full audit of your website for local SEO, it’s time to focus your attention there. “How long is a while?” you ask? For your content, the process is ongoing. For your website itself, a year to 18 months is as far as you would ever want to go without.

Now be honest… it’s been a lot longer by now, hasn’t it?

We’re not trying to judge you. In fact, you are in excellent company. Most businesses let their sites go for years without going back and looking at how effective their SEO strategies are. Some have no clue what that even means. Many business owners operate under the impression that as long as there’s a website, people will see it – like a billboard.

The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. If your site isn’t ranking high on the search engines, your competitors are serving a huge percentage of your customers right now. Ready to change that? Great! Keep reading…

Auditing Your Content

Content is the key player in search engine rankings. The words you use matter, especially with a local audience. You should be constantly providing your audience with fresh content in the form of blogs, articles, product pages and descriptions, etc. Different strategies will apply to different businesses.

When developing written content, be sure that you are using currently relevant keywords and incorporating longtail keywords to ensure high rankings in a local search. Avoid clunky keyword seeding like “locksmith services Tampa.” Instead, try, “locksmith services in Tampa.” The connecting word will not affect the search as so many fear it will. In fact, the more organically the copy reads, the more likely it is to rank higher and that mean more local customers will be able to find you faster.

Visual content should be well-branded and cause people to recognize your brand throughout. Need to learn how to make that happen? Just have a look at some of your bigger competitors.

Always use images that are sized to open quickly, especially on a mobile device. Steer clear of images that are bigger than 600×600 pixels and use video compression that also allows for fast loading and low data usage. The average site visitor will only give your pages a second or two to load before becoming impatient and browsing away.

Auditing Your Site Itself

The above content strategies work best when paired with a more comprehensive site audit. The text tags on your images should be keyword optimized, and every page of your site should have keyword-rich meta descriptions. The latter serves two purposes: improving rankings and giving the reader a clear idea of the content they are clicking or tapping to see.

If you include a blog, technical articles, or sales pages, avoid long paragraphs or “text bricks.” Presenting the content in smaller chunks will help readers zero in on words and phrases that they deem relevant and it will help motivate them to keep reading. Two to three sentences should be ample for most paragraphs.

Finally, be sure that your site is 100% responsive. This means that it displays well and is easily navigable on any device – desktop, laptop, or mobile. Some of your competitors still haven’t grasped this concept so be the first on your block to do it and watch what happens.