Google may be the most powerful resource online. Surfers use it to find everything, and that includes local consumers researching opportunities in their own neighborhoods. Local search users are determined and purposeful, which means that they convert at a high rate, and these local SEO audit tips can help you perform better with Google and thus generate more leads.
1. Auditing Should Be an Ongoing Assessment
Most businesses with web presences don’t perform audits often enough. Your website is growing every day. The market in which you operate is in a constant state of flux. The Internet itself is ever-changing. At a minimum, you should perform an audit each quarter, and most companies would do well to perform an assessment whenever sales lag, the market shifts or there’s some other indication that the how and why people are—or are not—discovering your site may be changing.
2. Emphasize Links to and from Relevant Local Content
On-page optimization is essential but only an aspect of what makes a local website effective. You need to assess off-page optimization as well, including inbound—and to a lesser extent outbound—link building. All inbound links from relevant resources are valuable, but inbound links from other sites that score well in your local market are important above all others. Assess your success in this domain specifically and determine what efforts must be made to increase and enhance your performance.
3. Ensure Social Media Profiles Are Current
Social media performance is important to all SEO but local SEO in particular, and that significance will only grow as the line between different forms of Internet-based media blurs. Links from social media are just as valuable as those mentioned earlier, and it’s crucial that there’s a connection between your social media accounts and your website. That connection is your business name, address, phone number and any other pertinent information.
4. Perform Localized Keyword Analysis
Among the most common local SEO missteps are to analyze keywords based on national or global performance. You need to determine what keywords are relevant to the market you’re targeting. If a website represents a local beverage company in a region where consumers refer to—and search for—cola products as soda rather than pop, it behooves you to emphasize soda over pop. When performing your keyword assessments, do so within the context of the market you cater to.
5. Assess Results Based on the Appropriate Traffic
The dream for many local websites is to serve as a global resource. A Midwest hardware shop that has an international audience reading its how-to articles is doing well—in a sense. That far-reaching presence is a resource that can be used to bolster local relevance. It doesn’t guarantee the local relevance, however, and you need to assess local traffic metrics in order to appreciate how well a site is succeeding with its core audience.
6. Compare Your Metrics Against the Competition
Compare all local SEO metrics against the local competition. You won’t have access to the same resources as when performing an internal review, but you’ll have enough. If you set the standard within your region, then look to comparable regions, and compare yourself to those businesses. The goal is to find a website outperforming you and determine how they’re doing it.