How To Perform Local SEO Audits

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 22, 2016

If you’ve learned anything about SEO, you’ve discovered how easy it can be to do yourself. Now that you’ve optimized your pages, before you sit back and wait for the flood of traffic, it’s a good idea to do an SEO audit of your site. This will help you understand where you are in your site development, and hopefully give you some idea of where to focus in your pursuit of that top ranking.

Citation Audit

When it comes to local SEO, getting and checking citations is one of the most important factors. A citation is a directory listing on a business or review site, but more than that, it’s also customer recommendations. Do what you can to resolve issues with any negative feedback.

You’ve probably earned or created a few listings, but by auditing them, you can correct any mistakes so that future customers have no trouble finding you. Make sure the listing information is accurate, including the spelling. If you’ve changed your business name or email, make sure you update these listing to point to your new one. Do regular searches on Yelp, CitySearch, YellowPages, and related directories to check your local listings and update as needed.

Meta Tag Audits

Your metatags are visible to the search engines and it’s important that these get checked if there are other changes or additions to your site/domain. Be sure you take advantage of at least the keywords and description metatags. You should use metatags on all your pages, and they should be readable, unique to each page, and keyword-optimized. Your descriptions shouldn’t look like a keyword list; this is what users see in the listings and you want them to be in natural, plain English. Be sure to include your name, address, and phone number for local listings. Make it interesting. If you need to bone up on metatags, Google gives their advice here:

Website Content Audit

Content is what really matters, no matter how good your SEO is. Remember that content is for human visitors, not search engines. Try to ensure that every bit of your content is informative, interesting, and relevant. It should be unique, with your own style and viewpoint. It should contain all your keywords, without the keyword stuffing that can hurt rankings. Use a call-to-action phrase to encourage visitors to other pages. Use the tools on sites like Copyscape and Siteliner to gauge just how unique and fresh your content is. Check the top competitors on the various search engines, and if your content is repetitive of theirs, spice it up with some humor, useful links, images, video – whatever you need to engage visitors.

Social Media

Millions of people use these sites every day. If you haven’t got a page on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the other top social sites, get one. But make sure you check from time to time to see that your links and info are updated, and your posts fresh and engaging. Again, make sure that your information for local contacts is accurate. And take a little time to reach out to other users. Get noticed. You can also place social media buttons on your site to allow your users to link your posts to their own pages, or add your pages to Stumbleupon.

Online Reputation

Your online presence isn’t just impersonal promotion, it’s your reputation with potential customers. Be friendly, informative, helpful, and do your periodic local audits to be sure your attracting more traffic, not discouraging it.