The Complete Guide to Local SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 11, 2017

Local SEO has become an important and effective strategy for enterprises to gain an edge over their local competitors. Local SEO entails optimizing your website to ensure that you appear higher in the local search results. Optimizing for local search is essential for businesses that want to continue seeing search traffic in future.

Google is putting more emphasis on local search, so this is the right to reanalyze your current local SEO strategies or implement a new plan. Showing up in local searches is undoubtedly important for any business. The importance of local optimization is evident in the value of the local searches that lead to actual actions taken by site visitors.

A local SEO audit

As a business, you need first to know exactly where you currently stand as you start optimizing your site for SEO. You should also understand how you stack up against the competition. You can consider hiring a legitimate local SEO agency to help you with your local SEO audit. Wondering why you should conduct a local SEO audit and analysis before getting started? Well, here are some important reasons:

  • To define the level of competition that you are against as well as getting an idea of the amount of work you need to do to become better than your competitors.
  • To know the incomplete or poorly optimized elements on your site.
  • Your enterprise brings to search results and ways of improving the value to have a clear understanding of the current value.

How to carry out a local SEO audit

You need to understand the information to include when running a local SEO audit. Here are important things not to leave out during the audit:

  • Website and landing page audit
  • Citation analysis
  • Google My Business page audit
  • Ongoing strategy
  • Organic link and penalty analysis
  • Social analysis
  • Review Analysis
  • Competition analysis

The above factors have a vital role in contributing to your SEO rankings. A local SEO audit is necessary for helping your enterprise rank high in search. Therefore, the first step is to get all your information in one place. Local businesses face problems that cost them valuable search traffic like the inconsistent Name, Address and Phone (NAP). Companies should keep their NAP information consistent to enhance search engine rankings. Gather the right information up front to make sure all your business information is consistent across the web.

How to improve your local search rankings

Your site or landing page is the foundation of your entire online marketing strategy. Therefore, make sure you optimize your site for users and friendly to search engines. Here are ways you can optimize your site better.

Fast load time

Visitors to your site expect it to load quickly, and if it fails, they will probably hit the back button. If your site is slow, you can improve the load speed by following certain steps. Well, your site might be having its issues but below are common steps to follow to enhance your page load speed:

  • Optimize image files
  • Compress code
  • Avoid multiple redirects
  • Cache site if WordPress Based
  • Avoid excessively inline HTML

The good news is that Google has a free tool you can use to evaluate your website and get a list of what you require to enhance to make it load faster.

Logo Optimization

Search engines first discover your logo, so it is an excellent way to set the tone of what your site entails. Ensure that the logo is not keyword phrase stuffed. You should come up with a short-phrased primary mission statement describing your enterprise. Consider changing the file name of your image, and the file name must entail your business name and target city.

Optimizing your Meta descriptions

Don’t confuse this with Meta keywords area, which is not as important. A Meta description is a summary appearing below your page headline in search results. The description contains about 150 characters and should summarize your page. It should be informative and unique.

Optimizing internal linking structures

Internal links are all links on your website that allow your audience to move from page to page. The anchor text of internal links is important. Use your keyword and variations of your primary keywords as the anchor for your internal links. Well-designed internal links ensure that your page is easier to navigate and reduce bounce rates.

Local search optimization may seem challenging, but it brings long-lasting value to your business. Take it a step at a time, and you will enjoy the rewards.