In this article we will talk about the things that you must have on your local SEO checklist to ensure that you are on the right path towards search engine optimization dominance in your local area and for the search terms that you have targeted. The endgame of local search engine optimization is to have a bigger presence than your competition. Another goal of local search engine optimization is to position your company so that you can be found in a potential customers point of need. So doing local search engine optimization allows you to be found when customers are ready to buy and when they’re looking for expert information. If you are the one who can provide that information, if you are the person who can provide the products and services and if you are ranked in a position in Google that you can be easily found, you will make more money.
Well Designed Website
The first step on any local SEO checklist is to have an expertly designed website. In this day and age no one can afford to have a second rate website. Presentation is everything and you need a website that spells professionalism and it needs to be professionally made. Not only does your website need to look good and needs to offer a ton of value – and by value we mean you need to have content that actually serves potential customers. You need to have the information that they’re looking for, you need to have a myriad of content via text, video and even audio. The more ways that you can engage people who come to your website the better off you will be. Also when you take this multimedia content approach you improve your bounce rate which is very important to Google. The longer people spend on your website looking at your content the higher Google will rank you.
So now that you have an expertly made website with a ton of quality content you also need to have on-site SEO performed on your website. This on site SEO allows the different algorithms and robots that search engines like Google use to determine what do you have to offer to the Internet and how to rank you. This is actually one of the easiest forms of SEO to do and it is mandatory.
- Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner for finding out what keywords are having the most search volume;
- Page title should have up to 70 characters long;
- Title should have your most important keyword phrase and with Local SEO it usually is industry + location keywords;
- URL of your post/page should have keywords that your are trying to rank for;
- Heading 1 (H1) should have some keywords but they should not be repeated from your page title, use synonyms of your keyword (like keyword SEO has a different variation of this word witch is Search Engine Optimization that you should rank as well for);
- Content should be engaging and current to people interests;
- Do not stack keywords in you content by repeat keywords because you think more is better;
- You can create page description or let search engine pick the best description from your content, but when you create description try not to repeat keywords that you were using in title, use synonyms and long tail keywords;
- Use images, when you create image title and alt text be certain they are actually reflection of what is in the image and not for purpose of adding new keywords in your images (BTW. alt text was created for blind people so they could read images while using the internet);
- Interlink your articles and pages with relevant anchor text to guide people through your site and make them interested in reading more content and linking to it;
- Keyword density in content – about 2-7%;
- How much content do I need – look on your competition form page 1;
- Put your real business name address and phone on your page (page footer), but be aware of different localization’s of your business and stay consistent with your name, address and phone for this localization;
- Check your website speed here and make it at least 90% rate, if you can’t than change theme or contact web designer;
- Check if your website is mobile optimized here and ready to be opened on mobile devices
When Most people think of local SEO or search engine optimization they most think about off site search engine optimization. Many people generalize this as the creation of backlinks to your website. Don’t let anyone fool you the need for comment backlinks still matters simply because links are how search engines work today. You need a digital marketing firm who can create high-quality Google approved and Google legal back links. Local SEO also involves having social media properties and using them expertly. It has been proven that social media has a huge effect on how your website will rank. Google knows how to associate social media accounts and your website and they can have an effect on each other. Some tips for off site SEO:
- Look in to citations -directories that will let you put your business name, address and phone number with link to your website;
- Stay consistent with using your name, address, phone number across the internet;
- Son’t be afraid to pay for business accreditation with backlinks;
- Do guest posts outreach;
- Create active social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter ect. with backlinks to your site;
Google My Business
Create a Google My Business account that is validated with a real business address. Create and fill out full profile with pictures and services that you are doing. That will help you rank in 3 Map Pack along side with power of your site and citations that were created for your business locations. Ranking in Map Pack can bring an other 30% increase in phone calls after already ranking number one for your industry + location keyword.
Remember that local search engine optimization is all about dominance. Don’t stop working on your site until you get to the position that will bring you sufficient amount of calls. You are in a competition with all the local companies around you and the one who out ranks the other and offers the most value from their web properties will be the company who has the most success, they will attract the most customers and they will ultimately make the most money. Hopefully you are teaming up with a digital marketing company who can help you achieve all of the above outcomes.
If you’re looking for a Bristol Virginia / Tennessee Web design firm Contact us today to make an appointment to review your website and upcoming marketing strategy. We love meeting great business and nonprofits!