Local SEO: Complete Checklist for Success

Julian Morris SEO Technical Analyst Author

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO focuses on using various strategies and tactics to increase rankings in local search results. A local search can involve the use of a local keyword (e.g. top restaurants in Raleigh) or the search engine can deduce a location from a user’s device.

What Problem Does Local SEO Solve for Businesses?

Magnifying glass over the word SEO with icons related to local SEO surrounding itIt can be difficult to properly optimize on- and off-site SEO for multiple locations when you are an enterprise-level business or simply a regional business with several physical locations. Local SEO provides the opportunity to gain visibility for each site of a multi-location business. There is a lot of online (as well as offline) traffic that can be missed when these factors are not being optimized that can hinder revenue.

There are many strategies you can execute to help your website rank well for local searches. We broke it down to the key items you need to focus on to get on the right track. While you can act on some of these simultaneously, this checklist generally follows a chronological order in which you should implement these action items.

The Local SEO Checklist

 

unchecked checkbox  Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.

unchecked checkbox Use the Mobile-Friendly test to determine if you need to make improvements.

unchecked checkbox Implement changes to fix any issues that show up.

unchecked checkbox Optimize your Google My Business listing for each location.

unchecked checkbox Maintain a consistent NAP (name, address, phone number).

unchecked checkbox Link to the proper landing page.

unchecked checkbox Add a relevant business category.

unchecked checkbox Ensure you have the correct business hours listed.

unchecked checkbox Add high-quality photos and engaging posts to your GMB profile.

unchecked checkbox Optimize your Bing Local listing for each location.

unchecked checkbox   Create or claim your listing.

unchecked checkbox Add general business information.

unchecked checkbox Upload high-resolution images that highlight the interior/exterior of the business, team members, and professional product/service images.

unchecked checkbox Set your business hours.

unchecked checkbox Verify your listing.

unchecked checkbox Complete profile to 100%.

unchecked checkbox Optimize your Apple Maps listing for each location.

unchecked checkbox Create or claim your listing at apple.com.

unchecked checkbox Edit your general business information.

unchecked checkbox Confirm your ownership of the listing.

unchecked checkbox Optimize your Yelp listing for each location.

unchecked checkbox Add general business information and ensure NAP consistency.

unchecked checkbox Upload photos and videos for your profile image, specific products/services, and your business interior.

unchecked checkbox Set your business category/categories.

unchecked checkbox Add history and owner/manager details.

unchecked checkbox Define your service area (for service-area businesses only).

unchecked checkbox Activate and optimize any additional features (call-to-action button, reservations, etc.).

unchecked checkbox Optimize your CitySearch listing for each location.

unchecked checkbox Add NAP information to listing.

unchecked checkbox Optimize your content for local SEO.

unchecked checkbox Create local landing pages for each city you are targeting.

unchecked checkbox Embed Google map on local landing pages.

unchecked checkbox Make sure your address & phone number are visible and easy to find.

unchecked checkbox Optimize metatags.

unchecked checkbox Title tag: [city name/region] + [product/service/business category]

unchecked checkbox Meta description: make this engaging and actionable.

unchecked checkbox Optimize heading tags.

unchecked checkbox Add one H1 tag for each page using your primary keyword.

unchecked checkbox If needed, add H2 and H3 headings.

unchecked checkbox Add structured data markup.

unchecked checkbox Resource for proper schema markup: https://schema.org/

unchecked checkbox A tool to test your structured data once implemented: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/u/0/

unchecked checkbox Add local business schema markup to your homepage if you have one location.

unchecked checkbox If you have multiple locations, add local business schema to each local landing page.

unchecked checkbox Manage online reviews.

unchecked checkbox Ensure your local business locations are listed on major review platforms (GMB, Yelp, Angie’s List, social media platforms).

unchecked checkbox Determine industry-specific/local review sites and claim these listings.

unchecked checkbox Implement a system to ask for reviews from happy customers (most effective to ask in person, but can also follow up with an email requesting a review).

unchecked checkbox Thank customers who leave positive reviews.

unchecked checkbox Respond to negative reviews in a professional and timely manner.

unchecked checkbox Verify NAP consistency on review pages.

unchecked checkbox Build local citations.

unchecked checkbox Acquire local citations for each business location (remember to change the physical address and phone number depending on the location you are building out citations for).

unchecked checkbox Eliminate any listings with a PO Box address.

unchecked checkbox Find inaccurate/duplicate listings and take appropriate action.

unchecked checkbox Contact webmasters to correct inaccurate listings (when it is possible, correct them; if not, have them deleted).

unchecked checkbox Submit your listings to the four major data aggregators: Acxiom, Factual, Infogroup, and Neustar/Localeze.

unchecked checkbox Find niche directories and submit your website and citation to them (ex: Yellow Book, Superpages, etc.).

unchecked checkbox Focus on hyper-local link building.

unchecked checkbox Contact local blogs and offer to write a guest post on their site.

unchecked checkbox Connect with local business owners that you can partner with.

unchecked checkbox Develop relationships with local media outlets and submit press releases when something notable happens to your company.

unchecked checkbox Join your city’s Chamber of Commerce and BBB chapter and get a listing on their site.

unchecked checkbox Sponsor local non-profits and request a link back to your site

unchecked checkbox Attend and sponsor local events and request a link on the event websites.

unchecked checkbox Create local content on your own site that can rank for long-tail keywords.

 

Looking to uncover even more SEO tips and strategies? Download our comprehensive SEO white paper, Search Engineering: Google RankBrain, Artificial Intelligence, and the Transformation of Organic SEO. This report outlines current trends and innovations throughout the search industry and gives a detailed look at what the future of search will entail.

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