Ranking at the top of Google using Local SEO tactics and strategies requires a consider investment of time and resources.
To help you maximize time and investment LSEO is proud to present to you a 7 Step Local SEO Checklist to improve your Google search ranking.
Local SEO Checklist: Step 1 – Google+ Optimization
For Local SEO purposes Google ranks businesses, not websites. In fact, your business can rank on Google without a Website – all you need is a Google+ Local (also referred to as Google My Business) Page. Your Local SEO Checklist for G+ must include (1) Verification, (2) Content Optimization, (3) Image Optimization, (4) Video Optimization, and a strategy for getting (5) Reviews. If your business does not have a verified and optimized Google My Business Page click here to get started. If you want the guidance of a “Do it Yourself” solution or don’t have the time or expertise to do it yourself you can check out my fast growing Local SEO start-up LSEO.com here.
Local SEO Checklist: Step 2 – Business Directories
For Local SEO purposes it’s critical that your website is listed in the most popular business directories. Google uses business listings to verify your business identity (and penalized inconsistencies) and also as a source of determining authority for ranking purposes. Local SEO Tools exist such as Moz Local and Yext to help you sign-up for the most important directories.
Local SEO Checklist: Step 3 – Social Media Optimization
It’s critical to your business to have a strong social media presence. For starters, your customers and potential customers use social media to make buying decisions. In addition, Google uses social media signals to determine the authority of your business. Having a poor social media strategy can hurt your business. In terms of best practice you should post valuation content to social networks like Facebook and Twitter multiple times daily and you need to be responsive to comments and engagement with your posts in real-time.
Local SEO Checklist: Step 4 – Getting Lots of Positive Reviews on Google
Getting lots of positive reviews on Google is a primary local search engine optimization strategy and deserves its own spot on your Local SEO Checklist. There are multiple review sites out there, such as Yelp, Merchant Circle, and Trip Advisor. However, the most important review site for purposes of leveraging reviews to rank higher on Google is Google itself. You should prioritize getting as many positive reviews as possible through your Google My Business Page. Don’t just let the reviews come in – take advantage of every opportunity to generate a new review every time a customer tell you that love your product or service. Also keep in mind that Google not only looks at the quantity of reviews you have (you should have no less than 10 positive reviews), but also the velocity of the reviews (how often they come in). If you need help w/ understanding how to get more reviews you can read this piece.
Local SEO Checklist: Step 5 – Website Optimization
Old school SEO almost exclusively focused on optimizing your website and generating links to your website. Despite the important of non-website ranking factors such as Google+, social media, Business Listings, and Reviews, having an optimized website still has a primary place on your Local SEO Checklist. Make sure that all of your pages have unique title tags and that each page of content is optimized for no more than one or two keywords. In addition, you need to position your website as the authority in your community for whatever it is that you do. Build a resource center will require you to create how-to videos and write lots of valuable content. In fact, content is so important that it deserves it’s own spot on your Local SEO Checklist.
Local SEO Checklist: Step 6 – Content Marketing
The key to successful SEO is having an effective content marketing strategy. As mentioned in Step 5 it’s critical that you invest time and resources into building valuable content. You want to position your business website as authoritative – as the place where people looking for your product or service go to make a buying decision. The content should not be salesy, but instead be educational and valuable on its own. The more content you have the more web and mobile traffic you will receive. Each page of content should focus on no more than one or two keywords that you want to rank for.
Local SEO Checklist: Step 7 – Link Building
For local SEO purposes you don’t need a lot of links to rank well in Google’s local search results. However, you should strategize about how to generate a handful of high authority and relevant links from other websites that are geographically close to your business. For instance, it’s better to get a link to your website from one of your vendors or a charity in your community than it is to get a link from a State or location where you don’t do business. In addition, you should get a link from a local media source (newspaper, TV, radio) if possible and should also sign up to any local business directories in your community.
If you want help implementing your Local SEO Checklist you can check out Local SEO Software LSEO.com for more information or any of these Local SEO Tools.