Local SEO Checklist – Free Tips to Increase Local Search Visibility
Want to increase local search visibility? As a small, local business you want to “show up” on Google. It should be easy, right? Search Engine Optimization is a skill that requires dedication, time, and quality. To get started, here are some free tips to increase local search visibility.
1. What are Keywords?
Keyword research, relevant to your niche and audience, should be done before you create an SEO strategy. Utilize keyword planning tools for keyword research. Start with what your business provides to get keyword ideas and then use keyword planning tools to find relevant keywords. Filter keywords by search volume and then create a set of optimal keywords. There are additional in-depth keyword research strategies, but this can be used to get started.
2. Meta Information: Titles, Descriptions, Headings
Titles are a crucial part of SEO and are what appear in SERP’s. The title should be clear, include your focus keyword, and inform what is on the page. Ideally, the title should have 50- 55 characters.
Meta Descriptions should contain a short paragraph with 140 – 156 characters. The description needs to include specific details about the page that someone is viewing. It should consist of the focus keyword not to be swamped with a plethora of keywords.
3. Information about your business
The essential business information people are searching for include: name, address, and phone number – or NAP. Inputting this accurate information allows Google to show where your business is located and how to contact you. As a business that is local, this is vital.
4: Image, Link & Anchor Text Optimization
Often overlooked but necessary are the image, link, and anchor text. These three things need to be optimized for search engines as well. The images should have relevant keywords that can be found when people are searching online. The anchor text needs to be SEO optimized, as well, for the page that it is linking to. Internal links are essential to display the page structure to Google.
5: Social Media & Online Citations
Social media profile creation is a way to make sure your business can be found easily online. Along with a social media profile, online citations are another way searchers can find your business online. A solid social media profile shows that your business is legitimate. If the NAP business information is consistent, Google will use this to measure the legitimacy and authority of your company along with links. An example of this – if you have a restaurant – listing your business on Yelp, Facebook, and Google My Business allows people and Google to find you easily.
6: Link Building
Link building should be included in your SEO strategy. When other websites link to content on your website, this implies that your site has authority on the keyword topic. These links are viewed as votes, which leads to more significant ranking benefits, dependent on the distinguished authority of the site that is linking to your website.
7: Mobile Optimization
It is ideal for making sure your website is optimized for mobile since most web browsing is done on mobile devices. Google will review this and make a note of whether your site is optimized correctly or not. Here are some guidelines provided by Google for a mobile-friendly website:
8: Schema Markup for Local Businesses
Local SEO professionals do this tactic, and most business owners aren’t aware of it. This can drastically improve search results for your business and the potential of an increased Google ranking. Schema is a unique code that a developer can add to your website that will help search engines comprehend reading and displaying your website on SERPs. To learn more, visit http://www.schema.org/
9: Google My Business
A free resource provided by Google is Google My Business. GMB is one of the easiest ways to improve your local SEO on Google dramatically. Creating an account is free and allows you to post relevant business content. In turn, you will have visibility on Google. You can update business information, create posts, and customers can leave reviews as well. To get started, visit https://www.google.com/business/
10: Online Reviews
Online reviews about your business are the highest trusted source of information, especially if a video or picture is attached. Customer reviews, especially Google reviews, play a significant role when Google ranks your business. You can encourage customers to leave good reviews, but you can not incentivize customers to do so.
What if you don’t have time or expertise to do SEO?
Serv Marketing is one of Atlanta’s top SEO companies for small businesses. We are based in Cherokee County, Georgia, several miles north of Atlanta. We specialize in helping increase your visibility with SEO.