You can’t win the world without winning your backyard first. The magnitude of local SEO seems to be increasing year-after-year – with no signs of slowing down.
To give you a better idea, queries with the phrase “near me” have significantly increased over the past few years. Research suggests that almost half of all Google searches have local intent.
If you want customers to find your business with “near me” search queries or if your business depends on Google Maps listings, you must dominate the local SEO game.
Local SEO and its Importance
Thanks to our ‘always-on’ customer mindset and the growing popularity of mobile search, local SEO is important for brick-and-mortar businesses looking to increase their foot traffic.
If you manage to rank your website at the top of local SERPs, the revenue and traffic will skyrocket. While regular SEO helps you reach a global audience, you’ll get local customers knocking on your door with a local SEO strategy in place.
A successful local SEO campaign starts with a comprehensive website audit. Performing strategic SEO audits will help you define the status and strategy of your business. It will also provide you an opportunity to fix loopholes and determine additional digital marketing techniques that will improve the website’s conversions and local search rankings.
What is Local SEO audit?
With the significant increase in local searches, it’s worth investing in a strategic local SEO audit for your website. Performing a local SEO audit enables you to see what aspects of your marketing approach need improvement so you can generate more visitors. You can take the pulse of your current position online while also analyzing your direct competitors.
This post will cover seven key steps you should take while auditing your Local SEO campaign. Let’s dive in.
1. Citation Audit
Citation audit is an essential step for SEO audit as any wrongful information about the address, phone number, e-mail or any reference details would lead to potential loss of traffic and customers. A citation is an online reference to your business details like name, address, and phone number (NAP).
You can do this by:
- Search your NAP details on the top directories like Google, Yelp, Yellowpages, Citysearch, and so on.
- Conduct a search using variations of your business name
- Conduct a search using names of all business/service partners
- Regularly update any new changes to the business details on the internet
2. Website Content Audit
Your content speaks volumes about your personality and the kind of services that you will offer your customers. Ensure that your content is relevant, updated, plagiarism-free, and well-formatted. There should not be any keyword stuffing, and the audience should enjoy browsing through your website content.
3. Proper URL
For a single-page service, it is best to use the homepage for your company location. If multiple pages offer different services, provide the landing page location of the respective service. One interesting thing to remember while auditing your URL is that Google does not recognize underscores as word separators, as they are also used in coding. So you should use a dash (-) instead of underscores.
4. Audit your Google My Business Page
Your Google My Business page is your business representation in front of the potential audience. It is the go-to information center for customers searching for your business and services. It should be accurate and updated. Just fill in all the missing forms and ensure that the NAP is correct so that Google Maps can pick them up easily. Lastly, your Google Business listing must be connected to your service page/website, with the ‘action button’ clear and prominent.
5. The ‘Meta’ Audit
The intro of the Meta description gives a crisp yet clear idea about the business. You can check the uniqueness of the content by carrying out a Google Search. The meta tag should also be well-optimized and readable. Additionally, meta tags affect Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS), so be sure to mention the identifier and keyword in the meta tag description.
6. Reviews Audit
Customers leave behind their views and feedback regarding the services given by the website. Keep an eye on the average customer ratings and the reviews left behind by clients on different Search platforms. Take time to reply to the reviews and try to work on areas where customers are unhappy.
7. Website Loading Speed Audit
A slow-loading site immediately repels away the target audience. Customers have short attention spans and they do not wait for a website that takes time to load.
In the U.S., the average expected website loading time is under 4 seconds. You can check your website’s speed logistics with Google Analytics, which has a section under “Behavior” for Site Speed. Use this tool to check and optimize the speed of your main landing pages.
Improve your foot traffic with local SEO services
When you’re performing an SEO audit, there are several metrics to consider, including redirects, meta issues, broken links, image tags, and more. Even the slightest improvements in these areas can have a substantial impact on your local SERPs.
At Shallcross Marketing, we perform strategic local SEO audits that give you an edge over your competitors and drive visitors down the sales funnel. Our local SEO services can infuse your marketing strategy with a stream of conversions and propel qualified traffic to your website.