By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of local SEO and how easy it is to do for yourself. Odds are, you were probably already doing a few of the things that are suggested for local SEO already. However, before you can walk away you’re your local SEO efforts, conducting a local SEO audit of your website will help you understand where you are in your efforts and what else you might be able to do to solidify your place at the top of local search.
Let’s get started.
When it comes to local SEO, your citation accuracy is one of the most important and influential factors. Citations are the number one DIY local SEO effort, which means that you’ve probably already located a few or created a few. However, by conducting a citation audit, you will be able to spot potential trouble and correct it so that customers can find you.
Business directory listings are citations, but are by far not the only ones. It is imperative that you ensure that the citations about your business have the correct NAP.
Check the accuracy of the information in business directory listings. Simply search Google for your business. Use variations of your name including incorrect spelling. You should also use variations of your phone number (add dashes, remove the dashes, use parentheses, etc.) Don’t forget to use previous names if your business has been renamed at any point along the way. Pay special attention to any listings in Google owned directories, Yelp, Yellowpages, CitySearch and DexKnows.
Meta Tag Audit
Next, it’s time to take a look at your meta tags. These are visible to search engines and therefore they should:
- Be Readable
- Be Optimized
Your meta tags are the first impressions that customers will get for your business, so these should always be on point. To be the most effective, your meta tags should use a main keyword as an identifier, but it shouldn’t read like a grocery list. It needs to be readable in plain English and make sense. You should also have the city and state in the meta tag for pages that have location specific data.
When you construct a meta tag, it needs to be a complete, self-contained sentence that is concise. Search engine results pages will only show a snippet of the tag. You want it to be interesting in order to encourage someone to click through to your site. And it should always be unique throughout the website. Use Google Webmaster Tools to check for duplicates.
Website Content Audit
Content is king, no matter what type of SEO you are doing. Your content should be engaging. It should be relevant. It should be unique. And it should have keywords sprinkled throughout, but not stuffed so that it reads unnaturally. You want to create content for readers, not search engine crawlers. Use tools to verify uniqueness of content in your website like Copyscape and Siteliner.
Your content should encourage readers to look deeper within your website. Use calls to action to encourage them to move from one place to another and reduce your bounce rate.
Google+ page Audit
One of the most important social media platforms for local SEO is Google+. Check your Google+ dashboard to ensure your listing is 10)% complete. If not, complete it. Then make sure you verify the page using Google’s verification process. Lastly, make sure that your website is connected to your profile by using the +1 buttons prominently (not obnoxiously) on your website.
Online Reputation Audit
This is a step that many website owners fail to do, but is vitally important. Know what your customers are saying about you by tracking reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and more. This will also help you keep tabs on how many reviews you are getting.
Take a few minutes to actually read the feedback and use it as a way to measure your company’s performance as well as identify opportunities to improve. This will demonstrate to existing and future customers that you care as well as help you correct problems and provide better customer experiences the next time. Respond to negative reviews and offer that customer a promise of a better future experience and then deliver. It is also important to respond to questions.
These are just a few of the things you can do to improve your local SEO efforts.