In today’s highly competitive market, having a local SEO strategy is becoming increasingly vital for local businesses. Local SEO is certainly not new in 2023, but its importance continues to grow. Every day, about a third of consumers look for a local business online, and nearly half of all Google searches are for local information.

An effective local SEO strategy can help your business appear more prominently in local search results, making it easier for customers to find you whenever they put keywords related to your business. Imagine how many potential sales you miss out on if your shop doesn’t show up when someone in your area searches for your products or services.

Understanding the trends and data around local search is also critical so you can draw the appropriate conclusions and make more informed changes to your local search optimisation strategy.  This local SEO checklist will take you through the entire process of optimising your website. When done correctly, this can significantly help your company’s growth.

Local SEO Checklist # 1 – On-Page Optimisation

Most people think of their Google Business Profile, local citations, and backlinks when they think about local SEO. These are quite useful when attempting to capture “near me” results.

On-page optimisation, on the other hand, is a big part of the signals that search engines use to impact your local ranks. On-page SEO can help you rank higher in both organic and MapPack results.

On-page SEO is the process of optimising a web page to enhance search ranks and increase organic traffic. It includes optimising your headlines, HTML tags, meta descriptions, and header photos and providing high-quality, relevant content.

Here are some on-page optimisation suggestions to help you improve your local search presence.

1. Optimise Your Metadata

There has been much discussion about whether metadata like page title tags and meta descriptions are still useful. Whether or not they are still a ranking component, they are still a huge part of how a potential visitor perceives your website.

What Is a Title Tag?

A title tag is nothing more than a tag. It’s a backend code that looks like this: title> /title>.

It’s also visible in two places on the front end. The first is by hovering over your page’s tab at the top, and the most significant place to see your title tag is on Google’s search results page, often known as the SERP.

Character limits apply to title tags, which should be adhered to. The character limit for title tags is around 55-60 characters, including spaces. Before you publish your web page, you should utilise a snippet editor to view how your title tag will appear in the SERP. Otherwise, your title tag would be cut out in Google’s search results, affecting your SEO efforts.

What Is a Meta Description?

A meta description is a backend element of a web page that is not accessible on the front end. On the search result page, however, it is visible beneath the meta title tag of a ranked URL. A well-written meta description gives users a sneak peek at the contents of your pages and can persuade searchers to visit your site.

The suggested length of a meta description is 155 characters or less, including spaces. Your target keyword isn’t required but use it at least once if it makes sense.

If you want to optimise for local SEO, your page title tags and meta description should include the name of the city and the product or service you provide. It will help to tell search engines not just “This is where you will find me,” but also “And this is what I do in this location.”

2. Localise Your Landing Pages

If you want to target locals, make sure that you create city-specific landing pages. This will allow you to rank organically in places you want to focus on.

Here are some local SEO landing page optimisation ranking factors that you should consider:

  • The city and state you’re servicing in your landing page title.
  • Your click-through rate from SERPs
  • Relevance of topic keywords
  • Inbound links to landing sites with high authority
  • URLs
  • Keywords for your product or service in the landing page title

If you have many locations, be sure to include them on the service pages, and then make sure that your service and the locations you currently occupy are clearly linked.

3. Maintain NAP Consistency

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. These three pieces of information have the potential to make or break your local SEO effort. Make sure that these details are clearly presented on your website.

The footer is a fantastic spot where to put your NAP. Even better, link it to your Google Maps. You can also include your NAP in the body of service area pages and contact pages.

Consistency is crucial. This critical business information must be consistent wherever potential customers find you online – and wherever Google may compare it to assure accuracy. This makes it easier for web spiders and bots to connect the links between your Google Business Profile, website, and other local citations.

4. Integrate Internal Linking

Use internal linking strategically throughout your site to inform your customers and search engines what you can offer customers in a specific location.

When you add city names to your on-page content, you can use city names as an anchor link to the service area pages. Instead of using linked images, utilise anchor text for internal links. Although image links are acceptable, they should not be the primary source of links, particularly if the images are alt-tagged.

5. Conduct Local Keyword Research

On-page success depends on using the appropriate keywords. Keyword research reveals how many individuals are looking for a specific keyword.  You may also use locations that are close to your area rather than just your specific location, such as your city. You may use Google’s Keyword Planner Tools or other keyword research tools.

6. Improve Your Google Business Profile

Use Google Business Profile to claim and update your business information to enhance your local ranking. You may discover that your company does not appear in relevant searches in your area. Ensure the business information in your Business Profile is correct, complete, and engaging to increase the number of times users find your business in local search results.

Local SEO Checklist # 2 – Off-Page Optimisation

The term “off-page SEO” refers to measures conducted outside your website to influence your search engine results page rankings (SERPs). These comprise various basic SEO variables that assist a site’s rank and on-page SEO.

Improving search engine and user perceptions of a site’s popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority is part of optimising for off-site ranking criteria. Other respected places on the Internet (pages, sites, persons, and so on) link to or promote your website, thus “vouching” for the quality of your content.

Here are some off-page optimisation suggestions to help you improve your local search presence.

1. Link Building

Link building or obtaining backlinks for your website is a big part of off-page optimisation. It should be emphasised, however, that external optimisation entails more than gaining links.

The most important factor to consider is how to naturally acquire other respectable websites to link back to your content.

Backlinks generated by manipulative link schemes and other black hat SEO approaches for link development are now devalued by Google and many other search engines. As a result, it’s critical to prioritise content quality and relationship building first and foremost.</>

  • Create useful material that others, particularly authority websites, will want to connect to or share with their networks.
  • Make real connections with industry experts, influencers, and other brands whose products/services could complement yours, not simply with customers.
  • If you must manually develop backlinks, proceed with caution. Collaboration with influencers to promote your material or link back to your website and to incentivise customers to share a review about your website are two effective techniques.

2. Social Media Marketing

Social media isn’t a direct ranking factor in Google. However, it can subtly but significantly impact website traffic and click-throughs.

Off-page SEO via social media is more than just about posting your latest blog article; it’s also about driving engagement and establishing relationships.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a tried-and-true method that works well with off-page SEO.  You connect with well-known social media influencers that have their own loyal followers and partner with them to promote your content, product, or services. Collaboration and relevancy are crucial here; the influencers you work with should support your brand’s ideals, reputation, and legitimacy.

Customer service

Customer service is another part of off-page SEO using social media. As previously said, off-page optimisation aims to increase brand trust. Community management is an important component of social media customer service: actively moderating comments, dealing with poor reviews, and proactively listening to what people say about your business.

3. Local SEO

Local SEO includes on-page and off-page SEO tactics to bring visitors from your local area to your website. The following strategies are commonly used in off-page optimisation:

Word-of-mouth Marketing (WOMM)

WOMM plays a significant part in off-page SEO, whether traditional or innovative. Several studies have found that customers are more likely to trust recommendations from friends and family than advertisements. Offering recommendations or affiliate programs is a smart approach to prompt this indirectly.

PR and Local News

Using PR websites and local news is especially beneficial for brick-and-mortar startups, but it also works for online-only businesses. It generates buzz and contributes to the growth of brand awareness.

Customer Reviews

Like social media customer service, reviews from sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and true local can help your SEO indirectly. People trust online reviews other customers provide as much as recommendations from friends. Websites with a high number of favourable ratings appear more trustworthy, and Google considers trustworthiness when determining rankings.

Local SEO Checklist # 3 – Content Marketing Strategy

Regularly publishing high-quality content on your website is essential. It can give your visitors a great experience and encourage them to return to your site for more. It also assists you in capturing the attention of your potential customers as you pursue them.

Most essential, optimised content informs search engines about your site and what you have to offer users, allowing them to rank you based on relevance. You must ensure that your content successfully communicates your website’s goal.

Here’s what you need to do to improve your content for local SEO:

  • Publish original, intriguing material that your target audience will enjoy. To your blog posts or articles, include high-quality links.
  • In your title tags and meta descriptions, include localised keywords.
  • Determine the correct keywords based on the intent of your target audience, and then write content around them.
  • Create content that covers other relevant topics.
  • Conduct semantic keyword research.
  • Make your content more appealing to your readers by including local photos and videos. 
  • Resolve any duplicate content issues. Duplicate material can harm your rankings; therefore, you must avoid them.

Improve Your Local SEO Strategy with Us!

Off-page SEO, on-page SEO, and your content marketing strategy all play a role in how successful your local SEO strategy is. However, it may be time-consuming and requires a wide range of skills, including social copywriting, graphic design, site building, videography, and much more.

Let a top-rated SEO Agency like TopRankings help you with your local SEO efforts. We’re a full-service SEO agency proven since 2007 and backed by a skilled team of various marketing professionals. Contact us, and together, we can improve your online presence locally.