What makes our local SEO checklist stand-out is it targets the quickest and most impactful tasks you can do to impact local search. Each task in our local SEO checklist will only take 30 minutes or less to complete.
Rather than run into delays or complications, make sure to visit each link and read the instructions before you begin.
How to Use this Local SEO Checklist
- Choose one task: Look over the checklist and see which task you want to do today. If you’re not sure, start with in the section titled The Basics.
- Read instructions: Each task includes both instructions and resources on how to complete it. Take the time to read through those instructions before you start.
- Complete the task and monitor the results: After completing each task, keep an eye on your web traffic, phone calls, and walk-in visitors. Ask customers how they found your business.
The Benefits of this Local SEO Checklist
There are 3 main benefits to improving your website for local search.
- Increase Foot Traffic – According to an Access National Consumer Study, 93% of consumers don’t travel more than 20 minutes for day-to-day needs. Appearing in local search boosts foot traffic.
- Local Web Traffic – Make it easier for people who are nearby to find your business online. This will lead to more visits of your site, giving you the chance to turn that visitor into a customer.
- Reduce Marketing Costs – Local SEO increases local visibility online, putting your business front and center for local customers. This is more effective than flyers, newspaper ads, and even social media marketing, reducing marketing costs.
Start here to get your website indexed on search engines and provide the best experience for your visitors.
- Setup Google Search Console: To ensure Google sees, crawls, and adds your website to its index, visit https://search.google.com/search-console/about to add your site to Google Search Console.
- Setup Bing Webmaster Tools: To make sure Bing sees, crawls, and adds your website to its index, visit https://www.bing.com/webmasters to add your website to Bing and Bing for Local Business.
- Verify HTTPS is enabled and forced: HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, the primary protocol used on the web. We know Google gives a slight ranking boost to HTTPS URLs. Follow these instructions to enable HTTPS on most web building platforms.
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly: Google now predominantly indexes mobile friendly websites first. Today more than 50% of website traffic is coming from mobile devices. Use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to see if your website is mobile friendly.
- See if your website is on Google: Check if Google can read your website you can search for it by using the following query. Go to Google and type ‘site:yourdomain.com’ without the quotes.
Next are business listings.
Build on online presence for local searches, add backlinks to give your website, and make your hours of operation and location easy to find.
- Claim or Create your Google Business Profile: This is key to appearing in local search. Start at https://www.google.com/business and complete every field, including products and services.
- Claim or Create your Yelp listing: Yelp’s business listing website ranks for a wide range of terms with local search intent. To appear on Yelp claim your free listing at https://biz.yelp.com/claim.
- Create or Claim your Apple Maps listing: Apple Maps has 68 million adult users in the United States alone. Get listed using Apple Business Connect at https://businessconnect.apple.com.
- Ensure your business name, address, phone, and website are accurate: Precision across all your business listings is key. When customers see inconsistent information it creates confusion.
- Add Photos and Videos to each Business Listing: Take the time to add photos and videos of your business interior, exterior, products, and team. Show where to park, and include nearby landmarks.
Time to improve your web pages.
On Page Local SEO
Update your website with relevant content to help search engines better understand what your business is all about.
- Include your City and State to the Home Page Title: Including the location of your business in the page title adds context and relevance to the website. You can find instructions on how to edit Title tags on different website types on my post 13 Ways to Boost Your Website’s Visibility in Local Search.
- Mention your City and State to the Home Page Description: If web page Titles help users understand what a web page is about, then page Descriptions do the same for search engines. Add your business location to add context and relevance to help search engines know understand what the page is about.
- Add your Business Name, Address, and Phone Number to the Footer: Don’t frustrate visitors by hiding your business contact information. Most business websites include their contact information in the footer of their website. Make it easy to find that information in the place they expect to find it.
- Quickly Explain What You Offer for Whom and Where: Within seconds of visiting your website, every visitor should be able to understand what you do, where you do it, and what problem you solve. For example, have your homepage say you provide Bookkeeping Services for Businesses in Columbus, Ohio.
- Assign a Keyword Theme to Every Page: Assigning a keyword theme to each page will help you target what customers are looking for on Google. For example your Pet Store website can have a page dedicated to Dog Toys and target keywords like ‘dog toys’, ‘dog chew toys’, ‘canine toys’, and more.
Begin promoting your website.
Off Page Local SEO
Building links back to your website and getting your brand seen by locals are off-page SEO tasks that will bring attention to your business online.
- Join a Local Chamber of Commerce: Your Chamber will share your website with members, and provide a business listing on their website. Get a reputable backlink to your website, and exposure to consumers looking to support local businesses.
- Sponsor Local Sports Teams and Local Events: Promoting your business at local events brings awareness to your brand. It can also lead to local backlinks to your site from municipal and event websites. Find local events on sites like meetup.com, chillwall.com, or eventbrite.com.
- Reach Your Audience on Social Media: Use social media to share local and relevant content. This does not mean join every trending social network. Instead choose one that fits your brand and consistently add content that leads visitors back to your website.
- Keep an Eye on Competitors: Understanding what your competitors are doing can help you learn where to reach more customers. Take notice if they have a large audience on another social network or getting a lot of reviews. Be willing to learn and adjust your approach.
- Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out: HARO is a free resource journalists use to find an expert in a specific field, or a local business owner to quote, and lead to backlinks to your website.
Keep reading for more resources.
Get Local SEO Help
As you can see from the checklist, there is a lot involved in marketing your local business online through search engine optimization. The good news is we have a wealth of resources to help you grow.
- The Local Marketing Handbook: Purchase a copy of The Local Marketing Handbook: Five Fundaments to Increase Business and Impact Community. Inside you will learn how to identify your audience, build a website, and impact the people who live, work in, and visit your community.
- Local SEO Audit: An SEO audit comes with actionable steps on what pages need to be addressed so they can get found online. Your search audit is a comprehensive crawl of your site to find issues that are holding it back, and your best opportunities to improve search visibility.
- Local SEO Services: Monthly local SEO services will help your business rank for keywords and build authority for your brand online. Each month we will improve your website by addressing technical issues and update the content to rank for keywords that match your customers’ search intent.
Local SEO Checklist
We are glad you using this checklist to improve your website and grow your business. Make sure to download a one page PDF version to keep track of your tasks. If you have questions, please leave a comment below or schedule an online consult.