How to Perform a Local SEO Audit All by Yourself?
The Local SEO allows you to position your company on search engines to be visible to potential clients when doing local searches related to the products and services you sell. In this post I will guide you about How to Perform a Local SEO Audit All by Yourself?
It offers a very targeted online marketing approach: it is not like leaving brochures in mailboxes or paying for an advertisement in a local newspaper that may not be seen by a potential customer who is genuinely interested in your products or services. Let’s see what local SEO is, how it works, possible areas of application, and how it can accelerate the growth of a small (or large) local business.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the optimization process for local search engine results. If SEO, by definition, is the set of on-site and off-site optimizations aimed at improving a website’s search engine positioning, local SEO can be defined as its counterpart in a local key. Local SEO concerns optimization techniques that favor an excellent positioning following a so-called “local search,” i.e., a search carried out for a specific location or area of interest.
With the introduction of Universal Search, Google has started showing web search results on one page and search results from its vertical engines: News, Videos, Images, and Maps. Search engines return relevant results based on the current location of the user who performed the search.
When a user enters a local query, for example, “Milan dentist,” Google will tend to show the results of the dental practices closest to the user, thus taking into account the position of the researcher.
From a technical point of view, this happens through the Google Pigeon algorithm which was designed and released to link the Google local search algorithm to the web algorithm, to improve the ranking parameters based on distance and location of the user performing the search. Google Pigeon has reduced the search radius by favoring businesses closest to the seeker’s physical location.
In simple terms, SEO optimization in a local key will serve to give visibility to local businesses following a geolocated query. When a user types a question like “Milan restaurant,” the most optimized site will have greater visibility, thus increasing visits to the site and possible conversions.
Why Local SEO is important: all the advantages
The main advantage is to obtain online visibility and to be able to intercept:
Users who already know your business: your site must be displayed in SERP in the Knowledge Graph box and Google Maps so that your users can find your contact details.
Maybe a user already knows your business but doesn’t know your phone number or address. If you have optimized your website correctly, this position data can be easily found through search engines.
What Kind of Businesses Needs Local SEO?
Carrying out a local promotion is vital for hotels, tourist attractions, and restaurants. For a “lost” tourist, not aware of all the entertainment opportunities offered in a specific geographical area, search engines are often the only means of information used.
It is also necessary to calculate that, to date, hotels and other related accommodation facilities receive a good part (if not most) of their bookings through the web, both through proprietary websites and through third-party platforms (Booking, TripAdvisor, etc.).
And it is precisely in the case of reservations through a proprietary site, advantageous because there are no commissions applicable by third parties, that local SEO plays a fundamental role: positioning your website for a specific location will help to obtain high visibility and possible improvements in conversions.
It is no coincidence that practically all tourism-related activities have been implementing local strategies for years, aimed at improving the visibility of their business, thus creating a saturation that could make it increasingly difficult to climb SERPs to start-up activities.
Other types of local businesses that operate on well-defined territorial extensions can benefit widely from local SEO.
By way of example, it could be a retail store, a doctor, a dentist, or a lawyer. They could also be smaller companies such as bakers, foodstuffs, and the like, which can position themselves effectively, even in the absence of a website—properties, using Google My Business and a simple linked social media page.
If you have a physical address in a city and expect people to come to your shop or office, you should invest in Local SEO.
How to Perform a Local SEO Audit All by Yourself?
To improve your positioning in a local search, both on-site and off-site strategies must be used.
From the on-site point of view, the selection of the correct keywords and the creation of in-depth and detailed content will allow us to obtain excellent performances in the search results.
In this case, the copywriter must be bright that the purpose is that of local promotion. Unlike traditional SEO, the location and the combination “service + location” must also be used as a keyword.
The same attention must be paid to the Title and Description Meta Tags, which must not be generated automatically but tailor-made and complete with an indication of location.
For accurate planning, also responding to specific territorial information needs can prove to be an excellent local strategy: creating unique, targeted content, in line with the requirements of the local public, can make any site an industry authority, thus increasing contacts and conversions.
Optimize the website for local search.
The first step is always to optimize the contents of a website. The best way to locally optimize an online project is to use simple language that anyone can type in a search engine. It is also essential to use localized keywords that allow Google to determine its geographic location.
To fully use keywords, it is always good to use what is called ” keyword long tail. ” For example, instead of using keywords like “google maps” marketing, “you should write a key phrase such as:” the best google maps marketing services in [city name]. ”
Request Google My Business listing.
Google My Business (GMB) is an essential tool that all companies should use, and it’s free. Its primary purpose is to officially publish the activity on the Google Map so that customers can find the event itself while looking for that type of business.
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With the right optimization, and believe me that it can work wonders for local SEO, any business can be at the top of the SERPs.
Many local companies do not yet understand the actual importance of online marketing, therefore anticipating the competition would be a smart move for any local business, also because as we wrote a few weeks ago only one company out of three invests in SEO.
GMB is a free service offered by Google, but it also has components that can help plan a local SEO strategy. These components include Google posts, photos, and reviews. Updating jobs and pictures once a week, and responding to all reviews will help Google understand that it is indexing an active company.
Build local quotes.
Quotes are a great way to increase your local authority. They must be used correctly.
A citation is any online mention of the business that includes the American name, address, and telephone number known by the acronym NAP. When looking for directories where you can submit your business listing, you should always make sure that it is a well known and high-quality directory.
Connect via local links
The backlinks are similar to citations. The difference is that a backlink is nothing more than a real link to the website.
Backlinks are particularly crucial for local SEO because they primarily help search engines determine which sites are reliable sources of information worthy of being at the top of the SERPs.
That’s why when planning a link building strategy, you must always acquire high-quality links, and above all that we are not spam.
All of this will help the local authority or local SEO. Try to become a more significant part of the community and get more coverage from the press through sponsorship events, hosting events, volunteering, is the basis of another process called digital PR, and on which SEO agencies should always focus.
About off-site strategies, the use of the My Business function (ex-Google Places) is necessary. By registering with Google My Business, it will be possible to fill in a form relating to your activity, including telephone number, full address, day-to-day times, and site address.
The integration with Google Maps is automatic: it will be sufficient to verify the actual accuracy of the address and confirm your identity as a company, to be “magically” reported as a business even on Maps. The verification process is nothing transcendental: Google sends a postcard with a code by post to the address indicated.
After receiving the postcard, you are asked to enter the above code on the My Business page: the whole process takes about a week, and following optimization, it will guarantee excellent visibility on both desktop and from mobile devices.
All this procedure can be carried out even in the absence of a proprietary site: it is a fundamental option for smaller companies, unable to support the economic commitment required by a real website.
In its replacement, a page on a social network can also be used: the most useful is undoubtedly Facebook. It also offers the possibility of creating geo-localized company pages complete with a small map.
Always from an off-site point of view, the SEO Link Building (coming from authoritative sources relevant to our sector) is still essential in the local ranking. Contacting influencers, or creating excellent quality content on the company website will stimulate sharing, creating useful inbound links.
Local SEO is a form of online marketing uniquely suited to the needs of SMEs, wherewith a lower investment than that required for SEO services for national companies; it will be able to achieve excellent results.
In recent years it has become increasingly important as a web marketing strategy for small local businesses, which can gain visibility against a modest investment.