Local SEO checklist to improve rankings

If your business has a physical location, from a city-centre office to a retail park warehouse, you could benefit from local SEO, a search engine optimisation strategy that makes your business more visible in local search results on Google. In fact, did you know that almost half of all Google searches have local intent?

Although regular SEO helps improve your site’s rankings on a national, or global, scale, local search engine optimisation is useful for attracting customers who are looking for something close and convenient. We’ve compiled some of the most important things you can do for your local SEO into a helpful checklist so that you can put your business on the map and get the most out of your engagement with your nearest and dearest.

Contact Us

The only checklist you need to improve your local rankings

1. Set up a Google Business Profile

A Google Business Profile is a free, easy, and personal way to establish your company as a worthwhile local business. It’s a great way to connect with customers and understand what draws them to your business so that you can offer them the best products and services.

google my business screenshot

(Source: Google My Business)

Not only will your profile make you more visible on Google search as a way of putting your business literally on the (Google) Map, but you can also add essential information like your NAP (name, address, and phone number) to make your company easy to find and engage with. Adding photos or brand logos through your business profile also helps establish the image of your business – remember, making sure your business is seen is what makes it matter.

To really boost your website’s visibility in local searches, we’d recommend utilising Google Map Pack to display your contact information and opening times clearly.

This will make it more likely for your business to rank alongside the top three results in the SERP (search engine results page). It will also provide potential customers with the information they’re looking for quickly, making them more likely to engage further with your website.

google map pack

(Source: Google)

A Google Business Profile will also allow you to stay connected with customers to give your business a more human feel and to keep people updated with the products and services that you offer as you continue to grow.

2. Optimise your website for local SEO

There are lots of things you can do to improve your website’s search engine optimisation which will make it more visible and accessible to potential customers. With more than half of local Google searches conducted on a mobile device, it’s incredibly important that your web design is mobile-friendly.

If your customers can’t take your website with them when they come to see you for themselves, they’re more likely to choose a company that they can. Fast page speed is also a very important factor. If your customer is having to wait on a rainy street corner to see where they’re going they’re not going to stick around while features take time to load.

You can improve your site’s rankings by knowing which keywords to use and linking to neighbour businesses to create a reciprocal link chain and better establish yourself in the local community.

For local SEO especially, it’s also important that your keywords have local intent. Explicit local keywords often include spatial terms, whereas implicit local keywords tend to just reference the local business itself as Google understands that the customer is looking for something close by.

Explicit local keywords include:

. “near me”

. “in ______” (eg. Manchester)

. “close by”

Implicit keywords include:

. “lunch spot”

. “hairdresser”

. “digital marketing agency” 

3. Cultivate your online reputation

Jessica Bayley, Senior Marketing Manager of Acquired.com, says:

“Embryo reached out fairly soon after we launched our new website and we have now been working with them for the last 18 months on our SEO strategy. In that time our website traffic and search volume has grown by over 400%! I have worked with two different account managers from the Embryo team and cannot fault either of them, they took the time to understand our business goals and deal with the barrage of requests I have sent their way in a highly professional and efficient manner. I would thoroughly recommend Embryo as an agency, they provide a really personal touch and you never feel like any question will go unanswered, their proactive approach is something I really value.”

Part of what will make your business stand out is how you’re endorsed by people who have used – and loved – your products and services. This means that good reviews can go a long way to helping you grow your business and make better local connections.

By using sentiment analysis to identify human emotion and keywords used in online reviews, you can get to know how your customers feel, and how you can adapt to consumer behaviour in order to provide exactly what people are looking for.

Social media is a really useful tool for engaging with customers and seeing what they really think about your business and the services you offer. Don’t be afraid to use social media polls or customer surveys to get direct feedback from your customers to find out what they want from your business in order to use your local location to your advantage.

It’s a good idea to use a social media scheduling tool such as Brandwatch, or Later in order to build consistent engagement with customers and analyse what they really want from your business. People like to know the faces behind a business and are more likely to be interested in your services if you present them in a way that is both accessible and visually appealing.

brandwatch screenshot

(Source: Brandwatch)

By building a strong online reputation through positive feedback and constructive consumer engagement, you are much more likely to become known in your local area, as well as nationally and globally, for your reputable products and services.

4. Track your local SEO performance

They say you learn from your mistakes, but by tracking your SEO strategies and their impact on your SERP rankings, you can spot any areas for improvement before any mistakes crop up.

By specifying your SEO tracker to focus on position ranking, you can collect the data from search engines to measure engagement with that domain’s positioning for your target keywords. This will allow you to see how you rank in very precise locations and will provide a visual for you to identify points of growth for your company.

geogrid.globema screenshot

(Source: geogrid.globema)

A really useful tool for position tracking is GeoGrid, which you can use to create interactive, eye-catching visuals that allow you to better understand how your business is engaged locally.

Location, Location, Location

Increasing your understanding of local SEO will help you to ensure that you’re offering the best services in your local community. This will in turn help you establish and grow strong relationships with neighbouring businesses and local customers.

For more on increasing your online visibility in your local area get in touch with us today.

Contact Us

Deeper Insights: