Brick-and-mortar stores are continually looking to increase foot traffic. Before this, you need to know if your local search engine optimization (SEO) activities are working well or not?
A local SEO audit lets you know your page’s condition in search engine rankings and identifies ways to improve your site to increase conversions and revenues.
Regular website audits should be conducted to drive in organic traffic and improve search engines, leading to an effective local SEO campaign.
An audit of your local SEO practice diagnoses your site’s strengths and weaknesses to attract real people to your storefront, company, or retail outlet.
Undoubtedly, local SEO acts as a livelihood for your business listing where 46% of all searches on Google are searching for local information, whereas 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.
Ranking in Local SEO is the easiest way to grow your online business listing. Even if you hire a local SEO agency to manage your website, it’s important to determine your service quality during an efficient audit process.
Thus, it’s time to begin locally and develop an effective optimization campaign that suits the broader audience.
If you think that doing a local SEO audit is a daunting task (actually it is!), this article will walk through the whole local SEO audit process in just 6 simple steps.
6 Easy Steps for a Successful Local SEO Audit
To make your retail store accessible to customers in your area, the internet acts as a valuable asset to make people aware of your business.
For a substantial increase in local shopping searches, you need to invest in your business’s local SEO audit. Without much ado, let’s get started!
Step #1: Understand why you need a local SEO audit
Local SEO audit undergoes a thorough examination of all the critical components involved in your local search strategy and local pack ranking.
It helps you to stay informed and improve your local SEO strategy.
You need to perform a local SEO audit as your first order of business. By doing so, you can move forward to develop a local SEO strategy with a clear picture of your website’s current position.
Carrying local SEO audits at regular intervals helps identify common local SEO issues like inconsistent NAP information and likewise.
Thus, appointing a local SEO specialist will help to perform a local SEO audit and detect loopholes.
It’s more like undergoing a routine health check-up wherein it helps you pinpoint any area of concern without jumping in hastily and spending a lot of money.
Step #2: Manage your Google My Business (GMB)
You all might be knowing that Google My Business is an initial requirement for fully operational local SEO. GMB puts your business listing within regular search result pages and Google Maps.
You need to have a verified Google My Business account to connect better. It’s necessary to have an account, and don’t forget to go through your account and listing to optimize for search users.
Move through all the information associated with your business to give a genuine representation of all your products, services, locations, working hours, and other supplementary information.
Google utilizes relevance, prominence, and distance to assess your business listings. Thus, it’s advisable to change your listing to improve rankings.
Step #3: Your local SEO audit should focus on the following elements
Before performing your website’s local SEO audit, you should get everything organized first to make the whole process manageable.
Basically, there are 3 foundational stones or pillars upon which local search rankings are based. It includes:
According to the local searcher’s perspective, it’s all about how close or far your users are from your business. The search engine helps the user to find the desired product or service they require in their surroundings.
Several marketers are using tools to determine what relevant keywords searchers are using while searching your business.
How prominent is your brand online?
To build credibility around your brand, you need to look for someone prominent and trustworthy. It’s about building a high profile in your industry such that people regard you all an industry leader.
This doesn’t just happen; you need to conduct a local SEO audit to get the desired traffic.
It’s about how relevant your page is to the term you’re searching for.
Just like the prominence pillar, this is also made up of many different signals, including the category you select on your GMB profile, number of reviews, page titles, link structure, image alt tags, etc.
Before performing a local SEO audit, all the tasks undertaken should link back to one or more of the above 3 pillars. Make sure you create your list of areas to audit before ensuring all your research is relevant and informative.
Step #4: Analyze your keyword targeting
Keywords are a vital component of SEO, including local SEO. While local SEO needs special keywords pertaining to your area and target audience.
Analyze your localized keywords that you want to rank for using tools like Keyword Explorer. Here, you can examine which keywords will boost your campaign. Skim through your rankings and track down all location-based terms that will help you stand out for your local customers.
Make a list of organic keywords that will draw in visitors and reinforce your SEO campaign with a stronger local presence. *Geo-modified keywords can enhance your visibility.
*Geo-modified keywords are existing keywords that are dressed up with setting-specific keywords.
Make sure your localized keywords appear in meta tags. All your meta title tags and meta descriptions should be plugged into each part of your page and meets all Google’s standards.
Step #5: Go through citations and mentions for your local SEO audit
It’s important to link your citations and mentions to help improve your local SEO. Work on high-quality local citations to fill gaps about your authority and reach out to search engines.
During your local SEO audit, keep track of all your citations and mentions to understand your potential customers’ feedback level.
Your NAP (name, address, and phone number) consistency is vital as old phone numbers or address changes can affect your traffic.
Marketers should watch out for NAP variations in your local SEO audit as Google and other alternate search engines may reward you for providing excellent user satisfaction.
Step #6: Examine social media platforms
You need to have a strong hold on various social media platforms to pump up your local SEO as social engine algorithms include social elements.
Don’t hesitate to inspect the search engine result pages to know if your social profiles show up in organic rankings.
Even Google’s Knowledge Graph holds social media profiles that can produce a better user experience whenever people can navigate to and from your social media active profiles.
Extend your reach to web search engine Bing as it provides brand searches linked with social platforms in the snapshot pane. To test out your social media integration, enter your brand name and location into the Google search bar.
I strongly believe that social media engagement is likely to affect your local SEO and attracts traffic as your brand becomes recognized. It would be helpful to check out how prominent your social media pages are in organic search and knowledge graphs.
Always remember this: Local SEO has enormous potential to drive in more targeted customers to your business. Thus, you can’t make any mistakes.
Strive hard to make your local business visible in search by improving your local SEO audit.
DISCLAIMER: Performing local SEO audit has the power to bring in more conversions and create a powerful band.
Every small business should take advantage of local SEO to attract more eyeballs to your business.
I would also advise you to stay informed about emerging industry trends, such as voice search and mobile technology’s growth, to stand out from your competitors.