Every business that serves a specific area needs a formidable plan for local SEO. The modern advantages of digital marketing have abundant benefits for attracting digital and foot traffic to their site and physical location respectively.
If you haven’t yet invested in local SEO or Google maps marketing and are not sure where to go from your current position, a local SEO audit is just the thing for you. A proper audit will reveal which places your campaign is doing well and where it could use improvement.
Asking yourself these 12 important questions can reveal much about your standings with local SEO.
Is your GMB listing up to date?
Google My Business, or simply GMB, has been one of the most important tools for businesses of all types with a physical location. Your GMB listing will contain all the information your customers are looking for like hours of operation, business address, contact information and more.
This service has a no-click search rate of over 48%, which means that customers are getting on and finding all they need to know without having to click anything.
This means that your GMB listing needs to be kept constantly up to date and possessing the right information because not all visitors will be clicking on your information, just taking important mental notes.
Are the photos you have featured taken professionally?
Images are an important way to attract customers and provide valuable information on your business in the best light.
Therefore, it is essential that your pictures are taken professionally and uploaded and updated constantly. This is an important way for you to set yourself and your business apart from the competition.
Make sure the pictures you choose do a good job of depicting and presenting your products, services, facilities and staff.
Do you have reviews that need managing?
If your customers have been submitting reviews on your GMB listing, this is a good thing. Outstanding stellar reviews are a symbol of professionalism, success and trust for customers who are not yet familiar with what you do. But whether they are positive, negative or neutral, it is imperative that you take the time to handle your reviews and respond professionally.
Google sees a company responding to its GMB reviews as a good sign. Even more importantly, customers like a business that cares deeply for their customers and is prompt about answering their reviews, comments and complaints.
It will be important to remember that negative reviews are not synonymous with bad business, but simply a sign that expectations were mismatched, or an isolated error has been made as is natural for the most professional company. It will be your job to ensure that these incidents are isolated and handled as professionally as possible.
Is your description optimized with well-selected keywords?
You will want to examine your GMB description as closely as you possibly can. Does it represent your business effectively? More importantly, does the description carry the proper keywords and phrases you are targeting? The description is a free text box and must be used to provide a proper description of your company and its services.
Are all your locations set up?
If you are running an operation with several different locations, you will want all of your locations to be setup properly.
This is a common step that is overlooked by well-established companies’ ad can lead to much customer confusion. Customers may not even be aware that closer and more convenient options exist, and you run the risk of losing some customers.
Are you posting regularly?
Regular posting shows Google that your business is doing well and still in proper functions. Taking the few minutes required for creating a post and uploading it to your GMB listing is no work at all and shows important action to Google’s Algorithms. Furthermore, this is a great way to advertise to prospective clients.
Does your GMB listing match your website?
One of the biggest errors you could make is having the information provided on your GMB listing not coincide with the information you have included in your website.
This means when you are setting up and updating your GMB you must ensure that all of the information is identical to the information placed on your website.
It is not uncommon to be so caught up with your GMB setup that you forget to update the information on your primary website.
Does your listing compare favorably to your competitors?
A major part of running a successful local SEO operation will require checking in on what your competitors are up to.
You may be on the right track with your regular posts and updates, but if your competitor is putting more time and effort into their local SEO, you will want to know so you can play catch-up.
Be sure you take time to scope out what your competitors are doing and make sure your output is up to the task.
Is your Local Business Schema Setup?
Schema is becoming a more important aspect of local business. Local businesseshave a variety of schemas available for any occasion.
Have you tested your schema?
You can check the performance of your schema by using the Structured Data Testing Tool. This tool is perfect for showing you what you have and whether it is working.
Do you have sufficient local backlinks?
A good stash of local backlinks is another important feature for your local SEO work, and it is also important to your Local SEO efforts that some of these links come from other local sources.
This could be local business or even authoritative news sites. But these links are a good sign of prominence and authority in your local community, so take the time to collect plenty of them.
Is your website optimized with location targeting?
Finally, as you may have imagined, you will want your website to be properly optimized for locations targeting. This means that the name of your locations should be included in your title tags, meta descriptions and page headings.
The Local SEO audit you have seen here is only the first step to dominating your local markets. Once this has been done properly, you will need to continue managing your GMB profile and keep it regularly updated.