Here is a terrific infographic by Pickaweb Ltd that we recommend you bookmark for future reference. It is a step-by-step guide to local SEO that is pretty handy. Unless you are already on page one of Google for your most relevant keywords, then you have some work to do to improve your local SEO. We have outlined the 20 steps to get you started … and, yes, this is something you can do yourself!
Step 1: Set up your local listings.
This is also referred to as “building citations” or “citation building,” and it includes claiming your free Google My Business page, as well as Yahoo Local, Bing Local, etc.
Step 2: Make sure your local listings are filled in completely, that they are consistent, and that they are optimized.
When SEO professionals talk about this step, they will often talk about the importance of ensuring that your NAP is correct (and consistent) across the web. NAP is the abbreviation for Name, Address, and Phone Number for a business. It is a critical component in local SEO and can be a major deciding factor in what the search engines show on their search engine result pages (SERP). When done correctly, NAP citation building can improve a business’s chance of ranking well in the search engines, Google maps, and other listings.
Take the time to complete the page, filling out all sections, uploading photos, choosing the correct categories, including relevant keywords, and ensuring that everything is spell checked and makes sense.
Step 3: Get client reviews on a regular basis.
You need to put a plan in place to ask for reviews on a regular basis. If you’re not sure how to do this, read our post, ‘How To Get More Google Reviews.’
Step 4: Add new NAP citations regularly.
It is better to add these citations over time on a regular basis rather than all at once. Add your main ones to get started, and then look for new ones that you can add, perhaps one per month. For example CitySearch, Yelp, Bing Places, etc.
Step 5: Get your site listed in industry directories.
Look for industry-specific directories where your competition is listed and get your business listed as well.
Step 6: Create a separate web page for EACH and EVERY product or service you offer.
This should be self-explanatory. Each and every one of your products and services needs its own unique web page with a unique title, description, and content.
Step 7: Create long form pages (500+ words) as needed.
Go beef up your FAQ page and other relevant content on your website.
Step 8: Optimize EACH and EVERY page of your site.
That’s right, every single page. Focus each page on one main keyword or idea, write unique titles and meta descriptions for each page, add headings, internal links, optimize images, etc.
Step 9: Get some external (inbound) links to your website.
We recommend that you look for ‘quick wins’ … for example, you can give a testimonial to your local suppliers and ask them to use on their website. You can also add links to your website from all of your social profiles.
Step 10: Complete all optimization tasks.
Go check your Google Analytics, Google Search Console, your robots.txt file, etc. and make sure that everything is set up correctly.
Step 11: Make sure your website loads fast … and (definitely) make sure it loads faster than your competitors.
We even recommend switching hosting companies if necessary. (Yes, it’s that important!)
Step 12: Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.
If it isn’t, it’s time that you make it happen. No more procrastinating on this one … get it done. Now.
Step 13: Make sure your site is secure.
Consider switching to SSLif you haven’t already.
Step 14: If you haven’t already, go set up a blog.
It’s okay to start with an inexpensive WordPress theme; or, you can hire someone to set it up for you and to train you.
Step 15: Decide what to blog about and then start blogging.
If you have a lot of FAQs, see if you can expand each of them into their own blog posts. For example, “How-To” guides and best practices are good places to start.
Step 16: Ensure that your content is optimized for both SEO and social sharing.
Pay attention to your headlines and include eye-catching images and graphics. Add social sharing buttons to encourage your visitors to share your products and blog posts.
Step 17: Get started with video and (if possible), use them extensively throughout your site.
There are many types of videos that you could create, including interviews, whiteboard presentations, explainer videos, videos showing viewers how to use your products, etc.
Step 18: Optimize both your videos and their pages.
Make sure that both your titles and descriptions of your videos on YouTube are optimized for search and then embed your videos on your website and transcribe them.
Step 19: Make sure your site invokes trust.
If your site isn’t trustworthy, no amount of SEO is going to help you. You need testimonials, guarantees, clearly displayed contact info, etc. to create the trust needed for someone to give you a call or make a purchase online.
Step 20: Sit back, relax, and have a cup of coffee.
You’ve earned it!
If you need help with any of the steps in this guide, please fill out the form below to contact us.