Local SEO refers to optimizing your site or page for the keywords people use when searching for local businesses or services. When people search for something specific, they often want information based on their location. This is why knowing how to perform a local SEO audit is important.
Local search engine optimization uses keywords specific to a geographic location. Businesses can attract potential customers who conduct their research through Google Maps or other similar tools using these keywords. In addition, businesses can boost their rankings using certain websites that target a particular location.
“Local SEO Audits” are a helpful tool for evaluating your current performance and identifying areas where you can make improvements. This guide helps explain what they are and how to conduct them effectively.
To get more leads through local SEO, you should establish a clear strategy. This involves optimizing your site for map searches, building trust with local audiences, and creating quality, original content.
Why You Need to Perform a Local SEO Audit
We now live in a world of data and statistics. These excellent tools allow you to understand the needs of the business owner better and make smarter decisions about business strategy. An SEO audit is meant to help your business figure out where they stand and what they need to do to improve upon those rankings. SEO audits typically include keyword research and competitor analysis. When you rank high, you need to stay there by doing certain things.
An SEO audit is useful if you’re seeing low organic rankings. First, you should know what your strengths and weaknesses are. This can be used as the basis of a larger digital audit or an independent analysis. It’s important to find out where you’re standing and what you need help with improving. When you have an idea about your strengths and weaknesses, you can start thinking about what changes you need to make.
You should also know if you’re doing everything right. If you’re already ranked high, you should know what to do to maintain your position. You should start your complete audit by looking at what you already know about yourself. What do you need to improve? What are some things that you could change or improve?
31 Ways on How to Perform a Local SEO Audit
This guide is an easy-to-follow guide that shows how to optimize your website for SEO. You are given questions that must be answered to get a better ranking in search engines.
How Have You Managed Your Google Business Profile So Far?
Formerly Google My Business, now Google Business Profile, is an important part of local SEO success. You need a verified Google Business Profile to get the full benefits of local SEO. In addition, you should optimize your profile for search users. If you have a verified account, check out your current listing on business directories and make changes to improve your ranking.
Sift through all the information about your business to find a genuine representation of your actual needs. Then, use keywords and popular search phrases to get found by potential customers who need what you provide. Be sure to rank high when someone searches using your keywords.
Is Your Page Verified?
Verify your business listing. You can do this by calling the number listed on your dashboard or sending them a postcard. This takes time but once completed; you will be able to make sure your business is verified.
Verified means that someone has visited your business location and confirmed it exists. Unverified means that there is no confirmation that your business location exists.
If you haven’t claimed your business yet, please do so now. First, go to the Google Business Profile dashboard and click on ‘Claim Page’ under ‘About’. Then, click on the link below to claim your page.
Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?
Google representatives have mentioned on more than one occasion that a site that isn’t mobile-friendly may have reduced visibility in the search results. Therefore, you should have a mobile-friendly design, as it will help increase the number of people who visit your website.
A responsive design is better than a fixed-width design because the content will resize correctly depending on the size of the screen. In addition, a responsive design should ensure that your entire website is mobile-friendly. This ensures that users who access your site via mobile devices see an optimized version of your content.
How to Check Issues on Mobile-Friendliness
Mobile-friendly websites are essential for SEO. To optimize your site for mobile, you need to focus on responsive web design. You should also consider using AMP pages instead of full HTML pages.AMPs load quickly on mobile because Google runs them from their cache rather than sending requests back to your server. AMP pages are optimized for performance, limiting how much organic traffic you can generate. As a result, you won’t be able to monetize AMPs, and you won’t get rich analytics data.
Also, your content may differ depending on whether you’re viewing it on a phone or a computer. To ensure that you’ve implemented AMPs correctly, check out the Site Audit tool.
Are You Using the Correct Business Name?
Your business name must be accurate and consistent. Use your business name exactly how it looks in the real world. Also, use your address and phone number correctly. Don’t add words that aren’t part of your business name. This will help people find you online. Change the name of your business to the correct spelling. Don’t use any keywords or phrases that could be considered spammy. Only add relevant information about your business.
Are You Using the Right Address?
This should be consistent with the USPS and should be complete and correct. According to Google’s address guidelines, they should only contain information about your official address. Don’t add cross streets or other info in this section. Google’s address guidelines say that PO Boxes and UPS Boxes are not allowed. Virtual offices are also a no-no. If they don’t have an actual office there, it could lead to a fine.
Are You Using the Right Phone Number?
Toll-free numbers should never be used as the primary phone number for any business. Local area codes are preferred over toll-free numbers, although the latter is now allowed by Google. You can change the phone number for your listing in the Google Business Profile Dashboard. Businesses should publish the main number (not toll-free or tracking number).
Do You Have Any Duplicate Pages?
Auditing your local SEO for this is crucial for search rankings, and it’s also worthwhile to look for duplicate listings. You should use canonicalization if you have different pages with different URLs. This helps Google crawl them properly. Helping Google consider you a viable option can help you rank higher. Removing duplicate listings also steers clear from incorrect addresses, contact info, and other details. Outdated information can often be updated on Google Business Profile to avoid losing reviews or diminishing authority on your original listing.
Category and tag names should be descriptive, not too many words long, and include the common/standard word(s) used to describe each category or tag. Pagination and archive pages should be arranged in an order that makes sense to visitors but doesn’t include useless information. These pages also shouldn’t contain unnecessary text or formatting.
Have You Checked for Algorithmic Penalties?
You should check your organic traffic flow. If it drops significantly, there might be an algorithmic penalty applied by Google. To avoid this issue, you need to ensure that none of your pages cause this kind of penalty.
You can notice when Google makes changes for specific online searches by looking at the number of visits over time. For example, if your site gets more organic traffic during the holidays, you know that Google made an update that affected your search results.
Is the Local Listing Penalized?
Many ranking factors go into figuring out how much Google will penalize you. In addition, there are many different types of penalties. Some of them are very apparent, while others may be less obvious.
Local penalties are not always bad news for the local business owner. However, while we may see some warnings on our pages, we’re not notified by Google about these penalties. Instead, we’ll get details about the penalty from Google directly.
To check if your website is being penalized by Google, use the Google Console tool. Then, using the Keyword Planner Tool, you can check if any of your high-volume keywords are being penalized. A penalty expert should be consulted if you think there is any chance that the listing could be penalized. Otherwise, you can proceed with the submission.
Have You Checked Your Keywords?
Localized keywords play a big role in SEO. You should analyze your current high-volume keywords to see if location-specific ones could be beneficial. Organic keywords are very important for SEO campaigns. You should use geo-modification to ensure your website is found by users searching within a certain location.
You should also skim through your competitor’s top high-volume keywords and try to get some ideas about how to improve yours. Your meta tags should be optimized as well. Your meta titles and business descriptions should contain relevant keywords.
Have You Inspected Your Backlinks?
Good backlinking continues to be important in SEO, and in local SEO, descriptive phrases about the location can help or harm depending on how you implement them. A spam-ridden backlink profile can reduce your page’s credibility in the eyes of search engine spiders, so research the nature and quality of the inbound links to your web pages. Unnatural anchor texts in backlinks can alert search engines to dubious behavior, so look over anchor phrases pointing to your web pages. Make sure the majority of these are appropriate and useful to feel confident in your local search engine rankings.
In your local SEO audit, link analysis keeps you up to speed on potential penalties. It helps you identify spammy external links and quickly apply the nofollow attribute to let Google know you disapprove of them.
Is the Email Address Used for the Domain Name the Same as That of Login?
I recommend having the login information for the company under an email address associated with the domain name. This prevents the possibility of someone impersonating the business.
Simply create a new Gmail account and use that as your Google Business Profile login. Then, you can check your profile settings and change your username to something more appropriate for your business.
Are You Using the Right Business Categories?
Darren Shaw says that the most important thing in a local SEO audit is making sure the primary category is the one representing your most important search terms. He also states that you shouldn’t use custom categories because they aren’t allowed anymore. Instead, we want this category to be our main category. This means we should use all the categories that fit into these guidelines.
Are You Using the Correct URL?
The website URL field should be used for the main company website in the Google Business Profile dashboard. For each physical location, the landing page should be used instead. Landing pages should always be optimized for specific locations. Good examples of landing pages include a page on your site that provides the best user interface.
Have You Included Map Search Photos?
Customers will want to know what type of business you provide before they click or buy products from you. Click-throughs should give them a clearer idea of why they’re clicking. Photos need to be taken well and uploaded properly. If they get blurry, people won’t click. If potential customers are unsatisfied with the images on your website, make sure they’re updated quickly.
Have You Included Your Business Hours?
Your business hours should be listed in a crawlable manner. Make sure they match what you have on your Google Business Profile page.
Does Your Site Have the Right Structure?
Each website should have a page dedicated to explaining what each section does. All pages should be connected.
There should be more than one page for each service and location because visitors want to know what services are available and where they can find them. A lot of information needs to be included on the homepage, including contact details, hours of operation, specialties, and other helpful info. Visitors also need a place to go to learn about these services. Most importantly, however, the website needs to be easy to navigate.
Your landing page should match your site geographically. You can use the best practices of URL structure to make sure that people know what you’re about without taking time to read pages on your website.
The site-wide URL structure must be optimized for SEO purposes and other important considerations such as performance, usability, and type of content. Therefore, before making any changes, make sure you understand the whole picture regarding URL structures and keywords. This should be done carefully and thoughtfully.
Does Your Landing Page Contain Unique Content?
Having great content can be difficult. One tip for different locations is to ask people who work in those locations to write the original content. This ensures you get a unique flavor every time. Content should be written at least 400 words; however, some pages take much less.
Can Google Read the Landing Page?
Having a website that looks cool is one thing. But having a website that isn’t crawlable is another. Crawlable means the search engine spiders can read the content quality on your web pages. Of course, not all pages need to be crawlable, but if you want to make sure your important text is readable