Step by Step Guide – Local SEO Audit to Win Over Your Competitors
if you want to drive more organic traffic to your website and beat your competitors so you can attract new customers, you need to understand where you stand in the search engine landscape and what you need to improve. The only way to do this is by conducting an SEO audit which will reveal where you have problems that need to be fixed, gaps that need to be filled and will also help you create the perfect road map to crush your competitors. An in-depth local SEO audit can cost several hundred dollars, sometimes thousands, if you Commission an agency to do it for you. But today I’m going to show you how to do a quick SEO audit yourself, so you can start improving your online presence straight away. At the end of it, you’ll know exactly what you need to work on.
Google My Business Listing Audit:
Do you have a Google My Business listing? I know this sounds obvious for many of you but they are tons of businesses out there who have yet to claim their Google listing.
Google My Business is crucial to your online success and will have a major influence on your overall online visibility. If you haven’t claimed your listing yet do it now for best results. If you have a listing and it is verified, it’s important to get it right. Here is what you need to look out for.
Use the same business name that you would use in real life and that is printed on any of your legal documentation or business cards. Do not add any additional keywords in a hope you will rank higher. It’s against Google’s policy and you may get suspended. Address and phone number. Make sure your address and phone number are accurate, get this wrong and you will be in a world of pain, you will mislead Google and your customers too.
Ensure you’ve selected the right primary category for your business as it will influence your rankings enormously. This can sometimes be a tough choice, dentist, cosmetic dentist, and dental clinic are three different categories so make sure you choose wisely. Once you’re done with your primary category you can add secondary categories that apply to your business.
Have you entered your business hours? If not make sure you do. People look at this stuff. Don’t cheat and pretend you’re open when you’re not to avoid frustration and potential bad reviews which leads me to my next point.
Reviews are a major influence when it comes to rankings. It could make the difference between your competitors ranking and not you. How many do you have? How positive are they? Have you responded to all of them? You can encourage customers to leave you more reviews with this nice little tool that will generate a link which will automatically trigger a Google My Business review pop up and ease the review process.
Link your Google My Business listing to your website if you haven’t done it yet.
Have you added frequently asked questions to your profile? FAQ will help people make informed decision about your business. People also use the FAQ option to ask about services you provide which can often generate fresh leads so there are not to be ignored. If you’re stuck about what to write in there here is a tool that might help answerthepublic.com. Throw a keyword in there and it will spit out a list of common questions you can use.
Photos are probably the best way of showcasing your business and capturing attention so add some photos regularly. You can also add videos and 360 panoramic views for better engagement.
Do you publish any post? You can increase your visibility with Google posts. Posts can be used to provide an update about your business, promote a product, a service or an event. They increase your listing prominence in search results especially on mobile and are used automatically to answer FAQs in the FAQ section. Although they expire every 7 days, it’s a great feature not many businesses are using so make the most of it.
Have you added a business description? if you haven’t, time to start typing. You can add a description to tell customers a bit more about your business in up to 750 characters.
If you don’t know what a citation is, it is a mention of your business in major directories and social media platforms which generally includes your business name, your business address, your business phone number and sometimes a link to your site like on yell.com which is a major directory in the UK.
Having your business listed in these is the foundation of any local SEO strategy and is important for two reasons:
1) these directories very often rank at the top of search engine results for local searches which may include your business and drive traffic to your site.
2) more importantly it helps create trust and legitimacy with Google who will be discovering your business across all these platforms. But for Google to establish trust, your business information needs to be accurate and consistent everywhere your business is mentioned. You could check the consistency and accuracy of your business information across the web manually but to be honest with you it is a very tedious exercise and can still lead to errors.
Instead, use a tool that will do the legwork for you in my opinion “bright local” is one of the best tools to just do that. You can create a free account for 14 days without using a credit card which is more than enough time to check if your business is mentioned in all the right places and if there are any errors. You can even download a full citation report and will also have access to tons of additional information once you’ve set up your profile.
The next thing we’re going to check is if your website is responsive. Checking if your website is responsive is just ensuring that your website works on all types of devices and more specifically on mobile phones. When it comes to local search most of your visitors will come across your site via a mobile phone so if your website is not compatible your business is really going to suffer. To quickly check if your website is adapted to multiple devices, download this free “resizer app” in Google Chrome, then simulate your website view on the various devices available.
The next thing we’re going to look at is your home page. Since the home page of your site is your most important page it deserves to be analyzed separately as there are many things to take into consideration.
To really maximize your SEO opportunities this is what you should check:
1) Is your title tag optimized and includes the keywords and the city name you are targeting?
2) Have you added a Meta Description to your page compelling enough so that people will want to click on your listing in Google when they come across your business?
3) Is there a main title also known as H1 which stands for header which also includes your main keyword and city name?
4) Is there an obvious call to action on the page such as a phone number that is visible without scrolling down?
5) Is the call to action visible on the mobile version of your site without scrolling down?
6) Is there enough content on your page? Think of including your services and products and whatever else you think is relevant.
7) Are you linking to important sub pages from your home page which you’d like visitors to click to and Google to discover?
8) Do all your images have an alt tag?
9) Are you talking about your location where your business operates?
10) Have you embedded a Google map related to your business so visitors can check directions straight to you from your homepage?
11) Does your page include your name, address, and phone number which is consistent with your Google My Business listing?
Also check the following items for all your pages.
12) Include the main targeted keywords you are trying to rank for with your page and the city name in your main title tag.
13) Include the main targeted keywords you are trying to rank for with your page and the city name in your main header.
14) Make sure the keywords is different from the home page and unique for each page.
15) Ensure your content is well structured and includes subheadings.
16) Add keywords in your subheadings which are related to the main keywords you are targeting for these pages.
17) Finally, don’t forget to add alt tags to your images.
Time to now look at how well your business is ranking in Google. When it comes to local search your business is likely to show in two distinctive areas within Google.
The first one, is in Google Maps with your Google My Business listing which will also include the map pack.
The second one is what I call the more traditional results which sit below the map pack which is where your business website will be listed. It’s important to know how well your business ranks and for what keywords so you can monitor if any of the improvements that you have implemented have made a difference to your ranking.
Time to move on to our last item, External links.
External links pointing to your site are one of the most important factors that will influence your online visibility. In summary, the more quality links you have pointing to your website, the more relevant it will appear to Google who will reward you with higher rankings. But how strong is your link profile? If you don’t know where to start you can spy on your competitors links or contact us for help.
That’s it for today now. it’s your turn.
Ask SEO Audit Report from https://sekaimarketing.com and let’s run through each item one by one. We are happy to help you !