Below are some of the reasons to do a local SEO audit:
- Gain insight into your SEO strategies
- Improve your marketing strategy
- Staying abreast with algorithm updates
- Webmaster guidelines updates
- Improvement of user experience
Now, let’s examine the steps that will make your local SEO audit a success, and how these steps can help you attract local consumers to your brand.
Step #1: Start With An In-depth Keyword Analysis
To do this, go to SEMrush and enter your website URL.
Now, analyze the keywords on your website and their rank positions.
If you identify any keyword that is capable of generating organic searches, you are advised to include them to your pages.
In addition, ensure that the meta tag, meta description, and title tag of your website contains important geo-modified keywords.
Below is a screenshot of a geo-modified search phrase:
Step #2: Search Business in Google to Check Your Business' Current Visibility Online
When you search for your business on Google, the search results you receive should match with your business name.
If your business name doesn’t appear in the search results of your location, then it means people in your area won't be able to see your business in the organic map pack when they search online.
To be able to see Google’s search result, all you need to do is to type in "your business name + the location of the business"
Step #3: Audit Your Company’s Website or Blog to Fix Duplicate Content Pages
Between 20 to 30% of the content on the web is duplicate content. And Google has its way of finding and handling duplicate content which isn’t beneficial to your content.
Having duplicate content on your website will give search engine spiders a tough time in determining which of the content URL should appear in the search results.
If you want to find duplicate content on your website, take the following steps:
Visit Siteliner and type in your website’s URL. Then hit the "Go" button and the duplicate content will be displayed and you can analyze them.
To edit the duplicate content, all you need to do is to add "noindex" meta tags to the duplicate pages that you want to hide and use the “rel=canonical” tag for the page you want Google spiders to index.
Step #4: Check Brand Mentions Online for Link Building Opportunities
Research has proven that about 64% of people identify shared values as the major reason why they decide to get involved with a brand.
Brand mentions can be used to leverage social signals and build trusted inbound links to your website.
Essentially, you want to find industry websites that mentioned your brand name but failed to or didn’t link back to you.
This form of brand citation is important in local SEO -- but you’ll get better results by getting a clickable brand name instead.
When you find these content pages, all you have to do is send a quick email asking them to kindly link to your page since they’ve already mentioned your brand.
Here’s an example: Neil Patel’s flagship blog, QuickSprout was mentioned and linked to from ConversionXL. This is a good example of a brand mention that sent a link to the author:
On the flip side, if your business is still new, you can mention trusted brands in the industry that are influential in your content, this will increase the trust people have in the credibility of your brand. It will also enable Google to ascertain the actual authority of your website.
Step #5: Conduct a Backlink/Penalty Analysis
Links are the core factor in Google’s algorithm -- hence you need to conduct a backlink analysis to be sure there are no spammy backlinks that could get you penalized.
Here’s why it’s important:
Backlinks from low-quality or/and spam websites can destroy your organic rankings. In the same vein, backlinks from authority websites can boost your ranking. In fact, the average page in position #1 has 35,000+ external backlinks.
If you discover you have spam backlinks, don't hesitate to delete them (if you’re in control) or disavow the links so that Google no longer counts them. To be able to analyze your backlinks, use Moz link Explorer:
Simply enter your website URL and click "search"
Link explorer will display the list of backlinks that your site has received from authority websites.
It will display the source of every backlink, the anchor text of the link, and the authority score of the referring website.}
If the Spam score after the analysis is above 3, you may be penalized by Google. The end goal is to build links from trusted and high-traffic websites in your industry. That’s exactly how to improve your search visibility.
Step #6: Review Your Social Media Presence for Viral Opportunities
Social media presence has become beneficial to local SEO because it can increase your organic traffic and send more local customers to your business.
Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram give you the opportunity to list your address while platforms like Twitter suggest followers to you based on your location.
This is very important for local SEO. Being active on social media will not only drive traffic to your blog or website, but it will also drive traffic to your physical store.
In a recent study, MonitorBacklinks discovered that 130,000 Facebook shares helped a site rank in position #1 for competitive keyword phrases. Don’t underrate the power of social media.
Another study also accented to Facebook shares having ranking power.
There are many opportunities available on social media that you can take advantage of to boost your sites organic traffic. You need to have a strong social media presence in order to increase your chances of going viral with your content.
Don't shut out social media. Even if you can't manage an account, you can appoint someone to manage your social media handles for you.
Step #7: Conduct a User Experience (UX) Analysis on Your Business' Website
The quality of user experience on your website will determine how many local customers you attract to your business.
Make sure you publish quality content that answers users’ questions. Also, ensure that your website is properly optimized to display well on different kinds of devices including mobile phones.
A huge percentage of your ideal customers will find your website on Google through a mobile search on their phone. Mobile usage now accounts for 52.2% of all web traffic.
Analyze your page speed. Make sure the load time or page speed is fast because visitors hate having to put up with a slow loading page.
Research shows that 74% of users will abandon a site after waiting five seconds for a mobile site to load. Worse still, retailers lose $2.4 billion US dollars worth of sales as a result of slow loading times on their eCommerce websites.
Once the visitor notices that your page is slow, they will either close the page or bounce off -- consequently, this increases your bounce rate -- which I’m sure you’re working hard to reduce.
Search engine (especially Google) is getting really smarter at ranking websites that give the users a positive experience. If your website has poor user experience, then your search ranking and organic traffic will be affected.
That’s why you need to analyze your website to make sure that users have a great experience.
Step #8: Editing, Improving and Optimizing the "Google My Business" Page of Your Business
It’s very important to have a verified "Google My Business" page because it will go a long way to boost your business’ online reputation.
Google My Business page contains necessary information such as the name of the business, address of the business, phone number, opening/closing hours of the business, and the URL of the business' website.
Ratings of the business from other websites and social media platforms are also displayed in the listing.
Below is a screenshot of a "Google My Business" page via mobile device:
You need to edit, improve, and optimize your business information on Google My Business so that prospects and customers can get the accurate information they need to make informed decisions about your brand.
Always ensure that the contact information (phone number, address, and zip code) on your listing is correct and if there’s a change in your working hours, be sure to update it so that you don't lose valuable local customers.
Also, ensure that you adhere to Google’s guidelines to avoid getting penalized. If you don’t know how to begin, kindly get in touch with Bloominari, our San Diego Local SEO Agency to help you out today.
Conducting a Local SEO audit is definitely worth the time and effort. If you want your local business to grow, you must go the extra mile and get things done properly.
The key to getting the best result out of this exercise is to regularly audit your local website.
Create a schedule for a routine local SEO audit. If you do this properly, you won't have to bother about attracting customers because they will be naturally drawn to your brand.