Quick-Start Checklist: Local SEO

Travis Bliffen
by Travis Bliffen 19 Jan, 2016

Local SEO is a powerful way to advertise your business. Whether you own a local store, are a contractor or have a great dive bar, local SEO can help you attract attention and leads.


Like most things in life, there are more ways go get it wrong than right. To save you all time and frustration, I am going to show you exactly what you need in order to improve your local presence in 2016, let's jump right in.


1. On-Page SEO


No surprise here, it all starts with on page. Here are the key components.


A.) Make sure your site is mobile friendly and loads quickly


B.) Add city name + product or service in page title


C.) Unique content discussing your service and something unique to the area


D.) Use keyword variation in an image on the page


E.) Embed map of your location


F.) Add Schema Markup to identify location, reviews and other pertinent info.


G.) Include keywords related to your primary keyword throughout the content to increase topical relevance


H.) If you have multiple locations, create a page for each using the above steps


I.) Set up an RSS feed for your blog post


J.) Add social sharing buttons to your content


K.) Set up a blog and publish at least two times monthly


2. Citation Audit & Buildout


Like links, citations used to be the more, the merrier. Google is now looking at quality signals around citations, not just the number of citations being built. Here is what you need to do:


A.) Create a list of all existing citations to your website. You can find them using tools like Whitespark or by searching Google using an advanced operator - allintext: your address.


B.) Create a list of any citations that have incorrect Name, Address or Phone Numbers (N.A.P) and contact the sites to update those listings.


C.) Visit Whitespark and enter your location and keyword and it will provide you with a list of citation opportunities. Be sure to setup your Google & Bing listings too.


D.) Be sure to create unique citations for each location your business has and link those citations to the specific location page, not the home page of your site.


If you do not want to pay for this tool, simply enter the address of the top ranked business into Google using the allintext: operator and you will see a list of places you can list your business.


E.) Create a master sheet of places to list your business and input your NAP data into the sheet to ensure it is listed properly in every directory.


F.) Work through the list until all citations have been built. You can search additional competitors to find more places to list your business if needed.


3. Content Syndication


An easy way to get continual links to your blog posts is set up a simple syndication network for your blog. You do not have to go crazy with this and this is a safe method when not abused. Find the address of the RSS feed you setup earlier and head over to IFTTT. Use that platform to setup recipes that syndicate your content across social media sites and to Web 2.0 sites like Wordpress.com, Blogspot and Tumblr. While these links aren't powerhouses on they are often effective in less competitive local markets.


4. Link Building


Link building is a very in-depth topic, certainly not one that can be covered adequately within this article. If you are not familiar with link building, check out this presentation on Slideshare for an overview.


You should also read through "20 Effective Link Building Strategies" here on Website Magazine. For those of you familiar with link building, local SEO is a bit different. When building links for organic SEO we look for authority, trust and topically relevance, among other things.


When building links for local SEO, it is OK to get links for low-authority sites that are not related to your topic directly, so long as they are geographically relevant. That is not to say powerhouse links shouldn't be on your to do list, just do not limit yourself and miss all the great hyper-local link opportunities.


There you have it, a quick and simple, fluff-free, effective plan for ranking locally in 2016. If you are in a competitive area be sure to check back next week for in-depth local SEO link building.


If you have any questions or tips to share with fellow Website Magazine readers, please leave them below.