Every business competes in local market to appear on top of localized results on SERPs needs local SEO audit at some point. Local SEO works slightly different from ordinary worldwide SEO and requires some different techniques. To win in today’s cut-throat local market world, it is essential to understand where your business stand and develop the award-winning strategy to stick to the top position. In other words, you need to conduct a local SEO audit both on-site and off-site to ensure everything is working efficiently and you are not suffering from any penalty.
Consider these things before you begin with local SEO audit
- Determine the NAP (name, address, and phone) visibility and reach of your business name
- Understand the geographical location of business or city where business is conducted
- Take the bottomless look of blog or business website
- Do a competitive analysis to obtain the useful information
Here are some ways through which you can conduct a solid and successful local SEO audit to create a result-oriented future strategy.
Google my business page audit
GMB (Google My Business) is used as business page of Google+ and helps to get found in Google maps and search. Include all the correct information present on local landing page anyway such as directions, phone number, opening hours, location, customer reviews, etc. Ensure that there is only one GMB pointing to your local business and contact number mentioned on this page is same as that included on landing page. Examine the verification of page making sure category association is precise.
Apart from this, look for the below mentioned things while doing audit for GMB pages.
- Find and eliminate the duplicate pages
- Local listing is not penalized
- Whether GMB page is linked with email address on consumer’s domain
- Page verification
- Right business name and correct address is used
- Local phone number for related business location is used
- Accurate category association
- Email address
- Brief business description
- Simple and correct URL
- Complete and useful profile
- Accurate and completely filled business hours
- Map and search photos
- Post on Google+
Meta tag audit
Make sure unique and readable Meta tags are optimized with relevant keywords to give the better first impression to the customer when they land to the website. Check for the uniqueness of tags using the Google Webmaster Tools.
Landing page and website audit
Google My Business NAPs should match with the website NAP and also make sure that name, address, and phone number on your website are crawlable avoiding them to be used as an image file. The site should have proper and well organized structure comprising of separate webpage for each service and ensure that it must provide links to relevant subpages also.
Audit the below mentioned information on the landing page and other webpages:
- Website structure
- Content on the landing page
- Business hours should match with that on GMB page and ensure it is listed in crawlable format.
- Indexed landing page
- Optimize the landing page Meta title tag organically for business name, location, and keyword
- Heading tags with keyword
- Meta description
- Payment information
- Driving directories on landing page
- Page and domain authority
- Customer reviews
- Alt text having correct city and state of the business
- Speed of loading landing page
- KML file on domain name with all of accurate location
- Mobile-friendly website design and content
- Properly configured Google and Bing webmaster tool
Citation online refers to business NAPs. Accurate existing citations should be used on the internet so that customers can easily find you quickly in hassle-free way. Poorly-executed citation-building can lower down the effectiveness. Thus, check the NAP details on local directories by searching for the variations of business phone number and current business name. Search by the names of multiple professionals working on the same company such as practitioners, doctors or lawyers. Apart from this, you can use important niche/local directories or top directories name to search.
Yellowpages, DexKnows, CitySearch, Google, Superpages, and Yelp are the best directories to be used for. Citations generally comes in two formats – structured and unstructured. Those mentions in local business directories such as Yelp are considered as structured citations while unstructured citations less valuable for the search are mentioned in blogs, press, and others. They are often incomplete and displayed in different way. Structured citations come in standardized format with easy to use instructions even user has a control over the way in which citations display.
Check the best 50 citations and identify the original high quality citation sources along with verifying that you are present on Apple maps.
Check the dashboard ensuring that profile is complete and correct. NAP on the Google should be accurate. Determine the completeness and preciseness of address for Google maps to be used. Furthermore, ensure that GMB or Google+ is well connected to the website and place +1 button noticeably on the site because it has the major chances to be seen publicly. Last but not least don’t forget to avoid the keyword stuffing on business description and make certain that information is well-written and concise.
Google makes various updates in its algorithm to provide the best user experience by giving the useful and valuable result according to their queries. Working by breaking the Google guidelines or against the algorithmic changes may lead website to fall in the penalty pitfalls. Identifying the algorithmic penalties is not so easy hence; most of the webmasters prefer to take SEO Services where professionals help to address the penalties. They have the powerful tools that assist to align the traffic numbers with the exact dates of algorithm updates.
Review analysis or online reputation audit
Online reputation of the business plays a crucial role in placing the website at good position in SERPs and drives the traffic. Keep a regular eye on the reviews given by the user on your website and other review sites such as Yelp, Google, etc. When you find any review, give time to respond to them. If find any positive feedback, thanks fans, listen to their new requirements, and promise to meet the needs as soon as possible. If observe any negative review, make the dissatisfied customer feel calm by giving the immediate response and commit to deliver the satisfactory service.
While analyzing the review, visit the third party review sites and determine the Google My Business reviews. If addressing any review, make sure whether they are unique and come from genuine user with positive sentiment. If not, starts work on it.
Look at the social media channels to analyze how they are working. Check out the content post shared on social sites. Create the high quality videos to increase the conversion rate. Don’t use the duplicate content while creating the social profile it creates the data confusion and also creates the bad user experience. Do the Google+ and YouTube audit, Swarm audit, and ensure that Facebook NAP is accurate. Carefully analyze the missing networks, how active they are, and whether they have the engaged followers.
Competitive analysis can be a great thing to get insight of what the business rivals are doing and how they are working. Gathering the information about competitors is a tricky task that has to be done in an ethical way. Thus, it is essential to leave this responsibility on the knowledgeable professionals of best SEO Company who starts with competition identification and follow the complete road map of competitive analysis such as domain authority, landing page authority, numbers of citation, total numbers of links from root domain, and links competitors have from the new and different domains.
Backlinks for no doubt is the significant factor of search engine ranking algorithm. Plenty of poor links from low-quality site can affect the ranking even it could make that you have bought them. Google Webmaster Tools can be used to audit these links. Other than this, you can use online free backlink checker tools designed by reputed SEO Company. These types of excellent tool provide the total numbers of backlinks from own site and competitors too. You can quickly check for the spammy website that linked to you.
Ensure what anchor texts are on the backlinks and that they are not the false links.
Website speed audit
Site that takes more time to load remain behind the competition and in low shape. Online users expect the website to be loaded in only few seconds. Use the excellent tool such as Google’s page speed insight to determine the speed of landing pages. If the website is taking the time, find the cause and make the significant changes or variations required for improvement.
Google analytics implementation audit
Google analytics is the vital thing that local businesses must monitor. Use the Google Chrome extension “Google’s tag assistant” to determine if the data you want is accurately tracked and if tracking code is working efficiently. The complete information of Google analytics can be exported into spreadsheets so you can use functions there to think about the analytics in the same way you desire and make it parallel with the main goal of business. Track the campaign you are running by using campaign tags. You can monitor the traffic and analyze what is working efficiently or what is not by using the new and unique URL for each campaign.
I hope you find this information useful and relevant for best of your use. If you have any new innovative ideas or unique techniques and suggestions, please feel free to give your feedback and comments.