Complete Local SEO Checklist to Improve Local Search Ranking

Today the local search trend is changed, customers are looking on the internet for products, store addresses, contact numbers, and reviews.

IF your business is not registered on Local business listing sites, you will end up losing customers to your competitor’s business.

The role of Local SEO experts plays a major role to bring new customers to the store. So, it’s very important that your business is registered on websites like Google my business, Justdial, Facebook, Instagram, Indiamart.

Based on my student’s demand and small business basics query, I have created this detailed Local SEO strategy to create a business listing on Google, Bing, Apple Maps, and other local search engines.

Learn how to create SEO Strategy for any business.

This is the detailed Local SEO Checklist covering.

  • How to find local keywords
  • How to add Local Listing
  • How to optimize your local profiles
  • How to bring traffic from local listings.

Before we start let’s understand!

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is all about increasing organic traffic of location-based keywords. It is the process of improving local brand presence by adding the business on the Local business listing website and rank them on targeted local keywords.

In today’s digital age, every local business requires a brand presence on the map. Local SEO is a must for the business-like

  1. Companies having multiple locations
  2. Hospitals
  3. Clothing store
  4. Grocery store
  5. Plumbers
  6. Electrician
  7. Marketing and IT Service company
  8. Beauty Spa & Saloon
  9. School / Colleges
  10. Hotels / Restaurants
  11. Travel Agent
  12. Teachers, Coaching Classes

How Local SEO Work?

Local SEO works similarly as general SEO does. The search process is the same, just the search intent and results are different. The basic difference is the priority of ranking factors, let’s look at what works for local SEO.

  • Your Physical Location
  • Availability on Google My Business listing
  • Keywords used profile, Descriptions, Reviews
  • Reviews Content
  • Ratings and “check-ins” at that location
  •  Mentions similar words in the web content.
  • Backlinks from local websites.

So once you understand what’s working for local SEO it’s time to find top local keywords for your business.

Understand the Local Results

Let’s assume, customer has searched the keyword “dental clinic in Adajan, surat”  we get the below results

Local Organic Results

The local Search Results page is divided into 3 parts

  1. Map Listing: Showing all the popular businesses related to the keyword searched.
  2. Local Business Listing: Local companies get a high rank on local keywords compared to other location businesses.
  3. Organic Ranking: It starts appearing once the local business listing finishes.

Now you see that a local business listing is almost a conversion point, where your customers can read your reviews, they can ask for direction and even they can call your business.

Now Let’s Start optimizing for local SEO

Local Keyword Research

Your 50% success depends on finding the right keyword and the selection process.

To find profitable keywords you should follow location-based keyword research methods. Let’s take the example of our own business VJSEOMarketing –  [ Our focus Keywords might be ]

  • Local SEO Expert in Surat
  • SEO Company near me
  • SEO services in surat
  • SEO training in surat
  • VJ SEO Marketing phone number
  • VJSEOMarketing address
  • VJ SEO marketing company reviews

There are lots of variations possible based on your business. Let’s learn the keyword research process to find keywords.

Start with Google Suggestion

Just search for a keyword in google and it will start showing suggestions. Note Down the keywords.

Local Keyword suggestion

Use the Keyword Research tool

There are many tools available that show keywords. Just use this tool to find your business-related keywords. You can try tools like

  • Use Ubersuggest
  • Keyword planner
  • SEMrush
  • Ahref

How to Use Google My Business to Get More Customers

When it comes to local ranking, GMB plays a major role. Google uses listings in google my business listing as a top-ranking signal. So that’s why it’s very important that you create your listing on google.

How to create a Local listing in Google?

There are two options. Either your business is already available on Google or you need to create new. If the listing is already showing and you don’t have rights then just claim that business, Else registers a new one.

To start visit https://business.google.com/create and search for your business name. To set up you need to follow the below steps.

Step 1:  Business Name

Search for your company name, If you didn’t find any listing just Start by adding your business name. Always use your Company name only, do not add any keywords in the name. As it’s against the Google guidelines and in long run, single algorithm updates hurt all your efforts.

Step 2. Enter Your Address

If you are running a local clothing shop, Hospital or Restaurant it’s easy to add the physical location. Just add the correct address and it’s done.

Make sure the address is accurate as Google will send a postcard with a verification code after that you can verify.

Suggestion:  Always use the accurate and same address on all the local listings. I advise that you make a spreadsheet and just do copy-paste for all the future citation building.

Step 3. Pin Your Exact Location

Here the option will show you with a marker to link the exact location. 

Step 4: Add Relevant Categories

Once you start typing a related service or product, Google starts showing you some suggestions. Just select the best category that best describes your company.

If you don’t know the category just search your competitor keywords and check the listing. Just add the same primary category that your competitor is using. 

Step 5. Enter Your Phone Number and Website

Once you add the detailed information it’s time to add the phone number and website. Always consistent with the contact details.

Step 6. Verify Your Listing

Once you complete all the details it’s time to verify the listing. Once you finish it will provide you two options to verify either you will get an option to verify from the phone number or Google will send a postcard.

Step 7: Additional Google My Business Optimization

Once you verify your listing don’t stop there. There are lots of other factors available that you need to fix to get a higher ranking. Some of the additional optimization include.

  • Adding relevant categories
  • Add Your shop, Premises photos
  • Add opening and closing hours
  • List your services
  • Write a detailed introduction about your company
  • Add another contact number
  • Weekly or daily update new products, offers, events.

Optimizing all the above details will bring more visibility.

How Do Local Citations Help Local SEO

Local citations or NAP plays a major role in showing relevance. According to Moz It also acts as a Local ranking signal. 

What is NAP?:

NAP means – Name, Address, Phone Number

There are lots of websites available that provide local business listings. It’s very important that you keep a consistent name, address, and phone number on all the websites.

Local Citations Audit: 

Do the audit of your business with tools or by doing manual searches. Identify the website that has the wrong NAP and fix it with accurate details.

Build New Citations

Identify niche-related local business listing websites and create new listings. This not only improves your website domain authority but also increases your local ranking.

ON-Page Optimization for Local SEO

Here it also applies the general on-page SEO rules. If you don’t know what to include in on-page SEO, Just check our detailed On-page SEO checklist. You need to focus on

  • Adding keyword in URL
  • Adding keyword in Title
  • Adding the targeted keyword in the description
  • Keywords in H1, H2, H3
  • Page speed, Mobile-friendliness

If your business is focusing purely on local cities, then your site architecture plays a major role. I suggest you create your URL structure like

Example 1 –  Yourbusiness.com/location/service-or-product/

Here we are only targeting specific countries only

Example 2 –  Yourbusiness.com/service/india/gujarat/surat

Here we are only targeting specific cities.

Also, optimize the content and add relevant local keywords.

Boost Ranking with Link Building

When you are focusing on link building campaigns for a local business, it’s very easy to acquire new links, reasons are

  • You are local and have some brand presence.
  • There are lots of scopes to explore locally

Here are a few ways to start building backlinks.

  1. Create an Event guidepost that covers all events in your city, and focus on social share by the local peoples.
  2. Interview with the local influencer.
  3. Invite media and create an event.
  4. Write about your city’s famous things.
  5. Do Guest posts on local websites.

Reviews, Ratings & Maintenance in Local SEO

SEO is an ongoing practice and most of the time owners and marketers quit putting in regular efforts. They think that once we get the ranking it remains forever. That is the biggest mistake that we should avoid and keep focusing on.

Increase Reviews and Improve Ratings

Keep the habit of taking reviews from your customers by offering extra discounts or giving added value. The best practice is to provide the best service and experience that they share in the review.

Additionally, reviews will help you to increase more customers. It also improves your business credibility, trust, and conversions.

Why Google Review Guidelines matter?

There are several guidelines available for reviews. Here are a few major ones that I would like to highlight.

  • Do not post the same place review with multiple accounts.
  • Do not repeat the same content everywhere
  • Don’t write out of topic review for the place.
  • Avoid spam review

Responding to Reviews & Questions

Always respond back to reviews left by the consumer, whether it was positive or negative. This will give a strong signal to Google that you care for your customers and gives you higher visibility.

Keep Updating Post Regularly

Use the post feature to share regular updates.

Why is local SEO important?

Local SEO is a must-have for small to large organizations. It not only brings additional traffic but a medium to generate direct leads.

Local search terms like Near Me, the Best place for, address, phone number, reviews have increased rapidly. in the last 4 years. The study shows that 46% of keyword searches have local intent.

So it’s become very important to perform local SEO on your own or a higher marketing expert who can help you to get most of the local business listing sites.