Local SEO checklist for business owners
This is the second part of performing SEO for a website. The first part involves the technical elements of SEO, which you can learn about here.
There is much that you can do for your own website that could increase your chances of ranking when potential customers are searching for businesses like yours. Whether you handle these tasks yourself, delegate them to a subordinate, or opt to hire a local South Jersey SEO agency such as ours
, there are a number of tasks that can be completed with a minimum amount of technical knowledge. This article and accompanying checklist at the end will walk you through a number of these steps.
- Determine Your NAP
- Claim all of your business listings
- Set up landing pages for each of your services and towns your serve
- Set up Google Analytics and Search Console
1. Determine Your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
Before you do anything, you must settle upon a single name, version of your address, and phone number that you want to associate your business with across the web. What do I mean by this? Our office is located on Route 73 in Marlton, NJ—an address that could also be listed as NJ-73 in Evesham Township, NJ. It is important that we choose one vs. the other and keep it consistent throughout all of our listings. I would suggest claiming your Google My Business
to start the process; this will allow you to see how Google has your physical address listed in its system. In other words, does it know your address as Route 73, RT 73, or NJ-73? As far as Google is concerned, are you in Marlton or Evesham Township? It’s important to determine this ahead of time in order to maintain consistency throughout all of your listings and your website. Once you have determined what version of your name, address, and phone number will be published across the web, place the same information on the footer and contact page of your website
2. Claim All of Your Other Listings
There are a number of web directories other than Google My Business that you should use to list your site. The purpose of this is not necessarily to gain referral traffic—as we stated in another post, you can’t expect much traffic from these lesser-known directories—but they will have an impact on your chances of showing up in the local 3-pack. We have an extensive list of of directories where you can list your business here
3. Have Landing Pages for Each of Your Services
Let’s say that you are a local mechanic. Your website should have a dedicated page for oil changes, brake service, transmission repair, and every other service that you offer. Your chances of ranking highly for “mechanic in cherry hill” are much lower than they are for a keyword like “transmission repair in cherry hill,” and your chances of ranking for that term will be greatly increased if you have a dedicated page for that service. Having a dedicated landing page for transmission repair will allow you to use the keywords “transmission repair cherry hill” right in the title of the page, the header tags, and the url, all signals that point to Google that your page is relevant to the term that the user is searching for. Additionally, you will have the chance to increase the likelihood of the user clicking on your result by writing a metadescription that talks specifically to your transmission services, as opposed to your auto shop in general.
This same tactic can be used to target specific towns, though it can start to look a little spammy, so tread lightly. There is a good chance that Google will one day penalize sites that publish 200 identical pages targeting “mechanics in _____________.”
4. Set Up Your Google Analytics and Search Console
e will track how your website ranks in the search engine results and Analytics tracks the behavior of visitors once they get to the site. It is imperative that you track both how people are finding your site and what they are doing once they find it. These two tools are free, extremely powerful, and able to tell you all you need about these two aspects of your digital presence.
You can set up a Google Analytics account here
. If you are not comfortable installing the tracking code yourself, there are a number of WordPress plugins that will do it for you, such as these
. Once you have your Analytics code installed, go to your Google Search Console and set up your account.
Once you have completed this part of the SEO process, it is time to establish a content strategy, the third part of the SEO process.