Local SEO | Are You On The Map? - Easy 25 Minute Checklist
Following Google’s recent changes to its search index (how things rank and appear) it’s never been more important for businesses with a local presence to ensure their business is found and drives people to take action and contact or buy from them.
Now, I’m not going to spend time covering off technically how Google search works and how I ‘cracked the code’, because let’s face it, if you don’t work at Google, you don’t know.
However, we do know that Google wants to provide a quality experience for people searching for information or a solution to satisfy their needs.
Businesses that take the time to ensure that they are found everywhere they’re expected to be by their customers and can provide a solution will appear at the top of the search results for these queries.
You may have a business website now, or, you might also appear in the search results when you Google your business name. But, there are a number of other important ‘digital assets’ they can be missed, or you simply don’t know that they should be completed to support your search results and help increase enquiries to your business.
The following will give you an easy checklist that you can review your business, identify the gaps and plan to fill them so your business is ahead of the pack
This Local SEO checklist should only take around 25 minutes to complete.
1. Ensure your NAP consistency.
NAP stands for Name, Address, phone number.
It’s important that you’re clear on the exact details that will be displayed online.
These details must be accurate, up to date and consistent across your website, citations (online listings) and social media pages (where applicable).
Take a moment, create a Word doc and type up the following: (you’ll need to save this for later);
- Business name / Trading Name
- Physical business address
- Business phone number
- Business email
- Website address
- Hours of operation
- Accepted payment methods
2. Review Your Business Citations
Citations are online listings including Yellow Pages, True Local and many more.
Search engines like Google use these listings to help verify the relevance of your business and confirm that it’s a genuine business.
Completing the top citations in your country, will help support good search results and ensure that your business is found everywhere you’re expected to be by your customers.
Tip: not all searches are done in Google. Bing currently receives around 21% of the search volume online (but, is often forgotten).
Try for yourself here www.bing.com
The following Top 10 Checklist will allow you to click and check for your business listings.
Go to the website and search for your business name.
Review if it your business appears and if the details are correct.
Bonus: Download our free checklist to record the results here.
Citation Checklist: (Australia)
- Google My Business - https://www.google.com/business/
- Bing Places - https://www.bingplaces.com
- Yellow pages Online - http://www.yellowpages.com.au/
- True Local - http://www.truelocal.com.au/
- StartLocal - http://www.startlocal.com.au/
- Yelp - http://www.yelp.com.au/
- White Pages Online - http://www.whitepages.com.au/
- AussieWeb - http://aussieweb.com.au/
- WOMO - http://www.womo.com.au/
- Cylex - http://www.cylex.com.au/
3. Website Audit
Now’s a good time to catch up with your web developer with a few questions.
How your website is built and configured behind the scenes plays a significant part in the success of good search results.
The following questions should provide a Yes or No answer across these important pieces.
- Is my site responsive for mobile devices?
- Does my site contain Schema Data with business contact information?
- Does our service agreement include keyword research and has this been applied to the website pages?
If the answer is no or unsure, it’s typically a good sign that these pieces have not been included.
You can decide on having this corrected with an experienced provider.
‘84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation’, Bright Local – Local Consumer Review 2016.
If your business has any of the citations mentioned above, it’s important to check if there are any reviews and assess the sentiment.
Positive reviews will help build trust for your business and reduce any barriers toward customer purchases or bookings.
Tip: Google will rank a business with five or more 5 Star legitimate customer reviews higher than those that don’t.
We’ll discuss developing a review process for your business in another post soon.
Now you have a clearer picture of the current status of the online presence for your business and what may be affecting your search results.
You will also know the gaps that need to be filled and own the correct information (NAP) to complete this step.
Schedule some time or get some help to ensure the gaps are filled accurately and monitor the improvements.