Your Comprehensive Local SEO Checklist For 2020
Judging from the success of SEO in the past years, we can expect it to continue to grow in 2020. It is a critical element for building brand awareness and getting traffic to your website. You, however, need the right strategy if you want to reap the benefits.
We will share with you a comprehensive local SEO checklist that you can implement this year.
1. Google Search Console
Google Search Console will give you access to tools that you can use to optimize your website. It is free and gives reports, analysis, error identification, and how to fix them, among others. If you make any changes to your website, it will inform Google of the same.
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics will give important information on how well your SEO is performing. The setup process is simple, and the reports are easy to understand.
3. Google Penalties
Google utilizes algorithmic and manual penalties to punish anyone who violates their guidelines. It is critical that you find out what they are because it will impact the success of your SEO.
4. Google My Business Listing
Google My Business listing is one of the best local SEO checklist tools you have if you want to enjoy a local presence. It is easy to set up and requires no technical or coding knowledge. Once you sign on to it, you will make yourself visible to your target audience.
5. Social Media
Social media gives access to a broad audience base, and many businesses see positive results when they are on it. You will enjoy backlinks that are SEO-friendly, and have access to tools you can use to increase your brand awareness.
6. Use of Relevant Keywords in your local SEO checklist
Pay attention to the type of keywords you use a product or service description. You have tools available such as Ahrefs and SEMRush that will make the process easier for you. They will let you know which are the most popular phrases and the difficulty you may face with ranking them locally. You must ensure that the keywords are relevant to your location.
7. Local Directories
Local directories are excellent for boosting your ranking on the search engines. You must, however, ensure that you are going for reputable ones. List your business location for a higher chance of getting visibility for your business in the search results. You also have the advantage of backlinking, thus greater awareness from anyone who is using the directories.
8. Online Reviews
Positive customer reviews will increase your visibility and could land you excellent leads. You will get stars alongside your business name after you get customer reviews. It helps with ensuring that your business is more visible on the Google Map results page.
9. Geographic Markup Schema
Schema.org has a partnership with the search engine that allows you to give information that will help with understanding the content. What you get are more relevant search results. Add the schema code to your website so that the search engines display the extra information in the search results. Such information includes pricing, reviews, star ratings, and location, among others.
10. Reference Your Local Area in Your Content
Relevant content tends to perform very well on the search engines. It requires that you use the correct keywords, thus increasing the likelihood of your content matching the queries. Give information about your local area when writing your articles. If, for example, you sell jogging gear, talk about good jogging spots that people can try out.
11. Technical SEO
Google uses several factors to crawl, index, or access your website. Some of the factors have nothing to do with what you have on your website as content. The technical SEO content includes:-
- Ensuring the permalink or URL is SEO friendly
- Installing an SSL will provide encryption between the browser and the server. You also get the HTTPS as proof that your site is secure. Google uses this as a ranking signal.
- Optimizing the robots.txt file
- Activate the no-follow attribute for any links within the comments
12. Local Online Coverage
Actively engage with local news sites for a mention of your business. Providing news angles with a local touch can earn you coverage and some backlinks. New sites tend to have a lot of authority, which will help with your search ranking. Google algorithms can also use this information to link the content to your business or location.
13. Mobile Responsiveness
Google views websites that are mobile responsive, very favorably. It uses the mobile-first index, which will check whether you have optimized your site for mobile. Since more than 50% of internet searches are from mobile devices, you cannot afford to lose this opportunity. Ensure the experience on mobile is the same or better than on a desktop device.
14. Optimize Your Domain Name
Choosing the right domain name is a critical element for your local SEO checklist. It will guide the search engines appropriately, thus increasing the number of viewers to your website.
15. Link Building
Link building is in the top 3 of Google ranking signals. Use tactics such as guest posting and see which links your competitors are using, and do the same. Targeting influencers in your posts will get them to notice you, and they will share your posts, thus earning you some visibility. Use the local influencers as much as you can so that you target people within your area.
16. Clean Up Your Website
You may have pages on your website that add no value. Consider removing them because search engines such as Google consider them a waste of resources when it comes to indexing.
17. Fix Broken Links
You must fix broken links when working on your local SEO checklist. If not, your SEO will suffer. You have tools such as DrLinkCheck.com, which can help with the scanning and fixing of such links.
18. Page Loading Speed
Slow loading sites receive very poor rankings on search engines. You can check how fast your pages are, using PageSpeed insights. It is a free tool that you can use for mobile and desktop. You also get recommendations on what you need to do to rectify any issues.
We have shared with you a local SEO checklist for 2020 above. Implementing the tactics we have highlighted will improve your rankings on the search engines.