Many businesses have a smaller audience and sell their products or services locally as opposed to nationwide or globally. In these instances, local SEO becomes an especially important tool so that you can capitalize on your immediate customers – the customers who are most likely to use your business.
The best way to get started with this is by conducting a local SEO audit and this is what I explore in the below guide. You will learn what this process involves, and the key steps to make sure that all areas of your local SEO strategy are examined so that you can make improvements going forward.
What is a Local SEO Audit?
In the ever-evolving digital landscape, local businesses must stay ahead in the online race and this often means beating the competition and gaining dominance in your local area.
A Local SEO Audit is a vital tool to achieve this and ensures your business stands out in local searches. It involves a thorough examination of various aspects that impact your online visibility, helping you pinpoint areas for improvement.
These aspects are concentrated in your local area which is typically defined as the area surrounding your premises, or the areas within a specific radius where you serve customers.
Step-by-Step Guide for Conducting a Local SEO Audit
A top London SEO consultant can help conduct a thorough local SEO audit using their expert knowledge of SEO practices. However, to get you started, I have created a simple step-by-step guide to follow.
Analyze your keyword research
The foundation of a robust local SEO strategy is solid keyword research. Identify the terms your potential customers are using to find businesses like yours. Are you targeting the right keywords? Ensure relevance, search volume, and local intent align.
Conduct a website audit
Your website is your online storefront. Evaluate its structure, content, and performance. Is it user-friendly? Optimize your site for local searches, ensuring accurate business information, clear contact details, and relevant local content. Consider things like page loading times, mobile optimization, and the availability of info too which contribute to UX and UI satisfaction.
Update your Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile is a digital storefront on Google Maps and it’s free to complete so every company should do it! Verify your information, add accurate business hours, and choose relevant categories for your services. Also encourage customers to leave reviews, as they can significantly impact your local search rankings.
Analyze local mentions of your business
Online mentions and local citations play a crucial role in local SEO. Ensure your business information is consistent across directories, websites, and social media platforms. Any discrepancies could affect your search engine rankings. Customers could also find conflicting information confusing and as a result, their trust in your abilities could be diminished.
Analyze customer reviews
Customer reviews are social proof that can sway potential customers so it’s important to regularly monitor and respond to reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and others. Address concerns, express gratitude for positive feedback, and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. This can be done as part of your local SEO audit, but also on an ongoing basis.
Check your analytics (such as Google Analytics)
Analytics provide valuable insights into your website’s local performance. Track organic traffic, user behavior, and conversions. Also, identify pages with high bounce rates and optimize them for better engagement. Analyzing data helps refine your local SEO strategy.
Google Analytics is one of the best platforms to use for your local SEO audit as it provides the metrics I mentioned above, plus a heap more that you can utilize.
Look at competitor activity
Examining local SEO competitors can provide valuable insights too. Identify their strengths and weaknesses in local SEO. Analyze their keywords, content strategies, and backlink profiles.
You can then use this information to refine your own strategy and stand out in local searches. Also, if they do have areas of weakness, you can look to capitalize on them and jump into the void.
Tools and Resources for Local SEO Audit
Several tools can streamline the local SEO audit process. I advise looking for free tools first as there are many available and they can help improve your local SEO without hampering your budget. Examples of fantastic local SEO tools include:
- Google Business Profile.
- Semrush Listing Management.
- Local Falcon.
- Google Analytics.
These tools cover a range of processes including keyword analysis, local performance, local visibility, and review management. You can check out my guide on the best local SEO tools for more information.
Analyzing Audit Results and Taking Action
After conducting a comprehensive local SEO audit, compile your findings. Prioritize action items based on their impact on your online visibility. Implement changes to your website, Google Business Profile, and other online platforms as necessary. Regularly monitor and adjust your strategy as needed.
It’s important to realize that this isn’t just a one-time occurrence and local SEO audits should be conducted frequently. The key is to continually assess and improve your strategy so that you are always one step ahead of your local competitors.
Final Thoughts / CTA
In the competitive world of local business, a well-executed local SEO strategy can make all the difference. By conducting regular audits and staying proactive, you ensure that your business stays visible and accessible to your local audience.
Take the time to assess your online presence, make necessary adjustments, and watch your business thrive in local searches. Remember, the digital landscape is dynamic, and so should your approach to local SEO. Stay informed, stay optimized, and stay ahead of the competition. Your local customers are searching – make sure they find you first!