How To Perform A Local SEO Audit: The Right Way!
How To Perform a Local SEO Audit
Local SEO is Important
Local SEO is an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy. When potential customers search for a product or service in their area, only the most optimized business profiles will show up at the top of the page.
With more local businesses establishing their profiles online, it’s important to do more to stand out from the rest and rank in the 3 pack. To find out how your profile currently ranks and what optimizations it needs, you need to perform a Local SEO Audit.
What is a 3 Pack?
The goal for every business that invests in Local SEO, is to have their business appear in the 3 pack. The 3-pack is the top 3 business profiles that appear in their own section at the top of Google searches. These profiles get well over 50% of local search intent, and receive the most clicks, calls and customers.
Most potential customers do not look further than these top 3 businesses in their area, because these profiles have a good reputation, hundreds of 5 star reviews, and will offer exactly what the user needs. These profiles are optimized for Local SEO, and without understanding how local SEO works, it will be very tough to compete. Luckily, with effort and consistency, any business can get their profile to rank in the 3 pack!
How to Optimize Your Business Profile
Complete Your Profile
Before you perform a Local SEO Audit, make sure your Google Business Profile is completed with correct information. To judge how complete your profile is, use the new Google Business Profile Strength label. Once your profile is complete, consider putting extra effort in the following, everything here will benefit your profile’s rank:
Add Tons of Content
Add as many pictures and posts to your profile as you can. This doesn’t have to be done all at once, but make it a habit to upload and update your Google Business profile consistently. Google’s algorithm prefers active profiles that put time into their profiles and will rank them higher. Make sure to use keywords in your posts, and geotag your images for the best results. Learn more about the Best Content for Local SEO here.
Google prefers businesses that have a lot of 5 star reviews, and those who respond to all questions and concerns. Actively Managing your reputation will improve your rank, and give potential customers a good first impression.
Citations are all of the websites and directories that have a listing for your business. You can sign up for most of these websites for free, and receive crucial backlinks to your business. Create business profiles on as many websites as you can, some most well known websites that offer citations are:
- Apple Maps
- Better Business Bureau
- Chamber of Commerce
- Angie’s List
NAP Consistency refers to the consistency of your Name, Address, and Phone number everywhere your business is listed. This includes all of the citation websites above, social media, and your business website. Make sure every listing has the exact same NAP, because if there is conflicting information, your profile rank will suffer.
How to Perform a Local SEO Audit
Once you have completed all of the steps above to the best of your ability, it is time to audit your Local SEO and see how you did. The audit will take all of these actions into account, and also tell you what more you can do to improve. There are many tools and websites that offer SEO Audits, though many are a paid service, we recommend using Moz and BrightLocal because they offer detailed free trials.
An Audit from Moz will review your citations using the Moz Local Listing Score. Any citations missing from major websites or directories will be calculated to give you a score. You need this score to be high for brand awareness and to rank higher. Use this tool to help you create as many citations as possible, and fill out any that you are missing.
A Local Search Audit from Bright Local will include some more technical issues with your Local SEO. It will review your Links & Website Authority, Rankings, Website SEO, and Google Business Profile. Bright Local will also compare these results with your competitors to give you a better idea of how you can improve.
You Just Ran Your First Local SEO Audit!
Thanks for taking the time to learn about how to perform a local SEO Audit! A fully built out and optimized profile will see much for traffic and success then one which is missing information. Audit your Local SEO regularly to stay up to date and competitive; with time, your business will start ranking high!
Check out this article to learn more, there is a lot more you can do to improve your Google Business Profile with SEO.
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