The essential local SEO checklist from our digital marketing experts
Learn what your business needs to know about reaching a nearby audience
Local SEO is a must for any business that aims to target customers or clients in the area that your business is established.
It is very likely that you have searched on Google before for something like “painting company in Orlando” or “accounting firm near me” when you were in need of these services. Others are doing the same when they are looking for the services or products your business offers.
If you’re planning to hire a digital marketing agency to conduct SEO for your business, continue reading the checklist below so that you can gain some basic knowledge, better support their efforts and achieve greater results.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a search engine marketing technique that aims to improve your business’s search visibility to reach a local audience. Any business with a physical location or that serves a specific geographic region can benefit from local SEO.
If you search keywords related to your business, a map with three listings underneath will appear called a local map pack. The goal for many businesses conducting local SEO is to rank in this map pack.
#1: Understand your ranking factors.
In order to rank for local SEO, you need to focus on a variety of signals that lets search engines know that your business serves a specific geographic region and that you want to attract customers from that region.
These ranking factors provide search engines with insights into the importance and relevance of your business’s website, and include the ones below to name a few:
- Social signals: This type of signal refers to a website’s social media presence and visibility as seen by search engines.
- Google My Business signals: Google My Business is the number one factor for ranking in the map pack.  Your business’s website is still important, but the content on your page plays a role in your Google My Business listing and how it ranks.
- Review signals: Positive review on your Google My Business page can greatly help your business’s local SEO efforts. Reviews along with the business owners’ response show that customer’s trust a business and that owners care enough to respond.
#2: Optimize your website.
It’s highly recommended that you and your team work with an experienced digital marketing agency that offers comprehensive SEO services to complete this step and the ones that follow.
Optimizing your website is one of the most important things your business can do to improve local SEO rankings. There are many aspects that go into the SEO optimization of a website, including:
- On-page SEO such as creating high-quality content, optimizing your pages for target keywords, and image optimization.
- Technical SEO such as checking for duplicate content, broken links, and accessibility.
- Mobile encompasses ensuring that all of your pages are mobile-friendly and that all links still work on mobile devices.
The mobile aspect of optimizing your website is a very critical aspect of ranking for local SEO. In 2020, 61% of website visits in the United States were from mobile devices. 
Google uses mobile-first indexing, meaning that they primarily use mobile websites to index and rank web pages. It’s important that the content on your business’s desktop website is the same as the content on your mobile website and that your mobile website has the same clear headlines and titles.
#3: Enhance your Google My Business listing.
A strong Google My Business profile is key to feeding search engines local information about your business to potential customers. It’s important to keep everything on your Google My Business profile consistent with the information on your website and social media profiles.
When Google sees that all your information across every platform is consistent, they take it as a sign that your business is legitimate and will rank it higher. If your business’s name, location, or phone number changes, it’s critical that you update your profile with the new information as soon as possible.
If your business already has a Google My Business listing, there are steps you can take to optimize your profile:
- Claim your listing. This is an essential step to optimizing your GMB profile. As the owner of your listing, you can add and update information, and this also ensures no one else can claim your business as their own.
- Add photos. High quality photos of the inside and outside of your business location create a more visually appealing listing.
- Encourage reviews. As mentioned above, reviews are an important ranking factor and show that you have loyal customers.
- Enter a geographical radius. This is huge for local SEO efforts, and it will help you reach your local target audience easier.
- Select a business category. This will help potential customers know exactly what your business does or what services it provides.
#4: Utilize social media.
Social media is not typically thought of as having a role in SEO, but it can be beneficial to your online visibility when used properly.
While Google does not consider social media engagement as a factor in ranking a business’s website, it does increase a business’s prominence, which is a local SEO ranking factor.
Social media platforms, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all great for building a loyal customer base and sharing relevant information your followers will find interesting.
It’s also a good idea to consider creating a profile on other social media sites, like Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Angi (previously Angie’s List) depending on the type of business you own.
Looking for a marketing partner to help with local SEO?
At Different Perspective, we can help your business create a SEO campaign that will effectively increase your online visibility in search engines like Google and help you create connections with your target audience.
Your future clients are searching for you online, we’ll help them find you.
Contact us today to learn more.