Local businesses are not only competing over efficient merchandising and in-store customer service, but they also need to be competent in displaying over the localized SERP results to attract potential consumers. SEO is a crucial effort which most of the local businesses are now aware and take care of, but there is one thing which many tend to miss out or not knowledgeable about. It is the essential need to conduct local SEO audits from time to time.
While competing in a competitive market, it is essential to know where you stand and in which all areas you need improvement to stand on top of the competition. This guide is aimed to orient the local business promoters to understand the gray areas which you need to focus on and how to fix the problems.
Importance of regular audits
When it comes to digital marketing, you may have to go through a many trial and error experimentations overtime to come up with the best strategy and to reap the best results. If you have always had a birds-eye view of your SEO efforts and yield of each, it becomes much easier and efficient to create a customized plan by adjusting various elements from time to time and make an effort much more efficient.
Knowing the basics of audio
At the first point, it is essential to know what to be included in the audit. Let's see some significant aspects to include in the audit checklist.
Auditing through Google My Business page/app
Landing pages/Web pages audit
Organic link performance analysis
Strategy yield analysis
Analyzing these significant factors will help you gain a better insight into the effectiveness of your SEO strategies and moreover will give you inputs on where you tend to go wrong. Let's get started with the audit steps.
Basic step: Information gathering
Right, and comprehensive information is the key to success. As an audit expert, you need to identify the beneficiary (even if it is your own firm) as a client and let them fill out the information correctly and unbiased. Ultimately, the spreadsheet with information must be completed with full current data and proposed changes. Later, these can be considered as action items. To do a fair audit, as suggested by tayloright experts, some questions you need to get answers for are:
Have you ever got penalized in the past?
Have you hired an SEO expert/company before and if it is essential to check their work?
Is your local address a PO Box, which may have an adverse impact on SEO efforts.
Is your business phone a landline? Landlines surely have SEO benefits.
Are there any 301 redirect to your web pages?
What are the probable 404 error pages on your site?
Checking Google My Business dashboard
You can get much information about your SEO efforts from Google My Business page. If you are not aware of it, the first step is to locate your Google My Business page which you should work with and claim it. Ensure that the My Business Page is verified to take full advantage of it.
You also need to know that duplication of your Google My Business listings may be a significant threat to local SEO campaigns. You can search by your business name or phone number to see any of that sort exists. If there is such a misrepresentation, you need to report it to Google and get it removed.
Ensure that you use the correct business name, address, phone number, and URL of your official business website on this page. Good also allows adding a single-word descriptor of your business along with the name.
Getting your business under the apt category is essential. You should list yourself under particular standard categories allowed for a specific industry. The category needs to be selected as per Google guidelines as ‘the category which best describes what your business is all about, and not based on what it does."
Map and photos
It is another crucial area to be covered under audit as location map plays a vital role in potential consumers locate your business. Customers also tend to click on photos with which they can see an accurate representation of the company professionally. If you find this done incorrectly or inappropriately, this should be instantly fixed. Do upload some professional quality photos for them to recognize you as a reputable business.
Representing your business online with the most accurate information is the right starting point for SEO audit and updating. You can also check for a listing of appropriate business hours, Google + posts and reviews, and answer the questions asked appropriately. At the second phase of the audit, you can check for the landing page optimization, correct the crawl-able NAP of web pages, and check the SEO-friendliness of your site structure. You should also evaluate the content for keyword usage, density, and overall quality, meta tags, titles, image alt texts, and meta description to identify the flaws and take measures to correct them.