Local SEO Checklist for 2019
If you’re running a local business, the chances are that you rely on new digital leads or foot traffic to stay in business. With more than 97% of consumers using the internet to search for local businesses, it’s never been more critical to establish an online presence.
To generate a consistent flow of quality website traffic, local businesses must implement effective local SEO strategies to promote their products and services. Right where their potential customers are searching.
In this article, you’ll learn six different local SEO best practices you should be using in 2019.
1. Join Your Local Chamber
Many cities in the United States have local chambers of commerce where business leaders come together to promote the interests of business and network. Generally speaking, a local chamber of commerce is a society of business, and it presents business leaders, great and small, with a unique opportunity to network.
Joining your local chamber will allow you to network with hundreds or thousands of like-minded business leaders and promote brand awareness throughout your city. Furthermore, a chamber or commerce’s website is a local membership listing that search engines consider to have a high local domain authority (DA).
By getting your website featured in the membership directory of your local chamber’s website, you receive a quality backlink that can boost your SEO ranking. It will help solidify proximity, which is one of the most important ranking factors for Google.
2. Add Schema Markup to Your Website
You may be asking yourself, “what is schema markup, and why is it important that I consider adding it to my site?”
Schema markup is a type of code (semantic vocabulary) that you add to your website to help search engines better understand the structure and organization.
If you have ever seen rich snippets or the aggregate reviews data in search results, then you have witnessed schema markup in action.
Typically, you should see a rich snippet at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) that will answer your question. These rich snippets are a result of schema markup, and they help users better obtain answers to their queries.
For technical SEO users, make sure you are adding schema markup to each of the location pages on your website if you are a multi-location business.
While this may sound complicated there are actual some great, FREE schema markup generators that you can leverage to simplify the process.
One of the ones we use for our clients is TechnicalSEO.com’s schema markup generator. Simply follow the steps for the type of markup you want and fill in the form info.
It will automatically create the schema markup and you send that over to your webmaster for implementation.
3. Add FAQs to Your Services or Products Pages
No matter what you’re selling or offering, both tangible goods or non-tangible services, consumers will always have questions about your business. The better you answer these questions, the more likely you’ll convert a potential customer.
On your site’s service pages, it’s essential to add FAQs to answer relevant questions.
In addition to adding more valuable information for your potential users, there are also SEO advantages to leveraging FAQs.
FAQs are a great way to include question-based search queries on your page. This will help you rank for a larger pool of long-tail search queries related to your topic.
With the rise of voice search, and thusly, voice SEO, people tend to search in the form of a question.
In fact, comScore predicts that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. Therefore, by leveraging FAQs, you can gain a long-term SEO boost by answering questions potential customers have about your products or services.
Secondarily, FAQs are a natural way to expand your page content and include LSI or related keywords.
LSI Keywords are related terms or keywords that search engines correlated to your given keyword to better understand a topic or web page.
The more LSI keywords you can include in the body and H tags of your page the more likely your page is to rank well for related search queries.
4. Create City Landing Pages
If your business operates in multiple cities, it may be beneficial to create city-specific landing pages on your website to improve rankings in those territories. City pages are meant to be unique and full of useful content a consumer can use to make an informed decision about your business.
Therefore, you should invest in high-quality city pages that are unique for each city you operate in. One way you can do this is by including city-related content, different keyword variations, and links to authority websites in that city.
For example, if you’re developing a city page for San Francisco, you may want to briefly mention the sports, art, and culture that exists in the area. Also, include different keyword variations (Ex. dentist in San Francisco, San Francisco dentist, etc.) for your related keywords that include focus keywords plus city identifiers.
5. Embed a Google My Business Map on Your Website
Way too often when we do an SEO audit for a potential client website, we see businesses leveraging maps incorrectly on their website.
They are either not utilizing them at all or merely using a map generator plugin provider by their site builder.
It is critical to go the extra step and use a Google My Business embedded map. The map embed will create a direct link between your website and your Google My Business listing helping with proximity and relevancy.
To do so, navigate to your Google My Business page in the Google Maps view. When you are there is the “Share” icon and toggle to “Embed a map.” That iframe code is what you will want to use for your map on your contact page.
Check out our Google My Business checklist below to increase your local search rankings.
6. Focus on Backlink Building
Backlinks are vital for building local SEO, as they are a key ranking signal to search engines. The more authoritative, relevant backlinks pointing to a page on your website, the better it will generally do in SERPs. Below are a few ideas to generate new backlinks from local websites:
- Guest Posting – If you have anything to share about a topic or expertise, you can create a high-quality guest post to submit a prominent local website. Through guest posting, you can gain exposure and quality backlinks to your site.
- Join a Local Radio Show – It can be easier than you think to join a local radio show to talk about your expertise. Doing so will also allow you to receive a backlink on their website in front of potentially thousands of viewers.
- Sponsor Local Organizations or Events – If you’re committed to your community through business, charity, or volunteering, you can gain a legitimate backlink as a sponsor of a local organization or event.
Local SEO Strategy Conclusion:
The number of people turning to search engines before visiting a brick and mortar or using a local service company continues to increase annual. Therefore, you must be implementing a local SEO strategy to increase your website rankings and compete at a local level.
Leveraging these six tips will get you well on your way to search engine optimization success and new website traffic.