Around 76% of consumers check out a business’s online presence before making the decision to visit in person. As a brick-and-mortar business in 2022, it’s important that your web presence is up to speed. If it isn’t, you’re sure to drive away customers that are looking for products just like those you offer.
Engaging in local SEO is one of the best ways to drive foot traffic. First, though, you’ll need to perform a local SEO audit. Read on to learn what this means, how you can audit your site, and what benefits it can provide.
Why Invest in Local SEO?
Before you can begin your local audit, it’s important to first understand the concept of local search engine optimization (SEO).
Local SEO is an SEO strategy that gains your business visibility specifically within local search results. You perform manipulations to the web to get your webpage on the screens of those who are close enough to you to come through your shop doors.
For example, let’s say that you sell purses and handbags in the Boise area. Your local SEO aim wouldn’t just be to show your business to all search engine users interested in handbags. It would be to showcase it to your target audience within Boise.
- Claim your Google My Business listing (to show up in “near me” searches)
- Optimize for location-based keywords (“Women’s accessories in Boise,” “Purses in Idaho,” etc)
- Include backlinks to other companies within the Boise area (rather than in other locations)
All of these activities factor into your local SEO strategy. They ensure that you’re primarily visible to those who can actually come to you.
What Is a Local SEO Audit?
A local SEO audit is the very first step towards boosting your visibility. It reveals what condition your website is currently in and how it is ranking on Google. It then lets you know how you can improve your site to make it more appealing to Google crawlers, which in turn will boost your online performance.
The point is to give you a definitive diagnosis of your current strengths and weaknesses when it comes to online marketing. This will let you know where to invest your energy while optimizing your local website. It also will let you know what pages and activities are successful (so that you can emulate them) and which ones need improvement (so you can try something new).
Let’s take a look at how you can get this information!
1. Optimize Google My Business (GMB)
If you haven’t already claimed your GMB listing, it’s a critical first step toward improving your local SEO. Enabling GMB means gaining visibility with those whose GPS signals are near your brick-and-mortar venue. “Near me” searches commonly rely on information from GMB when showing users businesses in their area.
If you already have GMB set up, this is where you should check to make sure that you are verified.
If you are, you can move on. If not, verify your business with the four-digit pin that you received when first setting up your account. Google uses this method to verify that your business’s physical location is where you say that it is.
Once you’re verified, you should:
- Check to make sure that your name, address, and phone number are correct and consistent with the information on other areas of the web
- Ensure that all details on your profile are filled out (including optional ones)
- Add photos of your products as well as your venue to draw people in
- Create interactive posts, sales, and promotions to drive clicks and increase conversion rates
At this point, you can move on to looking at your actual website.
2. Use Google Analytics to Assess Behavioral Signals
Next, enter your website information into Google Analytics. Here, you’ll get information such as which pages people tend to visit the most frequently. Improving these most-visited pages should be your priority since those are going to drive the most conversions.
You also should look into which pages are causing people to take actionable steps towards getting their feet through your doors. Does a certain page take a lot of visitors to the contact form? Do more people hit the button for directions to your store on a certain area of your site?
Answering these questions is important because you then know what pages to emulate. You also can see what pages cause higher bounce rates. This lets you find patterns in these irrelevant pages so that you know what not to do in the future.
3. Check for Keyword Optimization Possibilities
Google Analytics will also tell you the queries that web users made before being directed to your site. For example, a self-storage SEO campaign may discover searches for keywords like “self storage near me,” “store valuables in Boise,” or “where to store goods.”
Take these keywords and enter them into an online tool that lets you see data about the phrases. Find one that has a high search volume (SV) of over 100. Optimize for it if there is a keyword difficulty (KD) score of 80 or below.
You can also enter related keywords into these tools to check their value. When you discover something that will drive traffic, you can organically incorporate it into your landing page, blog posts, video descriptions, and more.
Beyond the Top Local SEO Tips
While there are tons more things that you can do for a comprehensive SEO audit, these are some of the most important steps.
A local SEO audit is just one part of a comprehensive SEO strategy. However, it’s one of the most important steps in getting your small business noticed. It doesn’t just help drive web traffic but also helps to get your target audience through your brick-and-mortar doors.
Now that you know all about local SEO and how you can optimize your page, it’s time to get started. Head over to the ‘life’ section of our home page. Then, click on the ‘technology’ tab beneath it to get more ideas on digital marketing and search engine use.