October 3, 2022

The Complete Local SEO Audit Guide: Step-by-Step Instructions

If you're like most small businesses, you want to make sure your website is ranking high in local search results. After all, local SEO for small businesses can be a major source of traffic and leads.

But how do you know if your site is optimized for local SEO? And what can you do to improve your ranking? Luckily, we've put together a complete guide to auditing your local SEO. In this post, we'll walk you through everything you need to do to perform a comprehensive website audit. We'll also provide step-by-step instructions so you can implement any necessary changes. So let's get started!

What Is A Local SEO Audit And Why Do You Need To Do It?

A local SEO audit is a comprehensive analysis of your local SEO efforts— Including your website, your online listings, and your Citation portfolio. It's an integral part of any Local SEO strategy, and it's essential for understanding where you're doing well, and where you need to improve.

There are a lot of different factors that go into a local SEO audit, but some of the most important ones include the following:

- Checking to see if your website is properly optimized for local search.

- Analyzing your online listings to ensure they are accurate and complete.

- Evaluating your citation portfolio to make sure you're consistent across the web.

- Performing competitive analysis to see how you compare to other businesses in your area.

Local SEO audits can be tricky, but they're worth the effort. With a solid local SEO campaign in place, you can make sure you're doing everything possible to attract local customers and grow your business.

Basics of Local SEO

If you have a local business, then you need to make sure you're doing everything you can to optimize your website for local SEO. Local SEO is all about making sure your website appears at the top of the search results when people are searching for businesses like yours in their local area. And there are a few key things you can do to make sure your website is optimized for local SEO.

First, you need to create a Google My Business profile for your business. This is a free listing that allows you to list your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and more. Having a Google My Business profile makes it easier for customers to find your business online, and it also helps improve your local SEO.

Second, you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. More and more people are using their smartphones to search for businesses online, so your website must be designed to be mobile-friendly. That means it should be easy to read and navigate on a smaller screen.

Third, you need to make sure your website is fast. No one wants to wait around for a slow website to load, so make sure your site is fast and responsive. You can use Google's PageSpeed Insights tool to test the speed of your website and get tips on how to improve it.

Finally, you need to make sure your website is informative and engaging. Your web content should be well-written and informative, and it should include keyword-rich titles and descriptions. including images, videos, and infographics can also help engage visitors and keep them on your site longer. All of these factors will help improve your local SEO and help get your business found online by potential customers in your area.

How to Complete a Local SEO Audit on Your Website

Whether you're a small business or a large corporation, if you want to rank high in Google searches, you need to make sure your website is optimized for Local SEO. Fortunately, there's an easy way to check whether your website is up to par: by doing a Local SEO audit. Here's a local SEO audit checklist you can follow:

Check for Google Penalties

As a website owner, it's important to stay up-to-date on Google's ever-changing algorithms. One misstep could result in a drop in ranking or even complete removal from Google search results. That's why it's critical to periodically check for Google penalties.

There are two types of penalties: manual and algorithmic. Manual penalties are imposed by Google employees after they've manually reviewed your site and found issues. Algorithmic penalties, on the other hand, are incurred when your site violates Google's guidelines and is subsequently demoted by the algorithm.

To check for manual penalties, log in to your Google Search Console account and navigate to the Manual Actions tab. If you see any messages here, take steps to correct the issues as soon as possible. To check for algorithmic penalties, look at your website's traffic data in Google Analytics. If you see a sudden drop in traffic, it could be indicative of a penalty.

If you do find that you've been penalized, don't panic. Oftentimes, it's possible to take corrective action and have the penalty removed. However, it's important to act quickly and follow Google's guidelines closely to avoid further penalties in the future.

Conduct Local Keyword Research

One of the most important aspects of local SEO is keyword research. As consumers’ search habits change, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest keywords to ensure you’re visible for relevant local searches. Conducting keyword research regularly will help you identify new keywords to target, and ensure your local SEO strategy is always up-to-date. There are several different ways to perform keyword research, but one of the most effective is organic search. By analyzing the organic search results for your business, you can gain valuable insights into which keywords are driving traffic to your site. Armed with this information, you can tweak your local SEO strategy to target these keywords and improve your visibility in search results.

Check Your Local SEO Rankings

A comprehensive local SEO audit is an important step in making sure your website is visible to your target market. By checking your local rankings, you can ensure that your website is appearing in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords and phrases. This, in turn, can help to boost your website's traffic and visibility. Several different factors can affect your Google search rankings, so it's important to regularly conduct a local SEO audit of your website to ensure that it is performing well. 

By checking your local search rankings regularly, you can make sure that your website is visible to your target market and optimize your website for better performance.

Audit Your Links and Website Authority

Any businesses with an online presence should regularly audit their links and website authority. This is especially important for businesses that rely on local SEO to attract customers. A link audit will help you identify any broken or suspicious links and any links that could harm your website's authority. Likewise, a website authority audit will help you identify any areas where your website needs improvement. By regularly auditing your links and website authority, you can ensure that your online presence is helping instead of harming your business.

Audit Citations

A local SEO audit is important for businesses that want to ensure they are visible in search engine results pages for geo-targeted searches. A local SEO audit can help identify citations, which are locally relevant mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on third-party websites. Creating or claiming accurate citations can help improve your business's visibility and ranking in local search results. 

There are a few different ways to find potential citation sources. One is to use a tool like Moz Local, which provides a list of common citation sources for businesses in specific categories and locations. You can also do a manual search for websites and directories that list businesses in your area. 

Once you've identified potential citation sources, you'll need to check each one to see if your business is already listed to avoid duplicate listings. If it is, you'll want to claim the listing and make sure the local business details are accurate. If your business isn't listed, you can create a new local listing. 

Audit Your Google Business Profile

Google My Business is one of the most important local SEO ranking factors. It is a free platform that allows business owners to manage their online presence and control how their business appears on Google Search and Maps. An accurate and complete Google My Business profile can help you attract new customers and grow your business. However, if your listing is inaccurate or incomplete, it can damage your brand and hurt your chances of ranking in the local search results.  That's why it's important to audit your Google My Business listing to make sure all the information is up-to-date and accurate. 

Audit Reviews and Ratings

As a brick-and-mortar business owner, it's important to pay attention to your online reputation. One way to do this is by monitoring your Google reviews and ratings. Google is the most popular search engine, so potential customers will likely start their search for a new business here. If they see that your business has a lot of negative reviews, they may be discouraged from giving you their business. Conversely, if they see that you have a lot of positive reviews, they'll be more likely to give you a try. Of course, you can't please everyone all the time, but it's still important to take steps to improve your online reputation. By regularly checking your Google reviews and ratings, you can identify areas that need improvement and help ensure that potential customers have a positive impression of your business.

Audit Your Social Media

If you want to make sure your local SEO is on point, you need a local SEO audit of your social media. This means taking a close look at all of your social media profiles and making sure they're up-to-date and compliant with SEO best practices. 

Start by auditing your NAP (business name, address, and phone number) information. Make sure that your NAP is consistent across all of your social media profiles. If it's not, search engines will be less likely to trust your listings, which could hurt your rankings. 

Next, take a look at your business hours. Many local businesses list their hours on their website but fail to update their social media profiles accordingly. This can lead to confusion and lost customers, so it's important to keep your hours up to date on all of your profiles. 

Finally, check out your photos and videos. Are they local SEO-friendly? Make sure they include city and state information in the tags and captioning so search engines can easily index them. By auditing your social media regularly, you'll be able to catch any local SEO mistakes before they cause serious damage to your rankings.

Whether you're just getting started with local SEO or you've been working on it for a while, this guide will help you take your efforts to the next level. By auditing your site and making sure it's optimized for local search, you can bring in more traffic and leads from your target market. And that means more customers and sales for your business. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!

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