Whether you own a single store front or a nationally based chain, a local SEO strategy is key to driving more potential customers through your doors. By optimizing specific parts of your website with this on-page local SEO checklist, you can increase your prospects’ chances of finding you in local search results.
But first, you might be asking, what is “on-page SEO”? Here is what MOZ has to say,
[pullquote align=”normal”]On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals. [/pullquote]
On-page Local SEO Cecklist Infographic
Scroll down to view the details of this infographic and learn how to optmize each area with our on-page local SEO checklist.
Here’s Your On-Page Local SEO Checklist
[thrive_headline_focus title=”1. Page Title” orientation=”left”]
This is the title that shows in the tab at the top of your browser.
Your title tag is the most important part of your on-page SEO. Generally, the closer your keyword is to the beginning of the title the better because it has more weight with search engines.
Make sure to include your City and State in the page title as well.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”2. Permalinks” orientation=”left”]
The permalink is the word or series of words that appear after the “.com/”.
Make your permalink short and sweet. The first 3-5 words in your URL/permalink are given more weight so always include your target keyword as one of the first words.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”3. NAP” orientation=”left”]
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number.
You need to make it easy for people and search engines to not only find you but also contact you.
The header and footer of your website is a great place to include this information. Not only will it make finding you contact information easier for potential clients, it also benefits your SEO.
This should be included as crawlable HTML text on your site. Avoid the common mistake of only including the NAP within an image — images can’t be crawled by search engines like HTML text.
Make sure this info matches exactly what you submit to Google My Business and other directories & citations. Inconsistent information can hurt your local SEO!
[thrive_headline_focus title=”4. H1 Header” orientation=”left”]
The H1 tag is your “headline tag” that commonly appears at the very top of your page. Most CMS’s (like WordPress) automatically add the H1 tag to your page title. If that’s the case, you’re all set.
Also, you should only have ONE H1 heading per page. Any more will look spammy to the search engines.
However, some themes override this setting. Check your site’s code to make sure your title has an H1.
To check your site’s code, right click on your top heading and click “Inspect” (some browsers say “Inspect Element”. Browser used in the example pic is Chrome.) – see image 1 below. Next, Look for the “h1” tag- see image 2 below.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”5. Keywords & Internal Links” orientation=”left”]
Don’t start off your content with a long, meandering intro. Instead, use your target keyword and city/state somewhere within the first 100-150 words. This helps the search engines understand what your page is all about.
Also, make sure you have internal links on your page. These are hyperlinks that point to another page on the same website. Internal linking makes it easier for the search engines to crawl your website and see all your pages.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”6. Images” orientation=”left”]
Make sure the first image on the page includes your target keyword and city/state, (for example, furnace-repair-cedar-rapids-ia.png).
Additionally, your target keyword and city/state should also be part of your image Alt Text. Both the file name and the Alt Tag helps to tell search engines what your page is about – which helps determine where you rank organically.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”7. Headings & External Links” orientation=”left”]
You should have 1-3 other headings on your page (outside of the top H1) that are H2 or H3 headings. Make sure to include your target keyword and city/state in these headings.
Within this content, you should also create some external links. These are hyperlinks that link to other websites related to yours. This also helps search engines know what your website is about by who you link out to.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”8. Review Buttons” orientation=”left”]
Place buttons or links for your customers to click on that will direct them to the places where they can leave a review for your business. This makes it more convenient for customers to leave a review, which is a ranking factor for your SEO.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”9. Social Media Buttons” orientation=”left”]
Display buttons on your site where visitors can see and follow your social media pages. By gaining more “Likes” and “Followers” you are broadening your audience so more people will see your social media posts.
Also, if you have a blog, you should display social sharing buttons on each post. Studies have shown that prominent social sharing buttons can increase social sharing by 700%. When many people are sharing your posts, this signals the search engines that your website is popular and relevant – which will affect how they rank your site in search
There you have it… your on-page local SEO checklist. By following all these steps, you’re on your way to a successful local SEO strategy.
But wait, there’s more…
On-Page Local SEO Checklist Bonus Tips
[thrive_headline_focus title=”Create location pages.” orientation=”left”]
Create location pages if you have more than one brick and mortar location or if your service area includes multiple cities. Location pages provide readers with your NAP, store hours, unique store descriptions, parking/transit information, promotions, testimonials from happy customers, and more.
Below is a Service Area page that we created fro Affordable Heating and Cooling. Each city has its own page with on-page SEO:
[thrive_headline_focus title=”3. Publish locally relevant content.” orientation=”left”]
Be the local authority for your industry — you can go about it through regularly publishing blog content. (And setting up a business blog if you don’t already have one.) Promote local industry gatherings, news, employees, and other educational content on your blog. Think of content that goes beyond what your business sells.
For example, if you’re a local security company that is trying to attract new area businesses, create a helpful resource to get these businesses well-acquainted with your city. A map of local service providers or a calendar of city-wide events could both provide value for your persona and contain highly relevant on-page local signals.
Use this on-page local SEO checklist for your local business to help win Google’s attention to your business before your competition!