How to perform a local SEO audit

How to perform a local SEO audit

This guide is tailored for businesses aiming to assess and enhance their local online presence. A local SEO audit is the first step in understanding where you stand in local search rankings and identifying areas for improvement. Whether you're a small business or a larger entity with multiple locations, a well-conducted local SEO audit can uncover crucial insights into your local search performance, helping you devise a strategy to dominate local search results. Here's a step-by-step guide on conducting a thorough local SEO audit.

Google Business Profile Listing Audit

Start by reviewing your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing, which is a critical component of local SEO. Ensure that your business name, address, phone number (NAP), and business hours are accurate and consistent across your listing and all online platforms. Check for completeness in all sections, including categories, services, description, and attributes. Additionally, assess the quality and relevance of photos and posts, and ensure you're actively managing and responding to reviews.

NAP Consistency Check

Inconsistencies in your NAP information across the web can harm your local SEO. Use tools to scan local directories, social media profiles, and other platforms where your business information is listed. Make note of any discrepancies in your business name, address, or phone number, and take steps to correct these inconsistencies to ensure uniformity across the web.

Website Localisation Audit

Examine your website with a focus on its localisation elements. Ensure that your complete NAP information is easily accessible, ideally in the footer of every page. For businesses with multiple locations, consider creating a dedicated landing page for each location, incorporating local keywords, and relevant local content. Additionally, check for the presence of schema markup for local business, which can help search engines better understand and index your site's local relevance.

On-Page SEO Evaluation

Analyse on-page SEO factors that impact local search visibility. This includes title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and content optimisation for local keywords. Ensure that each page targets relevant local search terms in a natural and helpful way to users. Also, evaluate the user experience (UX) on your website, including mobile responsiveness, page load speed, and easy navigation, as these factors significantly influence search rankings and user engagement.

Local Link and Citation Audit

Links and citations (mentions of your business name, address, and phone number) play a crucial role in local SEO. Conduct an audit to identify your current backlinks and citations, assessing their quality and relevance. Look for opportunities to acquire more local backlinks from reputable sites, such as local directories, chamber of commerce sites, or local media. Ensure your business is listed accurately in local directories and that there are no duplicate listings.

Online Review Analysis

Reviews are a cornerstone of local SEO. Evaluate your current review profile across platforms like Google Business Profile, Yelp, and industry-specific review sites. Take note of the overall rating, response rate to reviews, and the presence of negative reviews. Develop a strategy for soliciting more positive reviews and professionally responding to negative feedback.

Competitor Benchmarking

Understanding how your local SEO efforts stack up against competitors is invaluable. Identify your main local competitors and conduct a similar SEO audit on their online presence. This can provide insights into their strategies, reveal new keywords or directories, and highlight areas where you can outperform them.

Action Plan Development

Based on the findings of your audit, create an actionable plan to address the identified weaknesses and capitalise on opportunities. Prioritise tasks based on their potential impact on your local SEO performance and allocate resources accordingly. This plan should be revisited and revised regularly as you make improvements and as local SEO best practices evolve.

This guide empowers businesses to critically assess and improve their local SEO efforts. By methodically examining each component of your local online presence and developing a targeted action plan, you can enhance your visibility in local search results, attract more local customers, and ultimately drive business growth.

Ellie Sanderson
Ellie Sanderson