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Local SEO Checklist

These are the steps you take to get on the 1st page of Google for the search queries that matter.

This web page is still under construction, but still has a ton of valuable information we want you to have available now as we continue to improve and complete the content and design.

Thanks for understanding.  Enjoy.

Google’s Free SEO Tools

Keyword Research Methods

Google Search Console Performance Tab

https://search.google.com/search-console/about

 

Google Ads Keyword Planner

https://ads.google.com

 

Google My Business Insights

https://www.google.com/business/

 

Google Suggest

 

https://google.com

 

Ubersuggest

https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/

 

AnswerThePublic

https://answerthepublic.com/

Bonus:  https://optimized.design/keyword-research-for-local-businesses/

How Strong Is Your Current Online Presence

SEOquake

https://www.seoquake.com/index.html

 

Perform Searches Like A Potential Customer

 

https://google.com

 

Ahrefs

https://ahrefs.com/

 

SEMrush

https://www.semrush.com/

Section Notes:

It is just the best practice/good idea in general to hook up all of the free tools Google and Bing have to offer. Don’t sleep on Bing! They are sneaky…

By connecting your site to these platforms properly, you can be sure the 2 largest search engines for local businesses will know your website exists, not to mention the insights they also provide.

It is very important to do some research before diving in! You know your business/industry very well, people searching may not. Identify the words and phrases they use to find businesses like yours.

Mandatory Website Elements – Front End

Website Navigation and Content Is Easy To Navigate and Read

 

Clear Call To Action (CTA)

 

Use Your Own Photographs

 

Write Your Own Content

 

Internal Links

If you are interested in our services, contact us.  That’s an example of an internal link.

External Links

Want to learn more about SEO?  Check out what Wikipedia has to say about SEO.

Note: If you click on that external link it opens in a new tab.  Never take people completely off your website when linking externally!  Always make it open in a new tab.  The HTML for this is simple:  target=”_blank”

Responsive Design

 

Blog

Check out our SEO Blog here: https://optimized.design/seo-blog/

Section Notes:

We work on a lot of websites. We look at even more for tire kickers! 🤣

You’d be shocked at how many websites are simply missing key data such as their NAP (Name, Address, and Phone) or don’t make it clear what the website visitors are supposed to do after viewing the website.

Lose the stock images ASAP if you are using them. Make sure you wrote your content and that it provides value to the reader and is accurate to your business.

Mobile web browsing has been here and will continue to gain popularity. Make sure your site looks good on a phone!

Mandatory Website Elements – Back End

URL Structure

URL structure in a nutshell:
Say you have a services page and then each service has its own page (Highly recommended by the way…)

The ‘services’ page should be: website.com/services
The individual services page should be: website.com/services/service

Site Speed

https://gtmetrix.com/

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

 

Schema Markup (Structured Data)

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-seo-structured-data-schema/

 

https://technicalseo.com/tools/schema-markup-generator/

https://hallanalysis.com/json-ld-generator/

 

Page Titles

 

Page Meta Descriptions

 

Alt Tags

 

H Tags

https://optimized.design/how-to-properly-use-h-tags/

Section Notes:

If your website doesn’t load in under 4 seconds, it’s a problem!

Schema markup fuels voice search devices like Alexa, Siri, + Google Home.

Your page titles and meta descriptions are what you see when looking at the search results listing (otherwise known as SERPs). These don’t do much for SEO per se, but can persuade someone to click on your listing over another. Optimize for clicks with SEO keywords in mind.

Alt tags are more important than ever. Simply describe the image in its alt tag. Alt tags are used for SEO, screen readers, and will be displayed if for some reason the browser does not load your image.

H tags are your websites ‘Headlines.’ Just like newspaper headlines. This proper use is easy to understand and rarely implemented properly.

Lose the stock images ASAP if you are using them. Make sure you wrote your content and that it provides value to the reader and is accurate to your business.

Mobile web browsing has been here and will continue to gain popularity. Make sure your site looks good on a phone!

Off-Site SEO Factors

Business Social Media Accounts

It’s hard to say if Facebook or YouTube is most important.  I’m leaning towards YouTube as it is owned by Google and Google does not care all that much for Facebook!

LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter could be valuable to your business/niche/industry.

One important thing to note is that if you are not going to be active on these platforms, it may be best to not create one in the first place.  Each of these do allow for a ‘back link’ to your website, although it holds little to no value for SEO purposes.  If you really want the ‘citation’ and ‘back link’, which isn’t a terrible idea, then make it clear with your post(s), profile, or cover image that the action is on your website or another platform, or simply make it clear how to contact you/learn more otherwise.

Build and/or Verify Citations or Directory Listings

 

We highly recommend using this service for back link building: http://bit.ly/optimized-citations

That is an affiliate link and if you do choose to use their service, we may be compensated for the referral.  We have spent over $1,600 with them building our own and our clients’ back links.  We are 100% positive you will have a positive experience and it will be worth the cost.  We have used several other tools and from our experience, they are simply the best.

 

Earn Back Links

Ongoing SEO To-Dos

Fetch More Google Reviews

Here are some tips:  https://optimized.design/the-4-best-ways-to-use-a-direct-google-review-link/

*Since originally writing that blog post, Google now provides every verified business with a short, branded link within Google My Business.  Before this was available, it was hard to get it!  So, I had my Optimized SEO and Website’s developers make a tool.

Update and Add To Your Website’s Content

 

Post To Google My Business Once Per Week

 

Build More Citations and Get Reviews On These Platforms

 

Write More Blogs

https://optimized.design/11-local-seo-elements/

Bonus Tips

Zoho For Your Company Email

https://zoho.com/mail

 

SSL Certificate – Secure Your Website

You can get an SSL certificate for free if you are willing to jump through some hoops with Let’s Encrypt: https://letsencrypt.org/

Or, you could host your website with us and we include a free SSL certificate and your website will be hosted on our super secure Amazon AWS dedicated server.

 

Website Accessibility

Learn more about website accessibility by visiting https://ada.optimized.design.  Just a heads up, this tool is technically a ‘band-aid’ and we are working on developing a more robust tool that actually resolves your website’ code accessibility issues to truly make your website compliant with web accessibility laws.

Our new tool should launch in early 2020.  It is going to be a big deal really soon.  Many websites, large and small, have already been sued and lost because a person with a visual or motor impairment could not navigate their website.

Build A List

MailChimp:  https://mailchimp.com

 

Little Something Extra

Have a WordPress website?  Check out 11 of our favorite plugins:  https://optimized.design/seo-agencys-favorite-wordpress-plugins/