Showing up on Google is a great thing. But, is that an easy task? Let’s see-you are a wedding planner in Los Angeles, CA and you are well-known locally for your services. Now, imagine you have a website that shows up on the first page whenever someone writes “Wedding Planner in Los Angeles”. What good does that do to you? Don’t worry because this Local SEO Checklist has got you covered.
Statistics show that almost 70% of the people that search for a specific keyword click on the first result. In that case, if there are 2000 people searching for wedding planners in Los Angeles, you are likely to get almost 1500 of them on your website simply because your website is on top.
Although it sounds very attractive, ranking on Google is not a piece of cake nowadays. There are tons of things you need to look out for if you want to rank #1 and stay there for a while.
Google has amazingly categorized Local Search Results and has come up with some factors that must be checked for a local business if it wants to rank for that area. It doesn’t matter what your global reputation is unless you’re a brand serving in multiple countries. If you are providing local services, all you need to do is fulfill all criteria that help you build a good reputation for Google’s local search.
Local SEO Checklist for 2021 is a hand note type of thing that will guide you to build a winning SEO campaign.
1. Verify your Business on Google
When I say on Google, I mean Google My Business. I cannot explain how important it is for building your online local reputation. However, I’m not saying you cannot do business online without having a GMB profile, but if you have one, it will give you leverage over your competitors that don’t have it.
Creating and verifying a profile is an easy-going process and will probably need about half an hour to get it over with. Optimizing your profile is a whole different thing as you may require professional support like us. But, make sure to verify your profile using the PIN that Google sends on your given address.
2. Know Your Keywords
You want to see my plumbing website on top for Wilmington, but you can’t do that unless you know the exact key phrases. People in Wilmington are most likely to search for something like “Plumbers in Wilmington” or “Wilmington Plumbing Companies”. These will be your target keywords, so make sure you are aware of these keywords, what are the monthly search volumes, how difficult they are to rank for, and so on.
For example, while I’m typing this article, I want this to deliver to people who are currently in search of a Local SEO Checklist for 2021. Thus, I need to know what people are likely to read it.
Actually, these things are to be taken care of by the SEO experts, but it’s good if the business owners are aware of them.
3. Put Relevant Information on your Website
I’m not going into all the On-Page SEO stuff, but let’s say if you have a website about your coffee shop, just make sure it brings out all the information. A website that represents a coffee shop in Little Rock must carry relevant information about the business, unique data about why your coffee shop is better than others, and images of your business.
To make myself clearer, here at Infodrafts, we provide SEO services in multiple locations. For example, our Little Rock SEO services page carries information that says why we are the perfect SEO company for small-medium business owners in Little Rock, AR. So, for perfection, we went ahead and put the relevant keywords in places like the Title, Meta Description, inside content, and the Alt text of images. I’m not saying you strictly need to follow this strategy of literally stuffing keywords. You can do it as long as it looks natural.
4. Create Some Good Business Listings
Although some of us have our own opinions on it, I actually think it’s a great idea. Here’s why- If you are registering for the business listing directories in an area, Google may probably see it as a strong reference and a trust-booster. I’m sure you’ve heard of Yelp. It’s good if you have a complete account on their profile as sometimes you’ll find sales from there too.
I’m not saying go out and randomly start creating citations because that won’t bring you value. Creating 3-4 complete powerful citations is better than creating 50 incomplete ones that aren’t any good. For winning the game of Local Search, your focus should be on relevance and building trust.
5. Online Coverage
Other than building online business listings, you can do press releases which are a great way to not only gain authority but also get traffic. There are tons of websites that do press releases offering you to put some content and a link to your website. Often people look for startups and businesses in those websites, so you have a great chance of getting their attention.
Online newspapers are great mediums of coverage. I’m sure it’s worth approaching local news websites asking them for the coverage of your business. People’s trust in newspapers also brings their trust upon your business as well.
6. Build Backlinks
There are people who will tell you the need for backlinks is over, so remove it from the Local SEO checklist for 2021. Here’s why I have a different opinion-Building backlink is a process of building connections among relevant websites and competitors. So, it’s very common for blog sites to mention businesses and put the links on the content somewhere it is visible. Google never considers it no-good as the domain authority and rating mostly relies on the fact that the website has a good backlinking profile.
2021 will be the year for a lot of changes. The importance of backlinks isn’t likely to go away, although there may be some strategic changes.
7. Ask For Reviews
Remember you have a Google My Business Profile? There’s a review option in it that bears significance if you’re delivering a service or selling a product. Think of it on your end like if you have two Pizza Huts on your screen, one having a lot of good reviews and the other with a poor review collection, you’ll definitely go for the first one.
So, the next time you sell any service or product, just politely ask for some good words that he/she can write you on your business’s GMB profile.
I’m not done, but for now, you can survive the market and beat some of your toughest competitors by following these steps. However, the whole point of following the Local SEO Checklist for 2021 is to make Google like your website. While you’re on that, make sure you’re making your audience like it too.
Best of luck for your campaign in 2021!