How To Do a Comprehensive Local SEO Audit: A To-Do List

April 23rd, 2024, 09:00 AM

Doing local SEO the right way requires a multifaceted approach consisting of keyword research, competitor analysis, and ongoing optimization of your business listings and website.

An important part of getting started with all of this, or evaluating the current state of your local SEO strategy, is conducting a thorough local SEO audit.

What Is a Local SEO Audit?

A local SEO audit is a comprehensive analysis of a business's local search visibility and performance. It assesses various factors that affect how well a business ranks in local search results, particularly on Google.

Website Content Analysis

This part of the local SEO audit checks how well the site is optimized for relevant keywords and location-specific information. This includes examining the website's structure and content in terms of their optimization for local search terms.

Google Business Profile Audit

Google Business Profile (GBP) is crucial for local SEO — even more important than a website, since GBP listings rank above sites on Google. A local SEO audit checks the completeness and accuracy of GBP listing information, such as its business name, address, and phone number (NAP), categories, and photos.

Local Citations Audit

Local citations are mentions of a business's name, address, phone number, and other business info on other websites, directories, and platforms. A local SEO audit evaluates the consistency and accuracy of these citations across the web.

Online Reviews Analysis

Another essential part of a comprehensive local search optimization audit is assessing the sentiment of reviews on platforms like Google, Apple Maps, Yelp, Facebook, Tripadvisor, and other relevant listing sites.

Local Link Profile Review

Links from local and relevant websites are valuable for local SEO, so a local search engine optimization audit will also examine the quality and quantity of backlinks pointing to the business's website from third-party sources.

Competitor Analysis

A thorough local SEO audit includes an analysis of competitors' Google Business Profiles, reviews, keywords, and overall local SEO strategies. Understanding how competitors perform in local search provides insights into areas for improvement and ways to outrank them. 

Local Keyword Research

Identifying relevant keywords that potential customers use when searching for local businesses is crucial, as these will guide optimization strategies. Thus, a local search audit involves researching local keywords and assessing their search volume and competition.

Technical Website SEO Evaluation

Local SEO audits also check for any technical website issues that may hinder local search visibility (Google rewards sites with good user experiences). Technical aspects of the business's website evaluated during an audit include site speed, mobile-friendliness, and schema markup.

Local On-Page SEO Evaluation

Optimizing on-page elements like title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and content for local relevance is vital. A local SEO audit evaluates these elements to ensure they align with local search intent.

Recommendations and Action Plan Development

Based on the findings of the audit, recommendations are provided to improve the business's local search visibility. These recommendations may include optimizing Google Business Profile, building citations, improving reviews, and enhancing on-page and off-page SEO efforts.

Overall, a local search engine optimization audit aims to identify areas of strength and weakness in a business's local search strategy and provide actionable insights into how to enhance its visibility and rankings in local search results.

Your Local SEO Audit To-Do List

Performing a comprehensive local SEO audit involves many different steps to ensure a thorough evaluation. Here's a concise checklist you can use to make sure you're covering everything:

  • Google Business Profile Audit:
      • Verify GBP listing accuracy (NAP, categories, hours, etc.).
      • Check for duplicate GMB listings (and remove any you find).
      • Ensure GBP completeness (photos, description, attributes, etc.).
  • Website Content Analysis:
      • Verify website's NAP consistency with GBP listing.
      • Review website content for local relevance and keyword optimization.
  • Local Citations Audit:
      • Identify existing citations across all platforms and sites.
      • Check consistency of NAP and other info across citations.
      • Look for opportunities to build new citations on relevant sites.
  • Online Reviews Analysis:
      • Assess review quantity and quality, particularly on Google.
      • Look for opportunities to respond to reviews, particularly negative ones.
      • Identify ways to encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews.
  • Local Link Profile Review:
      • Analyze backlink profile for local relevance.
      • Seek opportunities for local link building.
  • Local Keyword Research:
      • Identify relevant local keywords.
      • Evaluate keyword search volume and competition.
  • Competitor Analysis:
      • Identify top local competitors.
      • Analyze competitors' GBP profiles, keywords/categories, and reviews.
      • Identify areas where competitors are performing well and areas where they aren't (i.e., strong opportunities to outrank them).
  • Technical Website SEO Evaluation:
      • Check site speed and performance.
      • Ensure the website is mobile-friendly.
      • Evaluate local schema markup.
  • Local On-Page Optimization:
      • Look for ways to optimize title tags, meta descriptions, and headers for local keywords.
      • Ensure content is highly relevant to the local audience.
      • Include NAP information on website pages.
  • Check Your Local Ranking with Local Falcon:
      • Use Local Falcon to track local rankings in local SERPs.
      • Analyze results to identify areas for improvement.
  • Come Up with Recommendations and Action Plan:
    • Based on audit findings, create a prioritized list of action items.
    • Implement changes to improve local SEO performance.
    • Repeat!

Following all these steps will help you identify areas of strength and weakness in your local SEO strategy and take corrective actions to improve your local search visibility. 

And remember, local search engine optimization is an ongoing process — it's important to conduct regular audits and closely monitor performance to achieve continuous results!

How Local Falcon Can Speed up Your Local SEO Audits

While you can and should use several different tools and methodologies to conduct a local SEO audit, Local Falcon can drastically speed up your audits by taking care of several key aspects.

Local Rank Tracking for Business Listings

Local Falcon allows you to instantly track your rankings for specific search terms for Google Business Profile and Apple Business Connect business listings. The flexible geo-grid tracking system allows you to run fully custom scans for large or small areas, so you can gain laser-focused insights into your rankings at a hyper-local level

Competitor Analysis

Every Local Falcon rank tracking scan includes insights into the top competitors found in the scan, including how often they're appearing in the top search results, what categories their business listings have, their reviews, and more. 

Keyword Suggestions

With Local Falcon's Keyword Suggestions feature, you get instant suggestions for locally relevant keywords based on business listing categories and other search terms that people are actually using to find businesses like yours.

Falcon AI Analysis and Optimization Recommendations

Falcon AI takes care of a lot of the manual, time-consuming analysis that goes into local SEO audits for you. Based on rank tracking scans you've run, the AI points out what's already optimized, what needs improvement, and even opportunities to outrank vulnerable competitors at specific points on the map.

Sentiment Analysis

Local Falcon provides valuable insights into reviews for both your business and its competitors, helping you identify when getting more positive reviews could be the missing piece of the puzzle that could help you outrank the competition.

Final Words

Conducting a comprehensive local SEO audit is essential for businesses looking to improve their visibility and rankings in local search results. 

Whether you're a business owner or a marketer working with local businesses, following the steps outlined above can help you identify areas for improvement and implement effective local SEO strategies. Local Falcon can also streamline the audit process, providing valuable insights and recommendations for optimization efforts. 

Ultimately, by regularly conducting local SEO audits and staying proactive in optimizing their online presence, businesses can maintain a competitive edge and attract more local customers.

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