The essential local SEO checklist for multi-location businesses
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For small businesses and multi-location brands, implementing a strong local SEO strategy is essential for driving leads and sales. With increasing local pack competition and more voice and map searches than ever, appearing prominently in local search results can make or break your business.
But local SEO certainly isn’t easy, with countless factors to optimize like Google Business Profiles, review generation, link building, and more. It can be challenging to know where to start and what to prioritize, especially with limited time and resources.
That’s where this comprehensive local SEO checklist comes in handy. A step-by-step checklist can provide small business owners and multi-location marketing teams with an actionable guide on implementing local SEO best practices.
In this post, we’ll cover the essential items that should be on every local business’s SEO checklist, based on the latest guidance from industry experts like Search Engine Land. With consistent execution across these areas, you can build a solid local SEO foundation.
First we’ll cover the SEO checklist for solo business owners who need to handle local optimization themselves. Then we’ll get into the checklist factors that multi-location leadership should focus on to manage SEO cohesively across all locations.
With this local SEO checklist, you’ll know exactly which steps to take to improve local pack rankings, organic visibility, and ultimately your bottom line. Let’s get started!
Local SEO checklist for small business owners
As a small business, you likely handle all your own marketing or rely on just a few team members. That means you need to be able to DIY the fundamentals of local SEO for the best chance of ranking in local pack and organic search.
Follow this comprehensive 6-step local SEO checklist to start seeing results:
Step 1: Optimize your Google Business Profile
- Choose a relevant primary category and secondary categories that best represent your business. Research competitors and use tools like PlePler for help.
- Fully complete your Business Profile with descriptions, images, services, products, and more.
- Ensure your business name, address, phone number, and website are completely consistent across all directories and citations. This builds trust in search engines.
Step 2: Generate and manage online reviews
- Add a review link to your email signature and invoice footer to make it easy for customers to leave reviews.
- Politely respond to all Google reviews you receive, thanking happy customers and addressing constructive feedback.
- Consider displaying third-party reviews from Facebook or Yelp on your GBP listing and website to build trust.
Step 3: Create useful, keyword-optimized content
- Target key local service pages with 600+ words of helpful content optimized with relevant geo-keywords.
- Create location pages if you have multiple locations, tailored to each specific area.
- Add blog, videos, FAQs, etc. to establish expertise and appeal to searchers.
Step 4: Structure site navigation using siloing best practices
- Organize your site into logical sections and categories based on locations, services, and resources.
- Ensure pages targeting specific geo-keywords are appropriately siloed.
- Interlink related pages internally to enable discovery by search engines.
Step 5: Optimize on-page elements
- Include your city, neighborhood, and other relevant terms on-page (titles, headers, etc.)
- Implement local business schema markup on key pages.
- Make site mobile-friendly and fast-loading. Enable HTTPS.
Step 6: Build local links
- Earn links from directories like TripAdvisor and niche sites.
- Get mentioned on local organization and association sites relevant to your business.
- Sponsor local events and ensure you get linked recognition.
- Start guest blogging on local blogs.
Following this local SEO checklist will ensure you don’t miss any of the essentials for standing out in local pack and organic SERPs.
Local SEO checklist for multi-location marketing leadership
When managing local SEO across multiple locations, consistency and consolidation are key. You need visibility into how each location is performing digitally while ensuring they adhere to optimization best practices.
Follow this local SEO checklist to effectively manage multi-location SEO:
Step 1: Audit existing local digital presence at each location
- Review online listings and social media pages for each location.
- Check for duplicate unclaimed listings that need to be merged/removed.
- Identify any gaps/inconsistencies in name, address, phone, website or categories.
Step 2: Consolidate local data/insights into centralized dashboard
- Use multi-location management software to aggregate key local SEO data in one place.
- Gain visibility into local rankings, reviews, and clicks for each location.
- Identify underperforming locations quickly.
Step 3: Set up monitoring for online reputation management
- Activate review monitoring and alerts to be notified of new reviews.
- Maintain a consistent process for timely responses.
- Monitor social media mentions and brand keywords.
Step 4: Develop consistent processes for optimizing locations
- Document guidelines for all local staff on optimizing on-page elements, generating reviews, etc.
- Conduct regular local SEO training sessions.
- Ensure best practices adherence through monitoring.
Step 5: Train local staff on importance of digital skills
- Educate location managers on value of positive online reputation.
- Provide training/resources on encouraging reviews, social media, etc.
- Recognize locations/staff who excel in managing digital presence.
Step 6: Test emerging channels like social geo-targeting
- Run local social media campaigns with geo-fences around locations.
- Leverage Google Business Messages and Facebook Map Posts.
- Be an early adopter of promising new local features.
With this local SEO checklist, you can take a structured approach to managing optimization across all your locations. Partnering with an agency provides extra support and expertise scaling multi-location SEO.
Implementing a strong local SEO strategy takes time and expertise – but it’s essential for driving visibility and conversions in local search. By following this comprehensive local SEO checklist, both small business owners and multi-location enterprises can build a solid SEO foundation.
However, if you need additional support taking your local SEO to the next level, consider partnering with Evocalize. Our sophisticated software makes executing multi-location digital marketing simple through push-button ad templates that are on-brand, compliant, and optimized by machine learning.
Any franchisee can launch effective ad campaigns in just a couple clicks, with the corporate marketing team maintaining brand control.
If you’re ready to accelerate your local digital marketing results, request a free local marketing strategy session from Evocalize today. Our data-driven insights will set you up for local SEO success.
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