Back to site

The Step by Step Guide to Local SEO

Local SEO is important.

In fact, 46% of all searches on Google are local.

That means if you’re a local business and you don’t have your local SEO in order, you’re missing an opportunity every time someone local searches for your products or services online.

Let’s start!

Are you on page 1 of Google?

NO

Keep reading.

YES

Great job! You don’t need this guide then!

Are your local listings set up?

NO

Set up local profiles as soon as possible:

Note: Some of them might take up to 30 days to be verified.

  • Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)
  • Google Maps
  • Bing Places (formerly Bing Local)
  • Yelp (optional)

YES

Are your local listings optimised?

NO

Make sure all local listings have the corect content for the following:

  • Business Name (or Individual Name)
  • Address + Map (or Service Area)
  • Contact Info
  • Contact (or Appointment) Link
  • Call to Action Link (if any)
  • Category (as many as apply)
  • Hours of Business
  • Logo, Photos & Videos
  • Introduction (or Description)
  • Keywords

Check if all fields are valid and no typos are present.

YES

Are you getting regular client reviews every month?

NO

Start asking for reviews as soon as possible, wherever possible. Reply to each review whenever posted (the sooner, the better).

  • Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • TrustPilot (paid, optional)

YES

Are you listed in industry directories?

NO

Check where competitors are listed and get listed there. A quick Google search yields several good results.

Note: Some of them might take up to 30 days to be verified.

  • https://irishdirectory.ie/
  • https://www.irishbusinesslink.ie/directory
  • https://business.ie/home
  • https://www.whatswhat.ie/
  • https://www.localsearch.ie/
  • https://www.mytown.ie/
  • https://www.goldenpages.ie/list-your-business/
  • https://www.thebestof.ie/

YES

Do you have a separate page for every product or service you offer?

NO

  • List every product or service you offer
  • Create a unique page for every product or service

Do you have long form pages (minimum 500 words)?

Add some of the below:

  • Presentations
  • Proposals
  • FAQs
  • Descriptions
  • Testimonials
  • Reviews

YES

Have you optimised every page of your website?

NO

Identify target keyword(s) for every page (one per page and one page per website).

Hint: You should not have more than one page targeting the same keyword.

Create and validate unique metatags for every page (title and description).

Hint: Use metatags.io to validate your pages.

Create keyword-rich URLs for every product or service page. Add keywords to headings (H1, H2 and H3). Add keywords to text (±2-3%).

Use headings in order (i.e. first H1, then H2, then H3 and so on)

Link to other pages from within text.

Optimise images.

YES

Do you have many external websites linking to your website?

NO

Go for some quick wins:

  • Give testimonials to local suppliers
  • Link back from social media profiles: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube
  • Free or paid authority directories
  • Comment on related blogs

Note: It’s rather hard to find relevant blogs with relevant content with open comments section, but it’s worth it.

YES

Have you completed all optimisation tasks above? No cheating?

NO

Go back.

YES

Set up:

  • Analytics Engine (Google Analytics, Plausible Analytics, Jetpack Site Stats, etc)
  • Google Search Console
  • Bing Webmaster Tools
  • XML Sitemap
  • robots.txt

Does your website load faster than your competitors?

NO

YES

Is your website mobile friendly?

NO

YES

Is your website safe and secure?

NO

YES

Do you have a blog set up?

NO

  • Set up a WordPress blog
  • Check competitors blogs for ideas
  • Identify leading blogs in your niche
  • Create a schedule of 10-15 blog posts based on your competitor ideas and your frequently asked questions

YES

Do you know what to blog about?

NO

YES

What is your target market? Your audience? Individuals or businesses? B2C or B2B?

INDIVIDUALS (B2C)

Use the ideas below, if applicable:

  • “How to…” guides
  • Local interest features / local guides / family guides
  • List based content (e.g. “21 ways to…”)
  • Product reviews
  • Seasonal / holiday guides / what’s on / upcoming events
  • “Best of” lists
  • Product videos
  • Predictions / old vs new content
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • Product/service comparisons (e.g. product X vs product Y)
  • “Common mistakes with…” content
  • Checklist content

Set up a newsletter.

BUSINESSES (B2B)

Use the ideas below, if applicable:

  • “How to…” guides
  • Buyers’ guides
  • List based content (e.g. “21 ways to…”)
  • Case studies
  • Best practice guides
  • “Best of” lists
  • Screen capture videos
  • Predictions / old vs new content
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • Infographics
  • “Common mistakes with…” content
  • Checklist content

Set up a newsletter.

Is your content optimised for SEO and sharing?

NO

  • Set attention grabbing headlines (but not spammy or linkbait-y)
  • Identify target keyword
  • Include keyword in metatags
  • Include keyword in title and headings
  • Include keyword in URL (if possible)
  • Optimise images
  • Add related keywords in text
  • Link internally to other posts
  • Link externally to authority content, sources, image credits
  • Add social sharing buttons (if applicable or desirable)
  • Check mobile ready
  • Check load speed

Check out some related local SEO resources here and here.

YES

Do you use video extensively throughout your website?

NO

Set up a YouTube channel.

Are you happy to appear on video?

NO

Create videos choosing from the following:

  • Before and after examples
  • Talking slides
  • Cartoons
  • Screen capture

YES

Create videos choosing from the following:

  • Whiteboard presentations
  • Product or service descriptions
  • Headshot / interview style
  • Talking FAQs / hints and tips

Have you optimised your videos for SEO?

Do the following for all videos:

  • Choose keywords for all videos
  • Add keyword rich titles and metatags (descriptions) in YouTube
  • Transcribe (or summarise) videos and create blog posts with embedded videos
  • Optimise blog posts (title, metatags, headings, etc)

YES

Does your website create trust?

NO / NOT SURE

Clearly display all of the below (when applicable) on all pages:

  • USPs (e.g. “We’re a fully licensed and bonded Irish company”, “Official partner to {insert partner here}”, “Just 1% fee”)
    A unique selling point (USP), also called a unique selling proposition, is the essence of what makes your product or service better than competitors. In online marketing, communicating your USP clearly and quickly is one of the keys to getting potential customers to convert on your site.
  • Professional accreditations
  • Partner logos
  • Supplier logos
  • Area/location logos or badges
  • Guarantees
  • GDPR badges or guarantees
  • SSL badge(s)
  • Payment logos (Visa, MasterCard, Americal Express)
  • Payment processor logos (Stripe, PayPal, Realex, Global Payments)

YES

Relax and have a coffee! You’ve definitely earned it!

Illustrations by Azure.