Low-Hanging Technical SEO Fruit for Local Ranking
Local SEO is powerful. If you run an ice cream shop out of Wichita, Kansas, then you’d probably want to show up on Google when a person there searches for ice cream. Search engines have become crucial for existing and potential customers to connect with businesses.
Some business owners unintentionally set up obstacles to appearing on local search by improper site structure. Here are some low-hanging fruits to help your business appear for local searches.
Is your business’ location information written on the site in HTML?
If you want to appear in local search, you better make sure that your business’ name, address, and phone number are listed in plain text on your site. Make sure it’s not an image of your info but HTML. Google doesn’t read images (in this instance).
Is your site indexed?
There may be omissions or errors in your code that prevent Google or Bing from indexing your site. To determine whether your site is crawlable, search Google or Bing with this search string:
Look and see how many results the search engine populates here. If the number of results is close to the number of pages you have on your website, then your site is being effectively indexed. If it’s not close to the number of pages on your site, then you may have an indexing error, which you should fix or consult your tech team.
Is your site crawlable?
After you’ve run a search to see if your site is indexed, next, you can run a search to see whether specific pages are being crawled. Use the following search string on Bing or Google:
When you view the cache, click “text-only version” at the top left corner. This will show you what search engines see when they visit various pages on your site. You’ll want to make sure there’s a good keyword density ratio on each page.
Do you have Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics set up?
Google’s Webmaster Tools allow you to track your site’s performance with Google Search Console and notify you of any significant technical issues. You can also upload a sitemap within the Webmaster portal.
Google Analytics is a wonderful free tool that tracks how people arrive to your site (were they referred from a Facebook post, from a search engine, etc). It also allows you to see what pages a web viewer clicks through while they are active on your site. Make sure you have Google’s snippet installed on your site so that analytics are active.
Is your site optimized for mobile?
Search engines like sites that have easily digestible information. How does your site look from a mobile device? Is the information clear and easy to read? Or is the spacing out of whack and confusing? Does the page take forever to load? You want to make sure your site looks good and performs quickly from mobile.
Have you set up redirects?
Most people erase a webpage at some point in time. Although that may be erased from your access and memory, search engines maintain a history of your website. If you do change or delete URLs, you must inform search engines of this change via 301 redirects, which tell the search engines to update their indexes.
While following these steps probably won’t promise the P1#1 spot on Google, ensuring each of these items is properly executed will help your site appear on local SERP pages and will help your company’s SEO overall.
Directory listings are also a great way to send Google signals Google that verify your local presence. List yourselves!
Jared Benning is the founder of Got.Media, a marketing team that specializes in technical seo and digital marketing strategies.