Wouldn’t it be great to market your technology company to a local audience for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising?
If you’re asking yourself this question, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to tell you there is a cost-effective way to promote your brand to your community: Local SEO.
Local SEO is all about building your online presence to make it easy for potential customers in your region to find you. This process can seem like a daunting task, but this local SEO checklist helps break it all down.
If you go through this list and make the changes you need to; you’re guaranteed to see a boost in online traffic and sales.
Without further ado, here’s the ultimate local SEO checklist for your technology company.
On Your Website (On-Page SEO)
Our local SEO checklist starts by looking at your website. Your site is the central hub for information about your business on the internet. It’s also often how potential customers get their first impression of you.
Numerous aspects of your website factor into search engine rankings, from the content you put on it to the actual structure of the code. Here’s a rundown of the site factors to optimize for great local SEO.
The mobile craze isn’t stopping anytime soon. Mobile now is the source of more online traffic than desktop, and the numbers continue to tilt in that direction.
In response, search engine algorithms continue to put greater emphasis on the quality of mobile sites. Sites that don’t utilize responsive design or otherwise have a clunky UX on a smartphone or tablet will fall in the SERP rankings.
Simply put, your mobile experience needs to be a top priority. And when it comes to your local SEO checklist, a great mobile site is especially important.
Think of how many people use their phones when they’re out and about. They’re looking for nearby companies to satisfy their immediate needs while also being convenient concerning time and travel.
Thanks to built-in GPS integration, your proximity to a potential customer could put you near the top of the list when they’re on their smartphone.
But to take advantage of that, you need to have a streamlined, easy-to-use mobile site.
People are impatient. If a web page takes more than 2 or 3 seconds to load, it’s too long. They’ll give up, leave, and try a different site.
Google and other search engines recognize that how fast a site runs plays a major role in the overall quality of the site. If readers bounce due to long waiting times, it’s not worth it to send them to that site in the first place.
Google implemented speed as a ranking factor way back in 2010, so the need for speed is nothing new. But the speed requirement applied mainly to desktop searches.
Now Google is increasing its scrutiny for mobile site speeds as well. They’re rolling out new requirements for loading times on mobile devices in July 2018. Because so many of your local customers will search based on proximity on their phones, this update is especially important for local SEO.
For technology companies, improving speeds should be right up your alley. But if your loading times are still lagging behind, now is the moment to make some changes.
Good websites will have several tabs and pages that help give visitors more insight into your company. It’s an important part of fleshing out your brand and seeming like something more than just a sales company.
These pages take on even greater emphasis when you’re thinking about your local SEO checklist. More than anything else on your site, these pages do the heavy lifting to establish which region your business resides in.
A contact page is arguably the most important page on your site for local SEO. It’s your main NAP listing – Name, Address, Phone.
Your address tells both the readers and the search algorithms exactly where you are. If you have multiple offices, be sure to list them all.
You’ll also need to include a phone number. Making this number clickable on smartphones to autofill into the call feature goes a long way in improving the user experience.
Your NAP is the biggest requirement for the contact page, but you can add in other goodies as well. An in-page interactive map is a nice look, and it’s also a chance to point your visitors toward your social media channels.
Blog articles and other content is at the heart of search engine optimization.
Content is how you draw people to your site. It’s how you bring in people that are searching and asking questions online by providing them the answers they seek.
Creating content is what makes all your other hard work worthwhile. You could have the rest of your local SEO checklist filled out and optimized, but without blog content, you’re not hitting on keywords or giving potential visitors a reason to click.
Think of it like fishing. You can have your tackle box, your bait, and your fishing pole. But without a hook and line, you have no way to reel the fish in.
Your content is your biggest tool in establishing authority in your industry.
For readers, getting high-quality information from your site will make your site a go-to destination for similar questions in the future. As you build a following and people come to trust you, you’ll start to see your traffic turn into sales.
For the search bots that crawl your site, seeing in-depth writing that uses keywords, citations, and statistics shows that you’re worthy of being a top result. The more you post great content, the more the search engine trusts that your website is an ideal place to visit.
Content is vital to SEO in general, but it’s also a major factor in local SEO. Blogs give you the opportunity to apply titles, tags, and keywords that reference your community.
To optimize your keywords for local, get more specific. Instead of focusing on “best technology company” as a keyword, use “best technology company in Seattle,” for example.
If you aren’t creating content, you’re letting one of the best opportunities on your local SEO checklist go to waste.
Testimonials and reviews from past clients and customers go a long way toward building your brand’s reputation.
They also help to localize your brand.
If you work with a lot of local clients, their businesses and names might also be recognizable in your area. If you include testimonials from many companies in a particular city, it demonstrates that you have a significant presence there.
Testimonials do so much for your brand, so make sure to include them on your local SEO checklist.
Outside Your Site (Off-Page SEO)
The things that take place on your own website are the most important parts of your local SEO checklist. But there’s plenty of other things you can do elsewhere on the internet to help you have a dominant online presence and promote your company locally.
When other websites – especially reputable ones – link to your content, it gives your brand another boost in authority.
Because influencers are referencing your work through links, you get the benefit of additional traffic from readers as well as improved reputability in the eyes of the algorithm. It’s basically authority through peer review.
A quick and easy, yet risky, strategy to get backlinks is to buy them. Buying links is a “blackhat” SEO strategy, which is frowned upon by industry experts and is against Google’s rules. If Google finds out, they’ll stifle your organic traffic and you’ll lose everything.
The safer best practice is to earn links with high-quality content. If your work deserves to be shared, it will happen.
It also helps to build relationships with influencers in your industry. Start by linking to their work, then tagging them on Twitter. Start a conversation, exchange emails, and now you’ve built a list of authoritative friends who might share your work on their own sites.
Building a network of links around the web that lead back to your site will go a long way to building a strong SEO infrastructure.
Getting media coverage of your company is a classic, yet a still effective way to get more eyes on your brand.
Like with backlinks, media coverage is about building your own authority through somebody else’s.
Newspapers, TV news networks, and radio stations are trusted institutions by both your local audience and the search bots. Getting coverage from a third party source will do much more for your reputation than any traditional advertising would.
Getting a traditional story in the paper or on the evening news won’t do much good for your SEO. But most of those stories and videos are also posted on the media outlet’s website and social channels. If a media outlet’s web content mentions your name or includes hyperlinks back to your site, you get a big boost in SEO.
National outlets like Forbes or CNN are great for general SEO, but if you want to focus on local SEO, stick to your city’s paper or the regional newscast. Your association with them will be both reputable and local.
Google My Business and Other Business Pages
We talked about NAP citations earlier, but the contact page on your website isn’t the only place you can share your name, address, and phone number.
There’s plenty of third-party services that let you claim your business and list your correct information. Several of these services are a direct feature of the big search engines.
The most important business page to claim is Google My Business. When you search for a company on Google, Google My Business is what creates the handy information box on the right side of the screen. GMB makes your company more visible and your info more convenient to access.
Other search engines, including Bing and Yahoo, also have similar business page features. Best of all, the pages are completely free to claim.
As you can imagine, setting up a page with your name and contact information directly on search engines is great for your local SEO.
Despite the free benefits of claiming a Google My Business page, only 44% of companies have done so, and even less have claimed their spot on other sites. Claiming your business will give you an extra leg up in SEO.
Online Review Sites
Another place you’ll want to claim your business and establish a presence is online review sites.
As we mentioned earlier, third-party reviews are a major factor in your brand’s reputation. As such, online reviews make a huge impact on your SEO and how people find you online.
Search engines often look at review sites such as Yelp, FourSquare, Angie’s List, and the Better Business Bureau when determining search rankings. Businesses with the top ratings often take priority.
Those business pages you set up in the previous section of this local SEO checklist also take in reviews from clients, customers, and employees. Strong reviews on Google understandably improve your SEO, especially for people searching locally.
When you make a sale or finish a project for a client, ask them to leave a review for your business. Their feedback will not only help your local SEO, but it will also help you make needed changes and improve your company.
The final item on the local SEO checklist is social media.
Social media helps you build a personality for your brand. It also helps you answer questions and do other marketing tasks.
But social media sites also offer an opportunity to strengthen your SEO.
On each site, you can include a URL in your bio to link back to your site, which relates again to our local SEO checklist item about backlinks. You can also mark your location on your social pages.
So much about off-page SEO is about putting your company’s name, logo, address, and other information online in any place you can put it. Social media is free and visible, so you’ll definitely want to create profiles to strengthen your online presence.
Dominate the Web with Your Local SEO Checklist
Search engine optimization can seem intimidating and difficult at first glance. But when you break down each vital component into a local SEO checklist, your path to dominating the digital game becomes more clear.
Some factors on your local SEO checklist can be hammered out in-house in an afternoon. Other components require industry expertise and weeks or months of work.
Whatever your SEO needs may be, you can trust TopSpot SEM to be there to help. Start optimizing your web presence with our free SEO site audit today.