Home Forums Forum Suggestions & Ideas Step by Step Local SEO Checklist

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    Can anyone here share to me a step by step guide on how to do local SEO? I’ve read several local SEO articles but I found it very general. I’m trying to learn and understand each process like “why do I need to do this” and “how should I do it”. So a very detailed guide or checklist could really help.

    So far, I found these steps:

    Step 1 – Set a Baseline and Goals
    Step 2 – Claim Your Local Listings
    Step 3 – Localize Website Content
    Step 4 – Build Citations
    Step 5 – Obtain Reviews
    Step 6 – Checkpoint Health & Progress
    Step 7 – Remove Duplicates

    Please note that I am new to local SEO so your help would be very much appreciated.

    Ray LitvakRay Litvak

    Hi Shane,
    This is a good place to start http://www.localseoguide.com/
    Here’s another good place to start https://goo.gl/4dyj5s
    Hope that helps.

    Mike Blumenthal

    Step 0 – assess listing(s) for things that will make it harder to rank (supression, penalities, bad address, bad phone)
    Step 0a do a competitive assessment so you understand how much work will be involved in step 9

    Step 8 – Develop a plan for developing Local authority
    – Links?
    – reviews?
    – Other social sites?

    Step 9 – implement choices in step 8
    Step 10 – rinse and repeat step 8-9


    Thanks for the replies, they are helpful. I started by checking all of the competitors and the gathering of information from their GMB pages and Landing page.

    I did see some good opportunities for my site so that I could rank on the local pack and on organic search. Here’s my question though. What if I have 3 different locations for the business. How do I optimize their GMB pages. Should I add the location on the business name of the GMB page?

    I’m also planning to do a benchmark analysis for my site and my competitors. What factors should I include? Can BrightLocal be a good tool to use for this?

    Mike Blumenthal

    Should I add the location on the business name of the GMB page?

    this is in violation of Google guidelines. That being said, it is used by many. It might provide some benefit. I really think though that long haul you are better building authority and relevance by more sustainable ways; local linking to a great website, reviews, strong social presence etc.

    These are things that Google “can’t take away” from you and that will provide both rank at Google AND benefit just because.


    Alright Mike. I got that.

    What do you suggest though on how should I handle my 3 location’s GMB?

    Mike Blumenthal

    I see no huge harm in adding some sort of directional info to the name if it clarifies the situation for your customers. It will provide little “optimization value” just some clarity.

    If you are going to do so, then you should formalize the names via a DBA, being sure that your citations match and on your website the locations are so identified.

    Are they bricks and mortar or service area businesses?


    Thanks for the info Mike!

    They are service area businesses. A lot of the competition use “Company Name – New York.” Or at minimum use the city. Most actually.

    It’s kind of, “everyone is doing it… until Google puts a stop.” But will penalties be applied? That’s the question.

    From your experience… does using the city name give that much of a bump. Or can you easily offset with reviews, links, etc.

    I’m with you on “Google “can’t take away” approach.

    Mike Blumenthal

    Nothing is easy about local search. In terms of “bump” the most effective is a keyword in the business name, city in the name much less so.

    That being said, reviews, great shared content, links to your website from other local websites, news articles, Wikipedia articles, those are the things that
    1- drive traffic directly
    2- really increase your rank at Google.

    I think Google is currently more worried about fake service area listings than a city in the name. Getting caught there is where you could currently see a significant penalty.


    Thank you again for your response.

    Another question, we are migrating to a new site soon. Currently, there are 1000+ pages indexed by Google, question is; can my team do a permanent 301 redirect to all pages or should we start on the main pages only.

    I am also planning to create location pages for all our service areas. With regards to the content, is changing only the keywords on each location page the best approach or do I need to write unique content for each location page?

    Mike Blumenthal

    Currently, there are 1000+ pages indexed by Google, question is; can my team do a permanent 301 redirect to all pages or should we start on the main pages only.

    Could you clarify this?

    Carrie HillCarrie Hill

    I agree with Mike, definitely need clarification. As a rule – we PREFER page to page 301 redirects as a way to notify the search engines that the content that lived at X url now lives at Y url. for 1,000 pages, that might be problematic. Excessive 301s slow down a site and if you already have 301s in place, you’re putting 301s on top of 301s – its messy.

    You can approach it a few ways.

    1. do page to page redirects for all 1,000+ pages
    2. Pick the top 300 pages that get the most traffic (or 100, 200 or 400 – it’s an arbitrary number) and do page to page redirects for those top pages, then do page to category or overview topic redirects for the rest of the pages using wildcards/regex – which makes it 10 redirects (depending upon the number of topics) instead of 300 MORE lines of individual redirects). i.e. old url. domain.com/outerwear/jackets/down-coats/ to domain.com/outerwear.
    3. If you have ANY choice at all, and the old urls aren’t messy and un-descriptive, keep your old urls on the new site.

    I’m sure there are other ways to handle this – but these are a few options.

    Hope this helps,

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Carrie HillCarrie Hill.
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