Detailed planning is a crucial part of working out a strong SEO strategy. In order to build a local search strategy which yields results, therefore, you should never forget to conduct an extensive audit for the same. But before you get started with the audit, you should be crystal-clear about what type of data you should include, how much data is adequate and what tools you can utilize to make the audit faster, easier and effective. At the same time, you should be quite well aware of the objective of the local search audit.

Of course, you can build a local search ranking strategy without doing detailed planning as it’s an easy option. You may also achieve some success in this case. But you can be sure to waste a lot of valuable time concentrating on the wrong areas. And you’ll definitely not get the results you actually wanted.

If you’re ready to conduct a truly result-oriented local search audit for your own website or one of your clients’, given below are five important tips that you can use to accomplish the task.

#1. On-Site Audit (Technical & Content)
There are two crucial aspects to an on-site audit. First, you need to look at your website technically. A technical audit actually translates to evaluating the accessibility potential of your website. You need to find out whether search engines can easily access, read and index the pages on your website. Therefore, you should concentrate on checking out the technical structure, meta data (use of local terms) and markup that your website uses. Second, it’s the content on your website that needs auditing. You should find out whether the content on your website is appropriately optimized.

#2. Backlinks Profile Audit
Since links still matter a lot in modern-day SEO, it’s important to make sure whether the links pointing back to your website are of top quality and relevant. A link audit will quickly reveal which pages on your website have been linked by others and which pages haven’t been. It will help you recognize opportunities to create new potential links for your website.

#3. Current Search Engine Ranking Audit
It’s also very important to know where your website stands currently, both in terms of local and traditional search. Before you start with the process, you should also pick the most important terms or keywords you want to edit and analyze. In any case, you should remember to pick terms in a range of variations while focusing on their relevance to your business. This ranking data will prove to be an eye-opener as to where you need to improve and where you should focus to enhance the rankings of your website in search engines.

Local SEO

#4. Google+ Local Page Audit
When it comes to auditing the Google+ local page of a business, there are many things that you should look out for. First, it should be checked whether the profile has been verified. Then, there are things like consistency of map data, map pin, category selection and other additional information that need to be checked to know whether everything is in order. The quality of photos, star rating, amount of reviews and number of followers are the next important elements that must be looked into.

#5. Reviews Audit
When you’re conducting a local search audit, you can never afford to ignore the significance of reviews. Consumers, when they plan to purchase a product or hire a service, first look for local reviews. Therefore, it’s important to gather the reviews and ratings data (across various powerful review sites) and compare them with your competitors. While doing this, you need to look beyond the general review sites. There are many niche review sites that are equally valuable.