Local SEO (Advanced): A Quick Checklist of Todos to Succeed on Google Maps

We’ll assume you’ve done the basics necessary for local SEO. By basics, I would suggest – 

  1. Find and claim your Google My Business listing.
    1. Optimize your listing by filling out your hours, category, etc.
    2. Uploading photos
    3. Going to aboutme.google.com and optimizing the Google+ profile for your business.
    4. Posting newsworthy items to the company Google+ page.
  2. Find and claim your Yelp listing.
    1. Similar to the above: optimize that listing.

Local SEOAt that point, you need to move on to more advanced tactics. First and foremost, asking for real review from happy customers. Reviews are either #1 or #2 in terms of “influencable” aspects in the local SEO algorithm. So, you need to systematically ask every happy customers to review you on the big two – Google and Yelp. Second, make sure you have signed up for a local NAP consistency service such as Yext, Moz Local, and/or WhiteSpark plus begun to identify and solicit quality local links to your website. Influential directories in your industry are also a “must do.”

Advanced Local SEO Checklist

Now that the basics are out of the way, and you are systematically a) looking for links, and b) soliciting real reviews, it’s time to look at other aspects in the local algorithm that you can influence.

  • NAP consistency – make sure your listings are consistent across a range of third party websites.
  • Link your website to/from your Google My Business listing as part of NAP consistency.
  • Add a Google Maps link on your contact page / footer, and add an embedded Google map for driving directions.
  • Add a geotag on your home page and/or your contact page to communicate your location.
  • Use Schema.org markup to populate your website / contact page with important information such as hours open geo, location, etc. Consider using a local Schema plug in for WordPress, such as WP SEO structured data.
  • Link out to key local resources (such as government websites, or prominent local websites).
  • If you use Google+, make sure to create “Google+ collections” in your corporate account that consolidate relevant sites (including your own) by keyword and target city.


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About Jason McDonald

Jason McDonald is a top-rated San Francisco SEO Consultant. His consulting services include search engine optimization consulting, social media marketing consulting, and Google AdWords consulting. Jason's motto as a consultant is that he doesn't do SEO 'for you' but rather he does SEO 'with you.' That goes as well for his social media marketing consultant activities and Google AdWords consultant services. Besides serving clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jason consults with clients in Silicon Valley (San Jose), Oakland and other cities throughout the Bay Area. Beyond the Bay Area, Jason is available as an SEO consultant, Social Media Consultant, and as an expert witness in litigation involving social media marketing, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.