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Local Search Audit Overview

Helen Barnes -

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The Local Search Audit (‘LSA’ for short) examines the most important SEO and local-SEO factors that influence your ability to rank in search (e.g. Google). 

The top-level summary provides a color-coded guide to SEO performance and provides jump-links to the corresponding report sections. Each section is color-coded so you can quickly see which areas of your local strategy need the most attention.

Background

To rank effectively in search results (organic & local results) business needs to invest time and effort to make itself relevant, prominent and authoritative on the web. 

In doing this, search engines (e.g. Google) can discover more about businesses and ultimately trust that the information is correct, for example, what it does, what is specializes in and where is it located.  This all goes towards helping the search engines associate the business with relevant keywords or search terms. 

In addition to knowing what the business does, Google also wants to know if the business is well known and an authority in its industry. The more trust Google can establish in businesses, the more confident it is to display the business higher up the search results. 

All businesses want to achieve higher rankings in order to attract more customers and clients, which is where the Local Search Audit becomes an invaluable tool. Identifying areas that may need improvement, illustrating how well-optimized a business is versus competitors, as well as aspects that are going well to give a piece of mind.

Who uses the Local Search Audit and why?

The Local Search Audit is very popular with in house SEO and agencies, who utilize the data to either prepare or maintain strategies, use to showcase to prospective clients or highlight the value to current clients.

For example:    

  1. Sales Report: Agencies create a Local Search Audit report for new prospects and send or share it with them as part of the pitch process. The reports can be completely white-labeled with the agency logo and color scheme. The report can also be customized to include only the sections that an agency wants to share with their prospects.
  2. Lead-Gen Report: Agencies can add our Lead Gen widget (link text https://www.brightlocal.com/lead-generation-for-marketing-agencies/) to their website. This captures data about the lead (which they enter within the widget) and creates a Local Search Audit which can be presented to the lead. The agency gets the contact details of the lead and can follow up with them to pitch their services.
  3. Benchmark Audit: SEOs generate a Local Search Audit report to help them determine where to focus their efforts with a new client. The report highlights areas most in need of attention enabling SEOs to focus on these first. 

LSA Report: audits 7 areas of Local SEO

The Local Search Audit provides a snapshot view of your local SEO performance.

Each report is divided into 7 sections, with each section isolating and reporting on a different area of local SEO.

The report provides a score for each section and presents these in a clear color-coded way so it’s easy to see which areas are performing well and badly, ranging from green for ‘good’ to red for needing improvement.

The Local Search Audit uses a simple set of formulas to calculate the score for each section. The formulas look at the performance of the business and how it compares to local competitors who rank at the top end of the search.

The report contains information about each section and its SEO-metric, so users can view these to gain a better understanding of each section by simply clicking the '?' symbol to view these explanations.

The sections of the Local Search Audit include:

 Links & Website Authority

This section reports on some of the most important ‘traditional’ SEO factors which influence search.

Some of these metrics are generated directly by BrightLocal, while some are pulled in from recognized specialist link tracking tools, Moz and Majestic SEO, to supplement and reinforce our own data.

Search Rankings

The search rankings data illustrates where the website (or GMB listing) of a business ranks for the top five most relevant keywords for the business category.

The report shows rankings on the three largest search engines (Google, Yahoo! and Bing) along with their more localized equivalents (Google Local, Yahoo! Local, Bing Local).

Local Business Listings

For local businesses, it's critical that their address and contact information is correct and consistent across the web. This provides reliable information to Google about the business and also ensures that customers have an anchor point to visit the business.

This section shows the most powerful and relevant online directories and citation sites, reporting on whether a listing for that business is found. If there is a listing, we check if the information is correct and consistent, highlighting any errors which may need attention.

Reviews and Ratings

This section analyzes your reputation on the most powerful review sites, a critical component in local SEO.

You can quickly see the current review count, average star rating and latest 10 reviews on the sites which really matter to local consumers, all aggregated in one place.

Google My Business

Google My Business listing for a business is extremely important to be accurate and up to date for local search.

This section analyzes the Google My Business (GMB) optimization, looking at a number of influential factors and benchmarks against the top ten ranked businesses in the search area based on business category.

On-Site SEO Report

Here the report analyzes the On-Site SEO factors which may affect your ability to rank in local search.

On-Site SEO factors are elements of the business website, either visible on the page itself or in the coding of the site (which you can't see, but the search engines can), all of which can affect the site's search rankings. It's easier to improve SEO factors on your own site because you have control over it, so the insight found in this section of the Local Search Audit can highlight any issues holding the business back.

Social Channels

This section examines the businesses presence on Facebook and Twitter.

If a profile is found on either social channel, the report highlights followers, likes and visit metrics.

Appendix

The appendix contains full details of the on-site SEO audit with a page-by-page breakdown of details such as Page Title Meta descriptions, keywords, links and much more.

It also shows where we identified errors on the site, such as slow loading and error pages or missing and duplicate meta content.

The expanded Appendix section is color-coded so you can easily see the errors on your site.

 

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