Having a strong online presence is crucial for promoting your coaching practice in today’s competitive digital age.
SEO has always been an important source for maintaining and promoting your online coaching business.
However, it is even more essential to promote your practice to the local audience. Local SEO is vital in helping your website rank higher in local search results and attracting potential clients in your area.
In this detailed local SEO checklist, we’ll explore the following main elements:
- What is local SEO
- Importance of local SEO
- Tips and important factors for Local SEO
- Local SEO tools
- Cost of Local SEO
- Local SEO services
- Best practices for citations to get results
Let’s dig in!
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a marketing strategy that helps to increase the business’s online presence in local search results. It refers to the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks better in search engines and makes it easier for your local coaching clients to find your coaching services.
One of the significant differences between local SEO and regular SEO is how you target customers.
It involves multiple different methods and techniques. We’ll go over these strategies and checklists but first, let’s discuss the importance of Local SEO.
Importance of Local SEO
Google has over 84% market search share; if you’re looking to thrive, it is important to get a ranking on Google. However, more importantly, over 50% of search queries are local queries. Therefore, getting local rankings can not be ignored; local SEO is the best way to achieve those.
The importance of local SEO can be summarized in the following bullet points:
- Increasing their visibility to potential clients who are actively searching for coaching services in their area.
- By optimizing for specific geographic keywords, they can attract highly relevant local traffic to their website.
- It helps level the playing field and gives local businesses a chance to stand out.
- Local search results often provide additional information like business hours, directions, and contact details, making it easier for customers to take action.
- Local SEO includes online reviews, which are crucial for establishing credibility and trust with potential customers.
- Local SEO is generally more cost-effective compared to traditional advertising methods.
Search engines, like Google, consider various ranking factors when determining search results. Optimizing for local SEO helps businesses align with these factors, increasing the chances of higher rankings.
Local SEO Strategies
Starting out with Local SEO will require you to sit down and analyze your business information as well as website properties and decide on a strategy.
Generally, all businesses fall into either one of the four main Local SEO categories.
- Single location with physical address: You will only need one Google Business Profile with a verified address.
- Multiple locations with physical addresses: You will need multiple Google Business Profiles. Each location will have its own unique address and phone number.
- Single location with no physical address: If you have only one location but don’t want to show your physical address, you can hide it and show only the areas you serve.
- Multiple locations with no physical addresses: Google will filter businesses with too many service area locations and only show the one it believes to be the most prominent location.
The last category can be the most tricky as you need to ensure your service areas do not overlap and you don’t lose any local business.
Local SEO Checklist
Here’s how you can leverage your Local SEO efforts and make sure they provide the optimal results that you’re trying to achieve. Follow this local SEO checklist!
1. Register your business with Google MY Business (GMB):
Creating and registering your business with GMB will only take a few minutes, but it is a highly crucial step in local SEO. It should be completely set up with accurate and up-to-date information, including:
- Your coaching practice’s name
- Address and location
- Contact number
- Business hours
The more information that you provide to Google, the more ranking factors it can consider, and the more likely it is to surface your business in local search top results and map packs.
2. Local Keyword Research:
The next most important thing is identifying relevant keywords that potential clients may use when searching for coaching services in your area.
It’s vital that the descriptions of your services on your website reflect what people are actually searching for. You may have to use a keyword research tool for this purpose such as.
Incorporate these keywords naturally into your website’s content, page titles, meta descriptions, and headings to increase your chances of ranking locally for those keywords.
3. Adding location to the website (On-page SEO)
You need to make sure that your home page and any other important pages containing information about your service reference your location in four key places:
- Title tag
- Body copy
- Meta description
- URL structure
It is also critically important to include your location information in the footer section and the contact page.
4. NAP Consistency:
NAP (name, address, phone number) should be kept consistent across all platforms, this includes:
- Online platforms
- Social media handles
- Other online listings
This is important for Google to verify your authenticity; having different NAP information can confuse search engines.
5. Local directories and citations
Obtaining local citations can significantly boost your position in search results. Furthermore, it can provide a backlink to your website, which can overall improve the SEO of the website.
Here are some key points to keep in mind while doing so:
- NAP information should be accurate
- Only add your site to high-quality directories
- Find and remove duplicate citations
- Find opportunities from your competitors
- List in niche-specific directories
- Get listed on local directories (City/State etc.)
Be super consistent with your contact details when submitting your business details to any online directories; always enter them in the exact same way. Otherwise, it can be considered as a red flag by Google.
6. Get online reviews and ratings
Positive reviews and ratings from satisfied clients can impact your local SEO as well as your business in general. Encourage your happy clients to leave reviews on Google, Yelp, or industry-specific review sites.
It is also important to respond to both positive and negative comments in a professional way.
Google considers reviews as one of the major factors when it comes to Local SEO. Also, make sure to showcase these reviews on your website.
It is also important to randomly get some backlinks that contain your location in anchor texts. This emphasizes the location of your business to Google and other search engines.
8. Make Use of Google’s Q&A
Google’s Q&A allows users to ask and answer questions about a business. Always keep an eye on that and make sure to answer those questions promptly and in the best way possible.
9. Setup Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Setting up GA and GSC is essential for local SEO. They can greatly help you by providing suggestions and recommendations to improve your local SEO and will also send you notifications in case something goes wrong or needs to be updated.
By following this local SEO checklist, your basic profile and structure to start getting rankings should be top-notch.
Top 3 Tools for Local SEO
There are several tools available on the internet today, both paid and unpaid that can help you optimize your online presence and improve local search rankings.
Here are the top 3 local SEO tools:
1. Google My Business
GMB is a free tool provided by Google that allows businesses to create and manage their online presence on Google Maps and Google Search.
Google’s own tool is essential for local SEO. It allows you to manage your business listing, update information, respond to reviews, and gain insights into how customers are interacting with your website or business.
BrightLocal offers a range of local SEO tools, such as:
- Local citation building
- Rank tracking
- Review monitoring
It is a complete local SEO tool as it not only helps you improve your ranking but also helps to understand and get updates and insights on what’s working and how you can optimize your website.
It has a 14 days free trial. However, it is a paid tool with different solutions and pricing according to the needs of the customer.
SEMrush is a complete SEO tool but also has features specifically designed for local SEO. It provides powerful features like
- Local keyword research
- Local rank tracking
- Backlink analysis
- Local competitor analysis
- On-Page SEO analysis
- Local listing management
- Local SEO checklist
While they do provide a free trial that allows limited access to their features, the full functionality of SEMrush requires a subscription. The pricing plans offered by SEMrush are based on the level of access and features you require.
No doubt, there are hundreds of tools available, and many of them are free as well but if you want to rank locally for search queries, it is worth investing in a local SEO tool rather than reinventing the wheel and doing everything manually.
Cost of Local SEO
There is no one correct figure for the cost of local SEO because it depends on many factors:
- Your niche
- Target audience
- Tools your use
But most importantly, it depends on whether you’re doing it yourself, hiring a professional freelancer, or a digital marketing agency.
We have already mentioned all that is necessary for Local SEO if you’re doing it yourself. The main investment would be your time and the tools you decide to work with.
Hiring a professional freelancer
Today, many platforms and hundreds of thousands of freelancers are available on all of them if you’re looking to hire a freelancer. Generally, you can hire them on hourly bases, which may range from 10-150$ depending on their experience and your requirements.
You can also hire them on a monthly or project basis.
Hiring a freelancer is always a bit cheaper than hiring a full fledge SEO agency, but it still requires you to regularly check with them and invest your time.
Hiring an SEO agency
The cost of hiring an agency also depends on multiple factors like experience, reputation, location, services, and so on. Agencies also usually work on three types of models.
- Monthly retainers
- KPI based pricing
- Project-based pricing
They may start from some hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars as well.
Best approach and tips to get the best results
There are many tips and best approaches we can use to get the most out of our local SEO efforts.
Building citations strategically is essential for achieving the best local SEO results as well. Here’s a local SEO checklist that you should not overlook.
- Pay special attention to link building, and try to target authority websites in your target area
- Track how your audiences find you on Google and try to optimize for that
- Add location-specific pages if there is more than 1 location for your coaching service
- Don’t forget to optimize your website for mobile devices and searches
- Create content that is targetted towards your local audience
- Find authoritative online directories, industry-specific platforms, and local business listings that are relevant to your coaching practice
- Consider popular platforms like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Bing Places, Apple Maps, and industry-specific directories to get citations
- Prioritize high-quality directories with a good domain authority and a solid reputation to list your business
- Avoid low-quality and spammy websites, as they can harm your SEO.
- Your citations should be consistent, especially when it comes to your NAP details.
- Regularly audit your existing citations to ensure accuracy and consistency and update where necessary.
- Use tools like Moz Local, BrightLocal, or SEMrush to identify any inconsistencies or incomplete citations.
- When your customer leaves reviews, encourage them to use the keywords you are looking to rank for
SEO takes a lot of hard work and dedication, even if it is local SEO. However, it is critical to monitor and track the performance of your local SEO checklist efforts using tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and GMB Insights.
Local SEO can be a powerful strategy to promote your coaching practice as it can be less competitive and easier to rank for.
It is important to remember that SEO is an ongoing and time taking process; follow this local SEO checklist, and monitor your search rankings, organic traffic, and the impact of citations on your website’s visibility regularly to see what is working best for you.
Continuously seek new citation opportunities, regularly monitor existing citations, and update them as necessary. Consistency, accuracy, and relevance are key factors that contribute to successful local SEO through citations.
You can request a free SEO growth audit as well if you want us to review your website and share suggestions to optimize it for growth and SEO.