7 Key Metrics to Review When Conducting a Local SEO Audit

July
25, 2021

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Improving your SEO will improve your overall ranking on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). However, if you are a company focused on targeting your local audience, you need to employ more targeted SEO practices to properly grow your business. Hopefully your company is already using effective local SEO techniques to help your brand succeed. However, SEO is never a one-off, and the same rule applies to local SEO.

Remember, 50 percent of people looking for local businesses typically visit or contact them on the same day. This is why it is so important to have a well thought out local SEO strategy. And to make sure that all of your SEO efforts are working in your favor, having local SEO audits on a regular basis is a must.

There are many SEO metrics to keep track of, but the following are essential for an efficient local SEO audit and further local business growth.

The growth of your organic search traffic

Without a steady flow of new and qualified users visiting your website, you cannot continuously grow your business. This is a crucial aspect for any brand, even if you've been in the market for a while and have a solid base of loyal customers. Because no traffic means no conversions. Hence, one of the most important metrics to review when conducting a local SEO audit is organic search traffic growth.

Tracking organic traffic results gives you a clear insight into whether your efforts to improve your visibility in the SERPs are working or not. Fortunately, this metric is very easy to track and review. The data you need is in Google Analytics and you can access it in the Acquisition tab under Organic Search. Keep in mind that while this metric, which tracks organic search traffic growth, is very useful, it does not show the actual quality of said traffic.

The efficiency of your organic rankings

Keyword rankings are indeed considered one of the most important SEO metrics. It's also true that Google takes many factors into account to deliver the best search results, which makes it quite difficult to keep track of a brand's organic ranking.

To make your local SEO audit more effective and helpful, it is best to focus your attention on keywords that have higher search volume. It is this information that then enables you to shape and push keywords that have a better chance of increasing search volume as well.

The ranking metric is also a great way to identify potential issues with other aspects of your SEO strategy. For example, if you see a significant drop in organic rankings, there is likely a problem with your company's website technical SEO. If you find that certain website pages rank well but get few clicks, it may indicate a targeting problem. It is best to use special organic rankings tracking software that will also allow you to segment your keywords by location.

Related: The Secret of Keyword Research for Local Businesses

Comparison of organic and other traffic

While this may not be the most important metric for your local SEO audit, it is extremely useful if you want to increase your reach through SEO more than through using paid ads. Again, it's easy to compare how you get your website traffic in Google Analytics, where you can clearly see the breakdown of organic traffic, referrals, social networks, etc. for your main traffic channel.

The conversions for organic traffic

Organic search traffic growth is not focused on the quality of the traffic per se. But checking the organic conversions metric from traffic does it. Make sure you include this metric in your local SEO audit to confirm that your efforts are effective in reaching a qualified audience.

Organic conversions clearly show whether the people you attract to your company website will eventually become customers or whether you are attracting irrelevant leads. It shows whether you have set the right keywords and content. To track organic conversions, you need to have a relevant goal set up in your Google Analytics that you can then monitor based on organic traffic.

Related: How to build an effective conversion rate optimization strategy

Visibility of your entry

To do a successful local SEO audit, you need to learn how easy it is for your local prospects to find you online. In this case, be sure to check two different metrics, namely local Google Map Rankings and Google My Business Insights.

Local Google Map rankings show the Google Maps score of your listing, while Google My Business Insights show the number of people who saw and interacted with your listing and the frequency with which your listing appeared in the SERPs.

User interaction on your website

User experience (UX) affects your SEO as much as the quality of your pages and links. If you find that your pages are getting bounce rates increasing, chances are that the content you are serving is not useful, meaningful, or informative enough for your target audience.

Google evaluates your website's engagement metrics to rank you appropriately. Hence, you should also check these out when doing a local SEO audit. Focus on metrics like bounce rate, which shows how many people left your page immediately after landing, the time your visitors spend on a particular page, the number of pages your visitors view during their session, and how far below the page that your visitors tend to scroll.

Related: Why user experience is critical to quality SEO

Potential crawl and technical SEO mistakes

The primary SEO focus should be on the content that you post. However, you need to target the right keywords, optimize your pages for those keywords, publish valuable and unique content that uses relevant anchors, and link the content naturally and logically. However, when crawl errors lurk in the shadows, Google cannot understand, access, or properly index your content. Likewise, a technical SEO problem like slow page loading affects your SEO ranking.

While it doesn't seem important at first glance, reviewing the crawl patterns is a metric that can help you pinpoint potential bugs and give you a better understanding of how the search engine is crawling your website. With this information, you can predict post-release indexing time and improve your overall strategy. You will also learn if any technical SEO issues need to be resolved as soon as possible.

It's easy to check for crawl errors in the Google Search Console and its coverage report.

SEO is never done

SEO is a never-ending process that can take some time to produce results but will prove to be worthwhile in the long run. When you've implemented all of your SEO practices it seems like your job is done and all you need to do is check a metric or two every now and then to have a good level. Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if things worked out this way?

A single metric will show you traffic growth and sales volume, but that's not enough to determine the overall success and efficiency of your overall SEO strategy. After all, SEO encompasses many different factors. While traffic and rankings show how well your overall SEO strategy is working, other metrics like conversions show whether you are attracting the right clientele. Interaction metrics help you understand whether you're meeting user expectations.

SEO itself is getting more and more complex, which is exactly why you need to review various metrics to get the right data to help you improve your efforts and establish yourself as a local authority in your particular niche.

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