How to Check if Your Local SEO Campaign is Performing Well
Local SEO is an absolute must for any small business targeting their locality. Yes there are other forms of marketing out there but SEO offers the highest ROI in the long run.
However, no SEO campaign is worth having if you don't know how well it is performing. Below are a few things you can look at and analyse to understand just how well your local SEO campaign is performing.
Rankings are often perceived as the be all and end all, and if you are not on the first page for your target keywords then the perception is that what you are doing isn't working. This is a miss conception. Yes rankings are important but the most important thing in any SEO campaign is the traffic you are getting. If you are ranking well then your target keywords will bring in a lot of traffic but it is also worth noting that over 70% of Google searches are now long-tail. If you aren't sure what a long tail keyword is, read this article: What is a Long Tail Keyword and Why Should I Care
However, all that being said, it is still a good idea to keep an eye on the rankings of your target keywords for your locality to get a decent idea of how you are doing compared to your competitors. If you are on the second page for the majority of keywords, you know you are nearly there but there is work to be done. If you are on the first page for a few keywords then you will need to focus on sustaining and building on those rankings.
This is a factor that you need to be monitoring every month. How does your organic traffic fare each month when compared to the previous? Is it remaining steady? Is it growing? Or is it falling? If it is growing then that is great, your campaign is probably performing quite well. Also, if it is stable there is nothing really to be concerned about. However, if your organic traffic is falling then your local SEO campaign is definitely under performing and you need to look at what you or your SEO company is doing and change something.
Referral Traffic from sites like Yell and Google Plus Local
A big part of any local SEO campaign is expanding your online presence by adding your website to local directories such as Yell, Thompson Local and many others. As well as this, many local campaigns target ranking in Google Maps (Google Plus Local) which is displayed in a number of local SERPS (search engine results pages). Often, Google Plus Local and online directory websites will help to generate referral traffic to your main website. Therefore, checking the referral traffic from sites like this in your Google Analytics, is another factor you should look at when determining how well your local SEO campaign is working for you. Again it is important to monitor referrals each month and analyse whether they are increasing month on month, remaining steady or dropping.
The vast majority of local searches today are done from mobile devices, especially for local businesses like restaurants. Mobile traffic is another element you should be monitoring each month in your Google Analytics account. Keep an eye on how many visitors are finding you from a mobile device and also monitor the length of time they are staying on your site for. If they aren't on there for long then this could be a sign that your website is not mobile friendly, which is absolutely critical now. Learn more about the importance of having a mobile friendly website here: 5 Reasons you Need to Have a Mobile Friendly Website
New Vs Returning Visitors
This factor is again something you should be looking at in your Google Analytics to help determine how well your local SEO campaign is performing. If there are more new visitors each month than returning visitors then this is a good sign that more and more people out there are starting to find your business online. Again, monitor this every month and make sure that there are new visitors landing on your site.
Enquiries and leads
The ultimate factor in determining how well any marketing campaign is working is the amount of enquiries or leads that come in from it. If your phone is constantly ringing with new enquiries then that's great but it can sometimes be difficult to put your finger on where they have come from. That's why it is important to implement a system in your business for people who answer the phone and make sure they are asking all new enquiries or leads how they found out about you. This can then give you greater understanding on the performance of your local SEO campaign.
If you are monitoring all of the above on a monthly basis and hitting the goals and targets that you want to be hitting then your local SEO campaign is performing well. If you are not monitoring any of the above then make sure you do, to understand what types of marketing are working best for your business. This in turn will help you measure which marketing efforts are having the best return on investment.