Local Factors Added to the SEO Scorecard

Lindsay Wassell's picture

Local search isn't a factor for all websites, but its importance among businesses with a local brick and mortar shop and/or location based keyphrase targets only continues to grow. My depth of coverage for local search factors in SEO audit has always been driven by the client need. Basically, I've previously added a section when relevant. Today, I've given local search a permanent home in the SEO Scorecard template. Instead of squeezing it in as needed, I'll simply pull it out when it is not needed. There is NO WAY that I could have put this succinct of a list together without David Mihm's Local Search Ranking Factors report. I attribute him and the ranking factor report's contributors for the knowledge, organization and language that have driven today's SEO Scorecard addition. Here is a screenshot of the excel file with Local Search Optimization added. Local SEO Scorecard Addition Screenshot It is long, I know. If I was presenting this to an executive as a summary, I'd probably shrink it up to display just the four main categories. I've done my best to cover the most important elements only, and to combine factors into one line where possible. Here is a list of the additions to the scorecard.

Google Places Page

  • Optimum Categories Selected
  • Product/Service & Location Keywords in Description
  • Local Area Code Phone Number
  • Unique Phone Number
  • Visible Address in Target City
  • Unique Address
  • Associated Photos
  • Canonicalization (1 Listing per Location)

Landing Page for Google Places

  • Local Area Code Phone Number Present
  • Full Local Address Present
  • City + State in Title Tag

Off-Page/Off-Listing Criteria

  • Data Provider & IYP Citations (IYP stands for Internet Yellow Pages. I had to look that one up)
  • Local Links & Citations
  • Local Keywords in Backlinks
  • Quality/Quantity of Reviews


  • Product/Service Keywords in Business Name
  • Location Keywords in Business Name
  • Physical Address in Place of Search
  • City + State in Most/All Title Tags

Head on over to the SEO Scorecard page to download the updated version. If you are looking for information on why each of these factors are important and how to assess them, check out David Mihm's site. If you are still looking for a Halloween costume, don't forget to check out our 9 SEO Halloween Costume Ideas. Happy Scorecarding!


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.