The Nifty Local Search Website Grader (Infographic)

The Nifty Local Search Website Grader


You want to know what is hard? Explaining local search onsite changes to a business owner. There are a lot of terms like xml sitemap, schema, h1 tags, and NAP information that create a look in “non-indsutry folks” eyes that can only be matched with a plant that can be smoked, or a pile drive to the face from someone like this…

Due to the challenge, our crew at Nifty put together a visual grader to show how a website stacks up against what it locally needs. The concept was to try to keep everything on one page, and bring in a measurement system that would be understood by anyone that sees it. While business might not understand EVERY word, they understand where they stand and where they need to be.  There is no better system to do this than by a measurement of 0-100%.

We created an overall score so that we can basically say, “You got a 42/100, which means if you were in a class you would be failing…as in F” This usually has a better effect than saying, “Well your home page title tag does mention your brand name, but it doesn’t have any keyword focus at at and we would recommend restructuring that and working on your meta description as you currently don’t have one and Google is basically scraping whatever they think is relevant from your site to show in the snippet.”  (Insert glossy eye look here)

After we lead with an overall score we break it down into 4 main areas of importance to give subscores.

  • Sitemap (10%)   – Crucial to ensure crawlability of your local pages.
  • URL Structure (15%) -Keyword + location based structure boosts rankings
  • Local Functions (15%) – Need a location finder to find a freaking location
  • Local Landing Pages (60%) – Onsite local information that just flat out makes sense and helps convert.
We determined that everything needing done on a website can be categorized into one of these 4 areas. By giving subscores, businesses can see if they have an area that they are doing ok in, or see what might matter the most.
When you put It all together and show the individual tactics you get this gem of a graphic…

Most of the individual phrases are hard to understand and would be an overload to try and explain in one sitting. So we send a glossary of terms so a person can look up what they want and ignore the rest.


The whole point of the audit is to simply show them where they are lacking in a simple way.

Feel free to learn more about me by checking out my Google+ Profile: +Mike Ramsey

Author Mike Ramsey

More posts by Mike Ramsey

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Mike:

    I love the idea behind what you’re doing. I do something very similar when I do my SEO analysis for clients but I don’t do it via a graphic. I do it via videos but including some kind of graphic is an interesting idea.

    If you’re open to some constructive feedback, the percentages on the right side of the main graphic are confusing. It says, “58% Needs Done” and “42% Done.” I’m not even sure what that means. Then at the top of the graphic you have, “42% overall.” I think having so many percentages and the labels are confusing. I would scrap the “58% Needs Done” and “42% Done” stuff on the side of the graphic and just leave the main percentage figure at the top of the graphic.

    Travis Van Slooten

  • AJ Wilcox says:

    Nice job, Mike! That looks something fantastic. Now, when do _WE_ get access to the tool? 🙂
    Seriously, though, it’s excellent. I’d love to hear how much more effective this is as a sales tool for Nifty. I’ve always held to the belief that a client that is more educated is a better client. Making it easy for the client to understand supports my theory.

  • Mary Bowling says:

    Awesome job, Mike and crew. This really makes it easy to show people what they are already doing well and what else they need to do. Is a local grader tool in the works?

  • Joe Burnich says:

    Hey Mike, I’m doing some similar graphics for my clients. One of the biggest problems I find is explaining the whole location issue. This is huge because most of my clients are home based carpet cleaners that live out in the burbs. I’ve been taking a screen shot from Google Maps and Photoshopping a red circle to designate the centroid. Seems to be getting the point across.

  • Hi Mike, this is fantastic. I’ve been building wordpress websites for small businesses for a while now, but the big issue for them was getting found locally. I think we are only just getting into this here in Australia. This has given me some great ideas for evaluating local search. Many thanks!

  • Great infographic. I like how it summarizes what needs to be accomplished and enables us to come up with a prioritized game plan with our local SEO clients in Chicago.