Local SEO Guide For Small Business Owners

Local SEO is a good way to gain exposure for your small business. If your business is unable to be found online, it will have a difficult time attracting new customers since so many consumers are now using the Internet to find companies offering a service. It is with this presence in the search engines for local keywords that you will be able to gain an advantage over your competitors while increasing the number of new customers who walk through your door.

Why you Need to Use Local SEO

The biggest reason why you need to use local SEO is so your small business can be found online. If local consumers cannot find your business online, then you will have a difficult time attracting new customers. Since people no longer use phone books to find a local business selling a product or service they are looking for, it is important that your business can be found online.

Another reason why using local SEO tactics to promote your business is important is so your business appears in the map listings within Google’s search results. Without implementing some basic local SEO techniques, your business will not appear on the local map, which will make it more difficult for people to find your business online.

How to Show Up in the Local Search Results:

Essential  Keyword Research

Thorough keyword research is the key to any successful SEO campaign. This is especially true when it comes to local SEO. Since you want to appear in the search engines for terms that people are actually searching for, you need to think like your customer and target the keywords they are entering into the search engines. Using geo-targeted keywords is a great place to start your research as you will be able to target those consumers who are in your specific area.

Utilize Social Media

As is the case with any SEO campaign, you need to gain backlinks in order for your website to move up the search rankings. Utilizing social media is one of the best ways to gain these backlinks as a small business. When you are able to create a social media presence that people enjoy following, it will be easier for you to build backlinks to your website when your customers start linking to your social media websites.

Obtain Reviews

Having positive reviews online for your business will increase your chances of being found in the search results. Since search engines like to serve up the best possible website to meet the needs of their users, they will search for businesses that have positive reviews online and give those websites more authority in the search results. Because of this fact, you will want to make sure your business has several reviews on its social media websites demonstrating that it offers high quality products or services that will help the search engine’s users.

When trying to obtain these reviews, it is important that you take an ethical approach and do not solicit reviews or pay for fake reviews. If your reviews do not look natural to the search engines, they may punish your website for trying to take advantage of this aspect of local SEO.

Create a Google Places Account

Creating a Google Places account should be the first step you take when running a local SEO campaign. By creating this account, you will be able to validate your business with Google and prove that you are in fact a real business. Also, the activity that takes place on your Google Places account will allow you to take advantage of some of the social signals that can positively impact your website’s rankings.

Local SEO Tools

DIYSEO Local Report Card – This tool provides you with an easy to understand report on where you stand in terms of local SEO. Analyzing this report will help you quickly see where you can improve your local SEO efforts that will ultimately help your website move up the rankings.

Local Citation Finder – This local SEO tool helps business owners find the best online locations to list their website in order to gain local citations, or backlinks. Local Citation Finder provides up to 245 citation possibilities, providing you with ample backlinking opportunities.

Local Search Rank Checker by BrightLocal – This SEO tool allows you to track your search engine position among Google, Bing and Yahoo. The report includes your current local rankings and previous rankings for four different types of results including local search, organic, directory search and secondary searches. Periodically checking your rankings will enable you to determine whether or not the steps you are taking as part of your local SEO strategy are actually working or not.

In today’s technological age, it is important for every business to have an online presence. When your website can be found online, it will be much easier for you to attract new customers to your store. Running a local SEO campaign is one of the best ways to improve your online presences. Once your website starts to appear in the local results and on the Google Map results, you will notice a lot more consumers coming into your store.

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