Steps to Successful Local Business SEO: Part 1

Successful local business SEO is the most important lead generation tactic for small businesses everywhere. No longer are the Yellow Pages a dependable or effective way to stand out amongst your competitors. The fact is, your local business must have a website, and that website must be visible in local searches for your product or service.

If you don’t have a clue where to begin creating a successful local business SEO plan, or if your existing marketing plan needs an update, this checklist is a good place to start.

1.     Submit your website to local search directories
Not only will this step help your business to show up in local search results, but a recent comScore study has found that consumers find local listings to be the most relevant and trustworthy search engine query results. Submit to Yahoo Local, Google Places, Bing Local, Ask City, CitySearch, and Yelp.
2.     Check out your competition
What kind of terms or phrases would your potential customers use to search for the product or service you offer in your local area? Jot down your ideas and try testing them out on Google. Which of your competitors are ranking on the first page for these terms?
Check out your competition by visiting their websites and looking them up on sites like alexa.com, or request our free website evaluation.
3.     Create a keyword plan
At this point you’ve got a decent list of keywords or terms to look into. Start by creating a Google Adwords account and running them through the keyword tool to find out their competition levels and monthly local search numbers.
Once you’ve selected your best long-tail keywords, start optimizing the pages, landing pages, and blog posts on your website!
4.     Build links
While optimizing for keywords and submitting your website to directories is a great way to generate local traffic, link-building is another very important element of successful SEO that will further increase your online authority and page ranking. For information, check out our link-building guide.
In these four steps, you have identified how your target market will look for you online, who your competition is, and what their digital marketing efforts look like. You’ve also started to build a strong SEO foundation based on organic search results.

For more tips on where to grow your SEO efforts from here, check out Steps to Successful Local Business SEO: Part 2.

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