Local business SEO is an important tool for small businesses. Research shows that 46 percent of all Google searches are seeking local information. Local SEO work is the best way to ensure that a business website will appear in search engine results to drive more visitors to your site and your storefront. But, what does Local Business SEO work involve?

Top 7 Tasks on Your Local SEO Checklist

  1. Keyword research

Keywords are the words that your potential clients are using to search for a business like yours. When you’re doing keyword research for local business searches, you will need to identify how people are qualifying their search for the local market. For example, are people searching for blue widgets Bellingham or Bellingham blue widgets? Or are they using the county or region such as the Pacific Northwest to qualify their search? Identifying a list of relevant local keyword searches through a keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner is the first step to local business SEO. You will want to choose a list of keywords that has a decent amount of search volume but with medium to low competition levels.

  1. Optimize content with those keywords

Take your list of keywords and use it to optimize your content – the web pages and articles on your website. If a keyword doesn’t flow naturally within the content itself, you can use it as your page title tag and within the page’s meta description. Google bots use page title tags and meta descriptions to understand what that page’s content is about. Keep in mind that Google wants page title tags to be 60 characters or less and meta descriptions to be no more than 160 characters. Avoid the black-hat SEO practice of keyword stuffing, where you shove all your keywords onto the page.

On the content note, make sure to publish relevant, interesting content to your website on a regular basis. Google will index your content as a way to help you rank appropriately in search engine results.

  1. Manage your reputation

The more 5-star reviews your business has on Google, the more customers you are likely to gain. As a big bonus, Google gives priority to businesses with more 5-star reviews over their competitors. Be proactive at asking your happy clients for reviews and always respond to each review, using keywords for your business if possible.

  1. Update your NAP across the web

A business’ NAP is their Name, Address and Phone Number. Search engines reward businesses that have consistent NAP information across all their social media profiles and business listings. You will want to start by picking one way of writing out your NAP and displaying it that way on your website. From there, ensure all other business directories and profiles have identical information. For example, 123 Street is different from 123 St. Pick one way and stick to it. There are services that can help you update your NAP all in one place.

  1. Update your Google My Business (GMB) page

Google rewards businesses that have completed their Google My Business pages. Start by running a search for your business and claiming the business as your own. Once you have completed the process, you will be able to add a description, business hours, services, pictures, etc. Google will then use this information to help rank you in local search results.

  1. Use a Google map on your contact page

Inserting a working Google map onto your contact page is a great way for Google (and your potential clients) to understand your business location. Once you have added your business to Google maps, you will be able to add the map to your page.

  1. Make sure you have a mobile friendly website

Now that most webs searches are completed with mobile devices, it’s vital that your website works well for mobile users. Since 2019, Google has had mobile friendly guidelines in place, which means that your business will be penalized for not having a mobile friendly site.

Seek the Help of a Local Business SEO Expert

Most small business owners do not know how to improve their search engine results rankings to drive traffic to their websites, let alone local traffic. The best thing to do is find an SEO expert who is knowledgeable about how to improve local business rankings who can help your business achieve its goals to increase sales, brand loyalty and online traffic.

Softwired provides digital marketing solutions for our partner agencies and clients. We’ve got you covered for web design, blogs, landing pages, SEO, local online presence and optimization, digital marketing, digital sales, and digital advertising.

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