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As a small business owner, you have a lot to do. You have to find new sales opportunities, keep your website strategy updated, and ensure your product runs smoothly.

With all those tasks on your daily to-do list, your local SEO checklist ends up at the bottom of the list.

Why SEO Is Important for Your Business

The majority of your potential customers are going to find your business online.

But, they likely won’t find you if they’re not looking for you specifically.

Sadly, 75% of search engine users will not go past the first page of results. Developing and executing a well thought-out local SEO strategy can help you beat out the competition and land on the first page of results.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a type of SEO strategy that caters to online users searching for businesses in their area.

Local SEO became a viable business strategy after Google launched their Pigeon algorithm update in 2014. The update focused on returning highly relevant results to users based on “near me” searches.

What Should Be on My Local SEO Checklist?

1. Upgrade Website Photos

Never underestimate the power of a high-quality photo or video. Fill your website with quality images and add alt descriptions to help search engines understand your images.

High-quality images help keep potential customers on your website longer, which further indicates to search engines you have a high-quality website.

2. Claim Your Google My Business Page

If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business Page yet, go do it. Claiming this page makes it easy for Google to display your business’ address, phone number, and operating hours.

Google Business Pages also allow you to add multiple locations to the page. As you create these profiles, ensure the addresses and phone numbers you input match those on your website.

3. Increase Number of Backlinks

Backlinking is an integral part of your off-site SEO strategy. Having multiple quality backlinks to your websites tells Google you produce great content and are active online.

You can increase backlinks through registering with online business directories (Yelp, Angie’s List, Foursquare, etc. ) and guest posting on industry blogs.

Creating backlinks is time-consuming. If they have enough resources, some business owners opt to outsource their content and SEO activities to a whitehat SEO firm.

4. Optimize by Neighborhood

If your business is in a large city, optimize your business listings and SEO by neighborhood. Doing this increases the likelihood your business will show up in a “near me” search performed in Google Maps.

To do this, add the Google-defined neighborhood your business is located in to your Google Business Page description, and include it in your website’s landing page URL, headings, and content.

5. Encourage Reviews

Encouraging reviews on online directories and your Google Page shows the search engine you are active online.

When you encourage reviews online, you should also commit to responding to good and bad reviews. Those interactions help build trust with your current and potential customers.

Great Website + Local SEO = Magic!

Of course, your new local SEO checklist won’t matter much if you don’t have a great website to go with it. Your website is the face of your online business, and its quality tells customers whether to stay or walk away.

If you need help developing a high-quality website, get in touch with us today.

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