As a small business, you can’t expect to dominate the world of SEO.
It’s too big of a system, with many established companies using their authority to keep you from getting to the top.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t see significant results from local SEO.
Local SEO takes the depth and scope of a search engine and creates a focus on your immediate area. It lowers your competition from every single related product on the internet to those that are near you.
This makes it much easier to claim your space in the first SERP.
Not sure how this works?
Here are the three things to keep at the top of your local SEO checklist.
1. Check Your Contact Information
First things first, you have to have accurate NAP information on your Google My Business page.
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number.
It means your website can’t say your office is on “Kings Street” if your Facebook account says it’s on “Park Avenue.” Same goes for a brand name like “Mimi’s Cupcakes” versus “Cupcakes by Mimi.”
You’re confusing the system and hurting your SEO efforts.
As such, be sure to have the same address information on every platform you use. You can have differences like “St.” versus “Street”, but try to keep everything as consistent as possible.
2. Use Your Words
Once your contact information is up to date, it’s time to dive into the world of keywords.
You’re probably already aware of the top terms in your industry. These are general product references like “coffee shop”, “plumber”, or “florist.”
But, are you using them with your general area in mind?
Try to extend such phrases to say “coffee shop in Austin” or “Denver plumber.” These help make a search, and its match, more specific. If you live in a large metropolitan area like Chicago or Miami, use the names of area neighborhoods as well.
You can also incorporate terms like “florist near me” or “nearby flower shop” to help your efforts, which many users type when searching from a mobile device.
3. Manage Reviews
Good reviews are like insurance for your reputation.
They help potential users understand what kind of value you’re really offering, through the eyes of unbiased people. Many users appreciate such feedback, and 90% of them will use reviews to influence their buying decision.
As such, do not forget to check this box on your local SEO checklist.
That would be like forgetting to install a security system for your brick and mortar store, which you can click to learn more about.
Combining Your Local SEO Checklist with Branding
SEO and branding are two different things, but they go hand in hand.
Your brand is the overall audience perception of who you are. Your SEO strategy is how you get in front of more audience members.
To best make these efforts work together, you need to understand each part.
Here are 10 branding tools to keep in mind when establishing your small business.