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Before the internet, when you wanted to find a neighborhood business, you pulled out the local phonebook from the kitchen cupboard. Your search engine was called the “Yellow Pages,” and the very best optimization a business could hope for came from its name. AAA Auto Repair was at the top of the repair listings, Zoe’s Cafe at the bottom of the restaurants.

Things are a lot different today.

Local SEO is a specific sub-category of SEO. In the same way SEO works on a worldwide level, it can also benefit your business on a local level. So if you want to build a local SEO strategy, here are a few items to consider:

Google goes gaga for local businesses: Believe it or not, the big guy has a soft spot for the little guy. Google recognizes that small businesses have limited resources, so it automatically boosts their online visibility to give them a leg up. Even if a business doesn’t have a long history or proven expertise—the usual parameters for better SEO—if it’s local, it will rise in Google search rankings. By using location-specific keywords and content, you should perform well in the local SEO race.

Accuracy is king: Scour the internet for every mention of your business to ensure that the name, address, and phone number is listed correctly each time. Any discrepancies will negatively—and needlessly—affect your search ranking.

Claim your business: Popular consumer review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp allow entrepreneurs to claim their business. That’s where you can update your business’s address or phone number if it’s wrong and add other pertinent information to help your SEO. So go claim yours if you haven’t already. And while you’re at it, be sure to ask for reviews on sites like Yelp. Google gives priority to businesses that have been reviewed. But be warned, you usually can’t edit reviews left by others. You may be able to reply, though.

Content is king: Blogs can play a significant role in boosting SEO performance. The key is to author your posts using SEO-rich content wherever possible—beginning with your blog title. Think of what people will search for to find your business, including town names and other local references, and then make sure it’s in your copy.

These are just a few basic tips to help you better optimize your local internet search ranking. But if you’re looking to master local SEO so that your business stands high above the rest, give us a call. We’ve helped businesses of all sizes outrank their competition.

Tim Marren
Senior Copywriter