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As a small business owner, one of the first things that you need to strive for is to get your brand name out there. With more people acquainted with your venture, the more chances you have in converting their interest to sales. This is the very reason why you need to go through all the trouble of promoting your business online and offline.

One of the best ways to boost brand awareness for your brand is through local SEO. This method will help put your business on online maps. It will also help you reach the internet users who are after services like yous within your locale.

With the right local SEO measures, you can effectively target customers and help your small business compete healthily with other similar ventures in your area. So if you need local promotions for your business, you shouldn’t skip doing a more area-focused approach in SEO.

If local SEO is a completely new concept to you, it might seem daunting and overwhelming. However, it’s not that hard to do if you know the right tricks. To help you get started, here’s a quick local SEO checklist of the things experts recommend you to do to boost your small business’ online promotions.

Optimize On-Page Elements

The very first thing that you need to focus your local SEO efforts on is your website. It should be built with search engine optimization in mind.

Like with traditional SEO, filling on-page elements should include the right and best keywords for your small business. This is one of the first steps to ensure that your website will be placed where it’s supposed to be by search engines.

By using the right terms on your website, search engines will have an easier time associating it with the most relevant key terms that are related to your venture. This will then help you boost your search rankings and make it easier for potential customers to find you.

What are the on-page elements that you have to make sure to use the right keywords in? Here are a few examples:

  • URLs. They should be concise and clean to make sure that they’re SEO-friendly.
  • Title tags. It’s crucial to use the right keywords for these as they can really help in indexing your website.
  • File names. Using the right keywords for the file names of the images and other files you choose to upload in your website will help you get more clicks.
  • NAP details. The Business Name, Address & Phone number of your small business should be listed down correctly on your website.
  • Sitemap XML. This is particularly useful for new websites as it helps tell search engines what the website is about.

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

This might not seem like it’s related to local SEO but it turns out that a mobile-friendly website can further boost your location-based SEO efforts. How can your website’s format help optimize your site for search engines? It has a lot to do with Google’s preferences.

According to experts, Google now ranks mobile-friendly websites higher than the ones that aren’t optimized for mobile access. This means that if your website is mobile friendly and optimized to target internet users in your area, you’ll have higher search rankings than your counterparts that didn’t optimize their websites the same way you did.

Even without this incentive, you should really consider making your website mobile-friendly. About 63% of total internet traffic is from mobile devices so there’s a high chance that your page visitors will look at your website on their tablets or phones. By making it mobile-friendly, users will have an easier time browsing your site. This can also lead to sales conversions if you were able to win them over.

Make the Most Out of Your Content

Aside from on-page elements, the content you’ll create should also be optimized fully to boost your local SEO. For starters, you should use the right keywords to make sure that your business will be selected for related terms and so customers can easily find you in the midst of a sea of options.

Combine this with the insertion of your own links and you’ll be able to spread the word about your website and your small business further. Doing this will help you direct traffic to where people can find your content, so if they’re hosted on your website, you’ll be able to attract more clicks.

Make sure to produce high-quality content, however, while you’re at it. While having more content can mean generating more interest and covering more topics, the vast amount can’t necessarily guarantee quality and usefulness.

Removing duplicate content is also highly recommended by experts. It will help you get better results from search engines because it will prevent you from having too many similar pages to boost. By having a unified page for content with similar topics, you’ll be able to concentrate your effort in promoting just a single page.

Take Advantage of Google

With 3.5 billion Google searches made per day, it shouldn’t be surprising that Google is hailed as the number one search engine there is today. The fact that it’s already a household name in many countries further solidifies the fact that it’s one of the most popular online platforms today. This makes it crucial for you to take advantage of its offerings if you want to promote your small business on the World Wide Web.

By taking advantage of what Google has to offer, you can make use of its platforms in popularizing and establishing the existence of your venture. Doing so will boost your search rankings and make you more visible online which is exactly what you need to achieve to get your brand out there.

There are lots of Google products that small businesses absolutely has to become a part of. Some of the best ones that will surely help your local SEO efforts are the following:

Google My Business

First on this list is Google My Business. This platform will literally put your business on the map as it will insert your enterprise in Google Maps. By doing so, you’ll also make it possible for more people to find your business. This makes it a crucial item in any local SEO checklist.

How do you use Google My Business, you ask? It’s very simple: you just really need to register or claim your business on their website and that’s pretty much it. When doing so, however, it’s crucial that you fill in the forms properly and correctly.

What you put in there will be used by Google in its search results and to inform customers about the basics of your enterprise. If you entered the wrong information, you can still correct them but it might take a while for search engines to pick up the edit. So if you can get it correct the first time around, that will be the best.

Google Analytics

This product will let you monitor your own website’s growth in an easy to understand format. While lots of website developers also include a dashboard where you can view the insights of your site’s growth, Google Analytics offers a whole lot more. Since it is also connected with Google, it might provide more crucial details as well, so it will be ideal to give it a shot.

Get Listed in Other Online Business Directories

Aside from Google, there are tons of other online platforms that can boost your brand’s visibility on the web. You should also pay attention to these since not everyone uses Google.

What are the other websites that you should get listed in? Here are a few examples:

  • Facebook
  • Apple Maps
  • Bing
  • Yelp
  • Yahoo! Local
  • FourSquare
  • HubSpot
  • MapQuest
  • Thumbtack
  • Local.com

Adding your small business’ website into these directories will make it easier for internet users to find your brand. By getting listed, you’ll make your site easier to crawl by different search engines.

Spread Backlinks through Local Influencers

Lastly, add local influencers to your checklist of websites and personalities to work with. These folks are the best people to turn to if you want to target the local audience because a large chunk of their following will be based in your town or city.

What are these website that you should be on the lookout for? Here are a few examples:

  • Local newspaper websites
  • Local bloggers
  • Local forum boards
  • Local tourism websites

However, this local SEO technique isn’t as simple as getting listed in directories or signing up in websites. This is where your entrepreneurial and marketing skills will be put to the test.

In most cases, they will ask something in exchange to feature your brand. What they’ll ask depends greatly on the type of website they run.

Usually, you can pay for a press release to be published in newspaper websites. Bloggers, on the other hand, might ask you for a fee or a sponsorship.

Conclusion

This local SEO checklist may be very basic but it can already help you put your brand on the most widely used map online. So if you want to know how to start your local SEO efforts, this can be a good reference. We’re confident that you’ll already get to establish your business online with these tips.