There’s a ton of blogs and hacks out there on how you can do SEO yourself that definitely give you great information.
But one of the issues that I see is that it’s not entirely applicable to local businesses.
If your business is located in a city with less than 100,000 people, you may not need an excessive amount of SEO to rank locally (unless your competitors have done
However, applying the wrong methods will definitely put you in a bad spot for a while (Google hates websites that don’t follow their rules).
Here is a list of things that I always apply to all my local business clients to help their websites set the foundations for getting found on Google.
This is not a guarantee that your website will be at the top of the search results, but it will definitely put your website and business in the right direction to gain more visibility on Google.
1. Claim/Create Google My Business Account
This is the first thing you should do after your website is created! This is a start to letting Google know that you are a legitimate business.
ACTION: Be sure to complete your profile by putting all the information that tells Google and its users what your business is about, including industry, services, and full description of your business.
Since we are depending on people finding us on Google, setting up our business profile on Google would make perfect sense.
2. Create Business Listings on Other Sites
We need to let Google know you’re a legitimate business. To do that, we need to create your business profiles on other business listings. When other trusted sites are linking to your site, Google will understand that it is a site worthy of showing to people on their platform!
Here are some of the listings that I typically do for my clients:
There’s a ton out there, but doing even 10 of the most trusted sites can help!
ACTION: If you’re like most business owners that don’t have a ton of time, you can pay for services that will create or fix these listings for you based on the information you give them.
Bright Local is one service that I use for all my clients to either create or fix their business listings efficiently.
3. Link Social Profiles to the Website
ACTION: If you have social profiles dedicated to your business, be sure to link them! While this won’t necessarily boost Google rankings, it’s still necessary to do to gain Google’s trust.
Starting with the major ones (Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Youtube) will be a good start. There’s no need to be excessive with this step and create 100 social profiles on different platforms. Focus on the major ones!
4. Keywords on Home Page of the Website
For step 4 and 5, we need to download a plugin called SEO Minion to make this efficient. This tool was also introduced in the 5 min DIY SEO Audit blog!
Once you’ve downloaded the plugin, click on the icon in your browser while you are on your home page. Select “Analyze On-Page SEO” as you see in the image above.
Locate the Title section and Headings section just as you see here. Examine what’s written in those sections.
If you do not see any keywords that you are attempting to rank for, simply add them!
ACTION: If you’re a law office located in Miami, add the keywords ‘Miami Lawyer’ or some variation of it at least once in the headings and title of the home page.
What to Expect
You should not expect your website to rank at the top of the results page on Google necessarily from these results.
The goal of these steps is to set the initial foundations to help Google recognize your website as a legitimate business within a specific area.
If you’ve created a brand new website and applied these steps recently, it can take a couple of weeks to a few months before you will be able to find your own website by searching for your brand name.
If you have a brand name that contains a common word or a larger brand’s name (e.g. Amazon’s Dentistry), it is typical that it will take more effort to be able to rank for your own brand.
Some Caveats – Stay Away From These
Here are things I would highly advise for you to stay away from.
Fiverr offers of 5,000+ links to your website!
This is probably one of the worst things you could do to your website, especially if it’s brand new with no SEO work done on it. These links are not guaranteed to be from trusted sources that Google likes.
Nowadays, it’s not about the number of links you have. It’s more about the quality of these links.
SEO Agencies that guarantee 1st Page Results in a short period of time!
There’s no shortcut to successful SEO that will last a long time.
If there are agencies offering you these types of promises, ask them to show the keywords they are going to rank you for.
If these keywords have no search volume (meaning no one searches on Google using those terms), they are not providing a service that will help your business grow.
You can check monthly search volume by installing this plugin (Keywords Everywhere) on Google Chrome and simply searching those terms on Google. Right below the search bar, you will see the estimated monthly search volume.
Don’t have time to do all this yourself?
Like most productive business owners, time is the most valuable asset.
Simply click here to request to get this done for you!