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The Essential Small Business Guide to Local SEO

The most essential part of internet marketing is local SEO. The first step, when starting a local SEO campaign (or really any internet marketing campaign), is to determine the keywords that you want to rank for, keeping in mind the competition and search volume of those keywords when choosing one. It’s important to be specific to your niche, but feel free to use synonyms and other variations of your keywords (this will help you avoid keyword stuffing). And don’t forget that your location is part of your keyword phrases.

Once your keywords are determined, you can start on the most important part of your website in terms of SEO — the content! Ever heard “content is King”? Well, nothing could be more true when it comes to SEO. So it’s very important to fill your website with relevant, quality content, and to update it often. The easiest way to keep your site’s content moving and changing is to blog regularly. And most importantly, although robots rank your website, remember that you are writing to people that you hope to convert into customers. Also note that search engines take the quality of content, including its grammar, into high consideration when ranking your site. And don’t forget to include your location in your content, so you will rank locally!

Finally, make sure to do basic on-page SEO. This includes creating original title tags and meta descriptions for each of your pages and posts. Make sure your tags and descriptions are accurate, helpful, and include your location. This will help to make your site super easy for search engine crawlers to read. The most commonly overlooked on-page SEO is making sure that all the content on the site is rooted in text, including images and videos. Your keywords should be in all image and video descriptions, titles, and captions. Search engine crawlers can’t read images or videos, so these text anchors help them understand what’s on your site. Finally, make sure that your page URLs are easy to read. So instead of having a URL like www.steelsmithgroup.com/2013/83930jsk94738/htm, which reveals nothing about what’s on the page, try something like www.steelsmithgroup.com/internet-marketing-san-diego/local-seo/.



  • Make sure your business listings in local directories online are up-to-date and accurate.
  • Create social media pages for your business. More importantly, create personal and business Google+ pages, and claim Google authorship for your content. Use social media marketing to educate and engage your customers rather than try to sell your products/services.

  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

  • Ask clients to review your business online, to like your Facebook page, follow your business on Twitter, check in on FourSquare, etc.