I freelanced during the pandemic and cultivated a checklist of my local SEO process.
Here is that list:
1. Create a Website
I had clients who ran their business without a website, and I realize there's money on the table.
A year passed since their website launch and they hired a call center to keep up with demand.
A well-designed, fast website is like a digital storefront residing on Google Street.
For now, I won't show you how but do expect it in another post.
But, if you really want to mess around with a website, Bluehost is a good start.
2. Create Social Media Accounts
In 2022, 4 billion people and more are on social media, according to Statista,
If you're not using social media, view these platforms as free traffic.
Many have smartphones nowadays, spending time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it.
"Well, I don't have time to manage and create content to drive traffic."
And that's okay. As long as your social media accounts have your logo, name, address, phone, and website link, we're fine.
Here are some platforms you can set up an account:
Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Twitter Pinterest YouTube
Once you've created the accounts, be sure to add them your website's header or footer.
3. Set a Google My Business profile
Right now, you can set up a Google My Business profile, or GMB for short.
A GMB profile lets Google show your business on the local map and search results.
And it's free! We know people are on Google for answers, and your local business could be it.
Here's are details to add for your GMB profile:
Name Address Phone Number Primary and Secondary categories Website Business Hours Add your products or services High quality photos
Once everything is set up, a postcard is sent to your business address. It'll contain a code for verification.
After verifying, your profile will be live, and I highly recommend you reach out to your clients and ask for reviews. The more reviews, the higher you are in the search results.
Your clients can write a review directly or through a review link found on your dashboard.
Also post updates on your profile regularly. Things worth sharing are:
What's New? New services, new products, new policies... Closed for certain days or holidays Coupons, discounts, sales, freebies, and more. Hosting an event Anything you can think of, the more the better!
4. Add Your Business to Local Directories
Also known as local citations, they'll further validate the business address as your local location.
So, it's very crucial that we keep our NAP, or Name, Address, Phone, consistent.
Here are some local directories you can add your business to:
yelp.com maps.apple.com facebook.com houzz.com thumbtack.com bbb.org manta.com bing.com nextdoor.com ezlocal.com ...
Again, the more, the better.
Also add your social media profiles onto your GMB profile.
Too much work and don't have the time? Let me know and I can help.
5. Building Backlinks
Backlinks are mentions to your website. We added our business information including our website link to Yelp's local directory. This means Yelp is backlinking (mentioning) to your website. Same reasons why we added our website link to our social media accounts.
Backlinks are also graded. Let's say cnn.com decided to run a story with your website mentioned. That would be a very strong backlink since CNN is a big authority in the news world.
Once Google crawls the CNN article and finds your website link, that'll boost your website up in the search rankings.
In contrast, getting a backlink from some random website won't do much.
Want to see your backlinks? You can check with Ahrefs' backlink checker.
Does Take Time But It Works
These are the exact steps I take for my business. Follow these exact steps and expect more clicks and calls, but don't expect it to happen overnight. Search engine optimization takes time, but it'll be worth it.
Too busy? Talk to me. My team and I can help you build a digital presence.
Thank you for reading and good luck.