A Beginner’s Guide to Local SEO for Small Businesses

By the time you finish reading this guide, you’ll have a better understanding of local SEO and how to improve your local search rankings. In this era of smartphones and mobile Internet usage, local SEO may be your greatest ally in expanding your reach online.

You may need help from a Web developer for this next part, but I recommend you use schema local markup and a KML file. The schema local markup provides search engines with more specific information that can help index your site more appropriately (which means the people who see your site will more likely become customers), and the KML file displays geographic data in apps such as Google Earth.

Claim Profiles on Social Media

Get started on social media. Claim profiles on as many platforms as you can to increase your number of free citations.

You’ll also want to get active on social media as you ramp up your SEO efforts. Focus your efforts where most of your customers are. For B-to-C businesses, that probably means Facebook and Twitter. For B-to-B businesses, you might be more interested in platforms such as LinkedIn. Research shows that Google values social media signals in its search rankings, so don’t pass this up.

Start a Blog

Engage your prospective customers with a blog. Write about local issues involving your neighborhood, your city and your state. Write about new products or offer helpful advice. And be sure to include citations on each blog page. Share your blog on social media; it’s a great way to reach new customers and expand your citation network.


If you want customers to walk through your doors, then make local SEO a top priority.

While hiring an SEO expert can jumpstart the process, most of the above steps can be handled without outside help. Just remember that improving your local SEO is a process. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Keep at it, though, and your efforts will pay off.

Want more local SEO tips?  Click here to get a copy of our Ultimate Local SEO Checklist.

Author: Phil Frost

Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.

Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.

Want more SEO tips? Get your free copy of Phil’s Ultimate SEO Checklist. Want more AdWords tips? Get your free copy of Phil’s Ultimate Google AdWords Checklist.

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