Local SEO 101 for Businesses

Written by: Jason Bayless | December 26, 2015

When you type in something like “restaurants near me” or “burgers in Denver,” Google’s newest algorithm is designed to show you all of the search results specifically for your location. This prevents you from having to see irrelevant search results that aren’t helpful to you. That’s where utilizing local SEO for businesses comes in handy.

Sign up for Google

Signing up your business for a Google account is, hands down, one of the easiest ways to get ranked locally. This can easily get you ranked as part of the Local 3-Pack. That’s the list of 3 locations that Google pulls up under the two or three advertisements placed at the top of the first search result page.

Getting signed up for Google and ranking on the Local 3-Pack means that any time someone searches for your keyword locally, your business will pull up. Once you acquire reviews through Google, potential customers will also be able to review those reviews, boosting your ranking even more and making you appear more appealing to more customers.

Get reviews

Speaking of the reviews that customers can leave for you on your business’ new Google account, they’re actually more important than you may think. In fact, as many as 72% of consumers are more likely to trust a business with positive reviews.

Ask for reviews

If none of your customers are biting, maybe it’s time to just directly ask them for feedback. It never hurts to ask for feedback on your site or products, especially so that you can cater future products more towards your customer’s needs. Explaining this to them in earnest and requesting their honest opinion will not only give you the genuine reviews you’ve been looking for, but it will also give your customers more of a reason to keep coming back.

Sign up for other sites too

Just because your business has a Google account doesn’t mean instant success. To gain more traction and create a bigger positive impact on your ranking, create an account for various other listing websites. There are free sites to do this at, like Yelp and Yellow Pages, and there are also paid services, like White Spark, Yext, Bright Local, and Moz Local, that require a fee. Taking advantage of as many of these sites as possible is the best way to build up your listing’s reputation and trust online.

Manage your online reputation

It’s incredibly easy to tarnish a business’ name by just a little bad publicity. That’s why it’s important to crawl through the web yourself and ensure that there are no negative or bad reviews that you haven’t responded to, no forms of plagiarism, and much more. Make sure your online reputation stays in tact by keeping tabs on it regularly.

Participate in social media

The majority of all social networks, especially major social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, and more, are all free to use. You can put money into them if you wish to, but you can also take advantage of social media marketing completely for free. Not only does this benefit you on overall ranking, but it helps out incredibly with local SEO ranking. This is especially so if you include the location of the business visibly on each social media account.

Add your location everywhere

Especially as a local business trying to take advantage of local SEO, it doesn’t make sense to not localize the website as well. Certain keywords will allow your site to be ranked for other, non-local searches as well, so you’re not missing out by personalizing your website to a more local spot. For example, adding your location for title tags and alt tags is an easy way to boost traffic almost immediately.