Having a website has long been thought of as the key to doing business with the world. But most businesses aren’t global – they’re local – so ranking on page one of Google globally isn’t nearly as valuable as having a strong strategy for local search engine optimization (SEO).

Local SEO is a catch-all for various digital practices designed to help your website rank higher in local searches, which increases your chances of being found by internet users more likely to actually patronize your business. Here are a few simple ways to instantly improve your company’s local search visibility:

Google My Business
Google is the search giant, and Google My Business (GMB) is its most powerful local tool. To start, log into (or create) your free Google account, visit GMB, add all of your locations, verify them and share photos. GMB also allows for customer reviews, so ask for them! This will help build your reputation and, in the eyes of Google’s algorithm, your chances of being listed higher in local search results for relevant terms.

Localize Your Website
Simple things like adding your city and state to the title of your website pages can make an impact. Instead of just “Tom’s Flower Shop,” titling your site something like “Tom’s Flower Shop | Florist in Miami, FL” helps search engines locate you. Then, go through your whole site and see where you can add localization language. There are probably dozens of opportunities to mention the city and neighborhoods you serve.

Get into Local Directories
Google actually refers to Yelp and other localized directories to assess how important your business is to the local area. Ask your web firm to research which online business directories are popular with local users and make sure your business info is listed completely and accurately on all of those websites.

Get Local on Social
Creating and maintaining social media pages can help localize your business, but you need to go beyond that and engage locals online. People talk about business, new developments and products on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and more, and these social mentions are picked up by Google. If a lot of people talk about your business and/or link to your website, search engines will assume that you are relevant.

This is just an intro to the practice of local SEO. If you’re struggling to get on people’s radar, get in touch with Brand Poets. We can point you in the right direction.

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About Brand Poets

Founded by Tana M. Llinás, Brand Poets is a collective of strategists, storytellers, and digital artisans crafting smart, poignant campaigns that command attention.

Instagram: @BrandPoets

This article was originally published in the Community Newspapers.