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      As a local business owner, it’s easy to feel like larger companies are pushing you around. However, you can use the power of SEO, or search engine optimization, to your advantage. Search engine optimization is a multi-step process utilized to increase the position of websites or local listings. As your website or local listing reaches higher rankings, they’re typically seen by more people. Following a few simple steps will help ensure your local business has an advantage over larger companies. In this post, you’ll learn how local businesses can dominate SEO.

      Claim All Local Business Listings

      It’s important to note that local businesses have distinct advantages over larger companies. One of these advantages has to do with where you’re located. Search Engine Land reports that 80% of consumers utilize search engines to find out more about local businesses. While searching for local terms, Google wants to display a range of nearby businesses instead of large companies. Certain users will type in search terms combined with their location. In other cases, Google uses GPS to determine the location of a searcher. Either way, you want your local business to appear in these search engine results. For this to happen, you’ll want to claim any and all local business listings. For instance, Google My Business is a popular local directory. After claiming each local business listing, you’ll simply need to provide information about your company. This often includes location information, operating hours, pictures, and a brief paragraph about your business. In turn, Google is able to learn about your company and its location.

      Ensure Information is Kept Up to Date

      After creating a website and claiming business listings, you’ll need to ensure that information about your business remains up-to-date. No one wants to contact a business, only to find out they’re dialing the wrong number. In addition, it’s frustrating for customers to find your business while they’re looking at an old address. Keeping information on these listings up-to-date ensures customers have an easy time finding and contacting your company. In addition, search engines love local businesses that update their pages. This often leads to increased rankings for various local keywords.

      It’s also wise to create new Google My Business posts. Podium explains, “Google My Business Posts are the fastest way to tell your customers about new locations, special promotions, and new products. If you’ve already added your business’s address to GMB, then your posts will also show up in Maps. Whether customers are using Google Search to find a specific product or Google Maps to find a nearby business, using Posts will help you stand out to potential customers”  You don’t need to be a professional web designer to create these posts. Examples of great Google My Business posts often include information about company sales or news regarding new products.

      Utilize the Power of Reviews

      Another important factor in dominating SEO is obtaining reviews. Almost every business helps customers on a daily basis. It’s wise to ask customers about placing reviews on your local pages. For example, Google loves seeing that a company is receiving reviews. In fact, the presence of reviews makes up over 13% of how Google and other search engines rank local results. While it might be tempting, you never want to create these reviews on your own. Many search engines utilize methods that prevent fake reviews from being published. Don’t let fear of receiving bad reviews stop you. MarketingBitz found that companies responding to bad reviews saw a 16% increase in terms of customer advocacy. It might take time and effort before your business obtains a large number of reviews. However, the likelihood of increased rankings from these reviews is well worth the time and effort.

      In conclusion, there are several ways for local businesses to dominate SEO. It’s easy to feel like large companies have all the advantage. Fortunately, this isn’t true. In many cases, local businesses are able to utilize several key factors to outrank larger companies.

      Learning the ins and outs of SEO, social media management, and maintaining your website can take a lot of time and effort and can sometimes not give the results you’d prefer. For a better way, let C&T Digital Services help you out and show you what you’re missing.

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