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Local SEO for Small Businesses: A Step-by-Step Guide Using Simply Be Found

Local SEO for Small Businesses: A Step-by-Step Guide Using Simply Be Found

Last Updated on: 23rd April 2024, 06:25 pm

I’m Rob, co-founder here at Simply Be Found. If you’re like most small business owners I’ve met over my nearly 30 years in marketing, you’re passionate about what you do but might find the whole Local SEO for small businesses game a bit daunting. That’s exactly why we built Simply Be Found – to make it easier for you like never before. 

In this guide, we’re going to break down local SEO into simple, actionable steps that you can apply directly to your business using our platform. Whether you’re a seasoned pro at this or just dipping your toes into digital waters, this book is your roadmap to getting the most out of local SEO. 

Now, let’s get started on this journey together, and by the end, you’ll see just how easy and impactful local SEO can be for your business when you’ve got the right tools and a bit of insider know-how. 

Getting Started with Simply Be Found 

Chapter 1: Setting Up Your Simply Be Found Account

So, you’ve signed up for Simply Be Found — fantastic decision! Let’s roll up our sleeves and dive right into setting up your account. This part is crucial because it lays the foundation for everything that follows. 

First Things First: Your Google Business Profile

Connecting your Google Business Profile is like setting up your digital storefront. It’s how customers find you online. If you already have a Google Business Profile, great! If not, no sweat — I’ll show you how to set one up. Remember, this step is key for our members, and if you need a hand, our team’s here to help you out. 

Navigating the Dashboard

Once you’re in, you’ll find yourself on the Simply Be Found dashboard. This is where the magic happens. Think of it as your command center for all things local SEO. You’ll see a bunch of tools and features, but don’t get overwhelmed. I’m going to walk you through each one, step by step. 

Customizing Your Business Settings

Accurate business information is the cornerstone of local SEO. In the ‘Business Information’ section, make sure your company name, address, and contact details are spot on. No nicknames or shortcuts here – just the straight facts. This accuracy helps Google (and your customers) trust that you are who you say you are. 

Establishing Your Service Area

This is about telling Google where you do business. Are you a cozy cafe in downtown, or do you provide services across the county? Setting up your service area helps you show up in searches in those areas. It’s like planting digital flags across your turf. 

And Remember… 

Setting up your Simply Be Found account isn’t just a one-time thing. It’s the start of an ongoing journey. Your business will evolve, and so should your profile. Keep it updated, and keep it real. 

Chapter 2: Optimizing Your Business Profile For SEO

The Power of Accurate Business Information

Hey, let’s talk about the backbone of Local SEO for small businesses – your business information. It’s like your digital fingerprint. A BrightLocal study reveals that 85% of consumers have stumbled upon incorrect or incomplete business information​​. And guess what? About 63% say incorrect info would deter them from using a business. This stuff matters. 

Why Categories Matter in Local SEO for Small Businesses

Categories in your business listing are crucial. They’re like the signposts that guide your customers to your digital doorstep. Nearly half of all Google searches are local​​, so getting your categories right is key to capturing this audience. Accurate categories mean more visibility in relevant local searches. 

Service Areas: Local SEO’s Unsung Hero

Your service areas tell Google and your customers where you’re at. It’s all about location, location, location. With 80% of local mobile searches converting​​, defining your service area accurately can significantly boost your engagement in local searches. 

The Impact of Online Reviews on SEO

Here’s a big one – online reviews. They’re a major factor in your local search rankings. According to financesonline.com, 90% of brands found that online reviews impacted their local rankings​​. That means managing your online reputation through customer reviews is non-negotiable in local SEO. 

Local SEO in Business Marketing

Surprisingly, only 35% of businesses recognize local SEO’s importance​​. This is your chance to get ahead of the curve and stand out in your local market. 

Local SEO for Small Businesses and Business Revenue

Local SEO isn’t just about visibility; it’s about revenue. Ahrefs reports that local SEO leads have a 15% close rate​​, and inter-growth.co found that 28% of local searches result in a purchase within 24 hours​​. This shows the direct impact of local SEO on your bottom line. 

Local SEO Presence Among Small Businesses

Already, 64% of small businesses are tapping into local SEO​​. If you’re not one of them, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with local customers. 

ROI From Local SEO Campaigns

Here’s something to get excited about – 40% of local SEO campaigns achieve a 500% or better ROI​​. That’s a testament to the power of local SEO in growing your business. 

Online Reputation and Customer Spending

Did you know that customers are willing to pay 22% more for a local product or service with a good online reputation​​? Your online presence can actually influence how much customers are willing to spend. 

Website Traffic from Local Searches

Local searches account for about 25% of website traffic​​. That’s a significant chunk of potential customers coming from local SEO efforts. 

Local Business Searches on Mobile

With 58% of people searching for a local business on their smartphone daily​​, having a mobile-friendly website isn’t just nice to have – it’s essential. 

Local Mobile Searches Leading to Offline Purchases

Don’t underestimate offline impact. A whopping 78% of local mobile searches lead to offline purchases​​. Your online presence drives customers right to your physical doorstep. 

Google Business Profile Listings and Customer Actions

Actions on Google Business Profile listings, like website visits and calls to the business, make up 56% of total actions​​. This demonstrates the importance of a well-maintained Google Business Profile. 

Staying Current with SEO Tools and Trends

With 50% of businesses believing in the effectiveness of SEO tools for keeping up with local marketing changes​​, it’s clear that the right tools can make all the difference in your local SEO strategy. 

Local Search Queries Phrased as Questions

Around 8% of local search queries are phrased as questions​​, indicating the importance of optimizing your content to answer these queries. 

Consumer Behavior and Local Business Searches

A staggering 90% of consumers who search for a local business make a purchase within a week of their initial search​​. Your local SEO for small businesses efforts can lead to quick conversions. 

The Role of Smartphones in Local SEO

One in three people use their smartphone to search for products before visiting a physical store​​. Your local SEO strategy must cater to these mobile users. 

Google as the New Homepage for Local Businesses

About 42% of businesses view Google as the new homepage for local businesses​​. Optimizing your Google Business Profile is like sprucing up your storefront. 

Automated Local Listing Management

Over 40% of businesses now use automated solutions for local listing management​​. It’s all about efficiency and accuracy. 

Utilizing Multiple SEO Tools

Two-thirds of businesses use two to five SEO tools for local SEO for small businesses​​. It’s about finding the right combination of tools that work for you. 

Outsourcing Local SEO Work

40% of SMBs outsource their local SEO work​​. Sometimes, getting a little help from the experts can make a big difference. 

The Value of the Local SEO Industry

The local SEO industry is worth over $80 billion​​. This underscores the importance and value of investing in local SEO for your business. 

Consumer Expectations and Online Presence

62% of consumers will disregard a business they can’t find online​​. Your online presence is key to attracting and retaining customers. 

Investing in Local Link Building

18% of businesses consider local link building as their most important local SEO tactic​​. This highlights the significance of building a strong local backlink profile. 

Chapter 3: Leveraging Daily and Weekly SEO Tasks with Simply Be Found

Introduction to Routine SEO Maintenance

In local SEO, the magic lies in regular, consistent actions. Think of it as nurturing a garden; the more attention you give, the more it flourishes. Let’s explore the daily and weekly tasks you can perform using Simply Be Found to keep your local SEO thriving. 

1. Daily Updates: Keeping Your Profile Fresh  

Updating Business Information: Regularly check and update your business information. Even small changes, like modified opening hours or new contact details, matter. 

Responding to Customer Interactions: Whether it’s a new review, question, or comment, prompt responses show that you’re active and customer-focused. 

2. Weekly Content Creation: Engaging Your Audience 

Crafting Engaging Posts: Share updates, special offers, or news about your business. Posts should be relevant, timely, and reflective of your brand. 

Creating and Promoting Events: If you have an event coming up, make sure it’s listed. This increases visibility and encourages community participation. 

Uploading New Photos: Regularly add new photos to your profile. Showcase your products, services, or happy customers. Visuals can significantly increase engagement and interest. 

3. Review Management: Building Trust and Credibility  

Addressing Reviews: Allocate time each week to address customer reviews. Personalized responses to both positive and negative feedback demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. 

Encouraging Reviews: Don’t hesitate to encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews. They serve as powerful endorsements for your business. 

4. Utilizing Q&A for Direct Customer Engagement 

Answering Questions: Regularly check for new questions on your profile and provide clear, informative answers. 

Asking and Answering Your Own Questions: Use the Q&A feature to address common queries. This proactive approach can provide valuable information to potential customers. 

5. Monitoring and Adapting to Local SEO Trends 

Staying Informed: Keep up with the latest trends and updates in local SEO. Simply Be Found often integrates new features and tools that can enhance your strategy. 

Adapting Your Approach: Be ready to adapt your tactics based on new trends, customer feedback, or changes in the business environment. 

Conclusion: Power of Consistency

Your journey in local SEO for small businesses is an ongoing process. By regularly performing these tasks, you ensure that your business remains visible, engaging, and relevant to your local customers. Remember, in the world of SEO, consistency isn’t just a virtue; it’s a strategy for success. 

Chapter 4: Maximize Engagement Through Posts and Events 

Introduction: The Art of Engagement

In the digital world, engagement is the currency. It’s about creating connections, sparking interest, and building relationships. In this chapter, we’ll explore how you can maximize engagement through strategic posts and events using Simply Be Found. 

1. Crafting Compelling Posts

Understand Your Audience: Know what interests your customers. Posts should cater to their preferences, needs, and local trends. 

Regular Posting: Keep a consistent schedule. Regular posts keep your audience engaged and your business top-of-mind. 

Diverse Content: Mix it up with various types of content – promotions, behind-the-scenes, customer stories, and local community events. 

2. Making the Most of Events 

Event Visibility: Use Simply Be Found to promote your events. Whether it’s a sale, a workshop, or a community gathering, make it visible. 

Engaging Descriptions: Create enticing event descriptions. Highlight what makes your event unique and why people should attend. 

Follow-up: After the event, post highlights or customer feedback. This not only shows the event’s success but also promotes future events. 

3. Photos and Visual Content 

Quality Over Quantity: Ensure that the photos you upload are high-quality and relevant. A well-taken photo can tell a story on its own. 

Diverse Imagery: Include a range of photos – your products, your team, your premises, and events. This variety gives a fuller picture of your business. 

4. Leveraging Local Trends and Seasons 

Seasonal Posts: Align your posts and events with local seasons and holidays. Tailoring your content to what’s current keeps it relevant and engaging. 

Local Trends: Stay in tune with local trends and incorporate them into your posts and events. This shows that your business is an active part of the community. 

Conclusion: Building a Community Around Your Brand 

Engagement is more than just attracting attention. It’s about building a community around your brand. Through thoughtful posts, exciting events, and a keen understanding of your audience, you can create a loyal customer base that grows with your business. Remember, every post, every event, every photo is an opportunity to strengthen your connection with your community. 

Chapter 5: Navigating Review Management on Simply Be Found 

The Crucial Role of Reviews in Local SEO for Small Businesses 

Reviews are more than feedback; they’re a cornerstone of local SEO for small businesses. A significant 76% of consumers regularly read online reviews when looking up local businesses​​. In today’s digital world, a strong review profile is indispensable for building trust and enhancing your online presence. 

Encouraging and Managing Customer Reviews 

Encouraging customers to leave reviews is essential. In 2022, 80% of consumers were prompted by businesses to leave a review, and 65% responded to these requests​​. It’s crucial to ask for reviews in a way that’s convenient and appealing to customers. 

Leveraging Google for Reviews 

With 87% of people using Google to research local businesses in 2022, it’s evident that Google reigns supreme in online reviews​​. Google’s trust and the sheer volume of reviews make it a primary platform for managing your business’s review profile. 

Effective Methods for Requesting Reviews 

The method of requesting reviews can significantly impact their frequency. Email is the most effective, with 34% of consumers more likely to leave a review if asked via this channel​​. Personalized, timely email reminders can be a powerful tool in your review management strategy. 

Adapting to Consumer Behavior 

Understanding and adapting to consumer behavior is key. With a shift towards online research and reliance on reviews for making decisions, businesses must prioritize their digital reputation. Regularly monitoring and responding to reviews, and diversifying their presence across platforms, are essential steps in maintaining a positive online image. 

Conclusion: Building a Robust Online Presence Through Reviews 

In the realm of local SEO for small businesses, reviews are a vital component. They not only influence your search rankings but also play a crucial role in how potential customers perceive your business. Effective review management, therefore, is integral to building and maintaining a robust online presence that resonates with both search engines and customers. 

Chapter 6: Utilizing Social Media for Local SEO Enhancement 

Leveraging Social Media Platforms 

Social media platforms are not just for connecting with friends and family; they are powerful tools for local businesses to enhance their SEO. A significant portion of online interactions happen on these platforms, making them ideal for promoting your business, engaging with the local community, and driving traffic to your website. 

1. Choosing the Right Platforms 

Identifying Your Audience: Different platforms cater to different demographics. Identify where your target audience spends their time and focus your efforts there. 

Platform-Specific Strategies: Tailor your content and approach to suit each platform. What works on Instagram may not work on Facebook or Twitter. 

2. Creating Engaging Local Content 

Local Events and News: Share content about local events, news, or activities. This not only shows your involvement in the community but also helps you appear in local search results. 

Customer Stories and Testimonials: Share customer stories and testimonials. Authentic content like this can significantly boost your credibility and attract more local customers. 

3. Encouraging Interaction and Engagement 

Engage with Followers: Respond to comments, messages, and reviews on social media. Engagement boosts your visibility and shows that you value customer interaction. 

Promotions and Contests: Run local promotions or contests. These can increase engagement and drive traffic both online and to your physical location. 

4. Collaborations with Local Influencers 

Leveraging Local Influence: Partner with local influencers or community figures. This can widen your reach and add a level of trust and authenticity to your brand. 

Conclusion: Social Media as a Local SEO Powerhouse 

Social media, when used effectively, can be a significant asset for local SEO. It’s about more than just posting content; it’s about creating genuine connections, engaging with your local community, and building a brand that resonates locally. Through strategic use of social media, you can enhance your local SEO, attract more customers, and build a stronger online presence. 

Chapter 7: Optimizing for Voice Search Through Local Listings 

Harnessing the Power of Voice Search in Local SEO

Voice search has become increasingly important in local SEO. With more people using voice-activated devices, it’s crucial to optimize your local listings for voice search. 

1. Voice Search and Local Listings 

Consistent NAP Information: Ensure your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) are consistent across all listings. Voice search devices rely on accurate data to provide correct responses. 

Keyword Optimization for Voice Search: Incorporate natural language and question-based phrases in your listings, as voice searches are often conversational. 

2. Leveraging Local Listings for Voice Search Visibility 

Google My Business Optimization: Keep your Google My Business profile up-to-date. Many voice searches for local information pull data from Google My Business. 

FAQs and Rich Content: Include FAQs and rich content in your listings. This can help answer common voice search queries directly related to your business. 

Conclusion: Staying Ahead with Voice Search Optimization 

As voice search continues to grow, optimizing your local listings for this technology is crucial. By ensuring accurate, detailed, and conversational information in your listings, you can significantly enhance your visibility in voice search results, making it easier for customers to find and choose your business. 

Chapter 8: Local Link Building for Enhanced SEO 

Understanding the Importance of Local Link Building 

Local link building is a crucial element of a comprehensive local SEO strategy. It involves acquiring backlinks from local sources and reputable websites, which can significantly boost your business’s online visibility. 

1. Strategies for Effective Local Link Building 

Collaborations with Local Businesses: Partner with other local businesses and organizations for mutual promotion and link sharing. 

Local Directories and Citations: Get listed in local directories and business listings, ensuring your NAP information is consistent across all platforms. 

2. Leveraging Community Events and Sponsorships 

Participation in Local Events: Actively participate in or sponsor local events, which can result in valuable backlinks from event pages or local news outlets. 

Community Engagement: Engage in community projects or charities. These activities can lead to mentions and links from local media and community websites. 

Conclusion: Strengthening Local SEO Through Strategic Link Building 

Local link building requires a focused, community-oriented approach. By establishing connections within your local area and engaging in community activities, you can build a strong network of backlinks that enhance your local SEO efforts. 

Chapter 9: Measuring Real-World Local SEO Success with Simply Be Found 

Focusing on Tangible Results

In local SEO, the ultimate measure of success is real-world results. Simply Be Found emphasizes the importance of tangible outcomes over traditional analytics. 

1. More Phone Calls and Customer Interactions 

Tracking Customer Engagement: Notice the increase in phone calls, inquiries, and customer interactions. These are direct indicators of effective local SEO. 

Listening to Customer Feedback: Customer feedback and comments can provide insights into how well your SEO efforts are translating into real-world results. 

Monitoring Sales and Revenue: The most tangible measure of SEO success is an increase in sales and revenue. Keep track of changes in your business’s financial performance. 

Connecting SEO Efforts to Sales: Understand how enhanced local visibility is translating into more business opportunities and increased profitability. 

Conclusion: Real Results Over Analytics  

Simply Be Found focuses on what truly matters: real results. More customer calls, increased engagement, and a boost in revenue are the real indicators of a successful local SEO strategy. In this approach, the emphasis is on actual business growth rather than abstract analytics. 

Chapter 10: Staying Updated with Local SEO Trends 

Adapting to the Evolving Landscape of Local SEO  

Local SEO is a dynamic field, constantly evolving with new trends and technologies. Staying informed and adaptable is key to maintaining a successful local SEO strategy. 

1. Keeping Up with SEO Trends and Updates 

Industry Insights: Regularly follow SEO blogs, webinars, and industry reports to stay informed about the latest trends and best practices in local SEO. 

Platform Updates: Keep an eye on updates from key platforms like Google My Business and local directories, as these can directly impact your local SEO strategy. 

2. Implementing New Techniques and Strategies 

Innovative Approaches: Be open to experimenting with new SEO techniques and tools as they emerge. 

Feedback and Adaptation: Use customer feedback and your own experiences to refine and adapt your strategy, ensuring it remains effective and competitive.  

Conclusion: Embracing Continuous Learning in Local SEO 

In the ever-changing world of local SEO, continuous learning and adaptation are crucial. By staying updated with current trends and being willing to implement new strategies, you can ensure your business remains visible and competitive in the local digital landscape. 

Chapter 11: Utilizing Simply Be Found for Comprehensive Local SEO Management 

Leveraging a Unified Platform for Local SEO 

Simply Be Found offers a comprehensive solution for managing all aspects of local SEO. This unified approach simplifies the process, allowing business owners to focus on growth. 

1. All-in-One Local SEO Management 

Centralized Control: Manage your Google My Business profile, local listings, and customer reviews all from one platform. 

Streamlined Processes: Save time and effort with streamlined processes for updating business information, responding to reviews, and posting updates. 

2. The Advantage of Integrated Local SEO Tools 

Efficiency: Using a single platform for multiple aspects of local SEO increases efficiency and effectiveness. 

Consistency: Ensure consistent information across all platforms, a crucial factor in local SEO success. 

Conclusion: The Power of a Unified SEO Strategy 

Simply Be Found provides a powerful, integrated approach to local SEO. By consolidating various tasks into one platform, it offers an efficient and effective way to enhance your online presence and drive real business results. 

About the author:

Picture of Rob Downey

Rob Downey

Robert Downey: Revolutionizing Local Marketing and Voice Search Optimization Robert Downey is a distinguished figure in the dynamic world of local marketing and digital innovation. As the co-founder of SimplyBeFound.com, he has proven to be a master in local marketing strategy and a pioneer in voice search optimization. With a career spanning nearly three decades, Robert has dedicated himself to enhancing the visibility of small businesses and fostering stronger connections between these enterprises and their local communities. Robert's journey in the marketing realm began in 1995, and since then, he has led over 1,000 marketing campaigns, contributing significantly to developing more than 5,000 websites. His expertise spans various industries, equipping him with a nuanced understanding of their unique challenges and opportunities. This extensive experience broadens his skill set and cements his position as a thought leader in local business marketing. One of the keys to Robert's success is his ability to deliver impactful results using local SEO strategies. He excels in this area, demonstrating that businesses can use small advertising budgets to be successful. Instead, they need the right strategies to reach consumers actively seeking their services. His approach needs to include the importance of bridging the gap between local businesses and potential customers, which has often hindered the growth and visibility of many small businesses. As a fourth-generation entrepreneur, the entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in Robert's veins. This heritage has ingrained in him a profound understanding of business growth and evolution, especially crucial in the fast-paced startup environment. At SimplyBeFound.com, he applies this strategic vision to simplify the local business discovery process, leading to significant growth of the platform, an expanded user base, and increased revenue streams. Beyond Simply Be Found, Robert's achievements include launching over ten successful online businesses and startups, a testament to his versatility and expertise in the digital business landscape. He brings a unique blend of programming skills, marketing acumen, and business development experience, offering a fresh and invaluable perspective to today's digitally-centered business challenges. In essence, Robert Downey is more than just a local marketing expert. He is a catalyst for growth, a digital marketing innovator, and a mentor to businesses striving for success. His extensive experience, profound industry knowledge, and unwavering dedication to the success of small businesses make him an indispensable ally for any business aiming to enhance its local presence and achieve sustainable growth.

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We are a small business for small business.  There is a 1 in 5 chance of talking to a co-founder.  We are not a big coporation or a place where you are going to get lost.  

Between Dean & Rob They Have

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