Keeping your business front and center is a tough trick to be sure, but rest assured, it’s far from impossible. Mastering SEO, or search engine optimization, is about making your business and its relevant information easily searchable to your local area, and to successfully do that, you need to understand how exactly search engines can work to your benefit.

Below is a crash course in how to sustain your business by using local and regional SEO.

Why Google Business is the Platform to Prioritize.

Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram are becoming more and more alluring to businesses to prioritize when it comes to marketing and spreading awareness. Although these are the platforms that customers and users are on and active on, it is not what is going to boost your hits with search engines. When it comes down to social accounts and coming up first with search engines, the popular platforms you want to be focusing on are the ones by Google.

It doesn’t take too long to understand why the Google suite of websites is the platform you want to be sure you have accounts with. Google MyBusiness, and even Google Maps are two other Google web pages you want to have an updated account on as well, because they are designed specifically to help customers in your area. The most popular search engine in the world right now is in fact Google, therefore it stands to reason that Google’s own suite of web pages gets first pick of the draft.

If you have an account with Google MyBusiness, then chances are that your business will also appear on local customers’ Google Maps too, so be sure that all of your pertinent information is filled out on your profile page: You’ll need your name, contact information, hours, and a description of what you do.

Study up on your local competition.

Unsure of how you should get started with your SEO practices? Then feel free to study up on what exactly your local competitors are doing.

What keywords are they prioritizing? What platforms are they putting a lot of attention on to get more hits on search engines? Are they working harder than you are to improve their searchable content to make them more relevant in common searches? This being the digital age, there really is little left to the imagination anymore when it comes to thoroughly investigating what your competitors are up to.

More so than that, what your customers think of your business is what will give you an edge. The better the reviews of your business on platforms such as Yelp and especially Google+ will grant you even better listing in search engines. Google works hard to make sure that the best of the best is what appears at the top of the search results, so having the best reviews by locals on your business’s Google+ page can result in you having a leg up over your competition.

Discover the best keywords to be associated with.

What keywords are being typed by potential customers? This is what you need to discover so that you can associate your company directly to those popular searches. Additionally, be sure that the region that your business resides and works within is included in those keywords.

For example, if you are a vacuum repair service in Vancouver, BC, Canada, then you want to localize the search so that people who look up “vacuum repair Vancouver” come in contact with your businesses information. It is an understanding of relevant searches and keywords that will propel your business into SEO success.

Once you find out what keywords are being typed into Google that you want to be associated with, register with Google AdWords to improve your relevance to the searches. The more relevant you are to the exact searches being typed in by searchers, the more often you will pop up on their screens, which will result in more awareness and eventually sales for you.

Getting the hang of SEO practices can be a tough job, and even a full time gig if you don’t know exactly how to best manage it. For some who have the digital proficiency and the time to match, it can be a breeze, but for the majority of us—it can be a pretty difficult task to stay in front of.

Thankfully, there is the option of outsourcing the work to a local SEO company to help guide you through this newly broken ground. If you can’t think of a local SEO firm off of the top of your head, it’s as simple as checking Google for a firm that’s nearest you. It’s a wise decision that will pay off exponentially in the long run.

Author: Caroline Kastner is a marketing manager with APlusDigitalMarketing.com and a freelance writer with a background in marketing, business administration, and branding. Her passion for the industry is what fuels her writing and keeps her interested in discovering the latest and most cutting edge trends in the business world. Follow them on Facebook @aplusdigitall.

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