"A website without SEO is like a car without wheels."
Think of Local SEO like real estate.
This might not be the best example but its how I made sense of SEO some years ago.
You see a website in my mind is the converter. It's what turns your visitors into customers. But I believe than many small business owners have gone into thinking its like a retail store. People will come and go and some will buy. But based on the data I have seen, that doesn't make sense. You see with a retail store you have real estate, and with all good commercial real estate you have foot traffic. So to me the website is the shop keeper, not the retail store. It's job is to persuade visitors to become customers and to complete transactions. So I guess what I'm trying to say is the real estate you want, is on everybody else's websites. They spend all the time and money to drive traffic, and in most cases, that traffic could be yours.
Below I've listed a few basic practices for local businesses to start their SEO campaign.
1. Does your website load quickly?
Many websites that were built 5+ years ago no longer load fast enough and for that they are penalized on google and may not be optimally listed anymore. This can be a big problem and may be worth investing in a new website modern website.
2. Is your website mobile friendly?
Get out your phone and go to your website. Does it come across as user friendly? Do you have to zoom in to press buttons? This is another problem that could get you penalized on google. Lucky for you, you probably don't need to redesign your website. Many Web Designers will be able to change a few things on your website to make it mobile friendly, and it shouldn't cost to much. We charge around $300 for this service.
3. Place your business on listing sites.
There are many great free listing sites out there to promote your local business. Just like the yellow pages, you simply sign up and list your business details and your ready to go. If your in a crowded market you will have to sign up to a lot of listing sites, and you should even consider paying for better promotion on those listing sites. If your in a market that's not as competitive, signing up to just a few listing sites might get your phone ringing and your website views up. Putting your business on listing sites is free and easy.
4. Social Media.
Social Media is a great place for local businesses and there's so much you can do to get noticed. I would argue that any small local business that isn't on facebook, is giving there business away. In fact many businesses have started and operate solely on facebook.