You may believe that because you run a small, local business, you do not need search engine optimization. Because your customers come primarily from own community, you may try to rely on local advertisements and word of mouth in order to bring in customers. The truth is, however, that without SEO, your competitors are going to grab all of the new customers, and you will be left with only a precious few.

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Why? Because more and more, people are turning to the internet when looking for any kind of business, even a local one. And if your website is not search engine optimized, it will be difficult for people, even those who are looking specifically for your business, to find it. SEO is a great way to ensure that anyone looking for your business or a business like yours can find it easily and quickly.

But how can you implement SEO, especially if you do not have time to take part in a long, protracted SEO plan? The first step is to make a few simple changes to your website. Make sure that Google Analytics is installed, and then ensure that you have the best available keywords. If necessary, use a keyword ranking site to either find or test keywords, based on their relevancy to your website. Having great keywords is the backbone of an effective, local SEO strategy. This step may sound technical and daunting, but it is essential to know what keywords are best for your needs. In short, these keywords should focus on your business and your location. For example, if you run a screen printing business in Manhattan, your keywords should include “screen printing” and “Manhattan.”

The next step is to replace your webpage content with useful, keyword-rich content. If you feel that you can adequately integrate your keywords, you can write this yourself. Otherwise, it may be useful to employ a copywriter or SEO specialist who works specifically with small businesses to boost their page rankings. This copywriters should also be able to write you some metadata and meta-tags, to ensure that your website is quickly and correctly indexed by Google and other search engines.

Once your website is equipped with the right keywords, ensure that it is submitted to any and all local directories. Not only will this enable local users to find your website easily, it will also work with your SEO to boost page rankings. Yelp, Urbanspoon, and region-specific business directories are the best places to start. If there are bloggers in your area with a strong readership, it may be profitable to enlist their help to drive traffic to your site.

There are many companies that specialize just in SEO for local businesses. Not only do they understand the unique needs of a small, local business, they understand how to leverage locality into success through the use of appropriate keywords and directory submissions. Especially if you are an SEO or website-building novice, consider employing a company who can alleviate the burden of this vital, but sometimes arduous task.