When starting a local seo program, its often overwhelming to take that first step. It’s important to stay organized and neat so you can refer back to past work, be sure not to duplicate work both for your rankings and sanity, and a myriad of other benefits. Staying organized is the theme of this post, and we will discuss the first three steps to a successful Local SEO program below to accomplish our theme.

Our First Step: Create your data depositories

When starting a local SEO campaign you need to be prepared to have a lot of files to store and data to record. Let’s make it easy to do this by initially creating our folder structure, back up system, reporting spreadsheet and the all important notebook.

In your desired folder on your computer create your project folder. I am a fan of using the desktop for your current projects as this is really the point of the desktop, your current work….much like the real wooden thing you are sitting at.

Project Folder –> Content; Graphics –> Social; Reports; On-Page

 

The semi-colons represent a new folder, so essentially you will have a main project folder with 4 sub folders “Content” “Graphics” “Reports” “On-Page”. Your “Graphics” folder will have its own sub-folder called “Social”.

Now, simply inside the main project folder, create your “Project Reporting Spreadsheet” with the following Sheets.

Accounts. Links. Keywords.

While somewhat self explanatory, I will quickly review each sheet’s purpose.

Accounts: it is here you will enter your login credentials for each account you create, this will end up being in the hundreds if you are ambitious so its important to stay organized.

Links: record all the high quality links you will be building here. Local SEO depends on good link building in part, so its important to keep track of your hard earned links

Keywords: You can record here all of your targeted keywords by category along with keyword ideas and competition keywords

OK – hopefully you have a back up system like Pogoplug so set your folder to back up automatically, just in case. This step is purely optional but recommended. This is important data we are talking about.

Second Step: Take care of Google +

This is your most important citation and it’s important to do it correctly. If you have not signed up for a Google account, take a break and go ahead and do that. If so, log in and click the little +YourName in the top right corner. Enter Google+.

A quick search for your business will let you know if you have any pages out there, but hopefully not.

Hover over the menu on the left and choose “Pages”.  Click “Create my Page” and go through the easy process of entering your business name and contact information.

When you come to categories…STOP.

Click here. Use the tool to find the best categories for your business. This is important. Choose the top 5 and enter them into your page

Be sure to complete the following:

  • 5 Categories
  • Email address
  • Phone Number
  • Correct Business Name
  • Business Hours
  • Payment Methods

Then upload 5 pictures you have taken of your business.  Tip: Take these pictures with your iPhone so they get “geo-tagged” with your local coordinates.

Not done yet….

Next you need to write an accurate and keyword rich description of your business in the space provided. Does keyword rich mean… “local dentist in San Diego practicing dentistry with a local dentist office downtown serving local dental patients daily”? No.  Follow the following template:

{Business Name} is a leading provider of {main keyword} in {City, State.} With not only the experience to get the job done, but a focus on customer service to make sure you are happy from day one, there is a reason we are consistently rated #1. We can provide the following:

  • Service/Product 1
  • Service/Product 2
  • Service/Product 3

For a free estimate or quote please contact us today. Visit our showroom for a hands on look at our top selling items. If you are serious about finding a {main keyword here} in {City, State}

Done. Notice how in the last sentence there is a link. We highly recommend making this a link to your #1 targeted inner page. There are already 2 links on the page to your homepage so lets diversify and get your visitors one step down your funnel by landing on a service page.

Request your verification card and wait for the PIN – this you will simply enter and click OK. Easy.

Expert tip:  Your page is now set up, so the only thing left to do is connect your business website with your Google+ page. You can do that easily by putting this line of code in the <head> section of your website. (or have your web guy do it)

<link href=”http://plus.google.com/+yourgooglepage#here” rel=”publisher” />

 

Our third and final step to starting a successful Local SEO program is to make a plan and stick to it.

This will not happen over night. Create a plan that includes keyword research, a blog topic calendar and signing up to local business directory sites.  Each week write one blog post with one of your target keywords, sign up for 10 directories, make 4 Facebook posts….whatever your plan is, the point is stick with it. You may not see results in 60 days. That’s OK.

Commitment is the Local SEO expert’s friend. Commit to a website and focus on delivering high impact content and links to get results. Do not falter for the steady optimizer is rewarded in the end.

Conclusion

Working with local SEO experts like Crush Local can yield fast results because we are skilled at the set up.  We are organized, skilled, and streamlined because of our experience. In short, we have set up many SEO campaigns and made all the mistakes that we have gotten our process down pat.

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