Once you claim your Google My Business listing and verify it, you’ll need to take plenty of pictures of your office (both internally and externally), as well as plenty of photos of your staff. Get in the habit of snapping photos of your business in action, before-and-afters (if applicable), and post all of these assets to your Google My Business profile. A verified and optimized Google My Business profile stands out in search results, especially among customers in the local area. The more information and visuals you provide, the more likely they are to call or contact you online.
If you haven’t used software like BuzzSumo to check out what your competitors are up to, you’re at a huge disadvantage. These services aggregate the social performance of specific sites and content to provide you with an at-a-glance view of what topics are resonating with readers and, most importantly, making the rounds on social media. Find out what people are reading (and talking about), and emulate that kind of content to bring traffic to your website.

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In order to optimize your site, you need to make sure you are including the keywords that you want to rank for multiple times throughout your site. Also, ensure your site has complete and up-to-date contact information, that you’re using appropriate meta tags, and that you include pertinent business information as text—not text on images that Google can’t search.

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A backlink is a link to your website from another website. Backlinks from complementary businesses or industry influencers will not only get your business in front of a larger audience, but it will also drive qualified traffic to your website. In addition, Google picks up on backlinks and will increase its trust in your business if it sees other trusted sites pointing to yours. More trust from Google leads to higher rankings, which leads to more traffic. Get noticed on Google for free with quality backlinks.

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An easy way to keep your website current and relevant is by maintaining an active blog. This allows you to create posts that use your keywords while also telling Google your website is up-to-date without actually having to update your web pages. Consider writing on topics that answer frequently asked questions or sharing your expertise in your industry.

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It’s free to be active in online groups and on websites that are relevant to your business and community—and it helps you to obtain more traffic. Comment on blogs and social media posts, answer questions people are posting, and participate in conversations about your industry. The more you engage with your community, the more exposure and profile visits you get.

Headlines are one of the most important parts of your content. Without a compelling headline, even the most comprehensive blog post will go unread. Master the art of headline writing. For example, the writers at BuzzFeed and Upworthy often write upward of twenty different headlines before finally settling on the one that will drive the most traffic, so think carefully about your headline before you hit “publish.”

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Simply look around at other sites—your clients, your partners, your providers, associations you’re a part of, local directories, or even some local communities or influencers. These are all websites that can have a huge impact on your SEO as well as help you get traffic and raise awareness for your business. You are probably already doing business with most of them, so simply ask for a mention, a case study, a testimonial, or other types of backlinks.
This is not to say that small businesses can’t show within the top organic results. If your business is located in a less competitive market or industry, like a nail salon in a small town, you have a better chance of ranking high in organic results. Most small businesses find it easiest to rank within local results, though small businesses can also rank high in organic results by investing in search engine optimization efforts.

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Top marketing strategist, digital marketer, and business coach. With a history of direct sales and marketing I’ve successfully sold just about anything including cemetery plots and vacuum cleaners door to door. For years I have been in the driver's seat building brick & mortar businesses and digital properties that have turned into early retirement packages for my clients by selling them at a high profit. I have streamlined and refined this proven path to success... more »

Unstructured citations include things like a mention of your business in an online newspaper article, press release, online job board, and other sites. Unstructured citations and links are important because they let Google know that people are talking about your business. To get the most unstructured citations, work on getting positive reviews, host events, send out press releases to the media, and engage with customers online.

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One very smart thing you can do is to start with the long-tail keywords and network your link-building SEO strategies there first. Then build out to more and more competitive terms. Let the big dog’s have the highly competitive terms to start. If you learn to dominate on smaller terms (less traffic) it won’t be long until you are a real contender for the more coveted keywords.

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Use H1 and H2 header tags. Not only do headers make your content more readable and easier to understand for humans and search engines alike, there is a strong correlation between Google search rank and the use of header tags in the body of your content. Header tags are also a great way to show the structure of your content and emphasize your key points. 

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The title tag is used by search engines to display a page in search results, as well as appearing at top of the browser. These tags tell search spiders and users what your page is about. Google only displays between 50 – 60 characters in their title tags, therefore its important to keep descriptions short, compelling and relevant. Keywords and page topics should feature towards the front.

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One very smart thing you can do is to start with the long-tail keywords and network your link-building SEO strategies there first. Then build out to more and more competitive terms. Let the big dog’s have the highly competitive terms to start. If you learn to dominate on smaller terms (less traffic) it won’t be long until you are a real contender for the more coveted keywords.

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Optimize for local search. More and more people are using their smartphones to search for businesses “near me.” To improve your chances of having your business show up in relevant local searches, make sure you claim your Google My Business listing, provide relevant content in Google Posts, get your business listed in local directories, and improve your online reputation with great online reviews.
There is no magic formula for content marketing success, despite what some would have you believe. For this reason, vary the length and format of your content to make it as appealing as possible to different kinds of readers. Intersperse shorter, news-based blog posts with long-form content as well as video, infographics and data-driven pieces for maximum impact.
Landing pages are another free source of traffic to your website. These are pages specific to your offers, such as for redeeming a discount code, downloading a free guide, or starting a free trial. They contain the details users need in order to move forward and convert, and focus on one specific call to action, making it more likely to happen. Because landing pages are so specific, you can get very targeted in your messaging, increasing the traffic coming to those pages.
People love to learn, and webinars are an excellent way to impart your wisdom to your eagerly waiting audience. Combined with an effective social promotion campaign, webinars are a great way to increase traffic to your website. Send out an email a week or so ahead of time, as well as a “last chance to register” reminder the day before the webinar. Make sure to archive the presentation for later viewing, and promote your webinars widely through social media. If you're wondering how to do a webinar, click the link for some tips.
Once you claim your Google My Business listing and verify it, you’ll need to take plenty of pictures of your office (both internally and externally), as well as plenty of photos of your staff. Get in the habit of snapping photos of your business in action, before-and-afters (if applicable), and post all of these assets to your Google My Business profile. A verified and optimized Google My Business profile stands out in search results, especially among customers in the local area. The more information and visuals you provide, the more likely they are to call or contact you online.
Local results appear for people who search for businesses and places near their location. They're shown in a number of places across Maps and Search. For example, you’ll probably see local results if you search for “Italian restaurant” from your mobile device. Google will try to show you the kind of nearby restaurant that you’d like to visit. In the image below, Google uses local results to suggest some options.

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