If you rank number one for your own business name, you’ve met the most basic local SEO requirement. If you’re not, you are advertising for your competition.
The most basic local SEO requirement for your website is ranking number 1 in Google, Yahoo and Bing for your own business name. If your business is Uncle Bill’s Pancakes, you must rank number 1 for Uncle Bill’s Pancakes.
Even if you’ve done no local or small business SEO, you may rank number one for your business. If not, you have some work to do.
Why You Must Rank Number 1 for Your Business Name
If I’m looking for you and typing your business by name in the search engines, I want to know about you and how you can help me. If your website doesn’t return as number 1 in the results, or is not there at all, you have placed your trust in another site to deliver your business to the customer.
The problem with someone else providing information to your customer is that for them, you are advertising bait. They are using you to bring people to their site to sell them something else. They have their own interest above yours. I’m not criticizing them, just pointing out that it’s not the best result for you.
It’s About Control
When your business website is ranked number 1 for your business name, people will go to your site and you can give them what they’re looking for. You control the content without ads to competitors and other sites. You can begin building a relationship right away. You can give them information to contact or visit you and you can give them reasons and enticements to do so.
Are You Advertising For Your Competition?
Imagine this scenario. You advertise in the local newspaper and a customer sees your ad but doesn’t know anything about you. They want to know more. There’s no website address in the ad, so they go searching.
They type in your business name, but you’re not there. Instead there’s a directory site of some type. The searcher, your potential customer, clicks on their site to find out more. They get very basic information about you, but they also get an ad from a competitor and one from Amazon.com.
What’s their next move? You don’t know. They could call or visit you, or they could click on one of the other options. If your site ranked number one they would have one option. Now they have three or more.
Use Local SEO to Rank Number 1
If all you’re going to do is create a website without SEO, then use your business name (unclebills.net) as the domain name. This will almost guarantee that you will be ranked number 1 for your own name.
If you are planning to rank for more competitive terms and use seo for small business, then you may use a domain name more related to the business (manhattanbeachrestaurant.com) instead of your business name. In that case, make sure your business name and address with telephone number are on every page. It can be in the footer, but make sure it’s there.
Finally, regardless of which way you choose to go, make sure you claim your Google Places listing and do the same with Yahoo and Bing. Be certain to associate your website with those services.
I’m a local SEO specialist serving small businesses. Please contact Mike Byrne at 386-295-2049 for more information, or leave a comment below.