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Hey, look at that! We’re #1 in search results when you Google “California Web Design”.

While your goals may include ranking first on Google’s search results in your state, country, or even on a global level, the first place to start in climbing the Google ladder is at the local level. How do you do that?

We’ll give you a little insight…

There are a few things you can do right now to climb the local search result ladder that most people don’t realize actually work. They really aren’t that difficult.

If you’re not already familiar with local search engine optimization, it might be the best thing that’s happened to small businesses since the first Main Street was paved. All in one shot, local shops, service providers, and retailers received a massive edge when competing with nationally and internationally-known companies.

But while many businesses are trying to take advantage of local SEO, they get hung up on some of the details. Specifically, lots seem to think that it’s as easy as adding a few geographical keywords to existing web pages. That’s a great start, of course, but you can’t overlook the most important step: getting buyers to actually call or visit your business.

It’s not enough for potential customers to simply see you on Google. Before you can make a sale, they have to take action. So how do you get them to do that? We’re glad you asked, because there are two simple steps we definitely suggest you take…

First, Make Your Business Easy to Find in the Real World – your website should have maps, driving directions, telephone numbers, and even photos of your location. Each of these increases the odds that someone who is in your area will take the time to stop by or call to set up an appointment.

Second, Work on Your Online Reputation – just because someone finds you on Google doesn’t mean they’re going to decide to work with you. It’s very likely that they’ll do some further research in search engines or social media to verify that your business is not only legitimate, but right for them before they move forward. For that reason, it’s important that you make sure they find accurate contact information and positive reviews to help them decide whether you’re the vendor they’ve been looking for.

With its new emphasis on local search, Google is making it easier than ever for you to bring customers to your website. That’s something every business should take advantage of.

This is just the tip of the iceberg mind you. We’ve got the skinny on a whole slew of other things you could be doing to improve your SEO here.