1) Claim your Google My Business listing
More people search through Google than anywhere else. Google My Business is the best place to start your local SEO efforts. If you haven’t already, take 20 minutes now and claim your business with Google.
Here’s your short to do list.
- Add attractive cover photo and at least 3-4 additional photos of your work and your shop.
- Be sure to fill out all the information that Google asks for (yes, all of it).
- Add Google Posts for your business on a regular basis (once a week).
- Respond to all reviews that your customers post.
If you want a deep dive, here’s a great guide from Moz on optimizing your listing.
2) Create landing pages for specific cities
If you’re looking for a restaurant, you’re going to type something like “Chinese restaurants (your city)” into Google. Your potential customers are doing the same when searching for you and your competitors.
Increase your Google juice by creating landing pages for specific terms your customers are searching for.
If you’re selling screen printing in the Chicago area, then create landing pages for the different towns and cities within the area.
- screen printing aurora IL
- screen printing wheaton IL
- screen printing naperville IL
Make sure you vary up the content for each one and include the keyword "screen printing" in the title of each page.
You might structure your URLs for the pages like this...https://yoursite.com/screen-printing-aurora-il
3) Optimize title tags, meta description, headers, and content
This is the low-hanging fruit that often gets skipped over for the sake of time. You’re losing ground if you don’t fill out this stuff.
If you’re using Wordpress for your site, Yoast SEO is a must-have plugin. It provides recommendations and easy to follow help on mastering these basic, yet important items.
4) Make sure your website is responsive and fast
Mobile devices now represent around half of worldwide web traffic . If your website isn't responsive, then you're penalizing yourself. And Google will penalize you too.
Bounce rates are also higher on mobile devices than a desktop browser. A “bounce” is when a visitor to your site leaves after only viewing one page.
Mobile users spend less time on site than desktop users. You’ll want to make sure that:
- your site loads quickly (under 2-3 seconds before users can interact)
- the layout changes to fit the screen size (responsive)
5) Build local backlinks pointing to your shop’s website
Ranking your shop nationally for terms like “screen printed t-shirts” or “custom signs” would be a huge challenge due to the competition you would face.
I’ve got good news though.
Ranking locally or regionally for those terms is doable with a little effort and persistence. Having high quality backlinks is an important ranking factor.
Backlinks are when another site links to your website. The more “trustworthy” websites that link back to your content, the more relevant and important your website looks to Google.
And…we’ve got a bonus one today
6) Nudge happy customers to place reviews for your shop.
Online reviews help sell your business through social proof by building trust with potential customers. Reviews also play a role in your search engine rankings.
Here’s some scary stats if your customers aren’t leaving you online reviews.
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 
- 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day.
- Reviews accounted for 15.44% of how Google ranks a local business. 
If you’d like to learn how to stop losing customers to a lackluster online presence, you’ve got options.
You could spend long hours on research through Google and other sites.
You could check out our short, 1hr-ish course Driving Online Reviews. You’ll learn how to build an automated system that surveys customers for feedback and guides them to post a review that helps your shop look and perform better online.
In my 10+ years in this industry, I’ve made all the mistakes they tell you not to. For 5 years, I was second in command at shop that doubled in revenue from $500k to over $1mil in sales. Over the last 3 years, I’ve help 100s of shops streamline their workflow, improve their businesses, and grow sales. My goal is to help you grow your business. To help you spend more time with your family. To make sure you finally get to take that long overdue vacation.