Local Search SEO for the Small Business: The Phoenix local SEO challenge.



“Chandler AZ local seo” that’s how it started.

I had been approached by several Phoenix area companies in the recent weeks to help them with their “findability” in local search rankings. I was immediately hit with the reality that I know all the theory behind local SEO but have had no real experience in it. I can go down the checklist on how to do it all right and what to avoid, but I cannot point to an actual example of a local service or Phoenix business I have taken from the back of the local search results pack and steadily marched them to the front.

A lot of this is simply due to the fact that I haven’t had a lot of clients that are local service businesses. I have a bunch of online e-commerce experience and a few handfuls of “portfolio” sites I’ve done for actors, comedians etc. But nothing that actually required the absolute need to be found in local searches.

If the local business cannot compete with the big guys on simple local searches, the local business person will be doomed in the long run. 20 years ago, the yellow pages were still the first place most people would go to find a service they needed. Whether it be a jeweler, carpet cleaner, glass company, auto mechanic or dry cleaner you went to the big yellow book and found what you needed. Yes, even then, the big guys could afford to take out the full page ad, leaving the little guys to hope that you look around a little and find them, but they were still right there just inches away from the main competition.

As Google, Bing and Apple Maps have been developing so steadily along with the advancement and saturation of the smart phone in our culture, local search has now become the number one most important thing for a local business’s survival (aside from actual physical location).

And yet I had not done anything about local search for my own personal business.

Partly, this is because I have been lucky enough to find some really good steady work for some online retailers. But also, it’s because it’s more than a little overwhelming to take on the well established internet gurus that are already out there implementing their local search strategy in a proven methodical way. I mean if you did a search last week for “Chandler AZ local seo” – one of my closest markets where I live, you would not have found me anywhere in the search results.

So I decided to challenge myself.

I will be implementing a series of local seo-centric theories and strategies for my own site and services in my area and “crack the code” of how this local search thing really works. And I’ll be documenting it as I go.

Right here.

Next up is Phase One: Listing my Service Areas

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