A popular misconception is that only big nationwide companies are represented by the Internet. In fact, many local companies are now learning how to utilize the Internet and search engines to expand their customer base.

And the key to this is with your company’s SEO ranking.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the algorithm used to rank a website on search engines such as Google. It also involves the ability to perfect your marketing plan so that you can ensure you rank higher than your competitors on these searches.

Here’s what you need to do to work on your local SEO ranking throughout the year:

A local search is when a person types a query into Google such as “Dentists Atlanta” or “Jewelry Repair Seattle.” When they do this, Google will generally give the top three results for this based on their algorithm. If your business isn’t one of these, the searcher will have to hit “More Places” to find you. And this means that they probably won’t discover your business.

So how do you make sure your website hits the top of the google search?

First, set up your profile with Google My Business. This should be kept accurate and updated including business hours, website, and other information. You’ll also pick business categories so Google can classify you. Make sure to include everything that’s possible.

If you’re a dentist, then Dentist might also include other subcategories such as “root canals” or “teeth whitening.” The more categories you cover, the more likely you are to end up on top. When you update your profile, you can also link your picture on Google Maps with your profile. This will make it easier to find you.

One problem with the local rankings is that you may have companies outside of your area who are spamming the rankings. If this is the case, then you can “Suggest an Edit” to Google. This means reporting them so that Google can determine if the unethical spammers should be removed.

Finally, you should consider optimizing your profile for voice searches.

Currently, many searches are made using smartphones and the voice-to-text option. If your profile is optimized in this way, you can make sure that your website gets picked up with these searches.

There are many things you can work on to ensure your SEO ranking remains high. You should generate content and regularly update your website and profile to get that higher rating.