If you’re a small business looking to boost awareness of your physical store, SEO can be incredibly helpful. It stretches the reach of your online brand and builds your reputation throughout the web. But when you’re just starting out, you don’t need online attention from people living across the United States. You need to attract attention from those in the area through local SEO.

This form of search engine optimization is all about bringing more attention to your region or area. It’s especially good for restaurants, real estate, and similar brick and mortar style businesses that rely on local customers. If you want to gain the right attention, use local SEO.

Here are some steps for getting started.

Use Keywords

Some say that keywords have very little bearing on search engine rankings; however, search engines are run by keywords, particularly those in the local sector. For example, a car dealership in Tulsa might use keywords like “Tulsa cars for sale” or “used cars in Tulsa” to drive more traffic. Though search engines rely more on the actual meaning of a search query than the keywords, they still affect your website.

Offer Localized Content

Along with using localized keywords, make your posts revolve around the region you specialize in. Talk about local perks, features, and other accommodations that bring in the local interest. Google will categorize your website content according to your location to bring you more traffic.

To see an example, look at this website from a realtor in Lake County, California. Every page on the site is devoted to discussing different commodities, the economy, and the many benefits of living in Lake County. It’s a great way to make the region look good while upping the SEO factor.

Build Landing Pages

Focus your keyword research and localized amenities on your landing pages. Group your keywords into landing pages where they can get optimum attention. For each page, you’ll want a meta title, meta description, URL, H1 tag, and body content that prioritizes the keywords for each grouping.

Build Out Your Business Listings

Doing a little manual SEO can also help your business. Work on building up your listing information from third-party sources. Google uses these third-party listings to increase the credibility of your site as well as help searchers find youhj.

You have to do some extra work, however. Make sure your profile is up to date and that it includes information that will drive local traffic to you. Poorly updated profiles can actually hurt your search rankings.

Engage on Social Media

The more proactive you are with your social media strategy, the better off you’ll be. You can attract more followers, which works in your favor for higher rankings on your website.

Begin by developing a strong social media strategy on Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and network on a regular basis. Update people on new products, highlight relevant stories, focus on news, and offer promotions and giveaways.

Local SEO is an important part of any business, but it doesn’t come without a little hard work. SEO is often a work in progress, and it takes some time for you to see the results you want. With patience and a good business plan, your SEO efforts can boost your online presence and increase your business.