One of the first local SEO steps you should take for optimizing your small business site is to claim your profile on Manta. (There are many other business profiles, like Google Places, that have to be claimed right away also, but read on for why this is a good place to begin.) It is free and relatively easy to get started. However, the verification process can only be done during their regular business hours by calling their toll-free number.
Although you will be setting yourself up for success in reaching local customers, you will find that the process of claiming/creating your business profiles is very repetitive, and the amount of times you do it will be numerous. One really good reason to start with Manta is that their process is also very in-depth. They reward you, as do many of these free listing services, for profile completeness. This forces you to think through all aspects of your products and services: logos, photos of your business, social media profiles, etc.
You may find yourself writing a lot of new content that you hadn’t thought of before. Although this process can seem daunting at first you will be able to repurpose everything you do on a Manta business listing setup for future business listing claims.
Manta will try to sell you additional services along the way, which is only natural and to be expected. We’ll leave that part to your own good judgement, but the free services are really great and a good exercise for future local SEO tactics.