Local SEO for Small Businesses

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Local SEO for small businesses is no more a luxury but a necessity.

As a startup or small business or solopreneur, you might have faced intense competition from larger enterprises. Local SEO allows you to level the playing field by focusing on specific local markets.

While regular SEO aims to improve visibility on a broader scale, local SEO is laser-focused on online exposure locally, targeting specific geographical areas. By strategically optimizing your online presence for local searches, you can become the go-to choice for targeted customers in your immediate vicinity, driving foot traffic and boosting conversions.

In this post, we’ve rolled out a few important local SEO strategies for small businesses to focus on in 2023 and the near future. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of – What is local SEO? Why should you focus on local SEO? and How can you leverage local SEO for your local business?

Without any further ado, let’s dive in.

What is Local SEO for Small Businesses?

Local SEO for small businesses – is a technique to optimize your small business’s online presence to improve its visibility for local search queries.

For example, let’s consider, a person named Joel is owning a small cafe called ‘Desserts Destination’ in a bustling town in Brooklyn. A resident/non-resident in Brooklyn craving for a perfect pastry or searching for a nearby bakery. Immediately, turn to the search engine and type in “bakery near me” or “best pastries in Brooklyn.”

If Joel had implemented the local SEO techniques for his cafe, he can expect more foot traffic at his doorstep and quench the cravings of dessert-lovers.

This is how ‘Local SEO’ works for small businesses.

Importance of Local SEO

Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Local SEO Tips

Create Google My Business Profile

Setup Your Google My Business (GMB) Profile

  • Signup to the Google Business website using your email address
  • Enter your NAP details. NAP stands for name, physical address (location), and phone (Contact info) along with the website URL
  • Choose a relevant category that represents your business, products, services, industry, and niche
  • Submit the details for verification

Once the verification is completed, you can add photos, interactive maps, operating hours, upcoming events, reviews, ratings, deals, and more.

Local SEO for Small Business_GMB PureVisibility

Regularly monitor the GMB analytics. These offer valuable information about how customers are finding and interacting with your business on Google. You’ll be able to track the number of views, clicks, and user actions. Concerning these, you can make data-driven decisions and optimize your GMB profile as and when required.

Use Location-specific Keywords

Proper keyword research will get you the exact search terms used by your audience to search for your services on the internet.

Usually, people search for small businesses with location-specific keywords. So, add such navigation keywords such as ‘near me’, ‘in (location)’, ‘nearby’, ‘best’, ‘top’, ‘open now near me’, etc. Ensure to add these to your GMB profile, website, social media, local citations, Schema markup, and other content types.

Free Keyword Research Tools for Small Businesses in 2023

Once you get the location-based keywords, add them naturally to your website’s home page, contact us page, about us page, blogs, social media, GMB profile, meta titles, descriptions, headings, and other content sections.

Also Read  Lead Generation Unlocked: How Strategic Local SEO Drives More Quality Leads

Examples of Local SEO Keywords

“Best bakeries in New York”
“Top pastry shops in Manhattan”
“New York City bakery trends”
“Visit our Brooklyn bakery for the finest pastries in town”

If your business operates in multiple locations, consider creating dedicated landing pages for each location. Optimize these pages with location-specific keywords and provide unique content that highlights the specific offerings or services available in each location.

Keep Consistency in NAP

NAP, the critical element of local SEO. NAP is the crawlable HTML text that Google uses to position your small business for location-based search results. Google verifies your small business based on your NAP consistency. So, if you don’t maintain consistency across local citations, websites, social media, etc., search engines might doubt your authenticity.

Tricks to Maintain Consistency

  • Ensure your business name is spelled correctly and consistently across all platforms
  • Use the same physical address format (street, city, state, ZIP code)
  • Double-check your phone number. including the area code
  • Regularly update your NAP information if there are any changes to your business details
  • Audit and correct any inconsistencies across directories, citations, and social media profiles
  • Monitor and respond to customer feedback or reports of incorrect information promptly

Engage in Local Directories & Citations

Search engines like Google and Bing consider directories/aggregator sites to be the most ‘value-added’ resources that cater to users’ searches. So, based on the intention of search queries, search engines list down these directories. As a small business, if you find it hard to get ranked on global search results, you can submit your website URL to local citations. So, you’ll get the exposure you expect.

Points to Remember

  • Create a compelling and well-written business description that effectively communicates your value proposition to potential customers
  • Choose niche & industry categories that accurately represent your business to increase the chances of reaching your target audience
  • Remember to search for relevant & reputable directories and citation platforms in your specific location and industry.
Local SEO for Small Business_Yelp Homepage
Local SEO for Small Business_Yell Business Homepage
Local SEO for Small Business_eLocal Homepage
Local SEO for Small Business_Foursquare Homepage
Consistency matters the most! Any discrepancies like misspellings, wrong contact details, and different suite addresses might confuse the search engines. Consequently, it might end up, not displaying your business in any of the listings or local SERPs.

Encourage Customers to Leave Online Reviews

Search engines consider the quantity, recency, and overall sentiment of reviews when determining the credibility of your small business.

Do you know what John Mueller has to share about Google reviews –
“Customer reviews aren’t a factor for web search, but they’re not totally irrelevant in terms of gaining visibility in Google. However, Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’s local ranking.”

Smart Tricks to Get Reviews & Ratings

  • Reach customers in-person or by email and request them to leave their feedback
  • Create links/QR codes to review sites like Google reviews, Yelp, and others and place the link on your website, social media profiles, and email signature
  • Offer a bonus or reward point to users who leave reviews

More than anything, it’s crucial to respond promptly to both positive and negative reviews. Responding to positive reviews builds rapport. For negative reviews, responding promptly and courteously demonstrates your concern & commitment to resolving customers’ issues.

Also Read  The Future of SEO: Trends Every Affiliate Marketer Must Watch in 2023

Remember, it’s essential to abide by the policies and guidelines of each review platform. Avoid incentivizing or fabricating reviews, as it can harm your reputation and lead to penalties.

Just focus on providing exceptional products, services, and customer experience, from then on, genuine positive reviews would naturally follow.

Adapt Mobile-friendly Feature

A mobile-responsive website automatically adjusts its layout, content, and design elements to provide an optimal viewing experience on different screen sizes. Simplify navigation, make buttons and links easily tappable, and ensure that forms and input fields are user-friendly on mobile devices.

Few inspiring statistics on mobile responsiveness feature

61% of mobile users are more likely to contact a local business with a mobile site
91% of smartphone owners either make a purchase or plan one after seeing an ad on their smartphone
88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours

Pay attention to the readability of your content by using a legible font style & size. Avoid clutter and ensure that important information is visible without excessive scrolling. Enable CTA functionality, which allows users to call your business with a single tap directly.

Mobile users expect quick loading times. Slow-loading websites can lead to frustration and higher bounce rates. Regularly test your website on various mobile devices and browsers to ensure compatibility.

Include Localized Content

Start by understanding your local audience’s interests, preferences, and needs. Research the demographics, behaviors, and challenges of the local community you’re targeting.

Create content that showcases local events, attractions, festivals, or community initiatives relevant to your industry. This could include content about upcoming events, sharing tips for enjoying local attractions or covering news related to your industry within the local context.

Incorporate local keywords and phrases that are relevant to your target area. This helps search engines recognize the local relevance of your content and improves your chances of appearing in local search results.

For example, if you run a bakery in Los Angeles, you could include keywords like “best cupcakes in Los Angeles” or “top bakeries in Los Angeles near me” in your content.

Incorporate local stories, testimonials, or case studies into your content. Share success stories of local customers or highlight community initiatives you’ve participated in. Highlight and showcase this user-generated content on your website or social media platforms.

Setup Local Schema

Local Schema helps search engines understand the various formats of details of your local business, such as its name, address, phone number (NAP), opening hours, and more. By providing this information in a structured format through Schema markup, you enhance the visibility of your business in local search results.

For local businesses, rich snippets include star ratings, reviews, business addresses, phone numbers, and even images. Schema markup can contribute to the creation of Knowledge Panels, which are information boxes that appear prominently on local SERPs.

Schema markup can improve your business’s appearance in local maps and voice search results.

Build More Backlinks

Identify local businesses, organizations, and influencers that are relevant to your industry or target audience. Find local partners, engage with them on social media, write guest posts, attend local networking events, participate in community initiatives, and offer your support.

Also Read  Off Page SEO: Checklist, On-Page SEO vs. Off-Page SEO 2024

Seek opportunities to contribute guest blog posts to local blogs or websites. You could create informative blog posts and offer them to local bloggers or organizations for publication on their websites. In return, you can request a backlink to your website within the author bio or the body of the article.

Consider sponsoring local events, community initiatives, and charities. And, request them for a mention and link to your website as a sponsor, providing you with a valuable local backlink.

Participate in co-hosting events, create joint marketing campaigns, and contribute to collaborative content pieces. These often lead to backlink opportunities as you mutually promote and link to the collaborative content on both of your websites.

But keep in mind, when pursuing local backlinks, focus on quality over quantity. Seek backlinks from reputable and authoritative local sources, as search engines prioritize high-quality backlinks.

Be Active on Social Media

Today, people expect businesses to be active on social networks. Engaging with your audience on social media helps build trust and loyalty within the local community.

Social media allows you to promote and share localized content, such as blog posts, announcements, offers, events, and updates. Encouraging your customers to leave reviews and ratings on your social media profiles can boost your local SEO efforts. Collaborating with local influencers or bloggers on social media can amplify your local SEO efforts.

Your social media profiles often serve as additional local citations for your business. Ensure that your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all your social media profiles. While social signals (such as likes, shares, and comments) are not direct ranking factors, social media can indirectly impact your local SEO efforts.

Local SEO Example Campaigns – Case Studies

In this section, let’s examine a few small businesses that thrived by implementing smart local SEO strategies. Trust us, you’ll have something to get impressed…

A small business in Jacksonville consistently worked on the improvements of its Google My Business profile and targeted local keywords. These approaches gained visibility in the top 3 results on Google My Business and increased the number of leads through GMB listing.

Local SEO for Small Business_Jacksonville Case Study

To know more details, check out the link.

The Chinese-based food restaurant in Florida on optimizing local Schema, spammy links, and Google reviews, experienced an increase in organic traffic, Google Core Web Vitals Score, and so on.

Local SEO for Small Business_Chinese-Florida Restaurant-2
Local SEO for Small Business_Chinese-Florida Restaurant-1

To learn more about the case study, click here.

A Chicago-based small business after proper link building, content repurposing,
new pages creation, internal cleanup, and internal linking. All of these helped to improve their website traffic in just over 4 months.

Know more about the case study here.

Orbital Mailing, a London-based mailing service, dominates the local search results for queries like “Mailing services in Kent”, “Mailing Company in Kent” “Mailing house in Kent”, etc. Through strategic efforts on local on-page, off-page, and business listings, helped the business to thrive on local SEO.

Local SEO for Small Business_Orbital Mailing

To learn more about the case study, click here.

Hope the above local SEO case studies might have given you a better idea. With constant efforts and innovative strategies, you can also soon eat the fruits of local SEO! 🙂

Ready to Implement Local SEO Checklist for Your Small Business?

Local SEO is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and monitoring. Just like watering a plant after planting a seed, you need to regularly assess the performance of your SEO activities. By checking what’s working and what’s not, you can gather insights to make further improvements. Luckily, there are various free tools available to help you monitor your SEO strategies.

Implementing SEO techniques, monitoring performance, and revising strategies is not an easy feat. If you find it overwhelming, collaborating with SEO experts can be a valuable option. While outsourcing to an SEO agency or hiring an in-house team can be expensive, there’s a better alternative – working with local SEO freelancer marketplace services.

At Konker, we have a vast pool of local SEO freelancers from around the world, each with years of experience and a diverse skillset. Our SEO freelancers can conduct a thorough audit of your local SEO efforts and develop smart strategies that deliver promising results. Whether you need assistance with on-page & off-page optimization, local citations, content creation, backlink building, or anything we can help you find the right local SEO freelancer for your business.

Local SEO for Small Business_Konker Sign-up

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Drop us a message, and we’ll guide you in connecting with a skilled local SEO freelancer who can help take your business to heights in the SEO landscape.



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