Local SEO for Small Businesses: 10 Things to Know


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Local SEO for Small Businesses: 10 Things to Know

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Local SEO for Small Businesses: 10 Things to Know

From bringing out local knowledge across a website to providing users with great content experiences, here are 10 answers to the question, “What are tips for small businesses to boost local SEO?”

  • Build on Your Local Content
  • Leverage Social Entertainment to Boost Local Organic Reach
  • Set Up and Optimize Your Google Business Profile
  • Take Advantage of GSC to Increase Your ROI
  • Think of Backlinks as Google Currency
  • Discover Mobile SERP First
  • Pay Attention to Customer Reviews
  • Get Involved in Your Community
  • Use Schema Markup to Boost Your Local SEO
  • Dominate Local Results With Useful Content

Build on Your Local Content

Local businesses have a tremendous advantage in local SEO, compared to larger companies trying to compete at a local level. And that advantage is local knowledge and expertise. By bringing out that local knowledge and expertise across your website, and particularly on your specific location pages, you will create local content national brands can’t compete with on a local level.

If you create expert local content, users and Google will start rewarding you for that. Specific examples might be local projects you’ve worked on, testimonials from locals, videos of the local area, local businesses you’ve worked with, and major local projects you’ve been involved with. This expertise will give you an edge that will ultimately be rewarded in the SERPs.

Marcus Clarke
Owner, Searchant

Leverage Social Entertainment to Boost Local Organic Reach

A study by Google found that 40% of people ages 18-24 will use TikTok or Instagram instead of Google Search or Maps when performing discovery-style searches for things like advice, reviews, or even a new restaurant. This is an enormous opportunity for small businesses, not to mention budget-friendly.

Optimize your TikTok account by adding location information and using keyword-focused hashtags that resonate with your local customers. You’ll increase your reach if you incorporate local, niche trends, create entertaining videos, and research what your customers are interested in.

When thinking “local SEO,” don’t narrow the scope to just rankings in traditional search engines. The search behavior of users is developing, and more people are turning to social channels like TikTok to solve their questions, discover something new, or even find a business just like yours!

Lesley Mailman
Senior SEO Manager, Dash Hudson

Set Up and Optimize Your Google Business Profile

One of the first steps a small business must take to boost its local SEO presence is to set up a Google Business Profile (GBP, formerly Google My Business). Doing so will allow you to appear in Google Maps whenever your local target audience is searching for the services you offer.

You must verify the address by mail, fill out your GBP with the exact Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP), select the accurate business category/attributes, and include the hours of operation.

NAP consistency across the web (i.e. website, local directories, social media profiles, etc.) helps validate the legitimacy of your business, which will boost your local rankings. To optimize further, carefully create a business description using important keywords, list all the services you offer, and upload as many photos as your local competitors.

As a standard procedure, encourage all of your customers to submit Google reviews as these are invaluable for local SEO presence.

Pablo Villalpando
Global SEO Strategist, pablovillalpando.com

Take Advantage of GSC to Increase Your ROI

To really be ahead of your competitors, your best bet is to leverage all the information Google Search Console can give you (which is limitless). Through GSC, you will learn what queries users interact with to find your business, what non-branded keywords you should create content around, discover new keywords to focus on, what countries you attract users from, and so on. Investing time in learning how to leverage GSC will give you the biggest return on investment of all in terms of local SEO.

Xavi Sala
Head of SEO and Content, Prosperity Recruitment

Think of Backlinks as Google Currency

Get local links back to your website and your Google Business Profile. Google sees links as currency to your online trust and authority. The more links, and the better quality links you have, the better authority your website has.

Find local resources like Patch.com, a popular community website, a chamber for commerce website, and local business directories for your community. Ask them about adding content to their website. When you publish, include a link or two in each post or listing. Event pages are great for getting backlinks. Yes, your Google Business Profile can have links to it too.

Tom Gilmour
President, eXplorations Marketing

Discover Mobile SERP First

57% of all browser sessions come from mobile devices in 2023. When we do any SERP local research, we are mainly looking at desktop SERP when we should be mainly looking at mobile search results foremost. There are continuous innovations in navigational and voice assistant interfaces that can connect users to your local business.

Anna Matviienko
Technical SEO Manager, iGaming.com

Pay Attention to Customer Reviews

Reviews left in Google My Business can make or break your local search presence, so make sure you take the time to respond to both the positive and negative ones you receive promptly and professionally. Treat negative comments as constructive criticism and translate them into actual improvements to your products and services.

Keep in mind: you can’t actually delete any Google reviews, however, if any of them violate Google’s policies, you can flag it as inappropriate for your GMB account, after which Google’s support team will review and possibly remove it.

Encourage customers to leave a review on Google My Business. Shortly after they’ve purchased from you, send them a follow-up email asking them to say a few words about their experience with your product. Include a link to your GMB page, taking them directly to the review submission page.

Laura Condrut
SEO Manager, Contiki

Get Involved in Your Community

One tip I’d recommend for small, local businesses is to get involved in your community and/or any industry-specific events/activities and highlight this on your website, blog, and any other social media platforms you may be on.

For example, if there is a community event, become a sponsor or active participant; join your chamber of commerce; volunteer to be on the board of your industry-related association, etc.

These are potentially valuable external links from your website to trustworthy sites. Sometimes, there may be an opportunity for a backlink from these sites to your business’s site.

Lani Haque
SEO Coordinator, OneLocal

Use Schema Markup to Boost Your Local SEO

Structured data or schema markup is the language that search engines, like Google or Bing, use to understand the content of websites. But how can it help the local SEO of a small business? Well, it communicates to search engines the specific content and location of information on a website. It essentially tells search engines “this is an address” or “this is a phone number,” and so on. It will bring improved results on the SERPs, as it will boost the chances of standing out in a local market.

It is like tagging the data of a website, and you can implement it with micro-data, RDFa, or JSON-LD. Even though it might sound complicated, there is no need to code. You can achieve this by using tools like Schema.org, Structured Data Markup Helper, and Schema Markup Testing Tool.

For small businesses, markups for telephone, location, and opening hours are the most crucial ones, and it is also essential to link the schema markup of the business Google profile.

Filipa Serra Gaspar
SEO Consultant, seolipa

Dominate Local Results With Useful Content

To drive incremental and qualified traffic from local results, my number one tip is to provide users with a great user and content experience. If users find your content helpful, informative, and useful, then you should satisfy their information needs with fast-loading content. Your site should be the result that they want to click on.

To provide users with a great content experience, fill out your GMB profile with useful content, which will help attract reviews, get more links, and improve your visibility in the local pack and organic listings.

Winston Burton
SVP and SEO, Acronym

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