How to Improve Local SEO for Small Businesses

how to do local seo for small businesses

 Trying to learn how to improve Local SEO for small businesses could blow a mental gasket but keep Cool!!! …

But within this post, we’ll walk you through local SEO (search engine optimization) essentials.  Here you’ll uncover how to boost your business rankings. Learn why local SEO is important. And easily discover how you can do it even if you’re a beginner.


Bettering your local search will help you increase your rankings on Google.  This can Drive a Herd of Fresh Faces into your Storefront!  Even better, learning to rank locally (search engine optimization) won’t require a Ph.D. in geekology, or take an eternity, only 30 minutes daily.


Ignoring local SEO implementation could result in your company’s closing.

 (Be sure to read the stats throughout this post!)


According to 2017 study from Acquisio determined that traffic from local searches can be especially profitable. An astonishing 75% of all mobile searches that show local intent produce in-store/ offline visits within 24 hours! Click To Tweet





 Truthfully, thanks to the advent of technology and covid19 understanding and employing an SEO strategy for your business is undeniable.

In today’s business climate if you want to Drive Traffic, hence sales to your small business you must include local search engine optimization into your marketing mix.


IF NOT, your local company is Undoubtedly missing a Whopping 75% chance of walk-in visitors.  If you’d wondered how to dominate local SEO,?

…you’re at the right place, be sure to stick through to the end!


Let’s Dive In! …


Local SEO Facts and Stats


The first five results that show up on Google get 80% of all clicks according to Neil Patel. Click To Tweet


Table of Content


 What is local SEO and why is it Important for SEO Rankings

Learn How to Do SEO for Local Business

Discover How to get your Local Business Website Ranked Higher on Google

Local Business SEO Checklist

Search Engine Optimization Tips

Uncover How Often Does SEO Need to be Done

Truthfully, How much Should SEO Cost for a Small Business

53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search. (BrightEdge) Click To Tweet



 What is Local SEO and Why it is Important for SEO Rankings?



affordable SEO for small businessesWhat is Local SEO? Local SEO also referred to as (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing off-page and on-page tactics to assist your web pages to rank higher in the search results SERPs (search engine results pages).

However, to help you get a better understanding of local SEO, let’s break down the term optimization.


The word optimization is a process, or methodology of making, in this case, a system as perfect as possible. Therefore, search engine optimization is the process to retrieve the most optimized search result. That query or keyword is searched from a worldwide database. Next, once you input your search term Google bots retrieve either an exact match or the next best match option. 


Now that we understand the definition of search engine optimization or SEO next we add a local identifier.  Once you add the identifier that feeds the search engine more specific information. IE Pizza in Queens New York.


local SEO





(To uncover an in-depth explanation of local search read this article on Search engine optimization tactics.)


 The beauty of local SEO is two-fold. (Well maybe more) adding a local identifier helps local businesses to easily compete. To further explain, if you optimize your website for pizza in “New York”, competition would be fierce.

Since you’re in Queens, now you’re only competing with the small businesses that also optimized for pizzas in Queens, New York, not the entire state.


This SEO content strategy is a winning formula. Would you rather compete with millions of pizzerias that cover the entire state or the hundreds that are in Queens?


Long story short, it’s easier for you the small business owner to rank locally.

In fact, your customers are searching more specifically for  pizza near me


92.96% of global traffic comes from Google search, Google Images, and Google Maps. Click To Tweet


 Top 10 Benefits of Local SEO

  1. Easily connect with local customers.
  2. Establishes your business as an industry expert source
  3. Boost TRAFFIC
  4. Continuous COMPETING
  5. Increase Branding Awareness
  6. Improve Local SEO Rankings
  7. Simplified Way to Gain Reviews
  8. Specifically Attracts local customers
  9. Increase your sales
  10. Out-Comp- local competitors
  11. Boost your Google rankings


How to Do SEO for Local Business? 



local search engine optimization tips


Basically, Local SEO works like a “normal” Google search. Which we discussed above. Addedly local SEO makes up a large chunk of search.

So, if you’re a small business owner who wants to get and keep in front of your target audience watch the video below.

Lastly, keep in mind that when users search locally over 40% of the search traffic could end up walking through your doors, minutes later!




Businesses with Google my business listings are70% more likely to be visited by consumers. It’s also sad but true that 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses that lacks an online presence. Click To Tweet



How to Get Your Local Business Website Ranked Higher in Google?


The most straightforward way to get your business to show up first on Google is to completely optimize your Google business profile. If you’re unfamiliar with Google Business Profiles, it used to be called Google my Business.  (GMB)


We talked in detail about Google Business Profile setup and optimization here.

But here’s a little more info: To improve your business’s local ranking, use Google Business Profile to claim and update your business information.


***Note Google ranks Local search results primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence.


That being said it’s vital to follow Google guidelines and to maximize every option available when completing your Google profile. The relevance, distance, and prominence combo factors help Google decide the best results for the search.


Unfortunately, just because your business may be closer to the search query, doesn’t necessarily mean that your business will show up first. Google algorithms base the decision on other elements as well.


how to do local seo for beginners

  • Claim your business listing
  • Get verified
  • Ask and answer reviews
  • Create posts to engage your customers
  • Completely optimize your page
  • Share Happy customer experiences
  • Highlight Positive testimonials
  • Post fresh content on your Google list
  • Stay current with product and services listings


Local Business SEO Checklist


I must admit, I really didn’t believe in checklists some time ago…

long story short….. TODAY!!!!…

they are N E C E S S A R Y!!!!!


……..Trying to keep everything in your head won’t cut the mustard.

Especially, for a task like SEO. As we recently noted search engine optimization consists of a group of processes that are systematic. I’m sure you know, that whenever you’re working with systems, one missed step can derail the entire process!


If you want to increase your local SEO to rank higher or dominate on Google, you will absolutely want to follow a checklist!why local SEO is Important

As an example, if you spell your name differently, something as simple as adding a (.) after your middle initial or writing “co” instead of “company”, etc.…. that inconsistency can hurt your rankings. Crazy I know… but he who owns the Gold RULES… in this case Google!!!


CLOSELY Following the 17 Steps BELOW will undoubtedly increase your chances of YOUR BUSINESS LISTING SHOWING UP AT the TOP OF Google’s SEARCH RESULTS!  Keeping in mind, those who search with intent is likely to make a purchase within hours, sometimes within minutes.


Below we listed attributes, try to complete as many as possible. The more details the more relevant


88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to recent research. Click To Tweet


Google Business Profile Set Up

Set up GBP

-Setting up your business profile is critical. However, it is simple. Google guides you all the way through. Select the best match category. You get to choose one primary category and a few secondary categories. Don’t claim something you don’t do… Google will call you out. Remember to be as thorough as possible.


-Claim your Listing. Once your Google profile is set up you will have to Claim your listing. It’s easy just keep an eye out for messages from Google.


-Verify. Google has an uncomplicated verification process, just follow their lead. But it’s vital to claim and verify your listing. This is where most businesses drop the ball.


-Double-check your information. The key is to be as consistent as possible. Google is stupidly silly about your data/info being the exact same across the internet. If you write your name with a middle initial, stay uniform across all platforms.

 Google Love Images


-Add photos, we’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. Here you can easily add tens of thousands of words by uploading as many photos as allowed. These photos can demonstrate a process, food, happy clients, etc.


-Google profile has added a few New features that are designed to help you stand out from your competition, one such feature is called attributes. Click here to read all 17 Tips .


 local SEO search benefits

Local Search Engine Optimization Tips


When filling out your Google Business Profile be as detailed as possible.

Displaying identical information across all platforms will give you a competitive edge. Put your best foot forward to make you and your business shine.

Below are a few more details…


Google Business Profile

Enter Full Business Details

Verify Your Location (s)

 Include Your Hours Accurately

Encourage, Manage & Respond to Reviews

Add photos- pictures are worth a thousand words

Include in-store products

Add Attributes

Enhance with Justifications

Create Frequent Posts

Get included in local directories


Content Optimization

Optimize content for your users, not search engines

Create fresh, unique content

Organize your topics clearly

Write easy-to-read text

Help Google and users understand your business


On-page Optimization Tips

Use brief, but descriptive page titles

Create unique titles for each page

Create a naturally flowing hierarchy

Use text for navigation

Create a simple directory structure


Off-Page Optimization Tips

Frequently write and post high-quality content

Regularly and Immediately respond to reviews

Read and reply to comments

Amass listing in local directories  I.e Yelp, Yellow pages

Get social, post, comment, and reply on social media



Obtain even more details/step-by-step instructions here


46% of all searches in Google have “local intent” (Search Engine Roundtable). Click To Tweet



 How Often Does SEO Need to be Done?



SEO is like anything else the initial setup takes the most time and effort. Now once you’re up and running, the name of the game is to maintain your rankings. local SEO audit checklist


So, in all actuality, it’s never done. Think about Coke and Pepsi, they still advertise their businesses.  Because if they stop, they’ll become somebody’s lunch.


Moreover,  as new businesses open or existing companies expand and the time comes to choose which business to takeover, the weakest link loses. Unfortunately, if that’s you, you’re gone.

Consequently, what’s helpful is that once you get your SEO going it doesn’t require matched efforts. Moreover, as time marches on you’ll become more SEO savvy and knowledgeable. So, the best answer is that it depends.


For local businesses updating photos, new product offerings, sales, and promotions will keep your profile fresh and your Google rankings competitive. Also adding 1-4 pieces of content monthly will keep you competitive.


Lastly, please note your Google Business Profile is critical, however, you’ll also need a Business Website. Your next question? How much should a small business website cost?


A small business website will vary in price. Of course, it depends on the type of website. Some sites are more complicated or complex than others.

As an example, if you are selling products that have a high turnover or quick sell, you will constantly have to update your product selection. Or if you have a service-based business that doesn’t have as many moving parts, you can expect to pay less.local seo for small business owners


To offer just a little more information, if you offer services such as Plumbing, HVAC, or Electrical, a basic website will do fine.

The key is to choose the correct content pages for your website. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.  What are their real concerns? What do they really want to know? …


…Ie. if you’re reputable, licensed, affordable, and have good reviews. Regarding the example above you’ll only need around 5-10 pages.



About Us

Contact Us

Privacy Page



Try keeping your site fresh with before and after photos.  Include educating your visitors as well. Lastly, incorporate value-driven content which keeps your website relevant and boosts rankings.

Unbelievably you can purchase an attractive, functional, useful, website for around $300-$500.  If you’re a DIY’er you can build one for “FREE” …. Check out the article  “How to Create my Own Website for Business”.



For high-level professional service providers (I.e., Doctors, lawyers, CPAs, and others) who will need to spend more because of perception and legal protection. Again, don’t give away too much info over the internet.


Share just enough to pique interest and answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions. The name of the game is to get your phone ringing. You want to provide just enough info so that they can know you are the wo(man). 😊


(Sparktoro) SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media. (BrightEdge) Click To Tweet

Naturally, if you want a super-duper deluxe website, they are available, you can spend a mint if you choose. But just a pretty face won’t cut the mustard. Plus, most web designers aren’t proficient in SEO, market research, or keyword research. Ironically, many of the most butt-ugly sites are your most visited ones!


how to improve local SEO small business

How Much Should SEO Cost for a Small Business


The cost of SEO is a question everyone wants an answer to. So, I’m going to do my best and help as much as possible. But before getting started, Google states that anybody can learn and perform SEO if they follow their rules and guidelines.

Here are Google SEO Guidelines.


I must agree I started SEO back in 2008 and ranked at the top of Google for my clients.  Local search engine optimization is way easier than global.


What I’m saying is that if you’re a plumber you’re only competing against other plumbers in your target market. Keep in mind many small business owners haven’t brought into the idea of search engine optimization implementation. So, when you go toe-to-toe with other DIY’ers that didn’t read this blog post~ You will annihilate them!!! 😊


Search engine optimization cost truly depends on your competition. However, there are always ways around competing eye to eye. You can try using long-tail keywords. As an example. If you’re a plumber in New York, of course, you shouldn’t go after “plumber in New York” because that’s too broad of a term and undoubted be too competitive.


Furthermore, if you’re only servicing Brooklyn a better term would be “plumber in Brooklyn New York”. Then to take it a step further try adding more descriptive words.


One example; add a prefix like emergency, affordable, cheap, 24/7, now that keyword would look like “emergency plumber Brooklyn New York”, which will be easier to rank and cheaper.


Affordable SEO for Small Businesses


Your SEO cost will depend heavily on the difficulty of your keywords. Now you have to factor in how much your traffic is worth.

I used to offer SEO services to a wedding photographer.  Back in the day LOL!!! I think his packages started around $5000.00. I would surmise, that it was worth it to him to spend $500-1000/month on SEO. Especially since he was getting traffic and clients from his rankings.


You also have to use common sense, if you‘re selling a $15.00 product, that wouldn’t make dollars or scents. Unless you just wanted to spend money building your brand. Otherwise, that wouldn’t be wise to spend $500.00/month on SEO, especially, if it wasn’t budgeted.


Conversely, if you’re a real estate agent, who earns $10,000’s from one transaction then it’s well worth it!



My best answer would be to call three companies and ascertain their service package info. Study a little, and read Google’s guidelines,  just to have a working knowledge. Then see what happens.  If the first SEO strategist doesn’t work, try another. 





Truthfully, almost every business on the planet is wondering how to improve SEO to reach the first page of Google. What many people don’t know is that the first five positions get 80% of the search.

So, if you’re asking is SEO important, or is it worth your time? Question?… could you take on an extra 75% more customers and or sales?   “… three out of every four searches start on Google”!!!

If you ever wanted to be at the right place, with the right knowledge re-read this post a few times. Or  go straight to the horse’s mouth, Google


76% of consumers that search for something local on their phone visit a store that day (Google). Click To Tweet


Here we discussed everything you need to know to help boost your Google local search rankings. Although the competition is fierce, this is one of the effective ways to get ahead of your competitors for good.



Related Articles


How to Make your Own Website

Which Content Pages are Needed on your Biz Website

How to Market your Business on Google

Search Engine Optimization Tactics

 Small Business Webdesign Examples for Beginners


If you hadn’t started building your online presence, then now is a good time to start!

Do you have an SEO local business plan? If so, did you find our checklist and post helpful?

If not, what are we missing?  Do you have any questions?

Let us know by leaving a quick comment below.

P.S. Enjoy this post? You can share it on your favorite social media platform below!

Please don’t forget to leave your comment now!


 How to Improve Local SEO for Small Businesses 































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Deborah Pretty

Hi! We know that starting your own business can be challenging. But it doesn't have to be. I started my first business at 19 and now 4 decades later have 5 businesses under my belt. So, if you always wanted to work for yourself, be your own boss or to start a small business working from home, we got YOU! At we provide articles and other up-to-date resources to help you start, grow, and market your new or existing business quicker and more efficiently. Be sure to read, execute, and share on social. Lastly, I would love your feedback. Please ask any comments and questions. Cheers P.Y.

7 thoughts on “How to Improve Local SEO for Small Businesses

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