Resource Center > Business > Local business search engine optimization: Powerful tips to improve visibility

Local business search engine optimization: Powerful tips to improve visibility

by Rockey Simmons

Proud woman standing in front of gardening business shelves.

Local SEO can be the secret weapon for small businesses looking to stay relevant and attract more customers in their area.

By optimizing your local search engine optimization, you can potentially increase your visibility for local searches and connect with nearby customers who are actively searching for your products or services.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of local SEO, provide actionable tips, and teach you how to successfully implement local SEO strategies.

Why pay attention to local business search engine optimization?

You might think, “I don’t do business online; I have a regular storefront.” But in today’s competitive business arena, foot traffic and stapled flyers on poles are not enough to keep the doors open.

You need a flood of new visitors daily coming through the doors because they found you online. That’s what local SEO can do for you.

With 20.8% of businesses closing within 12 months and almost 50% after five years (according to a 2022 Lending Tree study), it makes sense for businesses to boost their presence on the internet, where nearly 90% of consumers go when looking for a local business.

Local SEO is the lifeblood of businesses today for several reasons:

1. Enhanced online visibility: Local SEO helps businesses appear prominently in local search results, increasing their online visibility to potential customers in the immediate vicinity. This visibility boost can lead to higher website traffic, phone calls, and foot traffic to physical stores.

Are online reputation issues hurting your business? Find out with our free Reputation Report Card. Start Your Scan

2. Increased foot traffic: By optimizing local SEO, businesses can drive more people to their physical store or service area. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses, such as restaurants, retail stores, and service providers, that rely on physical foot traffic.

3. Enhanced online reputation: Local SEO involves managing and encouraging customer reviews, which can significantly impact a business’s online reputation. Positive reviews can attract more customers, build trust, and differentiate a business from its competitors.

4. Competitive edge: By understanding their target audience and optimizing their online presence accordingly, businesses can gain a competitive edge, establish a strong local reputation, and experience tangible business growth.

5. Connection with local customers: Because consumers rely heavily on search engines and online directories to find local businesses, investing in local SEO is not just beneficial but essential for small businesses. It provides them with the opportunity to thrive in their local market, connect with their target audience, and build a sustainable customer base.

Put simply, local SEO is important for online businesses today as it helps them increase their online visibility, attract more customers, improve their online reputation, gain a competitive edge, and connect with local customers.

Now let’s learn what steps you need to take to make this a reality for your business.

Local SEO tips

Below you will find some easy tips to improve local SEO for your small business. If you’re familiar with local SEO and you’re implementing a strategy, these tips can help you see what might be missing and what you can focus on for some quick wins:

1. Optimize Your Google Business Profile: Ensure that your Google Business Profile listing is complete, accurate, and up to date. This includes adding photos, responding to reviews, and regularly updating your business information.

2. Engage on social media and add posts to your Google Business Profile: Regularly post on your social media platforms and share updates, promotions, and news about your Google Business Profile.

3. Ensure consistent name, address, and phone number across the web: Make sure that your business name, address, and phone number are consistent across all online directories and platforms to avoid confusion and improve search engine visibility.

4. Optimize online directories and citations: List your business on multiple, relevant online directories and ensure that your business information is accurate and consistent across all platforms.

5. Perform a local SEO audit: Regularly audit your website’s local SEO performance to identify areas for improvement and track your progress.

See your business's reputation the way your customers do. Get your free Reputation Report Card. Start Your Scan

6. Improveinternal linking structure: Organize your website’s content and internal linking structure to make it easier for users and search engines to navigate.

7. Optimize URL, title tags, headers, and meta descriptions: Ensure that your website’s URL, title tags, headers, and meta descriptions are optimized with relevant local SEO keywords to improve your search engine ranking.

Local SEO strategy

We touched on why local SEO is important. We also talked about some tips. Now, let’s put it all together with a clear, high-level Local SEO strategy you can use if you’re just getting started applying local SEO.

1. Keyword research: Identify relevant local SEO keywords your target audience is searching for and prioritize them in your content.

2. Content creation and optimization: Create high-quality, informative, and engaging content that is optimized with your target local SEO keywords.

3. Social media engagement: Regularly engage with your audience on social media platforms and share valuable content to build your online presence and improve your local SEO.

4. Online directory listings: List your business information on a variety of online directories.

5. Backlinks: Link building is what gets you backlinks, this means you follow a strategy to increase the likelihood of receiving links from reputable websites to your website on the internet.

Receiving high-quality backlinks can potentially improve your search engine ranking and local SEO performance. Usually, this can take care of itself when you create high-quality content.

However, you can increase your chances of success by following different strategies.

6. Regular performance tracking and analysis: Monitor your local SEO performance regularly and make necessary adjustments to your strategy based on the insights gained.

When you follow these six simple steps, you can catapult your small-business traffic. But what tools can you use to reduce the effort it takes to make your strategy effective?

We will discuss that next.

Local business search engine optimization tools and resources

There are several tools and resources available to help you with your local SEO efforts, such as Google My Business, Google Ads, and various SEO analytics tools.

These tools can help you track your performance, identify areas for improvement, and optimize your local SEO strategy.

Here are the top six to consider:

Reputation Defender Small Business Solutions: This small business solution helps improve your small business visibility with local SEO. On top of that, it also helps you capture more 5-star reviews, control what search engines show to your prospective customers when they find your business, and manage multiple social media sites at once, including responses to customer posts.

BrightLocal: BrightLocal is an all-in-one local SEO software that offers a range of features, including local SEO reporting, citation building, local search rank tracking, and competitor analysis.

Moz Local: Moz Local is a popular SEO tool that helps businesses manage and optimize their local search presence, including listing management, review management, and local SEO analytics.

Uberall: Uberall specializes in helping enterprise-level brands optimize their localized business listings and provides features such as listing management, review management, and local SEO analytics.

See your business's reputation the way your customers do. Get your free Reputation Report Card. Start Your Scan

LocalClarity: LocalClarity is a great choice for multi-location businesses in need of solid SEO locally. They also streamline the process of managing local SEO for multiple locations.

Google Business Profile: This is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile, you can improve your local search engine visibility and attract more customers.

Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free tool that provides insights into your website’s traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates. It can help you track your SEO performance and make data-driven decisions to improve your website’s visibility and performance.

Wrapping up

So, what’s the best local business search engine optimization resource? That depends on your budget and overall goals.

When it comes to improving your online reputation, along with getting more social proof from 5-star reviews, Reputation Defender is a wise starting point, especially if you want a solid foundation to build on.

The service is also great if you’ve had an onslaught of negative reviews and you need to suppress that content with a new message that speaks more accurately to your business identity.

But no matter how you slice it, local SEO is essential for small businesses looking to stay relevant and attract more customers in their area.

To get started, all you have to do is review this free resource.

And if you’re not sure how the internet views your brand, grab a copy of your free reputation report card.

It will give you details about how people view your online presence now. You will receive your results instantly. This will be an eye opener on what kind of first impression you make when people search for you or your business online.

This post was contributed by Rockey Simmons, founder of SaaS Marketing Growth.