Small Business Advice

Small business marketing: Become the top result in local SEO

You can increase traffic to your business from local web search results with these five tips.

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When it comes to web search results, you want your small business to be top. Consider this - how often do you hit “page 2” of a Google search? According to, only 0.78% of searchers end up clicking something from the second page. Usually, you find what exactly you’re looking for or your best option quite quickly. That’s why many businesses will turn to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for a competitive edge. 

If you haven’t checked it out already, our SEO Guide for Small Business will give you an in-depth understanding of SEO and strategies on how to improve your business’s ranking. Once you have a good handle on the basics, use the tips in this article to next improve your local SEO.  

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the optimization of your website to a specific local area. Local doesn’t have to mean a few block radius. It can be city-wide or even state-wide in some cases. For example, think of the results that show up when you type in “Coffee Near Me” on Google. 

The ultimate goal is for your business to come up first in the searches of people searching in your general area. You want people nearby to see the products you are offering and that you have the solution for their pain points. These are five ways to take advantage of local SEO for your small business.

#1. Get Your Story Straight

When you begin marketing your business, be conscientious of how you write your business name, product names, phone number, and address. This information should be consistent across all media including your website, advertisements, business cards, social media handles and even photo captions. If you plan to abbreviate common words like street, avenue, and boulevard – they should be forever abbreviated in anything about the business.

When you keep your information consistent, you prevent potential confusion as to what your business is called, how to contact you, or where you are located. If there is conflicting information, there could be problems with how search engine algorithms interpret and display your information. For instance, let’s say you abbreviate your business name on social media, but use the full name on your website. When a potential customer types the abbreviated brand name in a search engine, there’s a chance your website won’t be the first result to pop up.

It’s easier to be consistent from the beginning rather than going back and fixing wording later. Before you start building your site and marketing materials, standardize how you’ll write any demographic information. 

#2. Claim Your Business Listing 

Have you ever looked up a company and seen a line that says “Claim Your Business”? These are unclaimed business listings. The information compiled in these profiles has been added not by the business owner, but by whichever site is hosting the listing. They’ll use information gathered from the internet to best guess names, addresses, contact info, hours, and more. Here are sites that might put up a listing for your business: 

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Facebook 
  • Yelp
  • Merchant Circle
  • Yellow Pages
  • White Pages
  • Super Pages 
  • MapQuest

As your business grows and time passes, multiple listings may pop up across these sites. To ensure your information is consistent across all listings, regularly do searches to claim and update your business listings. The more exposure and information you have out there, the easier it will be for customers to find you.

#3 Add A Location Page to Your Website

To make it easier for the directories and search engines above, get your location right and consider building a location page on your website. This web page will include your name, address, phone number, hours, and perhaps directions. You can also add an embedded Google Maps section. As another reminder, make sure that any addresses on your site are consistent across other platforms too. 

Having a location page will also help people searching those areas come across your business. For more information on what to include on your location page and how, check out this complete checklist

#4. Update Google My Business

Having an updated and complete Google My Business (GMB) profile can significantly boost your local SEO. Our article on optimizing your GMB profile walks you through how to nail the basics, increase your reach, answer questions, and keep track of reviews. Google Local Pack - which displays several businesses near a location when you search related terms like “florist” - is more likely to show your business at the top when you have a thorough GMB profile.  

Make your listing stand out by including your business logo and pictures of the interior and exterior of your business. Consider obtaining permission from customers to use their photos in your profile too. High quality photos of your products, services, and facilities will help engage potential customers. 

#5. Keep Content Local

Volunteers heading out to the park in blue outside
Volunteers heading out to the park

To boost your local SEO rankings, add content to your website that is relevant to your neighborhood, city, or state. Try to use keywords and phrases that reflect your location throughout the site. You can also create locally themed content in the form of blogs. If you write about your local community, your content is more likely to get nearby traffic than if you write about events five states away. For example, the above shot is from a volunteer program to clean trash in local parks. 

What’s special about your neighborhood? Perhaps it’s the hikes you can do in the woods nearby. What do people do there for fun? This could be a restaurant, farmers market, fair, or sports game. What’s something everyone can relate to while living there? It might be the mini earthquakes you get throughout the year. These are questions that can start on your next location-focused blog post. 

Why Local SEO is Important

Local SEO let’s people know what’s in their area. Let’s imagine you run a small accounting business. A potential customer may start their search for accounting services online. When they search “accountant,” your business may not rank as high in SEO as some of the paid ads and other national companies would. 

But this person could change their search to include “near me.” That’s when your business will be able to keep up with local SEO using its optimized GMB profile and website. All the business information you’ve kept consistent across platforms helps boost your ranking as well. Finally, the local content you post will be indicative of your community and geographical area. With these components working together, you should rank higher, especially if you are the only accountant within a chosen radius.

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