9 Easy SEO Tips for Local Business Success

Shutterstock 2249864731 10 Basic SEO Tips for Local Business Success Vizion Interactive Reading Time: 7 minutes

If you want to rank in front of your consumers when they are looking for services in your area, you need to learn Local SEO.

As local "near me" searches have high commercial intent, ranking for those can really increase your retail sales and foot traffic.

But how do you get started? Start using these 10 local SEO tips and stay consistent with them. You’ll see your local traffic go up pretty soon.

Basic SEO Strategies That Work for Every Local Business

1. Optimize Your Google Business Profile

Having an accurate and complete Google Business Profile is really important if you want your customers to find you online in local searches. A GBP impacts if your business appears in Google map searches too.

A Google business profile is so much more though. Treat it like an online brochure for your business through which your customers learn about it before visiting it. This is where they will find your contact details to establish that first contact, learn about your services, view your photos, and get directions to your store. Most importantly, they will also use this directory to make an opinion about your brand: is it trustworthy? Have your previous customers said good things about your products or services?

Since getting your customers to do business with you is largely dependent on whether or not they trust you, having a Google Business profile can warm up your leads even before they set foot in your store. By the time they arrive, they will have already established a baseline trust in your brand that makes it easy for them to buy from you. Win-win all round.

What to do:

  • Take some time to double-check all the details on your page: from your hours of operation to products on display. Fill out everything in as much detail as possible.
  • Update holiday hours and contact information if it changes.
  • Make sure your cover photo stands out and is not a screenshot from the Google Street View, which is often fuzzy, or taken at an odd angle. Check out our other post on how to optimize your Google Business Profiles cover photo.
  • Don’t forget to add a few high-quality photos showing more exterior and interior shots as well as your products or services. Publish your own professionally taken photos and don’t solely rely on customer submitted photos from cell phones.
  • Posts updates, announcements, and promotions to your profile to keep your customers up-to-date. This shows your business’s commitment to providing them with accurate information.

2. Build Citations and Local Listings

One of the most important things you can do for your local business SEO is build citations. These are third-party mentions of your business on local directories. Along with Google Business Profiles, these citations can also help your business be found for relevant local searches.

The amount of local traffic you get from these listings can be huge. For instance, a study found that a Yelp page appears in the top 5 results of 92% of queries with a city and business category .

Search engines like Google also use these citations to verify and learn more about your business. The more credible citations from reputable sources you have, the more trustworthy Google will view your business.

What to do:

  • Make sure all citations have consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information. Any inconsistencies in your NAP can confuse Google and potentially hurt your local rankings.

Accuracy will help search engines uniquely identify your business and associate all mentions of your name to the same entity. Consistent NAP also provides a better user experience, as people searching for your business won’t encounter conflicting information.

  • Claim and optimize listings for your business on major local directories like Bing Places, Apple Maps, Foursquare, Yahoo Local, and YellowPages.
  • Remember to build citations on special industry directories, such as chambers of commerce, industry databases, etc. For instance, a remodeler should list their business on Angi’s or Houzz.

3. Use Local Keywords

If you want to rank your website for local keywords, you’ll also need some local content.

You can set yourself apart here by writing content that incorporates local keywords and provides unique information specific to your area. For instance, sure, a person can look up the average costs of remodeling in the US. However, what they really need is local pricing information. If you can provide it, your website will be rewarded in local SERPs.

What to do:

  • Target both implicit local keywords without location terms (like “remodeling companies” and explicit keywords that spell out the location (like “remodeling companies in Santa Monica”.) Your customers can find you using both, so don’t forget to incorporate both variations.
  • Don’t just guess local keywords, there are many keyword research tools that can provide you with lists of keywords and how many times they’re searched each month.
  • Do a competitor analysis to discover unique keywords that your competitors are using so you can also use them in your content.
  • Once you identify the local keywords, map them to optimized pages on your site accordingly. Remember to use those keywords in business description within Google Business Profiles and other directories if they have that field available.

4. Get Positive Reviews and Ratings

Customer reviews and star ratings have a huge impact on local SEO. Statements from Google and accounts of trusted SEO professionals over the years have confirmed that reviews are a local SEO ranking factor .

They also greatly influence whether or not a customer purchases from you. According to a recent survey by BrightLocal, 91% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, and 88% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

But how can you get more positive reviews besides providing an excellent quality of service?

What to do:

  • Interact with happy customers on your website, via email newsletters, and social media to politely ask them to share their positive experiences through online reviews. Provide a link to leave a review on Google, and other sites such as Facebook and Yelp.
  • When you notice that your business has a particular area that is often mentioned by happy customers, encourage new customers to mention that area as well. This will solidify your reputation in the local market. For example, your customer may start associating your business as having “the best pizza in Brooklyn” if enough people say it over and over.
  • Respond to both positive and negative reviews.
    • Thank customers who leave five-star reviews or ratings.
    • Remember to be professional while responding to negative reviews. Rather than criticizing your customers publicly, apologize for the experience they’re having and offer to contact them privately to resolve the issue.
    • If the issue has been resolved, describe what actions your business takes to improve its service publicly. This step helps build trust in your brand while also allowing potential customers to feel comfortable leaving feedback in the future.
  • Respond to customer reviews quickly to show you care about their feedback.

5. Use LocalBusiness Schema Markup

Including all the necessary business and NAP information in your schema markup makes it easier for search engines to understand what your business does and what markets it serves. This is known to help improve the visibility of your pages in local SERPs.

What to do:

  • Try to add as many fields as applicable to your business. Common ones such as Organization, Logo, Person, OpeningHours and contact details are useful for almost all businesses. You can go to Schema.org to learn and validate your structured data .

6. Leverage Social Media Platforms

Local customers often look for local businesses on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor.

Create business pages or profiles on platforms where your audience is most likely to hang out. This is a fantastic way to build relationships with people in the area and get involved in local discussions. In turn, this can build brand awareness and send decent foot traffic to your business.

What to do:

  • Post relevant content for your community, like recommendations, deals, and information about your products and services.
  • Aim to post 2-3 times per week minimum on each channel to stay top of mind. The more compelling, helpful local content you share across social, the better the chances of positive reviews and increased website traffic over time.
  • Drive traffic back to your website with calls to action. Engaging locally online is a great way to spread brand awareness.

7. Target Relevant Local Backlinks

Local backlinks (or links from other local websites) are quite important for performing well in any type of SERP. Local SEO is no different. In fact, according to a Backlinko study , the number of domains linking to a page correlated most with rankings in Google.

What to do:

  • Reach out to bloggers and publications within your niche or geographical area with offers of creating valuable guest posts in exchange for a backlink.
  • Write about locally relevant topics on your website. If your data or opinions are unique, you may get links naturally from other local publications.
  • Get involved with local events and organizations to build new connections. It can create opportunities for mutually endorsing local businesses. For instance, a remodeler can endorse a Quartz supplier. Similarly, a plumber may be able to endorse a bathroom hardware company.

8. Create Unique, Helpful Content

One of the best ways to target local customers through SEO is by producing engaging, locally relevant conten for your website and social profiles.

Here are some ideas your customers might find interesting:

  • A handpicked list of your favorite 5 products
  • A guide on how to use your products or services, especially for your geographical region. For example, if you sell camping gear, you can write about how to navigate hiking trails in the area using your recommended gear. You can get up close and personal with your account to demonstrate your intimate knowledge of both the products and the local geography.
  • Your reviews of local vendors you trust. These could be your partners or simply businesses you respect.
  • Profiles or case studies of interesting customers you’ve helped.
  • Insights into your company culture and local community involvement.
  • You can also create blog posts that cover local events, small business advice, or interesting places nearby. Providing useful local knowledge is a great way to attract new clients.

Pro Tip: Include your city name and specific locations prominently in the content so search engines know it’s targeted towards that local audience.

9. Continually Measure Your Performance

You can only improve your SEO efforts by tracking your results. Use these tools to stay on top of your local SEO performance:

  • Google Search Console : Tracks how your site appears in Google search results
  • Google Analytics : Provides insight into traffic sources and visitor behavior
  • BrightLocal Citations : Monitors how consistently your business info is listed across directories/maps
  • Moz Local : Reveals local SEO metrics like citations, visibility, and ranking for keyword searches.

Final Words

SEO changes constantly, so it’s important to keep learning new strategies. Follow thought leaders and join online forums to stay on top of the latest local SEO developments.

Here are some ways you can stay up-to-date with new trends:

  • Follow industry publishers like Search Engine Land on social media
  • Join local Facebook groups for networking and knowledge-sharing
  • Check relevant subreddits for ongoing discussions
  • Attend webinars from experts to gain fresh insights
  • Ask other local businesses what’s working for their SEO

At Vizion Interactive, we have the expertise, experience, and enthusiasm to get results and keep clients happy! Learn more about how our Local Listing Management services and Franchise SEO can increase sales and boost your ROI. But don’t just take our word for it, check out what our clients have to say, along with our case studies.