Local Search Engine Optimization Strategies for Small Businesses

Every business with a website wants to achieve the #1 ranking on Google search, but getting there and staying there is a whole lot more difficult than it may seem. Things get even trickier when you are dealing with a business that has several different locations.

If your small business has a website, the best thing to do is local search engine optimization. Local Search engine optimization is a way to get your site on the top of the search results. Most of the time when people look for something using a search engine, they just open the first few sites that feature on the first page. The top-ranked sites have more visitors, which means that people will know about the content. This works really well with small businesses that are after local and even international customers. Link strategy is one of the best small business SEO strategies.

The goal of link building strategy is to create backlinks pointing to your business’s site. These links target commercial traffic or people who are interested in your products and services, which will convert to higher sales. The ability to measure links and their values was one reason that made the site Google, one of the market leaders in search engines. It all started with what Google called Page Rank. Page Rank uses mathematical models, which evaluate websites based on incoming links. Sites that had more authority, contextual and relevant links got higher rankings on the search results.

All small businesses are looking for ways to get their site on the highest rank. Linking is not the only way to get a good rank. Local Search Engine Optimization is done by using keyword targeting. Small Businesses would have articles online talking about their businesses along with keywords, which are commonly related to the business’s products and services. Updating the site is also a good local search engine optimization strategy for small businesses SEO. A business website should not be stagnant. There should be updated such as news and articles. Small business owners can also engage their loyal customers and prospective clients by regularly updating their website with promos, sales, discounts, and other special offers.

Here are the top local search engine optimization tips for small businesses.

Keyword list

Having a well-defined keyword list always comes in handy. Most small businesses don’t pay much attention to keywords. It is crucial that both long and short-tail keywords are being targeted equally. Google Keyword Planner can help you narrow down the list to the most relevant words that attract the highest traffic. Search engines aren’t concerned about the aesthetics of your site, but they do pay close attention to all the words used there, which is why they require your urgent attention. The general rule of thumb suggests that you should use 10-35 keywords and phrases for local business. These should be fine-tuned as you go, as keyword strategies used by other businesses in your industry are not necessarily going to work for your business.

Good content always stands out

Every online marketing expert would agree that good content always pays off in the long run. Write authoritative content that provides value to the reader. A good write-up that compels the visitor to spend time on a page is well worth the effort. Content that provides true value along with a catchy headline is sure to go viral quickly.

Keyword Mapping & META

All of your website pages should be focused on the main topics of your business, with your keywords serving as the starting point. The general rule of thumb dictates that you should have a minimum of six pages, with none being longer than needed.

When putting together your keywords, try to ensure that they fit naturally into the opening sentence of the page, and highlight them in bold if you want to. You can apply the same principles to your META, which is the administrative part of your website that cannot be viewed by visitors. The search engines can see it, though, and the majority of website platforms allow you to use bold here too, but this again is optional.

Create meaningful URL names

URLs of pages should reflect exactly what the page is all about. Keep the URLs short and avoid errors like excessive hyphens. If possible, carefully insert relevant keywords in the URL. Well-written names rank better in search engines.

Page Titles

Titles of a page are the most error-prone element of search engine optimization. In this part, Google wants to see a well-compiled description of the content on a page. It is inserted in the <H1> tag. Use important keywords and maintain the length within 70 characters.

Avoid unethical methods

Search engines have become very smart. Any effort to trick them or fool them will only lead to setbacks. Unethical techniques such as paid links and coding tricks are known to wipe out rankings. It can even lead to removal from the index.

Traffic tracking

Digital marketing is a constant process. In order to get the best results, monitoring traffic statistics is important. The time spent on a page, the source of traffic, most viewed pages etc. are some vital insights revealed from the traffic data.


This little tool, which was introduced in 2011, helps with local marketing via HTML code and is used to classify important elements of your website to make it clearer for the search engines. Generally speaking, it is elements such as contact information and location that are targeted.

All of the major search engines – Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. – accept SCHEMA, which is why it is such a valuable tool.


This is one element of a website that really isn’t utilized enough, especially considering how useful it can be for SEO for small businesses.

To begin with, you can move the code for the footer into the HTML code in the header of your site if you have a lot there. This helps the search engines, as they then have less code to read, which will improve the loading speed of your site. There are a lot of different elements that go into the page ranking of a website, and load speed is one of the most important.

Blogging & Social Media

Both of these topics have already been covered extensively, so all I will say here is that you need to be creating content on a regular basis if you want your website to rank high in the search engines.

NAP Consistency

The business citation refers to information about your business, such as an address, local phone number, and website URL. The NAP refers to 3 specific elements, which are name, address, and phone number. Making sure that all of this information is accurate is incredibly important, as it helps the search engines verify your information. While this may sound straightforward, you might be surprised to learn that as many as half of all businesses have errors in their citation NAP. That almost certainly hurts their local visibility on the search engines.

Link Building via Business Citation Building

You are probably well aware that Google and Bing offer business directory listings, and that Yelp is one of the biggest business review sites out there. What you may not know is that these can all be used to boost the local visibility of your business.

Jeannie Brouts

by Jeannie Brouts

Jeannie Brouts is a Marketing Manager at SEO Vendor. She has 10 years of experience in White Label SEO and online marketing. Jeannie loves writing about the latest ways to help businesses market and produce results.


  • Avatar
    Jesse Yusufu

    September 19, 2016 at 9:24 am

    I thank you for yet another good post. I have always thought I could target my customers using global SEO strategies. I will give this a try to measure the difference in my site. But can this strategies be applied to ecommerce site too or only blog.

  • Avatar

    February 26, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Businesses seriously need SEO. Without search engine optimization, they won’t get anywhere.

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