The internet has brought the world to our fingertips, but research shows that four out of five consumers search online for products or services in their own backyard. Every day, consumers are using all devices for local searches. And within 24 hours of their search, 50% of smartphone users visit a store and 18% purchase. Local searches offer a powerful opportunity for businesses.

Local Search Engine Optimization (local SEO) is the process for optimizing a website, and usually its Google My Business listing, to improve search visibility for businesses that serve communities in person. Businesses who ignore local SEO do so at their own peril; it is critical to reaching 80% of your potential customers.

This guide will cover how to build a local SEO strategy to take full advantage of better online local visibility, and the best local SEO tools to get you there.

CHAPTERS:

Chapter 1: Local SEO Tools & Services

Chapter 2: What is the Difference Between SEO & Local SEO?

Chapter 3: What Are the Benefits of Local SEO?

Chapter 4: What Factors Affect Local SEO?

Chapter 5: How Can You Improve Your Local SEO Results?

Chapter 6: How to Build a Local SEO Strategy [& Beat Out Your Competitors]

Chapter 7: Who Can Benefit the Most from Local SEO?

Chapter 8: Local SEO in Action

Local SEO Tools & Services

We know there are dozens of SEO tools and services available to help you with local SEO. And we also know most business owners don’t have the time to comb through them all. So we’ve done the work for you.

Here are the top 10 local SEO tools that can help you create a data-driven local SEO strategy.

BrightLocal

4.8 stars 

What It Does: Integrated and Local Citation Platform
Price: Free trial, then $29/month or $2/citation
Pros: 14 day free trial, easy citation building, adaptable
Cons: Not as user friendly as other tools

What Experts Say:

“I’m a big fan of Brightlocal for businesses with more than 3 locations. The reason for this is that it allows for bulk updates to local citations and the ability to manage profiles across multiple platforms within one interface. This is vital for pushing offers live, changing opening times for seasonal periods and updating tagging and categorisation across a number of profiles.” – Nathan Thompson, Pavilion Broadway

“My favorite local SEO tool is BrightLocal’s Local SERP Checker! I love this tool because you can view Map and SERP results for queries from any location. One pro of this tool is that it allows you to go beyond page one of the search results. It is also an excellent way to see whether our clients are showing up in the local pack since some tools don’t track the SERP feature.” – Katie Stone, Leadhub

MozLocal 

4.3 stars 

What It Does: Automated listing management tool
Price: Limited free option, $129 – $299/year
Pros: Free option available, easy to set up, extensive resource center
Cons: Updates can take a long time to appear online, expensive plans

What Experts Say:

“Moz Local is a great local SEO tool that does a great job of managing local profiles, listings and data for businesses with more than a handful of local listings. It also helps with review management and even social posting, both great features for any local business.” – Stacy Caprio, Accelerated Growth Marketing 

“One of the most helpful local SEO tools is Moz. Like other local sites, Moz will send your business’s information to hundred of other directories on the web. Moz is great because it does most of the work for you and when it can’t, it will inform you of the exact information that you still need to add. In my opinion, the best part about Moz is the ability to check your online presence. This tool gives you a comprehensive look at how your local efforts are working.” – Andrea Bailey, Tandem Interactive

SEMRush

4.6 stars

What It Does: Listing management tool
Price: $99 – $399/month
Pros: Easy to use, good data visualization
Cons: Expensive plans

What Experts Say:

“SEMrush is a marketing software that allows you to conduct keyword research, track search rankings, SEO status and helps you analyze backlinks. If you want to know what position your pages are ranking and how well your pages are performing from an SEO standpoint, SEMrush is one of the best tools.” – Stuart Leung, VP of Marketing at Breazy

Ahrefs

4.6 stars 

What It Does: Toolset for SEO analysis and backlinks [Location Rank Tracking] Price: $99 – $999/month
Pros: 7-day trial for $7, can view the ranking history of a website and its pages
Cons: Short trial period, costs more than most tools

What Experts Say:

“Ahrefs provides an easy overview into any and every competitor site that we need to do research on, whilst at the same time, allow us to stay on top of every site that we are currently building through the dashboard feature. We have used Ahrefs for anything under the SEO sun really, be it from Outreach Campaign through guest posting to actual SEO optimization for our own internal sites.” – Chloe, Undrcut Digital Marketing

“I love Ahrefs.com and use it everyday. It keeps track of my websites’ rankings, my competitors’ rankings, backlinks, how much traffic I’m getting, how much my website is worth and more. One of the best uses for it is to spy on competitors and see what they have done in order to be successful. You can see each and every backlink they have and especially what pages of theirs are popular. It even allows you to analyze other websites to see what keywords they are ranking for that you are not. It basically tells you what to write about, what kind and how many backlinks you need, and how far away you are from that #1 spot!” – Dane Kolbaba, Watchdog Pest Control

Google My Business (GMB) 

What It Does: Online presence management tool
Price: Free
Pros: Free tools directly from Google, applies across Google platforms
Cons: Limited data (keyword, custom fields or tags), displays basic business info, so users might not click through to website

What Experts Say:

“GMB is a must for local and online presence, as well as ranking in the local map pack. As the saying goes: “No GMB, no local ranking” (at least on Google). GMB can also be used to showcase products, services and posts detailing events or others goings on of a company. As well, actively posting on GMB is a local ranking factor.” – Andrew Jacobson, 9thCo

Google Search Console 

9/10 rating

What It Does: Service to monitor, maintain and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google search results
Price: Free
Pros: Free tools directly from Google, applies across Google platforms
Cons: None, these tools are necessary for everything SEO

What Experts Say:

“The Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool that gives its users a lot of helpful information about their pages, search queries, errors, etc. A small snippet of javascript is all that is required for a lot of helpful information.” – Jef Romero, Octiv Digital

Google Structured Data Testing Tool 

9/10 rating 

What It Does: JSON-LD Schema Generator
Price: Free
Pros: Can load into the tool directly
Cons: None really – just make sure there are no mistakes in your coding

What Experts Say:

“Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper makes it easy for almost anyone to implement markups. Without any knowledge of coding, you can simply highlight and tag your content according to their appropriate category within the tool. When you’re done, insert the generated snippets into your web page.” – Shawn Lim, Traffic Bees

Keywords Everywhere

5 stars

What It Does: Browser add-on for keyword research
Price: 1 credit = 1 keyword, buy 100,000 keywords for $10
Pros: See keyword search volume/CPC and other info right in the SERPs (use [keyword + geo location])
Cons: Used to be free but now is a paid tool where you purchase credits to see keyword suggestions and volume

What Experts Say:

“I use the Keywords Everywhere plugin and see what search volume is for keywords generated by Moz. I can then gear content to fit local keyword research. The upside to Keywords Everywhere is that it’s extremely cheap and you pay for what you use (they have a credit approach instead of subscription).” – Josh Hastings, Money Life Wax

Surfer

4.6 stars

What It Does: Cloud-based on-page optimization tool
Price: Starts at $29/month
Pros: Ease of use, affordable pricing
Cons: Not the best dashboard

What Experts Say:

One of my favorite SEO tools right now is a platform called Surfer. Instead of trying to guess what Google likes to rank, this tool offers you a data-driven analysis of exactly what’s missing from your page. It also allows you to select competitors within the first page of the SERP to compare your content against. Things like LSI/NLP/TF-IDF keywords, meta tags, images, and structural elements like Hx tags. It’s essentially the playbook to help your pages jump past your competitors.” – Corey Trjanowski, Valve+Meter Performance Marketing

Yoast

8.9 stars

What It Does: WordPress SEO plugin
Price: Free to $89/year
Pros: Free, comprehensive plugin
Cons: Slow site speed, premium version required for advanced SEO settings

What Experts Say:

“We like using Yoast for SEO it doesn’t matter if it is local or national but if you know your local market it will help you by making sure you’re hitting all the proper on site items like keyword usage, headlines & much more.” – John Walko, Solten Marketing

SEO Profiler

3.5 stars

What It Does: Web-based SEO software solution
Price: Starts at $69.95/month
Pros: Easy-to-use interface, can start right away
Cons: Slower system

What Experts Say:

“SEO Profiler is my favorite Local SEO tool. I love it’s easy to use interface and the tooltips which are present throughout the tool’s interface. It is beginner-friendly. Instead of investing a lot of time exploring the tool, I was able to utilize its core functionalities within a few minutes.” – Jeremy Ong, Hustlr

Bing Places

4.8 stars

What It Does: Service that allows businesses to add their listings to Bing
Price: Free
Pros: Free local listing
Cons: Bing search results are not as visible as Google

What Experts Say:

“Bing Places is a much simpler version of GMB, as you simply need to fill out the relevant form about your business, and your listing will be shown when using Mapquest or another Microsoft navigation service.” – Andrew Jacobson, 9thCo

Georanker 

4 stars

What It Does: Rank tracking tool
Price: Free to $490/month
Pros: Choose keywords and locations for true keyword tracking
Cons: Can be pricey

Local Falcon

5 stars

What It Does: Local search ranking tracking tool (shows and tracks Google Maps rankings)
Price: Pay as you go, 5 cents per map scan
Pros: Specifically designed for maps, real-time analysis
Cons: No longer a flat rate subscription

Whitespark

4.5 stars

What It Does: Managed citation and local SEO services
Price: Free to $80/month
Pros: Great for enterprise companies, offers international options
Cons: Expensive, small/medium-size businesses cannot use

Places Scout

What It Does: Rank tracker software
Price: Quote required
Pros: Dedicated local SEO platform
Cons: Only dedicated to local and lead gen, must get a quote for a price

ZipSprout

What It Does: Matches brands who need local SEO and marketing/nonprofits with sponsorship opportunities
Price: Quote required
Pros: Unique offering for local SEO
Cons: No package pricing, quote required

Advice Local

What It Does: Local listing management software
Price: Quote required
Pros: White-labeling and citation submissions
Cons: Costs more than other services of the same type

Local University Brand Page Score

What It Does: Scores brand pages (including competitors)
Price: Free
Pros: Free from a reputable source
Cons: None to list

EZLocal Map Radius Calculator

What It Does: Generates information of areas covered in a service area radius
Price: Free
Pros: Free tool for identifying business radius on map
Cons: None to list

LocalViking

What It Does: multi-location management for GMB
Price: Starts at $39/month
Pros: Affordable, caters to all business sizes, saves times
Cons: None that we can tell

What Is the Difference Between SEO & Local SEO?

Search engines are in business to give their users the best possible online experience. Google and other search engines spend massive amounts of energy and resources determining what people want when they search online. The rise of local results in organic search proves users find that information valuable, and Google has noticed.

In fact, from 2016 to 2018 alone “near me” mobile searches that contained some variation of “can I buy” or “to buy” grew more than 500%. And “78% of local mobile searches result in an in-store purchase.”

National SEO focuses more on ranking in searches from a wide area—the country or the world; local SEO prioritizes appearing in search results in a specific location. The goal of local SEO is to help your business get found online by people who are searching for nearby products or services. Location-based searches are a valuable avenue for potential customers, especially for companies with a brick-and-mortar store, or that provide a service to a certain area.

How Does Local SEO Work?

In many ways, local SEO is a component of standard SEO, but there are some differences that must be taken into account. The biggest is that local SEO has a geographical component. It can include searches with certain geo qualifiers like city, state, zip code, etc. and “near me” searches, where Google picks up the geo-location of the searcher and provides results from that area.

Local search results show up through Google Maps, and when Google determines that a search has local intent or purchase intent, even if the query doesn’t specifically state it, and even if the query wasn’t entered in Google Maps. The three core elements of local search ranking are:

  • Proximity – How close your business is to the searcher.
  • Relevance – How relevant your products/services are to the search query.
  • Prominence – What other consumers say about your business, products, and services.

One of the optimal results for local SEO is a position in the “local pack,” which is a block of business listings that appear below a map in Google results for a search with local intent. Local pack results include things like business hours, review ratings, and even photos.

The local pack is prime real estate, but businesses don’t get placement there from standard SEO. The local pack info comes from a business’ Google MyBusiness profile, which is a critical part of local SEO marketing. This is just one of the different strategies required for local search engine optimization.

Why Local SEO Is Important for SEO

The influence of local searches on all SEO is expanding, with 46% of all Google searches seeking local information. Moreover, 97% of search engine users report having searched online to find a local business. Therefore, if your business has any sort of localized presence, it is essential that you include a local SEO component in your overall SEO plan.

What Are the Benefits of Local SEO?

Local SEO is extremely beneficial for small businesses, but it can also provide advantages for any business, large or small, that serves a specific locale. That makes a local SEO strategy important for most businesses, including:

  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • Hair salons
  • Medical offices (like doctors and dentists)
  • Health spas
  • Florists
  • Any other business with a brick and mortar location

While all these businesses can reap the full benefits of local SEO, it is also important for service companies, such as:

  • Lawn and yard care
  • Cleaning services
  • Electricians
  • Repair services
  • Locksmiths
  • Mechanics
  • Tax preparers
  • And more

Here are some of the specific benefits to your business:

  • Local SEO helps potential customers discover your company. In addition to residents, you can capture business from non-locals who are searching for certain products or services.
  • Local SEO helps your business stand out in local searches, even if you don’t have a website (although we suggest you get one). You can drive more foot traffic through the online leads you get through local searches.
  • Local SEO gives potential customers valuable information when they want it. For example, if your business offers a free consultation or is pet-friendly, displaying that information can attract customers who are looking for that feature.
  • Local SEO provides an easy way for people to call your business. Many people who perform a local search end up calling the business directly from search results. Local SEO gives potential customers the power to take this action with a simple click, and gives your business a qualified lead you can convert.
  • Local SEO helps build trustworthiness in your brand. When there is more data about your business, people tend to trust it more, and this helps influence people’s decisions in favor of your company. Greater trust is a valuable component for a better online reputation as well.

Local SEO drives relevant, qualified traffic to your website. Local searches are often conducted with the intent to use a product or service. Therefore, local SEO directs qualified leads to your site, with a higher probability of converting.

What Factors Affect Local SEO?

Like standard SEO, local SEO is ever-changing. More and more businesses recognize they need to optimize for local searches, which has created a more competitive environment. As a result, it’s more difficult to get a local business to rank highly on search engines because local SEO has become more competitive. Then add in the fact that Google has reduced the number of businesses shown on their local pack from seven to three, and the field narrows even more. 

This makes it more important than ever to understand how Google evaluates a business for local search results. Take a look at the top local SEO ranking factors below. (See Moz 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors for more details.) 

Google My Business (GMB) Signals

As of the end of 2018, GMB signals (including proximity, categories, keyword in business title, and more) are the largest single factor for local pack placement. They are also among the top factors for localized organic search results. 

Google has been adding features to My Business at a fast rate, with recent additions including more control over photos, welcome offers, short names, off-site materials, and local favorites to reward businesses that provide excellent customer experiences. Businesses who take full advantage of GMB will be rewarded with better local SEO.

Link Signals

Links are key differentiators, or ranking factors, in local SEO. Google looks at the presence of links in deciding which businesses should rank higher in search engine results. Indeed, links are the top factor for localized organic search. Link signals (inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, linking domain quantity, etc.) are also the second most impactful factor for local pack placement. Topically and locally relevant links work best.

Review Signals

Over the last few years, review signals (review quantity, review velocity, review diversity, etc.) have been playing a larger role in SEO. This factor is especially helpful when reviews contain keywords.

On-Page Signals

On-page signals come from your website and include the presence of NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), keywords in titles, domain authority, etc. In particular, the correct NAP info across all online profiles/sites is critical for local search results.

Citation Signals

A citation is an online reference to your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). Google looks at listings in places like:

  • Local directories
  • Industry specific directories
  • InfoUSA
  • Citysearch.com
  • Local chambers of commerce
  • The BBB
  • Yelp
  • Internet Yellow Pages sites
  • 411.com
  • MerchantCircle.com
  • Foursquare.com
  • And others

Behavioral Signals

Behavioral data is also used to inform local rankings. These signals include things like:

  • Location of the searcher
  • Branded search volume
  • Click-through rate
  • Mobile clicks to call
  • Check-ins
  • In-store visits
  • And more

Personalization

Personalization signals are associated with the user:

  • Search/browsing history
  • Language
  • Social media usage
  • Device type

Social Signals

Local search rankings also factor in how people interact with a brand’s content on social media, their engagement, as reflected in comments, shares, likes, reviews, votes, links, and more. The idea is that the more engagement content has, the higher its quality, value, and relevance.

Other Ranking Factors

It’s important to note that Google uses hundreds of different ranking factors, and they are pretty tight-lipped about exactly what those are. SEO experts have knowledge from experience and information that has been shared, but local SEO can’t be boiled down to a specific checklist. We simply know that Google does take into account certain factors, like the main ones listed above.

Some other factors that make an impact include:

  • 3rd party reviews and testimonials
  • Attached Google map on your site
  • Schema
  • Photos
  • Clickable phone numbers
  • Local keywords

How Can You Improve Your Local SEO Results?

Improving your local SEO results is a focused strategy, but if successful can help you compete more effectively for customers. See how we helped SwimJim capitalize on local SEO, which resulted in rankings on page one of the search results as well as spots in Google’s local packs.

There are several things businesses can do to start improving their local SEO results. Start with these 10 tips and best practices:

1. Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business Account

Google My Business is a free tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google (including search and Maps). If you haven’t claimed or added your listing, this is the very first step you need to take for local SEO. To optimize your listing, make sure to completely fill out your listing with accurate information, logo, images, payment methods, etc. Then respond to reviews and create content with Google Posts.

2. Collect Customer Reviews

Encourage satisfied customers to leave Google reviews of your business. This not only improves your local SEO, it also encourages more customers to buy your products or services. The key to getting more reviews is to ask your customers for them. Ask in person after the close of a sale or through a post-purchase email or text. Above all, make the process as easy as possible for your customers.

3. Optimize Your Website for Mobile

 In 2018, over half of the total internet website traffic was through mobile devices, and that data shows that 75% of mobile searches with local intent result in store visits within 24 hours. The takeaway? Your site must be mobile-friendly to do well in local SEO.

4. Mine Local News Stories or Events for Content

To grab the attention of local customers, create content that has local relevance and appeal. You could write blog posts around local news stories, events, or activities, or feature local charities or causes.

5. Use Local Keywords

Compile a list of locally relevant keywords (use some of the tools mentioned earlier to help). Once you have your list, pepper those keywords in your site’s meta content, copy, and URLs. You can also include mentions of region-specific landmarks or popular destinations in your content

6. Improve NAP Consistency

Your business name, address, and phone number need to be consistent everywhere online. This includes the LLC, Co., or Inc. if it’s part of your official business name. Suite numbers and how street, avenue, and road are written need to be the same as the location information displayed on your website.

7. Build Backlinks from Partners/Sponsorships

Make a list of all the businesses and organizations you partner with or sponsor, including charitable or fundraising events your business has been a part of. Reach out to them and ask them to include a link back to your website.

8. Boost Your Social Media

Since social signals are one of the top local SEO ranking factors, it’s no surprise that being active on social media can improve your local SEO. 

9. Use Location Pages or a Location-Specific About Us Page

If your business has more than one location in an area, location pages are crucial for local SEO. Be aware that there needs to be unique content for each page though. If your business only has a single location, then focus on relevant local information on your About Us page. Local information could reference events or activities.

10. Create a Page for Each Product/Service

Rather than lumping all your products or services on the same page, dedicate a page to each unique product or service you offer. If your business doesn’t have different products/services but does have different locations, then create location-based copy for each page.

How to Build a Local SEO Strategy [& Beat Out Your Competitors]

Businesses who serve a specific geographical area should have a local SEO strategy to avoid missing out on qualified leads. Follow these steps to build a successful strategy to secure high ranking positions in a particular location.

Step 1: Review Ranking Factors

Take a look at the section What Factors Affect Local SEO and to see where you have opportunities to improve.

Step 2: Conduct an Audit

Go through your website, social media, your Google My Business account, and find anywhere your business is listed online to see exactly where you stand.

Step 3: Determine Where to Focus Your Efforts

After conducting an audit, look for gaps or where you can focus your efforts for the most impact. Start with the factors that make the most impact (Google My Business signals) and work your way through the list. Use the tips from the How Can You Improve Your Local SEO Results section to build your plan of action.

We’ve found that the following tools are frequently helpful for creating strategies that achieve good results:

  • Moz Local
  • Ahrefs
  • BrightLocal
  • Whitespark
  • SEMrush

Other Considerations

When creating a local SEO strategy, you will improve your chances for success by also factoring in these additional considerations.

Understand Your Business Model

Your local SEO strategy should be adapted to the type of business you have:

  • Do you have a single brick and mortar location where customers visit, or multiple locations?
  • Does your service business staff a single office employees leave from to go serve customers, or multiple offices?
  • Is your business home-based?
  • Is your business the type with a multi-office campus or with multi-practitioners, like legal firms or medical offices?

Match Your Strategy to Your Model

Each business model has slightly different ways to follow Google’s guidelines:

  • Single, Brick and Mortar Location (customers visit you) – Build out one GMB listing with a visible street address (no PO Boxes or virtual offices).
  • Multiple Brick and Mortar Locations (customers visit you) – Create one GMB listing per location and have a visible street address on each (no PO Boxes or virtual offices). Make sure each location has a unique phone number. It is common for businesses to have a single phone number that routes to different offices, depending on which option the caller chooses, but GMB might see them as a single office because there’s only one phone number. If you want to route calls to your different locations through a single IVR, it will improve your local SEO to have callers access the IVR with a separate phone number for each location.
  • Single Office Service Provider (staff leaves office to serve customers) – Use one GMB listing. If customers can be served at your location or at theirs, then check the appropriate box in the address section of GMB (no PO Boxes or virtual offices). If you always go to them, then hide your address.
  • Multiple Location Service Provider (staff leaves office to serve customers) – Make sure to have one GMB listing per location, and each location must have its own phone number. If customers can be served at your location or at theirs, then check the appropriate box in the address section of GMB (no PO Boxes or virtual offices). If you always go to them, then hide your address.
  • Multi-Practitioner or Multi-Office Campus – Create one GMB listing per forward-facing office or practitioner. Format practitioners under their own names, not with the company name (for example: David Smith, not David Smith, Farmers Insurance). Each should have its own unique phone number.
  • Home-Based Business – You will have one GMB listing. Hide the address if you don’t want it public (no PO Boxes or virtual offices).

Technical Criteria

When it comes to the technical aspect, the same approaches for traditional SEO apply to local SEO. Your website needs to be:

  • Indexable
  • Multi-device-compliant
  • Well-structured
  • Error-free
  • Properly optimized

Other criteria include:

  • Your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) is consistent every place it is mentioned on your website. (Beware mixing up NAP elements between multiple locations or practitioners).
  • A Contact Us page with complete NAP info for each location.
  • Use Schema markup for your location data.
  • A highly visible phone number on your website, and clickable on mobile devices.
  •  Link to all location pages from a high-level navigation menu.
  • If you have 10 or fewer locations, the complete NAP of each should be in the sitewide footer element.
  • With addresses that are kept private or hidden, even though you don’t publish them on your site, make sure there is a phone number staffed during your business hours.

Citation/Directories Criteria

What is a local citation?

A local citation is an online reference to your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) on a local site or directory. This can include local business directories, websites or apps, or on social media.

What is a Google MAP citation?

Like local citations, Google Maps citations are instances where Google uses your NAP info published online to determine the accuracy and relevance of your business location.

What is citation link building?

Citation link building is the process of increasing mentions of your business online through local directories and other websites.

Duplicates

Look for anywhere online that you have duplicate information or profiles, and combine them. For example, if you have more than one GMB listing or duplicate citations on the same directory.

Reviews

An online business review is left by a customer on any website or platform (Google, Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor, etc.). Not only are reviews extremely valuable for your business, they are crucial to perform well for local searches. If your business doesn’t have a review management strategy, move this up high on your priority list.

First, you need to ask your customers for reviews—especially from satisfied or happy customers (see One Powerful & Easy Trick to Get More Google Reviews). Then you need to respond to reviews, both positive and negative ones. Negative reviews give your business a unique opportunity to shine and show your excellent customer service, because others are watching.

Social Media

Social media is a great place to reach out to customers, increase brand visibility, and improve your local SEO. However, it’s important to identify the best social media network for your business so you don’t waste time and effort where your clientele aren’t looking. This article can help you narrow it down: What Is the Best Social Media Network for Your Business?

It can be helpful to designate someone, or a team on your staff, who is responsible for maintaining your social media presence. This includes posting new content, monitoring activity, and actively participating with those who are engaged. Remember that social media is primarily about making a connection with your audience, not selling to them.

Who Can Benefit the Most from Local SEO?

Any business that serves a local target market can benefit from local SEO, but certain ones are perfectly positioned to enjoy a greater impact from the right local SEO strategy. However, with some creative strategy, even bigger companies can find ways to capitalize on local SEO. 

Small, Local Businesses

Businesses who rely on a small, target audience may find local SEO less expensive, and easier to manage, often yielding better results than nationwide SEO. These include:

Medical Services

Businesses who offer medical services, such as doctors’ offices, urgent care clinics, and dental practices are tailor-made for local SEO. These providers typically provide high-quality content (which Google loves) and other valuable information for the online community, like FAQs or health tips.

Law Offices

In general, when people are looking for legal counsel they want someone nearby. Local SEO is therefore especially important for law offices. They have a specialized set of skills that are very important to potential customers, and typically remain in the same geographical location. To keep their services in demand, law offices have wide-open opportunities to provide quality content on their websites.

Restaurants and Bars

The primary goal of any eating establishment is to become a staple in the community. To do that, they need repeat local customers. Bars and restaurants serve a specific geographical area and operate on a local level. When people search online for restaurants, it is frequently followed by “near me.” Reviews are especially crucial for a restaurant’s local SEO strategy.

Plumbers and Electricians

Local SEO offers many advantages for those who work in trades like plumbing and electrical work. Typically the people searching for these services need them as soon as possible. In addition, plumbers and electricians don’t generally travel far out of their area. Therefore, they are in a great position to benefit from local SEO. And competition may not be as fierce because many tradespeople don’t worry about digital marketing.

Repair Shops

Like plumbers or electricians, repair shops are usually contacted when there’s an emergency or something has gone wrong. From repairing appliances to cars to computers, repair shops can gain an advantage over competitors in ranking higher in local SEO. There is a wealth of information they can share to help consumers, like tutorials or product guides. Couple quality content with a robust customer review campaign and they are in a good position for local search.

Pet Services

Another highly specialized industry that would greatly benefit from local SEO is pet services—grooming, pet sitting, veterinarians, training, supplies, etc. Pet owners want the best for their pets, so high-quality content and reviews will go a long way to improving local SEO for pet services.

Beauty Parlors, Hair Salons, or Makeup Artists

Beauty services are in high demand during special occasions, like weddings, high school dances, or the holidays, when people are going to work/family parties and want to look their best. In general, people want providers who are close and convenient as well. These businesses can get a lot out of more online visibility through local SEO. 

Local SEO in Action

We’ve seen firsthand the difference a targeted local SEO strategy can make, both for large companies with several locations across the country and smaller businesses with just a few locations. 

Honest 1 Auto Care came to Big Leap for help in improving their online visibility. With more than 300 locations, each with its own dedicated website, local SEO techniques were applied for a pilot program in 10 locations. Those 10 locations experienced an incredible 230% increase in organic traffic year over year. See more about how local SEO helped Honest 1.

A local SEO strategy was the perfect fit for Cascade Collision Repair, who hired Big Leap as they opened a new location. We helped them achieve local search engine visibility and lead flow for their new location, while strengthening their presence at established locations. As a result, they saw visible differences in search result performance and more business. Read more of Cascade’s story.

If you want to start taking advantage of the opportunities provided by local SEO, but aren’t sure how to juggle it all yourself, Big Leap can help. Contact our SEO experts today and see how we can make your business the next local SEO success story.

Jaime Theler