How Small Businesses Can Gain Visibility Through Local SEO


We might be in the era of instant gratification and Amazon’s 2-day shipping, but the benefits of local businesses remain unparalleled for certain products and services. These are best experienced in person, where you can benefit from top-quality customer service before making a purchase. This blog delves into the importance of local SEO for small businesses and how to gain visibility in the competitive local market.

What is local SEO? Why is it important?

Local Search Engine Optimization, or Local SEO, combines the fundamental concepts of SEO —increasing a website’s visibility in organic search results—with strategies tailored to localized searches. This digital marketing discipline is essential for organizations that target specific geographic areas or have physical stores. In today’s digital-first world, when customers primarily utilize the internet to find local services and products, earning a presence in local search results is critical to a company’s exposure and success.

Understanding and optimizing for local search is critical for businesses looking to strengthen their presence in their local market, increasing foot traffic, inquiries, and, eventually, conversions. It is about fine-tuning SEO strategies to a local context, ensuring that your company appears in the locations your potential clients are looking for, and speaking to them. 

Does my company need local SEO?

A strong online presence is essential for all businesses, regardless of size. However, for companies that provide products or services in a specific service area or have a brick-and-mortar location, the importance of local SEO cannot be understated. It’s not enough to simply be visible online; you need to be discovered by the potential consumers in your area, converting your business from just another alternative to the go-to choice nearby. 

Who benefits most from local SEO?

  • Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars: Places where people seek local flavors and experiences.
  • Retail Stores: Where shoppers look for products nearby or want to see items in person.
  • Service Businesses: These include plumbers, electricians, and landscapers who serve specific local areas.
  • Medical Practices: Including dentists, physicians, and therapists, where patients prefer convenience.
  • Law Firms: People often seek legal advice from local experts familiar with regional laws.
  • Real Estate Agencies: Local knowledge is key in real estate, making local visibility crucial.
  • Local Gyms and Fitness Centers: Members look for convenient locations near them.
  • Beauty Salons and Spas: Clients tend to choose locations that are easily accessible to them.
  • Auto Repair Shops: Car owners prefer nearby options for maintenance and repair needs.

Whether you operate a quiet cafe or a vintage clothing store or offer professional services, local SEO bridges your business with local consumers actively searching for what you offer. Neglecting local SEO means risking invisibility in a sea of competitors who are just a search away from taking your potential customers. So, can your business afford to be unseen?

Local 3 pack vs. organic search results

Perhaps the most visible of all local featured SERPs is the Local 3 Pack. The Local 3 Pack features the top three business listings next to a map at the top of the Google search results for local queries. Achieving a spot in the Local 3 Pack is highly sought after by businesses due to the incredible visibility and increased click-through rates, as well as the opportunity to prominently showcase your business info.  

Organic search results, positioned below the Local 3 Pack, still hold significant value for businesses aiming to increase their online presence. However, appearing in these results often requires users to scroll past the Local 3 Pack, reducing the immediate visibility and impact. In fact, 44% of local searchers clicked a Local 3-pack listing versus 29% for organic results.

The distinction between the Local 3 Pack and organic search results underscores the importance of a comprehensive local SEO strategy that targets both arenas to maximize a business’s visibility and attract the most relevant traffic.

Ranking factors for local SEO

If you want to excel at local SEO, you need to understand key ranking factors that are essential for small businesses to rank locally.

  • Proximity: How close your business is to the searcher.
    • The closer a search is to your business location, the easier it is to rank.
  • Relevance: How well your business matches the search query.
    • You need to align your business and web content with what people are searching for.
  • Authority: How authoritative and trustworthy your business appears online.
    • Google prefers sending searchers to websites with reliable sites and an established history of good work.

Best practices for small businesses to gain visibility through local SEO

These local SEO best practices can help you increase your presence in local search results, making it easier for potential customers to find and engage with your business:

Optimize your Google Business profile

A Google Business Profile is a free tool for adding your business to Google Maps. Be sure your profile is complete, accurate, and engaging. Keep it fresh with new photos, offers, and events to draw more attention and show Google you have an active profile.

If you need help figuring out where to start, read our guide to setting up your Google Business Profile

Solve website technical issues

A fast, mobile-friendly website is fundamental. To enhance user experience and technical SEO, focus on straightforward navigation, quick loading times, and secure browsing.

Here are some quick tips for cleaning up your website’s technical SEO.

Produce localized content 

Create content that connects with your local audience by including references to local landmarks, news, and events, showcasing your community involvement. It would be best if you showed people that you’re actually familiar with the area. Including keywords like city names, neighborhood names, or other location identifiers increases your chances of appearing when potential customers search for products or services “near me.” 

Utilize local backlinking strategies

Link building is hard. So make sure you gain easy but valuable backlinks from reputable local websites, like business directories, to help establish your business as a credible information source.

Manage and respond to reviews

Actively manage your online reviews by responding professionally to all feedback, which can significantly improve your business’ reputation. Why? A proactive approach to responses demonstrates excellent customer service and encourages more customers to leave positive reviews, further improving your online presence.

Leverage social media

Social Media is the great equalizer, and engaging with your local community and customers through social platforms offers the perfect chance to promote your content, highlight customer reviews, and build relationships. This strategy not only increases your visibility but also fosters a sense of community and loyalty among your customer base, driving more local engagement and business.

Elevate your business with local SEO

Local SEO practices offer small businesses a golden opportunity to enhance their visibility in local search results, thereby attracting more customers and standing out from the competition. Best yet, most, if not all, of these can be done with free tools and software. 

But, it’s important to view local SEO not merely as a marketing tactic but as a long-term investment. We like to say that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. For those looking to delve deeper into maximizing their local search impact, consider exploring further insights and strategies in our blog: Skyrocket Your Local Search. This journey into local SEO can transform the way your business connects with your local community, ensuring your services and products are found by those who need them the most.

But if you’re ready to boost your local SEO and transform your online presence, contact Redefine today for expertise and tailored SEO strategies that will elevate your small business visibility. 

Author avatar
Michael Gomez
Michael was an in-house and freelance content writer before joining the team at Redefine Marketing Group. He is now the Content Manager at RMG, where he focuses primarily on content creation but helps with SEO and Social Media. Michael graduated from CSU Channel Islands with a degree in English.
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