A map with locations pinned

Local SEO Importance for Your Small Business: Tips for Improvement and Growth

Diana Aghumyan

Table of Contents

How many times have you found a nice restaurant or boutique by searching “a restaurant near me” or “an X boutique near me” search? Chances are high that most location-based businesses are found through the “X near me” search. Local SEO is the groundwork that helps you find the best results for your search.

If you own a business with a physical location, you can use the magic of local SEO to position in front of local searchers. Considering the facts and figures, you will not miss local SEO importance and benefits. Particularly if you own a small business, there is a huge importance of local SEO for small businesses. According to the statistics, in 2022, “near me” mobile searches recorded a 136% Increase. In Google searches, we differentiate between local and global searches. Based on your business intent, your optimization techniques will differ. 

Local SEO focuses on optimizing a website to gain or boost traffic and leads from local searches. Local SEO is sometimes called Map SEO since businesses create a geotag on Google maps, geotag their images and use maps as primary means of getting ranked and found. Local SEO covers maps and prioritizes improved contact information, including correct name, address, phone number, e-mail, etc. These processes optimize a Google My Business (GMB) profile and strengthen the existing local business profile for the local people. 

The results of the local search are scanned the same way as other search types – the best search result for the query. However, the ranking factors for local searches differ. The ranking prompts for local search include:

  • The searcher’s location
  • Name, Address, Phone number (NAP) presence
  • Google My Business (GMB) presence
  • Keywords for the intent on the GMB profile
  • The high number of “check-ins”
  • Rating and reviews 
  • Keywords in reviews
  • The star rating on Google Maps

In the SEO lexicon, Relevance, Distance, and Prominence act as the local search ranking factors. 

Relevance – the correspondence of search intent with the local business.

Distance – the geolocation of the business and the searcher.

Prominence – the offline popularity of the local business.

Though local SEO importance is perceived for different sizes of businesses, it works especially beneficial for small businesses. Consider the amount of importance of local SEO for small businesses. The reasons are fully justified. Forbes states that 30-40% of customers use maps to find any local business giving small companies a doorway to the local market by tackling local optimization. Local SEO importance is broad for a small business. It can give the business a competitive edge, raise awareness in a local area, and be a go-to for a small business for its cost-effectiveness.

The fact that local search drives 76% of consumers to the store that day is enough to learn more about the local SEO importance.

The Importance of Local SEO for Small Businesses

Starting small holds promises though it is challenging to gain visibility and reputation over so many established and big-scale businesses. Hence, small businesses need to pay attention to the perks of optimizing locally. The importance of local SEO for small businesses is incredible. A new study reported a considerable increase in local and organic traffic, which leaves no doubt that “near me” and “buy now” are the keywords to vie for. Here are the whys and hows.

Increases online visibility

A new sprouting bud, though pretty, is difficult to notice for it is so tiny. So is a small business. It needs extra effort to become visible, and when accomplished, it will get all the attention for its value. Promoting makes it easier to educate audiences on your content and business niche. First, a small business requires awareness and visibility. The market should know who and where you are to reach out to and use the unique products or services you provide. Well, nothing better than local SEO can bring your small business this (local) public awareness. 

Investing in local SEO practices, like citations and link earning, link building, will improve your online visibility to new consumers. New consumers need your effort to find you. Exploiting top-notch content, understanding the benefits of link building, proper local listings, local reviews, and schemes will win your small business maximum visibility.

A person searching for a product online

Website and in-person traffic

Chances are big that people will visit your physical store if they find you through the local search. Subsequently, local SEO promotions get your store actual visits. Through local SEO, leads come not only in the form of website visits but in-person traffic to your store. The promises are significant since online visits in a specific area are easily converted into in-store visits and will eventually increase omni channel selling. 

With online sales growing, offline shopping has become the last alternative for lazy societies. It does not mean they are lazy about all offline shopping. A store nearby may excite a lazy potato to leave his couch and walk into the store. Or a home-sit mom who does not manage to shop offline will find it fun to stroll to a close-by store for purchase. 

A small business gets discovered through local optimization and gains higher sales and revenue thanks to the in-store traffic. Quickly and effectively, a small business benefits from local optimization acquiring new visits, and establishing a good brand name. 

A local store

Your business is easy to find locally

No matter how effective other types of search optimization are, local SEO proves most timely and effective for its results. Optimizing locally will make you a leader in your niche on local searches. And filling in the checkpoint of map tags, you will make your brand accessible and easy to find in the area you serve. The local SEO importance includes not having to bother with sending other promotional reminders, flyers, investing in ads, or paying for influencer marketing. Local SEO does the whole work of ensuring your business is found.  

An “open” sign on the shop door

You open your access for people searching for you exactly․ Local word-of-mouth spreads more quickly. Thus, even if one customer is satisfied, s/he will share the great experience with their friends, relatives, and colleagues who probably reside in the same area and will be enchanted to discover a rare local store. Thus, you attract, delight, and engage with local SEO.

Promotes local sales

After the pandemic, there has been a rise in local business promotions. Buyers are more inclined to find and purchase locally and foster a local business, production, and manufacturing. Additionally, the difficulty of traveling to the other side of the country for goods drove consumers to conduct more “near me” searches. In these favorable times, local SEO practices will bring your business success in the area. Consumers are on a quest to find a local store to trust. Here you go; SEO makes your business visible, gains your trust and credibility, and opens the path for shoppers to your business. With local SEO, you can turn your company into a leader and first go-to option in the area of delivery.

A person using Google Maps to find a business

Increases local trust

Local SEO succeeds with a core element, reviews. They provide a trust coin for your potential customers. Without reviews, local SEO practices will be incomplete and result in bad ranking. Hence, if you are lucky enough to get good reviews on Google, local SEO will enhance trust locally.

Trust is built both through word of mouth and social proof. We, as consumers, now trust online reviews as much as our friends’ recommendations. The rankings on the search engines by local search raise the brand’s image and reputation and affect trust and credibility in a particular geographical area. Customers develop confidence in your business since no local SEO is possible without embedding contact information and geographic location. Ta-da, they see you, like you, trust and visit you.

A handshake showing trust

5 Tips to Improve Local SEO

Having learnt about the local SEO importance, it’s time to gather some valuable tips to upscale your business locally.

1. Create a Google My Business Account

What is more important Google requires to rank your business than the presence of a GMB, Google My Business? A GMB profile is your business domain on Google. It is a free tool that helps you decide how your business looks on Google and Maps. This profile lets you keep in touch with customers, feature your offers, and accept and deliver orders and services. Google has opened access for you to create free business listings and attract more local customers. 

GMB listing requires the following elements:

  • Accurate business name
  • Physical business location 
  • Correct location on a map
  • Business type
  • Web address and phone number

2. Consider Citation and NAP (name, address, phone number)

As part of your GMB profile, NAP (name, address, phone number) and citation signals are binding when optimizing locally. The next step is to ensure your business information is consistent on all the big search engines. GMB is not the only place for successful local optimization. It is vital to consider sites like Bing Map, Yandex, Facebook, etc., and the accuracy of the information you provide on all platforms. You must avoid duplicate listings and focus on the consistency of information to boost your local SEO. 

3. Optimize Your Website for Mobile

Mobile searches are taking over; when searching for something locally, most people reach out for phones. They search from outside the house, on their way to work, in a place where mobile is more convenient and accessible. It signals the importance of mobile optimization. 82% of the people who participated in a study reported they use their mobiles for a “near me” search. No less important than anything, in local search, mobile optimization is a priority.

Since your website visitors will come from mobile searches, you must ensure mobile navigation is easy and convenient for your users. They must have access to the information they are looking for, the map, the address, the phone number, the purchase buttons, CTAs, the search bar, the order button, etc. Otherwise, your website bounce rate will increase, and your actual visitor number will decrease. Make it easy to get to you through mobile.

4. Use Google Reviews

As stated above, word-of-mouth or modern-day testimonials and reviews are a significant part of local SEO. Therefore, it is critical to consider your business reviews and have consumers leave them after using your services and purchasing your products. Apply these reviews through your GMB profile. Focus not only on Google but on other platforms when collecting reviews. That is, generating many positive reviews on possibly many directory platforms. You can collect these reviews via email, send out surveys on the spot if you are a service provider, or ask your customers to complete a review on your social media platforms.

However, reviews are not always positive. In case you get negative ones, do not underestimate their power. Deal with negative reviews with a positive attitude. Respond tactically and augment your credibility by justifying your business.

5. Create Localized Website Content

In local SEO, your target audience is the consumers in your business’s area. So, yor website content should cover the issues and topics locals encounter. With your website content, you need to address locals. Content that is mindfully spiced up with keywords and addresses locals will win you a new audience base in the area. Your localized website content must reflect your business, what you offer, and how you can help them solve their “local” problems. Your content should be city-specific, contain regional language, and be about the people living in the area.

Takeaways on the Local SEO Importance

Optimization is necessary in winning your business recognition and boosting sales. Local SEO is the best practice to guarantee awareness if your business has a physical location and operates in a particular area. Online searches are the first go-to for consumers looking for a product or service. The overwhelming numbers of “near me” and “buy now” searches prove the local SEO importance. 

Digital presence is the backbone of a 21st-century business, and you need to work towards strengthening that backbone. Executing the power of local SEO means mingling word-of-mouth with local ads and adding some digital powder to the mix. To win potential local customers, this article provided you with tips and techniques. Put those at work for better business operations locally and beyond. 


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