Local Search Engine Optimization for Businesses

In the past, only websites that had the resources to gather a lot of links were seen on Page 1. Local search can be viewed as an opportunity that search engines give to small businesses to shine. In 2014, with the right optimizations in the right places, small businesses can reach their customers pretty easily without having to invest the big bucks into SEO.


See, 80% of people want their search requests to be made according to their specific location, according to some research conducted by some of Google’s friends.

Consumers don’t really care about how popular a website is worldwide anymore. They want to know where they can eat, or which service professional can help them in the next few minutes. And to satisfy these consumers (who are also the people who make the search engines money), the SEs had to make their results more relevant…more local.

So if you have a business and want the local people to find you more easily, this article will show you just that!

It all Starts With your Website

Most SEO experts would agree that SEO work should begin within the website first. This applies to local SEO as well.

The biggest tip we can give you for local SEO? Build and optimize a landing page for each and every location you service. This applies whether you own 1 local shop or a chain of them.

Every page should have proper title and meta tags. Then of course the business name, address and phone number. Keep those consistent wherever you are posting them (don’t use 23 Reagent Street, Cashmere on your website and 23 Reagent St., CSH on a local business listing site – use the same address and phone number format everywhere). A Google Maps of your location is a good idea, too.

One of the biggest challenges is writing unique content for each page providing the same service. The solution: Since you are writing a page for each area, why not write something about the area? Write about the landmarks, memorable events, parks, etc. as part of the content.

Last but not least, optimize the URL. Like this: https://www.myservice.com/410033-Cashmere

Last tip for this section: Use pictures that people will resonate with. A picture of your store with some known buildings on its side will help reduce the bounce rate. And if you can make a video showing the surroundings, even better!

Make Ads ‘Localized’

If you are using paid ads to drive traffic to your website, make sure to optimize them as well for the area (zip code, city or even street name). Make it easy for them to reach you.


60% of the people prefer using the ‘Call’ or ‘Get directions’ buttons directly from the ad rather than clicking through to the website itself, according to this data.

Build Citations

Citations are not necessarily links. Sure, these can help too, but the mention is what you should really go after if local SEO is your priority.

Get your business data listed on as many quality directories as you can.

There are tens of thousands of directories, but here are a few for you to get started:

Google My Business

Yahoo! Local Business

Bing Places



Remember, be consistent across all pages.

With so many directories, it might be useful to use a service that’s specialized in doing just that, like Directory Maximizer. Basically, they will take your data and submit them to thousands of directories for you.

Tip: Have your staff mention your business name, address and phone number in the ‘Work’ section of their social profile.

Correct Mistakes about your Business

There may be citations of your business online, but with the wrong information in them. Take the time to go out there and sort it out. Conflicting information about your business can be confusing to search engines. Sometimes they might pick the wrong info to display (and this can result into angry customers!).

How to find these? There are many tools available, but I just use Google, trying to find variations of the address and phone numbers.


According to Moz Local, good reviews can improve a website’s rankings on the SERPs.

Do encourage your customers to leave a review about your product or service (and train your staff to do so the right way) on sites like Yelp, Foursquare or TripAdvisor.

Plus, having your business on review sites count as citations as well.

Related Posts:

A Handy Guide to Local SEO

Avoid these 4 Mistakes in Your Local SEO Campaign

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