Digital Marketing   |   Clock Icon 4 min read

Why Your Small Business Should Care About Local SEO

by Emily Taylor   |   Feb 20, 2024

Does your small business have a local emphasis or brick and mortar location? Are you leveraging local SEO to market your business? Local SEO allows small business owners to target customers in their area using cost-effective resources. No matter the size of your business you should be optimizing your marketing strategy for local efforts.

What is local SEO (search engine optimization)?

Local SEO is driven by three components - Google Business Profile listings, on-page SEO, and online directories and citations. Focusing on each of these factors will improve your website's presence in local search results.

Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile (GBP for short) is a free tool that you can use to influence how your business appears on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping. Optimizing your Google Business Profile listing can increase your business's visibility on Google, gain credibility with reviews, and share business information with customers.

“Where to buy” and “near me” mobile searches have grown by over 200% in the past two years. These searches are what we would classify as “discovery searches.” The user isn’t looking for a particular brand, they’re looking for a general category.

So, what does this mean for your SMB? If a user is physically near your business and searches for a general term like “healthcare services near me,” your business is more likely to be shown as a result if its Google Business Profile is well-optimized.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO plays a critical role in local SEO strategy. Understanding the local search landscape and the terms your potential customers are searching for is the key to optimizing your website content.

Start by conducting keyword research to identify local keywords and longer phrases that can drive local traffic to your website. Incorporate these keywords naturally throughout your website content without keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing refers to the excessive use of a target keyword in on-page content. Search engines consider keyword stuffing to be a form of spam. It also looks strange to users and can deter potential customers.

These are "near me" search terms Workshop Digital appears for on Google. Use a tool like Google Search Console to dive deeper into keyword research.

By aligning your on-page content with users’ search patterns you create strong E-E-A-T symbols (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). This enhances your online presence and increases your likelihood of attracting local customers.

Online directories and citations

In local SEO, a citation is a mention of key business information (i.e., NAP) anywhere on the web. Local citations might appear in directories, on social networking/review sites, in applications, or on other websites. Ensuring the accuracy of your NAP across the web is crucial to local SEO success.

You can use a tool like Moz Local Listing Score to see how accurate your NAP information is across online citations. Ensure listing accuracy by starting directly at the source: your website! Be certain that your business’s name, address, and phone number are accurate in the footer of your website and on your contact page.

You can even add Local Business schema to the contact page of your website. Local business schema is a type of code that can be added to your website to make it easier for search engines to identify your business and its information.

Why you should care about local SEO

Now that you know what local SEO is, you’re probably wondering, “Should I really care?” The answer is yes, you should care. Not only is implementing a local SEO strategy cost-friendly, but it also provides long-term benefits. The investments you make in local SEO today will pay off months down the line, as search engines take time to crawl your site and learn your content.

Local SEO directly impacts your business’s visibility within your community. With more consumers turning to online searches to find local businesses, a well-optimized local presence ensures that your business appears prominently when potential customers are looking for products or services in your area.

Caring about local SEO isn’t just about staying competitive in a digital world; it’s a strategic investment in the long-term success, sustainability, and profitability of your business.

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Portrait of Emily Taylor

Emily Taylor

As an SEO Analyst for the Small Business Solutions team, Emily helps clients reach their marketing goals utilizing organic SEO practices. She is passionate about connecting small businesses with searchers who are looking for quality results to their queries. In her free time, Emily enjoys playing with her two cats Mo and Cranberry, gardening, and cooking.