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Top 23 Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses: A Comprehensive Guide

May 24, 2024

The top local SEO tips for small businesses include: 

  1. Use local keywords.
  2. Create local content and copy.
  3. Use tags and headings.
  4. Optimized images and content marketing.
  5. Add internal links and backlinks.
  6. Improve site & page load speed.
  7. Add citations and directories.
  8. Use social media platforms.
  9. Update Google My Business page. 
  10. Employ local lead generation strategies.

These tips help small businesses have a strong online presence to attract local customers. This is a powerful strategy, especially since 46% of all Google searches look for local information, according to GoGulf. Hubspot Marketing Statistics also reported that 72% of those who did a local search visited a store within five miles radius. Statista also revealed that 21% of U.S. consumers used the internet to find a local business daily.  

The State of Local Marketing Research by Brandmuscle also showed that 46% of businesses used SEO and 79% of marketers find it effective. Despite 31% of companies wanting to optimize for local search, only 30% have an actual plan, and 58% still don’t optimize for it. In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial. This is to attract more local customers. Whether you’re a local cafe, a boutique store, or a home service provider, optimizing your online presence can affect your endeavor. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top 23 local SEO tips tailored for small businesses. These actionable strategies will help you grow your business and stay ahead of the competition. We will also check out how local lead generation helps local business crash their local SEO. 

Top 23 Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

On-Page SEO

1. Keywords

Effectively using keywords is crucial for local SEO. When customers are scouring the internet trying to find a product, service, or information, they type words into the search bar. In the land of SEO, these words and phrases are called keywords. Your keywords are the nuts and bolts of your content, so you need to get it right. According to SEO Tribunal, 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.

Take the time to do your homework and understand your target audience and what it is they're looking for. You need a powerful keyword game plan to dominate local searches. Here are some tips you can do: 

  • Keyword research: Use tools like Keywords Everywhere, Google Trends, or Google Console. Use the most applicable keywords in your content to make it easier for search engines to identify your site. Doing so will get you showing up in search queries and optimize your site. However, you need to be careful about keyword stuffing, so your content needs to sound natural. You can use a keyword density tracker to keep you on track. 
  • URLs: Another strategy is including keywords in your URL. This sends a clear signal to users and the bots that your site is what they're looking for.
  • Long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are specific phrases with 3 or more words. When you optimize your site using these keywords, you can attract conversions from people armed and ready with buyer intent. However, these keywords often get less traffic.
  • User Intent: Local keywords match the intent of users looking for local services. People searching for "best pizza in New York" have a clear intent to find a pizza place in New York. Using such keywords aligns your website with their needs.
  • Voice search optimization: With the rise of voice search, people often use natural, conversational phrases that include local keywords. For example, "find a coffee shop near me." Optimizing for these keywords can capture voice search traffic. Chat Meter said that “near me” or "close by" searches grew by over 900% over two years.

2. Content and Copywriting

cartoon of a man sitting in front of a computer screen under maintenance

They say content is king, and by 'they' we mean Google. They've been saying this for years. It's no secret that Google changes the rules of the game whenever they feel like it, but content has been a constant. What you need is lots of high-quality content.

According to  Sarah Turner in her Write Your Way to Freedom course, content can be the make-it-or-break-it for ranking organically. It's a chance to include those keywords and show Google and your target audience that you're the top dog.

Use language that focuses on user intent. Since 2018, the acronym EAT has been in use and continues to be relevant. It stands for Expertise, Authoritative, and Trustworthiness and it all boils down to the copy on your website. Your content tells users and Google what you're all about. Ensure that you organize it, make it easy to read, keep it relevant, and make it logical. 

To best optimize your content, consider fundamental components. This includes gearing it toward the target audience, using mixed sentence lengths, and many more. 

3. Tags

Your website tells users and Google what you're all about and is a clear and concise summary of the content on each page of your site. Meta tags or title tags are HTML tags that convey information to search engines and serve as a brief introduction to potential clients. They are snippets of text that describe a page's content. Your meta tags are a way to catch a reader's attention.

Here’s how to use local keywords effectively in meta titles: 

  • Include location: Integrate the name of your city or neighborhood into the title.

  • Keep it relevant: Ensure the title accurately reflects the content of the page. 

  • Limit length: Keep the title under 60 characters to ensure it displays fully in search results.

  • Add value: Make the title interesting by including words like “Best” or “Affordable,” which can attract clicks.

The meta description is a summary that appears below the meta title in search results. While it doesn’t directly impact rankings, it influences click-through rates. Use authentic and on-point language and a quick synopsis confirming you have what they're looking for.

Here’s how to use local keywords effectively in meta descriptions:

  • Be descriptive and persuasive: Summarize the content of the page. This entices users to click by highlighting unique selling points.

  • Include local keywords: Mention your city or neighborhood naturally within the description.

  • Maintain length: Keep descriptions between 150-160 characters. This is to ensure they display properly in search results.

  • Call to action: Encourage users to take action with phrases like “Order now,” “Visit us today,” or “Learn more.”

Let’s consider a local bakery in San Francisco. Here’s how you might optimize your meta tags:

Meta Title: “Fresh Baked Goods in San Francisco - Mary’s Bakery”

Meta Description: “Mary’s Bakery in San Francisco offers a wide selection of fresh baked goods made daily. Visit us today for delicious pastries, bread, and cakes.”

4. Headings

cartoon of a man working on aspects of his website

Headings or header tags are layperson's terms for h-tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.). These tags tell the reader what each page or portion of your page is about. They help structure your content, making it easier for both search engines and users to understand. Headings make your content more readable and scannable, which keeps users engaged and reduces bounce rates.

Search engines use headings to understand the hierarchy and key topics of your content. Proper use of headings can help your content rank higher for relevant local searches. For small businesses looking to improve their local SEO, here’s how to use headings effectively:

  • Include local keywords: This signals to search engines that your content applies to local searches.

  • H1 tag: Each page should have one H1 tag that includes the main keyword and the location.

  • Use subheadings (H2, H3, etc.): This is to break down your content, making it easier to read. Also, include relevant local keywords where appropriate.

  • Structure your content logically: This helps search engines understand the flow of your content. It also improves readability.

For example, if you own a local bakery in New York, here’s how you might structure your headings:

H1: Delicious Baked Goods in New York City - Mary’s Bakery

     H2: Our New York City Bakery Specialties

           H3: Freshly Baked Bread

           H3: Handmade Pastries

     H2: Why Choose Mary’s Bakery in NYC

           H3: Using Local Ingredients

           H3: Baking with Love and Care

     H2: Customer Testimonials from New York City

           H3: What Our Customers Are Saying

     H2: Visit Us in New York City

           H3: Our Location and Hours 

5. Images

Image tags are another key factor in on-page optimization. Link aggregators and search engines crawl images. But they're also relevant for visually impaired people. By hovering over an image with a cursor, if that image is tagged-they'll be able to read what the image represents. Images break up the text on your site, help tell your story, and captivate your audience. But there's a method to the madness with optimizing images too. According to Reviews Trackers, photos influence customers to choose a local business. 

Here are a few tips you can use: 

  • Use .png or .jpeg format. 

  • Use compressed tools to avoid monster image sizes which result in slow download speeds.

  • Make sure your images are mobile-friendly. 

  • Use original photos instead of using stock photos. 

  • Use customized images and file names. 

  • Use SEO-friendly ALT text. 

Voice searches are becoming the new normal and having optimized images will help launch your site to the top of the search engines.  

6. Internal Linking

cartoon of a computer with links to other devices

Google assigns a ranking to every site on the internet. The more authority and trust Google has in your site, the better you rank in the SERPs. There is another way to boost rankings referred to as internal linking. Internal linking connects pages on your site. Not only does it improve user experience, but it reduces bounce rates, which is a good thing. It tells Google how you've structured your site and lets you promote key content.

Think of internal linking as giving Google a hand finding pages on your site. Adding internal links will help Google find the new content. It also assists with navigation and better page views and allows you to push your high-converting pages to users and improve local SEO.

Here are a couple of fundamental strategies for internal link-building:  

  • Use descriptive anchor text: Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink.  For example, instead of "click here," use "visit our New York bakery page."

  • Link to important pages: Ensure important pages like your home, service, and contact pages are accessible.

  • Use a logical structure: Group related content together and use internal links to connect them. 

  • Update old content: Review older content and add internal links to newer pages. 

  • Use navigation menus and footers: This ensures that users and search engines can easily find key pages from anywhere on your site.

For example, if you run a local bakery in San Francisco, you might have the following internal links:

  • Homepage: Links to “Bakery Products in San Francisco” and “Contact Mary’s Bakery.”

  • Blog Post: “Top Pastry Trends in San Francisco” links to “Custom Pastries in San Francisco.”

  • Bakery Products Page: Links to sub-pages like “Wedding Cakes in San Francisco” and “Custom Cookies in San Francisco.”

  • Old Blog Post: “Holiday Baking Tips” updated to include a link to “Holiday Specials at Mary’s Bakery.”

  • Navigation Menu: Includes links to “Our Products,” “About Us,” and “Visit Us in San Francisco.”

However, it is important not to go overboard. There's no magic number here, but remember, it has to make sense to the reader. You can use external links within your content as well. We encourage you to do it. Think of relevant links to topics you're discussing on your site.

By adding external links you demonstrate that you are an authority and provide additional value to your readers improving the UX. By giving more value, your readers will spend more time on your site, which is important for local SEO. Remember to make external links no follow and relevant to your content and ensure they pop up in a separate window. 

7. Transparency

cartoon of a business contract and people signing and reviewing

Consumers are looking for transparent and trustworthy brands. Long gone are the days of fake reviews and black hat techniques. Customers have gotten wise to the game and so has Google. Your website is your opportunity to put your best foot forward. Show users and Google what you're all about.

Include Privacy Pages, Terms of Service, Disclaimer, etc. on your site. You're doing more than complying with Google's terms of service. You're being transparent about where you're coming from and that goes a long way with your target audience. Privacy Policies are now legally required as per this post. So if you collect any info about visitors to your site, you need to have one.

Adding reviews and testimonials to your site is an excellent way to showcase your services and commitment to people. But there's a scheme with this too. Respond to every review, even the bad ones. This helps increase user confidence and Google's faith in your brand. Show you care, even when people are challenging and unreasonable.

Online reviews only aid your cause. They build trust, drive traffic, and clarify what you're all about. Add them to your site and your rankings and conversion rates will improve. 

8. Content Marketing

Understanding the demographics and persona of your target market is essential. Not only to build your brand but to drive your site's ranking and dominate your niche. It's not just about what you post, but where you post and how well you play the game. According to BrightLocal, content marketing is among the most common services offered by local marketers. 

On-page content marketing includes things like:

  • Keyword implementation

  • Blog posts focused on a specific keyword

  • New and updated content

  • Location pages or location-focused About Us Pages

  • Include hours, address, contact info, promos, etc.

  • Add Service Pages for each service or product

Small businesses can improve their local SEO through effective content marketing. Here are some simple steps to follow:

  • Create local content: This could include local news, events, or stories about your community.

  • Engage with the community: Highlight your involvement in local events, charities, or sponsorships. Share stories, photos, and videos of these activities to show your connection to the community.

  • Encourage customer reviews: Ask satisfied customers to leave reviews on Google, Yelp, and other review sites.

  • Create location-specific landing pages: If you serve many areas, create separate landing pages for each.

  • Use local backlinks: This not only drives traffic but also signals to search engines that your business is relevant in your local area.

  • Share user-generated content:  This can include photos, reviews, and testimonials that have your location.

  • Offer local deals and promotions: Create content around local deals, discounts, or promotions. Advertise these offers on your website to attract local customers.

  • Utilize social media: Share content that applies to your community, use local hashtags, and interact with local followers and businesses.

9. Visibility & UX (User Experience)

cartoon of people giving star reviews

The goal of local SEO is to improve your place in the SERPs and user experience is paramount to achieving the coveted top spot. Think of the relationship between your users and the search engines, like going out to eat. If the user likes what they're reading, they're going to stick around. More time on your site shows to Google that you are an authority in your niche.

Users who don't like what's on the menu are going to be quick to bolt. This is what's considered your bounce rate, and high bounce rates do not meet in Google's favor. Meaning your site will not rank well. So, to make your users have the best experience, here are a  few ideas you can try: 

  • Add credible and high-quality visual content like infographics, slideshows, videos, etc.

  • Use a clean and sleek design and omit unnecessary words.

  • Make sure your content is navigable. 

  • Ensure that your site is always accessible.

The goal of your site is to fill a need for potential customers. Give them an unforgettable experience. One that defines your brand and results in business and SERP success.  

10. Site and Page Load Speed

cartoon of men charting page speed on a variety of devices

Readers want instant gratification. The site and page speed aren't the most critical components of SEO. But they factor into the equation when optimizing your site for local SEO. You need to be as fast as the top ten organic sites. If you're not, you'll get left in the dust and so will your rankings. If your site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, it's too long.

Slow site and page speeds not only hinder your SERP rankings, but they diminish user experience. You don't need a perfect score for page speed, but you need to be hitting the mark. Here's how you can speed up your site: 

  • Optimize your images: Compress large images to reduce the file size of images without losing quality.

  • Upgrade your web hosting plan: Choose a reliable and fast web hosting service. 

  • Reduce the number of elements (images, scripts, CSS files) on your pages:  Each element requires an HTTP request, which can slow down loading time.

  • Enable browser caching: Browser caching stores parts of your website in visitors' browsers. So, it loads faster on their return visits.

  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): CDNs store copies of your website on multiple servers around the world. So, users load the site from the server closest to them, speeding upload times.

  • Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML: Remove unnecessary characters, spaces, and comments from your code. 

  • Limit redirects: Each redirect creates additional HTTP requests and delays. 

  • Optimize mobile experience: Use responsive design and test your site on mobile devices.

  • Reduce plugins: Only use necessary plugins on your website. Too many plugins can slow down your site.

  • Regularly update your website: Keep your CMS, plugins, and themes up to date. This is to ensure you have the latest performance improvements and security fixes.

If you are not sure how fast your site loads, test it yourself first. You can also use tools like Google's Page Speed Insights tool to determine page speeds. 

11. Mobile Friendly

Mobile optimization is crucial for small businesses aiming to enhance their local SEO and online presence. Over 82% of local searches were on a mobile device. Also, consider that 50.81% of website traffic is from mobile.  Nectafy reported that 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. So, your site needs to be mobile-friendly if you want to climb the ranks and achieve more online traffic.

Almost 53% of mobile users jump ship if it takes too long to load the site. Mobile functionality goes hand in hand with the SERPS and lower bounce rates. Hubspot Marketing Statistics said that 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site. 

Here's what you can do to improve the mobile experience: 

  • Responsive design: Ensure your website automatically adjusts to fit any screen size, whether it’s a phone, tablet, or desktop. This makes it easy for users to navigate your site on any device. 
  • Mobile-friendly navigation: Design a simple and intuitive navigation menu. Use large buttons and easy-to-read text so users can easily find what they’re looking for on a smaller screen. Use engines like Google's mobile-friendly tool. 
  • Clickable phone numbers and addresses: This is so users can easily call you or get directions with a single tap.
  • Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): Consider using AMP to create mobile-friendly versions of your web pages. This loads almost instantly.
  • Local Reviews: Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews. It can be on Google and other local directories. Positive reviews can boost your local SEO and attract more mobile users.
  • Test Regularly: Use tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check how well your site performs on mobile devices. Regularly test and make necessary adjustments to improve user experience.

Off-Site Optimization

12. Backlinks

cartoon of two websites linked together

A website needs backlinks to build credibility and increase search engine rankings. Authoritative votes that hold a ton of weight are called do-follow backlinks. These votes from high-authority sites can show your site's validity. You also get backlinks from other sites, your no-follow backlinks. Still important, but lacks the juice.

For local SEO you need a mix of do and no follow backlinks. The more backlinks you have, the more credible your site is. The million-dollar question is where to find them. Local backlinks are the epitome of the ideal, but challenging to score. Backlinking strategies need to focus on building your brand, not just your backlink profile. There are a few places to find relevant and influential backlinks. As Redditor, Neither-Emu7933 said, if your blog is actually helpful to people, then you will get links. 

Here are simple ways small businesses can improve their local backlinking:

  • Local directories: List your business in local online directories such as Yelp and Yellow Pages. These directories often have high authority and can provide valuable backlinks.
  • Local partnerships: Partner with other local businesses and organizations. You can exchange links with complementary businesses (e.g., a bakery linking to a nearby coffee shop).
  • Local news and blogs: Reach out to local news websites and blogs. Offer to write guest posts, share your expertise, or provide newsworthy stories about your business. They might feature you and include a link to your website.
  • Community involvement: Take part in local events, sponsor local sports teams, or engage in community projects. These activities often lead to mention and backlinks on event websites, local news sites, and social media.
  • Social media: Share your content on social media and engage with local influencers. If they find your content valuable, they might share it with their followers, leading to potential backlinks.
  • Create local content: Write blog posts about local events, news, or guides related to your industry. Local websites and blogs might link to your content if it’s informative and relevant to the community.
  • Testimonials and case studies: Offer to provide testimonials for other local businesses you’ve worked with. 
  • Press releases: Send press releases to local media about significant business updates, events, or achievements. Local media might cover your story and include a link to your website.
  • Work with influencers: Hit up influencers and offer promos to get reviews.

13. Citations

cartoon of a magnifying glass looking up an address on a cell phone

Citations are a straightforward yet powerful tool for improving local SEO. A citation is any mention of your business’s NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) on the internet. There are two types of citations:  

  • Structured citations: List that present your NAP information in a consistent and correct order. It often incorporates schema microdata.

  • Unstructured citations: Mentions of your NAP information that might be incomplete or out of order. For example, just your business name or address mentioned in a blog post or forum. While still valuable, they are less effective than structured citations for SEO.

Citations can also include additional information about your business. This can include:

  • Business hours

  • Payment options

  • Taglines

  • Social media links

  • Geo-coordinates 

  • Driving directions

Citations are crucial for local SEO because they:

  • Build credibility: Consistent citations across various platforms establish your business as legitimate.

  • Boost online presence: More citations means more places where potential to find your business.

  • Enhance authority: Being listed on reputable sites improves your site's authority. It makes you relevant in the eyes of search engines.

  • Drive traffic: Accurate and widespread citations put your business in front of your target market. This leads to increased traffic and potential customers.

You can manage your citations in two ways: 

  • Manual Entry: Enter citations yourself on various platforms.

  • Citation Management Services: Use this to submit and manage your citations. Ensuring consistency and saving time.

Here are some effective places to list your citations:

  • Local Blogs & Review Sites: These sites often have high local traffic and can drive relevant customers to your business.

  • Social Media & Business Association Websites: This is to engage with your audience and build connections.

  • Data Aggregators & Local Directories: These sites compile business information and distribute it to other platforms. Thus, increasing your reach.

14. Directory Listings

Directories are like citations with a twist. Directory listings play a part in the local SEO tips for small businesses. You still get to add your NAP and other details. But directories give you a chance to implement some of your target keywords and leverage your website. Online directories are submission sites. Places where you can have your business listed in your specific niche.

People use directories to find local businesses. Get your site on there to optimize your local SEO and be sure to add the following info:

  • Business and Website Name 

  • Homepage URL 

  • Address and Service Area

  • Brief Description, including target keywords

There are a ton of directories to choose from, so be picky and go after reputable directories. Choose local, relevant, and current directories. You can do this manually or hire a service.

15. Guest Blogs

picture of a computer screen with a pencil writing on paper in front

Guest blogs are a low-cost top local SEO tip for small business owners. The premise is simple. Write an article under your name or business name and have it published on a third-party website. Create high-quality content interspersed with target keywords and include some strategically placed links.

You not only generate a do or no follow backlink, but get your business in front of a whole new audience. Target high-authority blogs in your niche. Go after sites that are authoritative and have a high DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority)

Guest blogs give you a chance to showcase your expertise and raise your business' credibility. Here's where to find guest blog opportunities: 

  • Do some research.

  • Find sites in your niche that are open to guest bloggers.

  • But it needs to mesh with the tone and content of their site.

  • Ask the business owner or webmaster if you can submit an article.

  • The key is to build a relationship with site owners so you can post again and again.

  • But remember, you need to add value, no smarmy sales pitch.

16. Social Media Content

image of social media icons

Everybody's doing it, social media, with over 3.5 billion global social media users. Get on social media if you want to improve your off-site SEO. However, social media is competitive, and it's no secret that local businesses need these platforms.

They increase brand awareness, engagement, and potential sales. If your competition is there, you need to make yourself more popular. Generate a buzz, and get those likes, shares, and interactions. But you need a plan of attack.

Social media marketing is a well-thought-out and orchestrated process. Know how to play the game and play it well. A few local SEO tips for small businesses in social media marketing include: 

  • Create local content: Share posts about local events, news, or activities to attract local followers.
  • Use local hashtags: For example, #NewYorkPizza or #ChicagoBakery. This helps your posts get discovered by local users.
  • Engage with local followers: Respond to comments and messages from local followers. This builds relationships and encourages more interaction with your content.
  • Promote local reviews: Share positive reviews from local customers on your social media profiles. Most consumers read online reviews. 
  • Create local content: Share posts about local events, news, or activities to attract local followers.

  • Use local hashtags: For example, #NewYorkPizza or #ChicagoBakery. This helps your posts get discovered by local users.

  • Engage with local followers: Respond to comments and messages from local followers. This builds relationships and encourages more interaction with your content.

  • Promote local reviews: Share positive reviews from local customers on your social media profiles.

  • Collaborate with local influencers: Partner with local influencers to promote your business. Their followers are likely to be local, which can increase your visibility in the community.

  • Optimize your profile: Include your location in your social media profiles. Use keywords like your city or neighborhood in your bio and posts.

  • Share user-generated content: Encourage local customers to share their experiences and tag your business. Share their posts on your profile to show appreciation and build a community.

  • Run local ads: Use social media ads targeting people in your area. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to specify locations for your ads, reaching more local users.

  • Check-In features: Encourage customers to check in at your business on social media. This increases your visibility to their friends and followers.

  • Consistency: Post regularly to keep your audience engaged and aware of your presence. Consistent posting can improve your visibility in local searches.

Keep in mind it's not just how often you post but what it is you're posting. Give value to your followers, as they are also your potential customers. Think about including studies, quizzes, guides, and infographics. Using social media can be tough but attainable. You can always use paid advertising to up the ante and shake those social media algorithms. But set a budget and keep a close eye on ad spend and conversions. No sense doling out dollars if you're not getting the desired results. 

17. YouTube


Technically, YouTube is a social media platform. But it's second only to Google in terms of most used search engines, so we gave it a separate space. YouTube has an SEO system all its own. Like Google you want your videos to rank well in the SERPs. 

Given its popularity, YouTube is a great place to share details about your business. Google loves video content, but just like your website, you need to implement 'on-page' SEO with your videos. Think good titles, descriptions, tags, keywords, etc.

You can reach a bigger audience, build your brand and reputation, and generate interest in your business. The idea is not only to push your videos on YouTube, but to share them on social media channels.

Here are some simple steps you can take: 

  • Local keywords in video titles: Include your city or neighborhood name in your video titles. 
  • Optimize descriptions: Use local keywords in your video descriptions and mention your location.
  • Tags and hashtags: Add local tags and hashtags to your videos to make them more discoverable. 
  • Google My Business link: Include a link to your Google My Business profile in your video descriptions. This helps connect your videos to your local presence.
  • Local content: Create videos about local events, customer testimonials, or community involvement. Show that your business is active in the local community. Customize your thumbnail and create a video playlist. 
  • Geotag videos: Geotag your videos by adding your business location. This helps YouTube and Google associate your videos with your local area.
  • Engage with local audience: Respond to comments from local viewers and engage with your local audience. This builds a community around your business.
  • Embed videos on the website: Embed your YouTube videos on your website, especially on pages related to your local services. This can improve both your website and YouTube channel’s SEO.
  • Collaborate with local influencers: Partner with local influencers or businesses on video content. This can increase your reach within the local community.
  • Regular updates: Consistently upload new videos to keep your content fresh and relevant. Regular updates show that your business is active and engaged.

18. GMBs

Google My Business (GMB) allows businesses to create and manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.  When you create and verify your GMB listing, your business details appear in search results and on Google Maps. This includes your business name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and more. By optimizing your Google My Business page, you can enhance your online visibility. This can attract more local customers and grow your business effectively. 

Improving your Google My Business (GMB) listing is essential for small businesses to boost their local SEO, according to Whitespark. Here are some simple steps to enhance your GMB profile:

  • Claim and verify your listing: It can be by mail, phone, or email.

  • Complete your profile: Fill out all information fields in your GMB profile. This includes business name, address, phone number, website, and business hours. Make sure it is accurate and consistent with what is on your website and other online directories.

  • Write a clear and concise description: Use relevant local keywords that describe your services and location.

  • Choose the right categories: This helps Google understand what your business is about and show it in relevant searches.

  • Upload high-quality photos: This attracts customers and makes your listing more appealing.

  • Collect and respond to reviews: Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. Respond to reviews promptly. Appreciate the positive feedback and address any negative comments professionally.

  • Update regularly: Keep your GMB profile updated with any changes in business hours, services, or contact information. Post updates about special offers, events, or new products to keep your listing fresh.

  • Use Google Posts: Utilize the Google Posts feature to share news, promotions, events, and updates directly on your GMB listing. These posts can attract attention and engage potential customers.

  • Add services and products with descriptions and prices: This helps potential customers understand what you offer.

  • Enable messaging: Turn on the messaging feature to allow customers to contact you directly.

  • Add attributes: Use attributes such as "free Wi-Fi," or "pet-friendly" to attract specific customer groups.

Technical SEO

19. XML Sitemap

cartoon of a man sitting on top of a computer

XML Sitemap is a list of every URL on your website. It is like a roadmap that tells the search engines what content you've got and where to find it. Now this suggestion will not improve your rankings, but it will get your website indexed faster. Essentially, with an XML Sitemap, you're giving the SERPs a friendly nudge and asking them to concentrate on specific URLs on your site.

Do you need one? Nope. Why add it? It's all about indexing, that's it. There are over 5.58 billion pages on the internet and Google's going to get to you when they get to you. Could be a few days, could be a few months. We don't know how many times or how often Google crawls sites, so if you have a lot of pages and want to improve your odds, a sitemap would help. You can use XML Sitemap Generator tools to help expedite the process.

20. Website Architecture

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Website architecture is not as techie as it sounds. It is essentially how your website comes together. It involves linking pages to each other. Internal links make your website more user-friendly. It helps search engine spiders or Google Bots find what they're looking for. Aim for any page to be found in four clicks or fewer. 

Small businesses looking to improve their local SEO should have a strategy for linking within their website. This strategy should include the following:

  • Links Deep Within the Structure of Your Site: Don't just link to your homepage and try never to link to your contact page. You need internal links to tie it all together.

  • Make Them Relevant: They have to make sense to you and your reader.

  • Stay balanced: Using internal links can enhance both user experience and SEO, but use them in moderation.

  • Keep it simple: Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. No need to overthink this.  Add a few following a calculated method and keep going.

21. Indexing

Indexing is all about the search engines being able to find you and index every page on your website. Most local business owners utilize the flat architecture we already covered.It is possible to access every page using internal links in 3-4 clicks or fewer. If a page isn't getting indexed, go back and make sure you've included internal links. But how do you know if there are indexing issues? Check your site out in the search bar. 

If there are any 404 errors or a 'site not found' pop-up, you've got a problem. A couple of tools will get you an accurate picture of what's going on, like Google Console, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, and Site Audit.

If pages on your site aren't getting indexed, you can use the XML Sitemap strategy or hit up Google Console's Inspect feature. It can tell you exactly what's happening and how to resolve the issue. You need to get indexed to rank. There's no way around it. If the bots can't find your site, anyone else won't see it either.

22. Crawlability

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Think of crawlability as the foundation or the base you build your technical SEO game plan around. Your site has to be crawlable. It's black and white. If the bots can't crawl your site, they won't be able to index you. That means all of your on-page and off-site efforts are in vain and you won't rank.

Pages on your website need to be accessible and straightforward to navigate with no roadblocks. So what can you do to ensure infinite crawlability? A few things, as evidenced, include:

  • Get rid of duplicate pages & unnecessary content

  • Fix broken links

  • Double-check the crawlability of your CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and  JavaScript Files

This is without a doubt the ugly part of technical SEO we were talking about. But the good news? There are multiple tools you can utilize to do most of the heavy lifting for you.

23. Security

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Cybersecurity is a real thing. Think of it like this, two brick-and-mortar stores sell the same products. One store is on a dimly lit street, the windows boarded up and some broken. Around the corner is a well-lit store with clean windows and a welcoming feel. Where are you going to take your business? Which company is getting your money?

The same holds for online service providers, and sites with the 's' at the end of the HTTP show users that they're secure. Sites with no security leave consumers concerned their information might not be safe.

A secure site is non-negotiable if you're taking payments and online orders, plus it protects your digital investment from hackers. According to Norton, hackers get into someone's site every 39 seconds. 

Here are some ways to ensure your site is secure: 

  • Install an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate which your host provider can help you hook up.

  • Get smart and creative about your passwords

  • Monitor comments and accepts them manually to avoid phishing & other scams.

  • Install anti-malware software

Ensure your website is secure and assure potential customers that their information is safe. It's a simple message to the bots that your site is trustworthy. These are important stuff in local SEO for small businesses, especially when you're trying to rank in the SERPs.

Why is Local SEO Important?

Local SEO is important because it enhances your visibility in search engine results. It allows you to attract geo-targeted traffic and integrate seamlessly with Google Maps. Other key benefits of local SEO are  giving you a competitive edge, boosting customer trust, and providing cost-effective marketing. Additionally, it encourages customers to leave reviews, drives foot traffic to your locations, and increases website traffic.

Since local SEO focuses on optimizing the online presence of local businesses to rank higher in location-based searches, it leads more leads and conversions. Experts in the field, like Saravanan Ganesh, monetize their knowledge by offering courses and consultations, demonstrating the financial benefits of mastering local SEO.

Yoast SEO emphasizes that the "best result" Google provides depends on the query's context, including the search type and the searcher's location. By optimizing your site for local SEO, you ensure that your pages are more relevant and easily findable, making your business more accessible to potential customers searching for your services.

What is the Best Local SEO Strategy for Small Business Owners?

The best local SEO strategy for small business owners is local lead generation. The competition is fierce and owners need to do whatever they can. Whatever it takes to create an online presence and dominate the search engines. Local lead generation helps them multiply their chances of generating leads. As a small business owner, guarantee that lead generation will get their phone ringing. There's no question that the top local SEO tips for small business owners we've given will improve rankings and get the site climbing to the top of the SERPs. But if you want to up the ante, stack the deck, and dominate your market, consider lead generation.


However, not all business owner knows how to do local SEO. This is a tremendous business opportunity for someone to fill this gap. Think of lead-gen sites like digital billboards. Real estate on the internet that belongs to you. Build a website following the detailed steps and instructions outlined in this article. Rank those websites and get more leads. Rent it out to small businesses who can't perform their local SEO. This way, you can leverage Google and monopolize your market's online space. Local businesses love high-quality leads to buy. They will pay you $500 to $3000 monthly for this. And since you own the site and the leads, you can rent out as many websites as you can with minimal investment. And with over 400 niches, to choose from this method is ideal for success. If you set it up properly from the start, you can leave your lead gen site for months without having to tweak it.

So, if you want to help small businesses get more online traffic and quality leads from individuals ready and willing to pay for their services, make more money, and knock out their competitors and yours, try local lead generation

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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