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Local SEO: position your business at the top of Google

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Let’s be clear: Local SEO for small businesses is difficult in 2023.And, frankly, it was never easy. Maybe back in 2010, when marketers could trick Google with keyword stuffing, PBN, and various other methods like using backlinks in message board posts. There was also much less competition.

These days, basically all keyword groups and niches are taken over by well-known sites and are hard to beat However, there are countless opportunities for small businesses to rank in their niches for the appropriate keywords.

In this article, we will discuss how you, as a small business, can boost your SEO and get organic traffic.

What is Local SEO for small businesses?

Local SEO for small business is a combination of strategies that get your page on Google traffic, clicks, and conversions. In other words, it makes your website appear higher in search results so your business is more recognizable, surpassing your competitors’ rankings.

If your local and online SEO strategy is effective, your website should appear on the first page of search results, like the links below.

Did you know that according to Search Engine Journal, 25% of people click on the first page of search results? Aside from that, the first page in search results gets an average CTR of 31.7%, according to Backlinks. These figures serve as a compelling reminder that SEO is essential for organic traffic. Is it 100% necessary to do SEO?

Well, let’s put it this way: if you don’t have an elaborate SEO strategy , you’re at a serious disadvantage with your competition. Their SEO efforts will keep them climbing the ladder while your page sits at the bottom and never goes up.

Not to mention, your organic traffic will be affected, and if your business relies heavily on online marketing, this could have serious consequences for your business.

How SEO benefits small businesses

As mentioned above, SEO is crucial to the success of your business . But let’s delve into that.

What benefits does SEO specifically have?

Increase organic traffic from search engines

The most significant benefit of SEO for small businesses is the organic traffic it generates. Organic traffic not only helps you save money on things like paid advertising, but it generally attracts candidates who are further along in the buying process.

Your organic traffic leads are more likely to end up purchasing your products as they are searching for specific queries.

Ranking on the first page of search engines is necessary to be seen by the majority of customers. And if you’re in the first position, you can double your click-through rate over the number two result, according to Smart Insights.

Even better, getting the featured snippet can help you jump above the number one spot and give you a double chance at getting more organic traffic.

Replace expensive paid ads

Now, you may be wondering if paid advertising is an alternative to investing in SEO. Let’s look at a cat sitting example where the first three links are ads.

Paid ads “artificially” allow your links to appear first on Google.

It can be a good idea in many cases, leading to faster results. The real question is whether those results are sustainable for your business or will they be short-lived.

Paid advertising can cost a lot of money, especially if you constantly use it to replace SEO. Another drawback is that clicks never guarantee sales. It’s one thing to get people to click on your ad, but you have to convince them that your product is worth buying.

Paid advertising therefore has its benefits, such as increased reach and improved targeting, and should be used as part of a marketing strategy. But it is not a valid replacement for SEO completely.

Increase the number of new potential clients

Each new candidate presents a unique opportunity. New potential clients can become long-term customers, recommend your services/products to their networks, and leave persuasive reviews on your website.

It is essential for a small business to constantly search for new potential customers to increase the customer database.

SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Now that we’ve gone over the importance and benefits of SEO for small businesses, let’s dive into the tips.

Keyword research and competitor analysis

Keyword research is the backbone of SEO. Basically, if no one is searching for the product you offer or the topics of your content, you will not get promising traffic results.

You need to know your keywords to avoid being on the 90.63% of pages that do not receive organic traffic from Google, according to an Ahrefs study. You read it right; keyword research is SO important.

In addition to helping your pages get traffic, keyword research helps:

  • See how much traffic you can get for specific keywords
  • Know how difficult it is to rank for certain keywords
  • Create content plans for keywords
  • Understand the similarity of search engines that become customers

Keyword research starts with a list of topic ideas that your potential clients can consider. Let’s say you own a gardening store. You will search for “seed” keywords. Your initial keywords could be:

  • Plants
  • Landscape
  • Pots
  • Shrubs
  • seedbeds

The seed keywords are meant to be vague and you won’t use them as is to create content. They are meant to be general topic ideas that you will narrow down later.

Once you’ve developed a list of initial keywords, you can quickly check which keywords your competitors are using. Take one of your seed keywords and Google it.

You should use your best judgment when determining competing websites. If big brands like Home Depot and Amazon appear, you don’t necessarily want to treat them as competitors. Instead, look for websites like yours or those you try to be like.

Once you find your top competitors, you can see which keywords bring them the most traffic. Tools like Ahrefs have a great feature for this.

A successful business can rank for dozens of top keywords. Does that mean you should try to qualify for them? Not always, as larger companies generally have more budgets to ensure they consistently rank for top keywords.

In this case, consider which keywords will bring the most leads to your specific products or product line.

For example, if your audience is searching for succulents, you can use a keyword related to the most popular, cheapest, and longest-lived succulent. The more specific you are, the more leads it will bring you.

Generally, a successful competitor analysis involves finding gaps or disconnects between the competition and the audience, and then finding ways to fill those gaps.

But competitor research is not everything. In fact, there are usually a ton of potential keywords that your competition may not be targeting. To find them, you will need to use keyword research tools like Moz, Semrush, Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Surfer, etc.

Regardless of which one you plan to work with, they generally all work the same way. You enter a seed word and the keyword tool extracts keywords from its database based on that keyword.

Google Keyword Planner is easily the most talked about, as it is effective and free.

If we enter our seed keywords from above, we get the following results:

Google Keyword Planner takes your initial keywords and generates ideas from them, avoiding overlapping keywords you enter.

Now, if you want to level up your keyword research and access more data, you’ll need a paid tool like Semrush or Moz. These tools generally give you more diverse and higher quality keywords.

Enable your Google location

Today, businesses with a physical location need a local SEO strategy so customers can find them. Local SEO is so powerful that consumers’ use of Google to evaluate local businesses has increased from 63% in 2020 to 81% in 2021, according to BrightLocal.

By skipping local SEO, you miss the primary channel of how consumers discover local businesses.

Did you know you can have your website appear on the map and in the search results below? That means you are twice as likely to get clicks to your website and gain customers.

You can set your location in your Google My Business account. Google will need to verify certain information with you, such as opening and closing hours, type of business, proof of location, etc.

The process is relatively simple and worth it.

Add reviews to your Google location

Google Maps results are best accompanied by customer reviews. According to Dimensional Research, up to 90% of potential customers are influenced by online reviews when considering an online purchase.

That being said, make sure star ratings are visible from the first search page.

Then, when the user clicks on your link, they should be directed to the written reviews.

Your reviews can tell candidates a lot about the services or products you offer, how many people recommend you, use cases, etc.

You should always include reviews on your website, even if you have an online store . People are constantly searching for product reviews, so you could also have the opportunity to get organic traffic just by having product review pages.

Create links to your site

To get your content to rank , you need backlinks. Backlinks from authoritative sites tell search engines like Google that others vouch for your content and it’s worth showing up in the rankings.

Some of the most common ways to get backlinks include:

  • Guest posts (publishing content on reputable blogs or podcasts)
  • Public relations campaigns (a marketing or SEO campaign)
  • SEO outreach (sending emails requesting backlinks)
  • Customer links (links in reviews)
  • Forums and comments (Quora, product reviews, TripAdvisor)

Remember to always look for reliable, authoritative, popular and quality blogs when getting backlinks.

On the other hand, avoid getting links from low-quality guest posts, private blog networks, duplicate content, and foreign language websites, as Google may see them as spam. Worse yet, your rankings may actually suffer from this.

Did you know that the links you accept on your website also differ in value and affect SEO? When you spread the link love, the websites you choose to link to, even the anchor text you use, whether you choose the follow or nofollow link, and any meta tags you associate with the linking page can have a big impact. in the value of your site.

If you’re doing link outreach and can’t find an email or name of a specific person at the company, you can use Hunter.io.

It’s a great tool to include in your small business SEO strategy.

Rich results with structured data

In 2009, Google introduced Rich Results to create a better user experience and help searchers find your queries more easily.

Some common types of rich results include:


Breadcrumbs allow Google to indicate the position of your web page within the website hierarchy.

Helps users understand the relationship between pages and navigate your site more easily.

Frequent questions

Another common rich result is the FAQ section of search results.

This section helps users learn more about your product or service and can encourage clicks.

Star Ratings

Snippet star ratings make search results more visually appealing.

It also tells users that other people found this recipe worth trying.

The most practical way to enable rich results is to add structured data to your website’s coding. For example, the title, post author, featured image, post time and date, etc., can be formatted to help rank your web page and help search engines understand the Web page.

You can use the three formats (JSON-D, RDFa, and Microdata) supported by Google when structuring your data.

You can check the official Google reference or search for codes on schema.org to find the correct structured data code. Many content management systems also provide plugins that allow web creators to insert various codes into their web pages.

It’s always important to test your page’s structured data. Tools like Google Structured Data Testing Tool or Google Rich Results Testing make it easy to check if your pages are coded correctly.

Choose a good hosting provider

Last but not least, choosing a multifunctional hosting provider that gives you a competitive advantage is another critical factor in your SEO rankings.

The most important things to consider when choosing a provider include:

Fast charge

Ensuring you have a fast-loading website will help users take whatever actions they want, making it easier for Google to understand that users find your website valuable and giving it a better chance of ranking .

Server Uptime and Reliability Scores

In 2013, Amazon was down for 30 minutes, costing them $66,240 in revenue every minute, according to Service Health Dashboard.

That being said, staying online is important and having a trusted provider is a key part of that.

The current industry standard is 99.95% uptime. Any hosting provider that has less than 99% uptime should be avoided.

Essential plugins 

Choosing a hosting provider with a variety of plugins will help your site maintain healthy growth and keep its rankings high. For example, SiteGround Optimizer includes caching controls, speed tests, multisite options, and environment, interface, and media optimizations.

A security plugin, for example, is essential as cybersecurity threats are higher than ever. As a website owner, look for plugins like SiteGround Security to protect your WordPress site from threats like brute force attacks, data leaks, compromised logins, and more.

While you can download SiteGround plugins without hosting, it’s good to have hosting and strong plugins in one place for a streamlined process.

Simply put, choosing a hosting provider like SiteGround that offers fast loading, is reliable, and includes features and plugins to help your site rank plays a huge role in helping your website. Of course, you can rely on your keyword research and other important SEO practices, but your hosting provider will work in the background to help you achieve your SEO goals.

Information and services visit US SEO Company


Small business SEO is a long journey that is key to receiving organic traffic and creating sustainable leads. Although the information in this article may seem overwhelming, you can work on developing and executing your SEO strategy step by step.

Remember to be patient and persistent when waiting for the results of your SEO efforts to arrive, as SEO in all cases takes time.