Local SEO Guide for Small Businesses [2024]

A local SEO strategy is essential for showing up at the top of search engine results pages and outranking local competitors. If your company is not present in the local pack for local queries, your website is missing out on a large amount of relevant traffic and potential customers. There are multiple steps to ensure your local visibility is optimized fully and your company is a local leader in search results.



Setting Up and Optimizing a Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile enables your company to show in local pack results. It also populates when users search your company’s name on Google.

It is essential for your company to show in local packs when users look up local keywords like “roofers near me” on Google. If you do not currently have one set up, here is how it is done.

  1. Go to business.google.com.
  2. Click “Manage Now.”
  3. Put your business’s name in.
  4. Set up the rest of your company information.

Once fully set up, here are some tips to ensure your profile is optimized fully. Make sure:

  • Your NAP is correct (name, address, phone)
  • Your business hours are correct
  • Your logo is included and an optimized video showing your product or service is present
  • Your Primary Category is accurate
  • Your “From the Business” description include target keywords
  • The right website is linked

Optimizing Location or Contact Pages

Your location page reinforces to users that you truly are a business local to them. Optimizing it correctly can improve your website’s relevance for local keywords. Below are a list of tactics I’ve used that have worked for my local clients. 

  1. Include Directions: Of course your location page should include your business’s physical address. By including directions from a popular interstate or monument, we are giving users the blueprint on how to find your physical location.
  2. Include a Map: When users are deciding how close your company is to them, a map will drastically help. Include an interactive map so users can visualize where you are located. Google can also use this to determine how close you are to specific searches like “roofers near me.”
  3. Include Reviews: With Google’s new Reviews Update that went live in April, it is now rewarding websites with high-quality and credible reviews. Displaying past customers who have enjoyed their experience also helps build trust with new users.
  4. Include a Form: Make it as easy as possible for users to get ahold of your company while on your location page. Some users prefer not to call, so providing a short form allows those users to get in contact. 
  5. Include Your Location in the Title Tag and H1: Title tags and H1 tags are, from what we know, used by Google to determine relevance. If we include our location in both places, we seem pretty relevant for searches involving that location.
  6. Include an Image of Your Building: One last chance to ensure users find you efficiently is to include an image of your physical location.


Developing Local Business Structured Data

What is Structured Data

Structured data, or schema, is additional information provided to search engines through a snippet of code. This additional information gives search engines insights into our company, services, products, and more. By providing this information, search engines can show rich results when we show up on results pages. Rich results provide three benefits: 1. Improved relevance for local keywords, 2. More real estate on results pages, 3. Higher click-through-rates.

Depending on what your company does, there may be a specific localBusiness structured data type just for you. For example, banks or credit unions can use “bankorCreditUnion” local business type. Make sure your structured data includes all relevant information about your company. A very easy-to-use structured data generator can be found here.


Creating Local Content

Local keywords may not provide the highest amount of average monthly search volumes. But creating content around your city, state, or metro area can improve your website’s relevance for local queries. When users search for “roofers in Atlanta,” search engines will be more likely to choose the website with blog content specific to Atlanta over others. 

To figure out what topics to write about, make a list of questions your customers are asking the most frequently. If you are a local construction company, customers may be curious about average pricing in your area, how to choose the right contractor, past projects, or structure guidelines in your area. These are all perfect questions and topics to cover in a blog.


Local Link-Building

Link-building is an essential component of any SEO strategy. Search engines use the amount of backlinks your website has heavily in determining how authoritative your company is. The more backlinks (or votes) your website has, the more authoritative your company is. But why focus on local backlinks?

Building local links reinforces to search engines that you're a local business. Pretty simple. If search engines see other companies in your area linking to your website, your company must be local, relevant, and authoritative in your area. Are you part of a local association (Ex: Chamber of Commerce)? Do you have local partners or vendors? These are the easiest opportunities to gain links pointing to your website.


Listing Management and Review Solicitation

Ensure your company is listed on reviews sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Angi. Large review sites take up some of the top organic ranking positions for local keywords. Ensuring your company is listed on these provides even more visibility. You do not have to rank number one for “best brewery near me” if your company is listed at the top of Yelp’s “Best Breweries in Chicago” page showing in the number one organic spot. 

Getting listed on these sites also provides an easy backlink. Yelp, Angie, and Yellow Pages are all highly authoritative sites. By linking to your website, they are transferring some of their authority to you. Make this a local SEO priority.

Google typically shows companies with the highest amount of reviews (good or bad) at the top of their local packs. If your Google Business Profile only has 35 reviews, but your competitors have a couple hundred each, your competitors are more than likely going to show ahead of your company. That is why developing a solid review solicitation process is essential for local visibility. Based on a study from Moz, half of Amreicans will leave a review if asked to do so by a local business. Here are some tips for accumulating reviews:

  • Email past customers and urge them to provide a Google Review
  • Urge employees to ask customers in-person to leave a review
  • Provide signage at your location asking customers to leave a review
  • Respond to all reviews on Google (good or bad) - this builds trust



Developing and following a comprehensive local SEO strategy will ensure your company receives organic visibility from your target audience. Many local companies I have worked with do not have a solid strategy in place - leading to them missing out on potential leads and customers. Local SEO does not have to be intimidating. Take each step one at a time and you will start seeing more local traffic.

Get started with local SEO today!

Christian Cabney


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