Local SEO For Small Businesses

What is Local SEO?

The goal of local SEO, a subset of SEO, is to improve a website's or local business’ position in local search engine rankings. It targets users precisely who are looking for goods, services, or information in a particular region or close to where they are.

For example, below is a "map pack" of local restaurant results for someone searching for "restaurants near london victoria":

Why is Local SEO Important for Small Businesses?

For several reasons, local SEO is particularly essential for small businesses. Here are just a few:

Greater Visibility

Local SEO improves the visibility of small businesses in local search results, making it quicker for customers to find them. This greater exposure may result in more website visitors, questions, and ultimately sales.

Targeted Audience

Local SEO aims to attract consumers who are in particular looking for goods or services in a specific location. Small businesses can reach customers who are more likely to make purchases by focusing on a local audience.

Advantage Over Competition

By investing in local SEO, small businesses can distinguish themselves from competitors who might not be enhancing their online visibility for local search. They may have a significant edge in the regional market as a result.

Cost-Effective Marketing

Local SEO is comparatively less expensive than traditional advertising channels like print, radio, and television. It enables small businesses to access a specific audience while spending less money on marketing.

Increased Credibility and Trust

Small businesses can increase their credibility and trust within their community by implementing an effective local SEO strategy. A positive brand image can be enhanced by online reviews, accurate local listings, and a high presence in local search results.

Development of Mobile Search

Local SEO is now even more crucial due to the rise in the use of mobile devices for search. Local SEO ensures that small businesses are seen in these searches, which are frequently searched using "near me" terms as well as device location-based.

Presence in the Local Pack

The local pack is a component of the Google search results that lists nearby businesses and a map. Small businesses can improve their chances of showing up in the local pack by optimising for local SEO, which may result in increased click-through rates and more clients.

How To Optimise Small Business Local SEO Rankings

3 Primary Factors


Relevance is the degree to which a local company listing or website aligns with the searcher's intentions. In other words, it involves providing the most accurate and useful results for a certain search query. This includes making sure that a small business's online presence is optimised for the goods, services, and location-specific keywords that people are looking for in terms of local SEO.

Small businesses should prioritise the following to increase relevance:

  • Incorporating local keywords into the metadata and content of websites.

  • Ensuring the details of their Google Business listing, including the categories, company description, and goods and services provided, are accurate.
  • Creating localised content that speaks to the demands and interests of the audience in the area, such as blog entries, videos, or guides.


The physical proximity of a local business to the searcher's location is referred to as distance. This is a criterion that search engines like Google use when displaying local search results, providing local businesses that are closer to the user. This is based on the fact that customers frequently favour businesses with convenient local premises.

Small businesses should do the following to increase the local SEO distance factor:

  • Verify and keep up-to-date the address information on their website and Google Business listing.

  • Ensure that all online citations and local directories use the same NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) data.
  • By incorporating the name of the city or neighbourhood in the content, meta descriptions, and URLs, they can optimise their website for local search.


According to search engines, a business's authority is determined by its credibility, dependability, and level of experience. Better local search rankings can be attained by having higher authority. Online reviews, backlink quality and quantity, and online presence are frequently used to gauge authority.

Local SEO for small businesses should be improved by:

  • Create authoritative, high-quality backlinks from regional websites that are relevant to your business, like community organisations, industry associations, and local news sources.

  • Encourage customers to post reviews on websites like Facebook, Yelp, and Google. Good feedback can increase a company's credibility and draw in new clients.
  • Produce interesting, distinctive, and instructive content that highlights the company's knowledge and competence in its field. This can help the company become recognised as an authority in the neighbourhood.

Local SEO Keywords

Local SEO keywords are search terms or phrases relevant to a local audience, and they frequently include location-based terms such as the name of a city, town, or neighbourhood. These keywords are essential for businesses looking to attract clients in their service region since they can enhance exposure, drive local traffic, and result in higher conversion rates.

You can check your Google Maps Keyword Rankings through the Local section within Hike.

Google Maps Keyword Rankings

Local SEO keywords can be categorised as implicit or explicit. Implicit local keywords are related to the local context but do not specifically identify a location, whereas detailed local keywords include location-specific terms within the keyword phrase. 

Small businesses should undertake keyword research, map location-specific keywords to individual location pages, and address frequently asked queries about their products or services to optimise local SEO.

Read our more in-depth article about local SEO keywords for more information.

Near Me Keywords

"Near me" searches are queries that use geolocation data to discover businesses, services, or areas of interest near a user's present location. These searches have expanded dramatically as mobile device use has increased, and they can help consumers discover local businesses they may not be aware of. To boost visibility and attract potential clients, local companies must optimise for "near me" searches.

Listing and optimising a Google Business profile, using Schema markup, building backlinks with geo anchor text, creating location-based pages, embedding maps, having a mobile-friendly website, acquiring local links through blogging, mentioning landmarks and neighbourhood names, geocoding images, submitting local citations, and making customer feedback visible are all part of optimising for "near me" searches. 

Check out our more in-depth article about “near me” keywords for more details as well as how to implement local schema markup.

Local Citations

Local citations are online mentions of a business's name, address, and phone number, as well as other information, that can be found on various websites, directories, or platforms.

You can take a look at your Local citations within Hike and use the platform to create more!

Your Local Citations in Hike

They are essential for local SEO since they assist search engines in verifying a small business’ existence, authenticity, and reliability. Local citations can be structured, which can be found on dedicated business listing sites, or unstructured, which can be found on websites that are not explicitly meant for business listings, such as blogs and forums.

Citations are important for growing a business's presence on key platforms, improving local ranks and visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs), creating trust, capitalising on first-page search results, and attracting referral traffic. It is critical to have consistency in both structured and unstructured citations to provide trust signals to search engines and build customer confidence.

View our more detailed article about local citations for more information.

For example, Yelp is a popular citations site that lists businesses across different categories to make it easier to find:

Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows businesses to create, maintain, and optimise their online presence across a variety of Google products, including Search and Maps. 

Small businesses may increase their visibility in local search results and make it simpler for customers to find and engage with them online by providing important information such as address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. They can also use the platform to promote their products and services, respond to consumer reviews, provide updates, and receive up-to-date information about client interactions.

By creating a Google Business account, small businesses may have access to, customise, manage, and enhance their Google Business profile. It’s important to focus on customer involvement by responding to reviews, answering questions, and resolving problems to get the most out of this tool. 

Small businesses can also utilise their profile to promote their distinctive characteristics, goods, and services, and use the insights and data offered to optimise marketing efforts and make educated decisions. By using Google Business it will help improve their local SEO and raise their exposure in search results and on Google Maps by giving accurate information, employing relevant keywords, and promoting user reviews.

Check out the article about Google Business profile for more details.

Hike + Local SEO for Small Businesses

Hike SEO offers many powerful yet simple local SEO tools that can be used by small businesses, even if they have no prior SEO or technical experience. With its simple action-focused engine, small business owners can check off actions as they complete them in the limited time they have available each week.

Some of the local SEO tools that Hike has include the Listings Manager enabling the user to edit and update their Google Business listing, manage their Google Business reviews, post updates on their Google Business profile, monitor their local citations, view their local SEO performance and rankings, as well as monitor and view backlinks.

If you haven’t yet signed up for Hike, try it today risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee.