29 / 11 / 2023

Growth Tactics for Small Business Local SEO

If you own a small company, you know how crucial it is to rank high in local search results on Google and other search engines. But how can you optimize your website and content for local search intent in a cutthroat and always evolving internet environment? That’s where local SEO comes in. As it’s quite challenging, it requires thorough planning, research, execution, monitoring, and consideration of numerous factors. That’s why Bayshore Communication is here to help. We have the experience, the skills, and the tools to help you grow your online presence and achieve your business goals.

Understanding Local SEO for Small Businesses

Before we delve into how Bayshore Communications provides service for local SEO, let’s understand what it means, how we can benefit from it, and what its impact on consumer behavior and business performance is.

Local SEO is the process of improving your online visibility and relevance for local customers who are looking for products or services near them. Through this process you can reach more potential customers, generate more leads, and boost your conversions, using keywords that include geographic terms or phrases. 

According to a Google survey, 88% of customers who conduct local searches on their smartphones visit or call a business within a day, and 46% of all searches have a local purpose. So, if you rank higher in local search results, you can increase your chances of getting more clicks, calls, and visits from potential customers. It can also help you build trust and credibility with your target audience, as well as enhance your reputation and authority in your local area.

Local search has a significant impact on how consumers search for, discover, and interact with local businesses. It affects their purchase decisions, shapes their expectations and satisfaction, influences their loyalty and advocacy. 

There are various components in local SEO that work together to improve your ranking and performance in local search results. Some of them are:

  • Google My Business (GMB): Creating and managing your business profile on Google to display your business information and interact with your customers.
  • Keyword research: Finding the best keywords that your target audience uses to search for your products or services in your area.
  • On-page optimization: Optimizing your website content and structure to match the intent and expectations of your target audience.
  • Off-page optimization: Building your online authority and reputation through external sources, such as citations, backlinks, social media, reviews, etc.
  • Local citations and directories: Getting online mentions of your business’s NAP(e.g., name, address, phone number), and website on various sources and directories as it helps search engines verify your business information and location.
  • Local SEO audit: Analyzing and evaluating your current local SEO performance and identifying the areas of improvement and opportunities for growth.

Now that you have a better understanding of what local SEO is and why it matters for your business, let’s see how Bayshore Communications, a full-service digital marketing agency, can help you achieve your local SEO goals. 

Key Growth Tactics for Small Business Local SEO

Local SEO can help you gain a competitive edge over larger businesses that may not have a strong local presence. Here are some key growth tactics for small business local SEO that you can implement today.

Optimizing Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows you to manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. It is one of the most important factors for local SEO, as it can influence your ranking, visibility, and credibility.

1. Claiming and Verifying Your GMB Listing

The first step to optimizing your GMB is to claim and verify your listing. This will give you access to edit and update your business information, as well as respond to reviews and messages from customers. To claim and verify your GMB listing, follow these steps:

  • Go to [Google My Business] and sign in with your Google account.
  • Search for your business name and address. If you see your business, select it and follow the instructions to claim it. If you don’t see your business, click on “Add your business to Google” and enter your details.
  • Choose a verification option. You can verify your business by phone, email, postcard, or instant verification (if eligible). Follow the instructions to complete the verification process.

The importance of accurate and up-to-date information in Google My Business cannot be overstated. As potential customers will see when they search for your business online, it's important to make sure it's correct. The accuracy of your information will determine whether or not they can find you. If your information is incorrect, they may not be able to find you at all. 

2. Optimizing Business Information and Description

Once you have claimed and verified your GMB listing, you should optimize your business information(e.g., NAP, category, website, service offered, other attributes) and description. This will help Google and potential customers understand what your business does, where it is located, and what makes it unique.

To optimize your business description, provide a compelling summary that incorporates relevant keywords and highlights your unique selling points. Suppose you owned a small bakery shop, so how will the description- 

“We are a family-owned bakery that specializes in gluten-free and vegan cakes, cookies, and pastries. We use only organic and locally sourced ingredients to create delicious treats that everyone can enjoy. Whether you need a birthday cake, a wedding cake, or just a sweet snack, we are here to satisfy your cravings.”

3. Encouraging Customer Reviews and Feedback 

Online reviews are crucial for local SEO and customer trust. According to a BrightLocal survey, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020, and 73% of consumers only pay attention to reviews written in the last month.

To encourage customer reviews and feedback, you can use strategies such as:

  • Provide incentives or rewards for leaving reviews, such as discounts, coupons, freebies, etc.
  • Send follow-up emails or messages after a purchase or service completion, asking for reviews or ratings.
  • Display review platforms or widgets on your website or social media pages, making it easy for customers to leave reviews.
  • Respond to reviews promptly and professionally, both positive and negative ones. 

Responding is essential for any business that wants to demonstrate engagement and commitment to customer satisfaction. Not only does it show that you care about what your customers think, but it can also help lead more new customers, increase CTR and improve your online visibility.

Local Keyword Research and Optimization

Keywords are the words and phrases that users type into search engines to find what they are looking for. This includes geographic modifiers which can help you target the right audience, increase traffic, and improve relevance.

1. Identifying Relevant Local Keywords for Your Business 

To identify relevant local keywords for your business, you can use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Moz. These tools can help you find localized keywords with high search volume and low competition, as well as analyze the keywords used by your competitors and find gaps or opportunities.

Some example of local keyword using geo-specific modifiers like city names, zip codes, or “near me” queries are-

  • Best [service] in [city] → Best pizza in Chicago
  • [City] [service] near me → Chicago pizza near me
  • [Service] [city] → Pizza Chicago
  • [Service] near [landmark] → Pizza near Willis Tower

2. Incorporating Keywords in Website Content and Meta Tags

Once you have identified relevant local keywords for your business, you should incorporate them in your website content and meta tags. This will help search engines and users understand what your website is about and match it to relevant local searches. Here are some tips to optimize your website content.

  1. Optimize your title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and content with targeted local keywords. 
  1. Keep your title tags between 50 and 60 characters and your meta descriptions between 150 and 160 characters, to avoid truncation on search engine results pages (SERPs).
  1. Use variations and synonyms of your keywords to avoid repetition and increase diversity.
  1. Include keywords in your URL, image alt text, and anchor text of internal and external links.
  1. Integrate keywords naturally and avoid keyword stuffing, which can harm your ranking and user experience.

3. Utilizing Location Based Landing Pages for Targeted Optimization 

Location based landing pages are web pages that are dedicated to a specific city or area, and provide relevant information and offers for that location. So, if your business serves multiple locations or areas, you can utilize it to target specific audiences and optimize your local SEO. This can showcase your local presence and authority in that area, which can lead to rank higher for local searches. 

Acquiring Local Citations and Backlinks

Local citations and backlinks are two important factors for local SEO that can boost your overall brand's visibility and authority. 

1. Researching and Listing on Authoritative Local Directories

One of the easiest ways to acquire local citations is to research and list your business on authoritative local directories. These are online platforms that provide information about local businesses in various categories and locations. 

Some popular directories are Yelp, Yellow Pages, or industry-specific directories such as TripAdvisor for travel or Zomato for food. By providing consistent NAP information across different platforms, it can improve your ranking and credibility, increase your exposure and traffic from users. 

2. Building Relationships for Local Backlinks 

Small businesses can benefit greatly from partnering with other local organizations, charities, or complementary businesses. These partnerships can help small businesses to increase brand awareness, offer each other's customers discounts or other incentives, build relationships, and share resources. 

Backlinks are an important ranking factor for search engines, such as Google. When a search engine sees that your website has backlinks from other reputable websites, it's more likely to rank your website higher in search results along with increasing your domain and page authority, as well as referral traffic.

3. Implementing Structured Data Markup for Enhanced Visibility 

Structured data markup is a way of adding extra information to your website content that can help search engines understand and display it better. Implementing this, such as rich snippets or schema markup, offers several benefits for local businesses in terms of enhancing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Such as enhancing user experience, increasing click-through rate, ranking as well. 

Some examples of structured data markup relevant to local businesses include:

  • Business hours: Displaying the operating hours of your business allows users to know when you are open, enhancing the chances of them visiting or contacting you.
  • Address and location: This data markup helps search engines display accurate information in local search results, making it easier for potential customers to find you.
  • Reviews and ratings: Schema markup allows you to showcase user reviews and ratings for your business directly in search results. 
  • Event details: If your business hosts events, structured data markup can be used to display information about upcoming events hosted by your business. 

Creating Location Specific Content

Content is king when it comes to SEO, and local SEO is no exception. Creating location specific content can help you attract and engage your local audience.

1. Developing Localized Blog Posts, Articles, or Guides 

One of the best ways to create location specific content is to develop localized blog posts, articles, or guides that address the specific needs, challenges, or interests of your local audience. It can help you showcase your expertise, provide value, and build trust with your potential customers.

Some examples of localized blog posts, articles, or guides are:

  • Top 10 Things to Do in [City] → Top 10 Things to Do in Paris
  • Local Guide to [Service] in [City] → Local Guide to Fashion in Paris
  • Hidden Gems in [Neighborhood] → Hidden Gems in Montmartre 

2. Addressing Local Events, News, or Community Information

Another way is to address local events, news stories, or community initiatives that are relevant to your business or niche. This can help you create timely and engaging content that can capture the attention of your local audience and generate more traffic.

3. Providing Value through Locally Focused Content 

Finally, provide value to your local audience and convince them to choose your business over your competitors. To do this, you need to understand the local culture, preferences, and interests of your target market and create content that resonates with them.

Some ways to provide value through locally focused content are:

  • Incorporate local stories, testimonials, or case studies that showcase your success and credibility in the area.
  • Highlight the benefits or advantages of choosing a local business over a national or global one.
  • Address common pain points or problems that your local customers face and how you can solve them.
  • Offer exclusive discounts, deals, or incentives for local customers.

Leveraging Online Reviews and Reputation Management

Online reviews and reputation management are vital for local SEO and customer trust. They can influence your ranking, visibility, and conversion rate.

1. Encouraging Customer Reviews on Relevant Platforms

To leverage online reviews for local SEO, you need to encourage your customers to leave reviews on relevant platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, or industry-specific sites. Reviews on these platforms can help you increase your exposure and credibility on search engines and social media.

To encourage customer reviews on relevant platforms, you can use tips such as:

  • Request reviews from satisfied customers via email, social media, or in person interactions. 
  • You can use tools like Podium, Trustpilot, or ReviewTrackers to automate and manage review requests.
  • Make it easy for them to leave a review by providing direct links or QR codes to your review platforms.
  • Follow review platform guidelines and avoid incentivizing or manipulating reviews. Offering rewards or discounts for reviews can violate the terms of service of some platforms and damage your reputation.

2. Responding to Reviews in a Timely and Professional Manner

Encouraging customer reviews is not enough. You also need to respond to reviews in a timely and professional manner. To do this, you should:

  • Monitor online reviews regularly using tools like Moz Local, BrightLocal, or Whitespark. 
  • Respond to all reviews within 24 hours, both positive and negative ones. Thank them for their feedback, address their concerns or complaints, offer solutions or apologies if needed, and invite them to visit again.
  • Maintain a positive and respectful tone, even in challenging situations. Avoid arguing or blaming customers. Focus on finding a resolution and improving customer satisfaction. 
  • Invite customers to contact you directly if they have any further questions or complaints.

3. Monitoring and Addressing Online Reputation 

 You also need to monitor and address other online mentions of your business, such as social media posts, blog comments, or news articles. These can affect your brand awareness and perception, as well as your SEO performance. 

Actively monitor online reviews and social media mentions of your business using alerts or reputation management tools like Google Alerts, Mention, or Brand24. This can help you identify and address customer concerns promptly and prevent negative sentiment from spreading. 

Harnessing Social Media for Local SEO

1. Creating and Optimizing Social Media Profiles 

You need to create and optimize profiles on platforms relevant to your target audience, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, to harness social media for local SEO. These platforms can help you reach and connect with potential customers, as well as drive traffic to your website. 

For that, make sure to use consistent branding across all platforms, such as logo, color scheme, tone of voice, and message. Provide accurate and up-to-date business information, and link to your other social media profiles or review platforms.

2. Engaging with the Local Community through Social Media 

After that, you also need to engage with the local community through social media. To engage with the local community through social media, you should respond to comments, messages, or positive mentions of your business and express appreciation for the recognition. Share local news or events that are relevant to your business or niche, and feature customer stories or testimonials on your social media posts. This can help you showcase your success and credibility in the area.

3. Sharing Locally Relevant Content and Promotions 

The key to successful social media marketing is to share locally relevant content and promotions that provide value to your audience. It will resonate with your consumers and make them feel like you understand their needs and interests.

Social media is a great way to reach a large audience quickly and easily. By promoting your local discounts, events, or limited-time offers on social media, you can attract new customers and encourage existing customers to come back for more.

Measuring Success and Monitoring Progress

Local SEO is not a one-time effort, but an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring and improvement. To measure your success and progress, you need to track and analyze various metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Tracking Local SEO Metrics and KPIs

Metrics and KPIs are quantitative measures that help you evaluate your local SEO performance and goals. They can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats. They can also help you compare your performance with your competitors and industry benchmarks.

Utilizing Google Analytics and Search Console

Google Analytics and Search Console are two free tools provided by Google that can help you collect and analyze data related to your local SEO performance. They can help you understand how users find and interact with your website, as well as how search engines crawl and index your website. For example, measure your traffic volume, sources, behavior, conversions, goal, and segment your audience by location. 

Making Data-Driven Adjustments and Optimizations

The final step of measuring success and monitoring progress is to make data-driven adjustments and optimizations to your local SEO strategy. This means using the data and insights you gathered from tracking metrics and KPIs and utilizing Google Analytics and Search Console to identify what works and what doesn’t work for your local SEO performance.

To do that, you can set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals for your local SEO performance. For example: Increase organic traffic by 20% in 6 months. Moreover, if you want to visualize and summarize your data in an easy-to-understand way, you can use analytics dashboards or reports.


You have reached the end of this guide on local SEO for small businesses. I hope you have learned some useful and practical tips and strategies to optimize your online presence and attract more customers from relevant local searches. If you need any further assistance, you can always rely on Bayshore Communication. 

To get started with Bayshore Communication, you can visit our website at [......]. You can also contact them via email at [] or phone at [000-000-0000] to discuss your project details. Bayshore Communication will assign you a dedicated team who will work with you closely to help you meet your expectations and goals.

Meta- Boost your small business's online visibility and attract local customers with effective growth tactics. Learn local SEO strategies with Bayshore Communication!

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