Why Local SEO is Important for Small Business Growth

by Binnie Media
Nov 15, 2023
Posted in: Local SEO

After the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of consumers stated that they prefer to shop locally. Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical part of digital marketing for businesses small and large. The more successful a business can implement local SEO campaigns, the more local customers will be able to find them online, ultimately leading to an increase in potential revenue. 

In this article, we’ll explore why local SEO is important for small business growth, and how you can start implementing practical strategies and SEO best practices to rank higher in local search results. 

What is SEO Localization?

Understanding the Basics of SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves the optimization of websites to increase their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). At its core, SEO is about learning and leveraging the mechanisms that search engines like Google and Bing use to rank websites. 

SEO is the process of optimizing elements of a website, such as its content and structure (On-page SEO), as well as making the website easy for search engines to crawl and index (Technical SEO). The overall objective is to enhance the website’s relevance and authority for specific search terms or keywords to drive more organic traffic, leading to increased sales and growth. 

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a subset of SEO that focuses specifically on optimizing a local business’s online presence to attract more customers from relevant local searches. Local SEO differs from general SEO because it targets searches occurring from a local city, region, or neighborhood.

For example, if you run a restaurant chain in Concord, New Hampshire, you’d want to appear in searches for “Restaurant in Concord.” Local SEO helps local businesses by boosting their online presence in ways that effectively target specific local markets. 

Why Local SEO is Important for Small Business Growth

The Benefits of Local SEO

Local SEO helps businesses gain more customers. Approximately 87% of consumers research local businesses with Google Search. The more optimized a business’s local SEO can be, the more likely a local customer will be able to find and visit the establishment, increasing potential sales. 

The following is a list of benefits that demonstrate why local SEO is important for small business growth: 

  • Improved conversion rates and sales
  • Greater online visibility & web traffic 
  • Elevated foot-traffic
  • More calls from potential customers
  • Building trust and local brand recognition 
  • Staying competitive in the local market

Local SEO gives small businesses the ability to connect more easily with their local customers. By optimizing for local search terms and utilizing tools like setting up a Google Business Profile (more on this later), small businesses can effectively reach the audience that matters most to them.

Key Components of Local SEO

Local Ranking Factors

Local ranking factors refer to specific elements of local SEO that search engines like Google take into account when determining how to rank a local business in the search results. Google uses three main factors to determine local ranking: 

  • Relevance 
  • Distance 
  • Prominence 

Google defines relevance as “how well a local Business Profile matches what someone is searching for.” If the local Business Profile fails to closely match the search query, it runs the risk of failing to rank for a search term that would otherwise bring in local business. For instance, if you operate a local seafood restaurant, your local Business Profile should specify that you serve seafood or it may not show up in relevant search results. 

Distance refers to how close the local search result is to the local customer. Google calculates the distance by using the location term used in the search query, or if the user does not include a specific location, Google will determine the distance based on the user’s location at the time the search is made. 

Prominence, the last of the three local ranking factors, is defined by how well the business is known. Google takes into account various information in order to weigh a local business’s prominence such as its Google review count and review score, domain rank, number of backlinks, mentions on social media, citations in directories from local websites, as well as blog content.

Practical Steps to Improve Local SEO

There is a collection of terms and elements that make up local SEO. It’s important to know what these terms are and how they fit into the world of local SEO in order to execute the best marketing campaign.

Google Business Profile 

The most important factor in local SEO is the Google Business Profile (GBP). Having an optimized Google Business Profile with consistent, up-to-date information is one of the strongest influences on local SEO. Here are some steps you can use to optimize your Google Business Profile to its fullest potential: 

  • Complete your profile 100%
  • Select the appropriate categories for your industry 
  • Add products and services 
  • Post on a consistent basis 
  • Get positive customer reviews

Local Claiming 

Local Claiming is an important step in local SEO and involves claiming ownership of your business’s listings on local directories and search engines such as your Google Business Profile, Google Maps, Yelp, and Facebook. Having your business information consistent across local directories and websites increases visibility and helps customers find your business. 

The Local Pack

The Local Pack, also referred to as “The Map Pack,” are the three local businesses that appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), including their location on Google Maps. Whether or not a business appears in the Local Pack largely depends on the keywords being used, the geographical area where the business is located, as well as its name, address, and phone number (NAP). Local businesses should make sure that their NAP remains consistent across all online platforms, especially on their Google Business Profile. 

Targeting Local Keywords

Targeting local keywords is an important elements of Local SEO. These are search terms that combine a local business’s local area with the products and services they offer. Localizing content by including local targeted keywords naturally in website content, title tags, and meta descriptions improves a business’s visibility in local search results.

Local Link Building

Another crucial in any localized seo strategy is local link building. Acquiring links from locally relevant websites such as local business directories, review bloggers, local publications, and other local businesses. Google interprets these backlinks as endorsements, boosting a business’s authority and relevance. By partnering with local websites, you can potentially drive more traffic from your targeted audience to your business. 

NAP Citations

Similar to backlinks and local claiming, NAP citations are the practice of making sure that your business name, address, and phone number is consistent and accurate across every platform on the internet. These platforms typically include your business website, Google Business Profile, social media, business directories, and any other website that mentions your business.

Review Management

Positive online reviews help bolster local SEO rankings. A staggering 98% of people read online reviews for local businesses. Review management, or SEO reputation management, is when local businesses attempt to either gain more positive reviews from customers, or repair negative reviews through online engagement. Both are essential to to build local authority, as well as trust and brand awareness from local customers. 


57% of local search queries are made by a smartphone or tablet. It is not enough for a business to complete all of the above steps to improve local SEO without also optimizing their website to have a mobile-friendly user experience. Since more than half of local searches are made on smartphones, if the website isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be losing a lot of potential business. 

Conquer the Local Market

Local SEO can be a game-changer for any local business looking to boost their brand to customers nearby. With its ability to boost online visibility in local search rankings, build trust and authority with potential customers, and increase traffic and sales, it’s easy to see why local SEO is important for small business growth. 

Integrating all of these strategies can be challenging, especially for those running their own business. If you would like help growing your businesses with local SEO, reach out to Binnie Media Digital



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