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Local Search Engine Optimization Strategy 101

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

Local SEO tips are everywhere. If you aren't a marketing company, it's difficult to find balance between great local search results and quality written content. Heck, sometimes it's hard for us marketing companies too! But it's important to get local search optimization right if your small business or startup is relying on local customers for revenue.

local seo tips search engine optimization 101
Local SEO Strategy 101: 10 tips that any local business owner can achieve!

Let's start with the elephant in the room — what is search engine optimization? It's okay to not know! In the simplest terms, search engine optimization (SEO) is a series of steps that help your website achieve higher search results and visibility on search engines like Google.

These steps can be lumped into one of three categories:

  1. Content. What words are you using on your website, and where? Do these words have value with Google?

  2. Technical. Is your site designed and developed effectively to rank well with search engines?

  3. Popularity. How often do people click links to your site? How many links to your site are found online?

You might not be an expert in these 3 categories. (If you aren't, that's okay! We're here to help without breaking your budget.)

But there are still plenty of things you can do to improve your local SEO without being an SEO expert! In this article, we'll give you 10 simple tips to boost your local search engine optimization without any expertise.

It's Local SEO Strategy 101, and we promise it's not hard.

Before we give you those 10 simple tips, let's explain why local SEO is unique.

What Sets Local SEO Apart from National SEO?

Did you know Google uses a different set of criteria for local SEO than general SEO? This is actually good for local business — Google's local SEO criteria offers small businesses a competitive edge.

business owner local seo strategy
Local SEO ranking is vital to small business owners.

Here are some factors Google uses to determine your business' local SEO value:

  • Presence of Google My Business listing (see Tip #1)

  • Keywords used in Google profile and online reviews (Tip #7 and #8)

  • Positivity of online reviews

  • Local citation listings with your business name, address and phone number (Tip #9)

  • The location of the person searching your business

Overall local search quality depends on general SEO quality, of course. You can ace these local checkpoints and still come up short without quality keyword research and valuable content.

That being said, we both know you need to succeed on a budget. Any inexpensive or free advantage your small local business can get must be utilized. That way, every dollar of your marketing budget can be spent where it's absolutely necessary.

So let's talk about what you can do to find local search success on your own!

Your Local SEO Guide: 10 Things Anyone Can Do!

As promised, here are 10 local SEO strategies anyone can start doing right now. And if you need a hand, remember that every first consultation with Perk Copywriting is free!

1. Claim your Google local business listing.

Every local business must claim their listing on Google My Business and create a Google business profile. There's no two ways around it. There is no better free option for optimizing your status in local search results.

You'll need to verify your address with a simple postcard code that takes about 5 days to deliver. Once completed, a host of options is available to you. Take bookings, engage in Q&A, create a profile, and track your Google local performance through Google My Business listing.

Your status as a verified Google business provides access to additional resources like free articles, Google local services ads, and specialized assistance for restaurants, retail and service companies.

2. Research local keyword trends.

Every search begins with a keyword. Remember when you typed “local SEO tips” into Google? That's a keyword. Use a great set of focus and secondary keywords in your website content, and you're on your way to improved SEO.

Local keyword research is crucial to writing content that gets local search visibility. It's the difference between “best lumber yard” and “Springfield lumber yard”. If you're that lumber yard in Springfield, the second target keyword is the one you want for optimized website content.

You can use tools like Google Trends for help discovering keyword popularity. For local results, don't be afraid to reach out and ask questions — our first chat is free and we'd love to offer some specialized advice.

3. Create local content — write with local intent.

TL;DR version: If your customers come from Rochester, write your content for Rochester.

small business owner local content seo strategy
Write local content — if your store is in Evansville, then write for Evansville!

It's tempting to create content that appeals to the masses. But if your sales rely on local customers, you must write with them in mind. Local marketing must feel genuine to the people in your area.

If you hire a content marketing professional, make sure they do ample research on your client base — especially if you're locally focused. Your potential customer pool gravitates towards content that “looks and feels” like where they live.

A marketing team with small business expertise like Perk Copywriting knows how to research and write engaging content for local leads.

4. Tie your website to Google Analytics.

Tie your website to Google Analytics for increased insight on search results and demographics. Your Analytics panel provides information on clicks, conversions and Google search location. It's a helpful tool to gauge local result quality.

If your local business has multiple locations, Google Analytics helps break down which regions find your website most effectively. It tracks search data through your Google search console, assisting you in noting where your efforts reap the highest rewards.

Conversely, you also learn where your advertising budget could use a little boost. If customers in one region discover your business more regularly than others, you can tailor your local SEO strategy accordingly.

We'll talk more about your Google business profile in Tip 7.

5. Claim your business in local directories.

Search engine marketing doesn't have to cost money! Garner quality local SEO by claiming your business in local directories like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Waze and In many cases, your local listing and business information are obtainable for free.

claim local business listing local seo strategy
Claim your business in local directories for a quality local SEO boost.

Think of these platforms as extra local listings — where local customers come to you, not vice versa. If you're a local restaurant, claim your listing on OpenTable for heightened visibility and reservations. If you host local events, placement on sites like Evensi and Eventseeker is vital.

You'll discover some great options with a little digging. 2FindLocal is a local search directory akin to Yellow Pages. AroundMe is a local business app that connects customers with hotels, restaurants, banks and more.

6. Don't be afraid of local search engine ad campaigns.

Want to spend a little on local marketing? Utilize Google Ads effectively and watch local search result rates climb.

You want to work with a partner with ample Google Ads experience to ensure your targeting, keywords and budget align properly. Ask Perk Copywriting for a free consultation about search engine advertising.

7. Utilize Google My Business to build search engine and customer trust.

Google My Business is a great way to build trust with search engines and local customers. It allows you to create a Google business profile, provide hours and services, and display your business on Google Maps.

Once you complete Tip #1 and claim your Google business profile, utilize every option Google offers that makes sense for your business. Use Google for Small Business for access to tools like WooCommerce and Shopify. Get special offers from HootSuite, Square and MailChimp.

Google My Business also allows customers to leave online reviews — which is the next step on our list.

8. Ask customers to submit online reviews.

Online reviews are free social media marketing. If properly curated, they provide positive data that improves your local Google search ranking.

online reviews free local seo strategy
Online reviews are free social media marketing. Ask your customers to leave reviews and offer perks for doing so!

Ask your favorite customers to submit online reviews on social media. If you've set up your business listing on sites like Yelp, ask them to review you there as well.

Offer discounts and perks for their feedback — they're doing you a great service, and displaying your gratitude will only help your relationship.

9. Engage in local link building.

Partner with local businesses, community leaders and local social media groups for reciprocal local link building. Trade outbound links — a link from your site to theirs, and theirs to yours — and your local ranking should improve with search engines.

A business blog is ideal for link building and trading. Write a quick article about a business partner or community group you value and add their link in the content. Ask them to do the same, and voila! You have reciprocal outbound links that improve both of your Google rankings.

(On that note — who's writing quality SEO content for your blog? Do you have a blog? We'd love to build one for you.)

Another easy way to build local links is through your Chamber of Commerce. If you're a member, inquire about a listing or logo on their website.

It's free local SEO strategy and a great way to build relationships in the community.

10. Find a digital marketing partner who provides local SEO services.

A local SEO company doesn't have to be local to you. It simply must provide three things:

  1. A passion for helping small businesses and startups succeed.

  2. The drive and expertise to conduct quality local research.

  3. The transparency to provide your local SEO audit on a reasonable timeline and budget.

Perk Copywriting is a small business. We know what it's like to seek quality results at a fair price. We understand that SEO can sound like scary jargon, and it's hard to know where to start (or how much it costs).

Local search engine optimization can be done effectively on a smaller budget. You can tackle these 10 tips yourself and save a ton of money and aggravation. If you want more help after that, we're here for you. Let's write your next chapter together — in a way that makes you happy.

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