How Local Companies Can Win with SEO

By Zach Emly • September 7, 2022 • Digital Marketing

How Local Companies Can Win with SEO

By Zach Emly • September 7, 2022 • News, Digital Marketing

What better way to grow your business than utilizing search engines? If people are buying cars, life insurance, and groceries online then why wouldn’t they want to buy your services? No matter how unique your service is, there are buyers searching for your solution.

SEO gives all businesses (local and national) the opportunity to be found and compete online. 

Have you thought about SEO and wondered if it’s worth it for your local business to dive in? This blog should help you discover if there is an opportunity for your business and if it is right for you.


What is SEO and why is it important for local businesses

Many businesses think of Google as a place strictly for online stores or E-commerce shopping rather than a platform that can also help local businesses. However, they couldn’t be further from the truth. 

SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the process of improving one’s website to make it more visible to consumers. The process involves various practices that are designed to improve a business’s appearance and positioning in organic search results. 

In other words, if someone is looking for your product or service, SEO will help your business rank higher in the search results. 

SEO gives organizations a platform to reach consumers internationally, nationally and locally. When most people want to purchase something or pay for a service, they will go online to search engines.

It’s not just about online shopping. Many people who search online aren’t looking for an online transaction but rather a local business to call or visit. 

According to Google, mobile searches for something nearby lead 76% of people to visit the business within one day. (Google)

While search engines are still used to look at fun videos and online recipes, many consumers have made it part of their daily purchase habits.


How local businesses can take advantage of SEO

Most local businesses do not have an SEO strategy and have yet to take steps towards improving their digital presence. Many of them are either unfamiliar with the process or worried that the investment won’t yield a worthwhile return. 

There are two places a business can rank organically

  1. The Local Pack
  2. Organic searches

Both of these generate traffic from local consumers searching right in your area but there are different practices involved. 


Ranking in the Local Pack

Google local map of businesses nearby

When it comes to showing up in Google’s Local Pack, it’s all about your Google Business Profile. Ensuring you have accurate business information, your service categories listed, your service areas included, and having positive reviews are all important aspects to your visibility in the local pack.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest factors is your business’s distance from the searcher. You can’t control this, but if the other factors are in place and doing well, then when you do show up close to a searcher you will be the one they choose. 


Ranking in Organic Searches

organic local listings on Google results page

Showing up in the organic searches happens mostly at a website level and can be more difficult than ranking in the local pack. It involves creating website pages and content with specific search terms in mind. Google ranks webpages based on their perceived relevance to what’s being searched, the trustworthiness of the website, and the usability of the webpage. 

Ultimately, a search engine’s intentions are to show results based on how well they think the different websites can satisfy the searchers needs. You can show them you deserve to be at the top by creating relevant content and creating a great user experience. 


Tips for creating a Winning Local SEO Strategy

Optimize your Google Business Profile(s)

Like I mentioned before, one of the most important aspects of showing up on the Google Local Map Packs is ensuring your Google Business Profile(s) are optimized for your services and your service area.


Generate (lots of) Positive Google Reviews

Who would you rather choose? The business with 50 5 star reviews or the business with 2? Not only can this improve your likelihood of showing up especially in crowded areas, but it also increases the chances of an online searcher choosing your business over a competitor. 


Ensure your site’s technical SEO is up to par

If you want your site to rank, you have to have a proper foundation. When it comes to ranking a website in search engines, a site has to have the proper technical provisions in place in order to allow Google to properly crawl, index and rank the site. 


Identify Geo-specific keywords

Including specific local citations allows Google to rank your site when people are searching within your area. Without these citations, Google is unaware of where you are located and therefore your competition will be at a worldwide level. 


Optimize your services pages 

Your biggest SEO opportunity is going to be within your service and product pages. These pages are already aligned with what potential consumers are looking to buy so they can generate a large amount of revenue if at the top of search results. Make sure that these pages are aligned with what people are searching for (i.e. optimized) and are well written. 


Create well-written content

In addition to your service pages, you will want to create content such as blog posts and videos. These will not only help your service pages rank but can also rank for various questions and keywords that your service pages are not optimized for allowing for compounding results. 


Create a great user experience

Web users don’t settle for subpar experiences and neither do search engines. An important part of SEO is a site’s performance. Speed, interactivity, responsiveness, and visual stability are all important factors in a site’s performance that have an effect on SEO. 


Have an active digital presence

Believe it or not, but not all SEO factors take place on your owned digital assets. Google relies on signals in the form of brand mentions and internal links to determine if a website is worth ranking. Having active social media accounts, joining local associations and being listed on their directories, and engaging in digital PR are great ways to show Google you are an authority in your space. 


Work with an SEO agency

Some organizations have the capability to perform SEO tasks internally. However, most do not. Many businesses want to do more with SEO but they don’t know where to start, don’t have the technical capabilities and do not have the time to invest. 


Working with a local SEO company

When it comes to SEO, most organizations will choose to outsource it. This is because the time commitment just to learn and some of the technical skills required to execute it is too great for most organizations to tackle internally. 

Unfortunately, finding and working with an SEO company is not always an easy task. 

  • Process driven
  • Research
  • Technical and on page
  • Amiable company

When it comes to SEO, it should be a working relationship. You’re the expert in your space. An SEO who doesn’t communicate with you to explore your products, services, sales process, buyer’s journey, customer questions, the type of business you want and the type of business you don’t want will more than likely rank you for keywords that are irrelevant for your business. 

They not only need to be able to understand your markets but they also need to have the ability to explain SEO in layman’s terms and play nice with other members of your marketing department. 

There are a lot of skilled SEOs out there but they are a pain to work with. You never know when the work will be done or what work is even being done. They dodge your calls and leave you in the dark. When you do meet they speak over your head with SEO jargon that doesn’t help you understand what’s going on. This can leave you feeling frustrated throughout the relationship even if they are generating results. 

When looking for an SEO company, make sure they have the experience necessary to get you results but the willingness to help you understand every step of the process. 




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