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A Complete Guide to Local SEO for Small Businesses

Local SEO (which stands for “local search engine optimization”) refers to the optimization of a website so that they appear in the results of local searches on Google. If you want your local business to be discovered by local customers, then you’ll need to get to grips with local business search engine optimization.

To understand just how important local SEO is, consider that 46% of all searches on Google are made with local intent. It means, If your business isn’t optimized for local search, you could be missing out on valuable customers who are ready to shop in your local area.

What is Local Business SEO?

Local SEO is all about increasing search visibility for businesses that serve their communities with physical locations, like Restaurants, Clothing stores, Hair Salons, grocery stores, or service-area businesses that operate throughout a certain geographic area, such as plumbing companies or electricians. It is the same as organic SEO, but with an added geographical area component.

If you have a local business, like a store, restaurant, or agency, you want your web pages to rank for specific search queries performed by local users. local SEO is dependent on searchers looking for a product or service in a specific geographical area.

Local Pack vs Organic search results

There are various types of search results displayed on SERPs like paid ads, pack results, and organic results. One of the ways that local SEO enhances your online visibility is through your local snack pack results. To improve website traffic, local businesses need visibility on ‘Local Pack’, sometimes called “3 pack” or ‘Snack Pack’. These Local pack results appear at the top of Google’s search results, above the organic listings.

Organic results appear below the local pack results with blue links and they don’t contain any useful business info, like business hours and contact details.

The 3-pack section displayed specific details about each business, including their contact details, business hours, and a star rating. There’s a better chance of visibility if you get featured in the snack pack rather than organic local search results.

How to Optimize Your Website For Local SEO

If your business operates in physical locations, it’s imperative to your marketing and SEO strategy that you continuously optimize and update your website for local SEO. Investing your energy and time into a local SEO marketing strategy is one of the most lucrative methods that businesses can use to grow online. B2B companies that take advantage of this process will reap the benefits of staying ahead of their competition and securing qualified leads online.

There are some Best Practices to Optimize Your Website for Local SEO:

  • Keyword Research
  • Google My Business
  • Local Citations: Name, Address, Phone (N.A.P)
  • Add Local Reviews to your website
  • Add Schema Markup
  • Add Your Business to Local Directories
  • On-site SEO

The Google Local Search Algorithm

local SEO is one of the top practices to generate leads online and convert them into customers. The competition is getting harder day by day and Google is updating the algorithm consistently to ensure that the best match for the user’s query shows up at the top of the SERPs.

Have you ever thought about how the Google local algorithm works? The Google local algorithm focus on three key aspects:


Relevance is an important factor in both local and traditional SEO. You want to make sure that you are targeting the right keywords and queries in order to ensure that search engines such as Google sees your business as relevant to be appearing in relevant searches.

For example, if you own a coffee shop in Sydney, you want to make sure that Google relates your business with keywords like ‘coffee Sydney.’

Create Business listings such as Google My Business, Bing Places, and Yahoo Local listing, and let the Google local algorithm know that your business is relevant to certain queries.


Prominence refers to how well-known a business is and how it stands out from other similar businesses. It shows that your traditional SEO and brand awareness are directly correlated to local search visibility. keep in mind that your brand should have a solid online presence. You’ll achieve this in several different forms such as directories, reviews, blogs, etc.


Distance, or how close your business is to users, is the factor that separates local SEO from traditional SEO.  This only depends on the latitude and longitude of the searcher’s location and the distance between their location and your business address.

You can’t change your business address to rank on SERPs, you will have to optimize your Google Business profile and use localized keyword phrases on your website to expand the radius for a particular search query.

Three ways a user can perform a local search

Geo-modified searches

Use location-specific keywords (Ex: Italian restaurants in Sydney )

Non-geo-modified searches

Do not include the location (Ex: Italian restaurants or best Italian restaurants)

‘Near me’ searches

User adding the words ‘near me’ or ‘nearby’ (Ex: Italian restaurants near me or Italian restaurants nearby)

The Benefits of Local SEO for Businesses

Any business that is local and serves local customers can benefit from local SEO services.

  • High positions for local queries
  • Improve visibility
  • Increase traffic and sales
  • Increase Trust and authority
  • Strong local community outreach
  • Exposure to local listings
  • Appearance in Google’s 3-pack
  • local reviews
  • Bypass Your Competition

Ready to get local?

Investing in local SEO is the best way to put your small business in the limelight and attract all the relevant customers. We design Local SEO strategies to improve your visibility on Google and other search engines when people close to your physical location perform a search or when a search includes a specific location. Boost your local SEO and monitor how your website performs within your local community.

Written By

DigitalZoop is a digital marketing agency based in Sydney, Australia. We offer all kinds of digital marketing solutions to new and upcoming brands. Our smart team helps them conquer the digital space.

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