Local SEO: The Key Benefits For SMBs & Startups (2024)


Are you a small or medium-sized business (SMB) owner or a startup entrepreneur struggling for brand visibility and conversions? The good news, implementing local SEO strategies will improve your online presence, bring targeted customers to your company, and establish a positive brand reputation in your local community.

46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, indicating the growing importance of local SEO for businesses. However, 56% of SMBs still haven’t claimed their Google My Business listing, missing out on the chance to appear prominently in local search results and reach their potential customers.

In this article, we will explore how local SEO works and contributes to higher organic traffic. You’ll get to know the key benefits of local SEO for SMBs and startups in building trust and driving sales and conversions. We’ll also uncover how local SEO works as a cost-effective marketing strategy.

By the end of this read, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to leverage local SEO into your marketing strategy for boosting website traffic and ROI.

Let’s get started.

How Does Local SEO Work?

Local SEO - Statistics

Local SEO, or local search engine optimisation, is a digital marketing strategy that aims to improve the online visibility of businesses in their specific geographical area. It’s like waving a virtual flag to let people in your neighborhood know that your business is ready to serve them.

It involves optimising various elements of a business’s online presence to appear prominently in local search results. With local SEO, you improve your visibility in local search results, such as Google Maps or local directories.

Optimising your website, online profiles, and content with location-specific keywords and information increases your chances of appearing at the top of the online search results. Ultimately, it gets your business in front of the right people at the right time when they’re searching for products or services nearby.

Here’s how local SEO works step by step:

  1. Keyword Research: The process starts with identifying relevant search terms people in your local area are likely to use when searching for businesses like yours. These keywords should include location-specific terms to target local searches effectively.
  2. Website Optimisation: The next step is optimising your website to align with the identified search terms. This includes incorporating location-specific keywords in page titles, meta descriptions, description tags, headings, and throughout the website’s content.
  3. Google My Business (GMB) Profile: Creating and optimising your GMB profile involves providing accurate business information such as name, address, phone number (NAP), operating hours, and adding high-quality images. GMB also allows businesses to manage and respond to customer reviews, which play a significant role in local SEO.
  4. Online Reviews and Ratings: Positive customer reviews and high ratings not only influence potential customers but also impact local search rankings. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews and promptly addressing any negative feedback helps build trust and credibility.
  5. Local Citations and Directories: Listing your business accurately and consistently across online directories, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and industry-specific directories, enhances your local SEO efforts. This ensures search engines can validate and associate your business with the correct location.
  6. Location-Specific Content: Creating relevant and engaging content that caters to the interests and needs of your local audience helps establish your authority and relevance within the local market. This can include business blogs, articles, and other forms of content that address local topics, events, or news.
  7. Backlinks and Local Outreach: Earning quality backlinks from reputable local websites and engaging in local outreach activities like collaborating with other businesses or sponsoring local events, can further boost your local SEO efforts.
  8. Monitoring and Analysis: Regularly monitoring your local SEO performance through analytics tools tracks key metrics, such as website traffic, keyword rankings, and customer engagement. This data helps you identify areas for improvement and refine your local SEO strategies accordingly.

10 Key Benefits Of Local SEO In Boosting Sales

In this section, we’ll explore 10 key advantages of local SEO, each designed to propel your sales to new heights. After understanding the true value of local SEO for SMBs and startups, you’ll be convinced to confidently integrate it into your marketing strategy and remove any doubts about its worthiness.

1. Enhanced Online Visibility For Local Searches

When you optimise your website and online profiles for local search queries, you improve your chances of appearing on the first page of search engine results for relevant queries. This increased visibility is a prominent local SEO ranking factor that brings more organic traffic to your website.

It also boosts your brand recognition and awareness within your local market. As more people see your business listed prominently in search results, they become familiar with your brand. It increases the chances of convincing them to choose your products or services over competitors.

Moreover, having accurate business NAP details on the Google Business profile ensures users have easy access to essential information about the business. Make sure to keep the following information up-to-date:

  • Contact information: Phone number, email address, website URL
  • Location Details: Business address, map location
  • Business hours: Opening and closing hours for each day
  • Description: Brief overview of the business
  • Images and videos: High-quality visual content showcasing the business
  • Reviews and ratings: Customer feedback and ratings of the business
  • Categories: Industry or category classification
  • Attributes: Additional details about the business
  • Services or products: Specific offers provided by the business
  • Posts and updates: Recent announcements or updates from the business

If you have a location-specific business like this dog training company, you can increase your brand awareness and visibility by having an up-to-date Google Business profile. When a potential customer makes a mobile search for your business, they get all the relevant information to assist them in taking further action. They can directly make a call or visit your business location for further queries.

Local SEO - Enhanced Online Visibility

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2. Increased Foot Traffic To Physical Locations

If your business has a physical location, attracting customers to visit your store or office is crucial for generating sales. Local SEO helps capture the attention of potential customers who are searching for businesses in your area.

45% of your potential customers visit your physical location after finding you online via local searches. Ensuring that your business information is consistent and up-to-date across various online platforms, such as Google My Business, Yelp, or Apple Maps, increases your visibility and credibility.

It ultimately boosts your chances of interacting with prospects and turning them into customers via special offers like promotions and discounts.

3. Targeted Traffic & Customer Acquisition

You can bring highly targeted traffic to your website and physical location by optimising your online presence for location-specific keywords. These customers are more likely to engage with your website, explore your offers, and ultimately make a purchase or contact you for further information. As you acquire customers who are more likely to convert, it allows for a higher return on investment (ROI).

To understand how it works, let’s consider a real-life example of HostPapa, a web hosting company. They’ve optimised their website for local SEO targeting the Canadian market. When users search for “hosting providers in Canada,” HostPapa’s website appears in the top results of the SERP.

They achieved this by strategically incorporating relevant keywords, creating location-specific landing pages, optimising their Google My Business profile, ensuring accurate citations, and actively managing positive reviews. These efforts have positioned HostPapa as a trusted choice for Canadian users seeking web hosting services, driving qualified and relevant traffic to their websites.

Local SEO - Targeted Traffic

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Here’s a list of popular SEO tools to help you find the right keywords for localised Google searches:

  • Semrush
  • Google Trends
  • KeywordTool.io
  • AnswerThePublic
  • Moz Keyword Explorer
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

4. Building Trust & Credibility

Local SEO helps establish a trustworthy and credible online presence by optimising your business information, managing online reviews, and engaging with your audience. Showcasing positive customer experiences builds trust with potential customers and sets an edge over competitors.

When customers see positive reviews and interactions with your business, it builds confidence in your brand and increases the chances of them choosing you over competitors who may have a less visible online presence or negative reviews.

Let’s consider the example of UltaHost, an offshore hosting company that has built credibility through its strong online presence and positive customer reviews. Users searching for their business can easily find a multitude of online reviews that highlight UltaHost’s exceptional services, reliability, and customer satisfaction.

These reviews, found on reputable platforms and popular directories, testify to the company’s commitment to delivering high-quality web hosting solutions. Before making an online purchase, users opt for a business that has a higher number of positive reviews and actively responds to customer feedback.

Local SEO - Reviews

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5. Cost-Effective Marketing Strategy

Instead of casting a wide net and hoping to capture any potential customers, local SEO targets customers who are actively searching for products or services in your local area. When your marketing efforts are focused on reaching the right audience, it maximises the impact of your budget and generates higher returns on investment.

Local SEO practices bring you clients to your door, saving you the costs of traditional marketing. Forget about spending on expensive advertising campaigns, email finders, direct mailers, or cold outreach. With local SEO, you can capitalise on local search intent, online directories, and reviews, ultimately driving qualified leads, foot traffic, and phone calls without relying solely on email-based outreach.

Consider niche-specific services like this overseas hiring website catering to SMBs or startup business owners. They’re actively incorporating local SEO as part of their marketing strategy. They optimise their website content and meta tags with relevant search phrases to attract targeted traffic searching for overseas hiring solutions.

Additionally, they showcase video testimonials to boost online credibility. The videos of clients sharing their experiences and expressing their satisfaction show their track record of success. It also builds trust among potential customers and drives more sales and conversions.

Local SEO - Testimonials

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6. Competitive Advantage In Local Markets

Implementing effective local SEO strategies position your business as the go-to choice in your area, driving customer acquisition and fostering business growth. Local SEO also helps you stand out by showcasing your unique selling points. Whether it’s exceptional customer service, a niche product offer, or specialised expertise, local SEO lets you highlight what makes your business special.

Effectively communicating your unique value proposition to potential customers differentiates you from competitors. When your business consistently appears at the top of organic search results, potential customers become more familiar with your brand. You can set yourself as an authority in your niche by consistently delivering valuable resources and relevant content through local SEO efforts.

A good example of this is Estuary, a company that helps businesses with data integration challenges. They have optimised their website content, including blog posts and guides, to match the intent of users searching relevant terms. For instance, they appear in the “People Also Ask” section of the Google SERP for the keyword “Confluent alternatives“.

It gives them increased visibility and positions them as a reputable source of information. Being featured in “People Also Ask” not only showcases their expertise but also drives additional clicks to their website, giving them a competitive edge in attracting relevant traffic from the SERPs.

Local SEO - Competitive Advantage

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7. Better Link Building Opportunities

Local SEO plays a vital role in link-building with other local businesses so you can foster collaboration and establish valuable connections. You can actively engage in local SEO strategies to create link-building opportunities with similar businesses in your area, benefiting both parties.

One way local SEO contributes to link building is through collaborations and partnerships. When you engage in activities like local events, sponsorships, or joint marketing initiatives, you can earn backlinks from other local businesses. For example, if you collaborate with a nearby restaurant for a community event, they might link to your website as a partner or sponsor.

Another aspect of local SEO that enhances link building is online directories and citations. Ensuring your business is listed accurately in local directories increases the chances of receiving inbound links from these authoritative sources.

Additionally, when you establish mutually beneficial relationships with other local businesses, they may naturally link to your website as a trusted resource. When you foster relationships and demonstrate your expertise, other businesses see value in linking to your content or recommending your services.

8. Improved User Experience

A positive user experience attracts and retains customers. As mobile usage continues to rise, local SEO ensures your website is optimised for mobile devices. Mobile-friendly design and responsive layouts allow users to access your site on the go, providing a smooth and enjoyable browsing experience regardless of the device they use.

Local SEO tailors your website content, promotions, and offers to the specific needs and interests of your local audience. Moreover, you can create dedicated pages on your website that focus on specific locations you serve. Include relevant information about each location, such as address, contact details, operating hours, and any unique offerings or events specific to that area.

Use high-quality images, informative product descriptions, mobile-friendly content, and shipping options specific to the user’s region to attract and engage local customers. Moreover, a website having a well-organised navigation hierarchy and a search bar helps users navigate smoothly through different categories, subcategories, and product pages. Clear menu labels, intuitive filters, and search functionality enable users to find desired products efficiently.

9. Data-Driven Insights For Business Growth

Local SEO provides valuable data-driven insights that can help you understand customer behavior, search trends, and the effectiveness of your local SEO efforts. Analysing data from tools like Google Analytics and Google My Business gives insights that inform your strategies and drive business growth.

You can gain insights into which pages or content resonate the most with your audience. This information can help you optimise your website further, refine your messaging, and focus on the areas that drive the most engagement and conversions.

Similarly, by analysing search data and trends, you can identify target keywords or content ideas that are relevant to your local market and adjust your content strategy accordingly.

For example, Google My Business can track metrics like clicks, calls, bookings, and reviews to give insights into how customers are interacting with your business. Based on the insights, you can adjust your marketing strategies, improve your products or services, and boost customer service to ensure you thrive in the local market.

10. Customer Insights & Feedback

Local SEO strategies provide valuable customer insights and feedback that can help you improve your offers and overall customer experience. Analysing customer reviews, feedback, and interactions gives you valuable insights into their preferences, pain points, and expectations. This information allows you to tailor your products or services to better meet their needs.

Consider the example of this online lingerie store. It makes sure to respond to positive and negative reviews to keep their customers engaged with their business. Customer feedback from local SEO strategies also provides you with an opportunity to identify and capitalise on your strengths.

Happy customers and 5-star ratings highlight the aspects of your business that are highly appreciated. Leverage those strengths to differentiate yourself from competitors in your target location.

Local SEO - Customer Insights

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Local SEO is not just an optional add-on for local businesses; it is a fundamental component of any comprehensive SEO strategy. Implement effective local SEO techniques to ensure that your audience can easily find you when they make a Google search online. Be it a physical storefront or a service area.

Now you’re well equipped with local SEO practices and benefits to promote your business, it’s time to take action. Apply these insights to optimise your online presence and create a consistent business profile across online business directories.

Engage with your local audience through reviews and social media. By doing so, you’ll attract more customers, outshine your competitors, and ultimately drive growth and success. Don’t forget to track your online visibility, website traffic, and customer engagement to see the impact of your local SEO efforts.

Are you looking for expert guidance to maximise your results? At Rivmedia, we work closely with you to optimise your website, manage your online profiles, and implement effective local SEO strategies.

Visit us now so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to attract more customers, outshine your competitors, and establish your brand as a trusted choice within your local community.