How can local SEO help your small business rank better on Google?

By Emma Miller

The greatest majority of small businesses still see their primary customer base in the offline world. To support this claim, there is a statistic that about 41 percent of small business owners believe that their business wouldn’t benefit from having a website, let alone conducting a digital marketing campaign.

Even though this stance is completely off point, there is some method to this madness. If, as a small business owner, you don’t intend to have people buy from your e-store, then what’s the point of investing in search engine optimization (SEO)? Well, the two most important reasons are A) boosting your offline sales and B) improving your visibility in the digital world. Here’s the brief rundown on how this is supposed to work.

-The massive increase in traffic

The first major reason why local SEO helps your small business gain audience is the fact that most people are interested in what’s in their nearest vicinity. You see, about 46 percent of all searches on Google are local. When you consider that not all questions that people ask on Google are business, product or service related, what you get is the full significance of a local search. On the other hand, the nature of these searches varies from people checking your offer to those simply wanting to check your location. After all, about 71 percent of all your visitors first confirm your location online before visiting it in person.

-Longer visit duration

Another metric that Google highly values is the visit duration. This metric shows Google that you didn’t come to the website by accident or because you were tricked by a black hat technique. One of the greatest misconceptions that entrepreneurs who aren’t familiar with digital marketing have is assuming that every interaction that doesn’t result in a purchase is a wasted opportunity. In reality, however, about 78 percent of all local-mobile searches eventually become an offline purchase. People might come to your website to check out your offer, prices or even location (as we already mentioned) before they visit your store. Needless to say, this is a statistic that applies only to local-searches due to the nature of this phenomenon.

-Using the location in your company name

One of the best ways to help your business improve its local SEO is to create a name that is keyword-like. The easiest way to achieve this is to use the name of the state, city or suburb your company is located in. In other words, if you want to register a business in Sydney, you could add Sydney, NSW or Parramatta into the company name and thus make it friendlier for local searches.

-Yelp, Facebook or Google

The next issue that a lot of people are having with their local SEO campaign is the question of where they should put most of their focus: A) Yelp, B) Facebook or C) Google. The answer may not be as simple as you might have expected. While considered to be the most reliable of the three (when it comes to reviews), Yelp is the hardest to boost your SEO through. Why? Well, simply because they have insanely tough review standards that will dismiss any review they don’t see as ‘legitimate enough.’

When it comes to Google and Facebook, both of these platforms have their massive advantages. First of all, there’s nothing easier than leaving a Google review. In 2018, everyone’s already logged into their Google account, which means that they are just a few clicks away from posting their opinion of your small business online. As for Facebook, according to numerous surveys, a lot of people see social media networks as the main source of reliable reviews. The reason behind this is mostly the fact that people are endorsing certain brands with their private profiles so that everyone can see them.

-Look beyond local

Finally, to boost your local presence and performance, you sometimes have to (ironically) look past your local marketing efforts. Even the customers from your nearest vicinity will be interested in your overall Google rank. A couple of ways to boost that are to make your website mobile-friendly, focus on voice search SEO and even try to get yourself a spot on Google Rich Answers. If you manage to achieve some or all of these goals, you will not only boost the reputation of your business, but improve your overall standing in the business world as well.


At the end of the day, as a small business that doesn’t offer the option of shipment to distant locations, your local presence should be the main technique for boosting your sales. However, by working intensively on it, you might also hope to significantly improve your Google rank in general. In time, this will give you more options as your business starts expanding and might even provide you with a greater option of scalability. All in all, striving towards a better local SEO benefits your business in more than one way.

Emma Miller is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends.

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