If your business has a physical location and is part of a specific geographic location, you should be utilizing local SEO. Local SEO can be impactful for any business and is the key to winning the trust of local customers and the community. Local business owners, entrepreneurs, or marketers can grow their businesses using something as straightforward as local SEO. So what is it, why is it important, and what kind of tools do you need?

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence and digital marketing efforts to attract more business from relevant local searches on search engines and platforms like Google. In simple terms, local SEO is focused on improving the visibility of a business in local search results, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses and for users searching for products or services in their vicinity.

With local SEO, local businesses can position themselves as pioneers or preferred establishments within a city, town, or community. Local customers and prospects will easily find businesses within their area, and they will have an easier time getting information about them.

Local SEO can be considered a type of SEO strategy for a lot of businesses. It’s important, however, to know how to differentiate the two if marketers and business owners want to get ahead of the competition and grow their businesses.

What is the difference between SEO and local SEO?

SEO and local SEO are both strategies aimed at improving a website or business’s visibility in search engine results and social media platforms. And while they seem similar at first glance, these two target different audiences and search contexts.


SEO focuses on optimizing a website to rank higher in organic search results for broader, non-geographically specific queries. It’s about improving a website’s visibility on a global or national scale.

Local SEO, on the other hand, focuses on optimizing a website to rank higher in local search results for queries with local intent. It’s about improving a business’s visibility in specific geographic areas, such as cities, regions, or communities.


SEO targets a wider audience, including users from various locations who are searching for general information, products, or services related to a particular topic or keyword. SEO helps put businesses forward in their industry, audience, or niche.

Local SEO, on the other hand, targets a more localized audience, specifically users who are searching for products or services within a specific geographic area. This might include users looking for “restaurants near me” or “plumbers in [city].” This type of SEO helps businesses put themselves into the audience’s direct field of view and helps put them top of mind.


SEO involves optimizing website content for keywords that may not necessarily include location-specific terms. These keywords are often more general or specific to an industry. These keywords also usually have higher search volumes.

Meanwhile, local SEO involves optimizing website content for keywords that include location-specific terms instead of general, industry-related keywords. This includes city names, neighborhood names, or phrases like “near me” or “in [city].” Specific keywords like this will help businesses be known in their locality.

Optimization Factors

SEO optimization factors include website structure, content quality, backlinks, page load speed, mobile friendliness, and other factors that contribute to a website’s overall search engine visibility and digital presence.

As for local SEO, although it already includes the factors mentioned above, it also focuses on local-specific elements of optimization. This includes Google Business Profile optimization, local citations, localized content, online reviews and opinions, and proximity to the searcher’s location.


The intent behind non-local SEO searches can vary widely. This includes informational queries as well as transactional queries. Users may be looking for general information, researching products, researching services or offerings, or they may be ready to make a purchase.

When it comes to the intent behind local searches, it is often transactional or navigational. This is because users are looking for specific products, services, or businesses in their immediate vicinity. They may be looking to make a purchase, find a nearby brick-and-mortar store or restaurant, or get directions for specific locations.

Overall, the main difference between SEO and local SEO lies in targeting and user intent. Local SEO is specifically tailored to help businesses attract customers from their local area who are actively looking for businesses. Meanwhile, SEO focuses on broader, non-geographically specific search queries from users.

Why is local SEO important?

Brick-and-mortar businesses, in particular, rely on attracting customers from their local area. This makes local SEO crucial already. However, the significance of local SEO can go beyond visibility or business growth. 

  1. Increased Visibility: Local SEO helps businesses appear in local search results when potential customers are looking for products or services in their vicinity. In fact, according to Think With Google, the local search term “open now near me” has grown significantly more than ever, with a whopping 400% increase. By optimizing for local search terms like this, businesses can increase their visibility and leverage the growing number of local consumers who are actively searching for what they offer.
  2. Targeted Traffic: Local SEO helps businesses attract highly targeted traffic from users who are more likely to convert into customers. This is because when users search for local products or services, they are often ready to make a purchase or visit an actual physical location. This makes SEO traffic particularly valuable for businesses who want to drive their traffic and sales. According to Google, 76% of people who conduct local searches visit a business within 24 hours. Local SEO can lead to more traffic.
  3. Competitive Advantage: Local SEO allows businesses to compete more effectively with other local competitors. By optimizing their online presence, businesses can ensure they appear prominently in local search results. With this, they have a chance to be ahead of competitors who may not have invested in  SEO strategies.
  4. Increased Website Traffic and Foot Traffic: Effective local SEO strategies can drive both online and offline traffic to a business. Optimized local listings can direct users to the business’s website or provide them with directions to the physical location. This increases both website or online traffic and foot traffic in the actual store.
  5. Enhanced Trust and Credibility: Having a strong presence in local search results can enhance a business’s trust and credibility among local consumers. Businesses that appear at the top of local search results are often perceived as more authoritative and trustworthy by potential customers.
  6. Mobile Search Optimization: With the increasing use of mobile devices for local searches, local SEO is becoming even more important. Think With Google revealed that 60% of smartphone users get in touch with businesses directly from search results. This means local SEO ensures that businesses are visible to users conducting searches on smartphones and tablets, especially those using location-based search queries.
  7. Cost-Effectiveness: Local SEO can be a cost-effective marketing strategy for small and local businesses compared to traditional advertising methods. By optimizing their online presence and local listings, businesses can attract local customers without spending a significant amount on advertising that might not reach an audience that can quickly convert.
  8. More Online Reviews and Better Reputation: Local SEO includes strategies for managing online reviews and reputation, which can have a significant impact on a business’s success. Positive reviews and ratings can attract more customers, while negative reviews can deter potential customers. It’s also important to note that replying to these online reviews contributes further to a business’s reputation. Harvard Business Review found in a study that leaving polite responses on online reviews can increase review submissions from others by 12%. More reviews mean more trust, authority, and a better reputation for the business.

What are the top local SEO techniques?

Local SEO involves various strategies and tactics aimed at improving a business’s online visibility within a specific geographic location. Some of the key local strategies and techniques may include:

Google Business Profile Optimization

Creating and optimizing a Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business listing) is crucial for a local SEO strategy. This involves providing accurate and up-to-date information about the business. This includes the business name, address, phone number, website, business hours or office hours, products or menu, and other categories.

Local Keyword Optimization

Optimizing website content, including meta tags, headings, and page copy, with local keywords is also essential. This is because local keywords are those that potential customers are likely to use when searching for products or services in the area.

On-Page Optimization

Make sure to also optimize your website’s on-page elements with relevant local keywords. This includes meta tags, headings, descriptions, and the actual page copy. Ensure that your website clearly communicates your location and the products or services you offer to local customers.

Local Citations

Building citations (mentions of the business name, address, and phone number) on various online directories, review sites, and other platforms also contributes to a good local SEO strategy. Consistency of NAP (name, address, phone) information across these platforms is important for local SEO.

Localized Content

Local SEO also involves creating content that is relevant to the local target audience. This includes blog posts, articles, and landing pages that address local topics, interests, events, or issues.

Local Link Building

Acquiring backlinks from local websites, blogs, and organizations is local link building. This can help improve the authority, reputation, and relevance of a business in the local area or community.

Online Reviews and Reputation Management

Encouraging customers to leave positive reviews on platforms like Google Business Profile, Facebook, and other platforms is also a sign of a good local SEO strategy. This can improve a business’s reputation and visibility in local search results and among end customers.

Mobile Website Optimization

Ensuring that the business website is mobile-friendly is also a must. Many local searches are conducted on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Local businesses would need to ensure that their online presence is optimized for mobile use.

Location-Based Social Media Marketing

Engaging with the local community on social media platforms and leveraging location-based targeting is also a component of local SEO. These can help reach potential customers in the area and show that businesses are active on social media.

Schema Markup

Implement schema markup on your website to provide search engines with structured data about your business. This includes your address, phone number, business hours, and reviews. This can help search engines understand and display your business information more accurately in local search results.

Monitor and Analyze Performance

Regularly monitoring your local SEO performance is essential to any local SEO strategy. Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Track key metrics such as website traffic, rankings, impressions, clicks, and conversions to identify areas for improvement and refine your local SEO strategy over time.

What are local SEO tools?

For business owners who want to start optimizing for local SEO, there are online tools specifically designed to help. With these tools at your disposal, you can optimize and monitor  SEO efforts. Here are three  SEO tools for businesses:

  1. Google Business ProfileGoogle Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a free tool provided by Google that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google platforms, including Google Search and Google Maps. With a Google Business Profile, you can update your business information, respond to reviews, add photos, show products and offers, and track insights about how customers are finding and interacting with your business.
  2. Moz LocalMoz Local is a local SEO tool from Moz that helps businesses manage and check online listings and citations across various platforms and directories. It helps ensure consistency of NAP information across the web, which is crucial for SEO. Moz Local also provides insights and analytics to help businesses track their local search performance and missed opportunities.
  3. YextYext is a local SEO platform that helps businesses manage their online listings and business information across various digital channels such as directories, search engines, social networks, and voice assistants. It offers features for managing reviews, generating local citations, optimizing listings for voice search, and monitoring local search performance.
  4. BrightLocalBrightLocal is another popular local SEO tool that offers a range of features to help businesses improve their local search rankings. It includes tools for local rank tracking, citation building, reputation management, and audit reporting. Apart from small businesses, BrightLocal also provides white-label reporting options for agencies managing multiple clients and tools for multi-location brands.
  5. Local SEO Checklist Local SEO Checklist is a free tool that provides a comprehensive checklist of tasks and best practices for optimizing your business’s local online presence. It covers everything from Google Business optimization to local citation building to customer reviews and testimonials to on-page SEO techniques and more. Small local businesses can easily use this for their SEO efforts.

Local SEO is key to local success and a strong community for a business. Keep these techniques and tools in mind as you start your local SEO strategy. If you think you need more help, a reliable digital marketing agency can handle all elements of local SEO for you. Talk to Twin Rams experts now and find out how we can help you find success with local SEO efforts.