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What is Local SEO? A guide for local businesses.

There are 31.7 million small businesses in the US. A local business can be classified as a small business. Most of these local (or small) businesses serve their local communities, neighborhoods, counties or states. 

In New York alone, 99.8% of all businesses are small businesses. A small, local business is important to the community. And many of these small businesses compete with each other to get the attention of their customers. According to, there are around 200 million active websites.  In this sea of competition, what helps your business website get noticed and attract relevant traffic in the local markets? Local SEO is one strategy most local websites can benefit from.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is implemented to increase the searchability and visibility of a website. This means that when local customers search for a business like yours in your local area, the chances of your website showing on top of the search engine result pages increases with local SEO. 

How does local SEO benefit my business?

When a person types a keyword (or a sentence) in the search engine, the search engine bots crawl the internet to look for websites that match the keyword (or sentence). The website that is the closest match shows up on the top of the search engine result page. This is followed by many other websites in decreasing order of their relevancy. 

Local SEO can improve the brand awareness of your business in the local markets, this can help attract organic traffic to your website leading to increased sales and higher profitability.

Consider you are a local donut shop in Anytown, USA. When someone googles "donuts in Anytown", you want your website to show up. The higher your website on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page), the better your chances are of making a sale and getting a new customer. 

Which companies will benefit from local SEO?

Local SEO is very important for local businesses like restaurants, independent clinics, agencies, consultants and freelancers. However, some companies like private online retailers (the ones who do not have a local shop) or local authors (who choose not to reveal their addresses online) do not need local SEO. 

Does Local SEO work with voice searches?

Chances are that you have heard that voice searches using voice assistants like Alexa or Siri are increasing and may be wondering if local SEO can help with those searches. Yes, it can! Voice searches are a trend for the future. 

Now let us consider the example of the donut store above. When someone types, they might use the words "donuts in Anytown", but with voice searches they may say "Donuts near me". To account for this, when Local SEO is done on your website relevant tags will help you be found in these searches. 

Most of my customers find me on mobile, will local SEO help me?

Yes, local SEO will definitely help to increase the visibility and searchability of your website across platforms. The use of relevant tags, descriptions and keywords are some of the strategies used in local SEO. Setting up your Google My Business account is another important technique used in Local SEO. 


Local SEO is very important for a local business. It is equally important for local businesses to claim their Google My Business account. 

Relevant keywords, meta tags and descriptions are what help a search engine crawl and index your webpage and match it to a search query. A well implemented local SEO strategy can help a local business get more relevant traffic, phone call or visits to their establishment.

About the Author

Anandi Merchant has been helping businesses like yours navigate the digital landscape and built a stronger online identity using digital services. She is an expert in SEO and Analytics. She uses a multi-channel approach to help grow your business. She can help you take the next steps to build and implement a better digital strategy to help you move ahead. You can reach her here.


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