What Is SEO & How It Works for Small Businesses?

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Perhaps you’ve set up a shop in your neighbourhood and are eager to serve your community. But if people can’t find you online, you’ll find it increasingly difficult to get substantial customers.

Without a strong online presence, it will be almost impossible to grow your business, as many of your target audience won’t even know that you exist.

SEO, or more specifically Local SEO, can come to your rescue and help you stand out in the digital world. You see, search engines like Google have their own set of rules and algorithms to decide which website should get the spotlight.

And Local SEO is all about optimizing your website to align with those algorithms so that Google favors you over other businesses and displays your website when someone looks up relevant terms.

What Is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is optimizing your website for higher ranking in search results in short SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

For that, you have to follow certain techniques and implement effective SEO strategies in order to appear on the first page of Google. That’s because visitors rarely go beyond the first page and in most cases, the first 3 results.

Once you get ranked on the first page of Google, you’ll start to get organic website traffic that is actively looking for products and services similar to that you offer.

It’s a vital aspect of digital marketing for online visibility and can’t be ignored.

Benefits of Local SEO for Small Businesses

When we talk about SEO for small businesses, it’s mainly Local SEO. Because it focuses on optimizing websites for location-specific searches.

And most small businesses serve a small geographical area or a local customer base. Local SEO can help these businesses get new customers and grow their business. Let’s learn how.

More Visibility and Higher Revenue

When a small business appears on a search result for keywords that are related to the business, it attracts new customers and makes the business more visible and well-known.

For example, a watch repair shop can improve brand awareness and expand its customer base if it starts ranking for terms like “Watch Repair” and “Omega Watch Repair.”

Suppose someone has a broken timepiece and looking for a reliable repair shop. He’ll go to Google and search for “Professional Watch Repair.”

If that watch repair shop has followed good SEO practices, then it will appear first on the search result and will get a potential customer.

By ranking for several relevant terms, it can eventually establish the shop as a reputed watch repair brand.

Cost Effective

Marketing on social media or tv requires constant investment of dollars that can eat up the profit margin quickly. But SEO is a cost-effective method and can generate great profit with limited investment.

Granted, Local SEO takes time and effort, but the benefits are long-term. Because once you establish yourself as the authority in the SERP, it will be difficult for other small businesses to dislodge you from your position.

Also, most of the organic traffic are ready buyers who are easier to convert than those whom you get from social media.

Help You Stay Ahead of the Competition

Local SEO gives you a strategic advantage and helps you remain ahead of your competition. By ranking higher on the SERP, you can attract customers that would have otherwise gone to your competition.

As a result, your customer base grows and it also gives you an edge over your competitors.

Makes You Always Available to Your Customers

A strong online presence helps you remain available 24/7 to your customers.

Your target customers will have problems beyond regular business hours, and thanks to your well-optimized website, they can find you whenever they need help.

How to Use Local SEO for Your Business?

From optimizing your online presence with Google My Business and consistent NAP information to creating localized content and building a network of local backlinks, every step is designed to make your business stand out.

Let’s learn how you can utilize Local SEO to grow your business.

Install Google Analytics and Search Console

Set up these tools to track and monitor how well your SEO strategies are doing.

They will give you all the data about traffic, user engagement, demographic, and conversions so that you can take the necessary steps to use them to your advantage and make any tweaks if necessary.

Set Up a Google Business Profile

If you have a small business such as a physical store, bakery, or restaurant, and it caters to a demographic from a small area, then a Google Business Profile is a must for you.

In fact, a Google business profile is vital for any small business that hopes to build an online presence. Because it will directly influence your visibility in search results, google map, and google shopping.

By using the profile properly, you can increase your search visibility, respond to customer reviews, promote your service, and share important business information like contact number, address, and opening hours.

Do Keyword Research

Keyword research is identifying keywords or terms that your target audience uses to search for products and services related to your business.

By identifying these keywords, you can optimize your website for them to increase organic traffic. Here’re a few ways you can get potential high traffic keywords –

  • Brainstorm the services/solutions your business offers and find relevant terms for them. These will give you a list of seed keywords for the starting point.
  • Use tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs for advanced keyword research and to find variations of seed keywords. You can use filters to narrow down the list of relevant Keywords.
  • Use Ahrefs or Semrush to analyze the competitions and find keywords they are ranking for.

Create High-Quality Content

Next, you must create content serving the keywords you identified as most relevant to your business. By optimizing the content for these keywords and fulfilling the user intent, you can drive valuable traffic to your website.

But don’t make the mistake of overstuffing the content with keywords. Keep the articles natural, as Google can understand what the content is about. Your goal is the offer the best content available on the internet for the topics.

Build Backlinks

Link building is another important aspect of Local SEO. Whether you have a product-based business or a service-based business, you can benefit from local links.

Local links are backlinks from websites that are relevant to a certain geographical area.

These websites can be blogs, event sites, directories, news channels, local organizations, etc. Links from these websites help Google understand the geographical relevance of your business.

But these links aren’t easy to get, and you may need to build relations with the site owners to get them. Nevertheless, they are worth the effort and can establish your site as credible in Google’s eyes.


With the help of Local SEO, small businesses can attract customers from their target geographical area.

So, if you’re a small business owner, optimize your website for search engines for increased customers and gain a competitive advantage over your local competitors.

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