Local SEO Tricks That Your Competitors Are Ignoring

When running a small- to medium-sized business, your main goal should be to focus your efforts on addressing the needs of your local audience first in order to grab as big a share of the local market as possible.

This kind of approach is better compared to trying to communicate with a larger audience and missing on the business brought about by the locals in your area.

You should start by ensuring that your business’s website shows up higher in local searches. This can be done by optimizing your website through local SEO so that users can see it immediately when they search for the product or service you offer in your area.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO refers to the process of optimizing your online presence to attract more customers when they perform local searches relevant to the products and services you offer. Implementing this properly will enhance the visibility of your business, which will help you earn more profit.

Since “where to buy” and “near me” mobile queries have increased by over 200% in the past two years, focusing on local SEO has become more important. When you optimize your website for local SEO and get the top position on SERPs, users will easily see your site when they are looking for the products or services you offer in the area.

For example, you run a coffee shop in Chicago. If you implement local SEO properly, your website will show up on the top of the SERP when a customer in the area searches for “coffee shops near me”. Seeing your website on top of the search results can entice them to come to your café and support your business.

Simply speaking, having an effective local SEO strategy will result in more sales and revenue for your company.

Get Ahead of Your Competition Through Local SEO

You might be thinking about how you can start implementing local SEO techniques to improve your website’s visibility and attract more business from relevant local searches. Aside from concentrating on the basics, it is also best if you focus on these overlooked local SEO tricks. Since your competitors are most probably neglecting these techniques, doing them will surely help you get one step ahead.

Improve Your Website’s Title and Meta Description

Title and meta description are what users see on SERPs when they search for a keyword that is relevant to your business. They tell users what your website is about and describe the content that can be found on a specific webpage.

title and meta description
Image: Title and meta description example


Since title tags and meta descriptions have character limits, your main goal is to make them as short and precise as possible. They should be written to “hook” the user and entice them to click on your website. Additionally, you should avoid using generic terms—especially on your page’s title—if they do not tell users about your business.

Get Local Citations

Make sure your business is known throughout the world wide web by getting citations. These refer to listings containing your name, address, and phone number (NAP) that are posted on websites that collect business data.

Some of the sites where you can get your NAP posted are Neustar, Infogroup, Factual, and Acxiom. You can also use tools like Yext and Moz Local to make the job easier.

One of the most important things when getting local citations is to make your NAP consistent. You should ensure that your business address follows the same format across all the sites where your NAP is posted.

For example, you used the abbreviation “St.” when you list your business address on one site. That is how it should be listed on other sites as well.

Claim Your Google My Business Listing

Although Google My Business (GMB) is technically just another directory like the ones listed above, it is not your typical online directory for businesses, however.

First of all, it is managed by Google, one of the search engines (likely the most important) where you are trying to rank your site. GMB also provides users with all the information regarding your business—including your NAP—when someone searches for it or a keyword relevant to it.

To get on GMB, you should register your business or claim its listing if it already exists. Then, you will need to go through a verification process done via mail, email, or phone.

Once Google has verified that you are the owner of the business, you will have access to edit the listing. You should add a description of your business, operating hours, and other important information.

Example of Google My Business Listing
Image: Example of Google My Business Listing


It is also best if you upload relevant images on your GMB page. You can use photos of your products, store, staff, and yourself. This helps put a “face” on your business and helps users get to know more about you.

Get on Bing Places for Business

Another business directory where you should list your business is Bing Places for Business. This is Bing’s own version of GMB and will help you reach customers who use Bing for their online searches.

To use Bing Places for Business, the first thing you need to do is claim your listing or add a new one. You can then go on to complete your listing profile by adding photos of your products, hours of operation, and contact details.

After doing so, you can verify your listing to avoid any unauthorized changes to it. The verification can be done by receiving a PIN at your business address, email, or phone.

Invite Your Customers to Leave Reviews

Having positive online reviews and testimonies from your existing customers will entice more people to patronize your business. That is why you should always encourage your customers to leave reviews on your GMB listing, social media page, and review platforms, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor.

You can also respond to the customer reviews on your GMB listing and social media pages. This is a great way to show your patrons that you are an engaged business and that you value their feedback.

Encourage Visitors to Stay on Your Site Longer

RankBrain is a part of Google’s algorithm that measures the time users spend on your site (also called dwell time). The longer people stay on your web page, the better your site will rank on SERPs.

To increase dwell time on your web pages, you should ensure that you have a fast webpage loading speed. You should also make your pages readable and have a lot of white space between elements. Adding high-resolution images and infographics to your pages can also entice users to stay longer on your website.

Create a Content Marketing Strategy

One of the most important things when it comes to SEO is having quality content. This is true even for local businesses. Whether you own a small- or medium-sized business, it is important that you have a content marketing strategy.

You can start by blogging about topics relevant to your industry to boost your SEO strategy. However, before doing so, you must learn about your target audience. This is easily done through digital marketing segmentation.

There are many ways to get an idea of your target audience’s profile. Here are some things you can do:

  • Conduct surveys: This is ideal if you already have a customer base online. You can learn more about their profile and needs by asking them through a survey form uploaded on your website or sent to their emails.
  • Assess consumer data: After some time of digital marketing, you will have enough data on your customers to learn about their online behaviors and needs. You can use the insights you gain from your data to improve your content strategy.
  • Experiment with your content: Study how your audience interacts with the content types you are posting. Are they more engaged when you post blogs or do they prefer when you upload images with only a few lines of text? Determining this will help you assess which type of content you should be focusing on.
  • Take a look at your competitors: If you are just starting with online marketing and do not have enough consumer data to evaluate, you should take a look at what your competitors are doing. You can find out what they are posting on their social media accounts and the content on their website. This will help you come up with a strategy for your business.

Optimize Your Site for Mobile Browsers

According to statistics, the number of smartphone users in the US alone has reached 298 million in 2021. This accounts for more than 85% of the total US population in the same year.

Given the number of mobile users in the US, it is a no-brainer that you should make your site suitable for this kind of device. This will be useful in making sure that your website caters to various mobile users who utilize their phones in searching for local stores to find what they are looking for.

To know whether your website is mobile-friendly enough, use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. It will allow you to see if your site looks good on a mobile device.

Utilize Social Media

Using social media platforms to promote your business can help you enjoy various benefits, including the following:

  • Increased referral traffic to your website
  • Acquisition of valuable leads through organic content
  • Higher conversion rate

In addition to these advantages, you can use social media to spread the word about your new products or services. You can also provide exceptional customer service through social media by replying to your patrons’ messages immediately and addressing their needs efficiently.

Start Your Local SEO Journey

These are just some of the local SEO tips and tricks that your competitors are most likely neglecting. Being the first to implement these techniques will surely help you get on top of SERPs and way ahead of your competition.

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Marc Bartolome
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