Digital Advertising & SEO Marketing Agency in Frederick MD

Frederick MD Digital Marketing Expert

7 Local SEO Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

7 Ways To Boost Local Seo And Attract New Customers Amble Media Group

In this article, we will discuss 7 Local SEO Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses that will help you increase your online visibility, keep you one step ahead of your competition, and generate more customers, sales, and revenue for your company.

Marketing strategies for local businesses differ significantly from those for organizations that do not rely on customers who live in close proximity to the business.

Search Engine Optimization and Marketing (SEO/SEM) strategies for local businesses are based on the use of search engines and other online marketing techniques.

For a local business that relies on being relevant to consumers in its immediate vicinity, learning to maximize your presence in local search results is essential, and nothing is more important than appearing in the Google My Business Map Pack.

Top Tips for Improving Your Local SEO

  1. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. Q&As for Google My Business

The questions and answers feature in Google My Business (GMB) is a fantastic tool for growing new businesses. If you use it correctly for your own company, it can help convert otherwise undecided customers.

However, don’t stop there. Spend some time researching your competitors’ Q&As as well. Look at what other people in your industry are asking your potential customers.

How Does GMB Q&A Work?

You may notice a “Ask a Question” button on your Google My Business profile. When users click, they are brought to a screen where they can submit a question.  

This next section is crucial. The question is not forwarded to the profile’s owner. It is added to the profile. That is, it is visible to anyone who comes across a Google My Business listing.

You will be able to see a question posted to your competitors’ Google My Business listing once it has been posted. And once the question is clarified, that information and engagement are available for all to see in the future.

How Does This Help in the Development of New Businesses?

These questions are an excellent way to entice new customers from local searchers. People who have never visited that company before but are in your target market are likely to ask questions.

They are already engaged with the brand, but they require a little more information before committing to a visit.

To Create Your Own Listing

You can use this opportunity on your own GMB profile to converse with a potential local consumer who is further down the conversion funnel.   If they have found you and are considering you enough to ask some questions, a thoughtful reply may be all that is required to see them walk through your doors.

On a Competitor’s Website

Examine the questions that your competitors’ customers and potential customers are posing. Fill out the information on your profile and website with this.

If you notice many questions from other pizza restaurants in your area about the availability of gluten-free pizza, for example, make sure you highlight your gluten-free products on your website and listing.

This type of research can put you one step ahead of your local competitors, especially if the questions they were asked were slightly negative in tone.  

Consider the following question: “Do you still listen to loud music?”   If a potential restaurant patron sees that question asked of another establishment, it immediately causes them to consider the setting where they will be eating their meal.

It may make them query if they will enjoy the planned catch-up with their friends over a meal.   Answer your competitors’ questions on your own website and GMB profile before anyone else does.

Clients will enjoy a meal accompanied by relaxing, ambient music, as stated in your description.

This can give you a vital advantage over your competitors when winning new business in your geographic area.

When you answer a potential customer’s question before they even ask it, you show that you understand their needs and desires.  

  1. Improve a Google Product Listing to Increase Publicity

Google permits businesses with GMB profiles to upload product information. Potential customers can see this in both mobile and desktop search results.

The listings appear in the GMB profile on Maps in a carousel format and search in a carousel and under the Products tab.

Users can click on the product cards for more information, call the number, or visit the website in either format.

GMB Product Listings:

How Do They Work?   It is simple to add your products to a Google My Business profile. Simply log into your Google My Business profile, click Add a product, and follow the instructions.

By logging in to the Google account linked with your GMB profile, you can add the product directly from the SERPs by clicking on your listing.   It is simple to add products. However, you do not have authority over the order in which they appear in the carousel.

Google will show them in the order in which they were uploaded or edited. You must be strategic if you want to change the order of the Products.

Making even minor changes to a product will be moved to the top of the carousel. If you want to move a product to the front of the carousel, make a tiny modification to it, and the carousel order will adapt accordingly.

How Does This Help in the Development of New Businesses?

You may want to highlight some products over others for a variety of reasons.

For example, you may have an excess inventory in one of your locations.

Bringing that stock to the forefront of the GMB listing for that location will help alert local customers to it. It will enable you to better target specific products to relevant audiences based on their location.

Seasonal products, for example, maybe better served first. Perhaps the location of your car repair shop is primed for an unseasonal snowfall. Make changes to your snow tire listings to move them right to the top.

This could improve the visibility of your product at precisely the right time for a new customer in your target location to notice it.  

  1. Take Advantage of Google Business Messages

Google My Business profiles can include features that allow businesses to communicate with customers directly from the SERPs.

When enabled, GMB profiles will show a Message button, which users can click to begin direct messaging with the business.

How Does It Function?

This feature has been available in Google My Business mobile version since 2017 and Google Maps since 2018 however, recently it has also made its way to Google desktop computers as well.

If you own a GMB profile, you should see the option to Turn on messaging under the Messages tab in your desktop dashboard.

You can then configure items such as an initial auto-responder to be sent out when a visitor uses this service for the first time.

Google recommends that you respond to all messages within 24 hours to ensure that the service is timely. If you do not, Google may deactivate your account’s messaging service.

How Does This Help in the Development of New Businesses?

Not everyone has the chance (or inclination) to call a company they have yet to do business with. Allowing potential local customers to message you directly from your Google My Business profile is a great way to streamline conversations with them.

If you respond quickly, your chances of converting that potential customer is significantly increased.   This is beneficial for small businesses that do not have centralized call centers or messaging systems. It could be another touch-point that demonstrates the personalization of the business based on the consumer’s location.

Acknowledge the offers, services, and tone of voice that would be most appealing to your customers in that region. This is your chance to exhibit how well you know your customers once more.   Ensure you utilize the local name for the region in which your business is located.

Discuss the specific events and charities that you support in the area.   Any additional evidence that your business specifically serves the local population can help to strengthen your significance to the potential customer who has contacted you.

It would be a waste of time not to engage with your potential customers in this manner now that the functionality is available in so many places on the web.  

  1. Refresh Your GMB with All Newly Available Attributes

Google’s Google My Business property’s features are constantly being updated. As new attributes become available, make sure to keep your listing fully populated with them.

How Does It Function?

Google My Business is frequently updated with new features that your company may be able to use. However, not all new features are available to all types of businesses.

Whether or not you can access new updates depends on which category is set as your primary in GMB.

Visit Google’s GMB announcements page to stay updated on what new features are available and who is eligible for them.

How Does This Help in the Development of New Businesses?

Early adoption of any new Google My Business change will put you ahead of the competition.

Although these characteristics will not necessarily affect your map pack rankings, they can make your business more appealing to prospective local customers.

For example, in September 2020, Google made it possible for businesses to add Health and Safety attributes.  Customers must wear masks, and temperature checks are required, among other attributes. Buyers who are concerned about COVID-19 safety during their visit to the premises will find these features reassuring.

If your company possesses these characteristics, but your competitor does not, you may win the buyer. This is useful for local businesses that have recently experienced a drop in visitors due to lock-downs and pandemic concerns.

You may be able to entice nervous customers back into your stores by specifying health and safety precautions taken at your locations. The assurance that you are concerned about their health and safety may be enough to persuade them to pay you a visit.  

  1. Participate in Local Marketplaces and Forums

Learning what your audience is looking for is the key to effectively marketing your local business. Spending time where your target market is is a great way to understand them. This includes the internet. Make sure to list your company in local directories and forums.

This is not so much for the common citation benefit as it is to be present among your prospective customers and hear what they are saying.

How Does It Work?

Online marketplaces work similarly. Look for marketplaces applicable to your location and products on platforms such as Facebook. You don’t have to interact with the audience to learn more about who they are and what they respond to.

For example, if you sell locally made craft products in your shop, you can get a sense of how much your audience is prepared to pay for products by looking at what similar items are selling for in your town’s Facebook Marketplace.  

You can learn more about your local audience’s preferences by paying attention to what they say about prices, quality, shipping, and product sourcing.


If you own a pizza restaurant in your city, you should join Reddit subreddits for your city and read the threads about restaurants in your area.

What are your local customers saying about your competitors? Are they sick of pizza joints and desperate for someone to bring something new to the neighborhood?

Perhaps they are enthusiastic about local independent businesses and want to do more to support them.

How Does This Help in the Development of New Businesses?

This type of data can help you tailor your search marketing strategy, tone of voice, and other aspects.   Go to areas where your target audience members are openly discussing your local area.

Discover what they expect from their local businesses. You can even communicate with your audience on these platforms if you’re feeling brave.

This must be done with tact and authenticity. Most people do not want their information to be mined without their permission.

When requesting feedback on these sites, be open and honest.   The more you can watch and absorb from your audience, the more likely it is that you will be able to offer products and services to which they will respond favorably.  

  1. Don’t Forget About Other Search Engines

Google is not by far the only engine to be concerned about. There are others as well, which may be the first port of call for users seeking information on local businesses.

What Is the Importance of This?

Google may account for the vast majority of organic traffic to your website. Remember that you may not be tracking all of the ways customers find you through Search.

Your profile appearing in the SERPs may not result in a click. As a result, it will not appear in your web analytics software.   So, unless you track impressions across multiple search engines, you won’t know if your company has been seen on Bing or DuckDuckGo.

Apple Maps powers DuckDuckGo’s maps. As a result, if you want your business to appear in the DuckDuckGo local map pack, you must have an Apple Maps Connect profile set up.

Similarly, Bing Places is used by Bing to power their local map functionality. Producing and optimizing a Google My Business listing will not help you gain organic visibility on Bing.

Other search engines’ popularity is growing over time, and for some locations, Google is not the leading search engine used.   If you have physical buildings or store locations outside of the United States, you should research which search engines are popular in those areas. Make use of the local map functionality provided by these other search engines.

How Does This Help in the Development of New Businesses?

Again, being wherever your competitors are not will serve you well.   If your competitors do not appear in DuckDuckGo’s Apple Maps results, you will be considerably more likely to win the trust of local searchers who use that platform.  

  1. Maintain Your Reputation

  You might be paying close attention to the reviews left on sites like TripAdvisor. You even check your Google My Business listing regularly.   But are you staying on top of some of the other places in the SERPs that may be giving potential customers an outsider’s perspective on your company?

What Should You Keep a Lookout For?

Local search queries at the top and middle of the funnel, such as [car mechanic Detroit], can return various features in the SERPs.

The top carousel will contain listings for large directories, social media sites, and niche directories. This provides potential customers with news about your company — and possibly even reviews — on sites you may not even be aware of.

Aside from any inaccurate information about your company on these sites, what have customers, former employees, or even competitors said about you?

Given that links to these sites appear first in the Google SERPs for this query, it stands to reason that they will receive a lot of attention from your potential customers.

People also inquire

Customers who are narrowing down their choices of businesses may begin looking for specific information about those businesses. This frequently results in the appearance of a “People Also Ask” feature.

When I searched for [is (name of a mechanic) in Detroit any good], the PAA box appears at the bottom of the page, specifically mentioning that brand. “Why is [brand] so expensive?” is the first “People Also Ask” question. That gives me little faith in the value for money of this particular mechanic.

Although you have little control over which questions emerge in the “People Also Ask” section, it is important to try to influence the perception of those who may click on this question.

Create a page that addresses this question and try to rank it. When someone interested in your local business clicks on this question, they will at the very least see your response centered on “quality service,” “not compromising by using cheap parts,” and “highly-skilled technicians who you pay well for their expertise.”

How Does This Help in the Development of New Businesses?

It is critical to remember that what a potential customer sees about you may not be limited to the information on your website or Google My Business listings.

It might not even be the reviews left on websites to which you are paying close attention and responding.   The opinions of others will heavily influence a potential customer.


There is much more to consider with local SEO than simply ranking your site in the standard organic listings.

Use proactive tactics to cover the SERPs in favorable information about your local business to get ahead of your competitors.Local 

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