Why Local SEO Matters for Your Small Business

In 2024, having an online presence is no longer optional for small businesses – it’s a necessity. But simply having a website isn’t enough anymore. For local brick and mortar businesses, ranking high in local search results is critical to driving foot traffic and sales. Everyone and their Grandma are using their phones to find businesses. This is where local SEO comes in.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is optimizing your online presence and content to rank higher in search engine results for local searches like “plumber in Brighton” or “tree surgeon in Newcastle”. The goal is to appear prominently when potential customers search for local businesses like yours.

Here’s why optimizing for local search needs to be a priority:

Get Found by Nearby Customers

Over 50% of search engine queries have local intent. People are searching for businesses in their area they can visit in person. Local SEO helps you get seen by these high-intent local customers right when they need your products or services. 

Drive Foot Traffic to Your Store

Appearing on the first page for terms like “computer repair Essex” makes it easy for nearby customers to find your brick and mortar location. This directly drives foot traffic from online to offline. More feet through the door means more customers and sales.

Reinforce Your Local Presence

Ranking high for local searches reinforces that your business is established and reputable in the area. This builds trust and familiarity with local customers who are more likely to visit a business they know is located near them. One of the best way to reinforce your presence is by getting listed on a local small business directory. This will send Google the right signals and hopefully get you higher in the rankings too.

Counter Big Competition

With local SEO, small businesses can compete with bigger national chains and franchises. You can carve out your section of the market by becoming the go-to local option customers find online and visit in person. Most big businesses are targeting the high traffic keywords that are nationwide or international. By honing in on a specific area, you can have an advantage over larger companies.

Complement Your Offline Marketing

Your other offline marketing like newspaper ads, billboards, local events etc can drive people to search online. When they do, local SEO makes sure they easily find your business. The two strategies complement each other well. It’s also advantageous for brand awareness as the more you are seen, the more prospective customers will remember you and hopefully visit.

Cost Effective Strategy

Local SEO provides a better return on investment than printed directories or paid online ads. A small time investment optimizing online visibility yields continuous returns by driving organic traffic from search engines. Most local directories are free or a require a small renewal fee to keep the listing live. In addition to the SEO value gained from links, there is potential for referral traffic which boosts your website stats.

Adapts to Mobile Users

An increasing number of customers search for local businesses on their smartphones. Local SEO ensures your website is mobile-friendly so you don’t miss out on this growing local customer segment.


The takeaway is that local SEO should be a foundational piece of your overall marketing approach. Optimizing your online local visibility targets high-intent customers right when they are looking for your products and services in your area. For small local businesses, it’s one of the most direct ways to boost brand awareness, drive foot traffic and increase sales so don’t hang about, invest in local SEO today.