Hierarchy of SEO needs for local businesses on a budget (2023)

By 2022, 98% of people will use the Internet to find information about local businesses.BrightLocal Research. And 87% of consumers have used Google to review a local business.

It can be difficult for local businesses with limited time, money and resources to decide where to focus their marketing efforts.

One thing is for sure, finding local businesses online is vital.

And SEO is one of the most effective marketing activities for a local business to come online as it offers one of the best returns on investment in the long run.

Since local businesses may have a limited budget, what SEO factors should they focus on?

Here, I'll outline six areas that small businesses can reasonably do in-house (or spend some money on outsourced technical support) and at least introduce the basics of SEO.

What are these foundations?

In order for local businesses to appear in search results, they should consider the following areas:

  • Company Profile on Google
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Content quality
  • internal link
  • Website and website optimization
  • Incoming links
Hierarchy of SEO needs for local businesses on a budget (1)
(Video) How To Do SEO On ANY Budget (SEO for Small Businesses)

6 SEO Tactics Every Local Business Should Be Using

Local businesses should focus on optimizing two areas of search results:

  • Google Local Pack / Local Map Search.
  • Google Organic Listings.

whenranking of local companiesin the local package, Google considers relevance, distance and familiarity.

There is another set of countless signals it uses for organic listings, including "blue links".

Hierarchy of SEO needs for local businesses on a budget (2)

While the list below is not exhaustive, there are some basic SEO tactics that should at least be used to help your local businesses rank.

For local packet classifications

1. Google Company Profile

create,VerifyWoptimization of the company profile on Googleis one of the most important tactics for ranking local businesses in the local pack.

Here are the three most effective techniques for optimizing your business profile:

  • Choose the most suitable oneprimary classfor a business, add two to three categories (or just the ones that are most relevant). The main category is the most important factor that helps you get ranked in a local package. You won't always get it right the first time, so don't be afraid to experiment with different categories and test the results. PlePler is a handy tool that can help with this by providing useful data.
  • Fill out your Google business profile as accurately as possible. Please take the time to fill it outall available informationin the profile. Create a compelling description of the company and what it offers, using as many rich keywords as possible in a natural way.
  • Make sure your company name, address, phone number and website (NAP+W) are correct. Physical address is an important ranking signal for Google because it takes into account businesses that are closest to the search point (where the searcher is). NAP+W data should be consistent across all online sources - not just your business profile on Google - as this increases the search engine's confidence in the accuracy of your business information. Make sure you use a local phone number (not a toll-free number).

2. Ratings and Reviews

A local business's ratings and reviews can affect its ranking, including the number of reviews (text and numbers) and actual results. This isstraight from Google's mouth. So take reviews and ratings seriously.

Here are some tips:

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  • Encourage customers to leave reviews. Google explainshow to share a linkwith customers leaving reviews. By doing this consistently, you can keep your reviews up to date, which can send a positive message to Google.
  • Remember: Google doesn't want businesses to offer incentives to write reviews. However, many local businesses do. It's about ensuring that a company's review profile reflects an honest view of the company. If all reviews are positive and there are no negative reviews, the user may not trust the company too much.
  • To examineappearance ing third party reviews to add value to your listing. This can further assist users in choosing a company.

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For organic rankings

3. Content quality

Content qualityis probably one of - if notzmost importantly – in most cases, the site ranking factor.

There are many ways to define quality, but here are some ways to ensure it on your website:

  • Study the Google nameguidelines for search quality controllers,in particular, the definitions of "experience" and "knowledge" to understand how Google thinks about quality.Experience and knowledgeit is important for local businesses to shine in their content.
  • Make sure there are important pages throughout your site, such asservice pagescontains enough content to be useful and helpful to site visitors. Spy on the top competitors for that keyword on the service page to see how much content you need to create.
  • Third party service pages orsite pages, consider how the company will share content with the community. You can establish a business as a local authority by talking about topics the business specializes in, telling local stories or acting as a guide. Also: Good local content can be good,local links.
  • Provide a variety of content to increase your chances of ranking and being found, such as YouTube videos, images, or anything else.

And remember if you use AI content on a website, you need to have the system in place for human review and editing to ensure quality.

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For more information, see my article on search engine land:ChatGPT Content and SEO: where do we go from here?

4. Internal link

Have good volumeuseful contentacross the pagewell organizedhelps you better tailor your site to your search term.

Silo SEO is a technique I discovered over 20 years ago. Structures web page content by grouping related web pages into hierarchical categories using index and links.

In other words, how you set up folders and navigate your site matters.

Siloing improves the internal linking system to connect similar pages and helps search engines discover more related content to better understand the site's topic.

It also helps users easily navigate to find the information they need.

Note that Google sometimes considers the entire website, rather than a single webpage, when determining which websites to rank:

“Site navigation is important to help visitors quickly find the content they need. It can also help search engines understand what content is important to the website owner. While Google's search results appear at the page level, Google also likes to understand the role the page plays in the bigger picture of the site."

- Google,A Beginner's Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

In practice, a local business website could probably be organized by things like:

(Video) Six Month Local SEO (Google Business Profile) Step By Step Ranking Strategy | Rollout Guide | Agency

  • Section with individual service pages.
  • Site page section, if any.

For example, if your business has more than one location, create one or more pages dedicated to each location where your business is located.

An example is a silo strategy for a keyword like "engineering company".

You will create a section for the site by linking to the landing page for that term from the top navigation. Then add subpages detailing each location and the services it offers.

Hierarchy of SEO needs for local businesses on a budget (3)

This will apply to each business location. Avoid duplicate content issues by giving each section a unique location.

5. Website and Website Optimization

There are countless ways to optimize your website, but for local businesses just starting out, here are some things they can and should do to improve SEO:

  • Optimize local websites by including city, neighborhood, related geographic terms and other key terms in places like meta tags and in website content, including header tags and anchor text.
  • I implement, I implementplan of the local type of activityon web pages to further explain to search engines what a business is and present that information to searchers. Name, address, phone, number and website is the minimum goal. This is a bit more technical and local businesses may want to use things likeStructured Data Markup Assistantto continue. Google also has a help file for thisHere.
  • Optimize site performance. Since most local searches are done on mobile devices, local businesses should have a mobile-friendly website. It's another technical issue, but Google has ittoolsWhelp fileshelp people along the way. You further ensure that the Site is protected byEnable HTTPSNecessary.

The last two points may be areas where the local company spends little money on specialist help.

6. Links

Local businesses are a must havequality, local linksto show they are a trusted local business. Here are some ideas to earn links:

  • As mentioned earlier, high-quality, useful community-driven content can build links naturally.
  • Only links originating from unique IP addresses, domains, and WHOIS data for a given geographic region will be useful.
  • Some other ideas for getting local links include: joining a local organization, subscribing to a local directory, hosting a local event and attracting an audience to your website, sponsoring a local event, starting a blog, or being interviewed for a report by a local press.

Focus on what's important

Numerous SEO tactics can help local websites rank higher in search results. However, there are several methods that can help local businesses get the most bang for their buck, whether they implement them themselves or allocate some of their marketing budget to hiring outside expertise.

(Video) SEO for Small Business: The Ultimate Checklist For Success

Focus on your local hierarchy of SEO needs and get the SEO foundation right to have a chance to compete.

The views expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily those of Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listedHere.


How to do local SEO for small businesses? ›

Ten Awesome Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses
  1. Claim All Business Directories. ...
  2. Encourage Customer Reviews. ...
  3. Go Mobile. ...
  4. Identify Local Keywords. ...
  5. Create Selective Local Content. ...
  6. Optimize Web Page SEO. ...
  7. Ensure Consistent Citations. ...
  8. Land Local Backlinks.

Where is SEO in the business hierarchy? ›

SEO often gets treated as being at the lowest level of the business hierarchy. It happens especially with an independent consultant or freelance SEO.

What are the needs of Maslow's hierarchy of SEO? ›

From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

What are the pillars of local SEO? ›

Proximity, prominence, and relevance are the three pillars of local search. Local SEO employs a wide array of technical and creative efforts to convince search engines that a business should be prominent in their results as a relevant answer to online searchers in close proximity to each business location.

How much should SEO cost for small business? ›

SEO costs broken down by business size
Business SizeSEO Pricing
Startup$750 to $1500 per month
Small business$1,500 to $3,000 per month
Medium-sized business$1,500 to $5,000 per month
Enterprise$5,000+ per month

How much should a small business spend on SEO? ›

At a minimum, you should spend 5% to 10% of your revenue on SEO. But if you want to get ahead faster, you typically spend more. That does not mean blindly investing in SEO with the promise that more money = better results. But you do need resources.

What are the 4 primary areas of SEO? ›

Each component builds on and complements the others. The stronger the connections between each of the 4 SEO components—technical SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and content-—the better the results. Being aware of the connections will help us to better understand how to best utilize them effectively.

How should in SEO team be structured? ›

Your SEO team structure needs the following four roles:
  1. Manager/team lead.
  2. Web developer(s)
  3. Content team.
  4. Outreach team.
Mar 24, 2022

What is SEO structure? ›

Site structure is a vital aspect of your SEO strategy. Why? Because the structure of your website shows Google which pages of your site are most important. This means you can influence which content will rank highest in the search engines with your site's structure.

What are the basic hierarchy of needs? ›

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

From the bottom up, the needs Maslow advances in this theory are: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

What is Maslow's need hierarchy example? ›

Maslow's hierarchy of needs suggests that if a lower need is not met, then the higher ones will be ignored. For example, if employees lack job security and are worried that they will be fired, they will be far more concerned about their financial well-being and meeting lower needs such as paying rent, bills, etc.

What is most important for local SEO? ›

Improving local SEO results starts with improvements in relevance, distance and prominence. These are the three criteria Google's algorithm applies to determine local search results.
Your company's Google Business Profile should also be updated to attract more local customers.
  1. Relevance. ...
  2. Proximity. ...
  3. Prominence.
Jul 18, 2022

What's the most important factor of local SEO? ›

When it comes to ranking well in Google local search results, the following are the most important factors: Google My Business. Google My Business Categories. Proximity of Address to Point of Search.

How much should I charge for local SEO? ›

How Much Does Local SEO Cost on Average? For a one-time project focused on analysis, research, clean-up, and optimization the average price for a Local SEO project would range from $400 – $1700 with an average price around $900.

How do I create a SEO budget? ›

Now that you understand SEO costs and the time it takes to see real SEO results, let's get into the steps of planning your SEO budget.
  1. Look at Your Digital Marketing Budget as a Whole. ...
  2. Optimize Your SEO Budget for Now, Next, and New. ...
  3. Compare Your SEO Budget to Your Pay-Per-Click Budget. ...
  4. Focus on Your Content Marketing.

What does monthly SEO include? ›

Monthly SEO services, also called ongoing monthly SEO services, are month-to-month SEO services that work to improve your rankings in search results. Most monthly SEO services include on-page and off-page optimizations, like keyword targeting, link building, content writing, and more.

Is SEO worth it for local businesses? ›

Despite the rise in competition on SERPs, yes, SEO is still worth it for small businesses. A strong presence on Google is essential for creating brand awareness and trust, as well as getting your products or services in front of your target audience.

Is SEO a Waste of Time? ›

That means if you're optimizing for search engines, you're necessarily not optimizing for the humans that are buzzing around on the specific platform you're writing on. So, unless you're running a website of your own, SEO is usually unnecessary and often just a waste of time.

What percentage of your budget should be marketing? ›

Start by researching your industry

In the simplest terms, your marketing budget should be a percentage of your revenue. A common rule of thumb is that B2B companies should spend between 2 and 5% of their revenue on marketing. For B2C companies, the proportion is often higher—between 5 and 10%.

What are the 5 components of SEO? ›

5 Basic Components Of A SEO Strategy
  • Content.
  • Keywords.
  • Technical SEO.
  • On-Page SEO.
  • Off-Page SEO. Conclusion.

What are the 5 important concepts of SEO? ›

8 SEO Basic Concepts You Need to Get Started
  • SEO Basics 1: Who do I create content for? ...
  • SEO Basics 2: What kind of content do people want to read? ...
  • SEO Basics 3: How do I write content that is easy to digest? ...
  • SEO Basics 4: How can I help people find my content? ...
  • SEO Basics 5: How to I create a pleasant user experience?

How do I assemble a SEO plan? ›

SEO Content Strategy
  1. Make a list of topics.
  2. Make a list of long-tail keywords based on these topics.
  3. Build pages for each topic.
  4. Set up a blog.
  5. Create a consistent blogging schedule.
  6. Create a link-building plan.
  7. Compress media files before uploading them to your site.
  8. Stay up-to-date on SEO news and best practices.
Feb 15, 2022

How can SEO specialists optimize for local? ›

Focus on directories that have higher domain authority than on smaller listing directories. More importantly, make sure your business NAP is consistent across all platforms and websites. Look out for any misspellings, address and phone number discrepancies, duplicate listings and resolve them to improve your local SEO.

How do I scale my SEO agency? ›

How To Start And Scale an SEO Agency
  1. Introduction.
  2. SEO Agency USP: Talk Business, Not SEO.
  3. Improving Your Productivity as an Agency.
  4. Using Personal Branding to Attract Larger Clients.
  5. Building Your Brand with Guest Speaking.
  6. Managing Relationships with Different Types of Clients.
  7. Taking the Leap from Employee to Agency.
Jan 28, 2020

What is the SEO triangle? ›

The SEO triangle is our model for focusing on the needs and wants of users. And avoiding some common pitfalls: If you don't have optimised content, users will search but they won't find your stuff.

What is the hierarchy of a website? ›

Content hierarchy is the strategic arrangement of information on a web page (or another content asset) where the most important information is emphasized more than less important content. Often, this means that the important content is at the top of the page and less important information is toward the bottom.

Why the Hierarchy of Needs is important? ›

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a go-to model that explains the psychology of human motivation. It will help you spend less time guessing what makes your people tick so that you can spend more time doing the things that motivate them.

How does Apple use Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? ›

Apple Inc. meets the physiological needs of its employees by providing wages that sufficient for employees to purchase their basic needs. It regularly pays the monthly payment to its employees.

What is the expanded Hierarchy of Needs? ›

Starting from the bottom going upwards, the five needs are physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. The hierarchy goes from the most basic to the most advanced needs. The ultimate goal is to reach the highest level of the hierarchy, which is self-actualization.

What happens if hierarchy of needs are not met? ›

Maslow argued that the failure to have needs met at various stages of the hierarchy could lead to illness, particularly psychiatric illness or mental health issues. Individuals whose physiological needs are not met may die or become extremely ill. When safety needs are not met, posttraumatic stress may occur.

What is Maslow's highest hierarchy of needs? ›

Maslow's quote refers to self-actualization, which is the highest level or stage in his model of human motivation: the 'Hierarchy of Needs'. According to the hierarchy of needs, self-actualization represents the highest-order motivations, which drive us to realize our true potential and achieve our 'ideal self'.

What would you say the top 3 local SEO ranking factors are? ›

Foundational local SEO ranking factors: Your ante into the game
  • Your business' proximity to searcher. You have little control over this, but proximity is by and large the greatest factor for the getting into the local pack. ...
  • Google My Business Category Associations. ...
  • Citation consistency.

What is the difference between SEO and local SEO? ›

National SEO typically targets various keywords and phrases that can relate to a product or service—but without a geographical qualifying word or intent. Local SEO targets similar keywords and phrases but with the intention of being searchable in their local area.

Why is local SEO crucial for business? ›

Local SEO helps your business stand out – even if you don't have a website – and helps drive more traffic to your premises through online leads. Since these leads are from people who are specifically searching for products or services that your business offers, they are also likely to give you a high conversion rate.

What is an ideal SEO checklist? ›

On-Page SEO Checklist. Crawl your website. Conduct an SEO audit and define your site architecture. Update URLs, page titles, and meta descriptions. Make sure your keyword is in your URL.

What is 7 elements of on-page SEO? ›

On-page SEO refers to the SEO elements you control on the webpage, or the webpage code, itself. Examples of on-page SEO include content, headlines and headers, image optimization, title tags, meta descriptions, structured data, and more.

How to do local SEO step by step? ›

The 15-Step Local SEO Guide: How To Find Hidden Opportunities
  1. Check For Google Penalties. ...
  2. Run A Keyword Audit. ...
  3. Check Your Google Business Profile. ...
  4. Find On-Page SEO Issues. ...
  5. Perform A Backlink Audit. ...
  6. Evaluate Your Online Reputation. ...
  7. 7 – 15.
Sep 14, 2022

How can I do local SEO myself? ›

DIY SEO: 6 Steps That Anyone Can Follow to Get Results
  1. Set Your Organic Search Baseline.
  2. Research Keywords and Relevant Search Queries.
  3. Publish Optimized Content.
  4. Analyze Your Backlinks.
  5. Explore Technical Issues.
  6. Stay Informed.
Nov 20, 2020

How do I create a local SEO? ›

6 ways to boost your local SEO strategy
  1. Claim and optimize your GMB listing. GMB or Google My Business is essentially the most critical part of your local SEO strategy. ...
  2. Keep mobile in mind. ...
  3. Collect plenty of customer reviews. ...
  4. Focus on local link building. ...
  5. Ensure NAP/citation consistency. ...
  6. Make the most of social listening.
Oct 29, 2020

Where do I start with local SEO? ›

Creating Your Local SEO Strategy
  • Take Stock of Your Services and Products. ...
  • Audit Your Existing Website. ...
  • Conduct Competitor Keyword Research. ...
  • Identify Geo-Specific Keywords. ...
  • Implement On-Page SEO. ...
  • Create Localized Landing Pages. ...
  • Optimize Your Google My Business Listing. ...
  • Submit Key Business Info to Directory Listings.
Jun 28, 2021

How much should SEO cost per month? ›

On average, quality SEO should cost $3,000+/month, at an average hourly rate of $150+. SEO campaigns can cost anywhere from $5,000/mo to $100,000+/month depending on the vertical. Local SEO can be slightly lower. On average, quality SEO should cost $3,000+/month, at an average hourly rate of $150+.

What is the difference between local SEO and SEO? ›

National SEO typically targets various keywords and phrases that can relate to a product or service—but without a geographical qualifying word or intent. Local SEO targets similar keywords and phrases but with the intention of being searchable in their local area.

What three things are involved in local SEO? ›

Common tasks associated with local SEO include finding local keywords, optimizing a business's Google My Business profile, and building “NAP” citations.

What should be consistent when developing a local SEO strategy? ›

Tips for developing an effective local SEO strategy
  1. Set up Google Business Profile.
  2. Incorporate Google features.
  3. Consistent NAP Citations.
  4. Reviews.
  5. Optimize for Local Keywords.
  6. Regularly Update Social Media and GMB.
  7. Business Directories.
  8. Link Building.
Nov 11, 2022

Can you do local SEO without a website? ›

But you actually don't need to have a website in order to practice SEO for your business. One of the best ways you can do SEO without a website is through a Google My Business (GMB) listing. A GMB listing is an online business listing that ranks locally on Google.


1. My Local SEO Predictions for 2023: How to Keep Your Business Ranking #1 On Google
(Ranking Academy)
2. The Most Affordable Local SEO Services with Guaranteed Page#1 Ranking Cheap Local SEO Solutions
(Rank Local SEO)
3. SEO for Small Businesses 2022
(Smashing Pixels Inc)
4. Local SEO 3 Pack Ranking Guide - What you need to know about Maps Ranking in 2020 for Local Business
(Neil Howe)
5. Local SEO Tips For Google Rankings On A Budget 2020
6. Local SEO Complete Guide To Ranking in One Month!
(Chase Reiner)


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