Search Engine Optimization For Local Businesses

SEO is actively looking to increase rankings within a search engine EG; Amazon, YouTube, Google even Facebook. Using strategies that a platform offers to give you extra exposure organically. If you are able to do this yourself. It's free! This article will mostly be talking about google search results as they are the most relevant platform today, when it comes to internet exposure. The fundamentals of SEO can be broken into two parts: On page SEO and Off page SEO

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

what is SEO

SEO is actively looking to increase rankings within a search engine EG; Amazon, YouTube, Google even Facebook. Using strategies that a platform offers to give you extra exposure organically. If you are able to do this yourself. It's free!

This article will mostly be talking about google search results as they are the most relevant platform today, when it comes to internet exposure.

The fundamentals of SEO can be broken into two parts: On page SEO and Off page SEO

Why Do You Need SEO?

why you need to use SEO to rank higher in google

Search engine optimization is the foundation of any internet infrastructure. Unlike web adds, SEO offer permanent gains to increases in website traffic, not only that, but it gets traffic with people who are already seeking a service from someone. Internet searches have intent, and with the intent of "Plumber near me" being that someone needs a plumber. You can begin to see if this does, or does not have value in your industry. Chances are it does, but maybe not if your target is global.

Global Vs Local SEO

global vs local seo

Some Phrases have intent of local results. Any search for any trade, or service associated locally will show a local listing of websites. Whereas general questions about the world, politics, or recipes would be a global or national search.

Sometimes searches can also be both local, national and global. A good example of this would be "hair products". Hair products can be purchased online, but also bought locally. So when searching for "hair products there will be Amazon ads (global search), Google my business hair salons (local search), and websites with information on hair products (national or global).

Examples of local searches: hair salon, thrift store, liquor, home renovations. None of these searches would have any intent of a national, or global search. They all intuitively a local need.

Examples of global/national searches: clothing, best ways to lose weight, tips on cooking, cookie recipes, video camera.

A good rule of thumb is that products are considered national searches, where as services are localized.

my next point, which is that local services need SEO more than local product sellers, and here is why.

SEO is internet infrastructure. that is simply how it works, it is important to consider competition and to get a website to a global level would be competing with: news networks, Amazon(if your not going on Amazon), long term investment blogs and Digital agencies. This is why products are less desirable, the infrastructure needed to maintain, and increase sales on SEO would be much higher since you are competing in a larger industry.

On a local level, clients are worth more money. Services cost more than products so simply getting 10-100 more clients over a few months compared to 100 sales on an eCommerce site would be negligible in comparison, not to mention you need to rank for all sorts of key words that aren't buyer keywords

In 2020, we're well past the point of everyone understanding why they need a website. It's like a business card, it shows that you're a legitimate business, but increasing ranking and getting the web traffic is another bite of the same sandwich. If a customer finds a website for something they are searching for, they are that much more comfortable working with you.

Now that I've established the importance of Local SEO marketing, and the difference between local and global. I'm going to move in to some of the tactics used in SEO as well as how it's determined.

Table of Contents

On page:


Buyer Keywords

Page speed

Quick Google History Lesson

Website Building Platforms

Picture Sizes & Resolutions


H tags/headers

Picture tags

Schema codes and embeds

Blogs and content

Crawl Bots

Off Page SEO:

Google Updates

On Page SEO

On page SEO is harder to understand than off page SEO, however it is also easier to implement.

On page SEO is also often debated on which strategies work since the only people who really know are the employees at google. With time people have started to deduct some of the most important practices.

Keyword Research

Before making a Blog post or any content in general. It's important to state a sentence, or string of keywords then follow up with content surrounding that keyword. The Example in this blog is "Search Engine Optimization For Local Business In the Saskatoon Area". Here I'm targeting local business SEO. That is my intent, these are the people I want to attract to this page.

Now you could decide what the keyword are intuitively, but in general you should use a keyword Tool. Something to give you statistics on what people are typing, and what exact sentences they put in Google. This way you can structure pages, and content around what your clients want to know, or what services they need.

For Example: The word plumber get roughly 1million searches Canada wide a month, Plumbers Saskatoon gets roughly 2000.

Although some of the searches done for plumbers will bleed into the Saskatoon numbers. Regardless; if you're a plumber in Saskatoon, then you obviously need the words "plumber" and "Saskatoon" together in some parts of you're website.

Example 2: Best plumbers Saskatoon gets roughly 100 searches a month.

This is another sentence, that if worked into a blog or content sections, could yield results.

Buyer Keywords

Although some keywords might have volume, they might not have the right intent. the best way to understand this would be to start with an example

Example search: "How to install dry wall"

This could lead to someone deciding they won't fix it themselves, but chances are someone is looking to do something themselves here. Now what could happen, (and this is why on a global level they target as many key words as possible).

what could happen is that they fail, and they go back to the website they failed to do it themselves. Finally they decide to hire someone and they hire the company with the "do it yourself" tips. This is an example of a longshot keyword. Probably not gonna work.

Buyer Key Word Example: "Dry wall Company Near me"

Pretty much anything that ends with near me (although it doesn't have to) is a buyer keyword. That's how you can determine if it's a buy keyword. Can the sentence of with "near me" if the answer is yes then it's a buy keyword and worth investing in.

Page Speed

Quick Google History Lesson,

Page Speed is the newest trend of Google, now when it comes to Google trends. It's important to note that Google generally goes in a direction for years.

Now "what do I mean by that?"

Well you see when google starting implementing changes to keywords, link building ,Proxies. They did this over the course of a few years, when they start making a changes and moving into a new direction, they tend to keep moving in the same direction after they make a decisions. They recently starting making page speed, and mobile page speed affect google rankings more. Predictably, these changes are becoming more relevant, and It will only become even more relevant within the next few years. This is why I'm starting with Page Speed because moving forward. Page speed will become more and more important.

Web Design Platforms

The main factor in what will determine page speed is the platform used. Right off that bat WordPress and Duda offer great page speed, Although WordPress is a little more complicated then a modern website builder. having great page speed is one thing, but you need to know what you're doing in order to maintain great page speed using WordPress. Duda offers great page speed just in general, and is a fantastic overall SEO website platform.

Why Is This

Page Speed is determined by how much data is going through your website. WordPress and Duda offer low code solutions. The main factor usually being how much JavaScript is going through a website, although not always.

platforms like Wix are very JavaScript heavy and will often not be able to support a good page speed, however all website platforms are in an arms race. Wix may start to find ways to reduce the amount of code going into a website.

JavaScript is essentially an extension on the base HTML code. It will overcomplicate things while giving Google very little information on what your site is actually about. It's more flexible in every way, but that is also It's problem, if everything is written in JavaScript then your site will without a doubt be very slow.

Picture Sizes & Resolutions

Picture come in many sizes exponentially larger then the last. Although pretty and necessary, It's important to remember that pictures can actually significantly slow down a website. a resolution of 3300 x 2550 pixels is around 32.1 Mb, Where as 600 x 400 pixels is about 1 MB. That's a very large difference in your page speed. Compressing and keeping image sizes to a minimum keeps the website running smooth. Something to keep in mind and experiment with. It also depends on the platform and the file extension.


Indexing a website is essentially just organizing your website for users and crawl bots. You can index in few ways: Anchors (a link to section of a website, can be seen in this blog under Tables of Content), website index(a section within a website that contains a link to every page), external links (links that lead to another website)

This is just good practice, it does affect ranking. The indexing of a website is a little intuitive, but you can look to any high ranking website with any pages for examples of this.

H Tags & Headers

H tags/Headers is another way to organize information within a site. The idea is to make your information like pyramid. There are 7 options. Headers 1 through 6 and just regular paragraphs. Headers are the headings to Paragraph or page. With heading 1 being the most important, and you can only have one header 1.

As for the rest.

you can use almost as many Header 2s through 6 as you'd like. with the idea being header 2 is the most important of the bunch. this is a way of organizing which information is more important.

This is important to SEO, not implementing this properly will lead to no keyword structure, and very little return in organic SEO.

Picture Tags

Google needs a way to determine which images will show up in the google image search results. This is done through Image tags. These are little snip bits of keywords that will allow an image to be attached to your website. If you can in an industry where photos would be considered important, than this information is very relevant.

Try to stay consistent to what the image actually is, and also try to put yourself in a searches shoes. What does a searcher want to see. Why are they going to images?

Lets say someone wants to buy a house, and they go to the images section to check out local houses. Home builders could benefit from having properly tagged pictures because the pictures are attached to a website, your website(if your a home builder) if not well maybe it's still relevant.

This is just another form of publicity, and proper SEO structure.

Schema Codes & Embeds

the importance of Schema Codes

Schema codes/embeds are codes directly shared with search engines. They sip bits of information containing your location, number and any other information that would be relevant to business. It's used to determine when and how to do a local search. Aside from having words like Saskatoon inside of content to determine this.

Again this is just good practice, almost a necessity.

Blogs & Content

do blogs help my seo?

blogging Serves as a way to get new links and keywords(we'll touch on links in off Page SEO) . As well as share bulks of information with customers, clients and just people who are checking you out.

There's more to it then that though.

Just as I previously mention in Page Speed & A Quick History On Google. This particular subject is on the rise. Google is working towards having regular blogs to a website become more significant. You will receive better results in search engines, with a monthly blog.

Crawl Bots

Crawl bots are automations or AI that read websites the rank them accordingly. Your website must be crawled before you are capable of ranking. Once crawled the information is registered inside a search console and can show based on on page and off page SEO.

Google uses Google Search Console(GSC) to help web builders understand where their website is in the process, or if there is a problem with their sitemap, errors or indexed pages.

I personally recommend business owners getting a quick grips with this (I'll write an article on this later next month). GSC offers a way for business owners to have a grips with what is going on with their website. It'll show if you're pages aren't even indexed, and if their web work is doing anything at all. Which is obviously important.

Off Page Seo

Off Page SEO is everything that is can not be changed from a website editor. This should be focused around link building. Although it would also include:

  • Social media marketing
  • Guest blogging
  • Influencer marketing

With the focus being links. Off page SEO is the most difficult part of SEO. There are many many methods of doing this, and it is un foreseeable what the results will actually be.

The rule of thumb here is to keep content focused on what readers want, giving proper information. With good content you will almost certainly receive a few links.

backlinks help SEO

Quality links

The best kind of links are links that are relevant to your content, from high authority websites.

For example: Sites like CBB, would power up a new site quite a bit.

There's also the factor of "are these links relevant to my content". If the content between the websites are similar then that equals bonus points.

Low Quality links

low quality links would be from irrelevant websites with low traffic, and equally irrelevant content.

With these two examples you can paint a spectrum of what would, and what wouldn't be an effective link. It depends, now two links are created equal.

Google Updates

The last thing to keep in mind is that Google is always updating the rules. Sites that once ruled the web with their old strategies of saying the same keyword over and over are no longer owners of high ranking positions. The rules change, and once again as previously stated. They tend to go in a direction and keep going in a direction.

I personally think that two things are increasing in value right now.

  • Page Speed
  • Blog Posting

why is this?

well Google is most likely doing this for two reasons.

  1. They want people who actually update their websites and increase content to rank well.
  2. They want to limit the amount of data put into a website

Google doesn't like it when people get organic searches for taking advantage of their algorithms, fact. They want work and effort to determine rankings, opinion. I personally believe that updating quality content will be more relevant than ever, and the days of cheating the system will become less and less relevant, as Google works towards eliminating people taking advantage of their networks.

As for the data

There are a few reasons for this.

  1. it helps process websites and crawl them faster
  2. it helps searchers get on the website faster

these are two things that would make the most sense in terms of the changes.