8 ways to drive local business in competitive markets with research

Local search marketing is critical for any location, but in the face of a competitive marketplace it is essential to have strategies to help you stand out.

The closer the user is to a location, the more likely they are to be ranked. However, in denser areas, a place will face more competition.

By accelerating Google My Business (GMB) and location page management efforts, the relevance and importance of a location can increase a company’s rankings resulting in increased local visibility, especially in competitive markets.

In this post, we will analyze strategies for both GMB and site pages to increase local business.

How Google ranks local results

Google states that “local results are primarily based on relevance, distance and relevance.”

Relevance is how applicable the result is to what someone is looking for.

Distance examines the distance of the results from the searcher for the location term.

Importance refers to the reputation of a place in its local market. It also takes into consideration factors such as articles, links, directories, review count, review score, and SEO.


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A business can only have a direct impact on relevance and importance. The distance is determined by where the user is and cannot be optimized for.

Maximize Google My Business in competitive markets

Having a successful GMB listing requires you to take advantage of all the different capabilities and features on offer. Maximizing the use of each will allow your business to increase its presence in the local market.

Check out these opportunities to improve your local listings.

1. Profiles

Google recommends that your profiles be “accurate, complete and engaging”.

Start by accessing the Information tab within your GMB profile. Take advantage of all the different features within this section.

All attributes it should be updated so that the list reflects your current business operations.

Screenshot from Google My Business, October 2021

Make sure you also add any links to your website, for reservations, your menu or even appointments.


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Within this tab you will also find the hours of operations and it is essential to keep precise timetables every day of the year.

You can also add special times for holidays, events or during a specific time period. Make sure you check and update your listings regularly so they continue to be accurate, complete and engaging.

Example of health and safety attributes.Screenshot from Google My Business, October 2021

2. Google post

Another way to make your profile more engaging is through Google Posts.

Posts are a great way to keep your listings up to date and promote any key offers. It is also a way for a company to share a quick update.

Google Post content can also affect rankings. For example, if a searcher’s query is for “wax grooming expert,” Google will look at the content on your listing and leverage the content from Google Post.

As shown in the example below, those results are “related to your search” and therefore that location is displayed as the main result.

European wax center that uses Google Posts to promote local businesses in competitive marketsScreenshot from the search for [expert wax grooming], October 2021

For more details on Google Posts, see How to Create Google My Business Posts That Get Results.

3. Reviews

Reviews tend to be an overlooked area of ​​GMB, but Google clearly states in their description of the importance that “Google’s review count and review score contribute to local search rankings.”


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Keeping a score as high as possible will be key and at the same time trying to increase the volume of reviews. The more reviews you have, the better your ad will perform.

But how many will be based on competition? Look at your competitors’ review volume and scores to get a baseline of where your rank should be.

Receiving reviews on a consistent basis is key. Implementing a strategy to solicit reviews can be helpful in increasing review volumes and scores.

Google has a way to create a short URL to share with customers to leave a review. Not only do you want to receive reviews, but you also want to respond.

As Google states,

“When you respond to reviews, you show that you value your customers and their feedback. Positive, high-quality reviews from your customers can improve the visibility of your business and increase the likelihood of a shopper visiting your location.

Leaving a high quality engaging response that is unique to each client is the best approach.


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4. High quality photos and videos

Photos and videos are a great way to make your profile more engaging and let a customer know what to expect when they visit your location. Photos that match a product or service query will also help make a list stand out.

Adding photos of new menu items, completed projects, items for sale, your store or showcase layout will increase a user’s engagement with your profile.

Constantly add new photos to keep your profile fresh and engaging.

Maximize localization pages in competitive markets

Location pages are critical to any local search strategy, but how information is presented and structured will determine how well they perform on Google. This is where pre-eminence is strongly considered.

Google says, “The importance is also based on the information Google has about a company, from around the web, such as links, articles and directories.”

Also, “your position in the web results is also a factor, so search engine optimization (SEO) best practices apply.”


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Many site pages typically contain only the business name, address, phone number, opening hours and a short description with a stock photo.

By enlisting the strategies below you will enable your position to stand out in a crowded and competitive market.

5. Hyperlocal content

Hyperlocal content is a great way to create unique content that stands out locally. And there’s no need to create lengthy and time-consuming content. The content of a location page can often be standard or rather generic.

By taking the following two different approaches, you can highlight what is unique about anything outside the position and what is uniquely specific within the position.

Ideas for external content could include mentioning specific neighborhoods, nearby highways, schools or universities, museums, arenas, or other key landmarks.

Internal content ideas could include events or promotions offered specifically at that venue, such as a children’s night, matinee offers, TV for a great game or show, live music, even a list of staff members working there with biographies and any other information that makes that place unique.


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This allows a page to deliver engaging content that helps increase relevance and importance.

6. Marking of the scheme

Another great SEO tactic to implement is schema markup. When adding schema markup to a location page, microdata can be included in a rich snippet as it “adds context and displays the attributes that Google loves.”

These snippets help make a company stand out more prominently in the SERPs.

Markup Scheme is not a ranking factor, but a good tactic to make your position page more visible.

If your links stand out more in the SERPs and lead to higher engagement, this could impact your rankings as a result as the result is becoming more relevant as well.

7. Link Signals

Links are crucial to any SEO strategy. Links to your location page from another site exceed PageRank.

The number of quality links to your site from others will determine the relevance of a position. Building citations across various directories has been a consistent way to build links relevant to local SEO.


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Emphasis should also be placed on building local links through a site considered to be a local authority such as a local newspaper, the city chamber of commerce or the city website.

8. Major Web Vital

With a recent major update from Google, Core Web Vitals are now a ranking factor. Businesses should try to optimize their page experience.

Google provides a tool to see page performance and then you can take action on anything that is impacting Core Web Vitals performance.

In some very competitive markets, companies may not follow GMB’s rules. Keyword stuffing in a business name is the most common tactic used against the rules.

If you see a local business that doesn’t follow the rules, you can report it to Google – here’s what you can do.

By optimizing your GMB listings and location pages, your business can expect to generate more business locally.

By understanding how relevance, distance and importance affect an outcome, more effective strategies can be devised on how to influence ranking.


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The more you do well and the more unique your local marketing efforts are, the more likely you are to position yourself locally in a highly competitive market.

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Featured Image: Sammby / Shutterstock

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