dominate local search

How to Dominate Local Search: Small Business WordPress Guide

Is it possible to dominate local search? Absolutely.

And landing on page 1 of Google for relevant keywords can significantly boost conversions.

In this article, we’ll share what you must do to dominate local search.

But first, let’s see what dominating search results looks like.

What Does Dominating Local Search Look Like?

For our example, we did a Chrome Incognito search for “boston krav magaandkrav maga boston.”

Krav Maga Yashir Boston, a small business offering training in the popular Israeli self-defense sport, dominates the page.

On the left, we see organic search results, with the first 6 links belonging to this small business. And on the right, we see their Google Business Profile, which provides 6 more links.

how to dominate local search example

Almost all the above-the-fold space is taken up with a dozen links to this business.

Scroll down a bit, and on the right side, you’ll see 7 more links to Krav Maga Yashir Boston.

Then scroll past page 1, and there are 14 additional links to or about the business.

So, how can you get results like this?

While Google doesn’t guarantee high rankings, and search results change over time, it is possible to stack the deck in your favor.

Here’s how.

Most of the actions required to dominate local search aren’t complicated. Some require a modest discipline, such as spending 15 minutes a month on them.

And yet, many businesses lack the knowledge or the commitment to take action.

And that provides an opportunity for you.

1. Get a Website, Don’t Rely on Facebook Alone

Do you need a website? Can you just use Facebook?

Most small businesses will benefit from having a website. In the Krav Maga example, none of the links above the fold were from Facebook.

As you’ll soon see, a website provides many ways to attract traffic and capture leads.

But even if you don’t currently have a website, you should immediately proceed to Step 2.

2. Create a Google Business Profile and Optimize it

In our example above, we saw how Krav Maga Yashir Boston has a prominent search display on the right of Google Search results.

This is because they set up and optimized their Google Business Profile.

It’s free to set up a profile. And the instructions are simple.

To make the most of your profile, follow these guidelines. And learn how to get reviews and manage them improved SEO.

Going one step further than your competitors by ensuring your Google Business Profile is complete and updated will help you dominate local search.

It takes as little as 15 minutes a month to update your profile with an announcement, a casual photo, or a reply to a review.

google business profile example
These action-packed photos show what potential customers of Krav Maga Yashir will learn. Source: Google Business Profile.

3. SEO: The Checklist Approach

Checklists are effective tools for getting accurate, consistent results. That’s why they’re widely used. Even surgeons and air pilots use them.

You can use them for SEO too.

This is where a WordPress plugin like All in One SEO (AIOSEO) comes in.

aioseo homepage

Once you download and install the plugin, AIOSEO will analyze your web pages and provide a checklist of what needs improving.

The plugin will also show you exactly how to improve your SEO.

aioseo missing meta description

The All in One SEO (AIOSEO) plugin appears as a sidebar on the right in the WordPress editor.

aioseo sidebar

Clicking on any sidebar item, like Basic SEO or Readability, opens specific recommendations.

You’ll see what you’re doing well. And what could be improved.

aioseo focus keyphrase analysis

All in One SEO (AIOSEO) is designed to be easy for beginners. Yet small businesses, marketing managers, and agencies also use it to drive consistent results.

We use it to optimize all of our content before publishing. It takes us about 5-10 minutes to do this.

As we take action on the recommendations, our SEO score goes up.

Do the following to get the most out of AIOSEO for your small business.

From Drab to Fab: Get Some Rich Snippets

About that last point: rich snippets are a big deal. You can think of them as super-deluxe search engine displays.

To see the difference, here’s a standard search snippet.

standard search snippet

And here’s a rich snippet.

With All in One SEO, you can transform your pages into rich snippets by using our powerful Schema Generator.

And you can apply different types of schema markup to create different types of rich snippets.

These types include products, recipes, events, books, courses, and so on.

rich snippet example

Making All in One SEO a regular part of your publishing workflow can help you dominate local search rankings.

4. Business Listings: How to Get Them Fast

Websites like Yelp,, and publish listings of local businesses sorted by category. They also typically feature reviews.

These sites often rank high in searches for local services and places. So, getting listed on these platforms is a way to attract more traffic.

The easiest way to get business listings is to use a low-cost service like All you need to do is create an account and fill in a form.

Follow our step-by-step instructions.

You probably guessed that Google Business Profile counts as a business listing, and so do your social media pages.

Aim for roughly 25 other business listings, and keep your business contact information accurate across the web.

5. Keyword Research

Going back to our example of Krav Maga Yashir Boston. They use 2 domains and 2 identical websites, although this is 1 business with a single location.

  • (Name: Krav Maga Yashir Boston)
  • (Name: Krav Maga Yashir Woburn)

Not surprisingly, a search for “krav maga woburn” has this business showing up in:

  • #2 slot in the Local Pack
  • #1 and #3 slot in organic results
  • #4 slot (Yelp)
  • #6 slot (
  • #7 slot (Mapquest)
  • #8 slot (Woburn Chamber of Commerce)
  • #9 slot (
local seo serp example
Above: Our analyzed business shows up in the #2 slot for the Local Map Pack and the #1 slot below that.

Total domination of page 1 of search results, again.

Did you notice that 3 of these results are from business listings?

More importantly, the business targets keywords likely to be used in queries for local Krav Maga classes. Then, they created content (and listings) to fit those keywords.

If you’re new to keyword research, don’t fret.

We’ve provided some Q&A below to assist you in improving your online presence, reaching new customers, and increasing market share.

If you have questions of your own, please leave those in the comments section below this article.

We’d be delighted to assist in your quest to dominate local search results.

What is an example of a local search query?

Examples of local search queries are “thai food near me,” “taxi,” and “24-hour plumber.” Local search queries contain explicit or implicit information indicating the user wants results in their local area.

Will negative reviews on Google impact my SEO?

All businesses get negative and positive reviews on Google. You shouldn’t be too concerned about the negative reviews though. Google points out: “Customers find a mix of positive and negative reviews more trustworthy.”

Instead, focus on your overall star rating average. And learn to manage Google reviews for improved SEO.

How can I boost my business’s online reputation?

To optimize your business’s online reputation, follow the instructions in this article. Creating a Google Business Profile, getting business directory listings and customer reviews all play a part. Optimizing your site for SEO is crucial too.

Also consider setting up 1 or more social media pages. Sometimes local customers are reassured when they see a business has a presence on other platforms. Getting involved in local events can also raise your visibility.

Do I need to submit a sitemap to Bing or just to Google?

Google is the market leader in search engines, but it’s a good idea to submit sitemaps to both entities. It’s easy to submit a sitemap to Google and to Bing.

Local SEO Resources

The following resources will help you plan high-quality content and improve local SEO.

These articles cover aspects of local marketing including local directories, online reviews, online reputation, and algorithms.

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve learned how to dominate local search, what’s next?

Learn how to manage customer reviews for SEO. Get clear on the different roles that SEO and social media play in digital marketing. Learn more about local SEO strategy. And discover the importance of keeping your business information, including your phone number, consistent across the web.

Next, improve your marketing strategy with our SEO secrets for growing revenue. And explore how to increase leads.

Join us on our YouTube Channel to find simple search engine optimization tutorials. You can also follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook to stay in the loop.

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author avatar
Sherrie Gossett Content Writer
Sherrie is an SEO analyst based in New Hampshire in the United States. When she’s not busy researching, implementing, and writing about new SEO developments, she can be found hiking and playing guitar.

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