Here is the definitive guide to Local SEO in 2021

So if you want to:

Get better exposure online in Google search

Improve your website traffic

More customers visit your brick and mortar business

Increase business ROI

Then you’ll love this new guide.

Let’s get started!

Many people do not know there is a type of SEO called local SEO.

So in this chapter, I am going to cover the basics.

Which includes:

What is it?

The misconception about it.

Why do you need to care?

How does it work for your local business to grow? 

Local SEO Fundamental IMG

Image Designed by VectorJuice

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO helps your business get better exposure on Google.

It's about optimizing your GMB profile, website, and content.

It shows up higher for relevant searches related to local goods or services.

Let's say someone types restaurant near me.

If you have good local SEO, your restaurant will show higher search results than other restaurants.

Customers are more likely to visit your restaurant.

Restaurant Near Me Sample

Does Local SEO Still Work?

Let me show you real quick with the statistic why Local SEO still works GREAT than ever.

Below is the latest search statistic for Malaysia that from 2017-2019 from Google.

Year in Search Malaysia 2017-2019

Nearly 46% of all Google searches are seeking local business information in the area they live.

88% of mobile searches for local businesses either call or visit it within 24 hours.

That means Local SEO will always be relevant, proximity and prominence.

"Near me" or "close by" searches grew by over 900% in two years.

Local search Keywords Statistic

Anyway, local SEO still works, and you can't ignore the data

The way people search for things online has changed over the years.

By that means, the way you should do your marketing has changed, and you should get started ASAP.

Why Your Business Need Local SEO?

It can grow your business in a sustainable way to get better ROI.

It can stand out among your competition.

It could reach a new demographic of customers in your area.

It provides a better customer experience.

It converts better than paid advertising. (Databox Survey)

SEO Vs PPC Statistic 2019

5 Common Misconception About Local SEO

1) The More Links You Have, The Better Your SEO Will Be 

When it comes to Local SEO, the quality of your links is more important than quantity.

Google has cracked down on low-quality backlinks and those that don't fit in with their algorithm updates. 

So what you need is QUALITY over QUANTITY. (It always wins)

2) It's A One Time Thing

Local SEO IS NOT a one-time thing.

It requires constant monitoring and updates to remain in matching Google's Algorithm changes! 

3) Content or Products You Offer Do Not Matter

Local SEO is not a one-size-fits all solution. 

You need to tailor your content and products so that they are in line with what people want based on the area where you're ranking! 

So if someone google's for burger, fries, or sodas then this will be reflected on your website.

It has to align with what people are looking for.

4) If You Rank Well Locally, You Will Automatically Rank Well Globally

The answer is NO.

This is because Local SEO strategy and Global SEO are different.

So Local SEO is all about ranking at the top of Google local search results.

Global SEO focuses on ranking well in ALL SERP (Search Engine Result Pages).

It's a different strategy, but there are many similarities.

Local and global strategies can intertwine with one another if you're willing to put in some extra work! 

5) Not Worth To Start Local SEO In My Town Because There Are Small Population 

Local SEO is not all about ranking at the top of Google.

It's also about getting your business to show up first in search results like Yelp or Foursquare!

Many people use these websites for local searches.

The business owner just not knowing how much it has an impact on them.

If you are a small business just starting,

You're worried that there are not enough people living in your town,

Don't worry.

Local SEO still can work wonders for you.

Your strategy has to be aligned with what people are searching for:

Food trucks near colleges or hospitals;

Fast-casual restaurants around sports stadiums (think burgers);

Coffee shops next to libraries and schools.

These are all good examples!

Chapter 2: How To Do Local SEO For Your Business?

The first step to start local SEO is to create your Google My Business profile (GMB).

In this chapter,

I'm going to show you exactly how to create a standard GMB profile that 90% of people don't know the real tricks.

Google Map

Image designed by Diego Velazquez

These are the same techniques I used to help my clients stand out from the market.

As a result, we helped him generated about 1,229 targeted business calls in just 8 months.

All were organic traffic that came from Google searches.

So let's do this now!

What Is Google My Business?

Google My Business A.K.A GMB.

It is a tool from Google that helps you manage your online marketing strategy.

It's like a name card that shows your business profile to new customers.

Man Phuah GMB Profile IMG

You can create or claim your listing.

Upload photos and videos of your store or office,

Share updates with customers in real-time,

Respond to reviews from customers,

Track keywords that have been searching by people all time.

Search Breakdown IMG

All for FREE!

How Does Google My Business Works?

It is using to claiming and optimizing the business listing on Google Maps.

After that, it will update automatically in local SERP if it does correctly.

When someone does search, the GMB profile will show in front of them.

It shows them the company information, offers, products, and reviews, etc.

When you announce an event or post photos, more visitors will visit your profile.

GMB Photo Views Example IMG

But unfortunately, most of the people just created it and left it.

To remind, GMB has its ranking signals and some essential elements you have to take notice of in local search, including;

  • The location of the business
  • Your business title with targeted keyword
  • Reviews rating
  • Primary Categories
  • Consistent N.A.P citations
  • The number of shares in social media

How To Create Google My Business Profile?

If you already set up GMB before, I would advise you to again to make sure you have done it right.

It's all based on my experiences to help my clients rank over ten keywords on 1st page of SERP.

I would assume you are a beginner, and you've never set up GMB before for your business.

Just follow the slide or local SEO training video below and do it step by step.

How To Create Citation and Why It Matter?

A citation is a listing where you place your business information in the other directories like Yelp or Yellow Page.

Yelp and Yellow Pages

It is a one-time activity but pays off in the long run.

When people search for your business on Google they find you easily if you have citations with the address, phone number, and business name.

We called it "N.A.P''

Citations in third-party databases have become an increasingly important element for the discovery of local businesses. 

These citations can increase web traffic, phone calls, and foot traffic, culminating in higher sales at brick and mortar businesses.

Inaccurate citations can misdirect customers and lead to adverse effects such as loss of reputation, revenue, and customer trust.

Directories Citation Graph

It will be a difficult challenge for business owners who want to rank well in the SERP and have no citations listed.

I recommend you create citations from different directories to get more visibility online.

citation directories

You can register Yelp now for your 1st citation, below is the home page, and set up the page that you will see later.

Register Yelp Page
Setup Yelp Profile

All directories setup instructions are almost the same.

You can follow their guideline to fill in your N.A.P correctly and other business information.

Chapter 3: Local SEO Content Guide

People always say content is King.

In my opinion, QUALITY content is the King.

In this chapter, I will show you how to do better content research so that your blog posts can surpass anything else out there.

Quality content is not for the search engine to read, it has to focus on your audience.

Local Content Guide

Image Designed by VectorJuice

What do they search for?

Where do they get the information most of the time when they have questions?

Based on their behavior, you only can create great content that rings the bell with targeted keywords to rank well.

So let's do this!

How To Do Local Content Research?

Let says I'm an organic dog food supplier.

I plan to create local content that is good to fit my audience.

I will do the content research in this niche as an example.

First, I will use some tools to help me to do in-depth content research.

Google Suggestion

Google Suggestion is a feature on Google Search that enables users to search for web pages with similar or relevant content.

The result of this type of query will be the list from where you can narrow your selection.

As an example, if I am looking for dog organic food-related topics, when I enter my keyword in Google it may show me some suggestions are: 

Organic Dog Food Malaysia

Natural Core Puppy Food Review

Natural Core Dog Food Ingredients 

Natural Core feeding guide, etc.

Google Suggestion Example

I will pick few keywords here to enter in the Google search one by one.

Now, I can find out what people have been searching for over time and also get valuable insights from other websites that rank well in Google.


Quora has been around for quite some time.

It is one of the best sources to find what people are asking about your niche topic.

You can use the keywords in people's questions to create content.

It will be more relevant and entertaining for your audience.

The more answer they can get from your content, the more people love to read and shares.

You cannot just create content for the sake of want people to listen to you.

Quora Organic Dog Food Questions

Answer The Public

Answer The Public is a free tool that crawls the web to find questions people are most likely to ask about your topic.

It’s not just limited to Google, either – it finds them on Bing and Yahoo too!

For example: if you typed in “organic dog food” or something similar...

Answer The Public will show you these results:

Answer The Public Example IMG

You can start to understand what people ask and looking for an answer that will fix their problem.

You can put it as your outline and elaborate on the main points.

Unfortunately, Answer The Public has a daily usage limit for free users.

If so, you also can use Answer Socrates to do similar research.

Answer Socrates Example IMG


Ubersuggest is a FREE chrome extension and powerful SEO tool that helps you find the most lucrative keywords.

It provides monthly search volume, CPC & competition data for each keyword so that you can make informed decisions about which words to target in your next campaign.

What is Ubersugget

It is my favorite tool to do my keywords and contents research for my clients.

It's not just because of the affordable price compare with other SEO tools out there but also generated reliable data.

Let see the below image here with the keyword: organic dog food

Ubersuggest Content Ideas Example

Ubersuggest helping me to find out my competitor's content and also the quantity of the social shares.

It's so easy to see what types of content people like reading and sharing.

After that, I will collect all the lucrative keywords and put them inside my content to mix them.

Remember, it is not just all about keywords but the content itself.

It has to be quality.

It has to be informative and helping others to clear their doubt or fix some problem at least!

Well, I would suggest you can do a sign-up for 7 days free from here to test it out yourself.


With all the references you read, start to analyze the content.

See what points can add on to share?

Does this content cover enough the topic? 

What are the points missing?

How can you expand on the point you want to cover?

I recommend you do long-form content compare to shorts ones.

Article Length Ranking Study

Above is the study from Backlinko about long-form content vs short-form content which's better?

Long-form content always gets more people to link your content to their website.

This is because most long-form content is evergreen for years, and it's informative.

The quality website owner doesn't like short content to link back into their website due to the content quality.

Also, it doesn't help out their reader as well.

When you earned more quality backlinks from your post, it does help you rank well and generate new traffic to your website. 

How To Research Targeted Keyword

Keyword research is the most critical step in any SEO campaign.

The first thing you should do when starting a new project is to find what keywords to rank for.

If you are looking for a free tool for keyword research you can definitely choose Google Keyword Planner.

But Google Keyword Planner didn't show the exact amount of traffic you will make if you are able to rank a certain keyword.

Also, it didn't really show you how easy or hard it is to rank a chosen keyword.

Google Keyword Planner example

So, these two are one of my metrics to see how far and how easy I can rank a keyword and content that brings in lead and profit.

Ubersuggest Keyword Tool

To help find relevant search terms to rank for, I recommend using Ubersuggest's keyword tool.

This powerful tool will uncover a ton of keywords that are related to your desired topic, and they also provide global monthly searches on average!

Ubersuggest Keywords Idea

In the above image, I put Malaysia as my location to search for the keyword I'm looking for.

You can change to cities including, KL, Puchong, Petaling Jaya and so on.

Now, look at the CPCPaid Difficulty (PD), and SEO Difficulty (SD) columns.

I highlighted it because there are important metrics that I using to find out the lucrative keywords that can be put into my content. 

Here are the tips;

To Pick the right keyword you have to check out the PD and SD numbers.

The higher the PD is, it considers the competitive the keyword people are using to create Ads. 

This means the keyword is profitable if you can rank.

The higher the SD is, which means it's getting hard to rank.

You might need more time to optimize your ON Page SEO and OFF Page SEO for your content.

So, most of the time I will pick the HIGH PD and LOW SD as my keyword choice.

The CPC (Cost Per Click) lets you know that how much the advertiser will cost on each click from the audience.

Google Trends

To help you find popular trends or keywords related to your niche!

It's a great way of finding more keywords that are trending in the same industry as well.

Just type in "Dog Food" and click on the graph tab, then scroll down until you see a list of queries people have been searching for recently based on their location or language is spoken.

Google Trend Example

It will give you some good ideas about what other words might be worth targeting, including seasonal phrases like "best gifts."

You'll never know unless you try it out.

How To Get Great Content Done?

If you love writing, GREAT!

You can keep going to do what you love and match the research you've done.

But if you are,

Lack writing skills

Don't know where to start.

Afraid of writing

Grammar knowledge is not good.

There are two choices here:

Hiring Freelance to write for you

You can't just write a blog post and hope for success.

There are some things you should know before hiring a writer to work on your content strategy:

What do we do as a client?

How much does it cost?

When will I see results from the writing project?

Upwork Homepage Example

If you still wondering, here are a few tips;

Searching for freelancers that have experience writing about your topic and find one who has good reviews!

Check references from previous clients before hiring a new freelancer.

Include specific requirements in your job description so you can make sure each writer has what they need for success.

Use a written contract as well as an understanding of payment terms upfront.

It will help avoid any misunderstandings or confusion during the project.

There are different levels of writers, from junior to senior.

Junior: Average rate is $0.03 per word or about $30 per post (with some negotiation)

Senior: Normal rate is $50 and above. Depend on your task requirement.

After finishing a project, freelancers will submit their work, and it's up to you if you want them for your next project.

Subscribe to conversion ai

To me, Conversion AI is the best writing tool in 2021!

I use it to helping me to generate more quality content ideas.

Conversion AI Homepage IMG

What is Conversion AI?

Conversion AI is software that will write for you after inputting your information.

All you have to do is input your content or short description, and the AI named Jarvis will do the rest.

Jarvis does more than just combine sentences. He also takes care to ensure that all meaning is still delivered while reading becomes easier.

You also don't have to worry about getting plagiarized.

This software doesn't copy any other work but instead creates unique pieces of content.

The AI will write a paragraph and then fill it with relevant keywords that are perfect for SEO.

You can also choose 25 languages available in this writing tool.

Conversion AI Q&A

Conversion AI has been testing by different business people with many writing skills, and this technology accommodates all of them!

Conversion AI Trusted Reviews

It does not matter if it's a long-form article or just some paragraphs,

Conversion AI has got you covered and will do all of those things for you!

Conversion AI Templates

How to Write Perfect Content with Conversion.AI

Conversion AI has many templates which already stored inside the software. 

Whenever you want to create content, you can ask Jarvis to do it for you.

Just command him, and you can get to finish the writing 2-5x faster!

Watch the video below to see how Conversion AI Boss Mode works.

After you click the yellow button above to claim the free trial, the Conversion AI homepage will look like this.

Conversion AI free trial link

Chapter 4: How To Increase Local SEO Ranking?

You can  increase local SEO ranking in 5 ways:

Optimize your website

Optimize Google My Business

Increase social shares

Increase good reviews with business keywords

Increase citations

Local SEO Ranking IMG

Image Designed by VectorJuice

How To Optimize Business Website

Here are a few tips to improve the On-Page score and conversion rate on your site.

Include a clear call to action on your homepage, such as “Schedule Your Free Consultation” or “Contact Us Today”.

Write better headlines and descriptions that appear on search engines.

Man Phuah Website

It will improve how people respond to the site.

Write engaging content for all of the pages on your site like this post.

Include keywords in the headings on each page of the site.

Every post only has one H1 title, and follow with many H2 titles that you want to talk about.

Do not forget your homepage need this too!

H1 and H2 Header Example

This will help search engines categorize it better, index it faster, and rank it higher on SERPs.

With that said, people find you faster when they're searching for services just like what you provide! 

Next, use keywords in the content that are relevant to every page title you create. 

Keyword in content Example

For example, in this post, I write about "Local SEO Fundamentals", and I input local SEO as one of my keywords into the content.

I purposely trying to rank this competitive keyword in the local area to let Google algorithms categorize my article.

Lastly, make sure your website and pages score at 80-100.

You can analyze your website here with Google PageSpeed Insight

OP Page Speed Example

Image from OptimizePress Theme

How To Optimize google My Business

If you already followed the way how I created G.M.B

Now you have to do these things consistently to improve it;

  • Add more citations into your G.M.B
  • Increase good reviews from the customer with your service/product keywords in the G.M.B review box.
  • Upload business, customers, and employees photos into G.M.B profile consistently.
  • Keep updating your business status.
  • Keep create posts and events to increase more traffic. 
  • Manage bad reviews well.

After doing this, you will found out that your GMB profile has more visitors views, phone calls, and more people search and talk about it. 

Chapter 5: Convert Local SEO Leads Into Buyers

To convert local SEO leads into buyers, you first need to be up-to-date with marketing trends. 

What are people looking for? 

Which topics resonate best with your target demographic? 

Next, create content that speaks directly to what they want and provides them with a solution.

Such as an informative article or video about their problem?

Once it’s written, share the content on social media or blast your email with an autoresponder so that it can reach more of your targeted audience. 

Local business owners who do this will see increased traffic because people enjoy following businesses they know can provide solutions to their problems.

Convert Leads to sales infographic

Design a lead magnet for your audience

One of the best ways to grow your email list is by offering a "lead magnet".

Something like an ebook, webinar, or newsletter that will provide value for people who want it.

This lead magnet should be designed with your target audience in mind so you can attract them from SERP.

Lead Magnet Example

Here are some questions we need to answer when designing our lead magnet.

Once you've answered these three questions then design your funnel/lead magnet accordingly!


A: This is targeted towards parents, business owners, etc. 


A: They want more time with their children so that's the challenge we're going to address in our funnel/lead magnet. 


A: The lead magnet will provide them helpful information on how to spend quality time with their kids so they can feel satisfied with the amount of free hours they had - it might be an ebook or webinar which provides tips for spending as much quality time as possible.

This is just a sample, you can use any method as your lead magnet.

Chapter 6: Tools for Local SEO Business?

In this chapter, I will share with you the tools I use the most to start my local SEO process until the end for my SEO services clients.

If you decided to optimize GMB or website by yourself, check the tools below!

Most of these tools have a free trial, and I already include the trial links inside the yellow button.

Tools for Local SEO IMG

Image Designed by MacroVector


This is an online tool that suggests related keywords as you type.

It uses Ahrefs to generate suggestions of relevant and popular search terms.

Which gives a list of search queries in response to the current text entered by the user.

There are also other tools like Keyword Tool or SEMrush

But Ubersuggest is more accurate with its suggested results. 

Many SEO experts and services are using it for their research.

Ubersuggest Example


This is a powerful email marketing and automation tool for your business.

It can help you optimize your subscribers, create landing pages, personalize content delivery to every subscriber on autopilot with the time-saving features of A/B testing and segmentation.

Convertkit example

With Convertkit, you can deliver the right message to the right person at the perfect time.

It's easy to use and built specifically for creators like you who need a powerful tool without all of those confusing bells and whistles. 

Answer Socrates

This is a free tool for SEOer, writer and  content producer. 

Answer Socrates Homepage

When you're looking for new blog content ideas, Socrates is the place to go. 

You can search by industry or keyword and find a list of questions that people were asking in your field. 

Use this as inspiration for blog posts you could write about, 

or use these questions as part of your post's topic sentence to get readers interested in reading more!

The best part: 

Socrates is absolutely free, and it's being updated with new questions to help you find content ideas. 


Conversion AI Tool IMG

Conversion AI is content writing tool that does better writing for you with AI. 

With the help of machine learning, it can produce thousands and even tens of thousand of words a day. 

It is designed to help out writer brainstorm their ideas and creativity. 

Claim a free trial with 10,000 words by clicking the button below.

google suggestion

Google suggestion is a feature of Google Search.

It helps to provide users with search options based on their query which are the most relevant and popular at the moment.

It’s a powerful tool that can help you figure out what people are searching for and the related terms. 

If you want to know how it works, here's an example:

Type "best hotels in NYC" into the Google search bar. 

Best Hotel NYC

As shown below, there are few suggestions from Google like the best luxury hotels in NYC.

Which is followed by Google 3 pack after clicking enter. 

All hotels nearby will show in front of me. 

Hotels in New York City show only those hotels that offer services in this particular location. 

Best Hotel In NYC

Chapter 7: Advance Link Building Strategy

In this chapter, 

We’ll explore some advanced link-building techniques that will help your website get better rankings.

As a result? 

More customers visit your brick-and-mortar business! 

But how do you increasing these valuable backlinks to your site? Especially for local businesses.

Let's dive in! 

Advance link building

Image Design by Vectorjuice

What is link building?

Link building is one of the most important strategies for SEO success. 

It is a process that essentially means you are creating links from other websites to your website to give it an advantage on Google's SERPs.

The more links pointing at your site and the better those sites are, the higher up on SERPs your site will show for any given keyword or phrase. 

Link Building Strategy

Image source from                

It only can be hugely beneficial if done with consistent creativity and research content creation strategies from day one.

Guest Posting

First off is guest blogging /posting.

This is one of the white hat link buildings!

Guest blogging involves writing a new article for the website in your industry and getting it published.

In return, they link back to you (assuming their site is well-ranked and quality).

The key here is that the content has to be good enough so people want to share it or link back too.

Never publish just any old thing on someone else's website with lame content because if no one wants to view it won't be many links pointing at you either.

This type of link building can take some time but don't give up.

Even earning a single guest post placement could lead to traffic increases over time as long as those posts are shared/linked off of social media, etc.

Email Outreach

To me, this is the hardest part to earn backlinks from other people when you just startup.

This is because not everyone would want to link back to you especially since your website is still new in the market.

Even you if are confident that your content is quality and better than 90% in the market.

But once you break through this hardest part, you'll gain a good relationship with more bloggers and start getting more traffic into your website.

Keyword By traffic

By using Ubersugges tools, you will be able to uncover valuable and hidden link opportunities which can easily be reached by email outreach.

After that, you have to compile a list of potential link targets.

Read their post to see if their content is aligned with what you want to share.

Find out their contact email by using email hunter software.

Lastly, create a template and send a personalized email to them.

This increases the success rate compared to sending more spammy emails or links requesting reciprocal link placement. (Which we all know sucks)

If you don't see your initial email get a reply, then do another follow-up!

Press Release

This is another link-building strategy that you can use is by posting a press release.

Press releases are written news stories about a company or individual.

They read like blog content, making them an excellent link bait for link builders.

Press releases should be written with SEO in mind from start to finish because it will make your links more powerful when placed on the top-ranked websites.

Also, it has to be quality content and news worthies or even entertaining.

PR Link Building Statistic

As you can see, press release is one of the common method to build links.

Simple Steps to create quality press release

Use keywords throughout the article and title.

Ensure that these words have appropriate density levels as per Google guidelines (not too many times)

Include hyperlinked phrases within bullet points where possible so readers can easily navigate through your post without having to scroll.

Include 2-3 links to your PR content (not too many times) so readers can visit your link and see what you have to offer.

Add a link back to this post on all social media sites that are connected with other target audiences where possible. 

For example, if you're writing about "organic dog food" for local business websites then include a link back in relevant Facebook groups 

Not just share posts but also comment at least once or twice on these threads too. 

This strategy could reap huge benefits because it will get more exposure from target audiences who may be interested in the topic of dogs as well!

Additionally, mention any informative resources that might benefit the reader through hyperlinks which make it easier than ever before.

Alright, that's all from this post. 

Do not share if you don't find it useful for you.

If you have any thoughts, comment or feedback, leave under the comment section below.

So I can read it and talk about the topic you wanted to discover.

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