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Local SEO For Non-Physical Businesses: A Winning Local SEO Strategy


One of the most crucial aspects of the internet that has led to the development of businesses and even economies is providing everyone equal opportunity. Whether you are a freelancer, a home-based momma’s shop, or an enterprise, the internet can connect you with your target customers beyond geological boundaries.

Anyone can launch a business online. It doesn’t require a physical address and ensures it is easier to start your DTC (direct-to-consumer) journey. With a simple local listing, you can reach customers in your local area and even compete with businesses with deep pockets. However, unlike traditional brick-and-mortar establishments, non-physical businesses face unique challenges in reaching their target audience within specific geographic areas. This is where Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes into play.


What does local SEO even mean? 

If you are new to search engine optimization, we recommend this excellent guide on understanding SEO in plain English. To give you an idea, SEO is making improvements to your website’s technical and content elements to gain ranking in search results and drive more organic traffic.

Local SEO is exclusively for businesses that want to capture their local market. It involves strategies to increase visibility in local search results on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Here, the significant difference is that, unlike standard SEO, which focuses on improving a website’s visibility on a global scale, local SEO targets users in specific geographic locations.

Why do you need to care about local SEO? 

Google states that 28% of mobile searches for a local business result in a purchase. If you want to be found for local searches, you have to care about local SEO.

Without a physical address, you will entirely rely on attracting customers within specific regions or cities through online channels like Google My Business. That’s why optimizing your online presence for local searches is crucial to effectively target and connect with potential customers in their target markets, thereby increasing their chances of success.

Google guidelines for improving local rankings are clear:

Local results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. A combination of these factors helps us find the best match for your search. For example, our algorithms might decide that a business that’s farther away from your location is more likely to have what you’re looking for than a business that’s closer and, therefore, rank it higher in local results.

If you are struggling to gain traction in local markets because your business doesn’t have a physical address, this guide is what you need.

Website changes to meet local SEO needs 

Chances are high that you conduct your business through your website without a physical address. If you want to be found in local searches, your business website must be optimized for local SEO.

There are dozens of resources teaching you how to optimize your website for local searches. In reality, there is so much for you to optimize that we can’t cover it all in the scope of this article. Instead, we will provide you with a no-nonsense 10-step outline to ensure your website is optimized without taking help from any local SEO services.

Steps to optimize website for local search results

  1. Start incorporating local keywords: Identify relevant keywords that include your location and target audience’s search intent. Here’s a set of tools to use for local SEO keyword research.
  2. Obtain local citations: Get listed in online directories, review sites, and local business listings to establish credibility and improve visibility in local search results.
  3. Create location-specific landing pages: For better SEO, develop dedicated landing pages for each location you serve, optimizing them with relevant local keywords and content.
  4. NAP consistency: NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. If you want Google to show your business in local searches, it’s paramount to maintain consistency in your business’s name, address, and phone number across all online platforms and directories.
  5. Build local backlinks: Build backlinks from local businesses, organizations, and directories to improve your website’s authority and credibility in local search results.
  6. Include local schema markup: A schema markup is a simple code that lets search engines better understand your website and its content. Implementing a local schema markup will provide search engines with structured data about your business’s location, contact details, and operating hours. Here’s a complete guideon adding local schema to your website.
  7. Encourage customer reviews: Local businesses most benefit from word-of-mouth marketing; when you don’t have a physical address, it’s customer reviews. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your Google My Business listing and other relevant review platforms.
  8. Optimize for mobile: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly on all devices, as mobile optimization is crucial for local search rankings. Google has a rich guide on mobile site optimization.
  9. Create local content: This can be tricky as you must develop content that addresses local topics, events, and interests relevant to your target audience. We recommend working with local writers.
  10. Monitor and analyze performance: Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track website traffic, user behavior, and local search rankings. Adjust your local SEO strategy based on insights and performance data.

By implementing these strategies effectively, you can enhance the online visibility in local search results for your non-physical business and attract more targeted traffic from their desired geographic areas.

Google My Business (GMB) Optimization

GMB profile

We cannot state the importance of ensuring your business is listed accurately on Google My Business with correct contact details, opening hours, and categories.

For the uninitiated, Google My Business or GMB is a free feature for businesses to manage their online presence in search results and other Google utilities such as Google Maps. To ensure that your GMB is complete, you will have accurate information about your business. Business owners must complete a verification process to publish their GMB profile. It often involves video verification of the entity, but in the absence of a physical address, you should skip this step.

To improve your business’s online presence in local service areas, use all available fields in your GMB dashboard to provide comprehensive information about your business. This includes a detailed description of your products or services, areas served, and any special attributes or amenities your business offers. Additionally, you should encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your GMB listing. Ensure that you respond promptly and professionally to all customer reviews, whether positive or negative.

GMB has features to share updates, promotions, events, and other relevant information with potential customers through posts. If you create visually compelling posts, you can capture users’ attention and drive engagement.

The GMB dashboard is comprehensively insightful, and you can monitor metrics such as views, clicks, calls, and direction requests to assess the effectiveness of your GMB optimization efforts. Closely analyze these insights to refine your local SEO strategy and identify areas for improvement.

You should extend the same approach for all local citations and directories. Your NAP information should be consistent in all directories, and ensure you choose relevant citation sources.

What not to do for local SEO? 

The optimizations mentioned above will be essential for local SEO strategies for non-physical businesses, but avoiding common pitfalls is necessary.

Not regularly updating Google My Business profile 

Creating and publishing your GMB profile won’t get you any visibility in local searches, and hundreds of other local businesses compete for it. Ensure that your GMB profile is updated regularly, that you engage with customer feedback, and that you implement optimizations to attract local customers.

Neglecting NAP consistency

If your business’s Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) information across online platforms is inconsistent, it will confuse search engines and potential customers, leading to lower rankings in local search results. It will eventually decrease trust in your business.

Only implementing general SEO strategies.

General SEO strategies are for global results and do little for local SEO. For non-physical businesses targeting local markets, general SEO is not sufficient. Your local SEO strategy should optimize for location-specific keywords, create localized content, and leverage local citations.

Online reputation management

Online reputation is entirely based on the engagement with your customers and how you handle their reviews. Failing to respond to customer feedback promptly or neglecting to monitor your online reputation across review sites and social media platforms will harm your credibility in the local market and deter potential customers. Be proactive in managing your online reputation, soliciting positive reviews, and addressing negative feedback.


Non-physical businesses can find the same success as brick-and-mortar businesses in a local market with the right local SEO strategy. Do not overthink general SEO; you need local SEO strategies tailored for target markets. It combines local SEO optimization for the website, Google My Business optimization, and online reputation management to effectively connect with local audiences.

We assume now you know what common mistakes to avoid and embrace best practices in local SEO to maximize the visibility of your non-physical business in local search results and establish it as a trusted service.


  • Ankit Pandey

    Hey, I'm Ankit Pandey, the Founder behind Ranklogs which is a culmination of my over 15 years of experience in the SEO industry. My journey has been fueled by a deep-seated passion for digital marketing when I founded SeoEaze, a leading digital marketing agency, in 2009, which has helped numerous businesses achieve their online goals. My expertise lies in crafting innovative SEO strategies that drive organic growth and enhance online visibility. Over the years, I have successfully worked on over 500 digital marketing campaigns for some of the largest brands in the industry. This extensive experience has honed my ability to deliver exceptional results and stay ahead of industry trends. When I'm not immersed in the world of SEO, you can find me sharing insights and connecting with fellow professionals on LinkedIn or Twitter (X).

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