11 Tips to Handle Local Competition

Cutthroat competition is what the business world is all about. While businesses and brands compete globally, brands compete closer to home on a primary level, i.e., in their local market. 

Take a look at this screenshot where search engines show businesses in the audience vicinity.


Local competition is pretty tough as all businesses work towards customer satisfaction to improve their customer base and eventually make big in revenue. 

Gone are the days when people trust a brand through word-of-mouth. Customers need social proof and validation to buy from a brand in this digital era. 

Understanding the local business landscape can help you build a brand and a community that eventually becomes a strong bond of trust.

It helps you climb the ladder quicker than waiting to see results without knowing what is working and what is not for your business.

These 11 tips will help you understand and beat your local competition.

1. Check Your Local Competition

The very first step to understanding the local competition is to monitor it. Before you build your SEO strategy, you must understand what your competition is doing.
Luckily, such information is out in public, thanks to Google. A few of the best places to find competition apart from Google is local directories like Yelp, Yellowpages, Foursquare, etc.
Companies need not be similar. Here’s how the competitors appear when you search your niche.


What might work for them might not work for you, but understanding how they approach their customers is a great tip. This way, as a competitor for them, you can avoid making such mistakes that save your time and save a lot on your pocket.

  • Get notified every time your competitor's brand is mentioned anywhere on the internet with Google Alerts. It's simple to set and is almost like having your eyes and ears out there round the clock.
  • Want to know what is being talked about in your competition in social media? Ask Social Mention. Simply enter search terms and keywords of a brand, and it shows all social mentions of it.
  • WhatRunsWhere is a great tool to determine how your competitors' ads are running. If you find them successful, you can implement the same for yours.

2. Create Evergreen Content

Visitors to your site aren't only looking to buy something; they're also looking to learn something new. There's no better way to outshine your local competitors than by attracting customers and visitors with innovative and evergreen content

If you’re into the beauty and lifestyle business, you have to create content around trending styles, tips, and more that help a larger audience. Here’s an example:


When a piece of material retains its value over time, it is known as evergreen content. You will welcome organic traffic if you write more evergreen and fresh content. Here are a few pointers to help you write great material, even if you're experiencing writer's block.

  • Blogging tools like BloggerCast, instoried, and nichesss can help you overcome writer's block.
  • How-to-guides, buyer's guides, case studies, listicles, tools, checklists, and reviews are some of the best evergreen topics to write.
  • While writing content, ensure you touch previous topics and interlink them so all of your evergreen articles get good visibility.

3. Steal Your Competitors' Keywords

The most critical SEO component is keyword research. If you want to outperform your local competitors, you must use stronger keywords than theirs. If your competition beats you, it suggests they've found the proper keywords to target. 

Another thing to bear in mind is that keyword rankings change over time, so keyword research is an ongoing process rather than a one-time activity. 

While you can always devise your method for determining the ideal keywords for your business, the best approach is to look at what is working for your competitors and replicate it.

  • Wordstream's free keyword research tool will help you easily find your competitor's keywords by just entering your competitor's link. Below, it gives keywords and search volume, CPC, competition, etc. 
  • Use Buzzsumo to find out even those two competitors that you might have missed out on to count on.
  • From CTR, ad spending, ranking history, search volume to competitors' keywords, and keyword strategy, use SpyFu.

4. Monitor Your Online Reputation

Customers love to read what others have to say about the brand. These days, it serves as social proof and validation for a new customer to consider a brand before trusting it. 

When it comes to digital marketing and SEO, you will not beat the competition unless you are not all ears and eyes. You should invest your time in multi-channel marketing. 

Explore email marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing to improve your online reputation. 

  • Review Trackers will create a dashboard for you with all the mentions and reviews about your brand across social sites and sources.
  • To never give up is constantly looking for negative reviews or feedback and sorting them at the source. If need be, write a personal email to the customer if you feel the feedback is valid.
  • You can use tools like Awario or Brand Mention to find all negative reviews on your brand on the web and eliminate them. 

Take a look at the below screenshot showing brand mentions of British airways from all web, social media, etc. 

  • Responding to negative comments quickly and thoughtfully will improve your reputation and create a rapport to resolve the issue quickly.

5. Set Up Your GMB The Right Way

This should've probably been the first step. When someone needs a service, they will look for it locally, which is why you will need to create a Google My Business account.
With a GMB account, you'll have a better chance of getting found in local searches. And most importantly, in the local 3-pack, as shown below.


When creating your Google My Business account, make sure to include all relevant information, such as the business category, description, service region, items, payment method, and, most importantly, the correct business hours. 

When setting up your account, make sure you follow the steps below:

  • Include original photos of your business. Post one new picture every week to stay relevant and active.
  • Check your competitors' GMB to see what they are doing differently. What information are you missing out on that's making their list first before you?
  • Ensure you cater to the question-answer section without fail. If you don't answer them, someone might give incorrect information to your customers, which can be bad for you.

Read: Step-by-step Setup Guide for Google My Business Set up

6. Be Active On Social Media

Google appreciates an active social media presence. Harness the power of social presence on various platforms. Depending on the nature of your business, you can see what social platform works the best for you. Explore Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. 

YouTube also plays a major role for many brands as it is used for powerful storytelling. It is also one of the easiest and the best ways to improve your social reputation. 

No matter how SEO trends change, social media is a constant one. If you are wondering how to use social media to beat the local competition, follow these pro tips:

  • Conduct a social media competitive analysis to check what is working and what is not for your competitor and take it to your advantage.
  • Use tools like BuzzSumo and Brandwatch for social media competitive analysis.
  • Hootsuite can help you schedule your social media posts well in advance, so you don't miss out on posting even on a single day.

Read: Social Media SEO

7. Aim For More Local Citation

While setting up GMB is a very basic requirement to beat your local competition, that's not it all. People also look out on places like Yelp and Bing Maps to locate a service or a product, and when they do that, your business should be able to come up in the listing. 

Citations improve local traffic and help you earn referral traffic. It’s because local citations appear on top of SERPs for local searches. 

Take a look at the below image, where the local directories appear right after the local 3-pack.


If you want to perform well locally compared to your competitor, make sure you invest your time improving citations. 

  • If you are new to building your citations, pick online business directories to start with. It's the simplest way to go about it.
  • Moz and WhiteSpark are some good places to list your business. Also, BrightLocal is a good place to consider.
  • Keep your NAP consistent across all profiles and websites to ensure proper citation management. Also, consider adding your top keywords to descriptions to understand your business better.

8. Create Responsive Web Design

No matter how small your business is, you can always aim to become big with just one powerful tool - your website. Yes, websites are the face of a business, and irrespective of the size of your business, you have to invest your time and money in building a great website. 

Use the power of digital marketing and conduct a competitor analysis to understand how your competitors' websites are. 

To beat your local competition, design a great and compatible website with multiple devices to beat your local competition. This allows you to tap those customers who are always on their mobile devices. 
You can use this site to check if your website is responsive on various devices, as shown below.

  • Adobe Edge Reflow and InVision will help you visualize your design before designing it. 
  • Ensure the navigation on your mobile design is simple so your visitors know where to find what they are looking for.
  • Stick to minimalistic design and optimize typography, text, and other design elements to be compatible with multiple devices.

9. Do On-Page SEO For Your Overall SEO Health

If your competitors have a better ranking, they are surely working enough on their on-page SEO strategy. On-page SEO is a crucial element to beat your local competition, as most of the optimizing elements fall under this. 

Google only ranks trustworthy websites and the active ones and not ghosted. To get to that point, ensure that you add proper tags, meta descriptions, and optimized URLs every time you write a blog post.

  • While working on your on-page SEO strategy, ensure you follow the on-page SEO checklist to optimize every element of your website. 

Focus on getting high-quality backlinks. Ensure they are genuine and are from domains that have better authority. Try to get as many backlinks from different high domain authority websites as shown here.


10. Optimize Your Website For Better Speed

Yes, the slower the website, the higher the bounce rate. If your competitors are getting more views on their website, it could probably be because their website is completely optimized, and the page speed is not more than three seconds. 
Keep a tab on it using page speed insights or any other SEO tool. Below is a sample report of a website that loads within 3s.


If you have heavy images, optimize it so that neither the quality nor the speed is compromised. 

  • To make your page load faster, use a CDN. A CDN distributes your website's content over multiple servers, allowing users to view and download data fast and without interruption.
  • When it comes to photos, make sure they're the right size and optimized for both Windows and mobile devices. Always use only high-quality, original photographs.
  • Enable browser caching to improve database performance.

11. Include Schema Markup

Schema markup can help you improve your SEO and outperform your local competition. When done correctly, this will give you the advantage of being more visible to your clients on the internet. 

For example, if you’re into the food business, then using schema markup will help your pages appear on top of SERP, as shown below.


It aids in the organic search of articles. And for many firms, this becomes a must rather than a choice. For the unfamiliar, schema markup is a technology that allows a search engine to find any information about your company. 

It could be anything linked to your business, such as a name, address, or contact information.

Read: How to Use Schema Markup Values on Local SEO?

Key Takeaways

  • Conduct a competitive analysis to keep track of your rivals.
  • Improve your keyword ranking by optimizing your keywords.
  • Make sure all of the information in GMB is correct, and post at least one new photo per week.
  • Make an effort to obtain more local citations and backlinks from authoritative websites.
  • Encourage your consumers to leave reviews and feedback on Google and other platforms.
  • Have a responsive web design that works on a variety of devices.
  • Increase the number of location-based keywords.
  • Keyword research is a continuous process, not a one-time event.
  • To play better, keep an eye on your own and your competitors' internet reputations.

Rank Your Website

Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.


Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.