How Downtown Businesses Can Rule at Local SEO


Local SEO is seen as the best way for small businesses to reach the top results of Google, where they can be found and where they can connect to their local community. This is true, but it works best when you have minimal competition in your local area. If you are the only mechanic in a small town, you will easily jump to the top of the listings.

If, on the other hand, you are a local deli in a city like NYC, which is full of local deli’s, how can you use local SEO to stand out?

Challenges Faced by Small Business Owners Downtown

There are two major challenges that are faced by small businesses who operate in a high-density area.

Increased Competition

Cities have a lot of neighborhoods, and businesses in these cities have plenty of competition. You have direct competitors operating in your area (and in some cases even on your street), but more challenging is the volume of businesses. You need to convince customers still to come inside your business.

High Turnover Rates

Businesses in cities have very high turnover rates, and if you are new to town, you could become their next victim. You need to, therefore, make a splash and bring in the customers fast, like these top businesses have.

How You Can Master Local SEO

One way you can outshine your competition and help solidify yourself as a community staple is through a strong local SEO strategy. Combine these top local SEO strategies with your current digital marketing strategy to help those in your neighborhood find you, and love you.

Increase Local Citations

Local citations are one of the best weapons in the small business arsenal. A citation is any instance online where your name, address, and phone number (known as NAP) is listed. Put your company onto as many of these sites as possible, especially Google My Business. You will also want to ensure you use the same format for your address. Don’t use street on one site and then St. on another.

Tip: Keep this information up to date at all times. If you change your opening hours, make sure every citation is updated to reflect this.

Narrow Your Location Efforts

There are countless small businesses in New York City. Trying to rank well on an NYC keyword is going to be difficult, but thankfully the city itself is subdivided into several neighborhoods. Instead of trying to rank well for NYC, you could narrow it down to Manhattan, but if you still have too much competition, narrow it down further to where your business is located. If your business is on a prominent street like 5th avenue, then you could even aim to rank for that location, as thousands of people visit it every single day.

Being a small business in a big city is not impossible from an SEO standpoint. You simply need to focus your efforts on the people who need your business the most – your neighbors. Due to the population density of cities like NYC, you will actually have a higher influx of customers than if you were to try to rank or advertise your business as NYC based, instead of being a DUMBO-based business.

Improve Your Backlink Strategy

Backlinks are very important when it comes to SE rankings, but unlike in the past, it is the quality of these rankings that matter. To help improve your local SE strategy, get your link building NYC specialist to focus on getting backlinks from local sites in your area as well as the general quality backlink to boost your ranking. This will help solidify your position as a quality local business.

PR and Outreach for Local SEO

To help gain those quality local backlinks, you might need to invest in some PR and Outreach. To do this, consider how you can support and get involved with your local community. If you are a deli, for example, you could get in touch with a local event like a fair, and open a food truck there, boosting sales and benefiting online from being listed as one of the vendors.


Local SEO is one of the best strategies for small businesses to use, but succeeding with your local SEO strategy can still be difficult when you operate from a high-density area like NYC. By making use of all local citation opportunities, optimizing those listings, and improving your SEO and PR strategy to become ingrained into the fabric of your community, you can reach the top of local searches and become a beloved institution.


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