Local SEO Myth-Busting: Debunking Common Misconceptions and Myths

In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) plays a vital role in boosting a business’s online visibility. Local SEO, in particular, aims to optimise a business’s online presence to attract local customers. However, several myths surround local SEO. In this article, I will debunk these myths and provide credible sources and data to support my explanations.

Myth 1: Local SEO Only Benefits Businesses with a Physical Location

Reality: Local SEO benefits any business, even those operating solely online. Its primary goal is to ensure businesses appear in search results for relevant local queries. Therefore, even if your business lacks a physical storefront, you can still use local SEO to attract potential customers seeking products or services in your area.

According to a Google survey, 76% of people who performed a local search on their smartphones visited a store within a day. This highlights the significance of local SEO for businesses with and without a physical location.

Myth 2: Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) Is the Sole Focus of Local SEO

Reality: While a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is essential for local SEO, it is not the sole factor determining local search rankings. Other crucial elements include website optimisation, online reviews, local citations, and user-generated content. Google uses various signals to gauge a business’s relevance to a local search query, necessitating a holistic approach to local SEO.

Myth 3: Local SEO Is a One-Time Effort

Reality: Local SEO is an ongoing process requiring consistent attention and effort. To maintain a competitive edge, businesses must regularly update their GMB listings, create fresh and engaging website content, actively seek new reviews, and adapt to changes in search engine algorithms.

Search engines continuously evolve their algorithms to deliver relevant and up-to-date search results. By staying up-to-date with these changes, businesses can ensure their online presence remains optimised for the latest ranking factors.

Myth 4: Local SEO Requires a Large Investment

Reality: Contrary to the belief that local SEO is costly, numerous free and affordable techniques are available. Optimising your GMB listing, getting listed in online directories, and encouraging customer reviews are cost-effective strategies that significantly improve local search visibility.

Creating and sharing locally relevant content, such as blog posts and videos, can enhance online presence without breaking the bank.

Myth 5: Local SEO Is Less Important Than Other Forms of SEO

Reality: Local SEO is just as crucial as other forms of SEO, if not more so, for businesses targeting a local customer base. Research by Moz indicates that over 46% of all Google searches have local intent. Ignoring local SEO can result in missed opportunities to attract local customers actively searching for products or services in your area.

Myth 6: Paid Advertising Is Necessary for Local Search Ranking

Reality: While paid advertising can complement local SEO efforts, it is not a prerequisite for ranking well in local search results. An effective local SEO strategy, combined with quality content and positive customer experiences, can organically improve search rankings and drive traffic to your website without the need for paid advertising.

Myth 7: Local SEO Is Complicated and Time-Consuming

Reality: While local SEO may seem daunting initially, numerous resources and guides are available to help businesses understand and implement effective local SEO strategies. By investing time in learning the basics, businesses can gradually improve their online visibility and attract more local customers.


Dispelling myths and misconceptions surrounding local SEO is crucial for businesses seeking to enhance their online presence and attract local customers. Local SEO is a valuable tool that benefits both physical and online-only businesses. By staying informed and implementing best practices, businesses can harness the power of local SEO to drive growth and success.


Can local SEO benefit my online-only business?

Absolutely! Local SEO helps online businesses target customers within specific geographic areas, increasing their visibility to relevant local audiences.

Should I solely focus on Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) for local search optimisation?

While Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is essential for local SEO, a holistic approach to local SEO, including website optimisation and positive reviews, is equally vital for success.

Is local SEO an ongoing process?

Local SEO requires continuous effort to adapt to algorithm changes and maintain a competitive edge in local search rankings.

Is local SEO expensive?

Local SEO can be affordable, with numerous cost-effective strategies to enhance your online visibility.

How important is local SEO compared to other forms of SEO?

Local SEO is crucial for businesses targeting local customers and accounts for many Google searches. Ignoring local SEO can mean missed opportunities for growth.

Justin March - Owner Stroud Valley SEO
Owner Stroud Valley SEO
Justin March is a highly skilled freelance SEO and web designer with human-computer and user interface design expertise. He has achieved position 1 rankings in Google for tricky key phrases like "Survey Software" and "Water Coolers". Justin has worked as a marketing director and shareholder at Quench Water Systems Ltd. and WaterCoolers Direct.com Ltd. Justin now designs, markets and maintains websites for numerous Startups and SMEs in the Stroud and Bristol areas.