How to Identify Your Competitors in the Local Market

local market SEO

Sadly, you have a limited number of tools that you can use to track your local ranking, especially free ones. While Google Analytics is great for tracking your performance in the SERPs, and Google Webmasters does a faultless job in helping you utilise keyword impressions, as an SEO professional, you need to track your localised search engine ranking to be able to identify your competitors and do some little bit digging on them.

Here’s a list of tools that you may use to collect some intel on your local competitors:


If you’re a small to medium-sized company in Singapore, SEMRush will help you conduct a great deal of research on your local competitors. Besides helping you with your local SEO strategies, SEMRush is also designed to help you research on the keywords that you can use for your AdWords copies after scrapping upwards of 100 million domain names.

With the information you get, you should be able to tell which one of your competitors is ranking for a particular set of keywords so you can formulate an even better local SEO strategy on how to beat them in the ranking game.

Search Metrics

This is a more advanced research tool, better suited for agencies that offer local digital marketing solutions. They have a suite that arrives with a set of tools that cover pretty much everything – mobile, social, and local ranking data. You also have an option to request a demo version of their enterprise solution. However, while at it, never forget the fact that the tool is even better when you’re conducting deeper SEO research.

Authority Labs

This is an additional keyword tracking tool widely preferred for providing daily SERP reports for both local and global keyword research needs. With this tool, you’ll be provided with a comprehensive analysis and white label report on a selected list of keywords.

The Future of Local Search

If you’ve been keen on following Google and their update, you must have figured out the direction that Google and other search engines plan to take us. It’s an easy guess, even so when you consider the fact that Google has been pretty much preoccupied lately with localising their searches.

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And if this is the trend, then it’s no Chinese puzzle to understand that things are only bound to evolve and get even better or reach near-perfection. Meaning it’s just a matter of time before search engines are able to link users to the closest businesses around them.

You have to understand that Google is only concerned about one thing – offering the best possible value to its users. And like you already know, the only way to achieve this is by offering the most relevant search results.

That’s the end goal and the direction of where the world of SEO is headed. Try wearing the mind of an average Google user. What do they want? What’s their ideal image of Google, and how it works?

What type of Businesses Can Benefit from Local SEO?

The answer to this question is, ‘every business in existence.’ But here’s a list of businesses that have been found to benefit more:

Lawyers and Law Firms

Lawyers are one of the biggest beneficiaries of local SEO in Singapore. They’re among the group that’s benefiting the most, and that’s mostly because of the Google call button that shows up directly in the local mobile search.

That means all that a client has to do when looking for a lawyer is pick up their phone and enter their query, specifying the type of attorney that they’re looking for. They’ll then be presented with a list of attorneys in that particular region.

When local SEO is done right, that means the most dominant CTA will be the ‘call us’ button. All a user has to do from here is hit the button, and they’ll be connected straight to you.

This feature places you in front of your prospective consumers when they need you. For users, they get to benefit from a free consultation. And on your end, that means more business and heightened authority in your law field.

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Doctors or Medical Practitioners

This is pretty understandable, considering every time someone is searching for a doctor online, they have to follow it with the phrase, ‘near me.’ People are interested in doctors that are closest to them.

No one wants to travel miles trying to find a doctor when they can easily find one a few blocks from where they are. They want a doctor that they’ll be able to visit on a regular basis.

As a doctor, try entering the search terms “doctor near me,” and if your name doesn’t appear in the search results that show up, that means that you’re not capitalising on local SEO well enough.


Plumbers come third on our list of top beneficiaries of local SEO.

This one is even easier to figure out why. Imagine yourself as a user. You’ve encountered an emergency. What will you do?

Will you head to a local store to ask them if they can send over a plumber or will you just head straight to the search engine and Google and try searching for a plumber near you.

Google has made the process even easier by providing all the details you need to know about a plumber before hiring them. In the results that show up, you can find their contact details, read their reviews, and even call them directly in case you want to skip all this nitty-gritty and get them to come over and fix your issue.


Restaurants are among the biggest beneficiaries of local SEO in Singapore. You’d be surprised by the number of people that are drawn to certain chains of restaurants based on the reviews they read online, as well as the immediacy of local address information.

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The immediacy of all this information means customers can visit your restaurant in the shortest amount of time. It’s also meant to make the process of finding a local restaurant seamless.

In addition, it allows customers to see which restaurant within their locality offers the best quality of food and services.

Who Won’t Benefit from Local SEO?

get google ranking ad

While it’s easy to convince anyone about how easy it is for them to benefit from local SEO, it’s pretty obvious that there are a few businesses that have little to nothing that they can gain from local SEO.

Their business models don’t lend themselves well to the effort of local SEO. Examples of such businesses include online-only ecommerce shops, private online sellers that prefer keeping their information under the carpet, and local authors whose market isn’t restricted local customers only.

Local SEO isn’t Rocket Science; Neither is it snap or one-off activity

There’s nothing too technical about local SEO. But you’re mistaken when you think it’s a one-off piece of work.

You have to invest in this SEO practise. Be consistent with your marketing effort, and be sure to offer great customer support for great reviews – and most importantly, don’t forget about the old SEO sizzle.

Local SEO isn’t fully developed in Singapore. That presents you with the perfect opportunity to steer your business in the right direction.

If you’re operating from a region that’s densely region, with local SEO you have a lot to gain by capitalising on the power of local Google search.

Get in touch for professional digital marketing and SEO services in Singapore. 


About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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