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Denver’s Local SEO Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities for Small Businesses

A Local SEO Expert’s Guide for Small Business Owners

Denver is the 18th most populated city in the United States with a growth rate of 1.17% in 2023

With this rapid growth over the last few years, it’s no wonder that Denver is attracting large franchise companies.

Let’s talk about a few tips that can help level the playing field in digital marketing for small businesses to gain a competitive advantage.

Challenge #1: Highly Competitive Market

Denver’s thriving economy attracts a myriad of businesses, making the local market incredibly competitive.

As a small business owner, it’s essential to differentiate your brand and rise above the competition.

Opportunity: Develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

To set your business apart, focus on creating a strong USP that highlights the unique value you provide to customers.

Consider what makes your products or services different and emphasize those attributes in your marketing materials, website content, local SEO efforts, and hyperlocal social media marketing.

For example, local businesses can provide better attention to customers, get involved more deeply in community events, and have more flexible scheduling.

At Clear Skies, we went through competitor GlassDoor reviews to determine the pain points of employees and developed a system where account managers would not be overwhelmed. This capping of clients allows us to create a better, more personalized marketing experience for our customers.

The Turd Herder logo is a cowboy with a lasso about to catch a poop emoji.

Here’s an example of a very unique branding and marketing experience from a plumber. It’s memorable and you know immediately what they do. Not saying you need to rebrand right now, but this is the type of example that a national brand couldn’t do.

Challenge #2: Local Search Algorithm Updates

Search engines like Google frequently update their algorithms, impacting how local businesses rank in search results.

Staying on top of these changes can be challenging, especially for small business owners with limited time and resources.

For example, the weighting factors recently changed to include your website landing page from Google.

This means that you need to shift focus on your landing pages today to stay competitive.

Opportunity: Stay Informed and Adapt

Subscribe to reputable SEO blogs and newsletters to stay informed about algorithm updates and local SEO best practices.

Consider working with a company like Clear Skies Marketing Group, who stays on top of trends in real-time, to guide your local SEO strategies. Take a look at this recent chart that shows the weight changes over time for each category:

Ranking factor changes from 2015-2023, a graph created by Whitespark.
Example of 2023 Updates to Ranking Factors by Whitespark

Challenge #3: Managing Online Reviews

Reviews are a key indicator to Google that your business is alive and well.

Do you have a strategy in place to get reviews?

Regardless of the Google algorithm, a company with good reviews stands out better than the competition when looking for a local business to do work with.

Opportunity: Develop a Review Management Strategy

Encourage happy customers to leave reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, and other relevant platforms.

Respond to positive reviews with as much character and personalization that you can.

Respond to negative reviews professionally and promptly.

Your response to negative reviews sets the tone for how you handle problematic situations.

A review strategy can include:

  • An e-mail that goes out to customers after you have performed a service or delivered a product.
  • A QR code on your door with an encouraging message.
  • A text message link to a specific review platform with a personalized message.
  • A thank you letter with a QR code in it delivered by mail.

Challenge #4: Optimizing for Local Keywords

Competing for high-traffic keywords can be difficult, particularly in a crowded market like Denver.

It’s not easy for a business owner to figure out what long-tail keywords without a proper SEO tool, but they do have the advantage of talking with clients face to face that larger organizations do not. This allows for business owners to understand what their customers are searching for.

Opportunity: Focus on Long-Tail, Localized Keywords

Use your insights of actual “search terms” from your clients and put them into your business listing and on your website.

Keep in mind the key features that potential clients are looking for, not just the name of your brand.

For example, instead of targeting “Denver restaurant,” focus on “best Italian restaurant in Denver” or “Denver rooftop bar with mountain views.”

This helps distinguish your business as not just “Insert Brand Name” or “Business Type”


Denver’s local SEO landscape presents unique challenges for small businesses, but it also offers tremendous opportunities to stand out and attract more customers. By focusing on your USP, staying informed about algorithm updates, developing a review management strategy, and optimizing for localized, long-tail keywords, you can improve your visibility in local search results and grow your business.

Remember, local SEO is a continuous process that requires time, effort, and adaptation. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider partnering with us to help you navigate Denver’s competitive market and achieve lasting success.

denver city skyline at sunset with a local pin icon over the city of denver with the words "clear skies" and "denver seo" in the foreground
Eric Hagelin
Eric Hagelin

Post Author: Eric Hagelin

Founder of Clear Skies Marketing Group

“I believe that small businesses are the backbone of America and I have made it my mission to deliver helpful tips and results to small business owners to increase their web presence.”