As more people head to the internet to find information on businesses in their area, one search engine optimization (SEO) expert says companies need to consider using SEO to improve their local search results.

Writing the Small is Beautiful column for Search Engine Land, Hanan Lifshitz says small businesses need to do their best to make sure they are part of the first page of results when a consumer searches for a business in their area.

Lifshitz says that making sure a business pops up within the list of the top businesses in their class and area is an accomplishment small businesses should endeavor for.

"Being ‘among’ the 10-pack is often considered a great achievement, not to mention having your website or profile page appear in the first search results page (i.e. along 9 other links)," he writes. "In other words, in every category within a given market, there are usually a handful of winners who enjoy a good deal of online visibility."

Earlier this year, changes from Google actually helped local businesses in search results without users needing to type in their location. In April, Google made local searches the default setting for results, which experts said would likely be of particular benefit to small businesses.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.