How Many Competitors Do You Actually Have?

The other day, when I was having a conversation with a long time client about the performance of his site in local search, he said something that made me think. I was trying to tell him that by optimizing your ranking for Google Maps and other local search engines, he was putting himself way ahead of the competition and he asked “how much competition do I actually have?”

I work with a lot of businesses and it’s more or less understood that there is competition and that they need to do what it takes to be better than that competition. Very few people ever ask me how much competition they actually have, so it was an interesting question.

Of course, we always perform analysis of who you’re up against in Google, how well they are optimized for search terms in your niche, how many reviews they’ve received, their current advertising campaign, and a number of other important factors.

But, how many of them are there?

It turns out there are quite a few – regardless of your niche. The idea that you’re only ever competing against those top 10 sites is wrong because for most of you, there are a few hundred other sites out there offering the same services.

Google Search vs. Local

If you’ve just put together a quality website with a solid collection of useful content for your niche, you probably just jumped into the top 10% of all businesses in your area when it comes to search. Most businesses don’t have websites and the ones that do don’t put as much time or energy into them as you. Many others are just creating Facebook pages and calling it good. Yes, that’s a good start, but it’s not a good place to stop.

On the other hand, when it comes to Local search, you don’t have to own a website to appear in the listings. In fact, I’ve seen businesses at the top of local results that didn’t realize they were there. They would decide to go online and look into optimization and realize “hey, we’re already pretty good.” This is pretty rare but it can happen.

Which is why you have so much competition. You don’t need to be proactive to appear in local search results. You just need to have an entry in the phone book and the search engines will eventually add you to the mix. And then anyone can add a review, fill in your information and talk about your business, causing you to rise in the rankings.

So, as a business owner, you immediately have thousands of competitors when you jump into local search.


It doesn’t mean you are relegated to Position 321 in the search results. The key to success with local search is to claim your business, optimize your website, boost your keywords, sign up for social media and do all the other fun stuff that gets your listing into the top dozen or so. What really matters is not the number of competitors you have, but how web savvy those competitors are compared to you. And guess what – most of them are not.


  • Micah Abraham

    Micah Abraham is the owner and lead content writer at Great Leap Studios ( and High Volt Digital (
    Micah has over 15 years of content writing and digital marketing experience, and has owned and operated Great Leap Studios since 2013 and High Volt since 2022.
    He has a degree in Psychology from the University of Washington, and has researched and written content on a wide range of topics in the medical and health fields, home services, tech, and beyond.
    Micah lives with his family in California.

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