Even on a local level, like it or not, you’re competing not just with the guy down the street, but also with any non-local businesses that serve customers in your area. SpyFu can’t look at the business down the street and tell you how to beat them; the data isn’t as precise as that. What it can do however is show you businesses with good SEO ideas overall that you can then apply to your local market.
For an example, let’s consider a local credit union. They offer standard banking services like savings/checking accounts, personal and small business loans, mortgages. This means that a local credit union, whether they want to or not, is going to be competing with the likes of Wells Fargo and Chase for position, but also with people like nerdwallet.com, or Investopedia.com.
As such, even when operating on a local level, it never hurts to take ideas from larger companies and make them specific to your area.
The goal isn’t to copy the guy down the street, but to use the best strategies around to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward to your customers.
There's More to Consider
If, for instance you work in an industry that has no big national competitors, where all your competition is local to a certain degree, there may still be businesses to take ideas from. If you were perhaps a Caterer, who makes a lot of their revenue from weddings… why not take a look to see what content theknot.com has regarding caterers under “Top Pages”? If they are targeting your ideal customer with similar content, they are your competitors, local or not.
A Doctor’s office might look at the mayoclinic.org, but they could also potentially look at WebMD or Healthline. A small practice lawyer could look at findlaw.com. A car dealership might look at Carvana or Kelly Blue Book for keywords or content.
Also, when all else fails, keep in mind the power of looking for keywords and content under the “Keyword Research” section. The “Also Ranks for Filter” can give you a list of keywords related to a topic, and with a few simple filters you can take a list of 80m barely-associated terms and focus down to keywords that only look at a specific region or type of phrasing quite easily, while having the advantage of not being stuck with only the keywords of a single competitor at a time.