At the end of the day, there are a trillion websites. There are a billion search phrases. Yet, there are only ten to twenty search results being fought over. That’s a fool’s game. The sites the thrive and survive will be the sites that find ways to create link profiles that provide them with traffic other than from Google.
If you want to improve a keyword ranking, start by finding ways to earn links from anything on the 1st search engine result’s page for that query.
For local businesses, these are often review sites that provide referral traffic and conversions. These listings are more important than your own website! This is usually the only way to rank, albeit indirectly, for the most competitive keywords within many industries and cities.
Furthermore, the relevancy from each link will best increase the authority of your own site. This is the ideal form of organic success… build links that would grow your business even if Google didn’t exist.
BONUS: Check out the featured snippets, or rich search results that answer a query more directly, for additional 1st page SERP linkbuilding opportunities.