There are some misconceptions about the cost of local SEO. Fortunately, we are here to clear up those misconceptions, as well as clarify other areas of confusion that people run into when paying for SEO services.
Before we jump into an explanation about the cost of local SEO, however, let’s first compare SEO and local SEO in the general sense.
SEO vs Local SEO
So, what’s the difference between local SEO and “regular” SEO?
Well, local SEO is all about getting your business to rank in local searches.
For instance, if someone is in Las Vegas, and they’re looking for a plumber in their area, they can go to Google, make the appropriate search, and find businesses nearby that are winning relevant keywords.
Local search queries usually include short phrases like near me, close by, or, in my area.
A locally oriented search from someone living in Las Vegas will naturally only produce results in their area. As you can imagine, that person isn’t likely to see results for plumbing services in other cities (unless they are using a VPN).
A keyword like “Plumbers near me” can have massively different results depending on where you live.
Understanding this is the essence of local SEO since the success of your SEO campaign hinges on how well you target your local audience.
Is a plumber from Henderson going to drive all the way to Summerlin to evaluate a leaky faucet? Most likely not.
For a plumber who wants to be found in Summerlin, they need to put out content that makes them rank for keywords in the Summerlin market. If you target the wrong market, you might get a lot of calls from people you can’t provide services for.
As you can see, while local SEO is super powerful, it does come with this drawback. By contrast, one of the advantages of regular SEO is that you are trying to win keywords across multiple regions that align with your business objectives.
A national food company, for example, won’t have any problem with people finding their products and services in lots of different places.
The Opportunities of Local SEO
While the cost of local SEO is certainly something to consider, local SEO comes with additional benefits and opportunities that make the expense well worth it.
Local SEO done right gets your business to show up in Google’s map suggestions, the People Also Ask section, and important spots in Google that could potentially be a great director of traffic to your site.
If you’re in a highly competitive market, let’s say you’re a real estate agent or attorney or something like that where every single attorney and real estate agent in town wants to be in the listings, obviously, as competition increases, so will the difficulty of getting an ideal placement.
The good news is that you don’t need to be perfect. You just need to outperform the competition. There’s an old joke about hiking with a group of friends in the woods when a bear starts chasing you. How fast do you have to run to get away from the bear? Well, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is how fast your slowest friend is.
The same thing applies to local SEO. Beating the competition is the key. With that said, some markets are going to be much more competitive than others, but it’s really about how well your competition is following best practices.
Also, how well is their website optimized? Are their map listings up to date? Are they running any paid ads or any other type of campaign in parallel with their organic strategy?
All of these factors impact the cost of local SEO.
The First Misconception About Local SEO
People ask us all the time if it’s possible to invest little time and money into their local SEO campaign and still generate traffic for their website. This is one of the major misconceptions that we run into regarding SEO.
Unfortunately, the answer is no since there is simply too much competition for this to work.
Having an excellently designed website is a great start, but the cost of local SEO runs beyond web design and basic content optimization.
Getting your website seen requires a multipronged strategy that covers three core areas—on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.
We work in all three of these areas and have month-to-month service contracts available. In our opinion, the two strategies that impact the cost of local SEO the most are on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
Attending To Your Online Presence Through Local SEO
Actively attending to your online presence is critical to your business’s success.
We have a client who is an attorney and a very intelligent guy. He’s very highly rated and has a rare Martindale certification. Only around 5% of attorneys that have been in practice for 10-plus years have such a rating from a large organization.
Well, we were perusing some of his listings online. We were in the middle of finishing his website, and then we were going to see about doing some digital marketing for him. While we were looking at his listing on Martindale, he noticed that his telephone number was wrong.
He says, “I’ve been paying these guys a couple thousand dollars a year for the last 20 years. How is my information wrong here? No wonder I don’t get any phone calls, although I am a very highly rated. I have a certification that few people have.”
This should never happen to your company. But situations like these are common. Getting a local SEO campaign with a company that knows how to manage your business listings across a vast number of directories can help you avoid mistakes like this, which ultimately makes the cost of local SEO worth paying.
We’ll Handle Your Business Listings
Our SEO services are designed to help you avoid problems with your business listings.
We provide services on an ongoing basis to ensure that your information is correct across dozens of directories, which is essential to local search engine optimization.
For more information about what we can do for you, call us today at 702-268-9000.
Google Ranking Factors
There is acronym is called NAP, which stands for name, address, and phone number. And it’s probably one of the most heavily weighted factors for Google when it chooses local listing placements.
When someone types in “Las Vegas plumber,” chances are the businesses that pop up on top have a very strong name presence.
Google also looks at other sites to determine your website’s ranking, such as Yelp and professional listing sites.
They’ll take the information from those other sites into consideration to ensure that they’re giving users the most relevant information regarding your business.
The cost of local SEO partially has to do with getting your business’s positive reviews seen by the right people online. This is something we focus on so that you can drive people to your website and make sales conversions.
How Many Google Ranking Factors Are There?
There are about 200 Google ranking factors that decide whether or not your website ranks. These variables are in place so that Google can provide high-quality results for their users.
Understanding Google’s ranking factors is the be-all, end-all of local SEO, and they are why the cost of local SEO varies so dramatically. Every website has radically needs, and some websites require way more work than others, so what you end up paying is hard to predict.
To ensure we give you the most accurate price, we offer you a completely customized quote. Call us today at 702-268-9000 for more information.
Local SEO For Businesses With Multiple Locations
Another factor for showing up in local search has to do with a business with several locations. In that case, maybe they can split up the cost of ensuring the information is correct in a content marketing plan over various of locations so it’s less expensive per unit.
These sites, whether it’s Yelp, Home Advisor. or any professional listing site people are using to add on these citations, which include the business name, phone number, website, hours of operation, business description, all of these are taken into consideration.
However, most of those sites are just glorified directories, they don’t really carry any weight. For those people who sit there and try to build out 300 profiles, it’s not going to do anything.
However, being able to share commonalities, whether it’s a website or a business name or owner’s info or email, will certainly help spread across local SEO if you’re trying to target a larger market, if you’re trying to go after an entire city, county, or region.
Something we hear very often from clients when we have a discussion about ongoing search engine optimization efforts is, “Oh, well, my web developers or my marketing team have me ranking for X.”
Then we ask, “Well, what does X actually do? What is this keyword phrase in this particular area actually resulting in number of searches monthly?” Then we go and do the research and find out only one person per month is searching for that phrase. What is the point of showing up for search queries that nobody’s actually typing in? It doesn’t do anything. It’s just a vanity metric more than anything else.
The key is to be able to show up for what the user is searching for because that’s really what it’s going to come down to. Google matches up the best search results to that customer. It really seesaws on a very fine line of making sure that the customers are getting the results that they’re expecting, and the advertisers are getting in front of the correct customers.
It’s about doing the research up front. Let’s see what our target audience is actually typing in right now into Google, not 10 searches a month, but something substantial. We need a few hundred at least so we can see about building content around those kinds of queries and ensuring that our website is geared for that kind of content.
What happens if a website was built elsewhere? What’s the process of ensuring that a WordPress site is properly set up for SEO?
You certainly would start with your title tags and your meta descriptions that will let the search engines know what the name of the site is and where to find some information. You have a site map that will allow the Google and Microsoft bots to crawl your site and understand which pages are where, and how they’re connected.
For instance, if you offer some sort of widget or service and how it’s connected to another service that’s really using the site map, you have what’s called a “robots.txt” file. That file will allow the bots to understand which pages are important, and which pages should be excluded.
Obviously, there’s no reason that Google ever needs to find your backend or your login page or your payment portal. That’s not relevant to any user. If a user needs to get there or you need to get there, you’ll obviously have a direct link.
Linking your content pages to other pages inside your site is very helpful. It’ll help both the user and Google understand the connection between certain words and certain phrases, and how they connect to some of your services.
The About Us page is probably one of the most overlooked pages. It usually has some of the heaviest content because it’s talking about the business and that’s really where you can sort of dive in for anything that doesn’t really fit anywhere else. It helps people understand who the businesses is. Are they local? What’s their story? There are a lot of rich keywords that can often be found on a well-structured About Us page.
The Contact page is another page that often gets overlooked. That’s going to have links to your location. It’s going to have phone numbers, email addresses, hours of operation, and a form. Again, for someone who’s looking, that’s where they’re going to end up wanting to be.
Probably one of the single most important pages that a website can have is a very well-structured FAQ page. Now, an FAQ page has so much content opportunity for what users are actually searching for. As a business you can be there, and you can answer those questions.
Oftentimes, some of those will need a little bit more of an elaborate explanation and you can utilize either a content page or a blog post or something else, but an FAQ page to answer questions will often rank because users are usually searching for a very specific question.
A lot of the time, we’ll build content out and say to our clients, “Hey, talk to me about what some of the biggest questions or repeat questions you get from your ideal customers are. Let’s answer those in forms of blog posts, etc., and get that in front of the right type of person.”
Usually, we find that it’s very helpful to get on the phone with the employee who is actually answering the business phone calls. We can then learn the questions that the prospects are calling and asking about. We can see where the confusion is, because then you can take that and use that as a valuable content to not only hopefully reduce some of the phone calls that are not for sales, but you can use that to answer the questions for the customers.
Ask those first line of defense people, the receptionist, etc., “What are the questions that you’re getting on a regular basis?” and create some actionable steps to remedy those things.
Certainly, there’s not a one-size-fit-all solution. The takeaway is that each business is going to have different needs, and how they are addressed is going to vary from business to business based on their situation. What is their competition? How many locations do they have? What products and services do they have? How many do they have? Are they connected? Are they separate?
The important part is that people take an actual step just to get started. There’s not a right or wrong place to get started. For companies who are on a budget or just trying to get their feet wet with the digital landscape, focusing on your local search rankings is probably the easiest place just to get started.
One has to always ask the question, especially when on a budget, “Do we invest our resources now with the long view in mind, understanding that SEO is a process, that it’s not something that today you’re going to start a website and tomorrow you’re going to rank all over Google?
We have to ask ourselves, “Are we going to invest time, effort, and resources into something that is going to take time and effort to build, or are we going to direct our efforts to paid traffic where it’s guaranteed placements tomorrow?”
Time certainly has an opportunity cost and even though local SEO and organic search rankings are not paid placements, there’s certainly a significant amount of time that needs to be invested into being able to have your site rank.
Unlike paid traffic where you have guaranteed placement in front of eyeballs, local SEO is not guaranteed. If someone comes in and does it better than you, or there’s a large corporation that just starts dumping in content, then your local SEO really needs to be repositioned.
Local SEO is a great option for many businesses to get started with. While there’s not necessarily a cost of, “I’ve got to spend $1,500 per ad,” a business could easily find it takes four to six hours a week investing into research and writing content that’s optimized for the search engines. They could quickly find out over a period of a month if perhaps another channel will give them more immediate results.
Local SEO is a long-term strategy, not a short-term win.