Table of Contents
- What Is A Local SEO Agency?
- What Services Do Local SEO Companies Provide?
- What Is The Difference Between Traditional And Local SEO Agencies?
- How Much Do Local SEO Companies Charge For Their Services?
- Why Hire A Local SEO Agency?
- How To Choose The Best Local SEO Agency
- 10 Questions To Ask The Best Local SEO Companies Before You Hire One
- Takeaways On Local SEO Agencies
A local SEO agency develops and implements search engine optimization (SEO) strategies that help businesses increase search engine visibility, rank higher in search results and align their content with their local audience’s search intent.
They optimize the company’s website, their product and service pages for search queries that are location-specific.
Any business that has a physical location or serves a local community can benefit greatly from local SEO companies: 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, while 72% of consumers behind local searches visited a store within five miles. [HubSpot]
Also, 97% of people learn more about local companies by searching online than anywhere else.
Considering these stats, it is no wonder more businesses are turning to local SEO companies to reach the top positions in SERPs for local searches.
To help their clients reach their goals, local SEO companies employ three main types of strategies:
- On-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Off-page SEO
What Services Do Local SEO Companies Provide?
Similar to conventional SEO, local SEO agencies focus on boosting your organization listings in online search results for customers in close proximity to your business.
Ultimately, the goal of local SEO is to help you achieve top rankings to get in front of more prospective nearby customers/clients who are looking for your products or services.
Although local search engine optimization encompasses different types of search engines, optimizing for Google is where the local SEO companies will invest the majority of their time, effort and resources.
As the leading search engine, Google is known for its sophisticated, continuously evolving algorithms. For this reason, a local SEO agency employs processes and strategies with many moving parts and components that can deliver results even in frequently changing environments.
Some of these local SEO services are:
1. Optimization of your Google My Business listing
Google My Business (GMB) listings hold the key information about your business that appears on the first page of Google when searchers try to find you.
It contains details like a company’s name, address, phone numbers (NAP), as well as the website, working hours and images.
2. Building local citations
Local citations contain similar, information about your business, but are not Google exclusive. They can help you earn local listings on sites like Yelp, Bing, Apple Maps, TripAdvisor, Facebook and other notable platforms.
3. Targeting keywords
SEO is all about targeting the right keywords your audience is using and implementing them in the right pages and content. To rank at the top of local search results, researching and targeting keywords used by your local target audience is crucial.
4. Monitoring social proof, ratings and reviews
Monitoring and responding to online reviews is an essential part of a successful local business routine.
User-generated content, such as ratings, testimonials and reviews, can appear and be prominently showcased on your website, as well as third-party review pages.
People trust other people and they look at reviews before visiting local businesses. More than 54% of consumers read at least four reviews before deciding to buy a product and/or service. At the same time, almost half of all online users say that they post online reviews at least once a month.
Keeping your reviews updated, highlighting positive and resolving negative ones will encourage more people to visit your business, thus contributing to your lead generation, conversions and ultimately, revenue.
5. Building links
The best local SEO agency will ensure you earn backlinks from trusted, reputable and well-loved local businesses. It is a sure-proof method to boost your local search rankings.
It’s essential to start creating valuable content that targets local keywords related to your industry, business and location. If other websites like what they see and read, they can link back to your site in their own content.
Having a robust backlink profile with links from authority businesses in the area is a major signal to Google that your business produces quality, in every aspect.
6. Analyzing customer/user experience
Providing a great user experience (UX) online is the essential step to attracting more local traffic and ensuring an opportunity for satisfied visitors to convert to satisfied customers.
If your website doesn’t provide a good UX, the bounce rate will skyrocket and your business will suffer, no matter the quality of your product/service.
The high bounce rate equals low ranking search so improving your website is a must.
A local SEO company will improve your UX by:
- Streamlining navigation
- Speeding up page load speeds
- Including appealing visuals and interactive elements
- Implementing a responsive design
7. Providing reports
With the client-provided KPIs and the latest analytics tools, local SEO agencies can easily track and measure their results and provide monthly reports on campaigns, content and website performance.,
Some of the key metrics they track are:
- Traffic sources
- Click-through-rate (CTR)
- Search engine positions
- Qualified leads
- And more
What Is The Difference Between Traditional And Local SEO Agencies?
Almost every SEO company includes local SEO into its services. However, there are certain major differences between conventional SEO and a dedicated local SEO agency.
When an online searcher enters their query, it’s up to the search engine to determine whether the geographical aspect of the results is important or not.
A local SEO company enhances your online presence by signaling to Google and its users that your business is reliable, trusted and of high quality and potentially directs traffic to your location by displaying it in the top results of SERP.
Traditional SEO, on the other hand, is more concerned with driving traffic to reliable and trusted content outside of the geographical realms. This makes conventional SEO a much better option for websites offering information/expertise regardless of their location.
For example, searching for “best marketing solutions for XY” will most probably lead you to global experts in this topic.
Searching for the “best Italian restaurant” implies you are looking for a restaurant in close proximity to your current location. The search engine determines your location according to your IP address and displays the top results in regards to how close they are to you. This is what local search is all about.
How Much Do Local SEO Companies Charge For Their Services?
There is a lot that goes into determining which SEO strategies work best for your particular local business.
The price of these strategies and services will largely depend on your budget and your long-term marketing.
A local SEO marketing company usually offers a monthly retainer pricing structure.
On average, typical local SEO campaigns can cost anywhere between $300 and $5,000 per month depending on your business needs, your competitors in a given location and of course, your geographical location relative to that of the agency.
Why Hire A Local SEO Agency?
"Near me” Google searches on mobile have increased by more than 250% between 2017 and 2019. It’s easy to understand why more and more businesses partner with local SEO companies on a regular basis.
These are some of the major benefits of employing the services of a local SEO company:
1. Local SEO Agencies Know Your Area
The main reason why you would want to partner with a local SEO agency from your vicinity is their knowledge of the area itself.
Local SEO is more potent when hired SEO experts know the ins and outs of the area. They have an inherent understanding of your local audience, its specific demographic aspects, local customs, trends, traditions, etc.
2. It’s Easy To Track Their Work
As mentioned above, local SEO is a trackable strategy, which means your business will always know how your campaign is performing and ultimately, how it’s ranking.
Platforms like Google Analytics give you a unique insight in real-time into how your local SEO performs, which allows you to tweak anything that isn’t benefiting your business.
3. Local SEO Increases Your Website Traffic
Since local SEO increases your business’s search engine visibility, chances are you’ll witness a massive increase in your website traffic as well.
4. Local SEO Increases Traffic To Your Physical Location
People searching businesses “near them” show not only interest but also action. In other words – they have the intention of visiting. Showing up high in search results will attract your buyers to your physical location.
5. Cost Efficiency
Local SEO companies need to show results, otherwise, they will lose you as a client. This is a great advantage over hiring an in-house SEO team that you will need to pay without the guarantee of positive results.
It takes a few months for SEO to take roots. Wasting money is not an option. Hiring a local SEO agency means hiring an expert team that leaves you time to focus on your business, without worrying if they have the right tools or resources for the task at hand.
How To Choose The Best Local SEO Agency
Selecting the best local SEO agency for your business goes beyond cost and expertise. Some of the key factors you should consider when hiring one are:
1. Deep Industry Knowledge
Whether you have a specific need or want to utilize their full service, the prospective local SEO company should be able to provide you with everything you search for.
Industry expertise, however, is essential. If you are a restaurant, you’ll want to choose an agency that developed local SEO strategies for restaurants.If you focus on B2B services, you’ll want an agency whose specialty focuses on scaling business-to-business ventures and so on.
Bottom line – your chosen local SEO company must have an in-depth understanding of your business and industry.
2. Good Reputation
Your chosen local SEO marketing company should have an established and expansive list of clients and case studies to provide tangible references to their work.
Testimonials and online reviews from previous clients are also a good way to check the pedigree, reputation and expertise of your future partner.
3. They Practice What They Preach
When looking for a local SEO agency, you want to partner with one that ranks well on SERP. If they don’t rank well for a decent number of keywords and/or are not present in local or organic searches, they probably won’t be able to deliver results for you as well.
4. Reliable Tools & Resources And Up-to-date Education
Conventional or local, much of proper search engine optimization is rooted in the best tools and resources that can identify valuable keywords, gather analytics and quantify progress.
Make sure to ask the best US local SEO companies which tools they use and why and how will they impact their work on your website, GMB, etc.
Google's algorithm is evolving rapidly and search is always changing. If you’re planning on hiring a local SEO agency, you need to find one that can stay on top of these changes and respond accordingly.
5. Clear Communication And Realistic Expectations
An experienced and trustworthy local SEO agency is not going to promise you a number 1 spot on SERP as they know that many businesses with large budgets might fight for the same spot/keywords.
Taking you to the top takes a lot of time, work and resources. This needs to be clearly communicated to you by the prospective agency. Also, they should be able to set realistic, measurable objectives and KPIs that are achievable in the long run.
10 Questions To Ask The Best Local SEO Companies Before You Hire One
- Have you worked with businesses in our industry?
- How do you create your search engine optimization strategies?
- What are a few of your best clients or examples of case studies?
- What local SEO tactics do you believe will be the most helpful for us and why?
- What platforms, tools or resources does your agency use and can you guarantee local SEO results?
- Who will be working on our project? What is their expertise?
- What kind of reports or monitoring updates will we be receiving and how often?
- Who will our point of contact be?
- How do you select top keywords for our brand?
- How long does it take to start seeing results and improvements?
Takeaways On Local SEO Agencies
Choosing a truly exceptional local SEO agency may not be hard, but choosing one that matches your business goals can be daunting.
Any business with a physical location benefits greatly from local SEO services. Some of the more prominent benefits are:
- Knowledge of the area
- Convenient work tracking
- Increased traffic, both online and location-wise
- Cost efficiency
When selecting your future partner, opt for the local SEO company that has:
- Deep industry knowledge
- Good reputation
- Reliable tools and resources
- Clear communication and expectations management
Best of luck!