Does your business rely on foot traffic to a brick-and-mortar store? Or does it offer products or services specific to customers in a particular area?
If so, then you may want to consider setting aside some of your marketing budget for local SEO.
Local SEO helps boost your business’s online visibility when potential clients search for your services or product from a specific geographical location or with one in mind.
For example, if you sell haircuts in Portland, Oregon, local SEO will help you attract people in Portland who search for “haircuts” on Google or people anywhere who search “Portland haircuts.”
Thus, local SEO is different from global marketing strategies in that it targets leads in a specific area and not just anyone from anywhere.
However, as with all marketing strategies, local SEO costs money. But how much? What should your local SEO budget look like?
Well, that’s what this article will try to answer. In it, we’ll cover what goes into local SEO, the factors that impact local SEO pricing, how to lower your local SEO costs, when to increase your local SEO budget, and more.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
How local SEO differs from regular SEO
As mentioned, local SEO’s main difference from regular SEO is that it is location specific. This has two main benefits:
First, local SEO tends to be cheaper because it’s easier to get brand mentions, backlinks, and guest posts in smaller local publications than it is to get them in major ones.
For instance, getting a guest post published in the Portland Tribune may be easier than getting one published in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
This also means local SEO can be cheaper than general SEO.
Second, local SEO may get you more bang for your buck because it is more targeted.
For example, you may only win over one customer for every thousand global leads, but you could win over 100 customers for every thousand local leads.
In other words, what you invest in local SEO may yield higher-quality leads and more return overall.
What goes into local SEO
Now that you know how local SEO differs from regular SEO, you may wonder what exactly goes into local SEO.
Here are some of the moving parts that go into a successful local SEO campaign:
- Earning local citations. Citations are mentions of your business’s name and contact information on other websites. When these sites are local to your own business (e.g. the Portland city website), it will boost your business site’s ranking in local search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Generating local backlinks. Local backlinks are similar to local citations (and one is often also the other). A local backlink is simply a link from another website to yours, whether the anchor text is branded or not.
- Creating local web pages. On your business website, you’ll want one web page dedicated to each of your locations. So if you run hair salons in Portland, Salem, and Eugene, OR, then you should have one service page dedicated to each.
- Creating local content. On top of creating separate local service pages, your website should publish quality content related to your local market. For example, you might write blog posts on the hottest hairstyles in Portland right now or publish a case study on why your Portland customers love your haircutting service.
- Registering with Google My Business (GMB). GMB is a free business listing tool provided by Google. When you register your business, it allows Google to show your business on Google Maps when local people search for your service. You can optimize your GMB profile with quality photos, descriptions, contact information, and positive Google reviews and ratings.
- Investing in local SEO reporting. Every local SEO campaign needs a reporting mechanism so you can track your progress. These days, there are many SEO reporting software tools out there that can do the job. They allow you to measure common SEO metrics like keyword rankings, organic traffic volume, number of backlinks, organic traffic conversions, and more.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into local SEO, and that’s not even an exhaustive list. In the next section, we’ll go over factors that affect local SEO pricing.
Factors that impact local SEO pricing
The cost of local SEO can vary widely based on the following factors:
- The current state of your local SEO. If your business is relatively new and not yet well established, local SEO may take longer and thus cost more to get off the ground. And if you’ve invested in low-quality SEO strategies in the past, such as black hat SEO tactics, then it may cost you even more to correct the damage.
- How many business locations you have. The more you have, the more you must spend on local SEO. Why? Because each location is like its own business as far as SEO is concerned. Each requires its own area-specific web page, content, link building, and so on.
- How many products or services you offer. Each of your products and services will require optimizing for a different keyword. For example, if you offer men’s haircuts and women’s haircuts, you must do SEO for both services for the best results. And the more keywords you target, the higher the cost of local SEO will be.
- The amount of competition. If your business is relatively niche, you may face little local SEO competition. But if there are many other businesses that offer what you do, you’ll need to spend more on developing better content, link building, and so on. The same goes for competitive locations. Trying to optimize local SEO for “Portland haircuts” is harder than optimizing for the same service in a smaller town like Redmond, OR, for example.
- How high you want to rank. Ranking number one in search engine results pages (SERPs) for “Portland haircuts” won’t cost as much as just ranking anywhere in the top ten. Both results can lead to more business, but how high you aim will have a direct impact on how much local SEO will cost.
- How long you plan to invest in local SEO. Of course, local SEO will cost more, the longer you invest in it. But if there’s one thing you should know about SEO, it’s that it’s a long-term game. You can’t invest in it for a month and expect to see results. Effective local SEO is an ongoing effort. That’s why it’s important to look for local SEO services like SEO.co that provide discounts for longer term commitments.
How much should you spend on local SEO?
Now the million-dollar question: how much should you spend on local SEO?
The answer? It depends.
Local SEO prices range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars per month. If you only want minimal local SEO services for a small business, you may be able to get away with paying just a few hundred dollars each month.
But keep in mind that you get what you pay for. If you want to see real results, you should plan on paying professional rates of at least $2,000 per month.
At SEO.co, we offer the following customizable pricing packages to fit your needs:
- The Starter package for $2,000 per month
- The Growth package for $5,000 per month
- The Scale package for $10,000 per month
Feel free to contact us today to learn more about what each has to offer.
How to lower your local SEO costs
There are a few ways to lower your local SEO costs.
The first is to replace money with time. You can do local SEO all on your own for free. It just takes the right know-how and a lot of time. If you have the means and time to do your own local content creation, link building, and outreach, go for it.
Another way to lower local SEO costs is to hire an all-in-one managed marketing service. By consolidating your marketing with one solution, you can simplify your marketing efforts and save on overhead costs.
That’s where SEO.co comes in. We provide local SEO, link building, content writing, PPC management, and other marketing services. With us, you won’t have to split your marketing budget between different vendors and then try to coordinate them all on your own. We’ll take care of all your marketing needs for you.
When to increase your local SEO budget
Sometimes it’s in your best interest to increase your local SEO budget.
For example, you may not be seeing the results you want because you’re paying for a cheap SEO service, or you may want to scale your business to additional locations.
In these cases, it makes sense to spend a little more on local SEO so that you can get a better return on your marketing budget. After all, the additional marketing expense may pay for itself many times over in increased revenue.
Partnering with SEO.co
Now that you have a better understanding of how to budget for local SEO, why not get a headstart with local SEO by partnering with SEO.co?
With us, you can be as involved as you want to be. We even let you manage all of your digital marketing needs from a single dashboard. Sign up instantly and get access to all of our marketing services, including local SEO, today!
Still have questions? No problem. You can contact us anytime for a free consultation. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have.