Local SEO Checklist (2021):
The Ultimate Guide to Success Part 2

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Local SEO Checklist (2021) The Ultimate Guide to Success-Part 2

In this article, we will share with you how we use the following tools in our strategies:

Buzzstream Local SEO Checklist (2021): <br/>The Ultimate Guide to Success Part 1 11 Local SEO Checklist (2021): <br/>The Ultimate Guide to Success Part 1 12 Page Optimizer Pro

Milestone 7: Content

Alright! We’ve officially crossed the halfway point in our local SEO checklist! If you want to learn more about the previous milestones and tasks, please read on the Local SEO Checklist Part 1.

Now we’re at the fun part: content!

Ok, maybe I’m a little biased as a content marketer.

Content is where you get to show the world how awesome you are within your niche. To reiterate, it’s a never-ending task that calls for hard work – and no shortcuts.

Think of content like working out. You’re not going to get huge muscles or a toned body by working out once in a while (assuming you aren’t taking PEDs). Results come from a sustained effort and a disciplined schedule.

When it comes to content, you should never create it without a plan.

Each content asset you create – whether it be a blog post, guide, commentary, etc. – needs to feed into a long-term strategy to improve your online search presence.

Here’s what we do:

A. Set Up the Content Asset Plan

Setting up your content assets involves:

Defining your silos

In terms of the silos, we have already set this up. Now, it’s time to find out what the current content landscape looks like around those silos.

Going back to the law firm example, we would take a close look at the types of content ranking highly in the realms of personal injury, family law, and appeals. Our findings from POP will determine the direction we’ll take with the keyword research/topical focus.

Creating internal linking templates

For internal linking, we will plan out where each content asset will fit into the rest of the site’s architecture – and send signals to search engine crawlers. This will be mapped out and shared with you in this format:

Download this Free Worksheet

Internal Link Silo Template

Click the image to view the sheet and create a copy for yourself.

Identifying the keyword phrases that will be used in the content

With keywords and phrases, we want the search demand to drive the topic of the content.

Generally, we stick to terms with a Keyword Difficulty of less than 30 (out of 100) and a search volume higher than 100/month.

When it comes to choosing keywords, it’s always best to start with the low hanging fruit.

For example, trying to get a blog post ranked for the keyword “personal injury” would be challenging. According to Ahrefs, this term has a Keyword Difficulty of 63 and a search volume of 6.8K/month.

On the flip side, if we get more specific and use a phrase like “how long does a personal injury case take” – we’re working with a Keyword Difficulty of 7 and a search volume of 100/month. The chances of us ranking for this term are way greater than “personal injury”.

As we create more posts and start earning rankings for less popular keywords related to “personal injury”, we will eventually be in a position to aim our sites at the higher-level search terms.

For these silos, we will communicate our findings and plan using the same slide we shared above. 

B. Setting Up an Editorial Calendar

Once we have nailed down our content plan, we will create a schedule for generating new content – whether it be blog posts, new site pages, or anything else that involves a content creator.

In the early stage of the campaign, we might need to build out several webpages to improve the depth of your site. If the site is completely set up, this will involve adding new informational content to your on-site resource center.

The editorial calendar will define:

  • The type of content being produced
  • The title of the content
  • The date when it will be delivered for review
  • The date we will aim to publish it on the website

C. Setup Location Pages

We’re going to switch gears for a minute in our long local SEO checklist. The next step after developing your content plan is to add location pages.

In terms of your coverage area, your website’s geo-targeting has been established. However, this is where we need to let users and search engines know exactly what areas you serve.

For example, if you’re a lawyer in Tampa, Florida, you likely service the surrounding areas; we need to make this crystal clear. In this scenario, we would likely need to add separate location pages for Pasco, Pinellas, Orange, Broward, Polk, and Manatee Counties.

After identifying the client’s target locations, we list them based on their population and create service area pages.

Here is our process:

1. Ask for Target Areas

During the onboarding process, we will ask clients to provide an exhaustive list of the areas they cover, want their site to rank for on local searches, and pull in customers. These locations will be recorded in this sheet:

Download this Free Worksheet

Service Area Page Guidelines and Tracker

Click the image to view the sheet and create a copy for yourself

2. Find the Primary + Secondary Keywords

Using Ahrefs and PageOptimizer Pro, we will pinpoint the most valuable keywords specific to the chosen locations.

3. Convey Directions to Writers

Using the directions we have in the PageOptimizer Pro report, we will send off the structural + keyword requirements to our talented team of writers to create the content for the location pages.

4. Approvals

After we receive the content from our writing team, it will be sent off to the client for a final review. If changes are needed, our writers will take care of them ASAP. Once the page content is approved, we will design the layout, implement internal linking, and publish the post.

5. Informational Content Creation

Now back to the content!

Once we have set up the content assets and editorial calendar, we follow these steps for content creation:

6. Create the structure 

We build structural outlines for each piece based on POP recommendations. This will include the main keyword, trending questions to answer, and the supporting search terms.

This sheet will be sent to our expert, US-based writing team.

7. Finalize the content

As soon as we get the content from our writing team, we’ll do a final run-through Grammarly and POP, make any tweaks necessary to improve the SEO and implement the internal linking.

D. Content Creation

Now back to the content!

Once we have set up the content assets and editorial calendar, we follow these steps for content creation:

Create the structure

We build structural outlines for each piece based on POP recommendations. This will include the main keyword, trending questions to answer, and the supporting search terms.

This sheet will be sent to our expert, US-based writing team.

External Linking

If you want to produce expert content, the claims you make need to be backed up by credible sources.

When our writers reference any data, examples, quotes, or anything else that adds credibility to the content, we will make sure everything is supported by an external link to a reputable source.

Finalize the content 

Page Optimizer Pro

As soon as we get the content from our writing team, we’ll do a final run-through of Grammarly and Page Optimizer Pro, make any tweaks necessary to improve the SEO, and implement the internal linking.

Milestone 8: Link Building

Once the post is live, we’ll begin seeking links to it from other websites.

Each inbound link to a piece of your content is like an endorsement. The more links you have from reputable websites, the more credible you appear in the eyes of the search engines.

In regards to earning links to your content, not all links will serve you equally. Relevance is the name of the game.

To give you an analogy, think of building external links like a fine dining restaurant in New York City.

If a mechanic at a small auto body shop tells people your “cuisine is delectable”, their words only add a small amount of credibility to your restaurant. This is because the mechanic a) doesn’t know much about fine dining, and b) doesn’t have a vast network of foodies.

If a student in culinary school tells people this, it would add a higher level of credibility. This person knows a thing or two about fine dining and has a small network of foodies.

But now, let’s say Gordan Ramsay comes in and tells people your food is amazing. This will add TONS of credibility. Not only is this endorsement coming from an extremely respected, well-known name in New York’s (and beyond) fine dining scene, he’s got a massive following of foodies.

When it comes to building these “endorsements” for your website, guest posting, and strategic outreach for link insertions are the two main tactics we’ll use to build links to your content.

When we seek out links from other websites at Foxxr, we’ll focus on getting those links from the up-and-coming local culinary students all the way to the Gordan Ramsays of your industry.

Here’s our process:

A. Link Building from Onboarding (The Easy Wins)

As with most marketing tactics, the best place to start is with the gimmes.

In an email, we’ll ask you to provide the following:

  1. A list of all the associations you belong to.
  2. Any vendors or suppliers you use.
  3. Any sponsorships your company supports.

From here, we’ll reach out to these organizations to see if they’d put a link to your site on theirs.

B. Link Building from Competitor Research (Link Intersect Tool)

The next step is to take a look at your competitors and see what we’re up against.

Here’s the plan.

1. Find Your Competitors

In addition to what we have on the workbook, we’ll search for your local competitors with your best transactional keywords using the Bright Local Search Results Checker.

This will populate your list of competitors.

Run the Link Intersect Tool

Link Intersect tool

Using the competitors’ list we created, the next move is to take the top ten competing sites and run them through the Link Intersect Tool. This tool will show us which domains are linking to your competitors – but not you. These are prime opportunities that will be added to our list.

2.  Outreach to Competitors’ Referring Domains

After a thorough review of the opportunities list, we will begin the outreach process to get them to link to your website.

We use BuzzStream in our link outreach workflow. We will then finalize the opportunities based on the value it will bring to your company – then add to the outreach list.

Email Outreach with BuzzStream

Emails will be sent to the appropriate contacts asking for link acquisition. All emails will be monitored and followed up on.

C. Link Building from Competitor Research (Single Competitor)

The next phase of our link building process is to single out your competitors and gauge their linking domains.

1. Find the Backlinks of Your Competitors

We can find this data in the “referring domains” report. This will show us all the domains linking to your competitor’s site or webpages.

2. Identify the Links that are Easy to Replicate

The next step is to pinpoint the most attainable links. These would commonly include guest post links or simple insertions. The process to nab these involve reaching out to site owners and asking to contribute to their resource section or add your link to an existing piece.

3. Identify the Links that are Hard to Replicate

This is where we will find the most high-value links that are going to drive the best results. This list would include links from very high-authority websites – or the Gordan Ramsays for the sake of our analogy.

More often than not, it will take a strong effort to earn these.

4. Outreach + Follow Up

Our team will connect with sites that have linked to your competitors via email, pitch a guest post idea, or present your site or resource as a valuable addition to a piece of relevant content on their site, then ask for the link.

5. Create Alerts

Using Ahrefs, we’ll set up a tracking system to monitor the web and send you an email when a new website links to a competitor’s content. With this info, we can then chase similar links.

D. Link Building from Low-Quality Pages

Our next order of business is to find backlinking opportunities from low-authority pages. Generally, these are easy wins.

Here’s what we’ll do:

1. Find a Page with Lots of Quality Links

Using the Content Explorer tool, we’ll stick to a time-tested process for pinpointing link opportunities.

Content Explorer à  Enter Seed keyword à Add filter Ref Domain: max 50 to get low-quality pages + Select time period + Word Count less than 1000.

From here, we’ll sort by search traffic in descending order, then open the backlink report of a page in site explorer.

2. Filter and Export Backlinks + Outreach & Follow Up

Based on our findings, we’ll set up filters to compile a list of the best resources for outreach for backlinks.

Truth be told, getting responses from website owners for backlinks is a big question mark – simply because it is out of our control. We’ll keep close tabs on responses and be vigilant about following up with contacts.

E. Skyscraper Link Building

“Skyscraper” link building refers to the tactic in which you work to improve a popular piece of content in your industry to (ideally) replicate the backlinks.

Here is our process:

1. Find a Popular Page in Your Niche with a lot of Backlinks

Using our trusty Content Explorer from Ahrefs, we will enter a topic, then filter for the titles of 50+ referring domains. Based on the results, we’ll pick a page to review.

Skyscraper Technique using Ahrefs Content Explorer

2. Create Superior Content

Through analyzing the popular content, we’ll determine what makes it so good and the components attributing to its success. From here, we’ll bring in our team of skilled writers to create a better piece of content for your website around the same topic.

3. Check Backlinks and Outreach for New Ones

For the piece of popular content we are replicating/improving, we’ll analyze which sites are linking to it and set filters based on our needs. From here, we will begin the outreach process to get those sites to link to your new content masterpiece.

F. Link Building from Brand Monitoring

This tactic might be a bit of a long shot, especially for smaller businesses – but that doesn’t mean we won’t try it! Link building from brand monitoring involves combing the web looking for sites that have mentioned your company name but not linked to it.

Here’s the scoop:

1. Find Unlinked Brand Mentions

Using the Ahrefs Content Explorer, we’ll start by searching your brand name for mentions across the web (excluding your own domain). As we want to be sure we’re only going after valuable links, we can set the filters to target sites with a Domain Rating (DR) of 30+.

2. Populate the List and Outreach + Follow Up

Once we have all our prospects in line, we’ll create the list and begin the process of outreaching and following up with site owners to link to your brand name.

G. Fix Broken Inbound Links

Fixing broken links is one of the classic link building strategies that generally yields solid results. In a nutshell, it involves searching for pages that have 404 errors in their outbound links, then presenting your content as a better alternative to fix the error.

Here’s what we do:

1. Find Pages on Top Sites in Your Niche with Lots of Backlinks

Broken Backlinks

We’ll start by analyzing and compiling a list of the most authoritative websites in your industry – using the Ahrefs Site Explorer.

From here, we’ll search for Pages Best by Links.

Next, we’ll pick domains with which you have a high number of keywords in common. Then we’ll run a filter for the webpages looking for HTTP 404 errors.

With our findings, we’ll click on the number of do-follow links to verify all viable backlinks.

The next step is to research the content that was on the 404 pages before it was taken down. This will give us a grasp on how we can fill the void with a relevant piece of your content.

2. Outreach + Follow Up on the Opportunities

Like we do with our other link building tactics, we’ll draft emails to site owners pitching our idea to fix the link – and follow up accordingly.

H. Backlink Audit

Backlink audits are an ongoing process in link building.

It involves assessing the health of your backlink profile, how you are building new links, the quality of your inbound links, and how they are attributing to your SEO strategy – both locally and globally.

Here’s how we do it:

1. Get a High-Level View of Your Backlink Profile

We will start by plugging your site into the Ahrefs Site Explorer for some basic analysis.

In Site Explorer, “enter the domain name,” then choose the “prefix” mode. If we’re auditing your entire website, we’ll choose the “*.domain/*” option instead.

The goals of this analysis are to:

  • Compare your backlink profile to competitors.
  • Gauge your link acquisition rate over time, then compare to the competition.
  • Pinpoint negative SEO attacks – unnatural spikes in link acquisition.

2. Look for Spammy Links

Not all links are good links.

In our analysis, we will look for disproportionate amounts of links from spammy CTLDs. For example, if you’re in the USA and getting lots of links from Russian domains, there is a good chance these are spammy links and need to be removed.

3. Analyze Anchor Texts

Anchor text refers to the string of words to which your domain is linked to. Using the Overview report in the Site Explorer, we will look for things like crude language, super promotional text, and high-distribution non-branded anchors.

If the referring site is not doing any favors, we will disavow the link. If it’s a good site, we will ask the site owner to change the anchor text.

4. Find the Best/Worst Sites that Link to You

To find the “worst sites”, we will add a do-follow filter to sort by Domain Rating – from low to high. Looking at the low-authority sites, we’ll check to see if anything looks off – and will disavow accordingly.

5. Look for Backlinks from the Same C-Class IPs

Using the Referring IPs report in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, we will assess the referring domains group by “network” (c-class IP). We will sort the results by the Domains column to see the c‑class IPs that have a lot of domains linking to you.

6. Disavow Shady Links

Disavow links

With all our findings in the audit, we will generate a list of all the links that are irrelevant to your strategy – or sketchy links. Then, we will disavow them in Google Webmaster.

Milestone 9: Reputation Management

Online reviews and reputation management are vital to doing business these days, Period.

When was the last time you bought something on Amazon, tried a new restaurant, took your car to a new mechanic, or made any other purchasing decision without looking at reviews – or a star rating at the very least?

According to a Bright Local survey, 91% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.

The bottom line is reviews matter – both to prospective customers and search engines.

Google likes to see that people are taking the time to review your business consistently, thoroughly, and authentically.

However, the reality of online reviews is that most people won’t leave one on their own – unless they have an awful experience. The good news is most will leave one with a little motivation.

The same Bright Local survey found that nearly 70% of consumers left a review after being asked. This is why you need professional reputation management – and why it’s a key item in our local SEO checklist.

Here’s what we do:

Set Up Your Reviews Page

First thing’s first. We need to make it overly easy for people to leave reviews.

Starting with your website, we’ll set up a reviews page so users can instantly spot where they need to go to drop a business review.

Note: There are some businesses or industries that prefer not to have reviews on their websites. This is to comply with national law regarding user privacy and information confidentiality.

If your business falls into this category, we’ll skip this step.

Setup Reviews Page

Provide Email Template

To circle back to the Bright Local survey, a decent chunk of consumers will leave a review if they are asked to. The way you ask is via email.

Given the nature of your business, we’ll create a customized email template for which you will send out follow-ups to customers asking for a review after a purchase. This template will be 100% unique to your brand, personality, and objectives.

Setup the Review Strategy

Now that we’ve drafted up what we’re going to say to prompt a review, we need to figure out when to say it.

Following up with a customer for a review is not a one-size-fits-all process. This will depend on the product/service you offer. For example, if you are a restaurant, asking for a review immediately after the dining experience is ideal. On the other hand, if you sold a product, it’s typically best to wait a few days until the customer has used it.

At Foxxr Digital Marketing, our online reputation management strategies are all based on industry data. No matter which industry you service, we’ll make sure you’re using the best practices.

Review Monitoring

As we work to build up your review profile, we will set up a monitoring system using Bright Local’s reputation management tool. We’ll connect with your Google My Business and Facebook pages, as well as any other relevant review/citation platform.

Our team can set up the process to alert you via email every time a new review is received and what the data looks like for your entire strategy.

Here is a snapshot of the dashboard:

Local Reputation Management

Client Communication

As with everything else in our local SEO checklist, client communication is the top concern.

All communication between us about your online reputation is done through Bright Local. We’ll walk you through the process.

Milestone 10: Google Ads

Google Ads is a key component in building a local presence.

In our local SEO checklist, we’ll cover branded ads.

Branded Ads

Branded Ads are meant to improve visibility and awareness on the Google search engine results pages and Display Network. We will do this by using Google Search Ads and Google Display Ads targeting the clients’ service areas.

Example of a Branded Search Ad:

Branded Search Ad Example

Example of a Branded Display Ad:

Branded Display Ad Example

AdWords Keyword Campaigns Creation:

Choosing keywords for a branded ad campaign is a bit different than choosing them for organic search. In this part of the process, we’ll target search terms with transactional intent.

  • “buy lawn care equipment in Santa Cruz”
  • “family law attorney in Tampa”

We’ll zero-in on these keywords by pulling the top revenue-generating services from the client in the Onboarding Sheet – or we’ll simply ask for the services they want to promote.

We use this master campaign template, where we calculate the campaign budget and get it reviewed by the client:

Download this Free Worksheet

Paid Ads Campaign Planning Worksheet

Click the image to view the sheet and create a copy for yourself

We also use this as the standard operating procedure worksheet to plan out the campaign.

Once we have the client’s budget allocation figured out, we’ll do the following tasks:

Keyword Research

Like we talked about earlier, we’ll look into the transactional keywords and phrases related to your product/service offering. When we choose keywords for branded ads, we focus on the search volume and the cost-per-click (CPC). This why paid Google Ads are referred to as Pay-Per-Click (PPC).

The CPC is what you will be charged every time someone clicks on your ad from searching this particular keyword. Generally speaking, the higher the CPC, the greater the conversion rate you stand to gain (and revenue to earn).

The client will approve all keywords and phrases before we begin the campaign.

Creating Ad Copies

Once the keywords are approved, we will begin crafting the copy for the ad.

Now, ad copy must be created very, very carefully. Google Ads only allows you to work with:

  • 30 characters or less for the titles (you have three options)
  • 90 characters or less for description lines (you have two options)
  • 15 characters or less for ad paths (you have 2 options)

Creating Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are additional pieces of information that can expand your ads to make them more relevant to users. These generally include phone numbers, contact links, and other conversion-focused links from your website.

Based on the goals you have for your branded ads, we’ll set up your extensions accordingly.

Creating the Campaign

At this point, all the pieces are in place to start building out your campaign. Now, branded ad campaigns do not mean you just hit a button and see what happens. Our goal here is to take small steps with frequent check-ins to make sure you’re not wasting budget.

Here’s how we do it.

Remarketing

We create a remarketing strategy to show ads to the people who have visited your specific web pages or websites. Depending on the campaigns we are running for different services, we’ll create specific remarketing display ads.

Remarketing ads are essential in the paid ads game – as most people don’t take action when they visit the website for the first time.

Monitor and Optimize 

This is the ongoing task with branded ads after the creation of the campaigns. We will optimize your campaigns with these tasks:

  • Monitoring the search terms
  • Adding Negative Keywords
  • Updating the existing ads
  • Adding new keywords
  • Optimizing the budget
  • Creating new or updating the existing ad extensions
  • Adjusting bids on the keywords
  • Checking Google’s recommendations & applying the needful

Display Campaign Management

This is the other ongoing task after the creation of the Display campaigns. We will monitor and optimize the campaigns via these tasks:

  • Checking where ads have been shown.
  • Adding negative placements to the ad groups.
  • Changing the banners if needed.

Milestone 11: Email Marketing

Year after year, email marketing has proven to be the tactic that yields the highest ROI. According to a study from DMA, businesses see an average return of $42 for every $1 they invest.

Simply put, email marketing is not an option for businesses; it’s a requirement for lead generation, nurturing, and ongoing customer engagement.

Here’s what we do:

A. Client Setup on MailChimp

Using MailChimp, we’ll get you set up with the right plan based on your business needs – how many contacts you have, how many messages you’ll be sending, and your goals for growth.

B. Template Design

Mailchimp Templates

We’ll create email templates that match your branding and objectives for email campaigns in the next step. MailChimp has many templates you can choose from, and we can customize them as needed.

C, Develop Your Email Strategy

An email strategy is not one-dimensional. As we assess your goals, we will draw up a plan for how you’ll manage email marketing for lead generation/nurturing, scheduling, automation, newsletters, and any other plan for using email to engage with customers and prospects.

D, Optimize

Email marketing is a constant game of optimization. Based on the results we see, we’ll find the days/times in which recipients are most engaged with your messages. With this data, we will consistently re-master how we create emails, promote them, and respond to them.

Think of this task as a constant work-in-progress. With every email blast sent out, we’ll be getting better and better at turning those messages into dollar signs.

Milestone 12: Social Media

The last milestone we’ll conquer in our local SEO checklist is setting your social media profiles up for success.

To reiterate, social media doesn’t directly impact SEO but serves as signals of trust. If you’ve got profiles with consistent business information, post valuable messaging, and have good engagement, Google – and other search engines – will know you’re the real deal.

Here’s what we’ll do:

Social Profile Registration 

In addition to the major citation platforms, we’ll make sure you’re properly listed on all the prominent social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. – as well as linked to your website.

Social Branding

Social Branding

This step includes updating the logo and cover image on each social profile of the company for consistency. We use Bannersnack to accomplish this. Basically, there needs to be a great deal of branding consistency between your website and social profiles.

Web 2.0 Properties Setup:

Web 2.0 properties for social media enables better interactivity. The major platforms use Web 2.0 – and we’ll make sure you own your brand name across these platforms.

Milestone 13: Social Ads

To shift gears from search to social, we will begin creating social ads as part of the local SEO checklist.

It’s important to note that social media doesn’t have a direct impact on local rankings. However, social engagement serves as a signal to search engines that you’re legitimate, and people are engaged with your brand.

To accomplish this, we’ll set up a branded ad campaign.

Branded Social Ads

Using Facebook Ads, we will highlight your offerings by targeting the areas you serve.

Example of Social Branded Ad: 

Social Branded Ad

Custom Audience + Lookalike Campaign

Look-Alike Audience Social Remarketing

The beauty of social ads is that you can customize your audience based on location, demographics, interests, and more.

Using Facebook, you can also pull from data sources like your customer lists, website/app traffic, and Facebook engagement to form your audiences. You can create up to 500 different audiences per ad account.

From here, you can create “Lookalike Audiences” – which are lists of similar people you can target with your campaign. You are allowed 500 Lookalike Audience per single-source audience.

When all the audiences – custom and lookalikes – have been created, we will do the following tasks:

Create the Objective for Each Campaign

This will be based on what your goals are. Traffic? Conversions? Sales? All of the above?

Map Out the Campaign Creation

This part of the process revolves around when the ads will be shown, how often, and the next steps when a user engages with it.

Create Ad Copies

Like the search and display ads, our copywriters will develop ad copy designed for engagement. In social ads, keywords are not a factor. All ad copies will be submitted to you for approval.

Monitor and Optimize

This is an ongoing task after the creation of all the campaigns.

We monitor and optimize campaigns via these tasks:

  • Checking how many impressions the ad has received.
  • Understanding how the engagement translates to the objective.
  • Changing the ad copy or imagery if needed.

Hiring a Local SEO Company

Whew!

Now that we’ve discussed all the milestones needed to reach the top of the mountain, it’s time to start the long journey.

But you can’t just choose anyone to be your Sherpa.

I often tell clients that SEO is like two full-time jobs. One to implement it, and one to stay on top of it. You need a local SEO company that understands this.

Now, searching for an agency is not always easy. There are so many providers out there that promise the world for a pretty penny – yet fail to deliver.

The good news is there are several ways you can identify a good partner.

  1. They Don’t Make Bold Promises

There is no such thing as guaranteed results in SEO. All too often, naïve clients fall for agencies that promise page one rankings on Google. No agency can promise this. They are not Google and have no control over the rankings. If an agency gives you bold guarantees of results, head for the door.

  1. They Tell You Clearly What They Will do to Increase Rankings

Again, no agency can guarantee results, but they can tell you step-by-step what they plan to do. These plans should involve white hat SEO tactics and have a proven track record of success.

  1. They Have Results to Back Them Up

A solid local SEO agency will be more than happy to showcase past victories. If they can’t produce a case study or seem awkward about discussing past results, this is a bad sign. Now, some newer agencies might not have a big body of work yet. If this is the case, they should be upfront with you about this.

  1. They Tell You How Exactly They Measure Success

Measuring success is a core component of SEO. In the meeting, the agency should be completely upfront about how they gauge a campaign’s success.

  1. They Allow You to Retain Full Access to Your Account

SEO companies sometimes make changes that leave their clients without proper access to their accounts. You MUST be able to keep access in case changes are needed down the road. Otherwise, you could lose all the SEO work you paid for if you stop working with the agency.

How Much Does Local SEO Cost?

Local SEO pricing can vary quite a bit. Depending on the agency, you may be charged:

  • An hourly rate – Common pricing model; however, nothing is connected to results.
  • Monthly fee – Very common pricing model. This is the ideal situation when you have an SEO partner you trust.
  • Single project fee – Ideal if you want to pay a lump sum simply. However, there isn’t much flexibility here.
  • Performance-based fee – This means you only pay for results – nothing else. The performance option might cost more in the long run, as this can push the provider to use more competitive search terms if they generate good results.
  • Ala carte – This allows you to pick what SEO services you need at the right price. This is commonly offered in a monthly package style. The downfall of ala carte is you may not be using the best tactic – and only work with one SEO avenue.

Company Size and Local SEO Pricing

The bigger your company is, the more SEO needs you will likely have. Here are some ballpark figures to give you an idea of how much you can expect to pay for local SEO:

  • Small Businesses: $500 – $1500 per month. Local SEO will generally be the primary marketing need for small businesses.
  • Medium-Sized Businesses – $1000 – $5000 per month. Many medium-sized businesses need local SEO to strengthen their local presence or expand to multiple locations in competitive markets.
  • Large Businesses – $5000+ per month. These clients will generally be national and international clients looking to gain trust in a new market to expand their empire.

Like any good service, you usually get what you pay for.

Even though you should always try to stick to your budget, cutting corners in SEO almost always comes back to bite you. The U.S Small Business Administration suggests that companies invest between 7 and 8 percent of your gross revenue on marketing.

Let’s Start Climbing the Search Engine Rankings!

Local SEO offers a huge advantage in building your brand and establishing trust in your community.

Getting local SEO right is crucial to company growth. If you don’t have the time or expertise in-house to dedicate to reaching the milestones listed above, you’re not going to get the results you want. In this case, it’s always better to work with a proven agency.

Foxxr Digital Marketing specializes in local SEO designed to take brands to the next level. We offer a range of packages to fit your unique set of needs.

Get in contact with us today to learn more about our services, past results, and how we can help you succeed.

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Brian Childers

Brian Childers is the Founder & CEO of Foxxr Digital Marketing, based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Childers leads a team of digital marketing experts with specialties in; Web Design, Local & National SEO, Paid Search Management, Link Building, Content Marketing, and Social Media to help clients attract an insane amount leads and revenue. Follow Brian on Twitter