Why are local business SEO packages so important for your small business?
Because, as everyone now knows, they help your business rise in the Google Search Engine Results (SERPs), and when your business gets to the top of page one, the lion’s share of your best prospects will be attracted to YOUR business.
And when that happens you get new customers on autopilot like clockwork each month.
So, your revenues grow, cash flow issues disappear, your employees get a strong sense of job security and you get a lot of peace of mind.
As a small business owner, like you, I have enough on my mind even beyond the financial issues including dealing with government regulations, tax compliance and finding enough time in the day to get everything done.
Finding local business SEO packages that work for you will take one very important chore off your plate: bringing in new customers. And with that you can focus on running your business instead of trying to chase new clients.
Marketing and advertising is one of the biggest challenges you’ll have as a small business owner.
As you know, most people go online when looking to buy a local product or service, so a strong online presence is absolutely critical for your business success.
In this article I’m going to show you what you need to look for in local business SEO packages that will give you a dominant online presence in your city.
I’ll also share some insider secrets that those selling local SEO services use to boost their profits without providing any substantial benefits to those that buy them.
That way you can avoid being taken advantage of and wasting a lot of money.
What Local SEO Can Do For Your Business
At this point the way of the marketing world for local businesses is largely an online proposition.
Direct mail still works and there are other local opportunities, but when someone is looking for a product, or service, that they want to buy locally (often the same day) they pull out their phone and do a quick Google search.
To get the biggest benefit from local business SEO packages your business has to show up at the top of the first page of the Google SERPs for your most important keywords.
How you get there depends on how well you do your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) compared to your local competition.
Some businesses in small towns that don’t have much competition can get to the top of page one with very little effort.
Others, in larger cities with stiff competition, are in a constant battle for the top spots because they have to continually monitor their search rankings and do what’s necessary to feed the Google algorithm what it’s hungry for.
Here are the two places you want your business to show up in your local results. The most important criteria are very similar, but they have a different priority per the Google algorithm.
The Local (Snack) Pack
Most people refer to this as either the “local” pack or the “snack” pack. These are the results that normally appear just below the paid ads and above the organic results.
The Organic Results
These normally show just below the snack pack.
This is what they look like.
The higher your listing, the more clicks you’ll get. You definitely want to be in the top three, or four, results for each keyword you’re competing for.
The local snack pack usually just shows the top three results, and the following are the average click-through-rates for the organic results.
Here’s a look at the average click-through rates by SERP position for organic results per Ignite Visibility based on ranking for non-branded queries.
- Position #1: 43.32%
- Position #2: 37.36%
- Position #3: 29.90%
- Position #4: 19.38%
- Position #5: 10.95%
- Position #6: 10%
- Position #7: 5.28%
- Position #8: 4.13%
- Position #9: 4.13%
- Position #10: 3.11%
Sometimes you can show up in a top position for both the Snack Pack and the organic results, and that’s the holy grail of local SEO.
Bottom line: the higher you rank in the SERPs, the more prospects will see your business and the more new customers you’re likely to get each month.
What To Look For
Most local businesses get telemarketers calling on a continual basis trying to sell them local SEO
services. And they will tell you all kinds of things that just aren’t true, or only part of what you need to know.
A good rule of thumb is to never buy any online service from a telemarketer.
One reason is because you will likely overpay for what you’re getting. Another reason is because far too many of these kinds of marketers are on the shady side.
I’ve had them call me, and I know in great detail how local SEO works on a local level. I’ll talk with them and they will tell me things I know to be completely false. And when I call them on it they just hang up on me and move on.
Here Are The Basics For Good SEO Packages
We’ll focus on Google search because they dominate the search engine activity with about 90% of the market.
Bing, Yahoo and other search engines are not even close, and if you rank well in Google then you will likely rank well in the other search engines.
The Google search algorithm takes into account more than 200 criteria, but you only need to focus on less than 10. Some of them are out of your control, so you can’t do anything about them. I’ll focus on the ones you can do something about.
The First 3 You Must Have Working For Your Website
- Your website must be “mobile friendly.”
- Your website pages need to load fast.
- Your website must be secure.
You can check these things yourself by clicking the text links below and using the free online tools.
For website security just go to your website and look to the left of your URL. You should see a lock icon or maybe a “https” instead of “http.” See an example below.
If you find problems with any of these three things, you should be able to get the person who built your website to fix them.
The security certificate you need should only require a phone call to your web hosting company. Most of the good ones will give you a free “SSL Certificate,” which is what you’ll ask for. If not, it shouldn’t cost you more than $50 per year.
The 5 Most Important Factors For Local SEO
For the five major criteria I’ll list them here just so you know what they are. If you want more information about them you can get a free ebook that tells you everything you need to know if you click here.
I mentioned earlier that there are more than 200 criteria Google uses for their algorithm that determine winners and losers for local SEO rankings.
Regarding the ones that you have some control over, the following five are by far the most important.
- Links to your website (commonly referred to as backlinks)
- On-page SEO
- Google My Business
- Internet reviews
These same five criteria affect both the snack pack and the organic listings, but their order of priority are a little different for each of them.
If you do better than your local competition with these five factors, chances are great that your website will rank at the top of the first page of Google for your most important keywords that you go after.
These are the five things that the best local business SEO packages get for your business.
Once again, click here for the link to get the free ebook that tells you everything you need to know about these five criteria I refer to as “LOGIC.”
Without using the information above, you can easily get fooled into buying local SEO services and products that you just don’t need, so make sure you fully understand them.
How much should local SEO services cost you?
Some small businesses spend more than $3,000 per month, and that’s after an initial investment of several thousands of dollars to set up their accounts.
But you won’t need to spend anywhere near that if you stick to focusing on the most important Google search criteria mentioned above (LOGIC). And you’ll get as good, if not better results.
If you target about five keywords, and focus on the LOGIC factors that are proven to be successful, you should be able to spend less than $1,000 per month and a few hundred dollars as a one-time set-up charge. Click here for an example.
Be Careful When Dealing With Big Agencies
Among the worst offenders where charging high prices for local business SEO packages are concerned are large marketing agencies. Some do a very good job with their local business SEO packages (and many don’t), but their prices don’t make their services a very good deal.
These agencies need to pay for a lot of overhead, so they tend to jack up their pricing accordingly.
Often, they will have low level employees working on your account with little experience, so you don’t get a lot of expertise making the day to day decisions.
One thing to be aware of is agencies that offer to build you an inexpensive website. They give you a basic website built with a cookie-cutter approach (cheap for them to implement), then they upcharge you like crazy for doing things that help your local SEO.
The cheaply built website is their way to hook you and then they make an awful lot of money selling you services for additional “advanced” SEO, social media, reputation management and on and on.
If your website builder doesn’t include a good SEO foundation in the price of building you a website, then they are in the “commodity” website business.
They make their money churning out a lot of website using a templated approach that can be done quick and easy for them, but isn’t necessarily good for your business.
They also take a lot of money from clients for all kinds of ridiculous upcharges like “advanced” SEO as mentioned earlier. Don’t fall for that one.
Here are some basic on-page SEO elements that should be included when having a website built.
- Your main keyword for each individual page in your title tag, meta description, H1 tag and URL.
- Original content with appropriate keyword density on each page.
- Latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords in your content.
- Image alt text with keywords.
- Optimizing images used on each page.
- Internal and external links on each web page.
If the website agency wants to upcharge you for any of the things noted above, chances are you’re dealing with one that sells websites as a commodity.
Also, the basic keyword research is very easy for most local businesses. If you’re trying to rank for long-tail keywords, then a little extra effort may be involved (but not much for a local business). So, don’t let an agency tell you that their keyword research is a big deal.
A dirty little secret is that most medium to large agencies will also work with your local competitors whether it’s building a website, doing local pay-per-click advertising, social media and more. And when they do you can bet they’re using the same (or almost the exact same) keywords. Can you say, conflict of interest?
Be careful if the agency is hosting your website. Make sure their servers are fast and reliable, and make sure that you own your domain name.
Some shady agencies will host your website on their cheap servers and buy your domain (they own it) in order to hold you hostage as a client. It’s hard to break away from an agency that has that kind of leverage over your business, so don’t agree to that.
Should You Do Your Own Local SEO?
There are only two alternatives when it comes to local business SEO packages, you can do it yourself or have someone do it for you. You’re either going to spend your time or spend your money.
There are a lot of small details that you have to get right to make your local SEO efforts pay off.
So, if you don’t have any experience doing it, you’re in for a lot of long learning curves and frustration.
One reason is because the rules for good local SEO are in a constant state of flux as Google (and other search engines) continually change their algorithms. You’ll have to keep up with all of that yourself if you do your own SEO.
However, if you would like to look at doing your own SEO instead of buying local business SEO packages, I’ll show you again some of the basics you’ll need to analyze.
- How many links to your website (and overall link quality)
- How good is your on-page SEO
- Is your Google My Business account in good shape
- Check your Internet review profiles
- Check your number of citations and your business listing accuracy
- Check the speed of your webpages
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly
- Make sure your website has an SSL security certificate
If you haven’t already received the free LOGIC ebook I mentioned earlier, go ahead and get it now.
You can search Google for a free tool for just about anything to help you with SEO or try some of the following ones. Click on the links to check them out.
For Google My Business sign into your account. If you don’t have one you can sign up by clicking here.
For your reviews just search for your business name in Google and add the word “reviews” after it. Then check your Google reviews, Yelp and your Facebook business page.
Also remember the other tools listed above in the section titled What To Look For In Local Business SEO Packages.
If you want to have all of these things checked for you (and more) then you will know exactly what needs to be done for your specific business in your city to rise to the top of the Google SERPs. You will have a virtual blueprint for local SEO success. Click here for more information.
Conclusion – Local Business SEO Packages
There are four areas to consider when evaluating Local Business SEO Packages.
First you need to understand that they will help you get to the top of the Google local search results. You want to rank in the top three, or four, results for the snack pack and the organic search results.
The next thing is to make sure that your website is mobile friendly, your website pages load fast and your website is secure (you have an SSL certificate for your website).
You also want to make sure you cover all of the LOGIC factors for local SEO. The free ebook tells you everything you need to know, and you can get it by clicking here.
Good local business SEO packages can cost more than $3,000 per month with initial set up fees of several thousands of dollars if you go to a big marketing agency.
However, you can find excellent local business SEO packages for under $1,000 per month with much smaller set up charges. Click here for more information.
If you want to save more money, be prepared to spend a lot of time doing your own local SEO as you go through some lengthy learning curves.
Good local SEO is either going to cost you your time or money.
But not doing it at all is a losing proposition as your best prospects will end up going to your competitors that are found at the top of your local Google search results.
Do you have any questions about local business SEO packages? If so feel free to add them to the comment section below or get in touch with me using the contact form.
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