What Should a Small Local Business Spend on SEO?

Local SEO is the process of improving a business’s visibility in online search results. In other words, making sure the name of your business shows up in Google Maps, Bing maps, and Yahoo Maps when people search for your specific type of business AND on those corresponding search engine’s regular search results.

Local search engine optimization is a great way to build up your online presence, get more leads, and increase your sales. With a small business, you can often afford to dedicate time to a marketing strategy that will pay off.

How much does it cost to rank #1 for ‘local’ on Google?

This is a big question. What is the right amount to spend on SEO for a local business? How much should a small business spend on SEO?

You may have heard that ranking on Google’s SERPs for local terms is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to make it happen, either. In fact, most of the things you might want to do to optimize your site for local searches won’t cost you anything.

What could take up to thousands of dollars is the paid advertising that would be needed to generate traffic for your business. If you have a local business that is already getting decent search traffic organically, you shouldn’t have to pay to get more of that traffic, and you don’t have to spend thousands to get it.

Most of the things you might want to do to optimize your site for local searches won’t cost you anything.

So, what I’m saying is, it could cost you nothing to get on the first page. Except for your time, that is. Getting to rank #1, well, that’s a different story that could range from nothing to thousands.

I have some clients who rank on the first page with very little work – just their time and then we have some who pay up to a few thousand a month.

So, what should a small local business spend on SEO?

I think anything less than $500/month is probably closer to a scam. We start our pricing at around $1000/month minimum and go up from there with there being no maximum. The max really depends on how quickly you’d like to rank.

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What are easy and free SEO things I can do myself?

So, I just said you could theoretically rank with 0 money in. So, what exactly are those things?

  • Get a properly SEO’d website
  • Claim or setup your Google Business Profile
  • Make sure your website is optimized for mobile
  • Make sure your website is speedy
  • Have a local address
  • Get a local phone number
  • Get reviews and testimonials
  • Claim or setup your listing on other directories like Yelp

What do you mean ‘local’ on Google?

Local SEO is about being found by people in your area, whether they’re looking for a restaurant, salon, or other services. It’s also about local search results that include phone numbers, hours, directions, and reviews.

Local SEO requires a different strategy than any other type of online marketing. You’re not looking to capture a broad audience of people across the country or around the world. Rather, you want to connect with the local community who is most likely to buy or find your business.

This means building strong local citations and directories, which are a critical component of a successful local SEO strategy.

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Author:
I've been making websites since I was a kid and now have over 20 years of experience building them for myself and my agency. I noticed patterns of problems that all business owners experience with their websites. Problems that most business owners don’t even know matter, let alone how to address. I built Pagemend to help people stay on top of their websites.

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