What Kinds of Businesses Should Use Local SEO? 7 Business Types That Benefit The Most
Have you ever wondered what kind of businesses need local SEO the most? Will using a local SEO strategy benefit a wealth management agency more than a roofer, or is the opposite true? Here’s my perspective on these questions as an agency owner that’s been focusing on local search for most of my career.
After a decade of running local SEO campaigns all over the U.S., I decided it was time to slow down and create this list from what I’ve learned. Through trial and error, I’ve created a set of standard operating procedures that we base our local SEO efforts on, no matter what industry a client happens to be in. We customize strategies beyond that, but the core of any local SEO campaign is always:
- Local citations and business listings
- Google Business Profile (GBP) Optimization
- Location pages and on-page SEO
I’ve applied those same three tactics over and over and had frank conversations about lead quality and quantity with many business owners. Here’s my take on the types of businesses that bank the most from Google’s local search engine.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing a website so that it performs well in local search results.
There are two types of local SEO:
- Optimizing your website so that it ranks higher in the organic local search results
- Optimizing your Google Business Profile listing for map rankings
Both are important for anyone who wants to attract local customers. They serve different purposes but often work best together by increasing overall impressions in the SERPs.
If you want to attract local customers, you need to focus on both.
The Many Benefits of Local SEO
There are many benefits of local SEO, but the most important one for local businesses is to attract more customers.
Local SEO increases your visibility in the search results, making it more likely that people will see your business when they’re searching for a product or service like yours.
It also helps you build trust and credibility with potential customers by giving them more information about your business through reviews and that trust that comes from a built-up web presence.
Who Benefits From Local SEO?
Any local business should consider SEO. The real question is: what level of effort will you need to take top rankings and generate a return on investment? The answer to that question can only be answered after the work’s been done because each brand will respond differently when you start generating traffic from Google Search Results.
Sometimes websites will convert at 2% and others can hit 12% within the same industry. That’s because rankings alone never determine results in local search. Intangibles like local brand prominence offline and landing page experience come into play here.
That being said, there are some types of businesses that tend to do better than others when they invest in local SEO. Here are seven business types that benefit the most from local SEO:
Top 7 Specific Types of Local Business Categories for Search Engine Optimization
I’ll cover each one in detail below with some stats to back up my favoritism.
- Accident and Injury Law Firms
- Roofing and Siding Companies
- Heating and Air Contractors
- Hospitals and Medical Clinics
- Orthodontists and Dental Clinics
- Catering and Event-Related Businesses
- Any Franchised Local Business
It’s been well-documented in Search Engine Journal that the legal niche is the most competitive for SEO and there’s often a direct correlation between competition and an industry’s average value per sale. In general, law firms tend to have a high average lead value. Accident and injury firms take the cake though with an estimated average in the five-figure range for auto accidents. Ranking for terms like “motorcycle lawyer near me” can yield a single lead that pays for months of local SEO services.
Exterior remodeling contractors don’t get a lot of love in SEO circles, but roofing and siding jobs payout in the four to the five-figure range and homeowners do a lot of their research online. This is one of those industries that benefits the most from SEO and PPC. It’s not uncommon for a roofer to pay $20 per click or invest thousands each year on SEO and be more than pleased with the results.
Heating and air contractors also have a high-ticket item that homeowners can’t live without. Profits on a new system installation are in the four to the five-figure range and customers are always on-guard looking for companies that are licensed and reputable. Show them you’re a pro by getting real reviews on your local listings and you’ll earn their trust.
Hospitals and medical clinics are a bit different from the other types of businesses on this list. They don’t have as much direct competition, but they do need to rank for a variety of service-related keywords and terms that relate to their specialties. The good news about this niche is that there are typically only a handful of local competitors to beat, making SEO a very powerful strategy for new patient acquisition.
Orthodontists and dental clinics are in a similar boat as hospitals and medical clinics. They need to rank for service-related keywords like “dentists near me”, but they don’t have as much direct competition. And since most people don’t move around too much, it’s not uncommon for an orthodontist to have patients that stick around for years, making the average value per lead higher than in other industries.
Any type of business that operates around weddings and corporate events tends to have a high value per sale. The best strategy to get rankings fast in this niche is to claim your paid listing on sites like Wedding Wire and The Knot. They typically rank their lists on page one in most local markets, so you can buy yourself a spot without having to run ads.
Last, but not least, are any franchised local businesses. These businesses have the benefit of national brand awareness, but they still need to rank in local search results. Brands like this have the advantage of being able to apply a consistent strategy to many different Google Business Profiles and location pages.
Some honorable mentions I’d like to bring up include:
- Real Estate Agencies
- Automotive Dealerships
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Why Small Businesses Need Local SEO
It’s David versus Goliath. Small businesses can differentiate themselves and take over local markets with the right SEO strategy…
Big businesses have the advantage of name recognition, but they’re not always able to deliver the same level of personalization and customer service that small businesses can.
When it comes to SEO, small businesses have a few things working in their favor:
- They’re more nimble. Small businesses can quickly adapt their SEO strategy based on changes in the algorithm or new opportunities.
- They have less competition. In most cases, it’s easier for a small business to rank in local search results than it is for a big business.
- They’re more personal. Small businesses can connect with their customers on a personal level that’s difficult for large businesses to replicate.
If you’re a small business owner, there are a few things you can do to stand out:
- Nurture reviews and respond to each one.
- Build out your Google My Business page with photos, videos, and detailed information about your products and services.
- Optimize your website for mobile devices and include your business information in the footer area.
- Use local keywords in your titles and meta descriptions.
- Perform a link audit and generate quality backlinks from local websites.
- Stay active on social and maintain profiles on the top sites.
If you take all those steps and focus on building out your brand as a local authority within your city, you’ll unlock amazing traffic opportunities from Google and other search engines.
Local SEO for Small Businesses
Local SEO is different from traditional SEO in that it’s focused on optimizing your online presence for searches that are happening in a specific geographic area.
The good news is, that there are several things you can do to optimize your website for local search, and I’ve outlined the most important ones above.