One of the most important aspects to marketing your business online is search engine optimization (SEO). While this might sound like just another acronym tossed around by digital marketing experts, it is vital to your success to understand what it means and how much it is going to cost on an ongoing monthly basis.
In essence, SEO is a set of best practices designed to help your website show up as close to the first page on Google or Bing as possible. While it is just as much of a science as an art, failure to engage in these kinds of techniques can really leave your marketing stuck and keep your phone from ringing.
The reason why most small businesses fail at local SEO comes down to lack of time and knowledge. The process is constantly changing, and it can be difficult to stay ahead of all the various tasks necessary to keep your website ranking on the first page of search results consistently.
Thankfully, our team at BizIQ is here to fully assist you with the process. Here is what you need to know about local search engine optimization, the local SEO cost, and why it is so important for your business.
How Much Does Local SEO Cost?
This is a question that we get asked a lot, but there is no real clear answer without knowing the exact specifics of your project. The average cost for local SEO often depends on the services you need and the industry you are in. If you are in a niche that is very competitive in terms of keywords, it might be difficult to achieve positive results without an intense amount of effort. Likewise, the number of competitors in your market also plays a big role.
And search engine optimization can range from simple on-site tasks, such as adding new content or changing alt tags to include keywords, to very intricate off-page link building and reputation management strategies. In most cases, there is just too much that goes on to be able to give you an out-the-door figure without knowing specific details.
However, there is a general range that you can expect to pay for local SEO service costs. Here at BizIQ, we offer packages starting at $799 initial setup fee and then $399 per month for ongoing service. Our highest-level package includes more features like social media and content marketing. It averages around $2699 initial setup fee and $599 per month.
While this might seem like a pretty high cost if you are not used to investing in marketing, you aregetting a ton of value for what you are paying for. Think about it for a moment. What would it cost to have a staff member handled every aspect of SEO? These tasks include:
- Website design and optimization.
- Keyword research.
- Building page authority and trust.
- Content marketing.
- Social media marketing.
- Guest blogging.
- Influencer marketing.
- Search engine rank tracking.
- and Ongoing Website Maintenance.
Truthfully, it is much more cost effective to hire an outside team of experts to assist with the process than it is to try and handle each one of these elements in-house.
Why Every Business Needs Local SEO
It is safe to say that every business needs local SEO. To survive in the current marketplace, you must have an online presence. And for that to be found by potential customers, it is important to have proper search engine optimization.
But what does this really include and why are these elements so critical?
Most Common On-Page Local SEO Tasks
When we talk about on-page optimization, what we are really discussing is the stuff you do directly on your website that helps improve your local ranking. Examples of the most common on-page local SEO tasks include:
- Keyword Research: You want to find the best keywords for your industry and local area. Often, this includes adding city names or services into your keyword list. It can even mean finding keywords that include your competitor names and trying to rank for those.
- Including Header Tags in Your Content:To rank higher for local search terms, you will need to go through and add H1, H2, and H3 header tags to content that contains your desired keyword.
- Adding Schema Markup to Your Pages: Using either Google’s Structured Markup Helper or another similar app, make sure to mark all your web pages as local business. This will help search engines understand that you are a local business and not just an online entity.
- Update Meta Descriptions, Titles, and Image Alt Tags: If you have not done this already, you will need to update these sections to include your desired local keywords where appropriate.
- Post Engaging and Informative Content: Google thrives on finding new and exciting content that it feels will benefit those who use search engines. That is why it is important to regularly add new content with your chosen keywords, such as blog posts and frequently asked question pages.
Top Off-Page Local SEO Tasks
However, it is not just the tasks you do on your actual website that make a difference when it comes to your search engine ranking position. There are additional off-page local SEO tasks that you need to do for ultimate ranking success.
The good news is that this is the area most small businesses forget about. They either do not want to put in the time, or they simply do not know they exist. By understanding the importance of these efforts, you can easily rank higher than some of your biggest competitors. Examples include:
- Map Listings: Make sure you have claimed your profiles on Google My Business, Bing Places, and Apple Maps Listings. Doing this will help you come up when people search for specific business types and services in your local area.
- Local Citation Directories (NAPs): There are literally thousands of different directories that you can submit your business name, web address, physical address, and phone number to. By doing this, you get a link back to your page that Google sees as a confirmation that you are a real business, which can improve your ranking.
- Reviews and Reputation Management: This section is almost two-fold. By keeping a close eye on your local reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and others, you can ensure you are always putting your best foot forward with potential customers. But it also has a huge impact on your local SEO and can drastically improve your ranking if you have numerous positive testimonials.
- Guest Blogging and Influencer Marketing: This is one part that seems to take a ton of time to complete due to the intense time needs required by outreach and content creation. By having someone else link to your website on a piece of content you have created as a guest or just a promoted post, you are helping improve your overall search visibility.
Putting It Together for Better Page Visibility
This is where the magic happens: when on-page tasks meet the efforts of your off-page SEO work. Essentially, Google looks at a few things when determining if your local website is worth ranking for a particular keyword.
First, they want to know that your page has enough content to be useful to potential customers. This is done by having lots of quality content with appropriately marked keywords and tags across the whole website.
Next, they want to know that other people find you interesting or engaging. This is proven by looking at the number of quality links pointing back to you and reviews across the web. In the eyes of a search engine, these citations prove that you are worthy of being noticed and that people are talking about you.
While the exact structure of Google’s algorithm is always somewhat of a mystery, these two forces together are what allow you to make it to the front page of listings. By consistently working at growing both on-page and off-page local SEO, you can help ensure that your website shows up whenever someone in your local area searches for exactly what you offer.
How Can I Get Help with My Local SEO?
Now that you understand the importance of having your website optimized for local search and what goes into the overall process, you might feel a little overwhelmed. That is totally okay and completely normal!
If you do not have the time or knowledge to ensure your page is completely optimized, then it might be time to call in the professionals for a bit of help. At BizIQ, we offer a full range of local search engine optimization services designed to get you noticed and drive traffic to your website. Our goal is to get you the best ranking for your local region, including various towns and suburbs in your community.
Not only do we pride ourselves on helping you rank locally, but we can provide advice and guidance on how to handle other digital marketing tasks like paid search, social media marketing, website design, content marketing, guest blogging, and so much more.
Are you ready to learn more about how BizIQ can help you grow your online presence with local SEO? Please contact us today for details.