Local SEO matters for any business or other organization that wants to show up consistently and accurately online. This matters in terms of brand management, customer usability, and performance on the Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page). But what about the cost? This guide explains Local SEO pricing and has a link to review our Local SEO contract.
Did you know that nearly half of the 8 billion plus searches each day on Google have local intent? A search with local intent it something like “best dermatologist near me” or “lawyer for wills in spokane” or “brisket in albuquerque”. And Local SEO is all about showing up for those searches with local intent, and then acquiring new clicks and customers. These Local SEO searches have especially high conversion intent. Nearly 9 in 10 local searches on a mobile device result in a call or a visit to a physical location within 24 hours. That’s right, nearly 90% of these searchers will end up making a purchase decision within a day of conducting their search.
And if you think about it, that makes sense. No one searches for “plumber near me” because they are hoping to perhaps call a plumber three weeks down the road. These are timely searches from prospects who are ready to convert.
Local SEO Pricing in 2023
There are up to four major elements to our Local SEO plans. Some businesses may only need one or two. Some businesses may need all four. That is a function of each unique situation. Here are those 4 elements, and more specific pricing information about each is later in this guide.
- Getting the most out of the Google Business Profile: $400
- Creating “NAP” (Name, Address, Phone) consistency across the other business directory listings like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Bing Places, and more (there are 60+ we address). $200 one time charge plus ongoing.
- Developing an SEO focused content strategy designed to guide future SEO content creation. $800
- Local SEO analytics package, which includes setting up Google Analytics and Google Search Console properly so results can be measured and understood correctly. $500
Each is designed to address one a critical piece of the SEO ecosystem. The price can be as low as $400 for a one time charge or as high as $2,000 for a complete analytics setup and content strategy. The best fit is based on what a specific business needs given the competitiveness of their industry vertical and their current situation SEO situation. All of them are designed to highlight the best attributes of the business and position those attributes most effectively for the high-intent searches that lead to revenue.
What is Google Looking for in Local SEO?
When Google determines what local businesses to rank for searches with local intent, the algorithm is simply looking for what it thinks is the best business that will make customers happy. For Google, happy customers mean people who will continue to use and trust Google when they are looking for a local business. The last thing that Google wants is to surface a substandard business that provides a poor customer experience since that would lead to doubts about Google’s discernment.
The place that Google looks first to understand high quality and trustworthy businesses is the Google Business Profile. Formerly called Google My Business, the Google Business Profile (GBP) is the single most important ranking factor for Local SEO. It is necessary to show up in the coveted “local 3 pack” or “map pack” on the Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Here’s an example below of the local 3 pack after searching for “dentist near me.” The 3 results in the map pack will gobble up nearly 50% of all clicks available on the SERP.
The importance of the map pack to Local SEO is why a deep Google Business Profile audit and review is first on the list of local SEO package elements.
Local SEO Package Elements
Our Local SEO packages can cost as little as $400. A $400 Local SEO package would only involve work on the Google Business Profile. A package that includes all four of the elements could be $1800. But the first and most important place to start is always the Google Business Profile.
Local SEO Package Element 1: Google Business Profile Optimization Pricing: $400 One Time Charge
We can provide a comprehensive analysis and set of customized recommendations for $400.
We believe most organizations should be able to manage a Google business profile on their own and we don’t typically offer monthly management. A one time analysis and customized set of recommendations is $400. Here’s what is included:
- Deep dive report into the Google My Business Insights reporting and analysis on current state performance
- Review of Primary and Secondary categories and recommendations on any changes to make (and why)
- A view on photo uploads and how this stacks up against the competition
- Access to a monthly reporting template to track GMB performance on an ongoing basis
For those who want to tie in the Local SEO analytics package, we’ll use UTM parameters in the Google Business Profile links so that this specific information can be isolated and analyzed in both Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Local SEO Package Element 2: Yext Pricing: $200 One Time Charge (+$100 / Mo ongoing)
The second critical Local SEO element is something called “NAP” consistency. NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone, and refers to the accuracy and consistency of those key business details across all business directories available online. NAP consistency matters to Google because it is strong signal of trustworthiness, and Google only wants to show trustworthy businesses on the SERP to users. We use Yext Powerlistings to sync business information across 60+ listings like Bing Places, Apple Maps, Amazon Alexa, Yelp, and more.
Setting up managed directory listings with Yext is $200 for a one time set up fee for a single location. Yext is a paid platform and monthly services are $100 per month per location. Root and Branch is a certified Yext partner. Some people ask if it’s possible to use Yext on their own. And it is! You are more than welcome to do that and work with Yext directly to learn the platform and the key elements that are important for Local SEO.
Package Element #3: Local SEO Content Strategy and 1 Custom Piece of Optimized Content: $800
Some businesses will be fine with only a solid Google Business Profile and clean NAP profile. Others that are in more competitive verticals may need to supplement those basics with ongoing content creation designed to demonstrate expertise in answering the questions that their customers have. The best way to do this is with “On Page” content creation – which best comes to life through an ongoing blogging strategy.
Blogging simply for the sake of blogging can be a waste of time and money. But blogging designed to address the specific questions that customers are searching for can be highly profitable. The difference between those two outcomes comes down to the quality and thoroughness of the SEO content strategy.
We use research tools like ahrefs, Moz Pro SEO, Search Console, Exploding Topics, alsoasked.com and Google Trends to develop 2 topic clusters designed to rank and drive traffic. We will also take things one step further by creating one piece of content in the topic cluster. Keyword research and topic clusters are so important because they are the mechanism by which we can demonstrate “topical authority” to Google and prospects, and continue to steadily increase in organic search visibility over time. There is nothing “magic” about this approach. It simply takes time and experience to do well. If you are interested in doing this for your own business instead of paying someone, this 30 minute tutorial is a good place to start!
Package Element #4: Local SEO Analytics Package: $500
There are some incredibly powerful analytics tools that help bring deeper insight to Local SEO performance (and digital marketing performance overall). Overall, we believe that Google Analytics continues to set the standard as the globally ubiquitous analytics standard. This is a free tool but setting it up properly can be a challenge. This is especially true now that the platform is switching to the new Google Analytics 4 in 2023.
When it comes to SEO insight specifically, there is nothing better than Google Search Console.
The analytics piece of the Local SEO package includes properly setting up and configuring Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Google Search Console. We will also provide some links to video resources to help you get more out of these tools. Please note: this does not include custom work like custom event creation in GA4. A tailored analytics setup including conversion tracking, audience creation, report building, and more is a more in depth project. Or, you can check out the video guides on the Root and Branch YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/@rooted-digital.
Our Local SEO Contract
The PDF linked below is our Local SEO contract.
If you’d like to have Local SEO work done on your site and business directories, this is the contract we’d use. If you’re interested in proceeding, the best next step is to review the general details in the contract. If you have questions, the best way to cut through the clutter is to send a message to Zack (the President) on LinkedIn. You can reach him here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zackduncan. From there, we’ll ask a couple questions about your specific situation and goals and send a customized version of this same document for your review.
How Much Does Local SEO Cost on Average?
For a one-time project focused on analysis, research, clean-up, and optimization the average price for a Local SEO project would range from $400 – $1700 with an average price around $900.
For ongoing monthly work, the monthly range could be as low as $100 (for unmanaged Yext services) and as high as $2500 (if it included other digital marketing services like Google Ads management, SEO-focused blogging, social media management, and analytics). If the project were focused exclusively on Local SEO, the average price would be under $1000 per month.
Does it Make Sense to Pay for Local SEO?
It depends. One major factor is the current state of your Local SEO visibility. Check out the section below for some ideas on how to understand that. The other factor is how much a new client or customer is worth to your business. If you provide a high margin service and / or have a high average transaction, it’s generally possible for SEO to generate a positive return in the short to medium term. Let’s say, for example, a new customer is worth $250 to your business in terms of bottom line impact. If you’re able to drive 4 incremental customers over the course of 12 months (1 incremental every quarter) after a $900 Local SEO clean up project, you’ve generated a positive ROI in your first year. If those same customers are only worth $20 each, you’d need 40 incremental customers for the same math to work out.
Like many good business goals, it makes sense to tie marketing objectives to revenue to see if their is a solid business case.
Should I Pay YOU For Local SEO?
That’s entirely your decision of course. But it may be worth a consideration.
John (at left in the images below) is an SEO-focused content strategist who loves thoughtful copywriting and believes in the value of email marketing. He’s also an ordained minister and Professor of Philosophy. John leads the content strategy and copywriting portion of Local SEO projects at Root and Branch.
Zack (the other guy) spends most of his digital marketing time focused on digital analytics (Google Search Console and Google Analytics especially) and all things SEO. He is the digital marketing executive in residence at the University of Pittsburgh, which he admits sounds much fancier than it is in reality.
If you’re interested in working together, just get in touch with either John or Zack through their LinkedIn profiles which are linked above. You can also use this time to make sure they didn’t completely embellish their credentials in this short bio.
Do I Really Need Local SEO?
Since you’re reading this the answer is that you most likely do. But some businesses are actually in pretty good shape on their own and paying for Local SEO might not be their biggest opportunity. Here are two ways to check to see if your Local SEO game is already strong.
- Check out the Insights reporting in the back end of your Google business profile. Compare the performance of your branded vs. nonbranded search queries in terms of your overall visibility. Branded search queries are people already looking for your business (these are called “Direct” searches in GMB). Nonbranded search queries are from people who are looking for your type of business but aren’t looking for your business specifically. Google My Business calls these “Discovery” searches and this is where your Local SEO efforts are winning you new eyeballs and new potential customers and clients. If you already have a high share of overall nonbranded searches (searches like “HVAC contractor near me” or “breweries in Pittsburgh” or “pediatric dentists in Greensboro”) relative to branded searches, you may be in good shape already.
- Run a local business scan to check the NAP consistency of your directories. You can run a free scan here in about 2 minutes and don’t need to share any contact information to get your results. Check out the scan tool. If you already have complete, accurate, and consistent directory listings, you may not need to invest in additional Local SEO services.
Does Local SEO Really Work?
Yes, Local SEO does really work. Perhaps more accurately, SEO can really work if you have a good plan and consistently execute on your plan.
Here’s an example below showing daily clicks from Google organic search for a Local SEO client that has steadily invested in Local SEO services including the Google Business Profile, NAP consistency, and ongoing content creation.
In fact, SEO in general really does work. Here’s another example of Google Search Console data from the Root and Branch website showing continued traffic gains from SEO that increased after a blogging strategy that first launched in 2020 and continued through 2022 and into 2023.
How Much Does Google Charge for SEO?
Google doesn’t charge for SEO. Google does, however, have free resources and tools for those who want to learn how to do SEO. In terms of tools, the best place to start is Google Search Console, which (among many other things) allows you to see how your site is performing on Google Search.
You should also check out Google’s SEO guidelines on Google Search Central. At the minimum, you should read through the “Beginner SEO” section. You can probably skip the “Advanced SEO” section unless you really want to dedicate a lot of time to your search visibility.
Can I Do SEO Myself?
It’s possible! Like almost all things, if you have time and interest and capability, you’ll be able to learn about SEO and can do some things yourself. The caution is that if you don’t know what you’re doing, you might make things worse instead of making things better. If you don’t feel confident answering these questions below, it’s a good idea to consider whether or not you’re the right fit as the Local SEO specialist at your company.
- Can you find the title tag and meta description on the Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page)? Do you know how Google uses them and how to construct both in terms of character lengths?
- Do you have a good working knowledge of what Google is looking for when it decides what to rank on the SERP?
- Do you know what a noindex tag is and when and where you might want to use one? And situations when you definitely would not want to use one?
- Do you know how to set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics for your web site? And how to use those platforms to uncover insights to drive your SEO efforts?
- Do you know what a sitemap is? Do you know how to submit your sitemap to Google using Google Search Console?
Outside of the expertise, you may need to invest in some paid platforms to help get the best possible results. As it relates to SEO tools and platforms, the good news is that a lot of them are completely free.
Thanks For Reading
If you’re all the way down here and haven’t yet decided if Local SEO is right for your business, there is some more digital marketing content over on the Root and Branch blog.