This is the seventh and last article in the series: “Unlock the Door to New Customers with Local SEO“.
Providing effective and performing quality local SEO is not magic. However, it does take some skill and knowledge to get it right. Some would call it an art form.
Can you do it yourself? Sure you can! Do-it-yourself (DIY) local SEO can be an attractive option for businesses looking to manage their own online presence. Ultimately it is your decision, but it is important to consider the pros and cons of DIY local SEO versus hiring a professional carefully before making your decision.
Getting The Tools
The first thing you need are the proper tools. A financial investment for the tools you will need for keyword planning, competitor analysis, business listing management, etc. is required.
The Google Keyword Planner is a free tool, although you do need to open a Google Ads account before you can use it. For more in-depth analysis, two of the most popular tools are SEMRush and Ahrefs. SEMRush starts at $119.95 a month while Ahrefs starts at $99.00 a month. You can also try Ubsersuggest which starts at only $29/mo.
As a business owner, your time is you most important asset. Doing your own Local SEO does provide flexibility in terms of an implementation timeline. You can do as much or as little you want when you want. It also offers the opportunity for business owners to learn and gain valuable insights and experience in digital marketing.
However, DIY local SEO also has its drawbacks. Local SEO can be a time-consuming, resource-intensive process that will take your valuable time; the time you need to run your business and manage other operational activities.
You also need to consider the time it will take for you to gain a good understanding of SEO techniques and best practices before you can even get started. And you must always consider the risks of unknowingly making technical errors or omissions which can do irreparable damage to your local search engine rankings.
When it comes to local SEO, the cost of professional services will vary depending on the size of your business and the scope of the service you require. Generally, the average cost of local SEO services can range from around $300 to over $2000 per month, depending on the complexity of the work and the level of optimization required.
For businesses in a small town with minimal competition, the complexity is minimal, and the cost is less. As market areas get larger and with increasing amounts of competitors, the work becomes more complex and the costs higher.
In a recent survey it was found the average amount businesses paid for local SEO services is $497/mo with the lower end ~$325/mo. And not surprisingly the same survey showed businesses who paid more received more value for their money and with it a higher satisfaction rate.
Rate of Return (ROI)
It’s important to consider the potential return on investment when considering the cost of professional SEO services. When you factor in your time, you are more likely to get a higher return on investment (ROI) with professional services than you could achieve going the DIY route. Generally, the improved visibility and increased traffic to your website can more than make up for the cost.
It is difficult to determine the actual ROI you will achieve. And, despite your best efforts there is no guarantee your SEO strategy will work. There are many factors that could impact your strategy including the market you conduct business, customer satisfaction with the quality of your work and how it impacts your reputation and depending on your business even seasonal trends.
The reality is it can take three or more months to see a significant impact on your SEO strategy. A high percentage of our customers see an increase in traffic in the second and third months with a significant impact in the 4th month and exponential growth after that. Most of our customers are on track to see a 200% ROI in the first year and up to 700% after three years.
Most small companies look at an SEO strategy as an expense. In the eyes of the IRS it is, and as an expense it can be a great tax write-off. The reality is a good Local SEO campaign strategy is in investment in the future of your business.
A local SEO strategy should really be considered an asset. You invest in your business by buying the tools you need to provide the service which in turn makes you money. Local SEO is the same. An investment in a local SEO plan allows you to get the customers you need which in turn makes you money and allows you to stay in business.
This is what you competitors are doing. If you don’t invest in your business now, you will be left behind.