Selling local search engine optimization (SEO) services requires understanding your client’s goals, educating them on SEO best practices, customized monthly reporting, and delivering positive return on investment. Follow these key steps for successfully selling and providing local SEO services:

How do I sell local SEO?

Research the Client’s Business Goals

  • Schedule an initial consultation to understand their target customers, competitors, marketing objectives, and metrics for success. This allows you to tailor a solution to their unique needs.
  • Ask questions to determine their level of SEO knowledge and identify gaps. Assess areas needing improvement like website optimization, content development, technical issues, or online reputation management.

Educate on Your Local SEO Approach

  • Explain how your proprietary process improves local search visibility, engages more customers, and drives conversions.
  • Share case studies and metrics highlighting the results you have achieved for similar businesses. These can include increased organic traffic, lower cost per lead/sale, and return on ad spend.

Provide Custom Reporting and Analysis

  • Develop a monthly report that tracks key performance indicators (KPIs) tied directly to their goals like lead generation or revenue growth.
  • Compare website analytics month-over-month and year-over-year to demonstrate impact. Offer analysis into trends and recommendations.

Focus on Delivering ROI

  • Audit their website, citations, reviews, and search visibility to identify quick wins for early success. This builds authority.
  • Set realistic expectations around timeframes required to rank for competitive keywords. Manage budgets accordingly.
  • Continuously optimize campaigns based on opportunities revealed in analytics and search data. Show how adjustments directly improve KPIs.

Key Components of Local SEO Campaigns

  • Technical optimization – Ensuring site architecture, URL structure, page speed, and security align with SEO best practices.
  • Content creation – Publishing blog posts, FAQs, service pages with keywords and answering consumer questions.
  • Citations & reviews – Listing correct business information across key sites to improve local rankings and reputation.
  • Link building – Securing backlinks from relevant directory listings, sponsors, local organizations.
  • Analytics review – Monitoring traffic sources, engagement metrics, rank tracking reports, and competitor benchmarking.

Address Potential SEO Objections

Educate business owners that common SEO objections stem from misinformation or lack of understanding of how search algorithms work.

  • No immediate results – Managing expectations that rankings improve gradually by demonstrating incremental progress in reports.
  • Penalized by Google – Explaining that thoughtful optimization of relevant content for users aligns fully with Google guidelines.
  • Costs too much – Providing clear deliverables with each phase of work and the associated fees so they see the value.

SEO Pricing Approaches

– Flat monthly fee – Typical for smaller sites or new SEO clients on 6-12 month contracts. Includes core optimization activities.

– Hourly consulting – For larger sites with extensive needs. Bills actual time at an agreed upon rate.

– Packaged pricing – Bundles specific deliverables like number of blog posts, backlinks, citations into tiers by investment level.

– Value pricing – Sets fees based on the monetary return expected. Commission structures also fall into this model.

Signs You Should Avoid an SEO Client

While you want to provide SEO services to as many businesses as possible, avoid clients demonstrating these red flags:

  • Requesting manipulative tactics like keyword stuffing, spam links, sneaky redirects, or page cloaking. This violates search guidelines.
  • Unwilling to invest sufficiently to achieve results for competitive keywords and campaign sizes.
  • Hesitant to share access to analytics, search console, or verify site ownership limiting optimization.
  • Rude, abrasive manner showing no willingness to learn SEO best practices.

Building Trust

Gaining an SEO client’s trust stems from providing fully transparent audits, data-driven recommendations to improve results month after month, and clearly outlining costs for all efforts. Avoid overpromising quick wins. Provide realistic timeframes for ranked performance.

Key Takeaways

  • Research the client’s target customers, competitors, goals and success metrics to tailor local SEO solutions.
  • Educate leads on your optimization process and share case studies with metrics showing impact for similar businesses.
  • Set expectations correctly regarding realistic timeframes for rankings and demonstrate incremental SEO progress through monthly reporting.
  • Build authority with early website improvements, creating relevant content, gathering citations/reviews, and monitoring performance.
  • Maintain transparency on costs and activities needed to promote ongoing trust and results.


Successfully selling local SEO services means becoming a trusted partner invested in helping small businesses get discovered locally and enabling their longevity through custom-fit ongoing optimization. Avoid overpromising unrealistic quick fixes. Instead, educate properly on SEO best practices, deliver transparent reporting demonstrating an ROI, and showcase how your proprietary process drives real results month after month. If you provide high-value consulting focused on achieving their growth goals, local SEO can build rewarding client relationships.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What metrics should I show local SEO clients?
    Focus on monthly reports highlighting goal-specific KPIs like leads generated, contact form submissions, calls tracked to site traffic sources, and conversion rates. Compare to previous months.

  2. How much should I charge for local SEO services?
    Consider your time investment tallying hourly rates to perform technical SEO, create content, monitor metrics, and provide monthly analysis. Price packages by deliverable tiers. Increase fees as rankings/results improve.

  3. What is the average local SEO sales cycle?
    Usually 4-6 months to educate and prove initial results before closing a 6-12 month contract. Ongoing clients renew if you continue driving positive ROI. Nurture leads until ready.

  4. How do I respond to a potential SEO client asking for unrealistic ranking guarantees or quick results?
    Explain that you aim to provide ethical, sustainable SEO through best practices that organically improve performance over a reasonable timeframe based on level of competition.

  5. Should I avoid certain local SEO clients or industries?
    Avoid clients expecting manipulative tactics or unwilling to invest properly. Higher competition industries take longer to rank which must be reflected in setting expectations.

  6. What is the best way to start ranking locally?
    Begin with optimizing and monitoring the GMB listing, on-page website improvements, garnering additional citations/reviews, and creating locally-optimized landing pages and blog content.

  7. How should I structure my local SEO pricing?
    Offer month-to-month contracts with flat fees covering core services with additional hourly consulting. Or package by tiers based on deliverables. Consider commission models on leads/sales generated to align with ROI.

  8. What is the #1 ranking factor for local search performance?
    Google focuses heavily on relevance and proximity. So optimizing the proximity of the correct business name, address and phone number across key sites drives visibility for local intent searches.

  9. How long does it take to see local SEO results?
    Temper expectations that it takes an average of 6-12 months for competitive keywords in optimized small business sites. Demonstrate incremental progress to build confidence.

  10. How do I sell SEO services to service area businesses vs single location?
    Service area businesses must optimize each landing page for the cities and zip codes covered while monitoring ranking and leads by location. Reporting should break this out.

  11. Should I blog to gain local SEO clients?
    Yes, blogging establishes you as an expert. Write “local SEO + your city” posts educating small businesses. Share case studies demonstrating opportunity. Promote the articles locally.

  12. What tools do I need for local SEO?
    Local ranking tracking, citation listing and monitoring, online review monitoring, website auditing, Google Analytics linking to GMB, rank checking, and reporting. Many providers offer all-in-one solutions.

  13. Is SEO better than paid search for small businesses?
    SEO delivers higher-converting traffic and brand awareness long-term for the investment. Start search campaigns once you have SEO foundations solidified to scale growth.

  14. How do I handle an SEO client who has been burned before?
    Be exceptionally transparent. Provide thorough site audits revealing issues. Monitor and explain Google algorithm updates. Show incremental indexing and ranking improvements building trust.

  15. Why invest in local SEO over national SEO?
    Local SEO delivers 4x higher conversion rates by connecting nearby customers with an immediate need to action with properly optimized sites appearing prominently for high commercial intent queries.

  16. What is the difference between local and organic SEO?
    Local SEO focuses specifically on optimizing for searches including a location or geo-intent via Google My Business listings, citations, localized content, and other signals. Organic is broader improving general search visibility.

  17. Should I blog under my name or agency brand when attracting clients?
    Publish helpful SEO articles under your own name and optimize with your metro area to build personal authority. Separately maintain an agency blog educating on services offered oriented towards converting buyers.

  18. What ROI can local businesses expect from SEO services?
    Conservatively aim for a 300-500% ROI based on increased leads and sales driven from organic traffic and conversion rate gains in the first 12-18 months.

  19. How do I retain existing local SEO clients long-term?
    Continue demonstrating positive ROI on their investment, be exceptionally responsive to requests and share proactive optimization recommendations that align with their goals. Contract renewals sustain the relationship.

  20. What does Google care about most for local sites?
    Providing the fastest, most relevant response to searching users. This means optimizing pages for proximity intent, site speed, mobile responsiveness, security protections, accurate business info, and enriching content.

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April 2024


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