Local SEO Business Models


With SEO (search engine optimization), there are many strategies you can follow, like affiliate SEO or trying to rank your own sales pages or product pages for valuable keywords.


The problem is that everyone is trying to do this and it is just very difficult to do unless you are very good at SEO or have a large budget (preferably both).



What is Local SEO ?

Local SEO simply mean ranking for keywords and keyphrases that are very targeted towards clients for a local business in a city or town.


Local SEO is different. It’s much easier to do, not only because it’s less competitive in terms of other people targeting the same keywords as you are, but also because there are rarely any authority sites like Wikipedia or Amazon (etc.) to compete with.


Examples are endless: doctors, lawyers, landscapers, plumbers, electricians, builders, roofing contractors, garden services, pool services


wedding venue toronto Google-Search


Due to the fact that those keywords are usually only relevant to that specific region (whether it be a town, city or province), your only competition with SEO will come from people within that region (unlike with a popular health product where the entire world is competing for top rankings).


That means that even with mediocre SEO skills you have a very realistic chance of ranking your client sites at the top of the SERPS.


If you ask any local business if they would like more clients, 99.9% of them will say yes. Any local business that wants more clients would also happily invest a monthly sum of money in exchange for a greater return.


For example if you can bring a local business an additional $5000 in profits from new leads every month, they might easily justify paying you $1000 a month or more.


Thus, you only need a handful of clients to be making a fulltime income. (Note that Local SEO doesn’t mean it only applies to the area in which you live. You could have local business clients in regions and cities all around the world, as long as you are bringing them relevant new leads every month in exchange for a monthly fee that you charge them).


The trick with Local SEO is to get local businesses as clients who have high average profits per client. When you have an interested prospect, it’s just as easy to sell a $100 item as a $10,000 item.


However, in order for a business to justify your fee of say $1,000 a month, you would need to sell possibly 100 times more items of $100 than in the case of one $10,000 item which is likely enough to justify your fee.


To put that into terms relevant to Local SEO, it’s better to target a landscaper who makes $15,000 on average per sale than a hairdresser who makes $60 per sale because it’s far easier to to justify your fees when you are able to generate a return on those fees (which is usually the case for businesses with high average customer values).


Local SEO also has the benefit that it is very easy to scale. Once you rank a local business for their keywords, those rankings typically stay for months or years with minimal to zero maintenance, and the monthly fee that they pay you is 99% profit on total autopilot.


Thus, you can easily scale up to having a few dozen clients paying you monthly fees to generate a monthly income of thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars a month.


Local SEO Business Models


Local SEO Business Models

There are two main types of business models that you can follow when it comes to Local SEO.


1. Rank and Rent (R&R)

The R&R model is often the easiest to sell because you actually have something to sell.


Traditionally with SEO, business owners are promised all sorts of vague results like “We’ll get you to the top spots in 6-12 months, but no guarantees”, and are often charged ridiculously obnoxious monthly fees and are locked into yearly contracts by agencies.


With the R&R model you will use the strategies outlined in this guide to build your own site and rank it for the various keywords and keyphrases relevant to a local business (e.g. interior decorator New York).


Once you dominate the top spots with your site, you can start contacting local business owners relevant to that niche (or have them come to you ).


Your pitch is MUCH stronger, because you have the rankings which you can show your potential clients (no more vague promises and delays, but instant traffic and leads), and you can show exactly how much traffic you are getting to your site through your analytics.


For example, if you are able to send 300 potential leads a month to your client, wouldn’t that easily justify them paying you a monthly fee in exchange for having their site or contact details on your site that is ranking so highly for their keywords?


The R&R model has the added benefit of not being your client’s own site. Thus, there is no risk to the client’s own website (in other words, you are not building a single link to your client’s site that could potentially damage their existing rankings).


You can also offer a very solid guarantee that the monthly fee is on a month-to-month basis and should rankings drop, the monthly payment stops. Again, this has such a huge benefit because there are no vague promises of results and the client is not locked in to any contract.


Downside of R&R  model

The downside of the R&R model is that there is a delay between starting and seeing your first income (typically 2-3 months as this is the time-frame it takes to rank your sites), and it also requires an upfront investment into outsourcing SEO and setting up your own blog network for linking and ranking purposes.


However, there is nothing stopping you from building 5-10 local sites at the same time and ranking them. That means you can have 5-10 sites ranked and ready to rent out in the next 2-3 months. (Even renting out each site at a cheap $500 a month, that’s $2500-$5000 a month income on autopilot).


R&R Keyword Selection and Competition Analysis

Just like with all SEO, keyword selection is very important when it comes to building R&R sites.


If you choose keywords that are too competitive you are going to have a hard time ranking and if you choose keywords that are not profitable you are going to struggle to find a client to pay you an acceptable fee.


  • Profitable keywords

Profitable keywords are keywords where the targeted visitor is worth a lot of value to a business.


Examples include: lawsuit keywords, contractor services, solar panel installations, high-end appliances, recurring services etc.


It’s likely not going to be profitable to rank for something like “Shoe Polish Chicago”. Always be sure to target keywords of high value (not necessarily high volume).


  • Competition Analysis

The easiest way to analyze your competition is to analyze the top sites ranking for the keywords that you want to target.


Things to check are:


TF – If the Majestic.com trust flow is higher than 35 it is usually competitive.

DA and PA – If Moz DA is higher than 30 and PA higher than 40 it is usually competitive.

Indexed pages – In Google type in site:http://thecompetitiondomain.com to see how many indexed pages there are. If it’s in the hundreds or thousands it is usually competitive.


These are just rough benchmarks to quickly judge how competitive an industry is. If the first few results have many of the above metrics then it’s likely a competitive industry and unless you have a big budget (a few thousand dollars or more) then it’s a better idea to move on to the next niche.


2. Client Contractor (CC)

The CC model is the traditional SEO service model of ranking your client’s site and charging them a monthly fee for your services.


This model can be structured in a few different ways , like for example offering to rank the client for a certain term for free and then going on a month to month fee, a monthly fee for x top rankings or even a monthly fee for continuous top rankings when certain rankings are achieved that you will continue to target more and more keywords until your client dominates their industry for every possible keyword.


Depending on which variation of the CC model you adopt, it can be more favorable for you since you are able to see income right away before you even build a single link for your client’s site.


Here you are also able to charge an initial setup fee and then a recurring monthly fee, which makes this model attractive, especially when you are just starting out.


In fact, if you’re just starting out, we often recommend starting with the CC model because it allows you to start building your business with a minimal investment.


Once you close your first client, you can use that money to start building your business assets (for example building a private blog network that you can use to rank multiple clients).


Downside of CC model

The downside of the CC model is that it can be more difficult to close clients without prior experience.


It may also not be the preferred method if you do not like talking to people or if you’re not willing to meet people in person. While you can totally use the CC model without ever talking to clients on the phone or meeting them in person.


it can help speed up the process if you’re willing to pick up a phone and call a business owner to close a deal.


Practical Structure to CC model

With the CC model you can get great results if you are a good people person and you network with as many people as possible, every chance you get.


Combine that with actually being able to get results and having a track record and then you can be closing clients every day (for example your local gym –  , your hairdresser, your doctors, dentists, landscapers, insurance brokers, etc.)


Ultimately you’ll need to tailor the CC model to your own desires.


If you’d rather have 5 clients paying you $2000+ a month and you’re willing to put in the effort to learn to market to those kinds of clients and perfect your pitch, then you can do that.


You can also choose to sell your services at a price that potential clients simply can’t refuse (and this is something that works very well in very uncompetitive niches).


Uncompetitive niches (e.g. clothes repair + city) are very easy to rank, and if you ask them a fee of $200 – $300 a month to get them top search engine presence for their keywords in their area it’s usually something that they will act on very fast.


Get yourself 100 of these clients and you have yourself a $20,000+ a month income. (While getting 100 clients sounds like a lot, remember that your offer is very attractive and easy to sell. If you are dedicated and reach out to 30+ businesses a day and are able to close 1 client a day, you can have 100 clients in just over 3 months)


Once again, you do not need to have great people skills to be able to effectively use the CC model to close clients.


You can also setup a client closing funnel and drive traffic to your funnel using paid ads on Facebook, Reddit, Youtube and other sources.


Local SEO Business Models


Check more interesting Articles:

How To Find Profitable Niche – Rank In SERP

Why Businesses Should Use SEO

How To Use Keywords To Optimize Your Blog Posts

Why WordPress Site Page Speed Important ?




These are the fundamentals for boosting your local SEO efforts to greater levels. Your local SEO efforts may cover many places, so keep that in mind. And if you’re targeting more than one area, you can even use these concepts in your SEO.


For this reason, take use of them to increase your online exposure in local search results and increase your revenue.



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