Eric Rohrback

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What do you guys think are the best verticals to consult in? This could be either based on most profitable niche, or it could be related to best clients to work with (eg: easy to work with, cooperative, fun, etc).

What does the community think?
 

Linda Buquet

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Great question Eric!

My vote is for:

#1 Dentists (Of course, I love Dentists and that was MY niche.)
#2 Chiropractors
LAST PLACE: Attorneys

Sorry to all the attys I know and have consulted for over the years. But if I'm going to stereotype... I see more problems, violations (due to overly aggressive marketing tactics) more scrambled NAP issues and fake locations and practitioner dupe problems -with attorneys than with any other niche - by far!

However there are a couple of less competitive niches that don't get hammered as much with local search consultants beating their doors down that I would consider if I was new to the game. These are markets that have decent average order size and spend a lot for Adwords and other marketing.
Solar and home security (alarm) companies.

Back in my affiliate management days I did affiliate recruiting for a well known home alarm company. They paid $100 per sale commission. That was SUPER high commission 6 years ago. So you know they have money to spend on marketing - YET it's not even in the top 20 most consultants think of when they think of local businesses.
 

Conor Treacy

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Dentists, Chiropractors and the like are definitely at the top of the list.

We've found that Personal Gyms, House Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning, and Accountants are great verticals. Salons are also a great stomping ground.

Attorney, Insurance and Mortgage Companies are the 3 we put on the bottom of our list mainly due to our own interactions and the expectations of the clients.
 

Scott Rawlins

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I would say just about any business in the medical industry is a good market. I agree with Colan and Linda about dentists. I have quite a few dental clients, but also have plastic surgeons and obgyns that make great clients.

Bottom would be locksmiths (I'm sure we all know about the pitfalls of that industry) and lawyers.
 

Susan

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Everyone has listed Lawyers/Attorneys last but i have found if you can manage their expectations, understand that they went to school for an extended period of time to learn how to argue and can deal with their egos - i love this vertical. they def have nice budgets and i have great luck with longevity from my attorney clients. : ) You have to have tough skin to deal with this vertical.

Hope this helps!
 

heckler

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@Linda - you think attorneys are worse than locksmiths? :|
 

Linda Buquet

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Haha Bryan. Good catch!

It's funny but locksmiths are so far down my list, they aren't even on my radar and are not a consideration. (In my own head.) But I should have added them below attys since others can't read my mind. :p

Actually I should have qualified it with: "of the businesses I've worked with" because I've never taken on a locksmith as a client.

And for the locksmiths that read this forum or are members, I know there are honest legit locksmiths out there. So I'm not saying the whole industry is bad. It's moreso that the industry is so tainted in Google's eye's, due to so many bad players, that it's an industry I would not even touch. It would be too frustrating.
 

KSanders

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I think "best verticals" is subjective.

From a process standpoint, it's great to consult in a vertical, but you're running a branded process, nothing more. The number of "lawyer seo experts" who do okay local work and hit all niche legal sites is laughable.

The things you test aren't significant because you're limited to given vertical or two. From a SEO and biz standpoint..not a great place to be. A lot of people do lawyers/dentists/docs...hey, why not, the market is there.

From a rev standpoint, probably cosmetic dentists, IMO, esp. if they do all-in-four. That's a 50k surgery. Easy comp, insane ROI. Can scale locations like a boss.

That said, the number of seo firms that can't play in competitive organic verticals is gross. Would love to see an "inbound" or content expert show earnings without any push tactics. Doesn't exist.

A client who works their ass off and hired a shithead is your best vertical, because--from a consulting perspective--you can bill aggressively to unfuck them, create revenue-generating wins, and move them to a monthly retainer once they're riding the engagement/click/call train.

Instead of focusing on verticals, focus on clients and close the people who will pay XXK+/yr forever when you actually make them money.

:D
 

heckler

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Haha Bryan. Good catch!
It's funny but locksmiths are so far down my list, they aren't even on my radar and are not a consideration. (In my own head.) But I should have added them below attys since others can't read my mind. :p

My experience with locksmiths has been that most have hired a less than desirable SEO (or found something that worked and abused it).

Cleaning them up is the stuff ulcers are made of. :(
 
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