Gayle Katz

Feb 5, 2014
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When you meet with prospects and they ask about the return they'll see from your local SEO efforts, what do you say? How do you answer this question? I'm not sure business owners care whether or not they're ranked high for their city and category if it doesn't bring in new customers, clients and patients.


Nov 25, 2013
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When you meet with prospects and they ask about the return they'll see from your local SEO efforts, what do you say? How do you answer this question? I'm not sure business owners care whether or not they're ranked high for their city and category if it doesn't bring in new customers, clients and patients.

My advice would be to be careful with talking about specific results. Not that local SEO won't drive them results, but you can only be responsible for rankings - not what happens when the consumer takes action. For instance, if they are priced too high, they don't answer the phone (crazy but this happens a lot!), or any other "business" reason - you can't be responsible for that.

I think that you have to first really drive home the value of high organic placement for both local SEO and regular SEO or even PPC, etc. Once you show them the power of local SEO and that this is really the "new" phonebook then you handle a lot of this question.

I always tell clients that people are searching for their kind of business everyday - with their credit cards in hand, ready to buy & if you are not showing up for them, you are not in business & are on the road of being irrelevant. I then demonstrate that their competitors are showing up, which always gets the competitive juices flowing. If you do a good job of this, the whole results question starts to fade away.

Also in some cases I do use call tracking numbers, even though it can screw things up a bit and seeing those results gives me the confidence (that shows through to the client) to get the potential client excited.

I hope this helps a little.

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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That's a great topic Gayle!

I really liked Chris' answer! (Glad to see you are no longer nameless, Mr. iFuse.) :p

I'll try to remember to bump this and Tweet it in the AM when more are online. Timing here is everything and posts in the evening don't get as much play. Should have bumped it up for more discussion this AM but got too busy.

Jo Shaer

Jul 27, 2012
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Local SEO gets you seen on PC and mobile by people who are ready to buy in your area.

The reason Google started Places/Google My Business was because its stats at that time showed that most consumers purchased from a business located within a five mile radius of their home.

If your business is not getting in front of those people, you are missing out on a huge chunk of low hanging fruit.

We cannot guarantee that they will buy from you now but repeated high visibility helps to subliminally imprint the name of your business with that product/service.

If you do everything else right, the chances are that at some point in the future, they will at least visit your website, if not pop into your shop, to find out more.


Apr 16, 2014
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All these answers are so great, it's hard to add anything! However I will say that I think it's equally as important to warn clients not to put all their eggs in the Google basket. The value of SEO can be amazing, but Google can take that away very quickly (as some businesses saw with Penguin/Panda/Map Radius Shrinking-- where they're in the pack one day, and not the next).

We like to balance our clients budgets with a few alternatives, like Facebook advertising, Remarketing, etc. That way if SEO isn't driving enough traffic, we can put our efforts into something else for a while. So I guess my advice is to tell clients to hope for traffic from Google, but don't ever think they owe it to you! They don't, it's their sand box and they make the rules. Try to capitilize on different forms of internet marketing like being in Yelp, Foursquare, etc. as well :)

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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I like to use simple analogies with business owners...

Right now it's like you are a store hidden in the corner of a strip mall and hardly anyone driving by on the street can even see you exist.

Getting you on the 1st page of Google is like putting a big sign or billboard right on the street where the majority of traffic is. Therefore more people will know your business is there.

BUT Google is even better than my analogy. Because all that traffic driving by on the street is unqualified - we don't know how many of them are looking for your type of product or service.

When you are on 1st page of Google for "their KW here" that's totally targeted traffic that is already looking for your service.

If you are not there, you are like the store back in the corner. One thing I can guarantee is you have zero chance of getting their business if no one knows you are there. But one of your competitors will if they are more visible.

So I can assure you, you'll get more exposure and traffic - but I can't make them pick up the phone and call you.

Like with the store example - my billboard can get them to your door, but whether they buy depends on what they see when they get inside. Clean, organized, attractive, specials, helpful info, right price? Are you giving them what they need and making it easy for them to buy?

Same with your website. I'll get them to your door, but it's up to your site to convert them to a call and then up to the person answering to convert that call to an appointment or sale.

Soooo..... that's why I can't honestly quantify return. I don't control your site or pricing or answer your phone. But it's always a numbers game - so in theory if I get more people to your door, more should turn into customers.

Adjust example to fit client. Example 2: Right now you are a Dentist buried on 3rd floor of medical building and no one driving by knows you are here. Getting on Google would be sort of like giving you a new office right next to CVS Pharmacy. All that traffic are interested in health and they all have teeth. ;-)

OK so that turned out kinda long and rambling, but I just let the words flow cuz maybe part that I thought I should censor and cut back on for brevity would help in certain situations so I just let it flow in my own wordy kind of way. So cut down and condense to fit the client.

Now you all know why I have carpal pain and no time. I can't answer a simple question with a simple answer.

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