Linda Buquet

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I'm a big advocate of Local Search consultants focusing on a niche in Local Search and becoming the authority figure in that niche as opposed to a scatter gun approach - serving all types of businesses.

It's easier to command a higher fee and get referrals when you are known as the expert in an industry. It's also easier to scale and to adapt systems that work for all your clients. It especially makes marketing easier because you learn that industry's lingo, hot buttons and pain points. You can also say: "Here are results we've achieved for other divorce attorneys" (or whatever the niche is).

Consultant's ask me all the time for help finding the right niche. The 1st important place to look is your own background and interests. If you come from a family of Drs or used to be an Account, that could lead you in the right direction.

But the other way to pick a niche is to follow the numbers.
Discover what industries are already spending money on advertising.

Here are new stats from the YP Local Insights Report that may help you follow the money.

TopYPAdsContractors.jpg

So if you want to let the numbers guide you - you can see by the chart above that the Building Contractors category, spends even more on advertising than dentists, doctors and attorneys.

One of the reasons I wanted to share this chart is that it breaks contractors down by ad spend. We all know lots of plumbers, HVAC and roofers are into local and those are some of the main industries local consultants target.

However if you want to find a niche within that niche dig deeper in the info. So for instance if you are a newer consultant, just learning the ropes and trying to build a business, going after the most popular and competitive market, like plumbers is not the easiest place to start.

Want to get nichier? Want to become a big fish in a smaller pond? Here are some possible target markets.

Top Growing Contractor Categories
Piping Contractors 358%
Lighting Contractors 256%
Compressors–Repair 229%
Architects & Building Service 143%

Some other smaller niche contractor categories I don't hear consultants talk much about that show up in the YP "top searched" stats are concrete, tile and flooring.

There is a ton of other helpful info in the YP Insights such as what local searches search for. All the usual suspects show up on top, like restaurants and hotels, but the data surfaces some interesting niches as well, like wedding supplies, travel agencies and boats.

Later this summer YP will release the Local Search Index, a detailed look at the 25 cities with the most total searches over the past twelve months on the Network. For each of these cities they will provide a list of 50 most popular searches. So that will let you drill down by city to see what the potential hot markets are.

Hope you find some stats in the YP Local Insights Digital Report that help you in your consulting business.

TopYPAdsContractors.jpg
 
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Awesome piece of data Linda!

I totally agree with going niche as a local seo, especially if you are in the building stages of your business. It allows you to really understand the search landscape for a particular field and what will work best for that type of business. Also, it enables you to connect on a more personal level with the business owner because you know what their internal difficulties are when relating to search, online media, review acquisition, etc.

I deal mainly with plastic surgeons and knowing their lingo, service ROI's, HIPAA Compliance issues, etc becomes very helpful as to the strategy we can implement. For us, being able to show the success we have with other surgeons in major markets to a prospective client is worth it's weight in gold. And it never hurts when your happiest clients are willing to take reference calls :)

There are many benefits to going niche as you build out your consulting firm, but the one you touched on which doesn't get enough play is the good ol' fashion referral. Many businesses who have tried a firm previously and have not had a good experience are extremely gun shy when even talking about seo or online marketing. Having their friend and colleague say "This is the person who helped me, talk to them. They will take care of you." - it's like a warm cup of coffee at 7am.
 

TonyIsSocial

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Bringing this back from the dead.

Linda, it looks like that was the last report of its kind. Thanks for sharing though, as I'm looking into picking a niche in this niche...

Research and Reports - YP

Is there any local search pros serving the construction industry that are active in the community?
 

Digitaldar

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I have worked with most of these top industries... at YP Canada :) I led the Canadian SEO Team that worked with YP's top advertisers.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Darlene,

Good to know. I bet it was challenging keeping up with so many clients. Did you like it?
 
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