This quick guide will show you exactly how to become a local SEO expert and get clients fast.
This guide covers 3 major steps:
- Gaining Experience
- Finding Customers
You will also see some of the best tips, tricks, tools, and strategies I’ve personally used to master Local SEO.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
- Step #1: Learning Local SEO
- Step #2: Gaining Local SEO Experience
- Step #3: Finding Customers and Expanding
Why Is It Important To Learn Local SEO?
Local SEO has become an extremely important area of search engine optimization.
In fact, 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information and the demand for local SEO specialists is growing. (Source)
What Is A Local SEO Expert?
A Local SEO expert is someone who optimizes websites to achieve higher search engine rankings for local companies and businesses.
What Skills Should A Local SEO Expert Have?
Here are the top skills that local SEO specialists should know:
1. Local SEO ranking factors
2. Technical SEO and website optimization
3. How to conduct keyword research
4. The best places on the webpage for adding keywords
5. SEO Copywriting
6. Visual content creation and optimization
7. Everything related to Gooogle My Business(GMB), NAP Citations, and other important local SEO elements.
So let me get this straight, becoming a local SEO expert is not the easiest task.
In a nutshell, you will need to take an extensive SEO course, learn from the top experts, and ideally get a certification. You will then need to put your knowledge into practice by optimizing your own site and the sites of your first free clients. Working in an SEO agency would be a great option as well. Finally, when you have applicable knowledge and some experience you are ready to take on your first paying clients. They will help you raise funds, build up your portfolio, and scale up your business.
With all that in mind, you can speed up the process by following the steps below and find your first client in a short time.
Let me show you how!
Check the first step…
Step #1: Learning Local SEO
It all starts with deep learning.
You have to immerse yourself in the new area and study as much as you can.
That said, you have plenty of options when it comes to local SEO mastering.
Let’s see some of them.
Take a Couple of Local SEO Courses
It would be a great choice for a complete beginner to start his journey by taking a few extensive courses on the topic.
Like with any other topic, I suggest you to start with materials for newbies and gradually immerse yourself into the topic
Here are some of the finest online Local SEO courses you can find:
- Local SEO Fundamentals by MOZ
- How Does Local SEO Work by LinkedIn
- Local SEO: A Definitive Guide To Local Business Marketing on Udemy
And if you just want to try yourself in a new topic you can check some of the free courses available online.
Local SEO Course with Greg Gifford presented by SEMRush academy is the first free course that came to my mind.
Follow Local SEO Experts Blogs
Now that you have some decent fundamental knowledge in local SEO and SEO in general it is time to learn a couple of more tricks from industry experts.
So how do you find experts in any niche?
Way #1: Google Search
Type in a very specific search query in Google search bar.
Then, see the top results and browse through all of them until you find the ideal candidate for becoming your online mentor.
Way #2: Curated Lists
There are tons of complete lists on the web that feature some of the world’s best experts.
I particularly like the one by SEJ.
Way #3: AllTop Blogs
You have plenty of options when you visit AllTop’s SEO Category.
Get an Online SEO Certification
This step is optional however it may increase your chances of employment in local SEO agencies which is a great way to gain the necessary experience in the field.
There are many local SEO certifications available online and here are a couple of pretty decent ones according to the students’ reviews:
- Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Certification Training
- ClickMinded SEO Course
- SEO Certification Course
And if the budget allows you can go even further and get a degree!
Having all of this knowledge and skills it is time to get the real work done and gain real-life experience.
Which brings us to the second step of this guide…
Step #2: Gaining Local SEO Experience
All theoretical knowledge in the world will never replace the hands-on experience you can get by experimenting with your own websites, your clients’ projects, and working with leading industry specialists.
This is what you can do to become an experienced local SEO expert:
Learn SEO by Optimizing Your Own Website
This is exactly how I recommend that most beginners get search engine optimization experience.
There are two big reasons for that:
Reason #1: You are going to learn much faster. There will be no need to ask you, client or boss, to approve the adjustments you want to make and the mistakes are absolutely tolerable( provided that you are not too harsh with yourself 🙂 )
Reason #2: It is considered prestigious in the online marketing world to be able to start a blog from scratch and make it rank high.
When you feel that your experience matches your knowledge it might be a good time to find an SEO specialist position in one of the local SEO agencies.
Work at a Local SEO Agency
Working at a local SEO agency can help you achieve a couple of tasks at the same time:
- In-depth knowledge and broad experience in local SEO and general SEO
- Regular payment
- New connections and patronage
- Further employment opportunities
- More chances to become a successful freelancer or business owner
A local SEO agency can be a great option for many intermediate-level professionals who want to enrich their experience and work by themselves in the future.
Take on Free SEO Clients
Your first SEO clients will probably pay you nothing or something close to nothing. However, there is a good side in it – low pressure and freedom of choice.
You can start working on your clients’ sites and test out different SEO strategies while using their existing sites as a foundation to see what works best.
And the best part is that you don’t even have to do all of those things sequentially. You can start your own website optimization, work at the local SEO agency, and take on free SEO clients all at the same time!
Now it is time to for a serious talk.
Let’s see how you can thrive as a local SEO marketer.
Step #3: Finding Customers and Expanding
You have done a ton of job so far and now it is the right time to reap the rewords.
See what you can do:
Take on Paying SEO clients
The chances of finding your first paying clients are now much higher because you now have three things:
- Good knowledge
- A ton of experience
- A portfolio of successful projects
The question is:
Where do you find your first paying clients?
Way #1: Your Free Clients
The easiest way to get your first paying clients is to turn your free clients into paying ones. You will not need to look for anywhere else if they are willing to start paying you.
Why would they?
- You proved to be a great specialist
- They trust you
- They don’t want to look for anyone else
Way #2: LinkedIn
This social network provides lots of opportunities for all kinds of specialists and local SEO practitioners are not an exception.
Look for the open positions, send your pitch letters, and use you contact list wisely.
Way #3: Google Maps
There are MANY more ways to use Google Maps rather than just looking for the nicest restaurants nearby.
This tool can be an incredible recourse for finding potential clients who are willing to pay for you services.
The question is:
How to find clients using Google Maps?
First, go to Google Maps and start browsing by categories.
I suggest you start with:
- Dental Clinics
- Car Repair Services
Next, find the candidates with the highest rating. They should have company websites.
Finally, get in touch with them by using the contact information listed on the website.
Note: Business owners tend to favor local specialists over the international prospects, so start your research with the closest businesses around and gradually expand your search.
Test and Learn
Here is what you should know:
The guys from Google make almost 4000 changes to their algorithms every single year. (Source)
Which makes it super important for webmasters and SEOists to stay updated and constantly evolve as specialists.
You can keep the hand on the pulse by following the leading specialists in the industry, checking for Google updates, testing what works and what doesn’t, and experimenting.
Here are some of the things you can experiment with:
- Click-through rate(CTR) optimization
- Content formats
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
All of these practices will eventually push you to the top of the field.
And when you reach the top, you will be able to…
Expand and Thrive
This is the part of your professional career where the real magic happens.
It is now when you can realize you full potential and reap all the benefits from your hard work.
Let me introduce you to some of the coolest options you have when achieving the “expert” status.
Get Premium Clients. The more people know your name the more it is likely that you will receive multiple offers from highest paying clients. They usually represents some of the richest companies around and are willing to pay you accordingly.
Do Consulting. You will be constantly approached by all sorts of companies that demand your knowledge and expertise. Consulting can bring as much as thousands of dollars/hour.
Explore New Areas. The more you evolve as a local SEO specialist the more it becomes obvious to expand your areas of expertise. You will probably want to master more skills related to internet marketing. You might even consider becoming the t-shaped marketer one day.
Sell Courses. The best thing about creating your own courses is that it can be an extremely scalable process. You may also start it as a side project that will bring you an additional income stream.
Start Your Own Agency. You know have all the necessary things for creating your own online marketing agency.
Why not to make other people work for you now?
You can build all your gained knowledge into your agency standard operating procedures and make it truly successful.
The sky is the limit.
Work hard, play hard, and have fun.
Now you know exactly how to become a local SEO expert and get clients fast.
Let me ask you a quick question:
Why do you want to become a local SEO expert?
Leave your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.
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