How to Learn Local SEO: Skills, Reading, and Courses

How to Learn Local SEO: Skills, Reading, and Courses

Local SEO is a smart skill to master, especially if you have a local business.

All local businesses – from law firms to restaurants to retail stores to beauty salons – can benefit from local SEO.

Why? Because Google is one of the top platforms people use to find local businesses.

Whether you’re doing local SEO for yourself or someone else, here are some easy and free ways to learn local SEO from scratch.

Learn Local SEO As A Beginner

Learn Local SEO As A Beginner

The following steps are a start when learning local SEO, but it’s best to start with the basics.

These are the building blocks where you will learn and refine your local SEO skills.

Then, it’s mostly a matter of practice, experience, and patience.

1. Start With A Website

Your website is the test bed for your local SEO strategy.

Some strategists even start with a basic “burner” website they can’t afford to “break” to test their SEO skills at the beginning.

Whether you have WordPress, Squarespace, or another CMS (content management system), you should be able to start optimizing your website based on SEO best practices.

2. Learn SEO Tools

Most SEO tools work for both local and “regular” SEO because they count how many users are searching for a specific keyword, how much website traffic, and other metrics that apply to most websites.

Common SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs can help you find keywords and competitors, analyze backlinks, and optimize your content.

Learning these SEO tools is one of the best things you can do when you start learning local SEO.

Most tools have their own guides and even courses – watch out for this, so you can learn how to use SEO tools directly from the source.

3. Optimize Your Content

SEO tools will help you find keywords that users are looking for to find websites like yours.

Once you learn how to use these tools – then find keywords based on search volume, competitiveness, and relevance – you can begin to optimize your content.

Optimizing your content means determining the target keyword for a page or post, using that keyword and related key throughout your content, and writing content that satisfies what the user is looking for.

This applies to both local and non-local businesses.

4. Try Your Hand At Off-Site SEO

“Off-site” SEO refers to all SEO activities that take place outside of your website.

Typically, this means link building, directory outreach, PR, and the like.

Once your website is optimized to the nines, you should aim to increase your website’s trust factor with valuable backlinks.

This can be done by marketing valuable content to other businesses, reaching out to blogs, running PR campaigns, submitting your business information to directories, and more.

Off-site SEO is very important for local businesses, so you will learn more about this in the resources and courses below.

Recommended Skills

Recommended Skills

There are some skills that every business owner or strategist should strive for when it comes to learning local SEO.

Some are practical, and some are “soft” skills that make doing local SEO easier and more enjoyable.


Even with all the tactical SEO tools and tricks you will encounter, eventually you will learn that creativity is far away.

Many business owners will learn the basics, but creative problem solving makes all the difference.

Do not underestimate the value of creativity and problem solving!


You may have heard that SEO is a long game.

SEO can take some time to produce results, especially if you operate in a competitive market.

This is where patience comes in handy.

Know that your hard work may not pay off immediately.

Much of what you do in SEO will lay a solid foundation that will pay off later. It may seem invisible at first, but doing things the right way (not taking shortcuts) will eventually lead to your success.

Google Search Console and Google Analytics are great free tools that you can use to track your progress.

Set a benchmark when you first start and then see how much your site grows over time – celebrate even small wins!

Content Marketing

Content is what users read when they arrive at your website.

This is what users interact with on social media.

And it’s the text or video that ultimately convinces the customer to buy from you.

Content marketing skills such as email marketing, social media content, video marketing, and blogging can help drive results for your website.

You will be better suited to create great content and generate more views on multiple platforms.

In this case, a background in content marketing will serve you well.

Website Development

While website development is not a “must-have” skill for SEO, it certainly has its benefits.

People with minimal web development experience may find optimizing a website and implementing technical SEO improvements easier.

Consider taking a basic web development course or reading an online guide on managing a website.

At the very least, you will learn common terms that apply to websites and SEO.

Beyond that, you can learn a bit about coding, technical implementation, mobile development, and more advanced skills.

Data And Analytics

Every strategist and business owner should learn the basics of data and analytics.

For most, this means being able to interpret data from Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

Some of the most common metrics to know are:

Knowing this – and how to find it in the analytics tool you choose – will help you track the success of your SEO and marketing efforts.

Online Reading

Online Reading

Want to learn local SEO for free?

Fortunately, there are tons of online resources available for beginners. We have rounded up some of our favorites!

SEO Courses

SEO Courses

There are many, many SEO courses available. That being said, not all courses are created equal. Here, we share some of the top local SEO courses – all for free!

Local SEO Resources

After working mainly with law firms, local SEO is near and dear to my heart.

That’s why I write about it often in Search Engine Journal!

Here are some additional local SEO resources, straight from my column at SEJ:

Learn Local SEO From The Best

Many online guides, courses, and webinars teach local SEO from scratch. However, the real magic of local SEO is in hands-on experience.

That’s why I say “learn from the best” I mean learn from your own experiences, mistakes, trials, and strategies.

The best way to learn what works for your website is to try different tactics, track results, and adjust your strategy based on your learnings.

This is where the Creativity and Patience skills come into play.

Your own creativity will inspire your strategy, and patience will ensure that you invest in results. They will pay!

Featured image: Ground Image / Shutterstock

It takes 1-3 months to learn the basics of SEO. The basics of search engine optimization can be understood and learned in 3 months, however, more advanced concepts can take anywhere from 6-18 months. This is provided that you consume knowledge every day and learn from the experts.

What kind of businesses need local SEO?

6 types of business that reap the most rewards from local SEO

  • Medical services. Businesses that provide medical services, such as doctor’s offices, dental practices and urgent care clinics, are perfect for local SEO. …
  • Law office. …
  • Bar and restaurant. …
  • Plumber. …
  • Pet services. …
  • Housing.

Who needs local SEO? Any business that has a physical location or serves a geographic area can benefit from local SEO. If you search Google for important keywords related to your business and a map with 3 lists appears below it (also known as a map pack), then local SEO can help you grow your business.

Who benefits from local SEO?

One of the benefits of local SEO is driving potential customers to your site and increasing conversion rates. According to Joel House Search Media, 28% of local searches result in sales. So there is no denying that local SEO results in better conversion rate—increased traffic flow resulting in increased sales.

Why local SEO is important for SEO?

Local SEO allows you to put important information about your site online, such as your business address and phone number. Additionally, you can highlight and promote the type of products or services you offer on your website using SEO techniques.

Who benefits SEO?

Those who invest heavily in SEO often outrank the competition in search engine results and gain market share. If you consider that the results on the first page of a Google search receive more than 90% of the traffic, you cannot afford not to be there, especially if your competitors are there.

Who benefits from local SEO and why?

With local SEO you increase the credibility of your brand by generating leads and potential sales. 75% of users never go further than the first page on Google. That means focusing on people who are already interested in what you sell can give you awareness and visibility online.

Do local businesses need SEO?

Benefits of local SEO The reason all businesses need local SEO is because search engines have realized that many users are looking for specific services and products near them. According to Google, 46% of searches today have ‘local intent’.

Is local SEO important for a small local business website?

A successful local SEO campaign will help your business because: Local SEO improves your website’s ranking in search results and in the local pack. It receives the highest conversion rate of all local advertising channels. It increases your online visibility, especially to neighboring customers.

Is SEO necessary for small business?

SEO is important because it helps you establish yourself as an expert in your field and drive traffic to your website, while also helping you organically promote your business for free. If you are unsure about the importance of SEO, you are not alone. Only 36% of small businesses actually have an SEO strategy.

Why SEO is important for local business?

Local SEO Can Help You Get Reviews From Nearby Clients Before trying a new product or service, many people look for online reviews. If your business has no reviews, potential customers may hesitate to give you money. Local SEO is an effective way to get quality reviews from previous customers.

How much does SEO cost per month?

SEO costs average $100-$250 an hour for US SEO agencies. SEO fees often range from $2,500 – $10,000 per month for US agencies. The average SEO plan costs $2819 per month (per Ahrefs) Overseas SEO companies can charge $10-$50 an hour.

How much does an SEO cost? The average cost of SEO for a small business is $750 to $2000 per month or $5000 to $30,000 for a one-time project. Small companies that invest in SEO consulting services can expect to pay $80 to $200 per hour.

Is it worth paying for SEO?

SEO is worthwhile if you have the right strategy in place and work with a partner who knows how to get results. About 93% of the online experience starts with a search engine, and the closing rate of SEO is much higher than that of traditional marketing. Thus, SEO provides an impressive return on investment (ROI).

How effective is SEO?

SEO can reduce the cost of customer acquisition by 87.41% on average compared to digital advertising (Terakeet) Because of its low cost barrier, SEO makes getting new customers significantly less expensive than other mediums.

How fast does SEO work?

SEO RESULTS TIME FRAME “Generally speaking, websites can see results in 4 to 6 months.†– SEO Mechanic. “Many SEO firms will tell you that it takes 4 to 6 months to start seeing results. It is generally accurate, but bear in mind … SEO results grow over time.†– Forbes.

Is SEO a one time thing?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ongoing process and not a one-time event. It is a process because the market, the competition, and the companies that set the rules (search engines) are constantly changing and evolving.

Does SEO have a future?

The future of SEO will be brand integrity and utilizing partnerships and relationships to build credibility and popularity. The importance of PR and gaining online traction through other websites and media hubs will be valuable for SEO success.

How much should I spend a month on SEO?

How much can you expect to spend on SEO? If you hire a top-tier SEO company to execute a local campaign, expect to pay $500.00 per month. National or international campaigns require a minimum budget of $2,500 to $5,000 a month. Some firms offer “trial packages†at a lower price, without a contract.

Does SEO need to be done monthly?

The truth is, you don’t need to pay an agency for a monthly SEO campaign. And as the director of an agency, I believe many of you are surprised to hear this. SEO is not rocket science.

Should I spend money on SEO?

The short answer is that keep spending until the ROI doesn’t make sense. If you have worked out your customer lifetime value (CLV) and also your cost per customer acquisition from SEO, then you will have a very clear picture of your ROI. If you are not at this level of detail, you should strive to get here in the future.

What is a good budget for SEO?

If you’re hiring a high-quality SEO firm to provide comprehensive SEO services, be prepared to pay $3,000 to $5,000 per month, at least. Many companies are spending tens of thousands of dollars per month on SEO.

How much does SEO cost for a small business?

According to a survey of 1,200 business owners and more than 350 agencies, freelancers, and consultants, the average cost of SEO for Small Businesses is $501-$1,000 per month globally. The average cost of SEO for small businesses in the United States is $2,501 to $5,000 per month.

Is SEO worth it for small businesses?

The short answer is that SEO is very effective — not only in generating traffic but also leads and sales. No worries. Long answers include research and data, not just empty statements. Most SEOs get too caught up in search-specific metrics like SERPs (search engine results pages), rankings, and organic traffic.

How much does SEO typically cost?

SEO costs average $100-$250 an hour for US SEO agencies. SEO fees often range from $2,500 to $10,000 per month for US agencies. The average SEO plan costs $2819 per month (per Ahrefs) Overseas SEO companies can charge $10-$50 an hour.

How much does local SEO cost per month?

A typical local SEO campaign costs between $300 and $2,000 per month depending on the needs of your business, your competition, and your geographic location.

How much does SEO cost for a small website?

Prices range from $1,000 to $7,500 based on complexity. Fixed Price Services: SEO agencies have a list of services they offer at a set price. Typical services are SEO Audit varying from $500 to $7,500, social media site setup, between $500 and $3,000, or SEO Copywriting, $0.15-$0.50 per word.

Can I do SEO myself?

You can actually do SEO yourself or DIY SEO (Do It Yourself SEO). With some research and a lot of practice, anyone can learn how to do SEO for their business. A quick way to get started with SEO is to enter your URL here and then focus your SEO efforts on the recommended action items.

Can SEO be done for free? Ahrefs SEO Toolbar is a free Chrome and Firefox extension that allows you to check for broken links, track redirect chains and highlight nofollow links for any website. It also generates SEO reports on pages that include the website: Title. Meta description.

How much does it cost to do SEO yourself?

SEO is cheap$500 to $3,000 per month
Mid-range SEO$3,000 to $15,000 per month
High-end SEO$15,000-$30,000 per month
SEO company$30,000-1 Million per month

How much do I charge for SEO work?

53.45% of SEO agencies command $100/hour, compared to only 33.33% of consultants and 15% of freelancers. The most common hourly rate for an SEO agency is $100-$150/hour. For SEO consultants it’s $75-$100/hour, and for freelancers, it’s $41-50/hour.

How much does SEO usually cost?

SEO costs average $100-$250 an hour for US SEO agencies. SEO fees often range from $2,500 to $10,000 per month for US agencies. The average SEO plan costs $2819 per month (per Ahrefs) Overseas SEO companies can charge $10-$50 an hour.

How much do freelancers charge for SEO?

Hiring an experienced SEO freelancer or agency by the hour typically costs anywhere between $50-$150 per hour. Of course, you may find people who charge less or more than this hourly rate. For example, the breakdown of hourly SEO rate was found that 6% of SEO providers charge more than $ 200 / hour.

Can I learn SEO in a day?

If you can learn SEO for a few hours every day, then you can master SEO basics in 4-8 weeks and get your first SEO job in 3-6 months. If you can learn SEO full time, then you can master the basics even in 1-2 weeks.

Can You Learn SEO By Yourself? There is no better resource I have found as a place to start learning SEO than the Beginner’s Guide to SEO from Moz. It’s free, and starts to answer the most basic questions like “What is SEO?†Read the whole guide once and you’ll know more than the people who send you SEO spam emails every day.

Can I learn SEO in a week?

You can learn SEO as quickly as 2-4 weeks if you study search engine optimization for a few hours a day. The speed at which you can learn the basics of SEO is not bound by time, but by how quickly you understand the concepts that apply to SEO campaigns.

How many hours a week does SEO take?

Estimated Time: About three to 12 hours a week, depending on the size of your site and whether any problems arise.

Is SEO course easy to learn?

Learning SEO is hard because there is a lot of information to read about search engines and how the optimization process works, and this can be overwhelming at first.

How fast can you learn SEO?

It takes 1-3 months to learn the basics of SEO. The basics of search engine optimization can be understood and learned in 3 months, however, more advanced concepts can take anywhere from 6-18 months.

Is SEO really difficult?

SEO itself is a complicated discipline. It combines a large number of tools, best practices that occasionally evolve, and constantly adapts to Google updates. The main reason behind the complexity we are currently experiencing is the many changes to Google’s algorithm such as: Broad Core Algorithm Update.

Can I learn SEO in 2 months?

Although it’s a long career journey, you can actually learn SEO in about a month – enough to make a big impact on your website and your business as a whole.

Is SEO easy to learn?

The answer is simple. Learning SEO is hard because there is a lot of information to read about search engines and how the optimization process works, and this can be overwhelming at first.

Is SEO course easy to learn?

Learning SEO is hard because there is a lot of information to read about search engines and how the optimization process works, and this can be overwhelming at first.

Is SEO hard to do?

To sum it up, SEO is difficult because search engines are always changing and updating. It could be anything from Google changing the way it looks at certain types of links, including a new major update to their algorithm, or even recognizing something new as a ranking factor.

Is SEO good for beginners?

If you’re serious about increasing your search traffic and are unfamiliar with SEO, we recommend reading The Beginner’s Guide to SEO front-to-back. We’ve tried to be as concise and easy to understand as possible, and learning the basics of SEO is an important first step to achieving your online business goals.

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