Local SEO vs. Paid Search: Which Should You Prioritize?

4 min read

In the quest for greater visibility, businesses typically consider two primary options: local SEO and paid search. Local SEO focuses on optimizing content to appear in search engine results for a particular geographic area, while paid search involves paying for ads in the sponsored section of search engine results pages (SERPs).

To begin with, Web 2.0 Ranker delivers real value – no gimmicks or empty promises. Consider checking out The web20 reviews to learn how their SEO strategies help agencies and other businesses get measurable results. That being said, should you opt for local SEO or paid search?

While both strategies can be effective in helping you reach potential customers, local SEO offers a greater return on investment. Here’re reasons why it trumps paid media:

1. Cost

Let’s agree, paid search feels like paying a cover charge every time you want to get into your favorite club – it adds up pretty quickly. Conversely, local SEO is akin to winning a lifelong membership to said club, courtesy of optimized website content and strategic linking.

And although the rewards may take a while to manifest, once they do, you’ll be glad you invested in local SEO. Provided you’ve implemented a comprehensive strategy, once your ball starts rolling, it creates a snowball effect, and you can enjoy a steady flow of traffic from search engines.

Besides its lower CPA or cost per acquisition, local SEO offers lifetime value that is hard to beat. That said, you still have to invest in proper SEO to ensure you nail it right. Plus, given the ever-changing landscape of online search, you must remain proactive and update your content regularly.

But even if it ultimately costs some dough, it’s less costly than the alternative, which involves paying whenever your ads appear in the search results. Thus, you should prioritize local SEO unless you have a bottomless money pit.

2. Relevance

Relevance is the backbone of local SEO. It revolves around ensuring your content and keywords are tailored to your target geographic area. This way, prospects can find your business and understand your product or service offering without searching through hundreds of irrelevant entries.

Paid search is more like a ‘spray and pray’ strategy. Sure, you can segment your audience using demographic filters like age or location. But you’ll be paying for exposure without guaranteeing your content will be noticed, let alone be visible to your target audience. What’s the point of casting your net wide if you can’t get the right fish?

3. Credibility

While your target audience searches for particular content, would you rather appear in the organic search results or within ads? Well, organic search results are more credible – think of it as a stamp of approval from the search engine.

In fact, organic search results also tend to receive more clicks than paid ads since users trust the search engine to offer them quality content. More specifically, the click-thru rate (CTR) for organic search results is up to 15 times higher than for paid search ads. This implies people think your content is more trustworthy if it appears organically as opposed to in sponsored listings. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in local SEO.

Let’s also assume you plan to build an authority site in your area or a go-to resource for your target customers. Thus, local SEO offers an excellent opportunity to stand out and be seen as an expert in your field. The only way to go about it is to generate organic traffic to your site, which enhances your reputation and may help you dominate the local web. Can paid search do that? Not likely.

4. Long-term Results

Who doesn’t love long-term returns from their investments? Local SEO is an excellent option to get the most out of your online presence. For starters, you can expect your website to appear in organic search results for long. Unlike paid search, local SEO buys you a permanent spot in search results.

Plus, what happens when your ad campaign ends or your coffers run dry? You guessed it – your ads disappear. Local SEO, on the other hand, keeps working for you from the backend (as long as you stay on top of it – basic maintenance and whatnot).

And once you start generating results, you don’t expect your gains to vanish into thin air, even if you reallocate your resources. In short, once your foot is in the door, you can expect to join the banquet and gorge on the spoils. Local SEO makes this possible by creating a firm foundation for your business.

We get it, paid search has its place – it can boost your visibility and attract more prospects. But to build a sustainable online presence, consider local SEO your go-to option. Now, is there a need to keep preaching to the choir?

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