best business categories for local seo

I could’ve taken the easy road with the question of “what business categories benefit most from local SEO?”, by saying that all local and small businesses should be leveraging local SEO!

But that would’ve been cop out…

And I know you clicked thru to this article to get some meaty details on the types of business categories that benefit the most from local SEO campaigns, so I’m going to share mostly from my own experiences as an agency running local SEO for clients for nearly 10 years.  And hopefully this leaves you more informed than you were before reading this article!

First, let me say that I’m approaching this question from the mindset of a local customer.  So I’m putting myself in the customer’s shoes here.  And there’s a few things we know are true about today’s modern local consumer:

  1. They are mobile and tech savvy – over half of Google searches occur on mobile devices.
  2. They are speaking instead of typing their search query into the Google search app instead of typing.
  3. “Near me” is highly influential – as people start typing, or speaking, into the Google search app, the “near me” suggestion appears and more people than ever are tapping on it.  This gives the searcher (your potential customer) highly targeted geographic search results – probably within just a mile or so from their current location.

With these things in mind, let’s go over some of the business categories that I believe benefit most from local SEO.  And I’ll add some context to each of my recommendations.

1:  Local SEO for Lawyers & Law Firms

Local SEO for law firms has been one of the most successful types of campaigns I’ve had the pleasure of managing.  There’s just something about watching traffic, leads, and phone calls increase exponentially for your clients that can really get your blood flowing!  I’ve seen first hand the benefits that a law firm, and the individual lawyers and partners, can obtain as a result of being found in the top of the local search results in Google.

One of the greatest benefits of local SEO for law firms is the fact that Google presents a “Call” button directly in the local search results on mobile phones.  As such, when someone pulls out their iPhone and searches for a “dui attorney”, the results they see will be highly targeted their location, they will be the top search results the Google Maps listings, and the listings will present the “Call” button as the dominant call to action element.

Here’s a screenshot of what I see when I search “dui attorney” from my iPhone:

dui attorney local seo

Notice the characteristics of the search results.  They are highly localized, they present the Google Maps listings as the first set of search results, and most importantly, look at the “Call” button… this is the only call to action element presented along with the Google Maps listings.  These same characteristics hold true for many other legal practice areas as well.

There are certain practice areas within the legal field where this doesn’t apply, such as corporate attorney, etc…, as the person searching for this type of attorney is probably searching more on an aggregate level vs. local level.  But for the most part, local SEO is a powerful marketing tool for law firms and independent attorneys.

2:  Local SEO for Dentists and Dental Practices

From my experience, the next most beneficial business category is the local SEO for dentist category.  For many of the same reasons mentioned above, local SEO for dentists is extremely valuable because when someone is searching for a dentist – or one of the many specific procedures offered at a dental practice – the person is searching for a dentist nearby.  Most dental patients are not willing travel extensively to see a dentist, so they are searching for the best dentists in their local markets.

The mobile search results for dentists are the same as well.  When you type “dentists” into your Google search map from your iPhone or Android devices, you’ll see the Google Maps listings first, along with the “Call” button as the featured call to action element.

However, one of the more widely used elements for dentists is the “directions” link, which you typically see presented directly underneath the Google Maps listing.  With dentists, people not only are wanting to call to set an appointment, but they are also looking for an easy way to pull up directions to the dental practice location.

3:  Local SEO for Plumbers

Again from my experience, the next most beneficial business category for local SEO is plumbers.  This stems from the fact that in most cases, when someone needs a plumber, they are having an emergency.  So what do you do when you have a plumbing emergency?  You simply pull out your phone and search for a plumber in your city.  Or you start typing ‘plumber’ in your Google search app, and you’ll see the ‘plumber near me’ suggestion appear.

The local search results will be the same as what I’ve shown you with law firms and dentists.  You’ll see the Google Maps listings first, along with the “Call” button as the featured call to action element.  In the case of local SEO for plumbers, people will mostly be tapping the call button, instead of looking for directions.  Again, due to the emergency nature of most calls for a plumber.

4:  Local SEO for Restaurants

Restaurants are another type of business that can benefit greatly from local SEO.  Effective local SEO for restaurants can mean the difference between a steady stream of new patrons, or empty seats.

The local search results for restaurants are a bit different than the other business categories mentioned so far.  With restaurants, you will typically see several other supporting data sets than just the call button or directions.  The local search results for restaurants will more than likely show you an image from the restaurants Google Maps listing, their star rating, the specific food category, and what time the restaurant opens or closes, depending on the time of day you search.

Here’s a screenshot from my iPhone for the search phrase “best restaurants near me” – again, I started typing the words “best restaurants”, and the Google search app presented the ‘near me’ suggestion, which I tapped:

local seo for restaurants near me

Notice the many different types of data sets in the local search results for restaurants.  You see not only the star rating for the restaurant, but also the number of reviews, and the distance from my exact location.

What are the dollar signs for restaurant local search results?

This is a common question from looking at the local search results for restaurants.  And this is basically an indication of average pricing for the food at the restaurant.  The pricing range for restaurants in the local search results go from one dollar symbol $, which would indicate relatively inexpensive food, up to four dollar symbols $$$$, indicating very expensive food.  Google uses many different sources of information to derive this information, and it is not something the restaurant can control other than ensuring they include accurate pricing in their restaurant’s Google Maps listing.

Other Business Categories That Benefit from Local SEO

The business categories mentioned above are just a few that we’ve seen benefit directly from local SEO.  But there are many others that we work with as well, and that we know have a strong presence in the local search results.  The ones I mentioned above are by no means the only businesses that are directly impact from effective local SEO.

Here are some other business categories that benefit from local SEO

The medical industry:  pretty much any medical practice that sees patients from the local geographic market would benefit from effective local SEO.  From chiropractors to laser surgeons, the medical field is full of businesses that attracts new patients from the local market.  As such, getting found at the top of the local search results would result in more calls and requests for directions.

Home services industry:  I mentioned plumbers above, but pretty much any home services category will benefit from being found in the top local search results in Google.  Roofers, carpet cleaners, house painters, and landscapers, all represent the home services business category, and each of these businesses would gain an advantage by being found in the local search results in Google.

These are just a few of the business categories that would benefit from local SEO, but there are certainly many others that I didn’t mention.

What other types of businesses do you think would benefit from local SEO?

I look forward to your feedback in the comments…