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How to make money with local SEO?

Last updated: Feb 27, 2024

How to Make Money With Local SEO

Local SEO services To Make Money With

Local SEO can be a big help for agencies and freelancers to make money from local businesses. 

It focuses on improving the online presence to bring in more customers from the local area. Let’s look at the key parts of local SEO so you can find new ways to make money and build out your portfolio.


  • Local Keyword Research
  • Website SEO (technical SEO, on-page optimizations etc)
  • Google Business Profile setup (optimize and complete profile)
  • Create local citations (List Name, address, phone on directories and sites)
  • Reputation management (get reviews on an ongoing basis)
  • Content marketing (create content for website, social media, other websites)
  • Local link building (Get links from local businesses & local news organizations)

These are the critical parts of a local SEO campaign. If you want to make money with these kinds of services, I’d encourage you to check out my guide on how to get clients for local SEO


This is where I explain in detail how to get people to pay you for your services. 

In the following chapters, I will explain in more detail how you can make money with local SEO.

9 Client-Based Local SEO Services You Can Make Money With

Client-based SEO means helping someone else’s website do better in search results. You work with them to learn about their business and customers. Your goal is to make their website easier to find and get more people to visit it by using a plan made just for them. They’re then going to pay you in return.

client-based local SEO

1. Local SEO Audit

Examine your client’s website, Google Business Profile (GBP), local citations, and backlinks to pinpoint improvement areas. Develop a comprehensive local SEO plan based on these insights and present it as a roadmap to success.

2. On-page Optimization

Optimize your client’s website content, meta tags, headings, and images, incorporating relevant keywords and location information.

3. Google Business Profile Management

Keep your client’s GBP up-to-date by ensuring all information is accurate, adding images, responding to reviews, and posting regular updates.

4. Citation Building & Management

Establish and manage local citations for your clients, ensuring their business details are accurate and consistent across platforms. Fix any inconsistencies and create new citations to improve local search rankings.

5. Link Building

Help clients gain high-quality, local backlinks by connecting with local websites, blogs, and publications. Develop a targeted link-building approach that focuses on relevant and authoritative sources.

6. Local Content Creation

Generate locally-focused content for your clients, such as blog posts, articles, and social media updates. Optimize this content for local SEO and design it to engage the local audience.

7. Local Keyword Analysis

Identify local search terms relevant to your client’s business with the potential to drive traffic and conversions through keyword research.

8. Local SEO Reporting/Monitoring

Reporting and analytics Regularly monitor and analyze your client’s local SEO efforts. Provide in-depth reports that highlight progress, successes, and areas for improvement. 

Use this data to fine-tune your strategies and demonstrate the value of your services.

9. Online Reputation Management

Monitor and manage your client’s online reputation by keeping track of reviews, addressing negative feedback, and encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews.

How much can you make?

This is not what you want to hear for sure, but, it depends. It depends on the size of your agency or freelance business and how much competence you have. 

I’ll give you an overview of how much you can earn per hour. How much that is monthly depends on how much you’re willing to work. 

  • Entry level: ~$10-30/hour
  • Intermediate: $30-60/hour
  • Professional: $60-$250/hour


These are estimates and depend pretty much on your skills. Your skills to negotiate, to communicate, your personality, your sales skills etc.

Make Money With Rank & Rent

Rank and Rent is a local SEO strategy that enables you to make money by optimizing and renting out websites and Google Business Profiles to local businesses needing leads. This method is mutually beneficial for both you and the businesses involved.

rank & rent strategy steps

How Rank & Rent Works

With Rank and Rent, you build new niche websites instead of optimizing existing ones. You optimize these websites to rank high in search engines and attract traffic. 

Once your site generates leads, you can rent it out to a local business. The business benefits from the traffic and rankings of the site while you earn rental income.


The biggest advantage is the freedom and independence from client requests and questions. SEOs don’t need to report on ranking fluctuations and algorithm updates and changes. 

Another advantage is that renting out websites and profiles can be more affordable for local businesses. 

Some may not be able to afford your local SEO services, but they’re more willing to pay for leads. Such services are also easier to sell as there’s little risk for the renter.


The only real disadvantage is that new websites take longer to rank. Therefore, you’ll have to wait a couple of months before you can rent it out or sell it. 

Another disadvantage is that if you create fake profiles, you’ll break Google’s rules, and your profile might get suspended.

Note: This is for informational purposes only. I’m not encouraging you to create fake profiles or do something that might be illegal.

Monetizing Rank and Rent

Monthly Rentals

You can charge a flat monthly fee, just like with property rentals. Set up payments in advance to avoid chasing your money at the end of the month.

Per Lead

Charge businesses for each generated lead, such as phone calls or emails. Many new SEOs fear that renters won’t pay them for the leads at the month’s or period’s end. 

This is quite easy to debunk, as most renters want to continue getting those leads from you if they’re good. 

Review the leads’ quality if someone stops to pay you for the leads. The leads need to be better so the renter doesn’t refuse to pay them. Communication is key.

Rank and Sell

Sell the ranked websites to gain capital quickly. This is a very efficient way to make money fast if you know what you’re doing. 

To make the sale, send some free leads to the local business and track them. That way, you can prove that your work pays off and get your foot in the door quickly.

Make A Living With Local SEO Consulting

Local SEO consulting services provide strategic advice, analysis, and guidance to help clients improve their local SEO. 

This can include performing audits, developing strategies, and offering ongoing support. 

5 Ways To Make Money With Local SEO Consulting Services

1. Local SEO Audits

Auditing local business presences includes identifying improvement areas and discovering potential issues and growth opportunities. You can create detailed reports with actionable recommendations to optimize your clients’ local SEO.

2. Keyword Research & Analysis

Perform keyword research to identify high-value keywords for the client’s local area. As a result, you can provide insights on search volume and estimated traffic.

3. Local Content Strategy

Advise clients on optimizing their content and making it more relevant to their local audience. Create content calendars, provide content recommendations, and offer guidance on local content best practices.

4. Competitor Research

Analyze the local competition. Identify content gaps and ways to exploit leaks. Then, you can recommend how to overtake competitors and what to focus on when trying to win local market share.

5. Coaching & Ongoing Support

Provide 1-on-1 coaching for your clients. You’re basically teaching them how to do local SEO themselves and answering questions they have about specific topics.

Why Choose Local SEO Consulting Services

Local SEO consulting services can be a profitable and rewarding business venture for those looking to help businesses improve their online presence and attract more customers. 

However, as a local SEO consultant, there are several advantages to offering consulting services rather than specific local SEO services.


Flexibility and cost-effectiveness of consulting services are one of the main benefits. In addition, lower overhead costs can lead to higher profit margins. 

The latter makes it attractive to many freelancers. As a result, they’re leveraging their knowledge, avoiding the need to engage in hands-on work.


The biggest downside is undoubtedly the limited scalability. 

You’re trading time for money. If you don’t train other SEOs to do the same, you’ll have difficulty making more money with your services.

Build Local SEO Software

If you know about your target group’s needs and desires, you can build local SEO software for them. There are almost endless options on how to benefit from local SEO software. Here are a few use cases if you’re looking into making your own software:

  • Google Business Profile evaluation software
  • Rank tracking software
  • Geo-grid software that reports on two-dimensional ranking positions (see image below)
  • Reputation management software (keeps track of reviews across the web)
  • Productized SEO (Citation or link building through an online application)

Why Build Your Own Local SEO Software?

brightlocal local seo software

Building your own software promises to make you a tremendous amount of money in only a few years. It’s certainly a great way to monetize your business. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of building your own software.


  • If you know your audience, you can make a lot of money with your own software


  • Costs can increase abruptly.

  • You need coding experience or someone who can code

  • Needs constant work and updating

Upsell Opportunities

Google Ads

Selling Google Ads or general PPC services to existing local SEO customers enables you to earn more money quickly. Whether you’re doing client SEO or consulting, PPC is a great way to expand your services. Learning PPC can benefit you in many ways. It’s even a great way to get more clients for your local SEO business.

Facebook Ads

Surely only some local businesses need Facebook Ads. Especially those that rely on customers with urgent needs. For all the others, though, it’s a great way to get additional exposure. If it makes sense for your clients, it makes sense to pitch it to them.

Social Media Marketing

Many local businesses can take advantage of local marketing methods like posting to Instagram, Youtube, or Facebook regularly and adding social media profiles to the GBP. Just like SEO, posting on social media to build an audience to sell to takes time. But, it’s a perfect complimentary service you can make money with.


These are the top ways to make money with local SEO. If you want to start a profitable local SEO business, check out my Local SEO Services Pricing Guide. This is how you determine what to charge for your local SEO services so you can start making more money. If you’ve enjoyed the article, please leave a comment below. 

About the author

Picture of Tim Kahlert

Tim Kahlert

Tim Kahlert is the founder & CEO of He is a passionate SEO professional who has been helping agencies and small business owners succeed on local search and Google Maps for the past 5 years. He's regularly sharing high-quality local SEO & Google Business Profile strategies on his channels. Tim is also a contributor to the Whitespark Local Search Ranking Factor Study. Click on the author name or the social icons below to learn more and connect with Tim.

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