Our Recommended Local Service Business Marketing Strategy

Our marketing strategy recommendation for local service business owners attempts to optimise the amount of potential client marketing reach. It does this by using the most direct and targeted platforms and prioritises the implementation of each. 

It is a generic strategy that is suitable for any local service business.

Local service business owners face a significant challenge when deciding on what strategy to employ for their digital marketing.

SEO, social media ads, Google ads, social posting, YouTube, Tik Tok, Twitter and the list goes on. How can local service business owners make the correct choice when faced with such a diverse amount of options?

Choosing The Best Marketing Strategy

In order to get the biggest bang for your marketing buck, it is necessary to prioritise certain platforms in order of their lead generation potential.

There are certain local service businesses thay may benefit from a slightly different strategy such as the hair and beauty industry, but they can still benefit greatly from the overall layout of the following strategy.

In order to understand what platforms should be used, it is necessary to understand their strengths and weaknesses.

We will look at the most popular platforms and list the reasons why or why not they should be part of a local service business marketing strategy.


Your business website represents you and your business. It is the digital public face of your company. From a business point of view it should be viewed as a marketing asset and optimised to convert viewers into leads.

For a lot of local service businesses, they fail to understand the primary function of their website. Their websites are often designed by agencies who are great at producing good looking websites but who lack the needed understanding of SEO web page copy and the need for strategically written and placed calls to action.

As pointed out in several places across this website, if a business website is not optimised to generate leads from it’s viewers, then it is just a pointless expense.

A significant problem faced by businesses is no matter how good or bad their website is, it does not appear in relative search results and lacks the visitors to generate new leads.

Regardless of the possible problems with business websites, they should be part of a primary marketing strategy.


SEO or local SEO in this case, is needed to drive potential clients to local service business websites from organic search results.

SEO consists of multiple factors from technical requirements for websites through to content and backlinks. Local SEO however, differs in a few areas. Our article on SEO vs Local SEO explains the differing factors.

With such a wide range of factors that make up SEO, that in itself can be a significant challenge.

As if there isn’t enough to SEO already, we also have to contend with Google. SEO is pushed as a long term strategy, make content, follow the technical guidelines etc and all will be well. 

Unfortunately, in Googles never ending struggle to serve releative results to its search enquiries, it constantly udates it’s algorythm and requirements. This means that what ranked well in the search resuts today may be on page 50 tomorrow. SEO is an ongoing process, not a one off procedure. 

It is however, a major player in local service business marketing

Google Business Profile

Formerly known as Google My Business until another rebranding update from Google, this is one of the most important SEO options in local service business marketing.

Preceeded only by paid ads, the map pack that shows local businesses in relation to local search queries appears at the top of the organic results page.

The profile is a lisiting of a local businesses details including it’s opening hours, services, images and other information. This should be fully optimised in order to generate the best possible visibility for a business in relation to unpaid organic search results.

The listing can provide a business with calls direct from the listing on mobile devices and link through to the companies website for better visibility.

Google Business Profiles also provide a review system which businesses clients can use to leave feedback about their experience with the company. A good set of reviews can massively increase a companies enquiries.

Downsides of Google Business Profiles

Like all digital marketing platforms, there are some downsides.

First off, there are only 3 top spots available that appear in the map pack. All other listings need the map pack to be expanded in order to show up.

Your listing needs to be fully optimised in order to stand a chance of ranking in the top 3 positions or high up in the results.

Ranking positions differ between devices. A listing may rank number 1 when a search is viewed on a mobile device but that does not mean it will rank number 1 on a desktop or laptop device. This is to do with the algorythm.

Your listing is only relative to the immediate area within the search query. The further your location from the searchers location, no matter how well optimisied and ranked your listing is, the lower it will be displayed in the results.

Google does not abide by it’s own rules. Based on the optimisation factors that are commonly used to rank listings, it would seem improbable that spurious, non optimised listings would rank. That is unfortuntely not the case. Quite often we see very poor listings ranking well above far better optimised and relavent lisitngs for no apparent reason.

Because of the significance and position of the Google Business Profiles within search results, this platform is a must in any local business marketing strategy.

Google Search Ads

Googles paid ads are not the most popular choice of digital marketing platform, but they should be.

When properly implemented, these ads are a fantastic way to generate new leads and unlike SEO, Google rarely makes very disruptive changes to its reqirements.

The targeting options that are available provide great results for intent based queries while only requiring an advertiser to pay if the ad is actually clicked. This is referred to as pay per click advertising.

Because the ads are displayed in relation to search results, if properly targeted, they can segment viewers with intent to purchase a service. This removes a significant amount of both time and false leads that are so common with other types of marketing.

This is a major advantage over social media ads that work on an interuption based model that relies on eyecatching images or written copy to interupt a users viewing from their main focus. Not only do these types of ads have to interupt peoples attention, the viewers do not have any existing intent towards the service and may click the ad purely out of curiosity.

This can get expensive as most social media ads are also pay per click.

Google search ads can even be placed into the Google Business Profile map pack. For all those companies that strive to optimise their Google Business Profile, a paid ad will appear in the number 1 postion above any other listing, the prime viewing position. A far simpler way to be found in local search.

Unfortunately, for business sectors with very high client values such as insurance and finance, the cost per click can get expensive. Businesses need to know their client lifetime value and factor in their costs to ensure that they can run paid ads cost effectively.

Google search ads should be a primary consideration in local service business marketing.


Video marketing is expanding rapidly. It is one of the fastest rising marketing mediums at the present time and for good reason.

Video allows businesses to present their services and products on another level. it provides a more personal connection than written articles with viewers making stronger connections to the presenters of the video and in turn to the business they represent.

That said, should local service businesses use video platforms such as YouTube to market their business?

It might be an idea to incorporate some video into a website but as a primary strategy then I would not advise it.

YouTube is the worlds second biggest search engine and is owned by Google. That is an enormous amount of potential veiwers for your business but the vast majority will not be in a locality that a local service business serves.

Add that fact with the time it takes to make a good video, edit and upload it and the platform becomes less appealing as a primary marketing avenue.

YouTube as a platform may well be suited to certain business sectors but where lead generation in a local area is concerned, time and money is better spent elsewhere. Once the primary platforms are optimised, then this may be a worthwhile platform to enploy.

Social Media Ads

Social media ads include ads on platforms such as Meta ( facebook ), Instagram, Twitter and others.

These ads are interuption based ads that rely on breaking a users viewing pattern from the content they are consuming. This requires very well written headlines, images or video.

Generally the cost of the ads is lower than that of Google search ads but it comes at the price of a lesser targeted audience that has not shown any intent towards the service or brand in the ad.

Also, the fact that Apple has vastly changed its tracking options for its product users has resulted in several platforms having to reduce and change their targeting options for their ads due to signficantly less reporting on their traffic and user statistics.

Social media ads well suited to business to consumer businesses, especially retail brands and products. That does not mean local service businesses cannot benefit from social media ads, just that in most cases they are not the best use of marketing budget.

Social media ads are not advised as a primary marketing strategy for local service businesses.

Social Media Posting

Posting updates, images and information about your business on social media is a great way to engage potential clients and to increase brand awareness.

By creating engaging posts that create followers of your business profiles, you will have the ability to target those people with offers and updates. This can prove beneficial for lead generation as the cost of generating the leads is simply the time it takes to create the content.

One of the downsides of social posting is however, the time it takes to create the content. Not everyone is a whizz at coming up with ideas for continually posting information regarding their business. Then once the idea is present, it still takes time to create the post.

The lifespan of social media posts is very short. Because of that, search engines do not index social content as it moves too fast. This means that if your posts do not target a specific problem that the reader is experiencing at the time of reading, then the likelihood of generating a lead from that content is slim.

While people can venture into your feed and look at previous posts, it is not common behaviour. NOW is the presence of social media, not last week, month or year.

Everyone goal seems to be to make a post that goes viral. Thats fine if you are a national brand, but in terms of local service business marketing, it is pointless if the majority of viewers are oustside your service area.

Social media platforms are a maze of content, each piece screaming out for the users attention. Because of this users are easily sidetracked and there is little focus on the majority of posts as people scroll through their feeds at high speed.

The other problem is that quite often if followers do not regularly engage with your content, they will quickly forget your brand or service. Regardless of how many people follow brands and companies, when they require something specific, the majority of people still resort to searching on Google.

Who Is Social Media Posting Good For

Local service businesses that provide services that are visually represented are a good fit for social media posting as a marketing strategy. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Businesses such as haridressers, beauty salons, landscape gardeners and builders to name but a few, are well suited to platforms such as Instagram where images can be used to document work that has been perfomed.

Do I recommend social media posting as a primary marketing strategy. Tough one and I hate to say it depends but….. it does. As stated above, service businesses that can be well represented by images of completed work or processes should try to make some effort to market though social media channels.

The main generic strategy for local service businesses should still take priority as it has a wider reach of targeted potential clients.


LinkedIn is a great platform to network, create a business page and add marketing assets for your business. 

It is a premium platform for business to business services as it is possible to create connections with your ideal clients and other businesses.

Even if your service business is a business to consumer model, LinkedIn is a very worthwile platform to utilse for marketing. By forming multiple connections with people on the platform, it is possible to generate leads by referral and by people searching for companies or services that they need.

The majority of LinkedIn is available for free but there is an option to upgrade to a paid premium version that allows further functionality including advanced search options.

LinkedIn should be part of basic marketing strategy.

The Local Service Business Marketing Strategy

So, what is the recommended marketing strategy for local service businesses?

From a marketing point of view it vital we consider what factors influence others. For example, driving traffic to a non optimised website that has poor lead capture. The cost of driving the traffic is pointless as few if any leads will be generated when the viewers arrive at the website.

I have attempted to create a strategy that is applicable for the vast majority of local service businesses based on experience of what platforms and order of implementation provides the best returns as quickly as possible.

To take into account the fact that different businesses will have varying degrees of online assets, I provided the strategy for several possible scenarios.

The Overall Marketing Strategy

This is suitable if your business has a website but very little in the way of other online assets and marketing.

  1. Create and optimise a Google Business Profile. If you have a suitable business, start to post socially on a regular schedule. Choose no more than one or two platforms and keep posts brief, informative and engaging.
  2. Create a LinkedIn profile and business page. Once again, this is free to do. This is particularly important if you are a B2B service business. Connect with as many people who fit your client profile as possible. Don’t discount connecting with people in other industries as it is all about networking.
  3. Start a Google search ads campaign with a targeted landing page. Use your service area as a targeting option. Do not send ad clicks to your website unless it is fully optimised for lead generation and even then better results can be had from a dedicated landing page that relates purely to the service in the advert.
  4. Optimise your website for your services and primary location and implement good lead capture assets. This only needs to be your main service pages, not any blog
  5. Start a local SEO campaign to expand service locations for services.

By creating your marketing assets in this order, it should be possible to maximise your return on investment.

An optimised Google Business Profile will provide good visibility for your business and provide viewers with contact details.

A LinkedIn profile and business page will allow you to network.

Paid ads may initially seem a costly option and you may wonder why they are implemented so early, but they can provide exceptionally quick and scaleable results. If a Google search campaign is correctly implemented you may not even want to proceed with SEO as the return on investment can be hundreds of percent.

Optimising your website provides visibility in search results for your local area and provides maximum lead capture opportunities form visiting traffic.

The cost of a managed SEO service can be spent on ad budget and provide a lot quicker results.

Why is SEO last?

It has the longest time to see returns on your investment. Even though local SEO sees results quicker than national SEO methods, it still requires time to create and rank in search results.

Small Budget Marketing Strategy

Businesses that have a small marketing budget should follow the strategy below.

  1. Create and optimise a Google Business profile. Its free to create and while you may not be able to personally maximise its potential, it should still provide reasonable visibility for your business if you fill in as many of the details as possible.
  2. Start posting on social media if you can consistently produce engaging content. One or two platforms max.
  3. Start a Google search ads campaign. While this is my recommendation, I appreciate that certain business sectors may struggle to implement this if the cost per click is exceptioanlly high as in insurance or finance sectors.
  4. Reinvest as much as possible to scale up your ads campaign.
  5. Build or optimise your website for primary location and services when funds allow
  6. Start an SEO campaign

Large Budget Marketing Strategy

  1. Create and optimise Google Business Profile.
  2. Google search ads campaign with large budget.
  3. Website build / redesign with primary location and service based web page copy. Lead capture assets and calls to action. Additional location based pages for services.
  4. Local SEO campaign to optimise for locations per service.
  5. Relative video assets embedded on website and YouTube Channel.
  6. Managed social media posting campaign on several platforms.

No Marketing Budget Strategy

  1. Google Business Profile creation and optimisation.
  2. Create free Google website
  3. LinkedIn personal profile and business page
  4. Meta ( Facebook ) business page
  5. Social media posting campaign
  6. If business website is present, research web page copywriting for services and location then write optimised copy. Add calls to action and contact details at relevant points on pages.
  7. Tik Tok video posting
  8. YouTube video posting ( shorts and full videos )

Local Service Business Marketing Strategy 


Regardless of budget, one of the strategies should suit your marketing goals.

The strategies outlined are not typical of what most agencies try to push. While most agencies push their services, a lot sell what is most profitable to them, not necessarily the optimal for their clients.

That does not mean they do not deliver a good service or make their clients a profit, it may just be the case that they are better at one particular method or they have their own opinions on what works best.

The inclusion of Google paid ads before implementing an SEO campaign is frowned upon by many agencies but the fact remains that it is just about the quickest way to generate consistent results from any marketing channel.

The fact that PPC (pay per click ) agencies who provide nothing but managed paid ads services exist is testament to the efficiency and results of paid ads.

It is Leads For Services primary function to help local service businesses generate new leads in the most cost effective way possible and these strategies are there to help accomplish that.

While we tailor each strategy individually for each client, any business following one of the strategies above should see a good return on their marketing budget if implemeted properly.

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About the Author

Founder and owner of Leads For Services.