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Is SEO and Google AdWords dead when it comes to delivering results for traditional businesses (doctors, lawyers, general contractors, etc.) that get their traffic mostly from people who are searching for their business? I've noticed that from a rational standpoint, it makes the most sense for a customer to choose a business based on reviews, which means that most traffic flows onto platforms such as Google Maps and Yelp. Does this mean that SEO and Google AdWords is useless as marketing tools? Ok, you can argue that it might still bring some marginal benefits, but in comparison to Yelp and Google Maps, isn't it practically useless? ...and if this is the case, then what is the most effective way to deliver results for a traditional business?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Stephen Ostermiller Dec 15 '18 at 14:45

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • this is a good qns, i hope, members dont put it on hold. – Mani Dec 15 '18 at 13:39
  • Search Engine Optimization is a broad enough topic to cover the Yelp and Google Maps search indexes as well. As for the question of how "dead" SEO and AdWords are for local businesses, that is a matter of opinion. You say yourself that that there are some benefits. It is purely opinion as to whether that is "dead" for you. As for the question of best ways to deliver results, that is a very broad question. There are many marketing channels you could use. Exploring them all is too big a topic for an answer here. – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 15 '18 at 14:45
  • @StephenOstermiller Yelp and Google Maps are mostly based on reviews are they not? The way results show up Yelp depends on filters, but with Google Maps, they have no real structure to it. Or am I wrong. I thought that SEO only deals with ranking on the search engine results page. – Narcotixs Dec 15 '18 at 23:17
  • You should read up on "local SEO." Most of it is about optimizing your site and business for Google maps. Reviews play a part but so do name, address, phone (NAP) mentions. – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 15 '18 at 23:41