The GDP of Local SEO

by Apr 2, 2024News

Did you know that Local SEO has its own GDP?

Actually it’s an acronym for Geographic, Demographics, and Psycho-graphics and is therefore the GDP of Local SEO is not the GDP you may be used to reading about.

This acronym should be what every local marketer focuses on

In local marketing, success depends on understanding your target audience and reaching them where they are, who they are and what they’re interested in.

That’s how I came up with this GDP acronym (and I’m totally cool if someone thought of it before me). It’s not the big economics term of Gross Domestic Product, but rather

  • Geographic: Are you close enough to do business with this client, and does location even matter?

  • Demographics: Is the core data about your client a good fit (age, income, industry, etc – all the stuff that’s relatively quantifiable)

  • Psycho-graphics: This is the big one… are they even interested or a good fit from a needs and wants perspective?

Let’s break down the first element: Geographic Data and its role in local marketing.

Geographic Data – Understanding Your Local Landscape

Geographic data encompasses all information related to the physical location of your target audience.  This includes:

  • Location: postal codes, city, suburb, region, or specific neighbourhood.

  • Proximity: How close potential customers are to your business. After all, there’s a limit to how far anyone will travel to shop for a widget.

  • Area demographics: Population density, income levels, and primary accommodation types in your target area.

By understanding these geographic factors, you can tailor your local marketing efforts to fit in with your ideal customers.

Here are some ways geographic data is used in local SEO:

Optimising your Google Business Profile listing:
    • This is your business as found on google Maps and Google Search (it used to be called Google My Business). By ensuring your listing includes accurate address information and targets relevant geographic areas you’ll at least be on the map along with any of your competitors.

Other Tier One directory listings:
    • Don’t forget that not everyone uses Google Maps. Apple Maps makes up a lot of the destination and search planning along with a number of others like Bing Maps (Bing Places), all the GPS services built into modern cars, etc.

    • Bonus tip : Social Media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn factor in on top quality directory listings since they can host all the core data required to show who you are, where you are, what you do and how to get in touch

Tier 2 and niche directories:
    • There are a heap of directories that you can add your business on that either have an impact on SEO or a perfect fit for your ideal client to find you. Think of places like:

    • Review platforms such as Trust Pilot, Word of Mouth Online, etc

    • Chambers of Commerce that are keen on helping their members

    • Local networking groups you belong to

    • Industry associations your are a member of

    • Local SEO aggregators and agencies with large client bases (Yellow pages, local-search, etc)

All these directories have various amounts of data you can put on them about your business. Often, you’ll see that there is a free version and then a paid version.  For free you’ll get to list a limited amount of data. The paid version will usually open a lot more possibilities for things such as multiple categories, more photos and possibly even being a ‘featured business’ where they actually do a bit of promotion for you.

Are these paid versions worth it? Maybe. Sometimes. But the only way you’ll know is if you give them a try. If you’re tight on budget, simply start with the free versions. After all, free, is free.

Demographics – Get this wrong and you’ll likely be wasting your money and time in your Local SEO

There are literally university courses on just this topic of demographics. And you could go profoundly into this, but be careful about wasting too much time here. I’ve seen way too many examples of businesses using demographic data only to find that the so-called ‘client fit’ looked perfect, yet absolutely no sales ever came of it.  Why?

Have you ever noticed how many people who claim to have no money, have tons of toys, seem to be going on holiday, eat out a lot, have fancy clothes and other crazy facts like that?

That’s an example of getting demographics wrong. That said, there are factors that do make sense. For example, if you know that someone is under 20, they’re not likely to be into financial planning or investments (with very few exceptions). Or, people without children are not as likely to be buying school clothes for kids.

So in short, demographics matter, but be reasonable about how much you focus on that. Instead, spend a bit more time on the last category in your GDP marketing strategy – It’s all in the “P”.

Psycho-graphics – Emotional decision-making & where most of the money goes – the P The GDP of Local SEO

Have you ever wondered why your social media feed seems to know what you’ve been recently talking about by the way they show ads for products you recently have been thinking about?

Well, that my friend is not Google, or Facebook actually “listening” to you. What they do have is the smarts to know that psycho-graphic data is the single most important factor in getting you to pull out your credit card and buy something or to get you behind the wheel of your car and off to the shops to go that that widget you’ve been debating about buying (even when you know you really don’t need it).

What these companies know is, what you want is far more important than what you need. In short, they sell on emotion – the key to your wallet.

What should be your takeaway on psycho-graphics for your marketing? Appeal to the heart. Find out what people care about and sell from there.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t appeal to the logic (the G & D in this article). It simply means that once you’ve addressed the first two steps to essentially eliminate all the people who are not likely to be a good fit as a client, it’s then time to make them an offer they won’t want to refuse.

Why am I sharing all this with you


Why do I think you should pin The GDP of Local SEO on your pin board in great big letters?

I want your marketing to work – & work hard for you. When I help you with your content like a virtual tour, photos of your people, products, services (in action) and the reaction your customers have from dealing with you (getting more reviews), it’s got to work.

But if you don’t keep the G.D.P. top of mind, any money spent on marketing assets (me included) may simply not give you the desired result.

If you want to dive deeper into this model and find out how to select the right directories, the right people and the right content to drive emotions and convert to sales, feel free to reach out for a chat. Chats… are free.

(Disclosure: There is an AI image used in this post. Can you spot it?)

Marc Charette is a Google Trusted commercial photographer who offers virtual tours published on Google Maps (Street View) commercial photography, video and local SEO services. You can learn more about Marc on his LinkedIn profile at: