In episode 277 of Semantic Mastery's weekly Hump Day Hangouts, one viewer asked why SEO for local and not focus on ads where you can have more control over keywords.
The exact question was:
I don't understand the use of ranking websites for local. I run Google Ads (with GMB location extension activated in Google Ads) for local plumbing clients. I've ranked multiple websites organically nr 1 and GMB's organically nr 1. I would guess that about 5% of traffic comes from my nr 1 organically ranked websites, about 15% from GMB organic rankings and the rest from the ads and GMB linked to the ads. You can target so much more kw's with ads than organic. You will never show in the 3-pack for the variety of kw's you can target in G Ads. So why SEO for local? Why not only focus on ads where you have so much more control over your kw's?