If you’re a local service business, getting found online is your main objective, especially if you have a physical location. So whether you’re a hairstylist, an electrician, a gardener, or a plumber, you’re going to need search engine marketing.
If you look at the search engine result pages, you’ll find that the “above the fold” section includes sponsored ads from advertisers and local search listings or the local pack. When you apply local search engine marketing the right way, you can hit the top position in the local pack, which can help you get the highest click-through rate and targeted traffic to your site.
Keep New Customers Flowing
If you’re a local service business, you’re probably familiar with the difficulties of consistently recruiting new customers. Eventually, your local area can start to feel tapped out, and new customers can begin to slow. Instead you can use search engine marketing to keep the flow of customers high in your area.
The best part is most business owners don’t bother to do proper search engine optimization, so their online presence suffers. If you can position yourself with the strongest search engine optimization in your area, you can outrank your competitors. The number one search receives a vast majority of the traffic for any keyword. If you’re the best plumber in the San Francisco area, you want to make sure your site looks the part.
Search engine marketing for local service businesses is not exactly a new topic. The rapid and massive growth of SEO alongside the uptick in mobile device usage has created the perfect storm for markets. More than ever, there’s a wave of organic searches continually rolling in.
Serving users with the most pertinent data is what Google sets out to do. That means their ability to detect high-quality content and site architecture is continually increasing in quality. The high tech algorithms are always getting better, and the results are getting more accurate yearly. That means that location-based, targeted location-based results have never been for more precise. So if you want to be the best, it takes an expert.
At this point, it’s important to remember that organic SEO strategies and local SEO strategies are two separate different practices. They involve the same techniques, but in the end, local SEO differs when it comes to providing visibility to your business’s physical location. Proper SEO will add more depth to your local search results, making you more visible.
The easier it is to find your business over the competition, the better off you’re going to be.
Search engine marketing for local service businesses is mainly about…
Posting localized high-quality content based around search intent
Publishing and optimizing your Google My Business listing
Gaining positive online reviews
There are also things like Bing to consider and online directories, but primarily our focus is on website optimization and Google. Another considerable part of local service business SEO is making sure your site meets the expectations of users. Is it easy to use and explain your service well? As long as your website reaches your users’ expectations and your site’s set up to convert visitors into leads, you’ll be all set.
There are eight main areas we focus on to improve your website.
#1 Having a Physical Address in the area that you’re Targeting is Critical
We’ll ensure your targeted keywords align with your local area.
Google’s primary goal is to serve users with the most relevant info, so it’s critical to align your site’s keywords with your physical location. If these are out of sync, you won’t outrank your competitors.
The last step is to attach your physical address to your website with metadata. This ensures you’ll show up in the local pack for your area.
#2: Claiming & Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile
Fundamental to local search engine optimization is claiming and optimizing your
Google my Business Profile. If you want to show up in the local three-packs for your area, this is essential.
We’ll take your business through the entire verification process and get your physical location verified.
Optimization of Your Google My Business Listing Includes:
- Keyword optimized and focused business descriptions
- Business category placement
- Updating business hours
- Presenting company logo
- Adding business-related photos
- Show accepted modes of payments
It’s crucial to find the correct business category to attach to your listing, being as specific as possible is critical to dominating the local business pack. So if you’re a residential landscaper, not just a general landscaper, it’s vital to ensure your profile reflects that.
Showing up in the correct and most precise searches is critical to being found online.
#3 Create Listings Within Online Directories
Google My Business is not the only local directory you want to consider for your local service business. Yelp, Citysearch, and a whole slew of others you may not be aware of are up for grabs.
Google is the most important directory, but ensuring you’re listed in all of the available directories will maximize your local impact. Local newspapers, chambers of commerce, missing out on online niche directories is a common mistake you want to avoid.
#4: Structured Data Markup
Assisting the search engines with understanding your site is critical to top local rankings. Structured data markup, commonly known as schema markup helps Google understand and interpret your business correctly. This includes the products and services you offer, the price ranges, location, business category, etc.
This simple step is what can give your site a massive competitive advantage over and allow you to rank higher than the rest. Differentiating yourself from your local competitors with schema markup sets you, leagues, ahead.
Tip #5: Gather Online Reviews
Developing a strategy to get online reviews is essential to compete with the best businesses in your area. Something like 7 out of 10 people trust online reviews just as much as a review from a close friend. The more positive review you can net for your local service business, the better off you’ll be. Responding to customer reviews is a huge part of expanding your reputation and showing you care about the local community’s best interests.
Most people will come across your reviews through either Facebook or Google, so focusing on these two areas is best. Primarily when they find you on Google search, you need your business to show up with a ton of positive reviews, and that’s where we come in.
Google has even admitted that yes, positive sincere and honest reviews can improve your search engine rankings.
Tip #6: Don’t Ignore the Title and Meta Tags
It’s the fundamental building blocks of SEO, title tags, and meta descriptions, yet so many websites don’t take advantage of this component.
Spending some serious time reworking your SEO titles and descriptions to increase your click-through rate can have a massive impact on your traffic.
We maximize your local reach and click-through rate for the area.
Tip #7: Internal Linking Structure
Having an internal linking structure in place on your website is critical to your search engine success. If you do check out your competitors, you’ll likely see that they don’t have a robust internal linking structure set up, which will give you a massive advantage in the local searches.
Most sites will only take advantage of internal links in the forms of navigation and footer links, but going above and beyond and internally linking your site up will cause a massive upgrade to your rankings.
The 3 step strategy we follow for your internal linking structure is essential:
Create as many high-quality internal pages as you can
Link to relative posts, not just the homepage
Focus on the user experience then accommodate the search engines with SEO
What we keep in mind during any internal linking campaign is firstly make your site as comfortable and practical as possible for users to use, and the search engines will follow suit.
Tip #8: Build High-Quality External Links
The final and often most challenging step is gaining external backlinks. It’s not enough to post great blogs, you’ve got to drive traffic there. Believe it or not, one of the best methods for driving traffic is to reach out externally and get link placements on other sites.
The more backlinks you can gather, the higher your site will rank. We’ll focus on attracting the right local backlinks primarily from:
- local press outlets
- local sponsorships
- local business directories
- local universities
- local business organizations
These backlinks act like votes, the more quality backlinks your site has, the more authority and reputation your business acquires in the eyes of Google. Google wants to know your site is trustworthy and reputable, and links are one of the ways it decides.