Unique elements required for a service-based business to rank well in search engines.
While large multinational companies use SEO strategies to gain customers and customers from all over the world, a small business that only deals with customers in its geographic region only wants local leads.
This article looks at what you need to have in your SEO strategy if you are one of those small businesses trying to gain exposure to your local customers.
Look at your website and see if you can tell where your business is and who it serves.
Your target area should be primarily noted in the homepage copy, your contact page, as well as in the footer. You can even embed it in your business name or URL.
The idea is, of course, to ensure that when someone comes to your website looking for what you provide, it is also confirmed that you serve their area.
Also put these terms in your META data. It makes a difference in reaching local customers who search specifically for your city or business service area. Also, when creating individual pages for each service you provide, include the locations served in the titles and copy them.
Google My Business
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create a Gmail account so you can easily sign in to all Google apps and products.
Google My Business is one of those tools available for free that can pin your business on Google Maps and if Google sees the right signals, you will also appear at the top of the local ranking results. Local ranking results are the results you’ll see when Google understands that your search query is location-specific.
Try typing “plumbers near me” into Google and you’ll likely see a few localized ads and listings before you see organic search results. It can be 1-3 ads or 3-4 local ads depending on market competitiveness.
These local listings are valuable to your business and by creating and verifying your business with Google you will at least have initiated the necessary steps to get listed in these local listings.
Once you have the account, fill in everything you can. Provide photos and use your service and locality keywords in the description and wherever you see a genuine opportunity.
Local citations are when your business is listed in local directories. You’ll probably only need to do this once and it’s very easy.
Just search for your location with the word “directories” after it. There are some obvious ones like Yelp but you can also find niche directories for your locality as well as for your service.
Never pay for these, as these paid directories will have already been flagged by Google when reviewing their site. Paying for links or citations will always hurt your ranking efforts.
When it comes to local customers, reviews are golden. These are testimonials that other potential customers can trust. Asking them from past clients is perfectly acceptable; however, tampering with them is not.
Don’t let them log into their Gmail account from your computer to leave a review or Google will see that your reviews are all coming from the same IP address and the reviews won’t help your rankings.
There are many other things you can do too, but these 4 points are essential in any local SEO strategy and if you are a service-based business you will need them to get the right traffic.
Of course, if you’re looking to really dominate the ranking results and ensure you have a solid strategy, you’ll want to hire someone who provides professional search engine optimization. They can go the extra mile and actively maintain the effort to let Google know that you provide what you do, where you do it, while you spend your time providing your service!