Unique elements needed for a service-based business to rank correctly in search engines.
While large multinational companies employ SEO strategies to gain clients and clients from all over the world, a small business that deals only with clients in their geographic region only wants local leads.
This article looks at what to have in your SEO strategy if you’re one of those smaller businesses trying to gain visibility with local clients.
1. Your website
Look at your website and see if you can tell where your business is located and who you serve.
Your landing area should be featured prominently on your home page copy, your contact page, as well as in the footer. You can even incorporate it into your business name or URL.
The idea is, of course, to make sure that when someone comes to your website looking for what you offer, they are also being told that you provide services in their area.
Put these terms in your META data as well. Make a difference when it comes to reaching local customers by conducting searches specific to your city or business service area. Also, when you create individual pages for each service you provide, include the locations served in the headlines and copy.
2.Google My Business
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create a Gmail account for yourself so you can easily sign in to all Google apps and products.
Google My Business is one such tool available for free that places your business on Google Maps, and if Google sees the right signs, it will also appear at the top of local results. Local ranking results are those results you’ll see when Google understands that your search query is specific to a location.
Try typing ‘plumbers near me’ into Google and you’ll probably see a few ads and some localized listings before you see organic search results. This could be 1-3 ads or 3-4 local listings depending on how competitive the market is.
Those local listings are valuable to your business and by creating and verifying your business with Google, you will at least have started the necessary steps to get featured in those local listings.
Once you have the account, fill in as much as you can. Please provide photos and use your service and location keywords in the description and anywhere else you see a real opportunity.
Local citations are when your business is listed in local directories. You will probably only need to do this once and it is very easy.
Just search for its location with the word ‘directories’ after it. There are some obvious ones like Yelp, but you can also find some niche directories for your locality and your service.
Never pay for these, as Google will have already marked those paid directories when they review your site. Paying for links or citations will always hurt your ranking efforts.
When it comes to local customers, reviews are gold. They are testimonials that other potential customers can trust. Requesting them from previous clients is totally fine; however, faking them is not.
Do not have them log into your Gmail account from their computer to leave a review or Google will see that all your reviews come from the same IP address and the reviews will not help your rankings.
There are many other things you can do as well, but those 4 points are basic 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 ranking results and ensure you have a solid strategy, you’ll want to hire someone who provides professional search engine optimization. They can take things further and actively maintain the necessary efforts to let Google know that you provide what you do, where you do it, while you spend your time providing your service!