Best Local SEO Practices For Your Home Services Business
As a home services provider, you want to target customers in your area. Nobody wants to wait two hours for a service provider to drive to them for an emergency repair; they want someone in their neighborhood.
That is why local SEO is important so that people in your area can find you. They are looking for service providers and using location indicators such as “roof repair near me,” “HVAC contractor near me”, and more. Learn about the best local SEO practices and how they can help you.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS OPTIMIZATION
If you want Google to list your business in search results, you must have a Google platform local business page. It’s known as Google My Business (GMB). All you have to do is enter your basic business information, such as your location and phone number, and you’ll be given an account. If a listing already exists, which can happen when Google pulls information from public records, you’ll need to claim the listing.
- Category Tags. Include 3-5 category tags. Choose a reasonable number of categories to help the search engine understand exactly what you do. Google is constantly changing and adding new ones, so make sure you’re positioning yourself in the right niche. This will help the world’s largest search engine understand what topics you’re a thought-leader on.
- Hours of Operation. Include your business’ operational schedule. This information is invaluable to local searchers but this is important to fully optimize your GMB listing. Remember to include your modified holiday hours or specific days that you will be closed. Make it a habit to update your hours for the coming year in January, or to log into your Google My Business account whenever you need to. Don’t forget to share these on social media as well.
- Business’ Photo. Add and update optimized photos. These are prominent elements in your Knowledge Graph that drive searchers to your site. Upload your own photos to your listing, size them correctly, and don’t forget to add keywords. Google also likes new and fresh photos so remember to upload new photos from time to time
LOCAL LINK BUILDING
Link building has been a search engine optimization practice since the start of the Google algorithm. Backlinks are when someone mentions you on their domain with a blue, underlined hyperlink pointing “back” to your site.
Consider it someone else vouching for you, telling others that you have good things to offer and that they should check you out. Furthermore, when others link to you, particularly those in your industry, search engines learn that you are relevant to that topic. This is particularly significant for small businesses in the community, this will increase traffic and improve your ranking in the local search results.
Your reviews, more than anything else, are for your potential customers. Searchers who come across your company on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) are thinking about becoming a customer. Reviews are social proof that highlights your business’s best qualities.
Online reviews, good or bad, are deciding factors for your customers if they should hire you or not. These reviews will naturally come in overtime, but consider soliciting them by posting a sign in your store or affixing a Google business logo sticker reminding customers to leave a review if they are impressed with their purchase.
Respond to your reviews. Even if you have a large number of reviewers, Google will look for reactions from other reviewers as well as proof that you, the business owner, are actively replying to your customers.
ON-PAGE TECHNICAL SEO
Headings are typically the largest words on the page, allowing the reader to quickly skim. They also assist search engines in understanding your content, giving them a little more weight than your other page copy. It’s a good idea to incorporate your target keywords into the headings of each web page, but make sure you properly represent your page content while also making it enjoyable for your readers.
If at all possible, include keywords in your URLs. However, don’t go changing all of your current URLs just to include keywords. Do not change old URLs unless you intend to redirect them to your new ones.
Page Load Speed
To provide the best user experience, Google wants to help users find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. Optimizing your pages for faster loading helps your site rank higher in search results. Slow load times result in unhappy visitors and higher bounce rates, resulting in lower local SEO power and a drop-off page one. Optimize your pages for mobile and desktop users for a better user experience.
Online directories and citations are the modern-day equivalents of the Yellow Pages. Citations are excellent for disseminating consistent information about a company on the web and obtaining local backlinks from legitimate and authoritative websites. Searchers use directories and citations to locate products and services as well as contact information. Citations are used by search engines to validate important information about a company.
For local SEO ranking factors, NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) consistency is key. Check that your company’s name, address, and phone number are consistent across all directory and citation listings. The use of directories and citations confirms your correct contact information.
Creating and publishing content that is relevant to your local customers can improve your local search rankings greatly. Users enjoy interacting with companies on topics that are relevant, relatable, and community-centered. Local content can significantly improve local search rankings because search engines aim to provide exceptional value to users.
Local content includes blog posts, news articles, videos, graphics, and event announcements about a specific location. You can significantly improve local visibility for your business by doing keyword research and location-based terms in the copy to attract customers locally and search engines.
Identifying the factors and elements that influence Local SEO rankings is only the first step in your local search marketing journey. The sooner your company understands and adapts to local SEO, the better. Competition is increasing, and local SEO is becoming important for service based businesses. If you have trouble finding success in local SEO, contact the Home Services Marketing Group at Movou to learn how our services can help you. We can provide you with a turnkey suite of digital marketing solutions, from SEO, website building, content marketing, lead generation, and more!