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How Important Is SEO Now for Local Service Companies?
How Important Is SEO Now for Local Service Companies? Small businesses depend on every available marketing advantage. Local SEO services are a great tool for digital marketing. Businesses that operate out of physical store locations or focus on local services benefit the most from local SEO strategies. Understanding the benefits starts with learning more about the basics of SEO.
What Is Local SEO?
Why local SEO is important for local businesses?
Local SEO activity, such as citation and link building, increases your online visibility. That makes your business more easily discoverable by new customers. More in-store foot traffic: Greater local visibility brings more foot traffic to your bricks-and-mortar location.
How Important Is SEO Now for Local Service Companies?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is how companies are ranked on search engine result pages. Many businesses will focus on general results that can reach a national or global audience. This is an excellent strategy for online companies or businesses that ship goods outside their local area.
Local SEO is a specific strategy aimed at getting results in a defined geographical area. Narrowing in the focus to more local results requires a different strategy. These results are better for single-location businesses or those who have defined areas of service.
Does SEO Matter for Service Companies?
Yes, SEO matters for companies of every size and industry. The internet is the fastest and most used method to get information. If a customer is looking for a specific service in their area, the internet is one of the first places they go to find it.
Companies rely on search engines, too. The higher a company ranks on the results page, the more visibility they get. People generally stick to the top half of a results page, which means if your company is listed on the second page, you are not getting noticed.
The Benefits to Local Service Companies
Local service companies depend on multiple marketing strategies to be successful. Digital marketing is an important arm of an overall strategy to get recognized and bring in potential customers. Using local SEO strategies can target the right customers.
Customers search online for everything. When they need a local service such as home repairs, pest control services, or local eateries, a quick search engine query brings up multiple results. Rankings are determined by relevance and reliability.
Local SEO improves search engine results for service searches in specific regions, cities, or neighborhoods. Being listed higher on these results pages bring more visibility which can convert to doing more business.
Important Listing Information
Whether a service company has a physical location or they travel to customers, there are ways to focus on local results. Using SEO services like Google’s Map Pack or Local Pack gives local service companies more online visibility. These can help smaller businesses compete against bigger, national corporations.
Reviews are a great addition to SEO results. Having reviews helps potential customers read experiences from others who have already used the service. These are considered organic results that are valuable to the searcher. Companies can even respond to reviews, boosting a company’s reputation.
Search engines depend on providing information quickly to those searching. Creating an online business page helps pull up the contact information for a business. This can include address, telephone number, and hours of operation.
A large portion of consumers use their phones as a primary way to search for information about companies. When the contact information is pulled up, they can call directly from the listing information. Making this information accurate helps capture all potential customer leads.
Creating Business Profiles
Having a website is not required for businesses to be listed on search engine results pages (SERPs). Google has created business profiles that companies can create with no website required. They do require that companies comply with their policies, do not post prohibited content, and represent themselves accurately.
Bing is another popular search engine that allows companies to create business listings. Having multiple listings can also improve listing placement.
Creating other business profiles is necessary for local SEO strategy too. Social media pages, specifically Facebook pages, are becoming more popular for local businesses. Search engines also pull the information from social media pages and count them toward results.
Take out your phone, open Google, and search “best Italian restaurant.” What do you see? The top results usually aren’t the best Italian joints in America—and likely aren’t part of a massive chain. They’re often locally-owned restaurants in your city that are close to where you are right now. That’s the power of local SEO. How can your small business use local SEO to get ahead of the competition online? Read on to learn more!
What Is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization is a part of search engine optimization (or SEO) that focuses on improving a local business’ visibility in local search engine results. The results that appear in local search results typically answer a “near me” intended question, meaning that a searcher is searching for something “in [CITY]”—or the search engine has understood that there were geographic constraints to the search.
By using local search optimization strategies, businesses can improve their visibility in these local search results for terms related to their business and their products or services.
Why Is Local SEO Important for Small Businesses?
Nearly half of all Google queries today are local searches. Even when someone performs a typical daily search, the chances that Google shows local businesses nearby remains high.
Why is that important for small businesses? Well, from 2017 to 2019, Google reported a 900% increase in searches that involved the phrase “near me today/tonight.” In an attempt to best meet the needs of its searchers, Google started providing more results for geographically-related searches based on:
That means, if your business is close to where someone is conducting their search, offers services or products they may be searching for, and has optimized local business listings, then you’re more likely to be found by potential customers online.
What Are the Benefits of Local SEO?
In addition to getting better visibility in Google search engine results pages (SERPS), investing in local SEO has other advantages for small businesses.
A Cost-Effective Marketing Solution
While it requires time and effort to manage your business information in online directories, you can typically set up local business listings across the web for free with tools like Google My Business and Facebook, which makes local SEO a more cost-efficient option for online advertising.
Helps Local Customers Find You
72% of consumers who search for a local business visit a store within five miles. So if you’re being found in local search results or in Google Maps, there’s an increased chance of capturing new leads for your small business.
Reaches Customers Who Are Ready to Buy
A whopping 80% of local searches that are performed on mobile devices convert into sales. This can be attributed to the fact that local SEO puts you in front of the customer at the exact moment they’re searching for a product or service, making them much more likely to purchase or at least inquire for more information.
Delivers More Qualified Search Traffic
Local search can help weed out searchers who aren’t likely to contact your business. This isn’t because search engines are making a concerted effort to shield businesses from customers, but because they want to provide relevant local results based on proximity and intent. So someone who’s 50 miles away probably won’t see your HVAC company pop up in search, but one who’s just five miles away would.
How Can Small Businesses Use Local SEO?
The actions your small business can take to boost visibility in local SERPs are simpler than you might think. Here are some of the easiest ways to improve your local SEO efforts.
Create Accurate, Consistent Local Citations
Local citations are instances where your business name, address, and phone number are mentioned online—for example, a local business listing. No matter where you add local citations on the web, make sure that your information is correct and used in a consistent format every time. This helps search engines trust your data.
List Your Business in Online Local Directories
Setting up local business listings in major search engines and online business directories like Google My Business, Yelp, Yext, Bing Places, and Facebook makes it easier for search engines to verify that your business is legitimate and that your data is correct. (Again, be sure your data is accurate and consistent!)
Set Up & Maintain a Google My Business Profile
By creating a Google My Business profile for your small business, you can feed your business information directly into Google Search and Google Maps. Not to mention, being on Google My Business allows you to monitor business reviews in Google, make quick updates to your hours, and even keep up with customers through features like Google Posts.
Respond Regularly to Reviews (Both Good & Bad)
Taking the time to respond to reviews online shows customers that you care and can be a positive signal for local search rank. While getting more business reviews may require some effort, once you start receiving them, you should be ready to respond—regardless of whether the reviews are positive or negative.
Add Hyperlocal Content to Your Website
Including local keywords in your website copy can have a big impact. Specifically, having business identifiers like “dentist in [CITY, ST]” built into your website content can help search engines better understand not just what you do, but also what local areas you serve. This means you’re more likely to show up if someone in your area searches for “dentist near me.”
Need help getting started with local SEO? Hurrdat can help you claim, manage, and optimize your local search presence. Learn more about local search optimization and sign up for our Local Search Fuel solution today!
Getting Faster Results
It is easy to understand the benefits of a local SEO strategy, but it is harder to implement one. Getting the best results is faster when using a professional company like SEO.com. Digital marketing strategies often change as search engines update their algorithms. Professionals research and stay up-to-date on these changes to get the best results.
Local service companies benefit a lot from hiring a professional team. Outsourcing local SEO needs to a professional team is less expensive than hiring an in-house specialist. An outsourced team also brings more expertise to the situation than a single employee.