Search engine marketing can be difficult for local service providers particularly those within the home improvements market. This space for premium keyword phrases is more often that not dominated by large directory websites such as Yell and others.
Authority websites can be difficult to surpass so when they enter your space on Google, given that 3 – 4 listings will be paid ads, chances of landing a page one listing without using SEO practises are not good.
Thankfully there are other strategies that can be used to increase organic visibility and rankings in local search results:
1. Bite back. A lot of directories will list local businesses on their sites so stake your claim on as many as you can, take a few minutes to fill out their form, then put as much information about your business as you can. Always try to include anchor text in any links you can get.
2. Create your Google Business Page completing with relevant information and localised keywords to ensure you show up in local search results. Ensure your location on Google Maps is correct, if not make the necessary suggestions and Google will edit.
3. make sure your website is targeting local keywords with phrases of between 3 – 6 words this will help you rank for the less competitive terms.
4. Run a comprehensive search for your business to check for any reviews. Obviously good reviews are better but remember the odd bad one looks more natural. Lots of reviews can also help your site rank better.
Creating your content for Local SEO:
Local SEO is not just a good idea for small businesses it’s vital your business website appears prominently in search results and more especially for service industries. Google is the first place people look, this kind of traffic is just about the best there is, missing out on this rich source of potential new business is not recommended!
Mobile search is every bit if not more important in local marketing so a critical factor for better rankings is the website must be optimised for mobile. Sites that are not mobile friendly will have high bounce rates. When users visit a website then leave straight away Google deems the reason to be that the content is not relevant and rankings may drop.
Schema Markup needs to be included as well. Put simply, including Schema makes life much easier for search engines bots as
they are able to learn quickly what your website is all about. In return, theoretically the website is rewarded with better placement however, any advantage could be negated should competition incorporate Schema on their sites as well.
Regardless of whether competitors do so or not it is very important for websites to be optimised for mobile, include Schema markup and it is also a good idea to make your website secure with SSL.
SEO optimization to a local market requires the use of long tail keywords (phrases from 2 up to 4 or 5 keywords). As a rule of thumb the more words used within a phrase, the more chance the site has to rank first page, possibly even at number 1.
‘Electrician’ does not tell search engine bots that an electrical company’s website is targeting Birmingham. Search engines will view this as worldwide meaning the chances of this website ever getting found are extremely low.
‘Electrician Birmingham’ could see this site being displayed in search results for Birmingham, UK. Birmingham Alabama etc which would dilute any chance of ranking numero 1 in a competitive market. ‘Electrician Solihull, Birmingham’ tells search engines exactly where the site belongs.
The broader you go the greater chance of ranking high in results, however the downside is in most instances those terms do tend to have less traffic. To get the best of both worlds it may be necessary to engage the services of experienced professionals.
In any given local marketplace there will always be competition who are actively trying to dominate the online space. Those who occupy top positions will likely already have utilized such services, so unless can do the work yourself it may be necessary to pay someone else if your goal is to dominate the market for higher traffic keywords. SEO Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is where we are located but of course are happy to provide services in any country.
Local marketing strategies:
Relying heavily on mobile & search engine traffic is never going to be enough within a local marketing space. When someone views your site online chances are they are shopping before deciding what and where to buy. When those same visitors visit your store or sit across a table from you, things get more personal.
Next time they view your website they will put a face to it, whether that face be you the owner or a staff member is irrelevant but personalisation should be capitalized on to the max.
From the day a website first goes live the end goal should be to generate leads and sales. Business owners know the figures are the only things that matter, but to that end there needs to be real desire to build long term. Accepting how things are, especially in the online world will help prepare for success.
When potential buyers visit in person everything is real, online they view photos of products or faces of people who are maybe not. Online they don’t talk to you, can’t touch and feel the quality so accepting the fact they may never buy or even come back is something we have to take.
However, there is a word… a kind of link which can help turn things around. That word is INCENTIVE.
When visitors drop by your website they act in much the same way as window shoppers. They’re looking on through a window or a screen thinking how nice that sofa or mahogany table is.
That moment in time could be the one and only opportunity a business will have to generate a sale from this visitor and like with the shop window, computer, phone or whatever more often than not it’s now or never.
While it’s easy to think more visitors will come that word INCENTIVE should be ringing loud inside your head. Incentives whether online or off are the hooks businesses need to employ to rack up more sales. The sales might not come instantly but at the very least in those precious few moments, it’s vital to get their attention and create a degree of desire.
If we fail to get their attention it will be impossible to create desire, the hook or link is INCENTIVES. Accepting this is the key step when trying to persuade someone to join your list is paramount to long term plans.
Face to face will never be bettered and no matter how big or small building connections within the local marketplace is vital. Working with charities, sports clubs and the like can make profits simply by giving stuff away. Business for the future as well as today.