While it was once standard practice for homeowners looking for a contractor to simply open their phone book, times have changed.
So have the methods people use to find local services. While word of mouth and personal reference are always great ways to build your business, you need to make sure that you’re also available to those people searching out local businesses on their own.
More than 40% of all searches done on Google are with the goal of finding a local business or service. If you want to boost your chances of being found by your target audience, you’ll need to have a local web presence that is current and easily located.
Using local SEO doesn’t have to be difficult, nor does setting up your business presence online. With a few simple steps, you can help ensure that the people who need your service the most are also likely to find you.
Google is the number one search engine available today, which means that the majority of homeowners searching for your services are likely using it to find you. Thankfully, Google makes it simple for businesses to set up an easily-found, local presence with their service, Google My Business.
Google My Business is a free tool that helps you establish an online presence that will put your business in front of those most likely to need it. For example, someone searching for contractors in their town will see a list of businesses local to them at the start of the Google search page. Adding your business to this list means you’re more likely to be seen in the first few minutes of someone’s search.
To get started, you only need to submit some very basic information to Google about your business:
You can add things like reviews and what services you offer, too. The more information you put on your Google business page, the more likely someone is to follow through to your site and contact you directly.
A citation is any mention of your business or services online. Google My Business is one type of citation, but it isn’t the only one. The more times your business shows up in online searches, the more likely people are to remember you and to reach out.
But the key to success is to focus on local citations where you’re most likely to be seen by people who can actually use your services. There are many ways that you can help build this presence.
Social media platforms like Facebook can help your business get citations and build an online audience. Review sites like Yelp are another method of getting local citations. Review sites also carry a great deal of weight and are often closely tied to online searches for your business as well as directory searches.
Search engine directories and local data sites such as Superpages.com and Angie’s List are also good places to add your business. Your local Chamber of Commerce website and local blogs can also help you gain some citations.
Review sites can help with more than simply getting citations for your business: they can also help you establish a reputation online. With so much information at their fingertips, homeowners today are increasingly aware of what happens in their home, and who they want to work on it.
Having good reviews on reputable sites like the Better Business Bureau or Yelp can help you gain the trust of future clients. References are valuable ways to establish trust as well, but they only help once the client has contacted you; reviews help clients make the decision to reach out.
Take the time to ask previous clients to leave you a review. If someone expresses happiness or satisfaction with the work you did, ask them to let others know. Direct them to your Yelp or BBB page, or post their testimonial directly to your website. Any good review you can garner can help your online reputation grow.
Local SEO is about getting your business in front of the people who need it the most. It doesn’t take long, and it can help you get the presence you need to reach more customers. Follow these steps to growing your business online and see what local SEO can do for you!