Performing search engine optimization techniques are supposed to help you reach as many people as possible. As a contractor, there’s a good chance that many of your customers are nearby. That’s where local SEO comes in, which is an SEO tactic we use for our clients.
When done right, local SEO can get you onto local search results and literally put you on the (Google) map.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process and techniques used to gain more traffic and customers by optimizing your website and online presence. However, the target audience in mind is located much closer to you. These techniques are mainly for relevant local searches which are conducted through Google and other search engines.
HubSpot provides a fantastic infographic on the importance of local search. Some highlights include:
- 46% of all searches on Google are local
- 86% search for a business location on Google Maps
- 76% of local searches result in a phone call
- 58% search at least daily for a local business on their smartphone
As a contractor, chances are that people in your area are looking for what you’re selling. Local SEO is important because it helps get your business in front of them.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free solution for submitting and verifying basic information about your business to Google. Businesses that have one or more brick-and-mortar locations, as well as businesses that deliver goods and services to their customer locations, are eligible to have a page.
You’ll have the opportunity to select which categories your business falls under, and you can select more than one. You’ll also be able to verify your location, list your business hours and even upload photos. You can even view certain metrics such as the number of clicks, number of driving direction requests, and number of phone calls.
The most important thing, however, is filling out the NAP. This is your business Name, Address, and Phone number. These three items are how you’re identified online. Inconsistent NAP information across the web can confuse search engines and possibly result in fewer people seeing your business.
An optimized page on Google My Business can increase the odds of showing up on local searches, especially those that are near you. Google has found that an optimized listing is 70% more likely to attract local visitors, and 2.7 times more likely to be considered trustworthy.
Optimizing Your Website for Local Search
A website designed for mobile devices could give a boost to your rankings, thanks to Google’s mobile-first index updates. It’s not a surprise as mobile searches are increasing every year. Thankfully, Google provides a free tool that tests how mobile-friendly your website is. So it’s important to update your website for all devices.
Keyword research is will be huge if you want to be relevant for keywords and phrases that describe your business. While this research can be daunting, one easy way of finding keywords is to look at the language that your customers are using.
Another way to find these keywords is to perform a search for a product or service that your business offers. Then scroll to the bottom of the search results page to find a list of similar terms. This list can be handy.
These keywords should be placed (naturally, not forcefully) within certain sections of your website:
- Title tag
- Page or blog post title
- Anchor text
- The first paragraph of your content
Finally, use the special markup from Schema.org. This helps make it easier for businesses to structure the data how they want. It can help visually improve your organic rankings. By using this, you’ll help improve search engines crawl and index your contact information and other data.
A strong emphasis is placed by Google on inbound links. These are links that point from other websites to yours. This survey from Moz concludes that links one of the biggest factors in local organic rankings. Inbound links from relevant and trustworthy sources can be beneficial, as Google will consider the source of the link.
Colleagues, business contacts, and industry influencers are great sources for building inbound links. Other ways include involvement in the community through charities, schools, or hospitals, business referrals, or even appearing on the local news.
Social Media and Local SEO
It’s on record that Google doesn’t use social signals as one factor for rankings. Nonetheless, your business should be on social media.
At the very least, you should claim business profiles on all of the major social media companies: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. This way, nobody else can claim them under your name.
Make sure to use the same contact and location information across each platform as you would on your Google My Business page and your own website. This helps Google associate these pages to your business. Plus, use high-quality images for your logo and any cover images or banners. Sprout Social provides a handy guide on image sizes for each platform.
Contractor Charlie can Optimize your Local SEO
It’s great that you’re producing helpful content for customers. But improving your local search results can help you reach more people in your geographical area. Contact Contractor Charlie to see how we can give you a boost to your local rankings.