Jumpstart Your Service Business With Best Local SEO Practices | Oui Creative

Best Local SEO Practices to Grow Your Service Business

If you own a service business in a competitive local market – lawyers, doctors, tradesmen and insurance brokers alike, this article is for you.

Nearly half of all Google searches have a local intent. If you’re not optimizing your digital marketing for local search, you’re missing out on a huge potential audience.

But where do you start? With so many different factors to consider, it can be overwhelming to know where to focus your efforts. That’s why we’ve put together this in-depth guide to the best local SEO practices for service businesses. We’ll cover everything from claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile listing to advanced strategies for taking your local SEO to the next level.

By following these local SEO practices, you’ll be able to improve your search engine rankings, drive more targeted traffic to your website, and get more customers. So let’s get started!

1. Optimizing Your Google Business Profile

 

Google Business (formerly known as Google My Business or GMB) is one of the most important tools for local SEO. A properly optimized listing can help your business rank higher in local search results, appear in Google Maps, and attract a slew of new customers.

Assuming you have already claimed and verified your profile, there are a number of steps you can take to optimize your profile and continuously follow best practices to beat your competition and increase the visibility of your business in the search results.

Google Business Profile (GBP)

Add Accurate and Detailed Information

When it comes to Google, the more information you provide, the better. Make sure the information on your profile is 100% congruent with your website and any other local listings you may have. The name of your business, the physical address, the phone number, the website URL and your business hours.

When Should You Have Multiple Profiles?

If your business has multiple physical locations or offices, you should create a separate profile for each location. Each profile should have the same brand or business name, but its own address and phone number. If you are trying to rank for each location separately, it is best to use “city” or “location” pages instead of your homepage for the website.

If your have a law firm “Johnson Associates” with an office downtown Los Angeles and another office in Orange County, consider having a different landing page for each location. There are many different ways you can go about this. The most common is simply to use a /location or /office silo followed by the name of the city or general area you are trying to rank for (johnsonassociates.com/office/los-angeles).

Pro Tip: Use a utm parameter in the website URL to track traffic coming from your profile in your Google Analytics account.

Collect Profile Reviews

Google reviews are one of the strongest ranking factors in the maps pack. You want to implement an automated way to reach out to current and previous customers and encourage them to leave honest reviews on your profile. Whatever you decide to do, do not bribe your customers for a 5 star review, as this is strongly against Google guidelines and could be a sure way to get you penalized.

Google Business Profile optimization tools

Leverage Your Google Business Profile’s Features

Google loves it when you use the full range of features they put at your disposal. They want you to attract and engage with customers as much as possible. Keep your profile current, upload new photos and videos regularly. Respond to every customer review (positive and negative), upload regular promotions (if applicable), events, and link to relevant pages on your website (blog articles). Try to think outside the box when it comes to your content strategy. Too many local businesses are stuck writing AI generated 300 word blog posts that offer zero value from an SEO standpoint, and even less value to your actual readers. Check out our article about Google’s E.E.A.T. content guidelines.

2. Building Citations and Local Listings

 

Citations are mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on other websites, such as local directories, social media platforms, and review sites. These citations are important for local SEO because they help Google and other search engines to verify the accuracy and legitimacy of your business information.

Here are some tips for building citations and local listings:

Local Citation Websites

Use relevant directories

There are many online directories that allow you to list your business for free or for a fee. These directories can help you to build citations and improve your local search rankings. However, it’s important to choose directories that are relevant to your industry and location. For example, if you’re a plumber in Boston, you should focus on directories that cater to Boston residents and businesses.

Keep NAP consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to citations. Make sure that your business’s name, address, and phone number are consistent across all of your listings. Even small differences, such as abbreviations or misspellings, can cause confusion and hurt your search rankings.

Avoid spammy directories

While it may be tempting to list your business on as many directories as possible, it’s important to avoid spammy directories that offer little value to your business. These directories may have low-quality content, irrelevant listings, or even contain malware or phishing scams. Stick to reputable directories with a good track record and strong user reviews.

By building citations and local listings, you can help to improve your business’s visibility and credibility in local search results. Just remember to focus on quality over quantity, and to keep your NAP consistent across all of your listings.

3. How to Use Local Keywords in Your Content

 

One of the most important aspects of on-page optimization for local SEO is the use of well targeted local keywords. Boosting your local SEO game will require careful planning, research and strategy.

So, how do you identify relevant local keywords? First off, try using some keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer. These tools can help you discover the most popular local search terms in your industry. Another trick is to analyze your competitor’s websites and see which keywords they’re using. You might just find a few gems that you hadn’t considered!

Local keyword research for dentists in Overland Park, KS

When choosing which keywords to use, you should take search volume, search intent and competition into account. Make sure your copywriting is original and relevant to your page and target audience.

Make sure to avoid overoptimizing your page! Don’t use “Brooklyn Pizza Near Me 11201” as your H1 title. Actually, don’t use that anywhere. This is one of the most common mistakes we see, and we see it from so called “professionals” as well.

Use your local keywords in your page titles, headings, descriptions and image alt tags.

Remember, it’s important to strike a balance between using local keywords and creating high-quality, engaging content for your users. Avoid keyword stuffing and focus on writing content that your audience will love. With a little bit of creativity and strategic keyword use, your website can climb the ranks in local search results in no time!

3. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

 

Did you know that mobile devices account for over half of all internet traffic? Search engines like Google prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their search results, so it’s critical to ensure your site is optimized for mobile if you want to rank well locally.

So, how do you optimize your website for mobile? Here are a few strategies to consider:

Responsive Web Design

It’s 2023, you’d think most websites would be 100% responsive, yet we still see major issues in this department. If your website isn’t mobile device friendly, you are shooting yourself in the foot big time. Reach out to your web designer (or schedule a call with us).

Make sure your mobile site is user friendly in every way possible. Consider the use of a sticky call button or live chat to make it easy for your visitors to contact you.

Compress Your Images

Speed is one of the biggest ranking factors so if you have 15mb PNG images all over your site, you need to address this immediately. We recommend using WEBP format for all your images. You can use a converter to make this task easy.

Google Page Speed Insights

Regularly Test Your Load Times

Testing your website’s overall load times is important. Use tools like Google Page Speed Insights to see how your site measures up. This tool will give you a breakdown of any issues and recommendations for improvement.

By optimizing your website for mobile, you’re not only improving the user experience for your visitors, but you’re also boosting your local SEO efforts. So, don’t let a clunky, slow-loading website hold you back from dominating the local search results!

4. Track Results and Adjust Your Strategy

 

Now that you’ve implemented all of these tips, it’s time to track your results and make adjustments to your strategy as needed.

Tracking your results is critical because it helps you understand what’s working and what’s not. By analyzing your website’s traffic, rankings, and other metrics, you can identify areas where you need to make improvements or adjust your approach.

Use Google Analytics (GA4)

This powerful tool allows you to track your website’s traffic and user behavior. You can see how many people are visiting your site, which pages are the most popular, and how long people are spending on your site. You can also set up goals and track conversions, which can help you measure the success of your local SEO efforts.

Google Search Console Interface

Use Google Search Console

This tool allows you to monitor your website’s performance in Google search results. You can see which keywords are driving traffic to your site, which pages are ranking well, and any errors or issues that need to be addressed.

Analyze Your Data and Correct Course

Once you have access to your website’s data, it’s time to analyze it and make adjustments to your local SEO strategy. For example, if you notice that certain pages aren’t getting much traffic, you may need to optimize them further or promote them more aggressively. If you’re not ranking well for certain keywords, you may need to adjust your content strategy or target different keywords.

Remember, tracking your results and adjusting your strategy is an ongoing process. It’s important to monitor your website’s performance regularly and make changes as needed. By doing so, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the competition and continue to grow your business locally.

5. Advanced Local SEO Strategies

 

Let’s face it, at the end of the day, when it comes to SEO, once you have the basics covered, you will need more advanced strategies to compete in tough markets. This is where choosing a partner like Oui Creative can make all the difference. We can help you take things to the next level. Businesses are focused on running their day to day and do not have the time or expertise to learn advanced SEO. Here are a few advanced local strategies you should use for your business.

Voice Search

One advanced strategy is optimizing for voice search. With the rise of smart speakers and virtual assistants, more and more people are using voice search to find local businesses. To optimize for voice search, focus on long-tail, conversational keywords and phrases that people are likely to use in spoken queries.

Featured Snippets

These are the answer boxes that appear at the top of Google’s search results, providing a quick answer to a user’s search query. By optimizing your content for featured snippets, you can increase your visibility and drive more traffic to your website. To optimize for featured snippets, try to provide a clear and concise answer to a frequently asked question in your content. Use structured data markup to help Google understand the content of your page and increase your chances of being selected for a featured snippet. Keep in mind that featured snippets tend to favor content that is easy to read and well-organized, so focus on creating high-quality, user-friendly content that addresses the needs of your target audience.

Google Featured Snippet above the SERP

Schema Markup

Schema markup is a type of structured data that can help search engines understand the content on your website. By using schema markup to mark up your local business information, you can increase the chances of your business appearing in Google’s Knowledge Graph and other search results.

Local Link Building

Local link building involves getting links from other local businesses and organizations in your area. This can help improve your website’s authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines, and can also drive referral traffic to your site. Some tactics for local link building include sponsoring local events, partnering with other local businesses, and getting listed in local business directories.

On paper, SEO isn’t all that complicated (well, it can be). It requires a lot effort to strategize, implement and measure your efforts in order to get the results you want. Getting to the top of Google SERP is achievable for most local businesses, but doing so on your own is probably unrealistic. Choosing the right partner is by far the most important piece of the puzzle. With so many tricksters out there, I have seen too many business owners get burned repeatedly. At the end of the day, there is only one thing you can’t argue with, it’s results.

 

Do you want to know exactly how much potential your website holds and how many customers you’re missing out on? Book our SEO ROI Forecasting analysis and find out just how much untapped revenue potential your website holds.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about how Oui Creative can help you dominate local search rankings, contact our team to learn how we can help you acquire more customers.