As a business owner, you likely understand the importance of getting your business found online. With homeowners heading to search engines more than ever before amid COVID-19, being found digitally is a vital step in connecting with new customers and earning more revenue for your trade business.
Creating a website is one thing, but making sure that you have implemented the right SEO (search engine optimization) tactics to help your business’s success is equally important. With research showing that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results, it is clear as day that small and large businesses alike should be laser-focused on their SEO strategies to help their company be found on the first page of the search engine by homeowners.
While getting your business showcased on the first page is crucial, you may have noticed that the first page of search results has changed over the years. There are now multiple sections in Google search results in which homeowners can discover a business, some free and some not. As Google is continuously looking for ways to improve their user-experience and provide homeowners with the most accurate and relevant information, business owners must strive to keep on top of these search opportunities to learn how to rank above the competition. This includes one of the most influential and lead-driven portions of search: local search.
The first step is to understand whether your home improvement business requires a focus on the local search strategy. You can try expanding your keyword research circle based on the size of your business and the areas you provide your services. Head to Google and search for any important keywords related to your business, like “general contractor” for example. If a map with three listings appears underneath it (also known as a “map pack”), it’s time to get serious about your local SEO strategy.
Let’s dive into what local search means exactly and how you can improve the likelihood of being found in the local search results!
What Is Local SEO and Why Is It Important?
Local SEO helps your business become more visible in nearby or local home improvement searches. This form of SEO helps your business promote its services to your local online homeowner community at the exact moment they’re searching for your services.
For example, if a pipe bursts in a homeowner’s home they will need immediate help. In an emergency plumbing situation like this, it is all about how fast a pro can get to the home to resolve the issue. Therefore, local SEO is a prime resource for anyone in a trade who services emergency repairs or any business that helps customers keep a safe and functional home such as electricians, pest control, roofers, and more.
Let’s Cover 6 Local SEO Tips for Trade Professionals and Home Improvement Pros
Now that you know what local SEO is, it’s time to dive into what you can do to create and optimize your local SEO strategy and expand your online presence.
1. Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
The first and most crucial step in your local SEO strategy is to create or claim your Google My Business listing. Google My Business is a free business listing that can help you become more visible online. It helps your trade business appear in local search results for queries specific to your residential construction or repair services. When optimized correctly, your Google My Business account can help your business information display in the search results and maps.
While creating or claiming your listing is essential, you also need to optimize it. To help get you started, you can follow this Google My Business Checklist:
Google My Business Checklist:
- Sign up for Google My Business
- Ensure proper Business Name, Address, Phone, and Website is listed
- Add hours of operation
- Add business description
- Add quality photos and videos
- Add logo and cover photo
- Add business categories
- Post updates
2. Drive Local Traffic To Your Website Using Citations And Backlinks
Having a website for your trade enterprise is crucial in helping new clients discover you online. When looking to rank in local search, you should evaluate your website and see where you can localize your content. It can be as simple as including your city or region name throughout your site by creating a contact us page or a section on the footer and helping inform Google where you service and who your target audience is.
Another way to drive local traffic to your website is to implement backlinks and citations. These two elements can quickly make your website more accessible and easy to find. They will boost your SEO by connecting your website to local sources related to your service areas. Let’s break down each.
- Citations are “mentions” of your business’s NAP (Name, Address and Phone) on a third-party website such as a directory. When looking to rank in local search results, try to get listed on local directories related to your trade, general local business directories, consumer review websites like HomeStars and more.
- Backlinking is the process of getting other websites to link back to your website. These links from third-party sources help Google deem your content as a trustworthy and reliable source for researching homeowners. Collecting backlinks from your local community, media outlets like local news portals and influencers or your local hardware store, are great ways to help improve local SEO for your trade.
3. Create a Local Keyword Strategy
When searching for a residential trade professional, homeowners may use a variety of terms — some more general like, “contractor,” or, “contracting services,” and some more detailed like, “general contractor reviews,” or, “renovation contractor in Toronto.” As a business owner, you want the keywords on your website and other platforms such as your HomeStars profile, to be relevant to what homeowners are searching for. That way, a homeowner has a better chance of finding your content among the results on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
To determine which local keywords you should include on your website that relate to your services and audience best, you can start by building a list, and then conducting keyword research. Keyword research is researching, choosing and analyzing search terms that homeowners are using to find local businesses, like you.
When you conduct research, we recommend you focus on long-tail keywords for local SEO purposes. Long-tail keywords contain three or more words. An example of a long-tail keyword is “kitchen renovation services in Calgary.” These keywords are specific, so they help drive the most interested leads to your page. When users conduct local searches, they often use long-tail keywords to find the right business. If you integrate the proper local long-tail keywords, you may be able to attract more eyeballs to your business.
Try using Google Ad Words to get started, it’s free!
4. Collect Frequent Customer Reviews
Reviews help persuade prospects to hire your business and they help tell Google that your business is legitimate. Plus, they’re jammed packed with keywords and specific content that relates to your industry and location (perfect for local SEO!).
Consider this: Google recommends trade pros to researching homeowners in local search results. Do you think Google will take large risks and feature a business with 0 reviews? Or, will they shine the light on a home improvement pro who has a great portfolio of reviews from happy clients? Google’s goal is to provide helpful content and in the home improvement space that means reputable pros who have built themselves a golden reputation. Stack the odds in your favor and collect reviews frequently to help Google have more trust in your business.
5. Optimize Your Website for Local Search Using EAT
Having an optimized site is not only important for local search but SEO overall. Google wants to ensure their searchers are being brought to authoritative sites that exhibit expertise, mastery, and trustworthiness, also known as E-A-T. Let’s breakdown each.
E – Expertise
You’re the expert in your trade. You know that, but how does Google know that? You must exhibit this knowledge on your website through different tactics that your audience will enjoy, like an informative blog that can be shared with others.
A – Authoritative
Being an expert and sharing that on your website is one thing, but can other websites and industry-related pages attest to that? Links from relevant and authoritative websites are a huge factor when it comes to the ranking of websites. Placing your website URL on reputable, and trusted sites like HomeStars can increase your domain’s authority.
Try out Moz’s free Domain Authority score to help understand the authority of your own website.
T – Trustworthiness
And lastly, can your own customers speak on your behalf and report you as a great pro. Having reviews is one thing, but having reviews showcased on your website with the HomeStars review widget is a sure way to help improve trust.
6. Join HomeStars and Get Found by Your Target Audience
Search in all forms including local search paid ads and organic search is extremely competitive. For many pros who don’t have time on their side, they opt for HomeStars to help get their business in front of more project-ready homeowners in their local community.
At HomeStars you have a team that is continuously working to drive homeowners to our site. With a robust marketing plan including email marketing, online ads, SEO, social media and more, our team is here to deliver your business maximum exposure helping you connect with more local homeowners, hassle-free. Get started with us today!
Ultimately, local search engine optimization tactics help get your business in front of more homeowners in your local community. The key is to keep your content fresh and related to your local audience. Follow these steps, and keep your SEO efforts high and help earn more local business.!