Whether your business offers roofing, HVAC, remodeling, windows/siding, or any other valuable service to homeowners, you’re likely to have some strong competition in your area. That’s because the home services industry, as a whole, is extremely saturated and competitive. If you want to find success and grow your business, it really boils down to setting yourself apart from other businesses in your area that offer similar services. And one of the best ways to differentiate your home services business is to focus your marketing on organic search and local search engine optimization (SEO).
As the owner of a home services business, your marketing expertise may be (understandably) limited. The good news? You don’t have to be a marketing expert to gain a better understanding of how organic search works and how you can leverage some best practices to optimize your local search rankings.
What is Organic Search/Local SEO?
Specifically, local SEO (also commonly referred to as organic search) refers to the process by which businesses improve their local search engine rankings. This way, when a potential new client searches Google (or another popular search engine) for services in a particular city or region, they’re more likely to stumble across your home services business organically.
Which Factors Influence Your Local SEO?
There are many factors that go into a business’ local SEO rankings—and search engines like Google are constantly updating their algorithms to best reflect the search habits of today’s consumers. Still, some of the most notable components that factor into local search for home services businesses include:
- Google Business Profiles
- Business directories
- Social media profiles
- Website design and responsiveness
The Importance of Organic Search
Why does local SEO matter, anyway? If you’re already focusing on other areas of your marketing/advertising, you might be wondering why you need to allocate additional time and resources to organic search.
Simply put, organic search matters because these strategies are how local businesses find new clients. If your home services business doesn’t have a local SEO strategy in place, there’s a good chance your competitors do. When you rank higher in local search engine results, potential customers are more likely to visit your business website and book an appointment or consultation. In fact, a 2019 Think with Google report revealed that local searches had grown more than 200% within two years—and this trend hasn’t slowed down. If your business doesn’t rank within the first page of local search results, you don’t stand a very good chance of being discovered by potential new clients.
Furthermore, from a return on investment (ROI) standpoint, organic search marketing pays off big time for home service businesses. If you’re looking for a way to get the biggest bang for your buck, allocating more of your marketing budget to local search is the way to go.
Organic Search Best Practices for Home Services Companies
Now that you have a better understanding of what local SEO entails and why it matters in the home services industry, it’s time to start building your own organic search strategy. You don’t need a lot of marketing experience to get started with these actionable tips that can make a huge difference in your local SEO rankings.
Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Start by making sure that you’ve set up a Google Business Profile (previously known as Google My Business) for your company. This is the first and most important step to making it easier for potential customers to find you online in local searches. You can sign up for a free Google Business Profile in a matter of minutes. However, Google does require that all businesses complete a verification process—so your profile won’t be visible to the public until after you’ve verified your local business. There are a few different ways to do this, ranging from receiving a postcard by snail mail or (in some cases) verification via telephone or online.
Even as you’re waiting for verification, however, you can take the time to fill out your Google Business Profile. It’s important, from a local SEO standpoint, to include as much information as possible on your profile. This should include such information as:
- The address of your business
- Your business phone number and other contact information
- Specific services offered
- Business categories
- Business hours (including special holiday hours)
Once your profile is live, be sure to promote it by posting and updating it regularly. Another great way to gain local search traction is to encourage current/past customers to leave reviews of your business on Google. These, in turn, will become visible to future potential clients while boosting your local SEO.
Boost Your Social Media Presence
In addition to optimizing your Google Business Profile, it’s also beneficial to have a strong social media presence as part of your organic search strategy. If you don’t already have business profiles registered on popular social media accounts (such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), now is a good time to do just that.
Of course, it’s not just about having social media profiles. For the best organic search results, you need to maintain an active presence, engage with your audience, and gain followers on social media. You can do this by posting about your services offered on social media, sharing recent customer reviews, and possibly even holding special contests and/or giveaways. If you have a blog, social media is also a great place to share new blog posts as they are posted.
Optimize Your URL, Tags, and Other Content
To improve your local search rankings, it makes sense that you should have some local search keywords on your website, on your blog, and elsewhere throughout your web presence. While you don’t want to “force” local keywords where they don’t fit naturally, it is a good practice to optimize your website URL, meta descriptions, tags, and blog content with local keywords that your target audience is likely to be searching for. This should include specific cities where you may offer your services.
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
Today, nearly half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices rather than from desktop computers. When was the last time you viewed your company’s website on a mobile device to make sure it was easy to use and navigate? If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be losing out on a lot of business. In fact, Google’s local search algorithms strongly favor websites that are responsive (easily viewed on both desktop and mobile devices). If your site isn’t responsive, your local search could be drastically affected.
How can you determine the responsiveness of your business website? There are a lot of free resources that will analyze your website and provide you with an overall responsiveness score or rating, so consider using one of these to see where you stand.
If your site isn’t responsive, there are plenty of free WordPress templates that you can implement to help with this. Or, if your web design knowledge is limited, you can always hire a freelance web designer to help you with this.
Build Strategic Backlinks
Last but not least, you can boost your local SEO by building strategic backlinks to your site and blog. Specifically, backlinks are links that direct people back to your website from another page. One of the best ways to build links is to become a guest blogger with another reputable source in your industry. By engaging your local community, you can get links from others to improve your relevancy and authority search signals. However, signing up for local business directories is another easy and legitimate way to build backlinks and thus improve your organic search.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to improving your local SEO. No matter what category of home services your business falls into, local competition can be fierce—so setting aside some marketing dollars for organic search is important to your long-term success and growth. By following these best practices, you can get off to a solid start in building your local SEO.
If you’re looking for further guidance, our team at Surefire Local is here to help. We offer business intelligence marketing software at a fraction of the cost of other tools. Meanwhile, our platform helps you manage the most important online marketing activities within one comprehensive and easy-to-use platform.
Ready to learn more? Schedule your free platform demo with the Surefire Local team by reaching out today.