Today we’re covering hyperlocal marketing for home services contractors. You’ll learn what it is, how it can set you apart from your competitors, and some key strategies to effectively build an impressive local online presence for your small business.
What Is Hyperlocal Marketing?
As a local home services company, you have a service area, a geographic territory, where you want customers to find you. Hyperlocal marketing is a method that focuses on reaching a targeted audience within a specific area. So that customers find you when they’re searching for the services you provide within a particular area that you serve.
When someone wants a service, and they are looking for somebody local, there’s a lot of different ways they’ll search online. For example, they’ll use specific city names to look for people in their area – such as “best roofing contractor in Vienna, Virginia”. As voice search becomes more common, people are also finding new and different ways to search locally while on the go. For instance, mobile searches using terms like “near me now” and “best” + “right now” have exploded in the past couple of years.
So, setting up your digital presence in a way that helps you target people searching for these types of phrases and goals is very important.
When Google looks at your company, there are five major factors they consider when they try to decide how they should show you in local search:
- Recency: How often are you publishing new content on your website, directories, and social media?
- Distance: Where are you in relation to someone’s search. Does Google know you service the area that person is searching from?
- Prominence: Do other people/organizations link to your website as a source for knowledge and expertise?
- Relevance: Is your digital content valuable and useful? Does it provide answers to the questions people are searching for?
- Availability: Are your business hours set to open at the moment someone is performing their search?
To successfully build your online visibility, you need to consider what your clients want and what Google is looking for. The next step is to implement different strategies to meet these needs, so they look at your business and say “this is the right fit for what I’m looking for”.
What Should Be Included in Your Strategy? (With Tips to Help)
Here are seven important elements to incorporate into your hyperlocal home services marketing strategy. None of these are standalone — rather they all work in conjunction with each other to grow your visibility within your local market.
Your website is the home base for your digital presence. You want to make sure it is set up properly and is optimized for local search by:
1. Following proper URL structuring
2. Creating a detailed services area page
3. Making your contact info stand out
4. Adding structured data markup / local schema.
5. Making sure your site performs well on mobile and tablet devices.
Each of these factors requires more detail than we can cover in this article. However, you can learn more in our free ebook on website building and SEO.
Directory listings are essentially the yellow pages online and are one of the ways Google and clients will research you to verify you are a legitimate business. You want your business to be found on as many sites as possible. These include popular review sites (Yelp, Nextdoor, Thumbtack, etc), major social media networks, as well as more localized directories — such as the website for your city’s Chamber of Commerce.
When it comes to listings, we can not overstate the importance of claiming and optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) page. Having a GMB profile is a known factor for ranking well in local searches. It is what shows in Google search and Google Maps. It is how a lot of customers will find your business, so keeping it updated is critical.
You also want to ensure your business information is consistent across all of your different business listings. The more complete and accurate information that’s out there about your business, the more credibility Google and others have in ranking you highly in search. For example, your various listings should show the same hours of operation, use the same spelling of your name (indicating that you’re not two different companies with similar names), and have the same contact information.
Google takes reviews into account when deciding if they should show your business to searchers. Remember, Google wants to provide the best, most relevant result to a person’s search. If you have a lot of unhappy customers, Google is less likely to show your business because they don’t have the confidence that you will do a good job. Conversely, if you have a lot of very good reviews, that helps prove to Google that you could be the best candidate for the job. Review recency is key. 48% of consumers only pay attention to reviews written within the past two weeks. You also want a mixture of first-party reviews on your website as well as third-party reviews on popular listings (such as Google, Yelp, etc).
The more locally relevant content you create, the higher the chances are you’ll appear in local search. Blog posts, videos, images, infographics, podcasts, social media – sharing content shows Google that you are a knowledge source for that topic and provides ways for customers to interact with your business online. For hyperlocal marketing purposes, you want to include location indicators in your content. For example, using check-in options on social media or adding location keywords in titles, file names, meta descriptions, etc.
Paid advertising on networks like Google, Facebook, Yelp, Bing, etc., is another way to get your business in front of people searching in your area. They can be particularly valuable if you’re just starting and don’t yet have a lot of organic search presence. As you set up your ads, make sure that you’re targeting the correct information and especially the correct geography. You don’t want to pay for additional website visitors who are not going to be able to use your services since they’re too far away. Most ad platforms allow you to target by state, city, town, or zip code. You will also want to create location-specific landing pages for your ad campaigns.
When done correctly, email marketing is a great way to engage past customers to drive repeat business and referrals. According to research, for every $1 spent, email marketing generates a $32 return in investment (ROI). There are a lot of ways to build email lists. For example, you can ask people to subscribe at the end of your blog. Have a signup sheet at local events. Or keep a list of people who have contacted you for work in the past. Provided you have a way of tracking where a particular customer is from (such as in your CMS), you can set up location-targeted email campaigns. This is particularly useful if your business has multiple locations or service areas.
Branding is one of the harder pieces of marketing to nail down. However, it is super important. 84% of searches are discovery searches – meaning that people are not looking for you specifically, they’re just trying to see who can help them in their area. If you see a company and say “oh I’ve heard of them/I saw them at an event/I’ve seen their trucks around”, all of that is branding. It is the preconceived notions people have about your business based on your name, logo, content, and reputation. All the work you do to build your online presence is also contributing to your brand. As is getting involved in the community through participating in local events and supporting local charity organizations.
Bonus Strategy: Weather
Being in the home services industry (roofing, HVAC, landscaping, etc) you might also want to experiment with weather targeting. This will help you be in a better position to reach customers after large weather events (storm damage, droughts, floods, etc). While there will be a temporary market boom as people rebuild, it will also be extremely localized. You want to have an ad campaign or newsletter ready to go out that you can tweak the location to reflect where the damage is done.
Putting Hyperlocal Marketing Into Practice
Surefire Local’s mission is to help you make hyperlocal home services marketing easier by providing your business with an all-in-one marketing intelligence platform that’s available everywhere you need it across browsers and devices. We provide the all-in-one local marketing solution you need to attract customers and grow profits efficiently all from one convenient place.
Request a demo and see how we can make local online marketing easy for you!