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SEO for Home Service Businesses: Getting Found by Local Customers

Start with the basics. The first thing anyone will do when starting up with SEO is to get familiar with how search engines work. Most small business owners do not have much experience with the intricacies of how search engines work. It can get pretty complex, but it is important to have a fundamental understanding of this concept, as it has a profound effect on your company’s visibility on the internet. Essentially, search engines work by sending out what are called “spiders” to crawl the internet. When you type in a search term on a search engine, it will display a list of sites that are relevant to your query, and it does this by “reading” or “indexing” your site’s content and comparing it to the content of other sites to determine which is most relevant to the search query. This is the underlying principle by which search engines help people find the answers to their questions.

Modern consumers are more empowered and informed than ever. This rings especially true for home service consumers, who have a daunting amount of information available to them about local service providers, and ample choice in this crowded marketplace. If your company isn’t visible in local search results, you are missing out on an incredible opportunity to connect with new customers and get more business. Using local SEO to get your company found by local consumers is the best way to make a lasting impact on your business. The goal of this guide is to provide information and resources to home service business owners on how to use SEO to increase visibility in local search results. This will be an invaluable resource for knowledgeable SEOs and novices alike.

What is SEO?

Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.

Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.

Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead, you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in the products that you offer.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. What goes into SEO? To understand the true meaning of SEO, let’s break that definition down and look at the parts:

Importance of SEO for Home Service Businesses

Home service businesses are fortunate for those seeking strong SEO service opportunities. Tens of thousands of existing similar businesses and models provide inspiration and utilization. No matter what your niche – plumbing, electrical, builders, cleaners, gardeners, improvement, and repairs – your business has an opportunity to pull from SEO traffic. The only barrier between you and a myriad of new customers dying to know ‘who is the best in town?’ is the realization and investment in this marketing way. SEO directly offers the ability to rank high and, in turn, gain an influx of new customers, to say the least. The customer-based pond is fished where you want to fish with SEO, pinpointing the customers who have a genuine want/need for your service and are looking to engage someone compared to other mediums which are based around interrupting a possible sales prospect. The modern-day consumer will go straight to Google with their wants. People who search for service businesses have the best intentions to engage compared to a browser or social media scroller, and these are the kind of customers you want to promote and engage in a service-oriented industry. Due to these high-quality interactions, analytics and data for site traffic and info on customers have never been so good. With SEO, businesses can easily track ROI, effectiveness, and learn how to tailor and improve future marketing strategies.

Optimizing Your Website

On-Page Optimization On-page optimization refers to all measures that can be taken directly within the website in order to improve its position in the search rankings. Examples of this include measures to optimize the content or improve the meta description and title tags. The next paragraph provides a good example of this when it lists the best practices for meta data. To a certain extent, on-page optimization overlaps with the use of keywords, in that it’s important to use them and in the event of over-optimization and/or keyword stuffing, search engines will demote your site. A well taken approach to on-page optimization may increase the relevance of some of your site’s pages for certain keywords thereby helping them to rank higher in search results.

Keyword Research Keyword research is the process of discovering what words are used by your potential customers to search for the services and products that you offer. This is one of the most important things that you can do when doing SEO. If you are optimizing your website for the wrong keywords, SEO is pretty much worthless. A good example of this is a company in NJ that specializes in mosquito control. Before doing any keyword research, they assumed that the best keyword phrase was “mosquito control”. This is what most people would assume, however it is not the best keyword phrase. After doing some keyword research, they found that the best keyword phrase is “mosquito control NJ”. The reason for this is that when people are typing in mosquito control, they could be looking for a number of things and there is a good chance that it is not mosquito control services in NJ. So, the best traffic is going to come from a keyword phrase that is very specific to what your company offers. At this point I’d like to let you know that I am biased towards using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool for keyword research.

Keyword Research

Keywords are the foundation of your SEO campaign. This section covers the basic strategies that apply to all the different kinds of websites. It’s also important to note that having your keywords so tightly knitted to your content affects its readability, especially when it comes to including them in links. Think about whether or not your site needs navigation links such as “More info on blue widgets”. Here “blue widgets” is the keyword and its inclusion in the anchor text is helpful for the page it’s pointing to. However, it doesn’t read very well and makes the site look like it’s more designed for search engines than user experience. This is a case where you may need to decide between user experience and search engine benefit. Your web pages can be optimized around 2-3 keywords, but no more. Choose the most important keywords for each page and don’t be too concerned if you are unable to optimize for some of the lesser ones. Trying to optimize a single page around too many different keywords will confuse search engines, making them unable to understand what the page is about. In cases where keywords are too similar (for example “blue widgets” and “indigo widgets”), you may want to consider combining them together and putting more focus onto a single keyword. This, in turn, can lead to creating a landing page with the address [Link] and links directed to this from other pages. Create a list of your chosen keywords and group them together depending on the pages that you will be targeting. For example, if you have a website selling kids toys, you may have a group for toy cars, a group for action figures, etc. With each page, you will want to go for 2-3 of the main keywords. Any more than that and it’s likely that the page will become unclear. Now do some research to find out which pages rank highest for each keyword and examine their use of these keywords, making note of what you believe helps them rank highly. This is an essential step to successful SEO and will be the resource for your ongoing optimization, so be sure to keep it organized.

On-Page Optimization

Another important aspect of on-page SEO is the content structure. Use taglines and headlines to construct the page. The more engaging the content is, the better. Within the first two paragraphs of your content, make sure you include your keyword. Search engines assign more importance to the first 200 words of a page, so be sure to include your keyword in that beginning area. Using breadcrumbs may improve the user experience, and this can help to increase your search engine rankings.

Aim to write content that targets specific keywords. Do this by using the keyword in headings and a few times in the content. But don’t write too much content. It could look like you are keyword stuffing, and you’ll get penalized for that. The optimum amount of content to write is 300-500 words for each keyword-rich page. Try to include multimedia within the content. Images and video can be used to explain things that are hard to put into words.

Generating quality content for your site is an important aspect of SEO. The content needs to provide value to your customers and it needs to be the right kind of content. Think in terms of relevance, structure, and multimedia.

Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization for companies is a simple procedure. Great adjustments can bring high outcomes. Any modifications made to a website to make it more suitable for internet users will result in high dialogue for the company. A mobile website gives an extra delivery on investment for your business, an advertising campaign that is highly powerful and extremely cost-efficient. It can also provide an advanced delivery for your search engine scores. This might sound complex, but you only need to start by making your website accessible to mobile search engines. Mobile media is the future and is developing every visual element and interactive feature of any modern website. The significant difference with computer website development is that when the standard website is developed, there is a chance that it won’t work with certain internet browsers because the code may have bugs in it. On the other hand, mobile website development is a brand-new venture and due to that, it can be expected to work on all mobile phones.

Off-Page SEO Techniques

Link building is a very effective way of increasing your SEO, even if it is a long process. For a start, if your website is already associated with a professional body or company, then it shouldn’t be too hard to obtain a backlink. This shows ease of association between quality. Coming from this, you should be cautious as to who you obtain backlinks from. Avoid obtaining backlinks from just any website, as if these websites are deemed to be of low quality, it can have an adverse effect on your website. A good way of obtaining quality backlinks is by creating sponsored posts, reviews, or a guest article for another website. As previously mentioned, if the content is of high quality and makes a good impression, then obtaining a backlink should be straightforward. Broken link building is another effective method. This involves finding a website with broken links, creating similar content to the broken link, then informing the website of the broken link and suggesting that they link your content in replacement. Another simple and effective way of obtaining backlinks is creating local directory listings or doing some form of charity work, then linking these back to your website. The charity work doesn’t have to be excessive, just something simple as sponsoring a local event, in which you may also be able to obtain a backlink from the event’s website.

These strategies focus on increasing the authority of your website. They can increase your website’s Moz Domain Authority, as well as your Page Authority. A boost in these areas should have a direct impact on the search engine result page rankings for your website. The reason this approach is so effective is simply that good quality websites are more likely to link to other good quality websites. If you have created a great website, then the aforementioned off-page SEO strategies should be very beneficial. In the eyes of a search engine, your website will be seen as an authority and more likely to appear in the search results.

Link Building

The objective of link building is a process that results in a great increase of links pointing to your website. This will improve search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your site. Although it may be crucial to increase links it is also just as crucial to maintain a good reputation concerning where the links are coming from. Always remember that quality links are far more important than quantity. High-quality links will help to increase your site ranking, poor quality links will have a negative impact on your rankings and it is possible for your site to suffer with the unfortunate “Google Sandbox” where it is difficult to increase rankings. High-quality links will result in a good reputation and often times site rankings will continue to increase, overall resulting in a successful link building campaign.

Another key to link building and link bait is to develop the right relationships. Never assume that your link builders and their link builders will have the same objective. Often times both websites will host a niche competitor from the other. In a perfect world an instance of “you link to our competitor and we will link to yours” will result in a win-win situation. This is not always the case and can often times lead to damaging already established relationships with those of your own industry.

The next important step in a link building campaign is to develop a link bait strategy. Often times link bait will be a piece of content, a tool or a service that is installed on a website in order to attract links. A great way to develop a link bait strategy is to study past link baits that you have produced, as well as to analyze those produced by others. A copy is a great form of flattery and when it comes to link bait it can often times lead to your content being better than that of your competition. Link bait is a very effective form of increasing links, and it is a very natural way to develop links to a website. When creating a link bait be sure to cultivate it for a few months, continued development will lead to a better end product.

Link building is one of the most important off-page SEO techniques. In its basic essence, link building is the process of getting quality websites to link to your website, in order to improve search engine rankings. There are numerous techniques that can be utilized in order to build links. Some of the most widely used techniques are directory submission, article marketing, press releases, and social media. Today, often times link building is self-created. It is more natural for a business to hire a link building specialist to create incoming links as opposed to creating them on their own. Always link build within your means. Never invest more money or time into link building than you can afford. The objective of link building is to increase search engine rankings and traffic to your website. So it would be unprofitable to try and build more links than you will get in increased search engine traffic.

Social Media Marketing

Social media advertising and marketing can be time-consuming and challenging to manage all accounts and maintain an active rhythm. Efforts may be delicate during the first months as progress is slow, but later on, efforts will return to compound. It is recommended to try and keep all social media networks and manage them in one place. Many providers often overlook targeted websites such as Yelp, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but accounts and authority from these sites sometimes weigh more importantly than substantial sites such as Facebook.

Social media networks have become an additional vital player in home service advertising; it is no longer optional. Usually, on your social media network websites, you will showcase your work, promotions, and deals. Social media is a remarkable tool for connecting your content with customers and signifying your brand identity. Working in social media provides brand signals, which are considered a Google ranking factor. This is vital for local businesses because many local service providers do not have a website; social media functions as an online identity for those organizations.

Guest Blogging

  • Obtaining backlinks from high-quality sites through creating valuable content is the best method for increasing link popularity and improving site ranking.
  • High-quality, relevant content is key to successful guest blogging. When a user is genuinely intrigued by guest post content, it is likely that they will click through to find out more about the contributor, and hence are more likely to be interested in the content or services on the contributor’s site. Therefore, it is important to blog about strongly connected subjects and industries.
  • The benefits of guest blogging are not only confined to link building. Establishing a name in the industry or community, exposure to a brand new audience, increasing a site’s social media activity, and bolstering relationships with peers are all additional benefits that may contribute to an improved ranking and stronger brand reputation.

Influencer Outreach

Influencer outreach is a great way to get some qualitative attention given to your website. If you can get the attention of an industry influencer and have them talk about your company on their website or to their social following, this can be a huge benefit to your website. This can result in a large amount of traffic coming to your site and result in more business for you. However, this is a very difficult technique because these people are in high demand. They will get offers for people wanting them to promote their websites or products all the time; you need to find a way to stand out to them. Usually, they will require payment as well, so this can be a costly technique. But a good mention from the right person can really have a positive impact on your business. Step one is to find out which people you would like to promote your website, and then you will need to build a relationship with them. This will involve things such as social networking with them, commenting on their blogs, and perhaps forming an agreement to help promote each other’s companies. You need to get them to the stage where they understand what you are about. A good way to do this would be to get them involved in something that you are doing, such as an interview that you can post on your site with the hopes that they will mention it on their blog. Once you have built the relationship, then you can see if you can get them to do something to help promote your website. This can be a very time-consuming technique. But it should result in a very positive outcome for your company if done the right way.

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