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Navigating The Community: 7 Local SEO Tips For Home Services

Navigating The Community: 7 Local SEO Tips For Home Services

Elevate your home services with expert local SEO. Craft a compelling Google My Business, optimize for voice search, and transform clicks into calls.

As a home services provider, your community is your lifeblood. To truly thrive, it’s essential to master the art of local SEO—ensuring neighbors find you precisely when they need you most. 

From crafting a compelling Google My Business account to optimizing your website for voice search, these strategies form a dynamic blueprint tailored to put your business on the local map. Get ready to transform clicks into calls and searches into service appointments.

1. What is local SEO?

Local SEO stands for local search engine optimization. It's a strategy that focuses on emphasizing the visibility of your home services business in local search results. When someone in your area searches for a plumber, electrician, or landscaper, you want your business to pop up at the top of those search pages.

This type of SEO considers the unique aspects of location-based questions a potential customer may ask on a search engine like Google. It takes into account factors like proximity, relevance, and prominence.

The goal is to ensure when potential clients in your geographic area are looking for the services you offer, they'll find you quickly and easily (ideally, on the front page).

2. How is local SEO different from regular SEO?

Regular SEO is important for most businesses. But when your business is highly localized, like home services businesses often are, local SEO is what you want to focus on. Local SEO diverges from regular SEO in its razor-sharp focus on geographical locations. 

While regular SEO aims broadly at gaining visibility on a national or global scale, local SEO hones in on nearby queries and location-specific searches. Think of it as fishing with a spear rather than casting a wide net. It's all about targeting the right customers in your area.

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To illustrate, consider how you optimize keywords for local versus regular SEO. For your home services business, local SEO would leverage terms like "emergency plumber near Cleveland" instead of just "plumbing services." Keywords are how your customers find you.

The subtleties can be crucial—a detail-oriented approach is necessary to ensure that the nuances don't slip through the cracks. Achieving success requires understanding these differences and applying best practices tailored to stimulating regional interest and sales leads.

If you’re new to local SEO, it’s important to use digital marketing services to help your home service business succeed in your market. Getting your local SEO strategy off the ground can be difficult, but with some time and effort, you can implement a process that works for you.

3. 7 Local SEO Strategies for Home Services Businesses

Navigating the digital landscape is crucial for home services businesses. Dive into these 7 local SEO strategies designed to boost your online presence and connect you with your customers.

1. Create a Google My Business account

Your journey to mastering local SEO begins with creating a Google My Business account. This free listing plays a pivotal role in ensuring that your home services venture pops up when locals search for the help you provide. It’s the cornerstone of local internet presence.

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Setting up your Google My Business profile is easy, and it will allow you to connect with your Google Business Profile. To create a Google My Business Account, go to Google.com/business and sign in with your Gmail account. From here, you’ll want to optimize your profile.

Here are some tips on how to do just that:

  • Complete Every Section: Fill out your business name, address, phone number, website, hours, category and attributes, products and services from the business, and question and answer sections right away to ensure people find your business.
  • Make Sure This Information Matches Other Listings: Your name, address, phone number, and website should be the same on all platforms. Don’t use “co” on one listing and “company” on the other, for example. Also, update your hours during the holidays.
  • Write a Great “From the Business” Description: Write a welcoming description about your business that describes what you do. Include keywords that people will search for. Don’t include repeat information that’s on your profile (i.e., phone number).
  • Choose a Category: 84% of searches come from category searches, so be specific. For example, use terms like “HVAC contractor” or “Plumber” as your first category, then use a secondary category like “home services.” Don’t add too many categories.
  • Add Photos and Content: A professional photo will go a long way to promote your business, but don’t forget to post content from your Google Business account. Posting content regularly can keep your Google My Business Account relevant.

Other pieces of advice, like collecting reviews and answering customer questions, will be discussed in a later section. That advice will apply to your Google My Business Account.

2. Optimize your site for mobile

With the surge of smartphone use, your mobile site is often the first interaction customers have with your business. It’s crucial that this experience is seamless. Ensure your website's design adapts gracefully to smaller screens and loads swiftly, or you risk losing impatient visitors.

Take into consideration the user's journey. For example, buttons should be thumb-friendly and navigation intuitive. By optimizing for mobile, you cater to on-the-go users who may need your home services urgently.

Google also favors mobile-optimized sites that cater to your customer's needs, meaning this isn’t just about user experience—it’s a key ingredient in your SEO recipe.

crowd surfing in their phones and businesses optimizing mobile for SEO

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It’s pretty easy to optimize your website for mobile, as most website builders will have a dedicated section that helps you create a mobile-friendly version of your website. Web developers will also pay close attention to mobile optimization when creating your site. 

To make this process easier, ask yourself why your customers are visiting your website. For example, most home service companies want to make it easier for customers to contact their team and make appointments. To make your site both user and mobile-friendly, there should be easily visible buttons that link to your contact page on all blog posts, as an example. 

Make sure to regularly test loading times and responsive design features. After all, in our fast-paced world, convenience wins. Having an accessible mobile site showcases that your business understands and caters to your modern customer’s needs.

Backlinks act as endorsements from other websites that can ramp up your credibility in search engines' eyes. Aim to secure high-quality backlinks that are relevant to your home services industry by forging relationships with local suppliers and business associations.

You might consider sponsoring a local sports team or hosting a DIY workshop, then have these events covered by local media outlets. These strategies earn you not only valuable links but also bolster your community presence.

But remember, quality over quantity is important. A few robust links with a high domain rating (DR) pack more punch than numerous low-quality ones.

Website authority checker in ahrefs

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Keep in mind that regular SEO strategies can really bolster your searchability. For example:

  • Becoming a source for reporters and bloggers is important if you want to get free backlinks from other sources. To do this, you need to make high-quality content. You can also use resources like HARO to build more links on other websites.
  • Creating “Skyscraper” content, which includes content like round-ups (“Best Plumbing Tools”) and statistics (“Top HVAC Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind"). These are favorites among bloggers, as they contain a lot of helpful information in one blog.
  • Publishing ultimate guides and authority resource pages. These pages establish you as an expert in your niche, and there are other types of content that bloggers love to link to. Try to get your links on authority resource pages that talk about home services.

However, some strategies will only apply to local link building, such as:

  • Creating content based on local news and events
  • Partnering with local influencers that target the home services industry
  • Asking local businesses if they can link your content

Link building does require some maintenance. For example, if you change a blog post’s URL, you’ll have to ask each blogger to replace that broken link. You may also have to ask low-DR sites to remove your links, as they can negatively affect your domain rating and link profile. 

4. Ask for reviews from customers

Don’t underestimate the power of customer testimonials. Reviews are the digital word-of-mouth that can bolster your local SEO efforts. Encourage satisfied clients to share their positive experiences on platforms where your business is listed, like your Google My Business page.

But don’t just limit your activity to one place. Your Google Business profile, Facebook page, Better Business Bureau page, and Glassdoor are all great places to point your customers when you need a review.

You should also take advantage of online directories, like Foursquare, for the same purpose. These directories also include basic information about your business.

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You can ask for reviews in person, over the phone, through email, via text, or on social media. Any written correspondence should include a call to action about asking for a review. Even a simple “Liked our services? Leave a review!” can prompt customers to do so. 

There are some general best practices for reviews, such as:

  • Personalizing your ask and describing why reviews are important for your business
  • Providing a sample template for customers so they can leave a well-worded review
  • Offering rewards in exchange for reviews (any review, not just a positive one)
  • Send an email or text immediately after a customer uses your service
  • Follow up on your asks if the customer was happy, but don’t be too pushy 

Good reviews not only enhance your online reputation but also feed the algorithms that determine search rankings. They act as fresh, content-rich signals that search engines love. 

Don’t forget to reply to reviews, whether they’re positive or negative. In fact, replying to negative reviews can actually turn a bad experience into a positive one. When you respond, your customers will feel heard and respected. This effort could result in a saved relationship.

5. Take advantage of local keywords

Keywords are the bread and butter of any SEO strategy, whether it’s general or local. However, you’ll target a different set of keywords if you’re specifically or only targeting a local audience.

Local keywords often include city names, neighborhood details, and even region-specific landmarks in your web content and metadata. With that said, finding out which keywords you need can be a process, as it takes a lot of research and a few automation tools.

Here’s what you should do to start researching local keywords:

  • Consider the Services You Offer: A plumber isn’t just a “plumber.” They offer multiple kinds of services, such as boiler repairs, radiator installation, burst pipe repair, and drain unblocking. These keywords should be included, regardless of their popularity.
  • Use Keyword Explorer to Expand Ideas: Your brainstorming session won’t reveal all of your possibilities, so use Keyword Explorer to find more. Simply select your country from the dropbox, go to the “Matching Terms” report, and add the keywords you already came up with. This tool will produce keywords that are similar to those keywords.
  • Check Local Intent: Go to Google and check how many businesses come up with those keywords. As a rule, if Google shows a Map Pack (a map showing the location of multiple businesses), then that keyword has a lot of local intent (aka, a lot of competition). Try to make your main keyword one that isn’t as populated.
  • Check Search Volume: At the same time, you don’t want a keyword that’s hardly searched because that means you won’t be found. Use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to check the search volume of every keyword. Make your main keyword one that’s middle of the pack. Not too popular, but not so rare that it’s hardly searched.

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  • Use Group and Map Keywords: Many of your keywords should include your location. For example, "air conditioning repair in South Austin" or "Miami hurricane-proof window installation." These keywords should also point to your website’s pages.
  • Don’t Keyword Stuff: Keyword stuffing is when you add so many keywords that it makes your page look spammy. However, you can get around this by mentioning things that are relevant to your main keywords. For example, you can use terms like “fixed price boiler repair” or “window installation for a fair price” on your website pages. 

If you’re stuck on what keywords to target, you can use tools like Surfer SEO for your content, as it instructs you which keywords are popular in your industry. You can also do a keyword search on pages or websites that are similar to your own to see how and why they rank. 

6. Optimize for Voice Search

Voice search optimization is becoming a must as more people turn to digital assistants for help finding services. This is particularly true for home services, where urgent needs can arise, and voice search offers a quick solution.

Your SEO strategy should incorporate natural language phrases and questions that people are likely to use when speaking rather than typing. For this reason, optimizing for voice search is a very important part of your keyword strategy. 

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Keep in mind that voice queries tend to be longer and more conversational, so weave them into your content. Offer clear, concise answers to common questions within your field. If you cater well to voice search trends by including these terms on your website and social media pages, you'll have an edge when someone asks Siri, Google, or Alexa for a recommendation.

However, you’ll want to make sure that these assistants can quickly answer questions about your business. This is why it’s important to make information like your phone number readily available. When a person asks Siri what your phone number is, it should say it right away. 

7. Create unique pages for every service offered

This point is also tied in with keyword research, as you’ll want your customers to stumble across pages that are the most relevant to them. This increases their chances of using your services.

For example, if a potential customer is looking for “air conditioning repair,” but you only have a general page for all of your services, there’s a low possibility they’ll find your page. But if you have a dedicated page to air conditioning repair, the chance of them finding you goes up.

The clarity of your website structure contributes to its effectiveness in attracting the right audience. Dedicate a separate page to each service your home services company offers. 

This also allows you to delve into the specifics and benefits of each service, tailor your SEO with precise local and general keywords, and address distinct customer needs.

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Avoid cluttering a single page with multiple services, which can dilute your message and harm your search engine rankings. Instead, these individual pages serve as targeted landing spots for customers specifically searching for those services.

Your attention to detail here signals to both search engines and customers that you are an expert in every facet of your business. Crafting dedicated pages is like creating specialized aisles in a store. It makes for an easier, more efficient customer experience, leading them directly to what they need.

In conclusion

Now that you're armed with these potent local SEO strategies, it's time to roll up your sleeves and start building your online stronghold. Remember, every small step you take to market your business optimizes your chances of being the go-to service in your community. 

Begin by crafting a robust online presence, embracing the uniqueness of your services, and engaging with customers through reviews and localized content.

Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

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