Today, many businesses are already familiar with the positive impact that SEO, in general, can have on the traffic their website receives. However, SEO is about more than just getting traffic; it is about getting targeted traffic that converts to leads and finally sales. The more targeted an SEO campaign is, the more leads you can expect to get and consequently higher conversion figures. That’s why it is so crucial that local service-based businesses focus their attention on the pillars of local SEO and have a lead conversion strategy in place.
In this article, we’ll look at how local SEO can help specifically service-based businesses generate more leads. We’ll also briefly touch on common methods used to convert those leads to sales or clients.
Optimizing Your Google My Business (GMB) Account
One of the first things we often do is start with a business’s Google listing, also referred to as their business profile. It is one of the most effective ways to rank a business and is often a channel for initial contact by prospective clients. Also, ranking well on Google Maps means that your website may also rank well in local search results.
Many local service-based businesses don’t have a Google My Business account and are surprised that there is such a thing. Once we create an optimized profile, add all the required information and location information, it’s ready to start showing up in search results.
Creating a Google My Business Account requires the following:
- We need to create a GMB account and then verify that you own the business.
- Ensure that the listing has up-to-date information
- Respond to customer reviews when someone leaves one
- Include a logo, operating hours, payment methods, products sold and lots of images of the shop, workshop, employees etc.
- Publish posts, mainly announcements, special offers events, which are easily done via the Google My Business dashboard.
Optimize Your GMB Listing
Local service-based businesses that are already listed often don’t manage their listing. Also, a client or someone they might know probably just added them to Google Maps. They do not know of it, fortunately, though you can regain control of your listing and start optimizing it.
According to Jonas Muthoni – SEO consultant from LA Optimizing your listing has three significant benefits for service-based businesses:
- It gives prospects a way to find and contact you directly from the listing. Most people will just tap on a Google Maps listing for the service after checking out a few reviews and calling the company. However, if your number is incorrect or your office hours aren’t mentioned, it possible you will miss that lead. As a business owner, you know the value of a lead that calls in, so your business listing should be optimized to convert that lead when the calls start coming in.
- Replying to reviews is another essential aspect of your GMB listing management. Prospects searching for a service they need will start with going through the reviews. If they see that none of the reviews have been professionally responded .They assume the business either does not exist or does not have good customer service. Either way, you’re losing out on leads.
- It would help if you also started asking for reviews in person or online after you’ve successfully completed a job for the client. For instance, if you are a roofer, ask the homeowner to leave you a review after you’ve finished repairing the roof for them.
Optimize Your Listing Voice Search
We’ve seen the rise of voice search in the past few years, and this trend is only going to increase, which is why your listing should be optimized for it. That’s why it is so vital as local SEOs to optimize a website and associated service listing for the most common questions people ask their voice assistants, as opposed to what they type.
In our experience, prospective customers or clients will use more long-tail keywords when doing voice searches than regular searches. That’s why your content’s SEO will need to be optimized for a conversational tone, i.e. as if someone is speaking. One way to account for traditional questions is to use words like what, who, where, why, when, etc.
Our local voice search also focuses a lot on a searcher’s intent because people often search for a specific piece of information. For instance, if they are baking, they may ask Alexa to convert cups to tablespoons and want a quick answer. Also, your site needs to be optimized for voice searches asking for business hours. For instance, “What roofer is available right now?”
Have a Location Specific About Us Page
As a local SEO expert, we know the value of a localized About Us page on the main business website and the GMB listing. You need to have a location page for the area, which at the minimum provides information such as:
- Store hours
- Phone number, name, address etc.
- Description of the business
- Any current promotions
- Parking availability
- Google Maps attached to each page
If you are operating the service in multiple locations, then you’ll need multiple pages for each location. Each page will also need to be unique to that location in terms of content and what you offer there.
Local SEO, when done right, can yield many leads for service-based businesses. However, services need to optimize their business processes to convert those leads to prospects and then sales. Part of doing that is having good customer service and active SEO, which consistently works on optimizing your local GMB listing and answering reviews left by clients.
While local SEO can be challenging in some locations and for some industries, it is, for the most part, worth the effort and time spent. That’s why as a local service, if you’re not investing in professional SEO, it’s possible that you’re losing out on many leads and sales that come from people who fire up Google to search for dry cleaners, house painters, roofers, contractors etc.