Delivering referral-worthy services to your clients is the easy part — you know what you’re doing. It’s helping people find you online can throw a wrench in things. Local field service technicians and contractors need to compete for their share of the market.
If you sleep on your online presence, you’re basically throwing in the towel, because being optimized for search engines won’t happen on its own. Here are six ways contractors and other home services professionals can ensure they come up in search results.
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1. Identify Your Top Search Terms
When people in your area go looking for your services, they’ll probably use specific search terms that include your city name. In order to rank in local searches, you should always use relevant keywords in your content. You can find the most popular search terms for your local industry, using tools like the Google Keyword Planner.
Specifically, a three to four-word keyword phrases, called “long-tail keywords,” are crucial to a successful local search strategy. If your long-tail keyword is something like “Northern Virginia roofing company,” you should use it in a variety of places, such as:
- The meta description on your website.
- Title tags for blogs and web pages.
- The body of blogs and articles published on your own website or submitted to other sites.
- The alt tags to your photos and media.
- The company description on all business listings.
2. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
A huge 57% of all online traffic comes from mobile devices. If your site doesn’t look good on a smartphone or tablet, you could lose customers. Most website builders like WordPress offer templates that are already mobile-friendly, so you don’t have to do any extra work. If you have someone build your website, however, make sure they build a mobile-friendly page. Mobile sites should have an easy menu, tap-to-call phone numbers, and linked maps whenever possible.
3. Claim Your Business Listings
From your business profile on Google My Business to your business profile in an industry directory, you should claim and control your listings whenever possible. This allows you to keep your name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistent across the web, which is important for good SEO. You can also optimize your description and business name when you control the profile. Link back to your website from your profiles when it’s allowed.
4. Take and Optimize Photos of Your Work
Photos and videos are given a lot of points by Google: users like visuals. Take photos of your work and display them on your website. You can also include photos on your blogs. Label the alt tags on your photos with an accurate description that includes your location, i.e. “Atlanta bathroom repairs.”
5. Stay Active On Review Sites
Yelp, Angie’s List, Yahoo! Local, it’s hard to keep up with all of the various review sites out there. But it’s very, very worth it. Customers trust online reviews as much as they trust the personal referrals of family and friends. After your profile is optimized, respond to customers quickly in a professional tone to make the pages active and build a good reputation online.
6. Use Posts On Google
In 2018, Google started letting business users have access to something called Posts on Google. This service lets you post deals, business events, and other fresh content through your business profile. Your deals could end up in search results, so integrate keywords into the mix.
Local SEO takes a few tricks, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be connecting with new customers in no time. Remember to ask your customers to leave a review, because user-generated content will boost your SEO as well as your reputation.
Lara V. is a contributing writer for mHelpDesk, a top-rated field service management solution. She is a creative and SEO writer based in the San Diego area. Her work has been featured on Expedia, Huffington Post, Quiet Revolution, and a variety of SEO blogs.