When it comes to online advertising and marketing for small businesses, you can find a million different opinions on the best ways to gain visibility. Some say that Facebook is the best place to be seen, while others say Google Ads are the path to success.
But there's one thing that all marketers can agree on; local SEO is essential for any business looking to succeed in this digital age. According to a report, 97% of users performed an online search to find a local business, meaning local SEO is crucial for small businesses. Here is how local SEO can boost businesses like plumbers.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a specific form of search engine optimization that focuses on ranking well in local search results. The difference between local and national SEO is that while national searches are what people use when they want to find something online, local searches are more specific, such as 'plumber near me' or 'auto repair shop in San Diego.' It means small businesses like plumbers need local SEO to be discovered online.
Since small businesses typically have fewer resources than larger companies when it comes to marketing and advertising, it's vital for them to make sure their websites rank well for relevant keywords so customers can find them easily. It can be helpful if your business does not have a strong brand presence, which means you don't have any brand recognition with potential customers.
Why Is Local SEO Important for Small Businesses Like Plumbers?
Local SEO is a vital part of any small business's digital marketing strategy. Why? Because local search results are the first thing that people see when they do a Google search, and if you don't appear at the top of these listings, none of your other content or PPC ads will matter. Plus, Google is known to favor businesses with a strong local SEO presence in their organic rankings over those who don't have it.
If you have a plumbing company or any other type of service-based business (like HVAC or auto repair), then chances are that you want more visibility online. It will help more people find out about your services and contact you for quotes or appointments.
That is where local SEO comes in. It allows businesses like yours to show up higher than competitors on Google Maps and other local listing sites such as Yelp and Yellow Pages. So people can find you easily when looking for something specific within their area and hopefully contact you soon after.
How to Conduct a Local SEO Audit?
Conducting a local SEO audit is the best place to start when it comes to improving your online presence. When you conduct an audit, you're gathering information about your website's performance with Google and other search engines. It allows you to see where there are opportunities for improvement and what needs immediate attention.
After collecting all of this data, it's crucial that you take action on the items that require immediate attention, like fixing errors on your site or making sure that pages have descriptive titles and meta descriptions. Then proceed with those tasks in mind as part of an overarching strategy for improvement.
What You'll Need During Your Local SEO Audit?
When you're ready to take your small business SEO to the next level, try a local SEO audit. But what exactly does that mean? An audit is simply an in-depth review of your website, business, and competition. It's also a great way to get started if you're not sure where exactly you want to focus your efforts.
Depending on how much information you have about your small business and its industry, this can be more or less complicated than it sounds. For example, let's say you own an oil change shop in New York City and have been operating for 10 years with good reviews on Yelp. But you haven't really had any time or money for online marketing until now. Chances are that most of what's going on with your site is fairly straightforward. But if you just opened up shop last week and don't have much going on yet except a Facebook page, then there might be some things that need fixing.
Use Google My Business to Your Advantage
Available Near me and Now Near Me searches grew by 100% and 200% in 2021. You can appear in these searches with the help of Google My Business. GMB is a management platform that lets you add information about your business and its location to Google Search. You can learn how to claim and optimize your business page with this tool, or consider using a third-party service like Local SEO Guide.
When it comes to local businesses, there are two ways you can use GMB. As an extension of your website and as its own standalone resource. If you're already using social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter for marketing purposes, setting up a profile on these sites may be enough in terms of an online presence. But if you want more control over the availability of information about your company-as well as more opportunities for customers to find out about it-GMB is the way to go.
With so many people searching online before making buying decisions locally, having great content on Google My Business ensures that potential customers get all the info they need before choosing which plumber they want.
Use the Right Keywords to Target Local Customers
According to statistics, 50% and more organic searches involved keywords with four or more words. You'll need to use the right keywords to optimize your website for local customers. This can be difficult because there are so many search engines and directories that you have to compete with. It's crucial to consider which ones are best for your business and ensure that readers find what they're looking for quickly when they visit your site.
The key is targeting keywords that people will use when searching for products or services like yours in the area where you're located. Your local customers may also want a way to contact or get directions from their mobile devices, so pay attention to these aspects as well. Keywords can indicate whether someone is looking specifically at an article about plumbers in the area or just general information on how plumbers work across different locations.
Using Tools to Help With Local SEO
There are several tools that you can use to help with local SEO. To get started, create a Google My Business listing for your business. Your listing will appear on Google Maps and other Google services when people search for businesses in your area.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool that shows you where people come from and how they interact with your website. It also lets you track how many people convert into customers by looking at the number of visits, pageviews, bounce rates, time on site, and so forth. You should analyze this data every month to see where improvements can be made to grow conversions for local searches like 'plumbers near me' or 'plumber reviews."
If you want to know how well your website ranks for keywords such as 'plumber near me," check out Moz Local's Keyword Difficulty tool. This tool gives an idea of how competitive specific keywords are within each region (city/state/country) based on their difficulty score numbers (1 being very easy). Knowing which keywords are easy targets versus those that require more work will help make sure that resources aren't wasted by focusing too much energy on difficult ones right away.
The simple fact is that most people don't know how to find you. Whether you're a plumber or a dentist, the majority of your customers will be found online. In fact, 71% of consumers research local businesses online before visiting them in person.
So if you aren't showing up on Google when someone searches for 'plumbers near me' or any other relevant keywords, then chances are good that you won't get the business that comes with those keywords. Local SEO is an important part of a digital marketing strategy because it helps small businesses like yours reach new customers who are searching for local services and products in their area.