You know Google results can make or break your business, but what can you do if your local service company isn’t showing up for the right people and keywords? Check out these three step-by-step methods for boosting your page performance on Google.
Understand Citations and Use Them
Local citations occur when the name of your business is linked to other relevant information that makes it obvious to the search engines (and searchers) that you’re a local company. Increased numbers of citations boost your rank with Google.
Basic citations include the business name, address and phone number, but they might also include:
- Page or social media profile URLs
- Descriptions of your business, including categories
- Hours of operation
- Images and videos
- Driving directions to your business
- What forms of payment you accept
- Taglines for your brand
- Fax numbers
- Email addresses
Citations on Your Own Pages
You can use citations on your own pages by including these pieces of information on contact us, about us and “where are we located” pages, and you can also include core citation information in the footer of every page. Location pages on your site are ideal for including citations if you have more than one location, especially if you serve different neighborhoods or cities.
If you want to ensure search engines find this relevant information, use schema markup to identify it for the bots.
Claiming Off-Site Listings
Make sure your business information is complete and accurate with any off-site listings that include citation information.
If you only claim one off-site business listing, make it Google My Business. You may have to do a bit of work to verify yourself with Google and correct any listing errors, but it’s worth spending time to get the extra boost on Google. Plus, you can manage your GMB page with more than just basic citations, making it a great marketing tool.
Other places American service companies may want to claim listings include:
- Apple Maps
If you have a store or office customers may visit, you can also claim your Foursquare listing so people can check in at your site.
Verifying Off-Site Listings
While you can’t usually claim and own your listings with various professional networks, it’s worth checking to see that you’re listed correctly. Check listings for licensing sites and any organizations you belong to, and ensure your business name, address and phone number are correct.
Create Locality-Based Content for Your Site
Here’s the basic gist of how local search works with Google:
- Someone searches with a local keyword phrase (such as HVAC repair in Boston) or a service (HVAC repair), and Google uses geo-targeting and IP addresses to assume the user is in Boston.
- Google then serves up relevant pages for both HVAC repair and Boston.
- When Google deems something a local search, it may also provide a Local Pack — what it considers the top three relevant businesses that have Google My Business listings. Those show up at the top of the page as both a boxed listing and map results.
Ensure your page is deemed relevant for both the service/product being searched and the relevant location by including localized content.
This is more than content that simply mentions the location. It’s content with a local intent, which means:
- It provides something of value to local readers.
- It integrates local mentions organically.
- You couldn’t simply swap out the location for a new city and have the content make equal sense.
Here are some tips for creating great localized content.
- Repurpose local events and news stories into positive, relevant pieces for your company blog.
- Highlight local employees, customers or partner organizations.
- Integrate local facts when talking about your own services (HVAC companies can tie services in to specific local climate concerns, for example).
Get Links From Local Events
Finally, back links help increase your performance on Google — but only if they come from relevant, authority sites. Getting links from local events is one easy way to achieve this. Partner with local organizations, sponsor a charity event or take part in industry conferences.
For example, if you sponsor a booth at a local home improvement show, you gain both exposure to the crowd at the event and a link to your site on the event page that lists exhibitors.
Other ways to get quality local links include seeking a listing with the Chamber of Commerce, contributing to news stories and partnering with local organizations, such as libraries, schools or industry groups.