How do people find plumbers, roofers, landscapers, house cleaning professionals, and other home service businesses these days? Well, they usually go straight to a computer or smartphone to search the Internet. Research shows that about 80% of consumers search for local businesses online, and 75% don’t scroll past the first page of search results.
Here’s an important question to consider: does your business’ website come up in online searches for services such as yours in your local area? Is your website listing high enough in the search results that it actually gets seen and clicked on? If not, then you are likely missing out on calls and new jobs.
So how do you get found in search results? One winning strategy is search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is one of the most powerful and effective forms of online marketing. At its heart, SEO is a group of techniques you can use to make your website and your online content search engine-friendly and user-friendly. When used correctly, SEO gives your website a better search engine ranking, which allows your site to appear higher in search results, such as on the first search page instead of the fifth.
SEO is so important that we have previously listed it as one of the 3 website must-haves for getting the phones ringing. Below are a few SEO best practices that can help your website improve its search engine ranking. Below are a few SEO best practices that can help your website improve its search engine ranking.
When people look for information on search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo, they type in certain words and phrases. These words and phrases are called “keywords,” or “search terms,” and they help to connect the right online users to your website. One basic SEO strategy is to identify keywords that your target customers are most likely to use and then use those keywords (naturally) throughout your website content. When you do this correctly, search engines are able to easily see when your website is a good match for certain online users, which can make your site appear higher up in the search results.
Unique Relevant & User-Friendly Content
Today, search engines give higher ranking to websites that appear to provide the most value to their users. This means websites can’t rely on keyword optimization alone—they have to also include high-quality content that online users actually want and can benefit from. Your content should additionally be easy to read and skim.
For better SEO, your website content should be:
- Informative and well-written
- Highly relevant to the needs and interests of your target customers
- Original (don’t use copied content)
- Updated regularly to show search engines that you keep your site fresh and up-to-date
- Skimmable (avoid long blocks of text, use subheads and bullet points)
- Naturally optimized with relevant keywords (rather than overstuffed with these words and phrases)
- Naturally linked to by other reputable websites (no paid links)
User-Friendly & Mobile-Friendly (Responsive) Design
Search engines want to show searchers the websites that will give them the best user experience. You can boost your website’s SEO by incorporating the following into your website:
- Fast load times
- Search engine-friendly and user-friendly coding
- Simple website structure that is easy to navigate
- Responsive design (making your site easy to view and use on smaller devices, including mobile)
Accurate & Consistent Online Listings (Affecting Local SEO)
In addition to thinking about your website, you will also need to think about off-site SEO factors, such as your listings on online directory sites such as Google My Business (Google+), Bing Places for Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, and Facebook. If your business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP) information is incorrect or not matching across your online listings, this can hurt your credibility with search engines, which can in turn hurt your ranking in search results. It’s important to ensure that your NAP is consistent all across the web, and also that your online profiles (especially your Google My Business profile) are set up properly.
SEO Can Get Your Found Online—But It Takes Work
Search engine algorithms are constantly changing and the SEO techniques that work today may not look the same a year from now, or even months or weeks from now. This means that your website structure and content will need to be frequently adjusted to keep up with the latest SEO trends.
An SEO expert can keep your site up-to-date and competitive in online search. This frees up your time to focus on the day-to-day responsibilities that come with running your business. Call Scorpion if you would like help with your SEO strategy.
For more useful home services marketing tips, download this free eBook.