What’s the key to getting found by more customers on the Internet?
Yes, you need a website—but that’s not the be-all and end-all of your online presence.
A lot of your online visibility also has to do with how you’re promoting your business on sites other than your own website.
I’m talking about sites like:
- Bing Places for Business
- Google My Business
Why are these sites important?
Because search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo look at more than just your website to determine if you’re the right match for a potential customer. They look at your business’ presence all across the Internet to determine things like:
- How well-known your business is on the Internet...Are you listed on a lot of sites?
- Can your company meet the searcher’s need...Do you offer the right services?
- How close your business is to the person searching…Are you local?
- Is your company reputable...Do you have great reviews?
- Is your business active online...Are you regularly posting content and responding to comments and inquiries?
Answering the above questions with a “YES” will help your business...
1. Get featured in the “local search results” (i.e., the results that show up under the map on the results page).
2. Improve its rankings in organic search (the regular, unpaid results that appear below the map).
3. Be one of the results that appear in voice search (using a virtual voice assistant like Siri on a smartphone, smartwatch, smart speaker, etc.).
4. Get found more easily on sites that aren’t search engines (sites like Yelp, YP.com, HomeAdvisor, etc.).
Your online visibility as a local business is referred to as local search engine optimization, or “local SEO.”
And the better your local SEO is, the easier it is for prospective customers in the community to find your business online.
So, the next time you work on your Internet presence, don’t forget to focus on your online business listings.
In the end, it could be the difference between just an OK month and a great month!
Two local search trends that will affect your home services business in 2019
If you want your home services business to stay competitive in 2019, you need to stay up to date with the latest local search engine optimization (local SEO) trends and best practices.
Because those trends and best practices will determine how visible your business is to local customers searching the Internet for the services that you offer.
Here are two local search trends you need to have on your radar to ensure your home services business gets found by as many local prospects as possible online.
Trend #1 - Most people don’t discover your business online via your website
They discover your business via Yelp.
They learn about your company through a Google business listing.
They discover your business through voice search on a smartphone.
Which means your home services business needs to be present all over the Internet, with accurate business listings on sites where customers typically go to find local service providers (Google’s business listings, Bing’s business listings, Yelp, HomeAdvisor, YP.com, etc.).
The stronger your business’ presence is both on and off your website, the easier it will be for prospective customers to find you on the Internet.
Trend #2 - Customers are reviewing businesses online more than they used to
Customer reviews for home services business nearly DOUBLED from 2017 to 2018 on sites like Yelp and Google, which means you need to be on top of your customer service and review-building efforts like never before.
- Set up profiles on popular review websites like the ones listed above and remind customers to post feedback on these sites (“Leave us a review on Yelp!”).
- Monitor your reviews and respond quickly to customer feedback (both good or bad).
- Train your techs on how to deliver better service (being on time, asking the right questions, sharing helpful tips during their visit, etc.).