SEO might not be the first thing that comes to mind for small business owners when they set their marketing strategies. Many local businesses think that SEO is strictly for companies that do a large amount of their business online.
This assumption is a huge mistake. A reported 88 percent of consumers look at reviews on the web prior to purchasing services from local businesses. Small businesses can use SEO as a massively effective tool. If you have a small business, like a moving company, that is specific to one geographic area, you can use local SEO tactics and target your ideal market right outside your door.
To target your local market online for your moving company, here are 10 local SEO strategies.
Start with the Basics
You’ll first need to establish your business page with the search engines’ local directories. The big players are:
It’s a pretty straightforward task; simply enter your moving company’s name, address, and phone number, also known as NAP data. Make sure your NAP data are formatted uniformly with the information on your site. You want this information to be consistent anytime a potential customer finds it online.
Format Your Business Info Correctly
While it’s important for your moving company’s NAP information to be consistent on the web, you’ll also want to format it correctly. On your site, ensure your NAP data are formatted in HTML that is search bot friendly.
You can also use schema markup in your HTML code to give the search bots even more detailed information about your company. You can include available services or products, customer reviews, and more.
Include High-Quality Pictures
When customers perform local searches, they often pay attention to pictures of the various businesses. Ensure you upload professional-looking photos into your local business accounts for Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Google will automatically place a picture on your account, so make sure to pick your own.
Don’t Neglect Business Directories
After you’ve claimed your business on all the major search engines, it’s time to look at the review sites. Some of the most popular sites to focus on include:
Ensure these business review platforms list your business. You can also claim your company, like you would through the search engines. Make sure your NAP data on these pages are consistent with your site and search engine business pages.
Watch Your Online Reputation
Although claiming your page and optimizing your NAP data are important for local SEO, you also want to pay close attention your online reputation and the feedback your company is getting on these review sites. Google has repeatedly mentioned that reviews factor into local results for businesses, so focus on garnering high-quality reviews, especially for Google My Business.
Leverage Social Reviews
Many consumers look to Facebook to find reviews of products and services from their friends list. Focus on garnering positive reviews on your social media platforms to leverage this word-of-mouth style local marketing.
Separate Social Between Branches
If you have multiple branches for your moving company, set up social media profiles for each individual location. Social platforms, like Facebook, have location functionality, which allows business owners to control the pages for all individual locations, as well as the main page for the entire company. This lets customers interact with each branch and the company as a whole.
Create Locally Targeted Content
Build your content strategy on locally focused keywords and topics. Blogs, articles, and other content should hone in on the local area. For your moving company, craft content that relates directly to your business and delivers value on a local scale.
This might look like a blog post about local on-street parking regulations for moving trucks or the best time of the day to move in your city to avoid traffic congestion.
Remember Mobile Optimization
A good deal of local searches take place when customers are on the go. This means they’ll likely be performing their search on a mobile device. Make sure your moving company’s website is optimized for mobile users.
Tweak Your Title Tags
Include geographic descriptors in your title tags to boost your pages for local search. Instead of using “highly rated moving company,” use a tag like “best moving company in New York City.”
Optimizing your title tags lets search engines know that your services are local to your area, which increases the chances they rank for local searches.
When used properly, local SEO can push your moving company’s website to the top of the search results pages. By focusing on these local strategies, you can hone in on your target audience online right in your own backyard.