Today, more and more companies are operating without a firm business location. Whether a business functions via an online website or from somebody’s house, it still needs to draw in customers just like any other company with a storefront does! We can update, boost and maintain your business listing in all these and more, local web directories for a low monthly price of $79.50. We have the latest Voice Search ready technology !
I’ve talked quite a bit about service area businesses (SABs) before, but since at Advice Local we’re all about getting local businesses found online – service area businesses included! – I thought I’d share more insights with you. Because service-based businesses function a bit differently from other companies, marketers often struggle with how to optimize them for search engines.
This time, I want to give you a comprehensive overview of our top beginner steps for service area businesses. These tips are vital to making businesses safe and profitable.
The Basics for Service Area Businesses
According to Google’s most recent guidelines, service area businesses can now remove their address from their listing or hide it. This is especially beneficial to SAB owners who operate from within their own homes.
Because SABs can still use Google My Business (GMB) listings, even without a public business location, it’s essential that they focus on obtaining local organic results. Basic information like names, addresses and phone numbers (NAP) should be correctly listed in multiple directories.
One thing service area businesses need to consider is how local users will find them if they don’t have a brick-and-mortar location. This is especially important to think about when the company has multiple service areas or branches. In many ways, SABs need local search engine optimization more than any other kind of business. People must be able to find the company naturally, even if they never visit an office or see the business in person.
To sum it up, the first basic step is to begin optimizing for search engines by creating accurate listings with directories like GMB. It’s a simple first step, but one that has massive, long-lasting benefits. Here’s a walk-through for optimizing a GMB listing for service area businesses.
SABs and Voice Search Optimization
Now that the SAB is listed, it’s time to think about the future and voice search optimization. According to a study by BrightLocal, roughly 58 percent of consumers have used voice search to find a local business’ information in the last year, and about 46 percent of voice search users look for local businesses daily. Voice search isn’t a passing trend – it’s a tool that will change how local businesses reach customers for the foreseeable future.
A large chunk of voice search users rely on the phrase “near me” when posing a query to their smart speaker or voice assistant. That’s where the local aspect comes in; Google loves providing users with answers based on relevancy and proximity.
Because service area businesses often do not have brick-and-mortar locations, they should consider additional ways to establish this local presence to appear in voice search results. This can be done through locally relevant content, listings that indicate areas served and a strong presence on social media. I’ve written post after post on voice search optimization strategies, produced a voice search guide and created the first-of-its kind voice search readiness algorithm and voice search readiness test, so when I say voice search is important, it’s no joke.
Why the Featured Snippet Matters to Service Area Businesses
You’ll never see Advice Local downplaying the significance of Google’s coveted featured snippet. It’s like being dealt a winning card when it comes to SEO and voice search. Not only is it the first thing people see on a desktop search, but it’s also where Google usually pulls answers for voice searches. Therefore, obtaining a featured snippet gets local businesses (including SABs) a substantial amount of attention from potential customers.
There’s no “right” way to snag the featured snippet, but there are a few things that will increase a business’ chances. Answering questions like “how to…” and “what is…” is a smart technique because it appeals to the phrases people typically use to search. Keep the answers short and concise, but also include the important answers in long-form content to establish authority.
The Yelp Strategy
Every local business needs reviews to survive, including – and especially – companies without a storefront that rely on recommendations to get more customers. That’s where websites like Yelp come into play. These sites allow SABs to interact with customer reviews and establish a positive reputation with locals.
Don’t have a profile on Yelp? Claim it ASAP by creating an account. You don’t even have to be the business owner to do this, just a verified representative.
Remember to add photos to Yelp and other review sites, even if there aren’t pictures of the business’ storefront location. High-quality images of products, company members and services can go a long way toward establishing authority and trust with local consumers.
Respond to reviews in a polite, understanding tone. No matter how angry or unreasonable a reviewer might be, stay true to the business’ brand and keep things professional. According to local study, a whopping 89 percent of prospective customers read the business owner’s responses to online reviews before deciding whether to contact the company. Show locals that the business cares about its customers and is authentic.
Social Media Platforms
People might not see SABs on the side of the road, but that doesn’t mean they should miss them on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Social media platforms allow service area businesses to establish an online personality that engages with potential customers and creates a local presence, even without an in-person location.
Use social media to post engaging photos that earn consumers’ trust. These photos are especially powerful if they highlight local relevancy. For instance, if the SAB provides landscaping services, post a picture of the work the company did on a local park or another location that viewers would recognize.
Social media also gives SABs the chance to connect with other local businesses. Online partnerships and interactions can bring many potential customers, especially if the interactions are only positive.
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Citations, citations, citations! There, I said it, and I’ll keep saying it until I have managed to convince every business on the web to fix their bad data. As you know, I’m passionate about helping local businesses get found in search results. As local marketers, we can’t do our job and help these businesses if they have citations that are inaccurate or of low quality.
A citation, as you know, is any mention of any business offline and online. While we all love when a citation includes the address, phone number and website link alongside the business name,
this isn’t always the case.
Inaccurate local citations damage both consumer trust and the trust search engines have in a business. This bad data is causing consumers to get lost, call bad numbers and ultimately choose the competition – you know, the competitor that actually has their local business data listed correctly on the web.
Citations and Local Ranking Factors UniteIn the most recent local ranking factors study, we learned that citation signals are 8.41 percent, Google My Business signals are 8.85 percent, review signals are 6.47 percent and social signals are 3.47 percent.
The biggest number is link signals, coming it at a whopping 27.94 percent. There are plenty of other signals to share with you that make up the 100 percent, but today I wanted to draw your attention to the big ones – the ones that are driven by citations. With all of these signals, they will usually include a mention of the business or a link to the business somewhere and somehow.
This is exactly the reason I’m talking about citations again and sharing this easy-to-digest citation myths infographic. Earlier in the year, we talked with you about citation myths and debunked quite a few in-depth. Today, let’s take a high-level approach. Are any of these myths impacting your clients’ placement in search results?
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High-intent keywords refer to search terms consumers use that indicate a higher likelihood to take a particular business action — typically one resulting in a transaction. The idea is that if a business can effectively reach customers who are performing searches including these keywords, they can more effectively drive conversions. Understanding these high-intent keywords is a critical element of building an intent marketing strategy, which refers to the practice of targeting individuals whose behavior dictates that they are more likely to take a certain action or make a certain purchase. Local Web Branding researches your competitors and your local market to enhance your web directory presence.
In 2018 Mike McVay, Accountant started working with local directories, SEO tools and high tech data aggregators to boost his website. He soon realized that within 6-months he increased his tax & accounting business by 40%. In 2019 he created Local Web Branding LLC. He now offers the same resources he used to grow his business to other small business owners. Most SEO companies will just take your money. Local Web Branding includes a guarantee with every order.
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