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In Your Community, Be at the Top of the Local Pack: 10 Local SEO Tips for Service-Based Businesses

Vector Google Map search showing the local pack

Feeling buried in the online jungle? Do potential clients seem to miss your amazing service-based business, despite your prime location and stellar offerings? This blog post is your roadmap to local SEO domination, propelling your business to the top of search results and attracting clients right in your community.

Forget the national competition – we’re laser-focused on local searches. Think “plumbers near me” or “best hairdressers in [your city]”. These are the golden nuggets you want to snag, and with these 10 local SEO tips, you’ll be well on your way.

Let’s consider these statistics:

  • 46% of all Google searches are looking for location information
  • 92% of searches will pick a business that is listed on the first page of the local search results
  • 88% of people are searching for local businesses on their mobile devices and either call or visit the business within 24 hours.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO, or local search engine optimization, refers to the process of optimizing your online presence to attract more customers from a specific geographic area. It is a crucial strategy for service-based businesses that primarily serve customers in their local community.

In simple terms, local SEO focuses on improving your website’s visibility and rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for local products or services. The goal is to appear prominently in the “local map pack” which is the prominent section in a Google local search. Here the results show the top-ranking local listings for your location or the search location.

6 Benefits of Local SEO For Service-Based Business

Implementing local SEO strategies can bring several benefits to service-based businesses. Here are some key advantages:

1. Increased Visibility: Local SEO helps your business appear in the top search results when customers search for services in your area. This increased visibility puts you ahead of competitors and increases your chances of attracting potential customers.

2. Targeted Traffic: By optimizing your online presence for local searches, you can attract highly targeted traffic to your website or physical location. These are customers who are actively looking for the services you provide in their specific geographic area.

3. Enhanced Trust and Credibility: When your business appears in the top search results, it builds trust and credibility among potential customers. They perceive your business as reliable and trustworthy because it is prominently displayed in local search results.

4. Increased Conversions: Local SEO helps to drive qualified leads to your business, increasing the likelihood of conversions. When customers find you through local search, they are more likely to make a purchase or inquire about your services.

5. Improved User Experience: Implementing local SEO strategies often involves optimizing your website for a better user experience. This includes ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly, has clear contact information, and provides relevant and valuable content to users.

6. Cost-Effective Marketing: Local SEO is a cost-effective marketing strategy compared to traditional advertising methods. It allows service-based businesses with limited budgets to compete with larger competitors and reach their target audience without breaking the bank.

10 Tips to Improve Local SEO for Service-Based Businesses

1. Enhance Your Google Business Profile for Better Performance

To make sure your Google Business Profiles ranks well in local searches, you need to include information that is accurate, complete, and helpful. This includes your business name, address, phone number, website, business hours, appealing photos, and any other relevant details. Inaccurate or incomplete information can confuse potential customers and harm your local SEO efforts.

One of the most common next actions after engaging with a Google Business Profile is to call. 24% of people who click a Google Business Profile call directly from the listing.

To capitalize on this trend, businesses are using call-tracking phone numbers in their Google Business Profiles. When you use a call tracking solution, you can see the quality and quantity of calls so that you can optimize your Google Business Profile pages to drive higher-quality phone calls.

Don’t have a solution for capturing your Google Business Profile calls, we have a platform that can track your Google Business Profile calls so that you don’t lose business to your competitors.

2. Get Local Citations and Make Sure Your NAP is Consistent Across Your Website and Other Web Listings

Local citations is an online mention of a business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on platforms like local business directories, social media, and websites.

Google is more likely to show your business in local search results if it notices that your information appears on other trustworthy websites especially if your NAP information is consistent across those sources.

You can use Rooted Design’s Local Platform to help you build local citations—and ensure they’re all displaying the same NAP information. We partner with Yext which will make it easy for you to add your business information to about 70 different websites automatically.

Keep in mind that if you want to manually add your business to build local citations, focus on the ones that are likely to be most beneficial.

For example, let’s look at a restaurant.

The best citation sites would be niche-specific such as Grubhub for takeout or OpenTable if the restaurant accepts reservations.

Of course, you should also go for the more general citation sites like Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Foursquare since they are widely recognized and have a broad user base.

3. Monitor and Respond to Your Online Reviews

Reviews are one of the most important ranking factors for Google Business Profiles and they are equally important for other local listing sites your business appears on. These websites can include Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, and more.

Reviews build trust with customers especially when you make an effort to respond to them because it shows customers you care.

Not only are you building trust with customers by responding to reviews, you also signal to Google that you’re engaged with your customers and value their feedback.

That’s true even for negative reviews. An honest response to a negative review can positively impact your business image.

Here are some quick tips for responding to negative reviews:

  • Respond promptly
  • Offer to remedy the situation, for example, offer to fix the problem
  • State your commitment to improving your product or service

Finally, encourage your customers to leave reviews and make the process easy for them by providing clear instructions with direct links to your review page.

We can assist you with our platform if you would like an easy process to ask for reviews via text messages and email.

4. Incorporate Schema Markups into Your Website

Adding schema, the language of search engines, to your website can help the bots/crawlers better identify important information such as your business’s name, address, and locations. Schema can also be utilized to enrich the SERP with more detailed information about your business.

Even though using schema doesn’t directly boost your website’s search ranking, making your site easier for search engines to read could help you show up higher in search results for topics related to your site. And even show up in the local pack.

See the complete list of schema markups you can include on your website by visiting Schema.org.

5. Location-Specific Pages are a Must Have

Google reports that 46% of all online searches, and nearly a third of searches on mobile devices, are focused on finding location-based information.

This means that if you are not creating local content on your website, you are missing a major opportunity to appear in local search results.

To break this down, you should create location pages for each town, country, and region you serve so that when someone searches “Custom Pool Designer Atlanta”, you will have a better chance of showing up in the results since your page will mention Atlanta in the title tag, meta description, H1s, body copy, URLs, and image alt tags.

Keep in mind that identical location pages with location names switched out can hurt your rankings because Google will see that as duplicate content.

What you can do instead is provide real, valuable information for each location. This can include location-specific testimonials, location-specific services, any case studies you might have, and different FAQs.

6. Optimize Your Mobile Site Speed

88% of people who search for a local business on their smartphone either call or visit that business within 24 hours which means your website has to be optimized for mobile.

Ensuring your site loads fast on mobile devices can be the deciding factor between winning customers or providing a subpar site experience, driving them toward your competitors.

Here are some tips to speed your mobile website up:

Improve Mobile Site Speed with These Tips:

  1. Minimize File Sizes: Compress images and minimize file sizes to reduce load times. Use optimization tools or plugins to automatically compress images without sacrificing quality.
  2. Enable Browser Caching: Leverage browser caching to store static files, such as CSS and JavaScript, on visitors’ devices. This reduces the need for repeat downloads and improves loading speed.
  3. Enable Gzip Compression: Enable Gzip compression on your server to compress website files before they are sent to visitors’ browsers. This reduces file sizes and speeds up loading times.
  4. Reduce Redirects: Limit the number of redirects on your mobile site, as each redirect adds additional time for the page to load. Keep redirects to a minimum to improve site speed.
  5. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN helps distribute your website’s content across multiple servers, reducing the distance that data needs to travel and improving load times.
  6. Optimize CSS and JavaScript: Minify CSS and JavaScript files to remove unnecessary code and decrease file sizes, resulting in faster loading times.
  7. Prioritize Above-the-Fold Content: Load important content first so that users can start interacting with your site while the rest of the page continues to load in the background.
  8. Reduce Server Response Time: Optimize server response time by choosing a reliable hosting provider, optimizing database queries, and using caching mechanisms.
  9. Eliminate Render-Blocking Resources: Identify and remove or defer render-blocking resources, such as JavaScript and CSS that prevent the page from loading quickly.
  10. Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): Implement AMP to create lightweight versions of your web pages that load instantly on mobile devices.
  11. Test Your Site’s Speed: Regularly test your website’s speed using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to identify areas for improvement and track your progress.

By implementing these tips, you can significantly improve the speed and performance of your website on mobile devices, providing a better user experience and potentially boosting your rankings in local search results.

7. Make Phone Numbers Clickable

One simple yet effective way to boost local SEO for service-based businesses is by making phone numbers clickable on your website. This small but significant change can have a big impact on improving your rankings.

When users search for local businesses on their smartphones, they often want to contact the business immediately by clicking on the phone number. This improves the user experience and encourages more people to engage with your business.

In addition, clickable phone numbers are beneficial for local SEO. Google recognizes when a phone number is clickable and considers it as a positive user experience signal. This can help improve your website’s visibility in local search results, increasing the chances of attracting more customers.

To make your phone number clickable, simply add the HTML code for a clickable phone number link. Here is an example of how to do it:

<a href=”tel:123-456-7890″>123-456-7890

Replace “123-456-7890” with your actual phone number. When users tap on the phone number link, their device’s default calling app will open automatically, making it seamless for them to contact your business.

Remember to ensure that your phone number is prominently displayed on your website, especially on mobile devices. This makes it even easier for users to find and click on it.

8. Focus on Local Search Terms (Keywords)

Local keywords refer to the search phrases used by people in your vicinity when looking for products, services, or information.

Crafting content that incorporates these keywords can boost your visibility in local search results, including the local pack, enhance your organic traffic, and attract more customers to your physical location.

By targeting local keywords, your content becomes more relevant to local audiences, improving the likelihood that Google will feature your content in local search results.

To do this, focus on location-specific terms and phrases that your customers are using.

9. Get Active on Social Media and Add Posts to Your Google Business Profile

Google now views content shared on social media as more significant than it has in the past. By engaging with users on platforms such as Facebook, X, and Instagram, businesses can not only increase their visibility but also enhance their overall online presence.

There is no denying that social media is a great opportunity to create more exposure and buzz about your business and the best part, it’s FREE!

You don’t have to pay for ads and social media might feel like a chore but don’t neglect it. Our biggest piece of advice is to focus on one social media channel.

Go where your target audience is and post there. If they happen to be on Facebook, join the groups where they hangout. Just be helpful, and you will notice that business will begin coming your way.

We also advise regularly updating your Google Business Profile with the “Posts” feature. The shows Google that your business is active and will have a positive effect on your local rankings.

10. Perform Local SEO Audits

Once everything in the above list is done, you might feel like you can coast but SEO is an ongoing process and you won’t appear at the top of the local pack overnight. You have to keep working at it and adding content.

So what can you do? We suggest running SEO audits.

SEO audits let you know where your website currently stands and what you need to work on to help you achieve your goals.

Here are a few SEO audits you can run and what they will tell you.

  • Google My Business Audit – How does your Google My Business appear in search results? Is the information accurate?
  • Google Search Console Audit – Make sure your website is crawlable. If there are any errors, you would know what to fix so Google knows what your webpage is talking about and knows how to rank it.
  • On-Page SEO Audit – On-site auditing tells you your ranking of the page and the opportunities where improvements are needed.
  • Competitor analysis – Analyzing your competitors offers valuable insights into your market rivals, aiding in the enhancement of your marketing strategy.

Final Thoughts

The online landscape is crowded, and competition is fierce. That’s why local SEO isn’t just a perk, it’s a superpower. It’s your golden ticket to soaring above local competitors, building a reputation that shines, and boosting your bottom line.

By focusing on your local audience, you can offer products and services that hit the mark, resonating deeply with the customers right around you. It’s all about delivering what they need, how they need it.

Don’t miss out on this powerful advantage. Invest in a local SEO strategy and see tangible results. Watch your local rankings skyrocket, bringing you closer to achieving your business dreams.

Embrace the power of local SEO and be the standout success story in your own community.

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