SEO, or search engine optimization, is the marketing process that helps you gain visibility in a search engine’s unpaid listings in search result pages. Unpaid listings are often referred to as “natural” or “organic” listings.
Local SEO is SEO with a local geographic focus. Local search engine result listings are generated a bit differently than listings for national or online businesses. Local SEO is an important online marketing concept to consider if you own a local plumbing business that serves a local geographic market.
Below, there are 7 tips that will help you jump start your local SEO campaign for your plumbing business to ensure your potential customers can find you online.
1. Set a Geographic Target
Before beginning your local SEO campaign, make sure you understand what geographic areas you are targeting such as specific cities, town or counties. Make a list of these areas so you can ensure your focus is on these areas. In addition, you should number these locations by priority. Your top priority areas may include cities where you currently generate the most business, as well as areas where you would like to grow your business.
Along with identifying areas you would like to target, gather all of the address information for your business location. If your plumbing business has multiple office locations, make sure have all the address information for these as well.
2. Optimize your Google My Business Page
One of the most important and most basic techniques you can implement for your local SEO strategy is the creation and optimization of your Google My Business Page.
If your page does not already exist, set up a new page for your plumbing business, optimize this page by including as many details as possible and verify your page.
Optimize your Google Business Page as much as possible by:
- Choosing the right business categories
- Upload high-quality photos
- Including your local phone number
- Adding business hours
- Including a unique description for your business
After creating your Google business page, verification of your plumbing business’s physical address will be required by receiving a postcard from Google with a pin/code.
3. Generate Real Reviews from Your Customers
Another important thing to include on your Google business page that can help you have better visibility in search engine local listings is the inclusion of legitimate customer reviews.
You can ask your customers directly to leave you reviews on your Google business page once it is set up. You can ask your existing customers in person or via email to leave you a review. Some customers may need some guidance on how to do this so it may be a good idea to provide specific instructions on how to do so.
4. Onsite Local SEO Factors
Another important factor in local SEO is making sure that on-page requirements are also met. These include title tags, headings, URL structure, page content and images.
For different service pages, try to include the city/town you are targeting within the title tags, h1 heading tag, the page’s URL and within the content. You can also add this within the alt tag of any images you include on these pages.
If you are comfortable working with some code, you may consider adding schema markup to the address information of your plumbing business on your website. This will signal to search engines that you are further verifying your business’s location.
5. Build Local Citations & Links
Another technique to help your local SEO efforts to increase your plumbing business’ visibility online is building location address citations and links. A local citation is a listing on another site that includes your business’s name, address information and phone number. When these are built, make sure your information stays consistent throughout and it matches the address information listed on your website.
In addition, some local directory websites may also allow for the inclusion of links. Links, in general, can help your SEO efforts, but links with local geographic relevance can help your local SEO efforts.
6. Start Blogging
Content marketing is another important component in SEO and can also help your local SEO efforts. The easiest way that you can begin to add content to your website is by using an onsite blog.
To come up with content topics for your blog, you can do some competitor research. You can look at plumbing businesses that you directly compete with in your local area or you can look at success plumbing businesses throughout the country.
Generally, plumbing businesses will blog about plumbing maintenance tips, DIY projects and other topics that homeowners or potential customers would find helpful. The content you publish on your website should be high quality and truly helpful for these potential customers.
Professional content can help you build credibility with your potential clientele by establishing your plumbing expertise. Relevant, helpful content helps to improve your visibility in search engines. This will also help your customers make an informed decision about using your plumbing services. These customers can become more likely to fill out a service request form on your website or place a phone call.
7. Hire an Expert
These are all fairly simple techniques you can do to jump start your local SEO strategy. However, you may be busy doing things to run your plumbing business and may not have the internal manpower to truly carry out a local SEO strategy for your website.
If you are lacking internal resources to do this, you may consider hiring an SEO expert. Typically, SEO experts either work for Internet marketing agencies or work independently. You can find these experts easily by doing a quick search online. You may also consider asking some of your friends who also own businesses about services they may be using or have used in the past.
When shopping around for SEO services, make sure that the company you choose to do business with practices white hat SEO techniques that comply with Google’s guidelines. In addition, make sure they are familiar with whatever platform your website is built on as well as vast knowledge in local SEO strategies.
All in all, as a local plumbing business, it is crucial for you to implement some sort of Internet marketing strategy to be sure that you are effectively completing with other businesses in your area.