Unlike products, home services can be particularly challenging to market. While the former has tangible proof of benefit, the latter has to prove to potential customers that they can deliver exceptional results.
The University of Texas at Tyler with Jan Griffioen of Griffioen Consulting discussed in an article that there are 3 challenges that service providers need to overcome in the marketing front:
- services are intangible,
- quality is variable and difficult to control, and
- services cannot be stocked.
The marketing challenge for home service businesses is not limited to traditional methods. Today, even with online marketing taking the lead, the challenge remains. How then can home service businesses step up their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to extend their market reach?
Letting People Find You Online
Customers now turn to their phones or computers to find a company offering the home services they need. You may wonder why, despite having a good website, no customer seems to be booking your services.
Gaining local traffic is the only way for your business to survive and this is where online marketing companies in Toronto, and other cities, specifically SEO companies, enter the picture. Wondering how to get noticed by local searchers? Here are 7 ways to execute SEO for your home service website:
Step #1: Optimize Google My Business
Google My Business is the search engine’s very own business listing. To optimize your Google Business Profile you need to create a Google My Business Account. This will give you the power to manage your profile and increase your visibility on the search engine.
You will need local SEO strategies to increase your rank but the good news is all it takes is a few tweaks. You need to incorporate relevant keywords into your profile and optimize it to rank in local results as Google prioritizes pages with terms that match the entered query, photos to legitimize the business, including operating hours and contact information for clients to reach you. Remember, it all boils down to targeting, quality content, and reputation.
Step #2: Link with Other Local Businesses
Link building is a practice in SEO that is not going away anytime soon. A backlink is when someone mentions another domain and links it to that site, like someone vouching for another.
The links will also help in making a website relevant in the industry as it sends search engines a message that there are contents that visitors should know. Getting links from credible partners like industry organizations and the local Chamber of Commerce can improve SEO performance and bring more traffic.
Step #3: Update Your NAP
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone or your company’s contact information. Search engines and clients judge the legitimacy of businesses based on this vital information.
Local rankings will depend heavily on how search engines categorize a local business’ relevance to queries. As your goal is to get many people to contact you and book your services, putting your business information straight up vouches for your legitimacy and sets you apart from other companies.
Step #4: Post Reviews
Similar to how word of mouth works, search engines also put a high premium on what others have to say about products and services. Google always looks at reviews and considers these as factors for ranking in their recent updates. Good reviews can earn you a high position in search engine returned pages (SERPs).
The more important reason to post reviews though is putting your best foot forward when introducing your business to prospective clients. Reviews like “Excellent service!” or “I am disappointed!” make it easier for customers to book or avoid a certain company.
Understandably, reviews will take time to gather. Consider including a feedback form in your email to clients or put up a feedback corner in your office. Another way is to link up to social media pages to your review page. Google will display three reviews in returned searches.
Step #5: On-Page Technical SEO
How friendly is your website? Are the headings identifiable? Is the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) identifiable? How responsive are the pages? Technical SEO demands hiring a professional, perhaps from a Toronto-based web design company, since the tasks involve tweaking your website to make it presentable and searchable. The following are the focus of technical SEO:
The headings are the large texts on the page, which make it easier for visitors to skim. More prominent headings make it easier for search engines to understand the content. It helps to target keywords in the headings of all pages while also taking into account the readability and human touch.
Make it a priority to include keywords in your URLs. However, for older pages, changing the URLs to accommodate keywords must be taken cautiously. Ask for a professional opinion before changing URLs and redirecting old to new ones.
Page Load Speed
Who wants to visit a website that takes forever to load and respond? Part of the optimization plan of websites is creating the best user experience. Making pages load faster helps push its search engine rankings and also keeps unhappy visitors at bay.
Step #6: Improve Location Pages
Is your home service business operating in multiple locations? Adding your location is an important move to take. Having an optimized location page about where you operate gives Google and other search engines the signal that you exist in this particular place and all people who are looking for a service you are offering should check you out.
Location pages are a great help especially if your competitors are not doing it or have not set up a dedicated location page. Location pages simply put you out there, making it known to everyone.
Search engines and customers are alike in a way that they prefer to transact with sites and businesses that do not let them go through detours or think so hard. The next time someone searches for a service in their area like ant control in Vaughan, or someone will look for a mattress store in Burlington, your listing and website are already there for them to click and visit. Also, don’t forget to add a location marker in Google Maps to tell visitors where your business is exactly situated.
Step #7: Optimize for Mobile Users
Statista.com predicts that 31.88 million Canadians will be using smartphones this year. The number is expected to increase by 33 million in 2 years. Needless to say, these numbers prove that more mobile searches will be done in the coming years. Acknowledging this, Google will rank sites using a mobile format.
Your website must be optimized for mobile users, starting with a responsive design. Make sure that phone users do not see bleeding borders, over-enlarged texts, misplaced pop-ups, and images that do not load. Make menus easy to navigate and the tapping experience smooth.
Also do not forget about the website content – the reason why people want to visit it. Make your services available and easy to book as they have a limited viewing screen and have an on-the-go personality. Make the user the centre of the mobile experience when designing your optimization plans.
Marketing home services both online and offline come with challenges but using trusted methods is a good start. Search engine optimization has been around for decades and most of its principles stay relevant through time. Mastering these steps and properly executing them helps websites rank on search engines, gain more website traffic, and generate more sales.