As a local service business (e.g., painter, plumber, electrician, landscaper), you may wonder how you should focus your marketing resources to get more leads and generate more sales.
You probably know by now that most people search online for… pretty much anything! In fact, 97% of consumers go online to find a local business.
SEO marketing isn’t news but here comes the plot twist – voice search!
Did you know that 58% of consumers have used voice search (e.g., Alexa, Siri, Google Home) to find local business information within the last year while 46% of voice search users look for a local business daily?
Not to mention, an increasing number of consumers are using mobile devices to look up local businesses and voice searches now account for 20% of all mobile searches.
In order to get your local service business found by high-quality prospects that are ready to hire a professional like you, it’s becoming more important to get featured in voice search results.
The biggest challenge, however, is that voice searches only deliver the top ranking results. Businesses that can get to “position zero” in relevant search results have a much better chance of being mentioned in voice searches.
It’s, therefore, more important than ever to get your SEO ducks in a row so your website gets top rankings in relevant local search results.
Here’s what you can do to move the needle for your local SEO ranking:
1. Format Your Content For Featured Snippets
Google’s featured snippets (or answer boxes) are prominently displayed in “position zero” of SERPs and used as answers in many voice searches.
To format your content so it’s shown as featured snippets, you should use the appropriate header tags, include relevant long-tail keywords in the headers, use lists or short paragraphs of text, and put data in tables.
Also, keep the content for featured snippets concise – the most common length is just 40 – 50 words long.
2. Create Content Based On Commonly Asked Questions
Consumers’ search habits have evolved dramatically since the days when users would type a bunch of keywords into a search box.
Today, searchers typically ask the voice assistance a question – just like they would to another human being. Therefore, your content should be written conversationally based on natural language questions.
Research how your ideal customers phrase their queries and identify the long-tail keywords they’d use when asking questions related to your topic of expertise and the services you provide.
For example, you can survey your customers, read social media posts, and look at customer reviews to find out the relevant key phrases to incorporate into your website content.
3. Increase Prominence With Online Reviews
Getting listed on Google’s local pack and having favorable star ratings gives you a better chance of being featured in voice search results.
Claim your listings in online directories and ask customers to rate your business on third-party review sites (e.g., Yelp, BBB) to increase your business’s prominence. In addition, boost your credibility and improve your SEO by getting your business mentioned in the local press or publications.
Don’t leave your online reputation up to chance – manage it proactively by optimizing your online profiles, responding to comments or reviews, and implementing an online review strategy to get more good reviews.
4. Optimize Your Website For Mobile SEO
Since Google has implemented mobile-first indexing, websites optimized for mobile user experience tend to get ranked higher in search results.
To improve mobile SEO, you should use a responsive website template, optimize all the assets, remove unnecessary images, and reduce site load time. Also, ensure that all the content is legible on the small screen and keep your content concise since most mobile users want to get quick answers while on the go.
In addition, you can leverage mobile-specific features, such as tap-to-call, location services or geo-fencing, and autofill to further streamline user experience while making it easy for prospects to get in touch with you.
5. Include Local Information
To increase the relevance of your content, incorporate local information, keywords, and verbiage to signal proximity to search engines so your website will more likely be featured in voice search results (e.g., when users ask questions such as “[ service ] near me.”
Insert local key terms into the title and meta description tags and use long-tail keywords to delineate the content topically and geographically. Put the local keywords as close to the beginning of a tag as possible to avoid it being truncated in search results.
Keep your website fresh by publishing timely local content. For example, a landscaper can create blog posts on topics related to the local weather conditions and how it affects plants.
If you’re sponsoring or participating in local events, publish a write-up on your blog. You can also piggyback on local news events and share insights related to your area of expertise.
6. Keep Your Content Focused and Simple
Piling on keywords is no longer the best way to get ranked in search results. Instead, focus on a small list of keywords that’d make the most impact on your ranking.
You should also understand the search intent of your ideal customers so you can target search terms that are not only relevant but also match the searchers’ customer journey.
In addition, you can append modifiers to common keywords associated with your services (e.g., “best plumber in [ city ]” or “top electricians in [ town ]”) to match the way many consumers phrase their queries.
The popularity of voice searches presents a great opportunity for local businesses that can rank high in search engine results.
The key is to stay current with the latest SEO best practices so you can consistently improve your website, content, and online presence to get the top rankings in relevant search results.
Also, ensure that your website is set up to turn the online traffic into leads so you can maximize the ROI of your marketing budget.
Sounds like a lot of work? We get it.
That’s why here at 99 Calls, we stay up-to-date with the latest in Local SEO marketing and Local PPC advertising so you can focus on servicing your clients and doing what you do best.
We help local service area businesses, not only get found online by high-quality prospects but also ensure that they have a highly-optimized and mobile-responsive lead generating a website to maximize conversion rates.
Learn more about our Local SEO and Local PPC services or request a demo to see how 99 Calls can help you get more leads.