Welcome to The SEO Contractor's blog on the importance of local SEO for your business needs. As a professional SEO specialist with over 15 years of experience, I, CJ Kortes, will guide you in understanding the significance of local SEO and how it will grow your business.
This article will discuss the following:
Why you need local SEO—Hint, conversion rate.
Google's algorithms change, but its goals do not.
Budget, Test, Track, Adjust, Repeat, and Grow.
In today's digital age, online presence is crucial for businesses. However, more than simply having a website is required. With the help of local SEO, you can fight for the top of Google's search results, increasing your visibility and attracting potential customers. Let's dive deeper into why local SEO is essential for your business needs.
Here is why you need local SEO—Hint, conversion rate.
As a local home service business owner, you might think having a website and social media presence is enough to attract customers. Yet, without proper local SEO, your business will miss out on potential leads and sales. Local SEO helps improve your visibility on search engines like Google, leading to higher conversion rates and increased revenue for your business.
First, I'd like to be clear on conversions and how we look at them here at The SEO Contractor. Ultimately, you, the business owner, are looking at your ROI. Specifically, you want to know how much I am spending per month and how many sales I generate monthly. As your digital marketing team, we are looking at all the steps in between.
Improve Your Rankings For Higher-Quality Traffic
To gain a conversion, you first need to be found. People who search for services in their area usually turn to Google or other search engines to find businesses nearby. Local SEO helps improve your website's ranking on these search engines, which means more people will see your business when they search for related services in your area.
Local SEO helps target customers most likely to be interested in your services. For example, if you're a plumbing company in Houston, you want to attract people in the Houston area who need plumbing services. With local SEO, you can target keywords and phrases specific to your location and services, leading to higher-quality website traffic.
We first look at your impressions, which are how often your website, map, post, or ad listing show in Google when someone searches. You may show up in Google when someone types a search term or be seen in a social media feed when someone thumbs through, but that does not mean the searcher will click on your link.
Click Through Rate
The second metric we look at is your click-through rate which is the rate of clicks compared to impressions. So if your website displays in Google for 100 different search impressions, and of those 100 searches, the site is clicked ten times, your click-through rate is 10%. This concept is the same for Google and social media. Whenever your content has an impression within someone's feed or search results, we want them to click your listing, which is difficult because the viewer always has many options.
The below click-through rates as measured by First Page Sage:
Organic SEO *These percentages do not include map listings or ads and are more accurate between 30-8% for service industry who typically rank below ads and map listings
#1 Ranking = 39.8% click-through
#2 Ranking = 18.7% click-through
#3 Ranking = 10.2% click-through
Google Maps listing = 17.8-15.1% click-through
Google Local Sevice = 3.1-2.5% click-through
Google Cost Per Click = 2.1-1.2% click-through
Getting an accurate metric for click-through rates is complicated because each search yields different results. For instance, sometimes local service ads and PPC ads show, while others do not. Also, sometimes directory websites rank in the top spots, which draw lower click-through rates than a specific local company.
With the above data, we have noticed a common occurrence: the highest click-through rates come from organic and map listings first, then Google local search, and lastly, Google pay per click. Although the percentages are tough to nail down, they tend to stay in that order of hierarchy.
Lead/Call Conversion Rate
Our third goal is to gain a lead conversion, often referred to as just a conversion. Many marketers stop here and say that if you got a lead, you got a customer, which is only sometimes the case. We determine your lead conversion rate by how many clicks to your website or ad convert into actual contacts.
Now, let's take a look at some recent statistics on lead conversion rates for different marketing channels:
SEO: According to Shoreline Media, the average lead conversion rate for SEO is around 16%.
Pay Per Click (PPC): Across industries, the average landing page conversion rate is 2.35%, yet the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher, according to WordStream.
Google Local Service Ads: 46 percent of clicks go to the top three paid ads in search results, according to Dag Marketing.
Google Map listings: According to a study referenced by Moz, nearly 70% of smartphone users say they use Google Maps most frequently.
Facebook Advertising: The average lead conversion rate for Facebook ads in the home services industry is around 6.56%, according to AdBraze.
Booking Conversion Rate
Our final metric is to ensure the contacts we deliver are quality leads. We cannot track your internal sales, but we can track your bookings. We monitor all form submissions, listen to all our customer's phone call leads, and track which leads turn into actual bookings. With this added data, we can now understand our customers booking conversion rate.
Using our collected data, The SEO Contractor has determined that booking conversion rates for the home service industry are best for SEO leads. Our data is collected from 30+ customers and focuses explicitly on contacts turned into bookings from the below sources in quarter one of 2023.
Booking conversion rates are calls turned into booked appointments as measured by The SEO Contractor:
SEO = 57%
Google Local Sevice = 44%
Google Map = 40%
Google Pay Per Click = 11%
As you can see, local SEO has the highest booking conversion rates, while Google Local Service and Maps are next with PPC ads having much lower conversion rates. However, it's important to note that each marketing channel has its benefits and drawbacks, and a comprehensive marketing strategy should incorporate multiple channels for the best results.
Google's algorithms are constantly changing, but its goals are not.
As a local home service business owner, you know the importance of ranking high on Google. You also understand that Google constantly changes algorithms to provide the best user experience. But did you know that even though Google constantly changes, its goals aren't? Google aims to provide users with high-quality, relevant, and authoritative content. This section will discuss how focusing on content, and quality can help your website rank at the top of Google's local search results.
Originality and Substance
One of the key things that Google looks for when ranking websites is originality. Your content should be unique and not copied from other sources. Providing your audience with original information, reporting, research, or analysis is essential. Your content should provide a substantial, complete, or comprehensive topic description. When creating your content, focus on delivering insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious. Google rewards websites that provide valuable and original content.
Value and Originality
If you draw on other sources for your content, avoiding copying or rewriting them is crucial. Instead, provide substantial additional value and originality to the information you're presenting. Google's algorithm can detect duplicate content, which may negatively impact your website's ranking. Make sure your content is original and provides value to your audience.
Descriptive and Helpful
Your headline and page title are the first things users see on your website. It's essential to ensure they provide a descriptive and helpful content summary. Avoid using exaggerated or shocking titles that mislead users. Make sure your title accurately describes the content on the page, which will help increase click-through rates, another factor that Google considers when ranking websites.
Bookmark-Worthy and Shareable
When creating content, ask yourself if it's something you'd want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend. Google's algorithm takes user engagement into account when ranking websites. If your content is valuable, original, and engaging, users are likelier to share it, increasing your website's visibility and ranking on Google.
In-depth and Professional
Your website must provide in-depth details, statistics, and sources to rank at the top of Google's local search results, showing Google that your content is authoritative and trustworthy. Make sure to cite reliable sources, use statistics, and provide in-depth details relevant to your audience, which will help establish your website as an authority in your industry.
Budget, Test, Track, Adjust, Repeat, Grow:
The Ultimate Local SEO and Digital Marketing Strategy for Small Home Service Businesses
As a small home service business owner, you know that budgeting is crucial to the success of your business. But did you know that budgeting for digital marketing can also significantly affect your business's growth? With the right strategy, you can use local SEO and digital marketing to attract more customers, increase your revenue, and grow your business.
Here is a step-by-step guide on budgeting, testing, tracking, adjusting, repeating, and growing your local SEO and digital marketing efforts for your small home service business.
Before starting any marketing efforts, you need to establish a budget. Your budget will determine the scope of your marketing strategy and what tactics you can afford. Start by looking at your revenue and selecting how much you can allocate toward marketing. Following industry standards, I recommend budgeting 5-10% of your income towards marketing, which can vary depending on your business's goals and industry.
Initiate SEO and Marketing
Once you have established your budget, it's time to initiate your SEO and marketing efforts. Start by optimizing your website for local search, which includes creating a Google My Business account, adding local keywords to your website, and creating local content. Local content can be anything from blog posts about your community to case studies about your customers in your local area.
After initiating your SEO and marketing efforts, it's time to start testing. The key to testing is to start small and track your results. Begin with one tactic, such as creating a Google My Business account and monitoring how many views, clicks, and calls it generates. Use this data to determine if the tactic is effective or not. Remember that it may take time to see results, so be patient.
Tracking your results is critical to understanding how your marketing efforts are performing. Software tools like Google Analytics and Search Console are imperative to follow your website's traffic, click-through, and conversion rates. This data will help you determine what is working and what needs to be adjusted.
Based on your testing and tracking, it's time to adjust your marketing strategy, including changing your keywords, tweaking your content, or altering your budget. Make sure to keep track of any adjustments you make so you can see how they affect your results.
After making adjustments, it's time to repeat the testing process. Always wait to test and adjust until you find the optimal marketing strategy for your business. Remember that marketing is an ongoing process, and what works today may not work tomorrow.
Finally, once you have found the optimal marketing strategy for your business, it's time to grow. Increase your budget, expand your tactics, and continue to track and adjust your efforts. Focusing on local SEO and digital marketing will eventually attract more customers, increase your revenue, and grow your business.
Local SEO and other digital marketing strategies are crucial for success as a local home service business owner. You must focus on content and quality to rank at the top of Google's local search results. Budgeting, testing, tracking, adjusting, repeating, and growing are critical for local SEO and digital marketing for small home service businesses.
Google's algorithm constantly changes, but its goals remain the same: providing users with high-quality, relevant, and authoritative content. Optimizing your website for local search will increase your chances of getting found by potential customers and converting them into paying customers. By combining local SEO with other marketing strategies, you can improve your chances of success even further.
If you follow these steps and never give up, you can create a successful marketing strategy to help you reach your business's goals. Remember to stay patient, track your results, and be willing to adjust your plan as needed.
At The SEO Contractor, we understand the importance of focusing on content and quality. We have been helping local businesses like yours achieve top rankings on Google since 2011. To improve your website's ranking, contact us today to learn more about our SEO services.