If prospects can’t find you on Google, they can’t become customers.
Local SEO services focus on boosting business listings in online search results, making sure you get found when people search for your company or products and services like the ones your offer.
If you’re like most savvy business owners, you understand the value and wisdom of delegating things that aren’t your forte (like accounting) to subject matter experts (like accountants).
Local SEO services are no different.
If you’re contemplating using the services of a professional SEO or marketing agency but aren’t sure what to look for, here are seven services you can expect from a local SEO agency:
1. Google My Business Optimization
Being found is great, but being in the top spot is even better. The top 3 local business listings get the lion’s share of traffic on any search engine (Link to: “What is Local SEO and Why Your Business Needs It”). The only way to crack the top 3 is with a solid Local SEO strategy, and that starts with an optimized Google My Business listing.
Your Agency should handle the setup, categorization, image requirements, rigorously ensuring information consistency (expect penalties from Google if they don’t!), as well as optimizing your website, sales funnels, and Social Media accounts.
Most importantly, an Agency will help you avoid penalty-inducing offenses, which can result in your business account being suspended. Something as simple as improperly listing two different locations, selecting the wrong category, or using the wrong keywords are enough to make you invisible to searching customers.
2. Local SEO citation building
If you read “citations” and had a flashback to high school term papers, don’t fret. SEO citation building is a lot more straightforward.
A citation is just a mention of your business on another website. It can include a mix of information, like your business name, opening hours, address, phone number, website, social media links, and pictures or videos.
While not a link in itself, these citations (once indexed, or viewed by a search engine) validate your business and ultimately increase your search rankings.
A good Local SEO Agency can launch citation building campaigns on sites like Yelp, Facebook, AppleMaps, TripAdvisor, and anywhere else people are likely to mention your business.
3. Keyword targeting
Choosing the right keyword to target is huge. Pick the right one (or ones), and your search-ability skyrockets. You land on the front page of Google in top spots every time.
Pick the wrong keyword, though, and the right customers won’t find you. Worse, you may not even be found at all.
An Agency will know how to design your listings, ads, and even how to write your web content to rank for your chosen keywords.
A good agency won’t just know how to rank you for keywords but will take the time to get to know your business and advise on which location-based keywords get you found by the most interested and qualified customers in your area.
4. Rating and Review Management
Your friend tells you his mechanic charges too much, takes way too long, does shoddy work, then tries to upsell him on tire and fluid changes he doesn’t even need. Are you going to drive across town to see that mechanic? Not likely.
That’s the power of the review. A few good ones and your customer base will increase exponentially. Enough bad ones, though, and customers will avoid you and head straight to your competitors.
The best generator of good reviews is a great service, but you still need to manage your online reviews. Or better yet, have your Agency handle them for you!
Make sure your local SEO Agency offers a review management service. They’ll keep track of your reviews (good and bad), and will address negative reviews by reaching out in a timely, friendly, and professional way.
Customers (even the angry ones) appreciate being heard, and initiating conversations helps to demonstrate your brand voice and increases your online reputation. A bad review handled well, can turn into great PR for your business.
5. Local SEO Link building
Citations are great. But backlinks are even better!
Backlinks aren’t just mentions of your business. They’re links to your website from other sites. And the better the website linking to you, the better you look to Google.
They’re not something you can (typically) buy or create yourself, though. Backlinks are earned. They’re earned by producing useful, engaging, quality content that customers want, then infusing it with properly chosen local keywords.
Your Agency needs to be able to produce content that other sites want to link to. Once other websites are impressed with what they see, they’ll link back to you in their content. And there’s no higher honor than that.
6. User experience analysis
User experience (UX for jargon enthusiasts) is exactly what it sounds like. The experience a user has on your website.
A bad user experience, and you’ve lost your lead forever.
What’s a bad UX? The page takes forever to load. When it finally does, it’s ugly, boring, and outdated. It’s full of cheesy stock photos and broken links. The copy is just a sales pitch and doesn’t tell you anything useful about the company.
With bad user experience, even basic things like a phone number or location are hard to find. Searchers get fed up, abandon your miserable webpage, and move on to your competitors. Worse yet, Google sees this.
Bad sites with high bounce rates (how quickly someone leaves the page) get demoted on search engine results pages.
Your Agency needs to understand UX well enough to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you! Like the experts at Collide, they’ll manage technical and non-technical aspects of your webpage (everything from creating your custom graphics load faster to making sure your written copy is compelling) to minimize bounces.
7. Mobile responsive design
A majority of searches aren’t done from home computers anymore; they’re done from mobile devices.
These tiny screens carry great importance – if your site isn’t mobile-optimized (meaning, if it’s not designed to be attractive and functional on a smartphone or tablet as well as a computer screen), you’re missing out on over half of the traffic you could be getting.
Any agency worth paying will ensure your site is mobile optimized as a standard operating procedure. If they don’t or try to tell you it’s not necessary – run.
There you have it—the Seven Dwarves of SEO that your Snow White agency needs to be able to do for you.
Did we mention Collide Digital is one of those Local SEO agencies?
When you’re ready to rank, let us know…