Ever wonder how to get your business to show up on one of those “near me” searches?
This search function has become increasingly popular and is now a standard function for Google. Getting your business set up for “near me” searches can be incredibly lucrative and will bring more traffic to your doors. While this might sound complex, just a few quick steps can go a long way to getting your business on the map.
Step 1: Create a Google My Business Profile
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What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free profile allowing businesses to clearly display basic information about their company. This profile is especially useful when it comes to optimizing your business for local searches.
Setting Up Your Google My Business Profile
To set up a profile, all you need to do is visit Google My Business and complete the necessary fields. Here is the information you will need:
- Business Name
- Business Category
- Where You Serve
- Services Provided
- Description of Your Business
Once you finish completing the necessary fields, you will be asked to verify that you are the owner of your business. This is done for security reasons to protect you from those who want to falsely claim your business as their own. To verify your business, simply provide the basic information requested, and Google will handle the rest.
This may take a few days to be confirmed, but be patient as your business is one step closer to being ready for local search!
Optimizing Your Profile for Local Search
Once you have your profile set up with Google, optimizing your business for local search is a breeze. The general premise of optimization is to complete all necessary fields in as much detail as possible.
Start by providing an accurate name, category, and address for people to find you. Then, provide a thorough list of the areas you serve. This will be beneficial to you when someone searches for one of your services in a smaller city or town (ex. Roof Repair Rosemount). Follow this up with a clear description of your business along with photos of your team and/or work.
Pro tip: Use a brief description using your keywords when naming your files and photos (ex. rosemount-roof-repair.jpg) This can help boost your ranking!
Step 2: Create Location Specific Service Pages
This might sound a little silly, but creating a location specific service page for each location you want to rank in is an effective way of boosting your position on Google. This way, when someone searches for one of your services in a given location, you will have a genuine page built specifically for that place.
You can do this fairly quickly as well. Just duplicate your services page, and adjust the titles, headers, and some text to match the location you want to rank in.
Step 3: Create Blog Posts for Where You Want to Rank
Having a service page for a specific town is one thing, but you’re much better off if you have blog posts discussing various topics about that location. A common place to start would be a post discussing the best parks, lakes, or restaurants in the area. While this may sound odd, this helps build domain authority and will increase the likelihood of your site ranking for your keywords.
Google does its best to identify genuine articles, blog posts, and pages to provide its users with the content they are looking for. When writing these blog posts, put yourself in your customers shoes and write as if you are talking to them. Write about topics they would care about and try to relate it back to the location you are trying to rank in.
Our focus is to be genuine in all content we produce. If you are genuine about providing your service in a given location, be open and honest about it. Share that information in a clear and honest manner and you’ll be on the fast track to ranking on Google.
Step 4: Optimize Local Schema
Optimizing schema for local search is an excellent way to increase the likelihood of ranking. Schema (also known as structured data) is a form of micro-data in the code of your website that helps search engines crawl and identify the content of your pages.
If you have ever done a Google search, you have unknowingly seen schema in action. Google uses schema to pull information for features snippets, reviews, and oftentimes your Google My Business results.
How to Use Local Schema
When you are creating your webpages (especially those location specific service pages we talked about previously), you should take the extra time to optimize the schema for the locations you want to rank for. This can be done by adding JSON-LD (Google’s recommendation) coding to the address, hours, and contact information of your webpage.
If you don’t have any experience with coding, another way to do this is by adding a plug-in to your CMS. If you choose to do it manually, JSON-LD is the recommended choice because you can add it directly to the script without modifying any other code. This makes it easier for those of us who lack serious experience in web development.
Once you choose how you will implement schema in your website, you will need to pick what aspects you want to add. The most common are address, hours, contact information, and reviews. If you are doing this manually, it will look something like the image below.
Once you are finished adding the schema to your site, make sure to run the code through Google’s Rich Result test page to make sure everything was done correctly. This is recommended if you do it both manually or with a plug-in. If you are able to run the test and your page passes, you should be good to go!
By following these 4 steps, your business should be on the right track to ranking locally on Google. Even if you do not complete all of the steps discussed, a little goes a long way and any improvements are bound to help your business’s ranking.
Did any of these steps seem a little daunting? If so, there are plenty of experts out there to help! Hook Agency specializes in SEO for contractors and would be excited to help get your business on the first page of Google. Schedule a call today!