While there aren’t as many corporate competitors, home service businesses still face stiff competition. Many service-area businesses have to compete against one another in a centralized location. So how do you stick out from the pack and dominate your service area? Here are a few marketing tips for home service businesses to implement into your local SEO strategy today:
Prioritize Your Website
Your website is one of the biggest aspects of your business’ online success. If you want to find new customers online and drive conversions, you need to optimize your website for SEO.
If you’re a plumbing service, you could optimize your web content with popular, local keywords like “plumbers in Omaha” and “best plumbing services in the Midwest” to improve your chances of appearing in common local search queries like “plumber near me” or “best plumbing services in Omaha.”
Once you feel comfortable with the content on your site, there are a few design aspects of your website that can be the difference between users leaving your site and choosing your business. Focus on these elements to optimize your website:
- Engaging imagery and design
- Calls to action
- Easy and quick buyers’ journey
Complete Your Google Business Profile
Having a complete Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is one of the biggest ranking factors in local search. For service-area businesses, it is even more vital to thoroughly complete and continually improve your Google Business Profile (GBP). Here are some of the more important aspects of a service-area listing on Google.
Make Sure You’re a Service-Area Business
When setting up a Google Business Profile for a service-area business, you should indicate to Google that you are, in fact, a service-area business. If you service areas but still have a physical location that customers can visit, you’re considered a hybrid business. If you don’t have a location, it is against Google’s guidelines to indicate that you are anything but a service-area business. Your profile could be suspended and temporarily removed from local search rankings if you violate the search engine’s guidelines.
Pick the Best Business Categories
Choosing the best business categories on Google can give your GBP listing a better chance of performing well in local searches. To stand out from competitors and appear in a wider variety of searches, your primary category should be as accurate as possible, and your secondary categories should comprehensively represent your other offered services. Even your services section should be specific and easily understandable to a potential customer.
For example, if you’re a plumber who only works for residential clients, your business services should include “plumbing” and “residential plumbing” but not “commercial plumbing.” This will give your business a better chance of appearing in relevant searches about home plumbing while leaving you out of commercial plumbing queries.
It may seem like you want to appear in as many searches as possible, but this isn’t the case. If someone is looking for commercial plumbing and visits your site only to find you don’t offer that service, the user will bounce (leave your site early) without converting (getting in contact, inquiring about services, completing a sale). If your bounce rate is too high, Google will start docking your local search ranking.
Focus on Reviews
For home service businesses, reviews are one of the most important factors in local search ranking. Reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other review platforms are all used by Google to determine local search rankings. If you aren’t driving in enough reviews, or if your reviews are mostly negative, Google won’t view your business as a trusted provider of these services.
If you need more positive reviews, you’ll have to find natural ways to earn good reviews because internal reviews are against Google’s guidelines. And when you finally earn reviews, respond to them. Thank customers who leave you positive reviews, and respond to negative reviews by apologizing, addressing the problem without making excuses, and offering to fix the issue if the user reaches out privately.
Try Google PPC & Local Service Ads Ads
Local service ads are incredibly lucrative among home service businesses because they are the first options users see when they search for home services on Google. Local service ads appear in a horizontal row at the very top of search engine results pages (SERPs), with “Google Guaranteed” results appearing first. This guarantee means that Google—using its sole discretion—will reimburse customers if they received unsatisfactory service from the backed business.
To become a Google guaranteed business, you must be screened and verified through Local Service Ads. Some of the checks Google runs include:
- Background checks
- Business registration checks
- Insurance checks
- License checks
Directly below local service ads are pay-per-click (PPC) ads. PPC results look like normal Google listings, with the exception of an ad indicator. PPC ads are common practice among home service businesses because, in most cases, local businesses won’t have to bid against big-name companies—just their service-area competitors—for advertising spots. But there are only three spots on SERPs, so be aware of how much you are bidding and run a cost-benefit analysis to see if PPC is worth it for your business.
Leverage Social Media
Social media is one of the best places to engage your target audience. The key to social media success is consistent, engaging content. You don’t need to create extravagant posts or dive deep into your processes—you just need to create content that captivates the user for a brief moment to make them more familiar with your home service business and brand.
Here are a few ideas to share with your audience:
- Business updates
- Positive customer stories and reviews
- Instructional videos
- Promotions for affiliated local events
- People in your organization
As a local business, you’ll want to tailor your content to your local audience. Do research into what people in your area are talking about and try to make unique content that touches on those topics.
Use Email Marketing
For home services businesses, email marketing can be a vehicle to consistently drive website traffic, let people who have expressed interest in your business know about changes, and stay top of mind for consumers who may need your services in the future.
Try to send a weekly newsletter with company updates, reminders about routine or seasonal services, spotlighting technicians or customer-facing employees, and even promotions exclusive to your email subscribers.
Create Additional Content
Home service businesses strive to stay top of mind for potential customers. A great way to do this is to boost brand awareness. Create additional content on your social media profiles, Google Business Profile, and website to consistently engage your target market and remind your audience of your services.
Service-related blog content can help you demonstrate your industry expertise while showing potential customers why they need you. Engaging short-form content in Google posts can consistently update your Google Business Profile listing, helping you appear higher in search. Or compelling social media content builds your brand’s identity and establishes your business as a household name in your community.
Use Branded Vehicles
Turn your transportation into a marketing tool. Use branded vehicle wraps that professionally display your business’ name, service, and contact information. Whenever you drive to an appointment in your branded vehicle, you’ll leave an impression on those who see you and who may need your services someday.
Leave Marketing Collaterals
Looking for a way to earn repeat customers? Marketing collaterals are materials that you leave behind for clients that have enquired about your business, received a quote, or already used your services to encourage returning business. These materials can come in various forms—anything from a physical business card to a digital newsletter.
Leave-behinds like business cards or brochures should include your business’ contact information, a few testimonials, and more information about your services to help close the deal after a potential client receives an initial quote or evaluation.
Digital newsletters with exclusive promotions or leave-behind cards that prompt satisfied customers to leave reviews are better for clients who have already used your services. These types of marketing collaterals are great for earning loyal customers who will look to you for services in the future or refer you to someone new!
After playing tennis and majoring in political science at Doane University, Grayson McCartney decided to put his education to use and became a USPTA Elite Tennis Professional in Mckinney, Texas, before changing directions and landing a Content Strategist role at Hurrdat. He has since progressed to his current role of Digital Strategist with a strong passion for tackling niche projects and helping small and local businesses connect with their audiences authentically. In his free time, Grayson enjoys trying and failing to learn the piano, playing golf, participating in weekly softball and volleyball leagues, “nerding out” about 60s & 70s music, and occasionally dusting off the old tennis rackets.