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How to Effectively Use Local SEO for Your Small Business

This is a guest post by Aljaz Fajmut, a digital nomad, entrepreneur, and founder of RankTrackr, Exit Mist, and Nightwatch.io – all 3 being topnotch badass SEO tracking & lead gen tools that you should definitely check out…

Want your small business to be seen by more local people? If so, you now need to focus on your digital marketing methods, as well as your offline ones.

20 years ago, businesses could drive traffic via word of mouth, billboards, radio ads and vinyl banners. In 2018, most – if not all – of their customers are online, and these customers are using Google to not only find them but also to buy from them. Indeed, 4 out of 5 of us now use Google to find local businesses.

This means that your business needs to master the art of local SEO, which means optimizing your website for search engines so that you’re as visible as possible. This will drive more of the right traffic, increase awareness, and ultimately boost conversions and sales.

And while SEO can be a complex, ongoing process, local SEO can also be easier than you might think. Let’s take a look at how to effectively use it for your small business.

Using yelp for Local SEO for Your Small Business

Claim Your Business on Yelp

The great thing about an online directory like Yelp is that it does all the SEO work for you. Once you’ve added your business to a credible online directory, they’ll help to rank it for you.

Of course, you might be asking “But what about all the negative reviews that people post to Yelp? Won’t that hinder my business?”

The thing is that 84% of your customers trust online reviews. This means that they go to directories like Yelp to not only find the service your business provides but also to find your business – and what people think of your business.

For this reason alone, it’s important that you claim your business listing on Yelp and optimize it. There might be some negative reviews but you can even turn these in your favor by responding to them and demonstrating empathy for customers who’ve had a poor experience with your business.

The chances are, however, that as long as your business is going a great job, most customers will leave positive, glowing reviews – and these reviews will influence new customers positively.

Moreover, Yelp also lets you upload official business photos that help to create a better first impression with new customers.

Hey Site page title and meta data local seo for small business

Tweak Your Meta Descriptions and Title Tags

Writing meta descriptions and title tags is a bit of an art. If you’ve ever written them before 2018, you’ll recall how short they had to be. However, Google has since increased them so that you can now use 60 characters for your title tags and 200 for your meta descriptions before they become truncated. This gives you a bit more leeway but you still need to be artful and use the space well.

Remember, you need to make sure that every single word counts.

When it comes to local SEO, you want to reach local customers. As such, it’s key that you add the name of the city you’re in, as well as the particular area you serve. Include the service you provide and add your main keyword.

Here’s an example of a meta description optimized for local SEO:

“Welcome to Jerry’s Electrics4U. Jerry’s Electrics4U is proud to be a leading contractor in the Houston area. By combining our expertise of …”

Local SEO for Your Small Business with Google My Business

Claim Your “Google My Business”

Google My Business is just as big a biggie as Yelp. The reason you should claim your business is simple: Once claimed, your business will start to show up on Google Maps, thus making it more visible and pointing people in the right direction so they know exactly where you’re located.

Claiming your business is really simple, and it’s also totally free. Just hop over to Google My Business and go through the verification process. This will take a bit of time because Google needs to physically send you a postcard with your PIN on it but it’s necessary because Google needs to know that you’re definitely the business owner.

Once your business has been verified, you then need to optimize your listing with your business hours, a strong description and so on. Add photos, too, and make sure that you complete each section. Don’t leave a single stone unturned.

Reviews for small business local seo

Add Lots of Online Reviews

Lastly, we’ve already covered the importance of online reviews. But as well as making the most of Yelp, you need to add more online reviews to your own website.

Not only do online reviews create more trust among consumers; they also act as a ranking factor. The more positive reviews you have, the higher you will rank on Google.

Not sure how to generate more reviews? Simply reach out to customers via email a few days after they’ve purchased a product and ask if they’d be kind enough to leave you a review. Most will.

These are 4 ways to use local SEO for your small business. Claim your business on Yelp and Google My Business, encourage more online reviews, and optimize your meta descriptions and title tags — and you’ll be on the right track. And whatever you do, don’t forget to monitor your SEO efforts so that know what changes to make!

 

Aljaz Fajmut

Aljaz Fajmut

Aljaz Fajmut is an internet entrepreneur and founder of ExitMist and Nightwatch — a search visibility tool of the next generation.

Contractor SEO Tips: 6 Quick And Easy Wins

 

Contractor SEO (sometimes also called contractor search engine optimisation) can be a difficult subject to wrap your mind around if you’re a business owner who doesn’t practice the art and science of ranking websites.

A Google search for “SEO” returns almost 500 million search results!

This is more information than any one person could attempt to read in their lifetime.

Problem is, a lot of that information on contractor SEO tips is out-of-date or just not relevant to the needs of a home services business owner trying to get some quick and easy wins.

I’m going to outline the absolute best contractor SEO tips by focusing on SEO basics. This will give you actionable SEO strategies that you can use right now to improve, or even begin getting, precious website traffic by getting your site discovered and to rank higher in Google’s search results.

Here are six super simple contractor SEO tips to help you optimize your site and drive more organic traffic:

Contractor Seo keyword research and keyword tools

1. Research & Use Relevant Keywords

Keywords are the backbone of all successful SEO strategies. When your potential customers use a search engine what are they searching for? For most contractors this will be a combination of what your business provides as a product or service and where it is performed: (contractor SEO company in Orlando or kitchen remodelers in Orange County).

There are some SEO tools and strategies we will use to make sure we get relevant selection of keywords together. These tools will help you take a lot of the guesswork out of trying to figure out what your ideal customer might be searching for.

So let’s start by brainstorming potential keywords that your ideal customer would use to find you. To start, you’re going to write down everything that describes your Business: what you do, the products/services you offer, and the locations in which you offer those products/services.

Once you have written all of these descriptions about your product/service offerings, you will combine these with the locations of your offerings to form a basic SEO list of keywords.

Here’s a list of some common location based roofing keywords:

City + Roofing
City + Roofers
City + Roofing Company
City + Roofing Contractor
City + Roofing Service
City + Roof Repair
City + Roof Replacement
City + Commercial Roofers

With your foundational keyword list, we can use some keyword research tools to get suggestions on why users are searching for, what the search frequency per month is, as well as how competitive the keyword phrase will be to rank in the SERPs.

My personal SEO keyword research favorites for getting this job done are ubersuggest and kwfinder.com, and both come in free and paid versions.

For now, stick to the free version until your skill sets and need to research a lot of keywords per day demands more features and capabilities.

Take the foundational keyword list you started above and search for your keywords using either one of the keyword tools mentioned above (really boils down to personal preference, so try both to see which you like working with best).

Contractor seo marketing tips

Another way to find more contractor keywords is to search phrases like your users would search for in order to find businesses like yours, by doing searches on Google. The next time you Google something, notice that you will often see suggestions in the search bar while you type and there will also be a list of suggested searches at the bottom of the page. Add any of these relevant variations to your list and search them again.

What you are really looking to do here is end up with groups of keywords that have the same basic meaning and intent behind them. As an example, let’s consider this article on contractor SEO tips, we could group the keywords as such:

  • Best contractor SEO tips
  • How to do contractor SEO
  • Contractor SEO basics 2019
  • Beginner contractor search engine optimisation tips
  • Search Engine Optimization for Contractors
  • Search engine optimisation tips for contractors

Contractor seo best practices

The intent driving those keywords is closely related so we will group them together. Any given piece of content can then be optimized for (i.e. feature) those terms. This then ranks our content piece for the widest range of possible keyword phrases and terms.

I would typically put these keywords into a spreadsheet with approximate search volumes and a score relating to how relevant they are. Don’t overcomplicate this though, we are just trying to give a loose priority to the language we are going to use through the article that’s written for the keyword grouping.

Contractor SEO Pro Tip: Identify and prioritise the keywords that your prospective customers use when looking for the products and services you offer.

Seo contractor tips - optimize page titles and meta descriptions

2. Optimize Page Titles & Meta Descriptions

Once you have your keyword list completed, you will first optimize your page title so that it contains the most important keywords you want to rank on. Note that this is the behind the scenes HTML <title> element and not what is shown on the page. This is usually editable in your website control panel (CMS) or in your SEO plugin. For WordPress users, it’ll be at the top of post page.

The goal is to get our keywords into the page title in a natural sounding way. You have to keep in mind that page titles are what is shown boldly in search results so we are aiming to clearly indicate what the blog post is about and entice a user to click on our page listing.

What I typically like to do in the title field is include the what, where, and who if possible. You’ll want to keep the page title under 70 characters long as that’s the viewable limit searchers are able to see, because the rest is truncated. The keywords are the what, the location is the where, along with your business name at the end for branding purposes. Ideally, you want the keyword your aiming to rank for at the beginning of the title which can help the click-through rate (CTR) and it can help with potential ranking improvements.

Here’s some examples:

Internet Marketing For Contractors in Orlando Florida | Marketing Media Wizard

Best Orlando Contractor SEO Agency | Marketing Media Wizard

Page titles are important for getting contractor seo understood

If we look at service pages we can extend upon this:

Digital Marketing Agency | Free Contractor SEO Analysis – Marketing Media Wizard

Best Orlando SEO Agencies: Contractor SEO Packages | Marketing Media Wizard

In both page title examples, I have included an element that is more for marketing than actual SEO: Free Contractor SEO Analysis & Contractor SEO Packages. These are elements we put there to increase the likelihood that someone will click on the listing.

Remember that a search engine listing is still an advertisement, so we must get our marketing message dialed in along with our contractor SEO strategies. And, as it so happens, engagement with your blog post listing can have a positive impact on your overall organic search rankings, meaning that using Google Adwords for paid ads is also beneficial for your contractor SEO page rankings.

This is because when you run traffic to your blog posts, via paid ads, you are giving both the website and that Blog post data and metrics Google is then able to use to further index and categorize the relevancy for future search results.

A word of caution here is not to over-optimise your page titles and just cram them full of keywords.

Contractor SEO  | SEO Tips for Contractors | Contractor SEO Agency | Search Engine OptimIzation | Contractor SEO Company

Your page title must include your keywords but never at the expense of making it sound and read funny to searchers.

Google is adamant about a site’s wording and keyword use being natural and providing the best user experience as possible.

So never risk trying to match a page title up with a search keyword phrase that’s not natural sounding just for the sake of trying to rank for it.

Once you’re happy with your page title, the next component to focus on is your meta description.

Like the pages title, this too should be editable in your website’s CMS.

WordPress users will find this near the bottom of the blog post’s page. Click on the “edit snippet” button and it’ll drop down a textarea for you to enter the meta description.

Page titles will have the biggest SEO impact, whereas the meta description provides the introduction of the content on your blog post.

The Blog title needs to quickly grab people’s attention while the meta description helps set the hook and excites/convinces them to click in order to read further.

The page title and meta description used for this article is as follows:

Contractor SEO Tips: 6 Quick And Easy Wins

Six Quick & Easy SEO tips for contractors. Easily optimise your website, improve rankings and drive more traffic from Google.

With the page title, I am detailing what the blog post is, while the meta description backups up the value the page title promised to deliver, which hopefully entices more people to click to read this.

Now, meta descriptions do not actually influence rankings, at least not directly. What do I mean? Google’s algorithms doesn’t use the meta description keywords as a relevancy or ranking value indicator. Google doesn’t examine the meta description and then add a value to help or hurt your search results. However, getting listed is only half the SEO for contractors battle, the other is getting clicks from interested people searching for answers they believe you can deliver on. And where a result is clicked more than another this can help improve your ranking through engagement metrics that Google does look at. Most troubling about this, is that a search result that is not clicked on or that’s clicked on less than its peers will lose its position by being dropped from the search results. The thing to focus on here is that though the SEO stuff we do on our website is important, it should never be at the expense of creating original high quality content.

Contractor SEO Pro Tip: Write descriptive page titles and meta descriptions and thread in your marketing messages mixed with keywords to improve your organic traffic and search results rankings.

Contractor Seo optimize page content with keywords

3. Optimize Your Page Content
to Fit Keywords

Now that your page titles and meta descriptions are optimized, we now need to optimize the page content to fit with the keyword groupings. Let’s now add in these keywords into our blog post copy, in a natural way.

Natural means not keyword stuffing or repeating the exact same keyword phrase over and over again while not paying attention to it’s singular or plural connotations.

The best thing to do here is to use synonyms of the keyword phrase so it’s not stuff and is human readable.

There are various components to a page with the main elements being:

Header Tags –> H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6
Body Content –> page content
Images –> images help visualize the talking points

First, focus on the heading and subheadings on the page (H1 & H2). These should be optimized to include your keywords, given it’s done in a natural way.

Next, create the page content that will describe and promote your business and try to use all of your keywords, within a grouping, where it’s natural sounding. Don’t concern yourself with keyword volumes or specific uses of them, just write your article as you naturally would and try to use the keyword terms as best as you can throughout the article to specifically describe your business or its product or service offering.

Images must be optimized by naming the image file, the image alt text, and the image description with the relevant keywords matching the rest of the page. If the image is placed close to relevant keyword text that too can also help boost it up.

When this is done properly, your page will be visible for a wide range of relevant keyword terms and you will be communicating with a larger customer base which should boost engagement which leads to generating more quality leads and sales from your website.

Contractor SEO Pro Tip: Optimizing headers, content, and images significantly boosts your pages visibility for a broader range of keyword search terms, thus giving you more opportunities.

Best contractor seo tips update google my business listing and location information

4. Optimize Google My Business Listing For Your Contracting Business

Your website is the central hub for all your SEO efforts, however, this is not the only place where your business is listed online. Social media and business directories like Yelp.com will also have information listings for your business.

Search engines use this information along with information from your business to help build trust and an understanding of what you do and where you do it.

You will want to update all possible business listings, commonly referred to as citations, with your correct/current address and a summary of available business services. Add the most important keywords into these business listings along with a mention of any key service areas.

You can also take a similar approach with your social media profiles. Although you might not be able to add a business address or full business description, you can still generalize the business purpose and where it’s done.

Contractor SEO Pro Tip: Update Google My Business (GMB) and other business listings and your businesses social media profiles with keyword descriptive content and the service locations.

Seo for contractors building backlinks

5. Building Links Back to Your Site

Link building is one of the most important contractor SEO elements to having your website ranked. Link building is also important for driving the right type of search results rankings based on competitive keywords.

However, link building has a bad reputation, because links can both help and hurt your search engine rankings. Because of their power to either help or hurt, you need to stay away from Fiverr and other sources offering cheap links.

Look, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. There’s no shortcut to success, especially with something like links that can go either way.

To gain visibility will require having the right kind of links pointing to your site. These links help Google determine your relative importance and search results ranking by using these metrics.

Think about it this way, a relevant link from another website is like a vote. In this use case, votes indicate that you’re important to the search query which drives greater visibility in Google‘s SERPs.

There’s a catch, they must be the right kind of votes. They have to come from other authority sites that are in the same niche as yours. It’s like having a country club member vouch for you to become a member as well.

It goes without saying that link building is the hardest part of SEO for contractors and is where businews owners often get stuck in the learning curve. Fortunately, there’s a few simple and effective strategies you can use to obtain some quality backlinks that will improve your search results visibility.

1. Directory Sites That Are Credible

Highly credible directory sites like Crunchbase.com, Yelp.com, Foursquare, Yell.com, Thompson, and big business directories that are Industry specific. Use Google to search for your keywords and locations, as well as any listings that rank on the first page of Google are worth looking into.

2. Competitor Link Analysis

Reviewing your competitor’s links will often identify link patterns and opportunities. Checkout your top 10 competitors with a tool like MajesticSEO, ahrefs, or OpenSiteExplorer.

Using one of these tools will help you identify numerous link opportunities. You are not looking to copy every single link here but rather to identify the the best opportunities from the competition.

Quality over quantity is what matters most here.

Seo for contractors

3. User Testimonials

Offer to write testimonials for companies you work with. Your website designer. Your social media or SEO company. These are all sites that do work for you, are likely local, and can generate a relevant link.

Likewise, if you have previous relationships with customers or suppliers, look into these sites to see if there’s a way a link could be added to these websites.

Contractor SEO Pro Tip: Build relevant and quality links to your website and content.

Contractor seo use google search console

6. Google Search Console

Finally, register your site with Google Search Console. This tool analyses your website and provides diagnostic feedback you can use to improve how your site appears in search results. This is information coming directly from Google and will help you keep a vigilant eye on any issues or areas for actionable improvement. Also, it’s required to run effective remarketing campaigns with Google AdWords.

Conclusion

Here we have 6 contractor SEO tips that even business owners can implement to improve your SEO rankings:

  • Research & use relevant keywords
  • Optimize page titles & meta descriptions
  • Optimize page content
  • Optimize your contracting business around the web
  • Build relevant links
  • Register your site on Google Search Console

Now that you have plenty of actionable items to complete on your site so that it can become visible to those searching on Google for your services, I’ll end it here for today.

Implement these contractor SEO tips and you will see an improvement in your website rankings and traffic flow. And often with SEO, getting 20% dialed in will yield 80% of the results.

google my business local seo
Google My Business Best Practices for Small Business Local SEO

Learn how to use Google My Business to easily manage your business listing, reviews, photos and location on Google search, Google Maps and local search

Google My Business is one of the most powerful tools available to help you rank higher in local search results and reach more customers. But to take full advantage of this opportunity, you must claim and complete your profile and make sure it’s optimized to be found by customers who are searching for businesses like yours. This article provides all the answers you need to build a solid Google My Business profile, boost your local SEO, add your location to Google Maps and rank higher in local search results pages (SERPs).

1. What is Google My Business?

What is Google My Business

 

Google My Business is Google’s listing platform for companies. Millions of small, medium and large businesses have Google My Business profiles that help them boost Google search rankings and get in front of local customers.

 

 

2. Why Should Your Business Use Its Google My Business Profile?

 

Setting up a Google My Business profile for your company will help your company show up in Google search engine results, Google local search results and Google Maps results. Use this automatic business listing tool to see how your company appears on Google My Business other online business listing sites.

Listing your company on Google My Business will:

  • Help you show up in search results
  • Help you show up on map results
  • Use your location and potential customers’ locations to help you rank in local searches
  • Provide a place where customers can review your business

“Google My Business is a really important tool that more local businesses should take advantage of. It’s critical for helping customers find you easily,” said Brandon Schroth, an SEO strategist for seoWorksWhy Should Your Business Use Its Google My Business Profile. “The best part? When optimized correctly, the page shows up above normal organic search results.”

3. What Do Google My Business Listings Look Like?

This Google My Business listing for Marketing Media Wizard shows what a small business listing looks like:

What Do Google My Business Listings Look Like

4. How Much Does Google My Business Cost?

Nothing!

There’s no charge to add your company information to Google My Business. “It’s free to use, and it gives local businesses a way to manage their online presence by verifying and updating important information,” Schroth said.

5. How Does Google My Business Work?

How Does Google My Business Work

 

Listing your company on Google ensures that your small business name, address, phone number, hours and description are listed correctly and consistently across all Google internet platforms, including:

  • Google search results
  • Google’s Local Pack
  • Google Maps
  • Google reviews

Google My Business allows you to manage your entire Google business profile—including for multiple locations—from one dashboard.

6. What Does Google My Business Do?

Google My Business allows you to control the way your business shows up on Google. Using Google My Business you can correct or adjust your company’s:

  • Name, address and phone number (your NAP info)
  • Your current business hours
  • Geographic information for each of your locations

On top of these basic features, you can add photos to your Google My Business profile and encourage positive customer reviews.

7. Do You Still Need Google+ or Google Places for Business Pages?

Do You Still Need Google+ or Google Places for Business Pages with google my business

No.

You can manage everything you need to right from your small business’ Google My Business dashboard.

The NAP info, photos and any other information you upload to Google My Business will automatically populate across all of Google’s platforms. You can even manage your small business AdWords account from your Google My Business dashboard.

These are Google’s basic guidelines for representing your company on Google My Business:

  • Represent your business as it’s consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery and other branding.
  • Make sure your address is accurate and precise.
  • Choose the fewest number of categories it takes to describe your overall core business.

8. Do You Need to Create a Separate Small Business Listing for Google Maps?

Google My Business Best Practices for Small Business Local SEO

No.

Your location information is automatically integrated onto Google Maps from your Google My Business dashboard.

9. How Much Can You Manage From the Google My Business Dashboard?

Everything you need to manage for your small business’ appearance on Google you can manage from the Google My Business dashboard.

Here’s what the Google My Business dashboard looks like:

How Much Can You Manage From the Google My Business Dashboard

From this dashboard you can:

  • Update your business information and have it automatically update in Google search and Google Maps
  • Get alerts for and respond to new reviews from customer
  • Use Google “insights” feature to see who’s interacting with your business online and learn how they found you
  • See how many users click to your website from your Google My Business profile
  • See how often users click-to-call your business from your Google My Business profile
  • See how often users request driving directions from your Google My Business profile
  • See how regularly users see your business in their Google search results over time
  • Use AdWords Express to administer AdWords from your Google My Business profile

10. Is My Company Already Listed on Google My Business or Google Maps?

Begin by searching for your business in the Google My Business search bar.

If your company information is already in Google’s system, it will appear on your screen. Google will ask you to verify the contact email on file for the account.

11. How to Add Your Company to Google My Business

If Google has no information on your business, it will lead you through a series of steps. Follow these prompts to add your business information to the site. You’ll be required to verify your business with Google, which we’ll get to in the next section.

As you wait for the verification process to be completed, you can begin uploading photos, videos and logo into your Google My Business dashboard immediately. These won’t publish online until you’ve completed the verification process.

12. How to Verify Your Google My Business Listing

There are two main ways to verify your Google My Business listing: by postcard or by telephone.

“Google would like to realize that you are the confirmed representative from the business. That’s the reason why they send a postcard to the address that provides a code to enter,” explained Nathan Barber, electronic analyst to your Digital Advertising Works agency. “Using the code confirmed, you’re ready to have complete control over the list. The affirmation boosts your chances of rank for neighborhood services you provide on your business ”

Follow Google’s prompts to determine the method of verification that’s right for you. Verification by postcard will take between seven and 10 business days.

13. What if Someone Already Claimed My Business on Google?

What if Someone Already Claimed My Business on Google my business

An additional step in the process of listing your company will arise if someone has already claimed your listing.

To lock down ownership of your listing, you’ll need to request a transfer of listing ownership or request that person—maybe an employee in charge of managing your digital marketing—add you to the account as a listing manager.

14. What Should You Include on Your Google My Business Page?

The information you include on your Google My Business profile seems self-explanatory. But there are best practices every business owner should follow in the way their information is presented on Google My Business. 

Barber offered the following guidelines on what to include on your Google My Business profile, and how to get it right:

  1. Consistent Business Name, Address & Phone Number
    “You want to make sure that all your business details are consistent with other online listings. Google pulls your NAP from all different sources, but if you can tell them the correct information through a consistent business citation, you will increase your online visibility on search engines on local search,” said Barber.
  2. Unique Business Description
    “Google wants to see that your ‘about’ section is completely unique, and not pasted from your own website. By having a unique description, your targeted keywords and business focus will be more in-tune to become more visible on the search engines. Don’t forget to include a hyperlink right in the description for maximum GMB return,” he said.
  3. Correct Business Category
    “Choosing the correct business category is vital to get found for the correct user’s searcher intent. By pinpointing your correct category (less the better), you will show up for the right types of search traffic. If you are having difficult deciding which category, look at all your competitors and scout out the winning listings and copy their category,” he said.

15. Google My Business for Multiple Locations

Google My Business for Multiple Locations

You can manage up to 10 business locations from a single Google My Business profile. For more than 10 locations, you’ll need to use the Google My Business Locations dashboard. 

16. Are Duplicate Google My Business Listings a Problem?

Are Duplicate Google My Business Listings a Problem

Yes.

Duplicate listings for a single business location can undermine the value of your Google My Business listing, said Alicia Glaser, the local search lead for digital marketing agency Pure Visibility.

“It’s important to search for any duplicate pages that might have been created in the past
with old addresses or different versions of your business’ name. Merge or close these locations,” advised Glaser.

“Having multiple Google My Business pages for the same location can harm your chances for ranking locally,” she explained. “Providing old, inaccurate information can also be an issue for the user’s experience.”

17. How to Remove Duplicate Listings

Businesses can contact Google My Business support by phone, by email, by chat, or through Facebook or Twitter to get rid of duplicate listings.

  1. First, delete the Google+ page of the old listing (if there isone).
  2. Next, send a message to Google My Business support staff on Facebook or Twitter, or start a chat, request a callor send an email.
  3. Lund recommends sending the following message:

“Hello, can you please move this old listing [insert Google Maps listing URL of old listing] to the current listing [insert Google Maps listing URL of current listing]? And can you also please transfer the reviews of the old listing to the current listing?”

 

18. How Do You Edit or Change the Information in Your Google My Business Profile?

You can edit or change information on your profile directly from your Google My Business dashboard.

If you have any difficulty making changes to hours, location or other information, send a message to Google My Business support staff on Facebook or Twitter, or start a chat, request a call, or send an email.

19. Optimize Your Google My Business Listing for Best Results

Optimize Your Google My Business Listing for Best Results

One of the most important things to keep in mind when optimizing your Google My Business listing is consistency, said David Mulqueen, project manager for digital marketing agency Odd Dog Media.

“You want to make sure that things like your name, imaging, messaging, general info like hours of operation, business category and how people can find you is consistent,” he advised. “If your Google My Business page isn’t consistent, how is Google supposed to trust your business as a credible source of information for its users?”

Nicholas Kinports, executive vice president of strategy for Notice digital advertising agency offered the following tips for optimizing your GMB profile:

  • Add Content, Content, Content!
    “Add high-resolution images of your business including the interior, along with 360-degree photos and videos if applicable. The more great content you add, the better Google will position your business relative to the competition,” Kinports said. When writing descriptions, “Write in a natural, helpful, and easy to read prose. Google loves a great user experience!”
  • Choose Keywords Wisely
    Choose the same keywords and phrases you know your customers are looking
    for and populating your profile where appropriate. Watch this two-minute video for basic keyword strategies:

20. Adding Photos to Google Maps and Google Search From Google My Business

Adding Photos to Google Maps and Google Search From Google My Business

Adding photos to your Google My Business profile will also add those photos to Google Maps and search results. Remember, customers are visually motivated, and photos of your location and products or services will go a long way towards attracting new business.

“You want to add relevant photos of your company,” recommended Barber of Digital Advertising Works. “This includes the interior, exterior of the building location, employees, past work, logos and other miscellaneous photos. The images supplied will send strong signals to Google that you are indeed a real business. The photos supplied will be more easily found on the ‘image’ section of the Google search engine portion.”

Watch this Google demo for step-by-step instructions on adding photos to your Google My Business profile:

21. What are Google Reviews and Do They Show Up on Your Google My Business Listing?

What are Google Reviews and Do They Show Up on Your Google My Business Listing

Customer reviews show up on your Google My Business profile. The one- to five-star rating at the top of your Google My Business listing as it appears in search results and on Google Maps is determined by the number of positive ratings you receive from customer reviews.

Google reviews are important for potential customers who are still in the “research phase” of making a purchase, said Mulqueen of Odd Dog Media. People who see great reviews are more likely to try your company instead of your competitors. And those Google star ratings are “the most crucial ones,” he said.

Begin by requesting reviews from “existing happy customers who have been so thrilled with their services in the past that they’d be more than willing to leave a review,” recommended Mulqueen. “These are a guaranteed way to build some momentum in getting more and more reviews on Google.”

22. How Can You Get Good Reviews on Google?

“The way to get good reviews on Google is to simply ask for them,” said John Nesler, lead writer and researcher forPost Modern Marketing. Customers don’t think about leaving an online reviews, even when they have really good experiences.

“In fact, they’re usually most inspired to go to the bother of writing a review when they have a bad experience,” he said. That makes it doubly important to ask happy customers to leave a review.

“When you have an interaction with a customer that just feels really solid and good, and they strike you as someone who is well-spoken, simply ask them, ‘Hey, would you be willing to take a couple minutes to review us on Google?’” More often than not they’ll be happy to help you out, said Nesler.

You might also consider handing out a flyer with a link to your Google My Business page and a request for a review, recommended Jim Lastinger, CEO of digital marketing firm Deep Field.

“However, you only want to give the flyer to customers that are clearly satisfied and most likely to leave a positive review,” Lastinger cautioned.

 

23. Should You Pay People to Leave Positive Google Reviews?

No. Never, not under any circumstances, should you pay someone to leave good reviews on Google.

“It’s a violation of Google’s terms of service with regard to reviews (as is the case with Yelp),” said Nesler.

If a happy customer is reluctant to leave a positive review out of the kindness of their own heart, you might “offer them a small discount on their next purchase,” he advised.

“Don’t publicize this offer or make it part of your marketing approach,” said Nesler. “But you’re asking a customer to spend their time on your behalf, so sometimes it’s appropriate to do
something nice for them.”

24. How to Respond to Good Google Reviews

Be sure to respond to all of your good reviews through your Google My Business profile, recommends Nesler. And don’t just write “Thank you!”

“Write a detailed, thoughtful response in which you address the person by their first name, thank them for being a customer and writing the review, and adding any salient points about your interaction with the customer that you think might put you in a good light,” said Nesler.

 

25. How to Respond to Bad Reviews on Google My Business

The downside to positive Google reviews from your happy customers are the occasional bad review every business is likely to receive.

“Never leave a bad review unanswered,” said Nesler. “It’s easy to do more harm than good if you aren’t careful in your response.”

Here are the rules of thumb that Nesler follows—and that he gives to clients—when it comes to responding to a bad review:

  1. Be calm and courteous. Don’t write a response when you’re frustrated and angry. You need to be firmly in control of your emotions. Find your happy place.
  2. Don’t debate the person in public. A he-said she-said situation is Get the interaction away from prying eyes. Lead off with a courteous, “I’m very sorry that you had an unsatisfactory experience with our business.” Then provide contact details where they can get a hold of you directly.
  3. You need to be in full-blown A+ customer-service mode. That doesn’t mean that you should be self-deprecating orapologize a million times. Rather, make it clear how your customers’ experiences should play out. What they should experience. What will happen when they walk through your door.

26. How to Use Google My Business to Place Better in Local Search Results

How to Use Google My Business to Place Better in Local Search ResultsGoogle My Business’ really important function is that is uses your small business’ location (or locations) to determine your placement in local search rankings. Local search results show businesses in the vicinity of the customer doing the Google search based on your physical location and theirs.

The top three businesses returned in local search results show up in Google’s Local Three Pack. The local pack is a box that appears at the top of location-based Google search results.

Google’s location-based local search results are “critical for helping customers find you easily,” said Schroth of prWorks. Competition for Google’s Local Three Pack is heavy, he said, and it gets harder every day for small businesses to earn that special place at the top of local Google searches.

“Invest the time into creating and maintaining a Google My Business listing as well as the supporting local elements, and you’ll reap the benefits of higher placement and greater visibility” for your small business, said Schroth.

27. How Can You Compete for a Place in Google’s Local Three Pack?

How Can You Compete for a Place in Google’s Local Three Pack?

You can see how your company measures up on Google My Business by conducting a “near me” search. Near me searches use an internet user’s location to suggest businesses nearby.

“To understand the local competitive landscape for your business,  search for your business’ category with the phrase ‘near me’ in Google to see what type of accounts are showing up in Google Maps and the Knowledge Graph,” recommended Glaser of Pure Visibility.

“You will more than likely see that listings with reviews show up first organically,” added Glaser. She suggested clicking on those top businesses to see what they’re doing differently and what you might do to improve your own near-me ranking.

28. Can You Manage Your Google My Business Profile from a Smartphone?

Manage Your Google My Business Profile from an android Smartphone app

Download the Google My Business app for Android.Manage Your Google My Business Profile from an apple Smartphone appDownload the Google My Business app for iPhone.

Google My Business For Contractors: Add or Claim Your Business
Google My Business for contractors is an online business directory listing platform built and managed by Google that home improvement businesses small and large are strongly encouraged to use to manage their company’s information across Google Search and Google Maps. Google places a huge importance on accurately updating and maintaining your GMB business’ information, specifically your business’ Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP), and is another avenue potential customers can use online to discover your contracting business.
In return, this gives Google the correct information to display to users searching for contractors or for your business name. Additionally, claiming and optimizing your Google My Business for contractors listing can also increase your odds to appear in the much sought after Google Local 3-Pack, as seen in the search results screenshot below:
Business on Google My Business for contratractors google three pack
It’s super important that you understand that if you just set up a Google My Business for contractors listing, it won’t guarantee that you’ll appear in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) or coveted Google Local 3-Pack, but it will help Google know the correct information to show regarding your contracting business if it is searched for. If your GMB listing is up-to-date with the correct information, Google is more likely to show it for relevant local internet searches. And for those looking for an edge in their local SEO rankings, this could mean the difference between 3rd of 4th place in the Three-pack. 
Google my Business for contractors ranking

Here’s the Reasons Why Should You Claim Your Google My Business For Contractors Listing Today

It’s quite possible that you’ve never heard of Google My Business for contractors and you’re still wondering to yourself why you would claim your Google My Business listing for contractors in the first place?

I mean, who wants more busy work when you’ve got a million fires to stomp out on a daily basis as the business owner.

Maybe you’re asking yourself, what makes this type of internet listing for contractors so important or different from all the rest, and how it matters now all of a sudden over the other hundreds you’ve seen come and go?

According to Google, 97% of online consumers search for local products and services, but only 37% of all locally owned businesses in the US have claimed a local business listing.

If you’ve been looking and scratching your head over the past few years wondering where there’s low hanging fruit and opportunity for you to beat your competition in the home improvement industry, well this is finally that juicy piece of fruit that’s just waiting on you to pick it up and take a damn bite!

If your competition hasn’t already jumped first and taken advantage and claimed their Google My Business for contractors listing, you have a low cost method that you can easily do yourself today! Claiming your contractor Google My Business listing can also help with your local SEO search rankings.

To claim your contractor business listing on Google, you must be the one that both owns the business and also is the one interacting with your customers during the business hours you set in your Google My Business for contractors listing.

You can work with your customers at your physical place of business or at the customer’s location. That means that even service businesses, like digital marketers, freelancer writers, landscapers or plumbers, graphic artists, and so on can also claim their GMB business listing.

How Does Google Decide Which Businesses to Show in the Local 3-Pack?

google my business for contractors serp results

In their quest for the most relevant user information and experience, Google’s algorithms use a wide variety of user data and factors in order to determine which websites are going to show up in the coveted local search results.

There are literally hundreds of determining factors being calculated in Google’s search algorithm. When it comes to local search, these are the main two factors being considered most relevant in displaying a home services website to the searcher:

  • Prominence: is measured by the business’s site popularity or how well-known the contracting business is based on information Google has stored on it. The best example of this would be back links from a large number of websites and having an aged domain, meaning its been online a long time with a lot of relevant links from other home improvement authority websites linking back to it.
  • Distance: this measures the proximity of the business to the searcher or the area where the searcher is currently located or based on where they’re going.

Google my Business for contractors

Finding Your Business & Claiming It

Claiming your Google My Business for contractors is pretty straight forward and simple to do. Before you even start looking, it’s important that you set up a Google email account, also known simply as a Gmail Account, that you will use for your Google My Business for Contractors, AdWords, Analytics, Search Console, and any of the other new Google products being released.

The purpose of this Gmail email address is to let you have single login access to all of Google’s product suite, such as: Google My Business , Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Search, YouTube, Google Translate, Google Play, Photos, Blogger, Search Console, Google Analytics, and so much more.

google my business for contractors

As the business owner, make sure that you claim your Google My Business for contractors listing because only the business owner is the only one that can claim their own business listing.

For example, if you tried to hire a internet marketing agency for contractors to act on your behalf to make the claim actually goes against Google’s Terms of Service. The business owner is the only one that can ever claim their contracting business on Google My Business and then you can add your contractor marketing agency as a manager on your Google My Business for contractors account.

With your Gmail account set up and ready to go, follow these steps to properly signup and configure your listing on Google My Business for contractors:

  1. Click on this link to access Google My Business:  www.gybo.com/business
  2. Enter your contracting business’s name and click on the  “Find Out” button.

Google My Business for contractors  is the first step

In this example, you’ll see that your contracting business is already being listed on Google Maps. Maybe you’re wondering why it would be listed on Google Maps since you never added it yourself. The answer is that when you register a new LLC, it automatically gets added to some databases and directory sites, much like Google My Business for contractors is in a way, and Google pulls from this data and will automatically add your information. So don‘t get all bent out of shape thinking that someone has been messing with your stuff. At least not yet, which that is probably best for another article.

3. Google will query its database and let you know whether or not your home services business is listed on Google Search, and from this point you have 3 possibilities:

  1. Update your contractor business info
  2. Verify your contractor business info
  3. Add your contractor business info

google my business for contractors during the verification prpcess when you're claiming your business on google my business

From these 3 actions that you can take on a Google My Business for contractors, you will get one of these 3 responses (as seen above in the 3 page illustrations):

  • “Nice Job. You’re on the Map.” If you get this back from your contracting business search means your business is verified. Either the owner, or an authorized manager, can login and make the edits if necessary. To access Google My Business, click the “Update Your Business Info” button.
  • “Your Business Info Might be Incorrect on Google.” If this is what’s shown, it means your Google My Business for contractors info may show up on Google, but your company’s address is unconfirmed and the owner hasn’t claimed their contractor Google business listing. You can verify your business by clicking the “Verify Your Business Info”. This will get the ball rolling on the verification process that can take 7-10 days to complete.
  • “Your business isn’t on the map.” If you get this message back it means that Google can not locate any business information from either Google My Business or from other business directory resources out on the internet. To get started claiming your Google My Business for contractors listing, click “Add Your Business Info.”

4. Enter all your contracting business’ information, and do your citations EXACTLY the same way as you have on Facebook, your website and any other business directory listing. Just make sure that you pay attention to all the small details, because this is where you’ll either make it or break it, like dealing with capitalization and spelling. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Enter the exact and complete street address. Best rule of thumb, just use the Post Office method of routing the traffic back to you’re your site.
  • You cannot use PO Box addresses to register a Google My Business for contractors. Google does this to keep another small business out of your area by not letting them go and buy PO Boxes in order to claim their business is actually domiciled there and not just a service provider for this area. Again, this is a good thing as it helps you not have to compete with bigger players that would simply box you out of the market.
  • If you have a suite or office number, add that information separately from your street name and number.

5. Now select a business category that best represents your niche. The category has to already exist in Google, so you can’t make up a new category to fit your contracting business. You may not find a category that exactly matches your contracting business type, so just select something that’s as close as possible to it. More than likely you won’t get an exact glove snug match fit, so keep your options open, or do like I do and go check out your competitors and see how they’re listing and emulate.

If this still stumps you, you can contact Google Support at support.google.com/business to get help with your listing.

claiming you company on Google my business for contractors listing you can using your dashboard to contact google for help

 

Make Sure You Verify Your Listing On Google My Business For Contractors

As a preventative measure against the wrong people (ie your competitors) from claiming your listing on Google My Business for contractors, Google wants to verify that you are the legitimate owner of your contracting business. This is part of the GMB “verification” process.

Most contractor business owners get their business verified by a postcard Google snail mails you. If verifying an existing contracting business that’s already listed, you might be able to phone verify, though I don’t know many people who actually did so just be looking out for the postcard that’s coming in the mail. Wouldn’t’ surprise me at all if you saw it come in tomorrow.

  • When verifying your Google My Business for contractors by mail and phone verification, Google will mail a postcard with a PIN verification code on it. Once you receive this, you will use that code to confirm your address with your business name and identity.
  • If you are given the option to phone verify your business:
    • Make sure you can answer the business phone number to receive your verification code.
    • Click Verify by Phone to have the code sent to your phone via automated message.
    • Enter the code into your dashboard.
  • Google will never call your business and ask for your code, password, or any personal info. They’ve got more important things going on than call you. It’s a scam so just hang up.

Use Valuable Insights to Discover Who Your Audience is and How to Interact with Them

Claim Your Business on Google My Business for contractors dashboard

 

 

Once you claim your listing on Google My Business for contractors, you can access tons of valuable insights about the website visitors who view your Google My Business for contractors listing coming from either Google Search or Google Maps. From the insights you can gleam:

  • How many people searched for driving directions
  • How many people viewed photos of your business
  • How many people visit your website
  • How many people called you

Audience insights google My Business for contractors

To check out the customer actions that were taken on your website, you can start with the following types of actions that customers took on your listing:

  • Click to visit your website
  • Request directions to your contracting business’s physical location
  • Click to Call you
  • View photos of your contracting business and the service offering you have

Photos

claim your company on google my business for contractors photos monthly insights reports

This section shows the number of photos associated with your GMB for contractors business listing and how often they’re viewed compared to photos of contracting businesses similar to yours. The “Photo views” graph shows the number of times your photos have been viewed by Google users, and the “Photo quantity” graph shows the number of photos uploaded by you.

The lines on the graphs compare your photo data with photo data for contractors similar to you. For example, if you own a local roofing company, your business would be compared to other roofers in your area.

You may not see this information if there aren’t enough businesses like yours nearby.

On the right side of the graph you’ll see the total number of photos based on the data points you’ve selected.

These sections have the following labels in bulk insights reports:

  • Total owner photos
  • Owner photo views
  • Total customer photos
  • Customer photo view

In order to actually see how many people took a specific action on a particular day, place your cursor over the related segment of the graph on the day you’re interested in viewing data on. Click the check boxes to the right of the graph to turn off segments, so you can isolate particular data points that you’re interested in.

These sections have the following labels in bulk insights reports:

  • Directions actions
  • Phone call actions
  • Total actions
  • Website actions

Direction requests

Add your company Google My Business for contractors directions feature

This section shows where on the map people request directions to your business. You’ll see your location pinned on the map, and a map that shows the most popular places from which people ask Google Maps for directions to your address. You may also see the total number of requests broken down by city or neighborhood.

On the map, you can zoom in and out on the map using the + and icons on the bottom-right corner.

Phone callsClaim Google My Businesss for contractors phone calls insights reports

This section shows when and how often customers called your business via your listing on Google. At the top of the section, “Total calls” gives the total number of phone calls in the timeframe you’ve selected.

In the graph, you can choose to view trends in customer phone calls by either “Day of week” or “Time of day”. The graph will show when customers are most likely to call your business after viewing your contracting business listing on Google.

You can adjust the timeframe for the data in any of the sections. In the top right corner of the each section, you’ll see “Last 30 days” if you haven’t selected a different option. To change the timeframe, click or tap “Last 30 days”, then select from the other two options: “Last 7 days” and “Last 90 days”.

Conclusion

Once you verified or claimed your listing Google My Business for contractors you now own it and can control how it appears to searchers on Google Search and Google Maps.

Once your contractor listing is complete focus on staying connected with your audience, and make sure to respond to reviews left by Google users for your contracting business. If you happen to receive a bad review, the ability now to respond to that person and make things right may change their mind and show the public you are a concerned business owner.

Local SEO Tips: Top 74 Local SEO Online Business Directories in 2018

If you’re a local business, you know that attracting new customers can be difficult and costly. The days of pulling out a phone book to thumb through the Yellow Pages to find local businesses are almost extinct. These days, people use their mobile devices to browse the internet as a way to find recommendations on new trusted businesses.

One way local businesses can get found online is through the use of online business directories. Adding a listing to these directories is pretty easy, but if you only list in a few, you’re missing the best opportunity to get your small business found by those searching online.

Local SEO Tips: Top 50 Local SEO Online Business Directories in 2018

Every individual business directory that you submit to is another opportunity to get your small business found locally online, so it’s important to make sure it’s listed in as many online directories as possible. Listing your Business in an online directory also has huge benefits for local Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Local SEO rankings depends on accurate information in these online business directories, so the more you can add, the better your odds are at beating your competition.

Here’s a list of the 74 most popular local business directories that will boost your local SEO websites ranking. Filling out the forms over and over again is a big pain in the ass so make sure you’ve got an autofill feature either added to your browser as an extension or by using your smartphone where you have the settings turned on for storing and displaying the autofill data.

Local SEO Tips: Top 50 Local SEO Online Business Directories in 2018

 

74 Online Local Business Directories/Listings for Local SEO Marketing

  1. Google
  2. Bing
  3. Yahoo!
  4. Yelp
  5. Facebook
  6. Better Business Bureau
  7. Angie’s List
  8. Merchant Circle
  9. LinkedIn
  10. YP.com
  11. Whitepages
  12. Superpages.com
  13. Yellowbook
  14. CitySearch
  15. YellowMoxie
  16. MapQuest/Yext
  17. Local.com
  18. Foursquare
  19. CitySlick
  20. USDirectory.com
  21. DexKnows
  22. BizJournals.com
  23. TeleAtlas
  24. Discover Our Town
  25. PhoneNumber.com
  26. Yellowpages.aol.com
  27. EZ Local
  28. Local Guides
  29. Kudzu
  30. HopStop
  31. CityVoter
  32. DemandForces
  33. Manta
  34. UsCity
  35. 411
  36. Advice Local
  37. InfoUSA
  38. Infignos
  39. Get Fave
  40. My Huckleberry
  41. Yellowee
  42. SwitchBoard
  43. Brownbook
  44. MojoPages
  45. Magic Yellow
  46. Map Creator
  47. Judy’s Book
  48. MetroMix
  49. BestoftheLocalWeb
  50. CitySquares
  51. Tupalo
  52. TripAdvisor
  53. Thumbtack
  54. YellowPagesGoesGreen.org
  55. GetFave
  56. LocalPages
  57. ZipLocal
  58. YellowWise
  59. LocalDatabase
  60. Home Advisor
  61. ShowMeLocal
  62. ChamberofCommerce.com
  63. Yellowbot
  64. Hotfrog
  65. Brownbook
  66. InsiderPages
  67. City-Data
  68. Topix
  69. Patch
  70. Yahoo Local
  71. Service Magic
  72. AreaConnect
  73. Yellow.com
  74. American Towns

The whole point of doing this is to make sure that you have a presence everywhere your customers might discover you which is most critical to local SEO rankings. If you will start adding your local business information to the business directories listed above and if you chop it up to 4-5 per day that you list your info on, you’ll have your Local SEO ranking your website in no time. Depending on your local competition and size of the market, doing this could provide your small business with a significant boost in traffic and revenue potential.

As with everything SEO related, it takes time for your hard work to pay off, but once you have your site listed on these directories, your work is done unless you move locations, change contact information or even hours of operation. Make sure that all business listing information is exactly the same on every business directory you list on. If it’s not, you will lose any value that you would have gained from doing it. Say you were counting on these submissions to begin a roofing leads generation campaign. You know that even a day delay is precious time lost so keep your NAP consistency across all submissions exactly the same!

When it comes to  local SEO ranking your website, these 50 business directories are an excellent place for any small business owner to start. Best of luck everyone!