The foundation for building an effective web persona is creating a local presence. Key requirements for being found in a local search include having a website, getting listed, reviewed and then optimizing everything.
SEO is free traffic that occurs when people perform searches. There are two components, on- page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO consists of things on every page of your website. Off-page, however, links other websites to your website. There is 15 percent of new searches every day on Google. Most people click on the organic search results, which are the listings below the ads and Google maps. People tend to trust the organic search listings. As a result, they tend to click on those at a much higher rate.
Your homepage layout on the website is much easier to scroll on a mobile device than clicking. That has strong implications on navigation. It also tends to create a long scrolling homepage. When someone searches from their mobile device, usually their location settings are on, which factors into the search results.
Local Presence for Painters Download
Local optimization is important because painters generally serve customers in a specific local geographic area. They also go to their customer’s location. Factor in reputation management and content marketing, tools to get your business listed online. Being found on Google maps, Mapquest, and other mapping sites is important. As well as being listed on directory and review sites. It’s this combination of longtail citation with localized and industry-specific content that adds to a painter’s local authority.
All of these sites imply different levels of authority in the eyes of search engines. Most painters do not have enough content on their website, thus impeding the ability to rank higher in a search. Being able to rank on the map results is one of the most important things that a local painter can do. It may be the best opportunity to rank in the organic search listings.
In a recent study by Bright Local, 64% of all consumers have used Google to find the contact details for a local business. Posting accurate contact information is key if consumers are to reach your business. Phone number, hours of operation, directions, and online reviews are a few of the items consumers view. Implementing the following steps will improve your search rank.
- Claim your Google my business page and optimize it. Google business apps allow business owners to manage their listing from anywhere.
- Understand who your audience is.
- Define your services.
- Describe your service area.
- Choose business categories that are relevant to your business. Painter or painting contractor would be your primary business category.
- Upload videos and real images of your business.
To set up your Google my business page:
- Go to Google.com/business.
- Follow the prompts.
- Request ownership of your business.
- Google will ask you to verify your business. A postcard will be sent to the address given. Some requests are proven by photos or verifying a phone number.
- Optimize your business page.
3 Factors Used for Local Ranking
There are three criteria that Google uses for local ranking: relevance, distance, and proximity.
All the information that Google can gather from the internet about your business. Sources include content from your website, data from directories, and chamber websites are all included. Google will check if your business categories are consistent with what is listed in other sources. The more that it has confidence that your business is relevant for painter or painter contractor related search phrases, the more likely your business will rank for search. When you factor in the local aspect, your business will show up for search when someone types in a certain city or suburb. Having a plan to manage all the information about your business is key to consumers finding your business without going to your website.
Other sites with your business information include Facebook, Yelp, apple maps, directories, Angie’s list of PDCA. Make sure your contact information is the same on as many sites as possible, especially the ones with the highest authority. A directory management system assists in accurate business listings if changes occur. Inaccurate information can confuse customers and search engines. As a result, your search ranking decreases.
Giving Google enough content to work with is key to having your website ranked. Every service that is offered should have its own page. For example, during the summer months write content about services related to exterior painting. Create local project portfolios that include before and after pictures. You should also detail a description of the problem, materials used, and a testimonial of how it impacted the customer.
Brick and mortar businesses are stronger in local searches because of the strength of the Google my business page. They don’t need as much content to rank.
Where your business appears on the Google map result is important. If you work from home, that information can be hidden. Your business address must be given when you claim your Google my business page and to qualify to be shown on a Google map. A radius is drawn around the business's surface area. As you get further away from the physical address, it will be harder to be listed on Google map results.
Online reviews are one of the fastest ways to improve your ranking. Almost everybody reads reviews to aid in their decision to buy a product or service. Statistics consistently show that home contractors are some of the lowest rated professions. The stories of contractors who took the money and ran off without finishing the job taints the entire industry and impacts your reputation. A large number of high-quality positive reviews are a huge deal in local search. People trust online reviews as much as they trust a recommendation from family or a friend.
Online reviews are trust signals to search engines as well as to consumers. Generating reviews must be a part of your everyday process. When you complete a project, ask the customer for a review. It could be a call the next day or sent in an email. Most people are willing to write a review if you ask them. Especially if you make it easy for them to do so. Google reviews play a key role in ranking versus other review sites like Yelp and HomeAdvisor.
Create a strategy to generate reviews. Check and monitor what people are saying about your business by running a report on fivereview.us. Claim your business on review sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List. Encourage customers to leave a review. Get them published and displayed in the right places.
Always respond to your reviews, whether they be positive or negative. Studies show that when businesses respond to reviews, there’s a slight increase in the composite review ranking. Consumers want to know that you’re taking their concerns seriously.
Negative Reviews. When someone writes a scathing review you can respond with the following statement:
“We’re sorry that you didn’t have a great experience. We’d love to talk to you about how we can make the situation better. Please contact us at either a phone number or email address.”
Remove the rest of the conversation offline. You do not want to go back and forth and escalate the situation. The most important takeaway is for people to see that you cared enough to respond to try to make their situation better.
Testimonials. You should upload videos of customers giving a review of your work. These should be posted on your Facebook page. For painters, it is important that they mention details of how you prep the room and how you left the project area clean and neat. The video should be shot in landscape orientation. Or if you’re using your phone, turn it sideways so that it mimics a TV screen. It is worth paying attention to the lighting, background, and audio quality as well.
If you’re still struggling to be found or need to supplement being found for a particular location, consider doing paid ads. Google is rolling out local service ads slowly. Remember, your website is still important. It is the one place where you have full ownership and control.
At Changescape Web we run a free SEO report and schedule a meeting to walk through the results with you and give you an idea of how you're doing. This includes a review of your website, how you're doing on social media, and a competitive analysis. You can go to Changescapeweb.com and set up a meeting to request this free SEO report.