To beat your competition in local search, contractors need to find ways to incorporate local content on their websites as well as on third party sites where their businesses are listed. This might sound more difficult than it really is. Here are a few suggestions:
1) Put your physical address and phone on every page of your website.
2)Add city, state or neighborhood data to all of your construction project photos.
3)Add city and state info to your customer testimonials.
4) Promote your involvement with local charities and business organizations online through press releases. Use location names in the headlines.
5) Create a page for each location of your business and be sure to include it on the site map you submit to search engines. Each page should feature unique images and information pertinent to the location. Maps and directions are useful geographic content.
6) Claim your business on search engine directories such as Google Places, Yahoo! , Bing and the Yellow Pages as well as B2B directories, if that is your target audience. Enhance your listings with photos, graphics and links to social media sites, where available. Be sure to include the cities and suburbs you will serve. A convenient way to find out if your business currently appears in these directories is to visit www.getlisted.org. It will give you a full report in just a few seconds and links directly to where you can update your information.
7)Blog posts are the perfect way to add geographic emphasis to headlines , so you can rank higher with search engines. Whenever you post a project photo or news item, don’t forget to mention the location. This ensures the local keywords show up in the <title> tag, where Google and other search engines pull content from.
8)Claim your listings on review sites such as Angie’s list, Yelp and Google Places. Encourage reviews by adding badges to your website and e-newsletter.
A Good Example of Local Search Optimization by a Contractor
If you want to see a good example of a contractor website that is optimized for local search visit Chicago Renovation Development. They came up No. 1 in my search for “Chicago remodeling contractor.”
The home page includes location-based content focused on Chicago remodeling. In the footer of each page are three links to” leading Glencoe Remodeling Contractor,” “Highland Park Remodeling Contractor” and “Winnetka Remodeling Contractor.” Click on any of these and you will find a page of unique content, as well a complete listing of service areas. A badge for reviews is a highlight on the home page.
Type in a relevant local search term for your business and it is easy to see who is doing it well among your competition. With an estimated 20 percent of all searches (40 percent of local searches) made with local intent, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. Put these painless and highly cost-effective ways to improve your local search engine rankings on your to-do list today.