Marketing a local business can be stressful and difficult. As a business owner, you need to ensure that every dollar you spend on marketing is invested wisely. Hundreds of services “guarantee” an unbelievable ROI (return on investment) and an unprecedented new business volume. We would advise staying far away from companies that promise too-good-to-be-true services and stick with tried-and-true methods for marketing. What’s the answer then? The triple crown of local service business marketing success – SEO, PPC, and Google Guaranteed.
SEO – Slow and Steady Wins the Race
As many business owners already know, Local SEO’s importance cannot be overstated – and this is especially true for a service-focused business. Consider these statistics to underscore just how important local search and SEO is to a company:
- 30% of mobile searches are related to location.
- 76% of users who searched for something on their mobile phones visited a local business within a day.
- “Where to buy” + “near me” inquiries grew more than 200% between 2017 and 2019.
- Mobile searches for “store open near me” increased 250% from 2017 to 2019.
- 46% of all Google searches are locally focused.
Long-term SEO success means much more than just having a fast, responsive website with a great user experience. While an advanced site is critical for overall success, you’re going to need a long-term locally-focused SEO strategy. The strategy should include multiple tiers and procedures for generating steady organic traffic using optimized content and garnering positive reviews across legitimate sites such as Google My Business.
PPC – Generate Quality Leads for a Low Price
While SEO can be relied upon to create a steady stream of organic traffic, pay per click ads provide the distinct advantage of generating leads and business for your company from the day they are activated. The primary platform for paid ads is, of course, Google.
Formerly Google AdWords, these ads come in many formats and via different channels based on your specific goals. Google Ads can target active users via a Search campaign, passive users through a Display campaign, or users who have already been to your site with retargeting ads.
A correctly implemented and maintained PPC campaign can easily be the most cost-effective marketing investment that you make. By leveraging website data and market research, your ads can target your ideal customers at critical key points in the buying process; fostering trust and reliability in your company’s expertise before the customer ever contacts you. Your ads can sell your products or services without you having to lift the proverbial finger.
Google Guaranteed – Local Service’s Secret Weapon
Initially launched by Google in 2016 to combat fraudulent practices by locksmiths and plumbers, Google’s advanced verification required those businesses to undergo a screening process, or the company would face removal from Google Maps. The Google Guarantee program (as it became known) grew to encompass other home services including HVAC, auto repair, roofing, pet boarding and grooming, pest control, lawn and tree care, house cleaning, and select others.
The Google Guarantee badge tells users that your company has passed their screening and qualification process, including verifying your license and insurance. Google guards against companies who use fake reviews to generate business or use call centers that re-route inquiries to unknown, outsourced labor companies. Best of all, for homeowners, if they are dissatisfied with companies that are Google Guaranteed, they are eligible to receive a refund at Google’s discretion.
If you have one of these service-oriented businesses, you can begin getting Google Guaranteed here. You will have to start a Local Services ad campaign, which runs separately from your standard Google Ads campaign. When you begin a Local Services campaign, your business automatically becomes Google Guaranteed.
Recently, Google launched the Google Screened program… which provides a similar badge for lawyers, financial planners, and those in real estate. Google requires that firms “must pass a business-level background and a business-owner background check” to get the Google Screened badge. Qualifications for screening vary for each profession.
Creating the Perfect Mix
How do these three services help to provide leads and growth for a local service business? By optimizing your site with local SEO in mind, you can improve your standings in Google’s Map Pack – the first three results show up when you conduct a search.
As your company’s website is improving its position in the organic search results via a carefully devised SEO strategy, your dedicated paid ads specialist ensures that customers at all stages of the buying process see your company’s name and products. These potential customers will see your ads as they are browsing the Internet’s most popular websites, apps, and videos.
Finally, when the prospective customer sees your Local Services Ad pop up with the distinctive green Google checkmark, they know that they have found a reliable service provider for their needs. By combining all the assets at your disposal, you can effectively target new customers using every reliable and proven method available to you – without worrying about the platform’s validity or wasting your hard-earned money.
Let Us Manage Your Local Business Marketing
The Google-certified SEO and Ads management specialists at Efferent Media can help your local business grow and be competitive, no matter what vertical your business occupies. We have had great success assisting service-oriented companies in achieving their long-term goals – including general contractors, pest control, HVAC, auto repair, and more.
Our team of experienced pros will analyze your digital marketing and provide a blueprint for long-term success. Feel free to contact the Efferent Media team by calling us at (631) 867-0900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.