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How Local SEO Succeeds For Professional Services

How Local SEO Succeeds For Professional Services

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, local businesses providing professional services face challenges in attracting new clients.

Many lack the resources for consistent marketing efforts, yet they need to be visible to local audiences to generate enquiries. This blog aims to demystify local SEO, introduce essential tools, and demonstrate the positive impact of adopting a local marketing strategy.

Table of Contents

Understanding Local SEO

What it is and why it matters for businesses targeting local clients:

  • Local SEO enhances a business’s online presence, so the business performs better in local Google search results. Any business with a physical location or that identifies with a particular town or city can benefit from local SEO. e.g. A Google search for “family law solicitor in Dublin” will return a list of legal firms that Google determines are the most relevant. 
  • Why it matters: Local SEO is an effective way to market your business online. Check out the statistics. ➡️

Typical local SEO activities include:

  • Google Business Profile Optimisation
  • Keyword research: identifying local keywords
  • Content creation, which includes a local context
  • The top three local results that Google determines are most relevant to the search query are referred to as the “Local 3-Pack.” You need a Google Business Profile to feature in the Local 3-Pack.

Local SEO Statistics

Essential Local SEO Activities

Keyword Optimisation:

Identifying relevant local keywords is one of the most critical aspects of your local SEO strategy. In practice, once identified, these local search terms can be included in your website content, metadata, and social media. The reward is that potential clients using these phrases have a better chance of finding your business and engaging with your website or firm directly.

Here’s what Greg Gifford has to say about Keyword Research

“The biggest mistake I see people making with keyword research is simply not doing it… Now that Google has evolved and is providing search results based on the intent of the search query, keyword research is more important than ever.

We’re not simply matching keyword to keyword anymore. We have to understand how potential customers are searching—and specifically, the intent of their search query—so that we’re able to create content and optimize that content to show up well for those searches. That can’t be done without keyword research.”

Greg GiffordVP of Search, Search Lab

Greg is an expert in local SEO and one of the most sought-after speakers at digital marketing events worldwide.

On-page SEO Techniques:

A website needs to be optimised for search engines and those searching. This includes a whole host of activities, including:

  • Keyword placement: strategic use of local keywords in the meta descriptions, title tags, and content.
  • High-quality content that is relatable to a local audience
  • Metadata: Concise title tags, meta descriptions, and previews that include relevant local keywords 
  • Structured content: Use header tags to create structured content that search engines can navigate and interpret.
  • Mobile optimisation: Most searches now take place on mobile; 61% of mobile users more likely to contact a business with a mobile website
  • Website speed: a slow website can lead to a loss of sales and revenue, a reduction in engagement, and a decline in search engine rankings.
  • Internal linking: create a network of internal links so that search engines understand the structure of your content.
  • Social Media: Embed your social media buttons to encourage users to share your content.

Local Link building:

  • What are backlinks? Backlinks are links from a page on one website to a page on another website. Google and other major search engines see them as a positive indicator, particularly when they are from reputable websites.  This results in better website performance.
  • Reputable backlinks enhance your website’s authority and ranking because they come from credible local websites, such as the media and the government.

Tools for Local SEO Success

Google Business Profile:

Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a free business listing from Google. It creates a positive first impression, giving the searcher an instant snapshot of your business.

What’s included:

  • Contact Information
  • Opening Hours
  • Updates and posts, including offers and events
  • Photos
  • Reviews
  • FAQs
  • Insights: terms used, calls and website traffic data, etc.

Find out more about optimising your Google Business Profile here 

Local SEO Tracking Tools

There are a myriad of local SEO tracking tools available.  However, some are complex to use and time-consuming.  Below are two user-friendly free tools from Google that will provide useful information.

  • Google Analytics: Perfect for tracking and offering insights on website traffic, keyword performance, and local campaign efficacy. It is free and user-friendly, so it only requires a little technical knowledge.
  • User demographics and behavior analysis are included in the local SEO data.
    • Google Search Console
      • Excellent reports are available to track website performance.
      • Identifies the top-performing keywords for organic traffic
      • Concentrates on crucial SEO metrics and is intended for use by webmasters and SMBs.

These two tools will support your company in continuously improving your Google Business Profile and website, which will result in a fruitful local SEO strategy.

Tools for Keyword Research

Determine the most profitable local keywords for your expert services. There are countless keyword research tools available, so we have selected four that are both free and reasonably user-friendly to help you get started.

Google Business Profile Optimisation

Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is an essential tool for location-based service businesses. Your company will gain more visibility, more trust, and the chance to build long-term business growth by optimising and maintaining a consistent presence on this platform.

Benefits of establishing and preserving a Strong Profile:

  • Increased visibility: better local search ranking along with a Google Maps presence
  • First impressions: A current and complete profile presents a picture of professionalism. Regular updates, reviews, and photos make it easy for the prospect to get a sense of the business before making contact or purchasing.
  • Contact details: Customers can quickly find essential information such as location, business hours, and contact details. They can call or message directly from their mobile phones.
  • Customer interaction and regular reviews help your business build a strong online community.
  • Enhance your local search engine optimisation efforts with an active Google Business Profile. It improves ranking, thereby making the results more cost-effective and long-lasting than paid ads.
  • Insights: Insights are available in the app, which helps understand customer behaviour and what is working and what is not.
  • Competitive edge: investing in a Google Business Profile will help your business stand out from the competition. 
  • Cost-effective: Google Business Profile is a free tool with which to market your business.

To help you make the most of this tool, download our free GMB checklist which is a step-by-step guide.

The Impact of Reviews:

How Customer Reviews Influence Local Search Rankings

  • Managing and encouraging positive reviews should be part of a marketing strategy. Reviews have become a huge influence on consumer behaviour and signal a high level of trust and credibility.
  • Positive reviews from satisfied customers will improve local search visibility and help a business build a positive online reputation because Google values customer feedback and relevancy.

Utilising Google Posts:

By consistently providing fresh content, you not only keep your audience informed but also demonstrate an active and vibrant business. As well as enhancing your local SEO, you create an opportunity to establish and nurture a connection with your target audience.

The Local Marketing Advantage

Tailored Strategies for Professional Services:

Embracing local SEO techniques is a game-changer for professional services businesses. Local SEO enables solicitors, accountants, managed services, and a wide range of location-based firms to identify and target their ideal audiences within a geographical area, resulting in higher ranking in search results. This strategic approach generates more enquiries and leads, as well as building credibility and trust so your business becomes the go-to choice for individuals seeking professional services in your area of expertise.

Overcoming Marketing Challenges

Maximising Limited Resources:

For local businesses without dedicated marketing teams, maximising local marketing efforts is crucial for success. Here are some doable, budget-friendly suggestions.

  • Claim and optimise your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business
  • Start a customer review strategy to ensure a regular flow of positive reviews. Make sure to respond to all, including negative reviews
  • Work out the most effective keywords for your business and start incorporating them into your content, i.e. blogs, social media, and website.
  • Social media – it is difficult to cover them all with limited resources so find out where your target audience is active and focus on those.
  • Email marketing: A newsletter is a cost-effective way to communicate with customers and prospects. Let them know about offers, events, and local news.
  • Mobile optimisation – the majority of searches take place on mobile.  Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
  • Analytics: Check the insights panel on your Google Business Profile and your social media channels. This will assist you in determining what is most effective.
  • Outsourcing vs. In-House: Evaluating the Benefits of Outsourcing Marketing Services for Local Businesses
    • Outsourcing marketing activities has several advantages in terms of costs and resources. Access to digital marketing knowledge from a nearby marketing agency can prove cost-effective in terms of return on investment, as most SMEs have limited resources to devote to marketing.
    • External expertise will bring a diverse range of digital skills to consistently execute targeted strategies that reach and engage your target audience. Long-term, this saves time and frees up your company to concentrate on your specialty service, secure in the knowledge that customers are interacting with your brand and that your marketing initiatives are accelerating your company’s expansion and success.

Educating Your Audience

Demystifying local SEO:

Addressing common misconceptions and clarifying the essentials

Local SEO is about making it easy for your local target audience to find and choose your business online. It’s not rocket science; it’s about being present, accurate, and helpful. 

Let’s clear up some misconceptions

  1. Local SEO is for big business. True or False
    • False: Local firms of accountants or solicitors can employ this strategy just as successfully to establish connections with potential clients in the area.
  2. Is the focus always on Google? True or False
    • False: While Google is probably the most important, local SEO takes other directories and social media platforms into account so it is important to have consistent business information on all listings.
  3. Is it all about keywords? True or False
    • False: While they are significant, high-quality content, accurate business descriptions, and contact information are also crucial.
  4. Do it once and forget about it True/False
    • False: Local SEO is ongoing, so regular reviews, new content, updating contact information, and opening hours are essential.
  5. Local SEO is expensive True or False
    • False: It does take time to maintain a consistent and accurate presence but ongoing engagement is more important than spending money on paid ads etc.
  6. It’s only for retail businesses True or False
    • False: Any business whose target customer is local can benefit from Local SEO.

So, get started and let your local community discover why your business is the best option for the particular service they are looking for.

Want to find out more about local SEO?

Below are links to three educational articles from reputable SEO experts.

Moz – Master the knowledge you need to get a local business found online

Google Business Profile Help

Hubspot Academy:   A Comprehensive Guide to Local SEO in 2023

While, as stated, local SEO is not overly technical, it can be challenging for business owners to fund a dedicated resource or to maintain a consistent level of engagement both online and offline.

As a local business, Marketing4You understands both the importance of local marketing as well as the time constraints faced by local businesses.  By outsourcing your marketing efforts to us, you gain access to a team experienced in local SEO and digital marketing who can help your business outperform your competitors and build an engaged local community.

Your success is our mission, and we’re ready to make it a reality. Get in touch to discuss how we can help propel your business to new heights.

A guide to Local SEO for Professional Services businesses


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