The Repair Shop's Basic Guide to Local SEO
When a user searches for something like “phone repair near me”, Google displays results based on a number of ranking factors and how relevant each website or link is to what is being searched.
After Google’s ban of third-party tech support ads, repair stores across the country have found themselves unable to run Google Ads to get their business’s information in front of more potential customers online. With that in mind, if you want your business to show at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), you should be focusing on your website’s search engine optimization, or SEO. The goal of SEO is to boost your business’s web presence and make it easier for potential customers to find you online.
Google makes constant updates to its search and ranking algorithms, making SEO an ever-changing digital marketing strategy that requires a ton of time, research, and attention to many areas of your website. For now, we’re specifically going to focus on local SEO, which aims to direct traffic not only to your website, but also to your store’s physical location.
You want your business listing to appear when someone types “phone repair [your city]” into Google. Does this mean you should list your business’ city and all neighboring cities at the bottom of your homepage? Absolutely not. Search engines like Google rank your website based on the quality and relevance of your content, so if your website isn’t relevant to what users are looking for, it won’t rank well for those terms.
Here are the main factors that affect your local SEO ranking:
- Google My Business: Make sure to claim your company’s listing in Google My Business (GMB) to make it easier for users to find out more information about what you offer. If you haven’t verified your listing in GMB, this is step one in your local SEO strategy. Once the account is set up, post some pictures of your store to your GMB profile. This helps potential customers know more about your location, and helps Google see that you are regularly providing services, ranking you higher.
- Citations: A citation is any online mention of your business. Good sources for these can be Yellow Pages, Yelp, or other local directories. Which local directories are influential in your market? Start with a strong presence there.
- NAP: This stands for name, address, phone number. Make sure that you list all of these things in any directory listings of your business consistently. Make sure this information is consistent between your listing on Google and your website. They should match exactly!
- Reviews: Make sure you have plenty of reviews on Google and Facebook. Search engines look for feedback and other specific information from real users and customers about the business.
- Links: A backlink is when another website links to your website. You should create content that encourages higher-ranking websites like Motherboard to link to your website. Focus on quality backlinks from trusted websites rather than a bunch of backlinks from low-ranking websites.
- Social Media: It’s important to have some sort of presence on the big social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, since those are places that potential customers might look for you on. Having a presence on these platforms will also help you get more clicks, backlinks, and citations.
- Personalization & Branding: Focus on having a user-friendly website with great design, branding, and unique content to help you better stand out from the competition.
In 2018, Google reported that 46% of searches had a local intent—meaning someone is looking for something near their location. We can only imagine that this percentage increases when only looking at “phone repair” searches. Get in front of more people that are searching online for your services by investing some time into your local SEO strategy. It’s easier than you think!