In this post we will share the four essential SEO services local business need to rank at the top of search results and attract a constant stream of qualified leads and new customers.
SEO is constantly evolving, so all these real client case studies below are from the past year. We only want to share with you what is working right now.
So without any further preamble, let’s jump right in…
Ranking Website with Organic SEO
Our client wanted to rank for national terms as well as local terms with a commercial intent to reach users at different stages of the sales funnel.
Our process was divided into different phases, Technical SEO and Website Architecture.
The first being to ensure that the website was technically sound and loaded within two seconds to ensure optimal usability.
Below are examples of a few of the over 100 checkpoints.
- Broken links
- Duplicate content
- Duplicate page titles and meta descriptions
- Link chains
- Site loading time
- Image compression and optimization
- Orphan pages check
Second, we checked the website architecture and keyword mapping to ensure the pages correlate with search intent on Google so that the buyers journey remains intact. In layman’s terms, we evaluated how helpful the website pages are to users.
Most of the revenue comes from the home page and service pages, such as Invisalign, since these are at the bottom of the sales funnel, i.e. people have already decided to buy, they just need the right provider.
The most common mistake we see is that the pages are not focusing on the correct keywords, or the pages have been over optimized or use duplicate content, which results in a poor ranking.
During the next stage of the architecture tuning, it was necessary to ensure that all pages of the website interlinked where appropriate using the suitable anchor text. Thus, you can have a technically sound website optimized for the correct keywords, with pages that are linked together to give the crawlers a helping hand in discovering the content and understanding its relationship with other pages.
Offsite properties, as the name suggests, are properties associated with your domain on third-party platforms.
In order to make sure all is above board, we ran a link detox audit using our in-house criteria to make sure all websites pointing at our client’s website are legit (not link farms).
Although we found no issues, we noticed that our clients’ website lacked authority, so we went about manually placing links on high authority websites to match the firepower of the competition.
After completing the onsite optimizations and the link building, we turned to content marketing. Content marketing aims to educate potential customers about any questions they may have related to services. As a result of answering their questions, we build trust and rank for numerous queries. Here are a few examples:
- Does Invisalign give you a lisp?
- Will braces change the shape of my face?
- Can I get braces with fillings?
- How much does Invisalign cost, and does insurance cover you?
In addition to linking to the main service pages, blog posts boost relevance, which we call topical relevance. We see that over 70% of dental websites don’t fully leverage their blogs, despite the fact that properly formatted and researched blogs can generate thousands of searches per month.
Within a two-week period, the onsite changes provided our client with a huge boost, and this was then compounded by the continued link building and content marketing over a period of 10-14 weeks.
The result was top rankings for local keywords, which led to increased enquiries and a 400% increase in website traffic due to the new content.
Because nothing ever stays the same, our strategy going forward will be to build more links and content to not only boost rankings but also increase our clients’ online visibility.
Ranking Local Client in Maps AKA Google My Business
Rather than organically ranking for local keywords, our client wanted to rank in maps search. It is a popular request and is often used in combination with organic search rankings. See our organic search traffic portfolio case study above for more details.
Google’s Maps ranking algorithm has separate ranking factors and a separate entity from the organic ranking algorithm. This is often overlooked. There’s no doubt they’re related; we’ll explain our strategy so you can see why.
The first part consists of auditing the Google My Business (GMB) listing. Are all the fields on the form are filled out, including the address, opening hours, and photos?
There is a reason why Google gives us all these fields to fill in, but we can tell you from experience that most are only partially filled in, so it’s an easy win!
As a second step, we audit citations and directories such as Yelp, Apple Maps, Brown Book, etc. To please the algorithm, we must ensure the NAPs (name, address, and phone number) are consistent, so customers don’t walk into the wrong address at the wrong time and Google sees consistency. It’s very time consuming to clean up these directories, so we take our time finding and correcting them.
Next we target reviews, if they don’t already have many and aren’t getting them consistently, we implement an internal strategy to acquire these WITH keywords and photos which we have found to have a positive correlation with rankings.
Reviews are always answered, especially any bad ones.
While we mentioned that the algorithms are separate, this is where the overlap occurs. Google’s job is made easier by syncing the category pages and the website home page headers. Google isn’t perfect so half the time it’s just giving crawlers a helping hand.
GMB posts are a relatively new feature, but we use this feature to post our latest blog posts.
In addition, most accounts currently qualify for free AdWords credit, which we always recommend using and testing.
The client already had some positive reviews, an aged listing, and plenty of photos, which made ranking achievable within 30 days.
In addition, we always test our implementations and use grid rankings on a local level so that you can see the ranking gains for each keyword every 2km. In this way, we can display results customized to our customers’ specific area.
Several additional strategies are also implemented by us, but we won’t divulge all our secrets. If you want similar results, we invite you to contact us to discuss your requirements and see if we are a good fit to help your business rank it’s GMB page.
This GMB listing is a constant feature in the ‘snack pack’. One of only 3 visible listings in the search results.
Currently, they receive 230-250 calls per month in addition to hundreds of driving direction requests.
Website Design & Development
We were engaged to design and develop a lead generation website for a business sales and brokerage company in South East Queensland, Australia.
After in-depth keyword research and competitor analysis we were enlisted to develop a lead generation website that would perform well in local searches and convert site visitors with client benefit driven copy, design and an easy to navigate interface.
The client required a conservative site with a modern, clean design that was easy to navigate on all devices (desktop, tablet and mobile) and provide ample contact touch points.
The site messaging was to be primarily for business owners looking to sell their business and explore and/or engage a business broker in South East Queensland, Australia.
All the important information about the business brokerage and client benefits would be above the fold. ie. as the site loads and no scrolling is required.
Additional pages we to be created as landing pages (lead gen) by specific locations to capture targeted search traffic.
The site had to be safe, secure and accessible to all.
The client loved their new website and took out an additional six months SEO package with us. During this time we created new, unique content for the blog to capture more keywords, build authority and acquire quality links to boost local search positions.
The client’s website paid for itself with the first lead they converted from the site. Even today as I write this, the site owner called to say they closed yet another deal with the lead coming from his website.
Website Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Both organic SEO and GMB traffic were satisfactory for our client, nevertheless, they wanted to increase their revenue by maximizing the conversion of their new traffic.
Up and Over
Customers often develop quite a bond with their websites, but after we conducted our CRO audit, they felt confident that we would start improving them. In dealing with hundreds of websites in the past, we can quickly see features that hold websites back, although we always rely on statistics over opinions. To back up our professional opinions with data, we implemented heat maps and user session recordings, which allow us to analyze our customers journey and their click habits.
Once we have created a digital footprint, we can design around it. In our main test, we look to see if the following can be identified within 5 seconds:
- Where am I now?
- What may I do?
- How do I do it?
Among the factors influencing the above are:
- Call/s to action above the fold, meaning no scrolling down the page is required.
- Hero image clearly showing the service/offering
- A value proposition outlining the main benefits
- A subheading that explains the value proposition
- Clickable and clearly visible contact details for email and telephone
- An equally good mobile experience as on a desktop
- Reviews from previous customers
- Badges from well-known awards or accreditation bodies
Lastly, we split test the changes made to ensure that they are effective. In other words, we send half of the traffic to the old version of the page and half to the new, and see which version performs better.
Our conversion rate increased by 17% in this particular case.
We Can Help You
My dedicated team and I have been successfully helping local businesses rank their websites for keywords with intent and driving qualified traffic that converts for our clients since 2008.
Competition for new business has never been so fierce and to win online you need an unfair advantage. That’s where we come in. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you.
4 Essential SEO Services for Successful Local Business Marketing