Services-area businesses and local optimization strategies

Many businesses are limited by the location in which they can serve customers but don’t have a location the customers visit- they visit their customers. How do you handle these service-area businesses (and optimize your website for their services, locally)?

Google handles businesses that receive customers different than businesses that go to customers. The later are called service-area businesses. How you do local optimization for these businesses is different than how you optimize your listings for a business to which customers visit.

At the same time, don’t overlook the importance of optimizing your website for local searches- whether customers use your town, county, state, or “near me” to search for your business. You have to explicitly describe the location of your business to get found for these searches.

Transcript:

Just a general thing, you know, service area businesses. You know, when they are providing service outside of their main Town, Main County in multiple counties and even multiple States. In Maryland, were in that little tiny bar, Maryland, you know where you’re in another state and a few minutes. Any advice on where to begin going down that path. So, With it. So Google, Google my business is pretty strict about how to do that. And then then the question about citations for those businesses is another complexity. so, with Google my business, if you have an area of service where you go to the customers and they don’t come to you and then you’re supposed to set that up in Google my business and you can designate Your service area, right? Very specifically and then the question, so if that’s your business that’s probably what you should do rather than have A come to me business, and my understanding is Google starting to crack down. Pardon me a little bit with businesses who portray themselves as an address. But really, it’s a come to you. So, Just when you’re doing the setup and Google my business, there are checkboxes that basically are asking you these. So make sure you describe it the most accurate way and you can be very specific. I think lavanya didn’t we have a problem with your listing where we set it too broad. Yeah, I didn’t change it was like I think set on United States or something like that and I had to select my location. I think Tricia said it could only be like in a 200 mile radius. Okay, so so yeah, mine was too broad, but I had to change it down to like my area, like my state and then it can only be. I think she said 200 miles within a 200-mile radius It’s good to know you so you definitely don’t want. I think I just changed that in my Google my business account for my own business, recently, United States. And its yeah, that’s why I chose like Eileen Alaska’s. Some look at the map. Yeah. So I think, the think the important part is yes, technically, the we can all serve people anywhere in the continental United States. Even Canada, even Mexico. You know, there’s all kinds of places No Limit. That’s not the purpose of the Google, my business listing rights. The Google my business is much more locally focused and that’s what Google wants us to do with it. So that’s probably a better practice to do and then promoting ourselves broader and other ways. But from a, from a strategic perspective, it’s always easier for any business whether we’re doing web marketing or website, design and development, always easier to start in a small location and build up to bigger. so, even though I don’t have Any clients in Charlotte? North Carolina. I still optimize my website for Charlotte. North Carolina. Because it’s a lot easier to get those than it is to be competing for web, marketing Nationwide or worldwide. Right. So for like, I’ll take it’s my mom’s business for example. And it’s, you know what? I grew up in. So it’s what I always relate to immediately. And she’s a, it’s a carpet cleaning business, right? And she’s in Washington County. Maryland is where she’s based out of, but she works, you know, a lot in the neighboring, counties and neighboring states. So is there any way to A and I’ll say the dirty word rank in for those other areas for her Services organically in the map pack. You know, map pack is really just based on location first and foremost among other things I guess. Right. But is there a strategy to really push? You know that organic SEO? Yeah I think and you have the right word strategy right? Because It’s not about tactics, not about cramming cities into your title tag, right, right? So I would, first of all, start with You know what it is. What is the geographic area? That is most descriptive of the business. So if people in Washington County say Washington County than, that’s how I describe it. But if people in Washington County, mentioning Town, that’s probably the biggest town in Washington County, that’s what I would use for the primary thing, right? And then so, so that’s where I would focus. A lot of my effort on my website, especially my title tags and 10th on the pages but strategically what I would also do. Is I would look for any opportunity I could to mention any other towns nearby and which I would love to have Services, right? So for example, what if there’s a nearby Town, that’s maybe not in Washington County, but client hired her and the client allowed her to take before and after pictures, right? Yeah. Well now you can produce on your website a case study. I have a carpet cleaning in nearby town. So now you’ve worked in the idea of, here’s a nearby town. Here’s a blog post with pictures before and after and now we have content on our website about that town, that’s useful to customers. Because not only is it showing what we can do to help you. We can do this in your home too, but we are ranking for that town without sabotaging, our ability to rank in our most local Tim. I do this with the Landscape client, they’re based in Nashville, but that can serve all around the Asheville area. And there’s, you know, how the people describe Asheville that they sometimes used Buncombe County, sometimes these Asheville sometimes use Henderson County, sometimes the Flat Rock or black. Yeah, whatever. You know. So so what we’ve done is, we’ve just gone through into everyone, of this person’s Landscaping. We’ve said, okay, here’s an example in this County, here’s an example in this Town and we just do you know a profile. And we show pictures and this is what they did, and this is the problem that they solved and isn’t this great. And it just Gives us the opportunity to talk about these areas with enough content and make it valuable. So if someone does happen to search for Flat Rock North Carolina landscape and that’s pretty small town. But because we have something there or yeah. But the other thing to consider strategically with when it comes to this stuff is the whole idea of near me. Yeah, and Google is training, users of the search engine to use the word near me in their queries. Yeah. So what used to be? We’d search for pizza in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The Google’s kind of trained us to say pizza near me. Yeah, they got me. Yeah, it’s so funny to watch my wife when she Google’s she puts near me after everything it’s really fun and and it’s useful because Google then figures out what near me means it serves up an answer. So you don’t have to know That Fort Mills right next to Rock Hill. And if the closest service is in Rock Hill, it’s just going to serve that. Yeah. So but you don’t rank for near me using the word near me on your website, right? You drink for near me because you’ve talked about where your business is located. On your website and Google is smart enough to say, oh, Rock Hill and Fort Mill right next to each other. I’m going to serve Rock Hill results to the Fort Mill person because that’s the closest thing to them. Yeah, so that’s why it’s just important to have things like Make sure when you’re doing the keyword research for the, for all the pages and services that the company provides that you describe each of those services in light of the main geography. And I would put an address for the business in the footer. Of the website if you can add local, schema to the website so that Google can identify where that business is located easier. That helps to but it all these things that make up the local strategy. Rather than just cramming a bunch of cities into a title tag and saying I’ve optimized for all the towns nearby. Yeah or God forbid building a new landing page with the same content, just substituting out a name of the city on each. You know. That’s that’s what we used to do. Yeah, that’s terrible. I did that. That is Antiquated. So what if you what if you did have those landing pages Say like four of the major towns around that area and they were really populated with those posts that you’re talking about that were constantly updated but that be an okay strategy, as long as the content on each is unique completely unique. Yeah. And you know, there it’s really. So we got to be really careful with Google because it’s smarter than just words. Now, it’s actually able to kind of to a degree almost judge veracity. So I would kind of want to make sure that whatever we say is very related to that town. So Let’s let’s say if we were optimizing for a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Google is sophisticated enough at this point to realize that Scranton Pennsylvania is called the electric city. So we would want to make sure we talk about the electric city on our page for a paper company in Scranton Pennsylvania, right? So, that’s the kind of details that are worth adding to a page that Google might say Huh. It’s really odd. This is a page about Scranton, Pennsylvania that doesn’t talk about the electric city. That’s very odd because it would expect to see that. Well, so, you know, even relating or talking about the content of the page is related to what’s notable about that City. It helps establish that you really are truly associated with that town. Is probably worth it. I also say making sure you had unique photos Free to those as well, you know? Yeah, that would help. We still on how he wants to organically grow on Google that I was going to add something on that. Go ahead. Okay. Um, you talked about link building in some of our other sessions that could help him grow organically to on Google, right? Absolutely. so, in this case, if we’re talking about focusing on locations, having links from websites in those towns, when help Okay, so that that can be tough when it comes to small towns. But that might be looking at the local Chambers of Commerce. It might be look. Look at like local. Local editions of a major newspaper. The Baltimore sometimes might have a local version of walking in Washington County paper. Right. Kind of like the Charlotte. Observer has a Rockhill version that even men know what they call it but that would be a place to look at for link building opportunities. You know, and in the game plan is all kinds of Link building opportunities. One might be guest blogging where you pitch one of these local websites and say hey would you like a non-promotional helpful article like I don’t know what it would be like when it came to carpet cleaning. But like, maybe it’s something of how do you know how often should you clean your carpets? Or how can you protect your pets against when you’re cleaning your carpets or is something altruistic and helpful that’s relevant? That would be of interest to these websites that you could pitch and then link back to your website from that. It’s a lot of work because you have to find someone willing to take it and you can’t just put an advertisement for your business. They don’t want to publish that unless you want to pay them and then if we pay him you can’t get the link because that’s against Google’s rules. So that Lavon is bringing up a good point. The link building from these other areas would help you show up in those areas as well. Because Google’s going to acknowledge that that websites talking about that place. So if you have a link from that website would be there for showing Relevancy to your business for that area, right? That’s also brings a lot of clarity for me on that. I’ve told some things over the years, of course, and just Yeah, question some things. So yeah. That’s really great. Thank you, good. Good. I’ll guess it was a good session. I didn’t realize it was over three o’clock. Yeah, I know, we always cut. Sometimes we just got to look at each other. Not know what to talk about, but usually we end up with something helpful.


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