Local Business SEO Tips Anyone Can Do


Let's Grow Your Lawn Care Business: Websites, SEO, & Ads for L&L Companies

What can you expect in this blog post?  You will learn the fundamentals of what your website needs to start ranking, rank higher, or rank more consistently in the search results.  These will be listed briefly as this blog post assumes you have all these items squared away already.

Local business?  Yes.  The best practices covered in this blog are relevant if your small business serves clients or customers local to your business location.  We will be using a lawn care company as the 'local business' in this article.

Anyone can do?  Yes.  SEO is not rocket science.  It does take time and it needs to be done right.  Seriously, just about anyone can do it and it does not have much of a monetary cost. 

The cost is either paying an expert service to do it for you, such as Optimized SEO and Websites, or taking the time to learn specifically what you need to do for your website and then taking the time to actually do it.  It is not a '1 and done' type deal either.  Persistence and consistency are key to getting to the top of the Google search results.

The Very Basic Elements of Local SEO

Let's start by making sure your website has the proper foundation to build upon.  There is really no reason to not have these fundamental SEO principles implemented properly as it takes just as long to do it the wrong way as it does to do it the right way.  Just because you hired a 'web agency' do not assume your website is good to go.  I don't care how much they charged you, how 'good' your website looks, or who the company was. 

Very few people outside of the website/SEO industry know much about SEO, quality website design, or proper coding techniques, etc., so it is very hard for them to know if they got ripped off or not.  And, after being in the industry for 2 years full-time, I can tell you there is a lot of incompetence and even blatant fraud being committed every day because of this ignorance.

SEO Fundamentals

Foundation Local SEO Checklist:

  1. SSL Certificate
  2. Canonical URLs in place
  3. Page titles and meta descriptions optimized
  4. H Tags used appropriately
  5. Acceptable page speed
  6. Images uploaded properly as far as size, name, file type, and have appropriate alt tags
  7. At very least local business Schema.org markup
  8. You have a robots.txt file
  9. You have submitted your XML sitemap
  10. Connect Google Analytics
  11. You have keywords in H tags and paragraph text used naturally
  12. Your URL hierarchy is set up properly to expand on in the future
  13. You made key citation and social profiles for your business
  14. Verify and fully populate your Google My Business page

SEO For A Website With The Foundation Ready To Build Upon

Hopefully, you have the items listed above squared away already.  If not, we highly recommend you clean up or complete anything that has not been completed off that list.  In truth, the items in this section could have just as easily been included on the foundation SEO list!

Local SEO

Understanding 'Online Presence' vs 'Website'

Before we get too far along, your website is simply not enough by itself!  Stop thinking about 'your website' and start thinking about 'your online presence' as a whole.  Because this is what really matters.  The website is just one piece to the puzzle, albeit a very important piece!

Fully Connect Google and Bing Properties

Believe it or not, there are several things you should do to fully connect your site to the 2 largest search engines.  Google has Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google My Business at a bare minimum.  You might want to go ahead and set up your Google Ads account and get your remarketing set up and collecting data from the get-go.

Bing has Bing Places and Bing Webmaster Tools.  Bing Places is much like Google My Business and Webmaster Tools is like Google Search Console with a little analytics sprinkled in.  You may want to also consider advertising on Bing as the cost is much cheaper when compared to advertising on Google or Facebook.  Bing Ads is now Microsoft Advertising.

Major Key Citations For Local Businesses

More stuff to do 'off' your website, hence why to think of 'online presence' instead of 'website,' includes more citations.  Whitespark is a great resource to determine which citations you may want to grab.  Another great way to determine which citations you should make is by searching Google and noting down where citation sites rank on the first page or two.  Then, go make those citations.

If you do this, you will quickly realize it is a very time consuming and frustrating process, to say the least.  Optimized offers citation creation and will beat any price you find elsewhere online.  The best part is they are manually created.  Save time and money by using Optimized's service and avoid getting scammed by a shady citation service. 

Citations and Social Profiles For Local Businesses

Great Citations For Local Businesses*

  • Yelp
  • Angie's List
  • BBB.org
  • Manta
  • Foursquare

*'Great' citations can vary based on your industry and service area.  Typically these citations are a great starting point.

Warning!  You will learn about Yext if you do start building citations yourself.  They are completely ridiculous in our opinion and charge outrageous fees.  Stay away from Yext.  Optimized and other professional SEO services have workarounds to get you the citations you need 'gated' by Yext and their fees.

Social Properties For Local Businesses

No matter how you feel personally about social media, your business will benefit from these profiles.  They are much like citations.  The most important is Facebook.  Depending on what your business does, the rest could vary in order of importance. 

We recommend creating a YouTube channel as YouTube is owned by Google the largest search engine in the world.  Twitter is in with Google...you may want to at least make this profile even if you don't tweet!  LinkedIn is the most professional social media platform, so definitely make that one.  Instagram may be an important platform for your business.

Ones you may not think of include Nextdoor and Alignable.  

Why Do Social Profiles and Citations Help My Local SEO?

There are a couple of reasons why these profiles online, but off your website itself, will benefit your business.  And, make no mistake, they will benefit your business.  You should not skip over creating these.  Also, they do little to no good if you don't fully populate all applicable fields available on that platform.

  1. The 'citation' itself.  All we mean by this is that your business' info is also on another website and Google/all search engines can reference these profiles to double-check the accuracy of key characteristics about your business such as your NAP - Name, Address, and Phone.  You also want to make sure your website is listed, your business hours are accurate, and so on.
  2. Social proof.  When you actually have a profile, usually this is going to be on social media, that gets engagement, those 'user signals' prove to the search engines people care about your business and that you are in fact still open for business and provide value to your audience.
  3. Reviews.  Another form of social proof, but these are literally votes of people letting others know your business does quality work.  The most important place to get reviews is on Google, this happens on your Google My Business listing.  Next, is usually Yelp (which powers Bing's rating of your business) and Facebook as it is the most widely used social media platform.  Certainly, reviews on industry-specific citation sites will also help!

Your Business On Google

Real Life User Signals

Something we think is often overlooked as SEOs talk about how to improve your website's position in the search results is real-life user signals.  What are 'real-life user signals?'

They are exactly what they sound like.  They are signals from real people searching for a website like yours and then how they interact with your website once they land on it.  The signals that matter the most are your click-through rate, bounce rate, time on site, and page views.

Click-Through Rate

Click through rate refers to how often your site appears in the search results in comparison to how often the person searching clicks on your listing.  The more often people click on your website, the better.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to how often someone who lands on your website leaves very quickly without viewing any additional pages.  This sends a signal that your website did not contain the info they actually wanted to see.

Time On-Site

Time on site is important because the search engines assume the longer people stay on your site, the more valuable and relevant the content is.

Page Views

Pageviews is important because for one it usually adds to the time one site factor and eliminates the possibility of a negative hit to your bounce rate.  It is another way for the search engines to know your site's content is valuable and should be displayed in the search results.

Advice On Real Life User Signals

Ask your friends, family, and co-workers to go to your website!  Better yet, have them search for your website on Google and then click through to it from your Google My Business listing or organic search result listing.  You can also share a link to your site on social media and request people to do the same.

Get Google Reviews From Customers

Google Reviews

Businesses with 10+ Google reviews far outperform businesses with less than 10.  This is something we noticed with over 50 local businesses using our website design and SEO services.

Inside your Google My Business, you will find a short, direct link that will take anyone who clicks on it right to the place where they can leave you a Google Review.  We recommend to put this in your email signature and/or send out dedicated emails requesting your customers to leave you a Google Review.  

Big note about Google Reviews!  Do not incentivize anyone to leave you a Google Review in any way, shape, or form.  This is a great way to get de-indexed.  And, do not 'buy' Google Reviews.  These will not help your business and will actually hurt it in the long run as only 'local' reviews are going to help your local business.  The chances these scammy sites that sell Google reviews will create reviews from local Google accounts is slim to none!

Blogging or Adding Relevant Content To Your Website

This advice on blogging, or at very least adding supporting content pages, on your website may be the most important bit of info you can take away from this article.  Like I mentioned earlier, we have 50+ websites of local businesses under our control.  We either built or re-designed these websites and performed a 1-time SEO service or are providing on-going SEO services for them.

There is no doubt about it that the sites with more content far outperform websites lacking content.  The content needs to be specific to what your business does and/or where your business operates.  The most important thing is that people viewing your website finds value in the content.

This blog post is a perfect example of this!  iGoPro Lawn Supply doesn't directly offer web services to local businesses, but we know many of our customers do in fact own a local lawn care or landscaping business and more than likely would be interested in learning more about how to get more exposure online!  So, although it is not exactly relevant to this website, it is relevant to our target audience.

Personalize Your Website Content

This is something often overlooked by small and local business websites.  Making a very generalized website about your products or services is simply going to blend in with every other site.  It is very important you make it clear what sets your business apart, what you do and what is included, and where you work.

It is highly recommended to use your own pictures!  Not only pictures of the work you have done or products you offer, but pictures of your equipment, business location inside and out, vehicles, and employees.

People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust.  Never forget that!  Make sure your website sheds good light on your business, answers all of the questions a potential customer may have, and provide value using additional content on your site-specific to your target audience.

Optimize Your Website For Conversions

It doesn't matter how well your website ranks if after people find it, they don't contact you!  Most people that visit your site will never contact you.  This is a fact.  Even if they don't contact you via a phone call, text, email, or contact form, do you have a way to reach back out to them?

You can re-market to your website visitors using Google Ads or Facebook Ads.  You need to have these things in place for this to happen.  Another thing you could do is offer something of value in exchange for their email address.  We also recommend getting their name to personalize the emails you will send to them overtime.

There is definitely a science behind designing a website that converts visitors into customers.  We will just cover the basics very quickly.

Make sure your contact info is easy to find on every page.  Make a click to call, text, email, quote, or combination of any of these on your website's mobile version.  Click to email and click to quote also works on tablets and desktops.  Make it clear what you do, what's included, and where you do it.  Show reviews on your website and your guarantee.  If you can't guarantee your service, maybe you shouldn't be in business.

Real Life User Signals

Consider Running Google Ads

We favor Google Ads over any other type.  When done properly, the cost per click is usually between $1 and $2.50.  We think that fits into almost any profitable business' budget.

The reason why we favor Google Ads over Facebook ads is because of user intent on these platforms.  People are typically on Facebook to socialize, not buy things/hire a service.  People are typically searching Google to find an answer to their problem or learn more about whatever.

When you pay Google to run your ads, you get fast-tracked to the top of the search results.  Google Ads are displayed above any of the organic listings.  Organic listings are the bulk of the search results and these websites made it there by getting their SEO right!

Conclusion

To wrap up the article, we wanted to mention we do not recommend paying any citation site such as HomeAdvisor.  The ROI on these is often very poor, as in negative ROI, and usually end up simply wasting your time.

If you did read the entire article, hopefully, you can see that there really isn't too crazy going on behind getting your website to rank.  It just comes down to actually doing what needs to be done.

We can guarantee you, if you do these items consistently overtime or pay a quality SEO company to do it for you, sooner or later you will reap the benefits.  The best part is, if you do everything following Google's best practices, the effects will last for years and years to come.

Ryan Sciamanna

Ryan is the owner and founder of Lawn Crack, Optimized SEO and Websites, iGoPro Lawn Supply, and iGoPro Marketing. After working in about every aspect of the lawn care industry, Ryan started his own lawn care company with a push mower and no experience owning a business.

10 years later he sold his business for a healthy profit and continues to serve the lawn and landscape industry with high-quality products and website and online marketing services. Ryan also offers free content to help new lawn care business owners and DIY homeowners professionally maintain their lawns!

You can continue learning on LawnCrack.com's or iGoProLawnSupply.com's blogs or the LawnCrack YouTube channel. Free resources are available for download on LawnCrack.com. Consider buying the eBook version of Cracking the Code to Profit in the Lawn and Landscape Industry. In the book, Ryan lays out exactly how he built a profitable lawn care business and how you can do the same.