Great question. To that, we answer: you need a great website, a consistent GMB listing, and a steady flow of favorable reviews on Google. What you don’t necessarily need is a lot of “organic SEO” work done for you. Whether you’re a placement and referral agent or you own a residential care facility, you understandably want to know how you can appear at the top of local search results for your industry.
After all, you operate locally, you’re ingrained in the neighborhoods, and you get a lot of your business through word of mouth. That’s all well and good, but when someone who doesn’t know you exist is searching for a residential care facility near them, you have to be there when they need you.
That’s where local search results come in, making or breaking your visibility and reach. We can help you dominate local search. Here are some tips.
First, some stats:
- Three billion search queries each month contain local terms.
- 70 percent of online searchers use local search to find offline businesses.
- 30 percent of Google searches are seeking local information.
What’s Local Search Marketing?
Local search marketing involves the process and techniques used to reach your local audience online — in this case, people looking for residential care facilities for themselves, their aging parents or other loved ones. Basically, this is how brick-and-mortar businesses like yours reach potential clients online.
Any kind of business with a storefront or service area is considered a local business, including small-, medium-, and enterprise-level brands. Local search marketing involves raising brand awareness in a particular geographic area.
How Can You Optimize for Local Search?
There are many things you can do, from adding quality content to keeping your GMB listing up to date.
Summary: the two most important strategies
- Have a really great website that is attractive, informative and persuasive.
- Have a well-optimized Google My Business (“GMB”) listing that (1) gets your business ranked near the top of local search results in Google search results pages, and (2) makes your business stand out from the other choices.
Details: tactics to make the strategies work
- Register your business with Google My Business: This is a big opportunity for local businesses to appear in local search results for any given search term. But you have to make sure your GMB listing is (1) accurate and correct, and (2) more appealing than the other GMB listings for your competitors.
- Get reviews: If people are looking for facilities like yours, make it easy for them to locate you and embrace you. Claim your listings. Ask clients to post about their experiences with you. Continually check your reviews and respond accordingly. You will get the occasional negative review, but respond quickly and always take the high road. Google reviews are the most important ones, Yelp and Facebook matter too.
- Invest in content: Each new blog post you write is a new indexed page for your website, a new page where you can target a geographic search phrase, a new opportunity to be seen in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Having a tough time coming up with geo-targeted content? Try highlighting client success stories or case studies.
- Write about complementary local services: As a residential care facility, there are many ways to partner with other local businesses. For example, you could talk about a business near you that runs a killer laundry business, or a caterer that specializes in meals for seniors, or a medical device supplier you rely on in the community. This allows you to write helpful content about your specific geographic area in a meaningful way so you don’t have to resort to awkward keyword stuffing that will be penalized by Google. This practice also fosters goodwill with local businesses that have the potential to introduce you to new clients.
- Optimize SEO elements: Make sure your website’s page title, URLs, page headers, internal links, and content are all optimized with keywords.
- Include location pages: If you have multiple locations, add a page for each location, with unique content on all.
- Tell people how they can find you: Put your business name, address, and phone number on contact-specific pages such as “Contact Us” and “About Us” pages.
- Write about local and industry news: Always stay abreast of what’s happening in your community and in your industry to fuel your blogs, which will get you far in the SERPs. That’s because Google rewards timely content as part of its freshness update.
- Mobile-optimize your site: Mobile search and local search go hand in hand. The most common ways in which people will use your site on the go is by checking reviews, getting directions to your location, and looking for contact information.
- Get links online and locally: The more you can act as a fixture in your community, the more people in the community will talk about you. Become a guest blogger, talk positively about other people in your industry, and be a resource provider for the region. Being an active participant in community conversations generates buzz that will result in inbound links, media coverage, and social media growth. In addition, get links on a local level from the Chamber of Commerce, business improvement districts, trade associations, resellers, licensing bureaus, and vendors.
Ready to dominate local search for your residential care facility? Get in touch with A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing today at (760) 227-2720.