5 Tips for Artisans: How to Boost Your Local SEO

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If you’re an artisan or contractor, it’s important to highlight your location and service zone. And one of the best ways to do this is with local SEO. This SEO strategy lets you improve your rankings in local searches and boost your online visibility in your area.

But how do you optimize your local SEO to grow your business?

What is local SEO?

Local SEO differs from regular SEO in that it prioritizes your geographical location above everything else. This means that Google’s local SEO algorithm will deliver search results to users based on their location. Companies whose websites are the closest to their prospects will show up on top. For example, if someone who lives near the CN tower types in a search for a plumber, Google will suggest nearby plumbers who work in downtown Toronto.

With the goal to constantly improve the browsing experience, search engines are always evolving. Local SEO was therefore introduced to make web searches more effective and to bring users the best, most relevant results.

Why do artisans need local SEO?

Local SEO first appeared in 2006, as a branch of SEO that lets your business appear in searches specific to both your activity and a set geographical region. It’s a non-negotiable marketing strategy, playing an essential role in helping contractors build their visibility within their local catchment area. Stonemasons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, and all types of contractors can benefit from local SEO to attract a maximum number of prospects.

Local SEO plays off the common consumer behaviour, Research Online, Purchase Offline. Also known as ROPO, this phenomenon refers to the common practice of reading up on a service on the Internet before committing to it in person. For artisans, you are offering your services online all the while emphasizing your physical location. And as part of your online presence, you might include online estimates.

Have you heard of Quote by Linkeo? At Linkeo, we’ve created this solution, Quote, Your Online Estimate and Billing Solution specifically for contractors and other service providers. It’s designed to optimize your work day and give you fast, direct access to your clients.

But the construction industry is notoriously competitive. So, you’re also going to need to focus on local SEO. Since it targets prospects close to you, it represents a high-performance SEO strategy for artisans.

5 Essential Tips for Local SEO That Converts

As a local artisan, you have local influence. So when you structure your organic SEO strategy, you need to consider your geographical location. Here are our top tips when it comes to building your local SEO:

1. Optimize your contracting site for local SEO

To refine your e-reputation and boost your visibility on search engines, you must create a website for your contracting business. This is a place where you can share your story, show off your accomplishments, post your customer reviews, promote your products and services, and include any other useful information for your prospects.

For artisans, a website serves both as a showcase for your business and a valuable resource for your potential customers.

If you want to appear high in search results, you need a well-designed structure, clear content, and fast loading time. Your interface needs to be intuitive for new prospects who arrive at your site.

Be sure to use compressed images that don’t slow down your loading time. A semantic field related to your business will also help Google’s robots link your site to your activity.

These guidelines apply to all sites looking to optimize their organic SEO but for local SEO specific to your catchment area, we recommend the following tips:

  • Choose keywords and a semantic field that match your prospects and target your specific location;
  • Work your URLs by inserting your location;
  • Include your location in your main heading (H1) and other page and article tags;
  • Include your location in your SEO title and page meta description;
  • If you provide service in multiple cities, it’s a good idea to create a web page for each one and to include the name of each location in your page names.

That said, the Google Penguin robot will penalize over-optimization. So you don’t want to constantly repeat your location in the body of your text.

Build Your Digital Strategy—Our Top Tips for Success. Click on the image to check out our article.

2. Use Google My Business to Show Up on Google Maps

Recently, search engines have evolved to offer geolocalized results based on user location. This is what we call local SEO. To be visible in your customer catchment area and on search engines, don’t forget to indicate your geographical position. 

Google Maps is a key reference tool. Right below the paid ad sections, it displays the closest local artisans at the top of search results. An increasing number of consumers use Google Maps to plan their routes and find professionals who are close to their home or workplace.

To appear on Google Maps, you need to create a Google My Business Page GMB). This service is available to all businesses hoping to gain in their local visibility, regardless of their size. In addition to letting you appear on Google Maps, it also offers a great opportunity to gather reviews from your customers.

You can complete your Google My Business Page by filling in the following information:

  • Address
  • Website
  • Service or catchment area
  • Phone Number
  • Business hours

3. Systematically Collect Positive Reviews

Online reviews go hand in hand with your Google My Business Page. The more positive reviews that are linked with your profile, the higher you will appear in search results. Google robots prefer active Google My Business profiles that inspire users to regularly interact with the page. The algorithms use positive customer reviews to put your business in the limelight.

Positive online reviews are also valuable for convincing prospects to choose you over a competitor.

Remember that 75% of consumers regularly check a business’s online reviews as part of their research process.*

Online reviews offer a badge of confidence and can help you land more clients. An abundance of positive reviews will set you apart from customers and attest to the quality of your products and services. It’s in your best interest to systematically encourage your customers to leave reviews on your GMB and social media pages.

For tips on how to build your five-star reputation, check out Part One and Part Two of The Artisan’s Guide to Online Reviews.

4. Register in Local Directories

To perfect your local SEO strategy and boost your visibility, you can list your business in online directories for free. A few common examples include Yelp or NextDoor, but there are other directories specific to your sector. A quick Google search will lead you to a long list.

Directories are doubly effective

  • in that they make your business visible to Internet users while also building your SEO netlinking strategy. When you list your website in a directory, you are including your URL and therefore creating a backlink that will boost your website’s SEO.

In most cases, you can sign up for free, though certain directories have a paid option.

5. Build your local backlinks

As we mentioned in the previous point, backlinks are essential to your SEO strategy, leading users from other sites to your web pages. Unlike on-site netlinking, which creates internal links within the same website, backlinks represent an off-site netlinking strategy.

For optimal success, it’s not enough to simply sit back and watch as other random sites link to your content. You don’t have any control over these backlinks. It’s best if you’re the one to generate your own backlinks, and lots of them (without sacrificing on quality). Not all backlinks are created equal. When they come from a trusted source, Google will view them as more credible and will therefore put your website higher on search results. Over the years, Google has also refined its algorithms to differentiate between organic backlinks and sponsored posts.

For the purpose of local SEO for your contracting site, we recommend you focus on local backlinks. Look to well-respected websites in your geographical area: tourist offices, business associations, shopping malls, local directories, local information and content sites, local business websites, chambers of commerce…

To sum up…

Local SEO has become a crucial pillar in marketing for artisans. These days, local searches outperform all other types of searches. If you’re an artisan or contractor looking to boost your visibility and client requests, you need to emphasize your geographical location and service zone.

For more advice on SEO and online marketing, Linkeo’s digital experts are here to help. You can also check out the SEO section of our Online Artisans blog

(Source: IFOP Survey for Guest Suite)

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