Let’s start with a simple question – when you Google local business queries that are relative to the services your cleaning company offers, does your website show up in search engine results pages (SERPs)?
If it does, great!
Your probably are doing a lot of the right things that is getting your local business website ranked in SERPs.
Now here’s the follow-up question – what is your website ranking?
Are you listed among the top search results on the first page? Or does your cleaning company website show up on the second or possibly even the third results page?
If you are wondering what the purpose of inquiring about your website ranking is, the answer is really simple – high ranking websites are the ones that can catch the attention of a potential customers. So unless you are ranking high in SERPs, you could end up losing out on traffic and highly convertible leads.
Your market space is competitive. But the digital space is just as competitive if not more. Remember you are competing for customer attention on screen sizes that are getting smaller. Add to that the fact that today’s customers display a heightened sense of instant gratification which means most of them won’t go beyond the first or second page when matching their queries with search results.
It really does not leave you with a lot of space to navigate right? But the good news is that even if you haven’t given high website ranking much priority, you can still change things around.
To help you do just this, here are nine creative website ranking strategies for local companies operating in highly competitive markets.
Why Ranking Positions in SERPs Matter to Local Businesses?
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A high website ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) should be a top priority for any local cleaning company that is looking to expand its market position.
Here’s why – the click-through-rate (CTR) on an average in Google SERPs for the top position is around 30%. So results displayed on the first page are clicked on by 30% of potential customers who did a Google search for the related query or keywords. That’s a third of the traffic that could very well be lost traffic unless you are ranked high enough in SERPs.
Now you definitely want your website to rank high for a variety of other reasons as well such as building brand trust. But the number one reason as mentioned above is that high ranking websites are the ones that can catch the attention of a potential customer.
Of course search engines such as Google display multiple pages of search results for the same queries. And you very well could end up being displayed in the second page or even third page results. So if a customer does not find what they are looking for among those first page displayed results, chances are they will look up search results on subsequent pages right?
Well, yes. It can happen. But here’s the thing – while this may be the case at times, in a majority of cases customers don’t bother going beyond the first or second page results. In fact, 75% of users don’t bother venturing beyond the second page results.
What this simply means is that unless you’re disaster restoration company enjoys high ranking in SERPs, chances are you missing out on a lot of potential customers for your business.
9 Strategies to Boost Website Rankings for Local Businesses
Before we get started, what I want you to know is that there are a wide variety of strategies you can apply to boost your website rankings in SERPs including on-page and off-page SEO. And while there is no dearth of content on the web about how you can boost search rankings using specific SEO based strategies, this article will focus on strategies that are creative and possibly even a little out of the box.
So as a digital marketing expert, here is my pick of creative strategies that can deliver great results for any local business, including your local plumbing company.
- Ask the Customer
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I am going to start with one of my favorites – ask the customer. Your website is the digital equivalent of your physical store and as such is the face of your business online. So if you want to improve things, start with the one person who will be impacted the most with any changes you introduce – your customer.
Interact with your customers via social or email, or you could even use feedback forms to ask for opinions on what they want to see more of on your website. This could pertain to the content you feature, it could be about the ease of navigation (for desktop and mobile) or user experience (UX). It could of course expand to the kind of services you offer as well or even accessibility to your business.
Use the feedback you receive to improve your website. Remember, if your users are happy, they will want to come back for more, they will actively promote your business or even be more open to leaving reviews and testimonials. And these are the kind of signals, among a whole bunch of others of course, that search engines such as Google use when ranking sites in their SERPs.
- Create Highly Relevant and Optimized Content
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Content is king – of that there is no doubt.
And yes, this holds true for all search engines, including Google. Content in fact is one of the ranking factors that Google uses when displaying results in SERPs.
So if there is one thing that you want to get right, it is your disaster restoration company website content. Having said that, content is probably one of the easiest things that you can mess up or just go wrong with.
As a digital marketing expert, I’ve seen it numerous times and with so many local businesses. The biggest mistake that most businesses make is that they tend to obsessively focus on creating content for search engines while forgetting that at the end of the day, it is the customer you need to be writing for.
Keywords, links, snippets, Meta description among other things are all elements that can give life to you content to make it rank. But unless you pick up the right and relevant topics or meat for your content it is just going to be a page full of words. What you need to create instead is content that is appealing to readers and provides value.
So when you sit down to plan your content, keep your audience in mind and then go ahead and start creating content.
Look up trending topics, ask your readers (on social, email, polls, feedback forms) what they want to read about, and search for most asked queries (pain points or specific needs) before you actually put pen to paper or in this case, type your content. Once you have this ready, then go ahead optimize your content with all the SEO ranking elements.
- User Experience (UX)
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If I had to name the second most important factor after content to boost website rankings, it would be UX.
Customers use a variety of screens to view your site. Regardless of the device, the expectation is that your site will offer a great user experience. So everything from content placement and organization, font, images, use of categories and tags, and colors among other things need to be planned out carefully.
You can look up UX tips here in Google’s starter guide.
Again, website UX is all about addressing the needs of your customers. Understand what they are looking for and find ways in which you can address their requirements and keep them coming back for more.
- Connect with Influencers who can Help Promote Your Cleaning Company Website
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Ok so using influencers is a great strategy and it can win you fantastic dividends – provided you get it right. Influencers can deliver because people today trust recommendations over other forms of marketing. And if it comes from someone they are already following or someone who is viewed as an established figure within the digital space, then it becomes an additional platform for amplifying your brand website reach. Not to mention, this kind of native advertising can help your cleaning company build an additional layer of credibility.
Influencers typically have connections with authority websites. What this means is that as they continue to share your site link, there is a high possibility that high domain authority sites will recognize this and go ahead include your website link with their own link.
There are however, a few things you need to know before you consider collaborating with an influencer.
First up, you need to make sure that the influencer is someone who actually has clout in a way that can impact your specific niche or industry. So you cannot approach just anyone. You need an influencer who can connect with your audience – only then can you expect your promotions to happen organically.
Secondly, working with an influencer is a collaborative effort. In addition to monetary benefits, you need to be able to add value to the influencer’s social profile as well. So it has to work both ways.
Carefully consider what value you can offer to an influencer. If they are convinced that collaborating with your brand is mutually beneficial, the partnership will be a success.
- Focus on Generating more Positive Media for your water damage restoration business
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Good or positive reviews and customer testimonials can help your business expand its reach while also establishing your brand authority and position in SERPs.
So connect with customers and encourage them to leave reviews about their brand experience. Of course, it goes without saying that for this to happen, you will need to focus on first providing customers with stellar brand interactions.
Dazzle your customers with good service, help them address pain points and connect with them in their moment of need – in other words, make your customers happy. Happy customers are the ones who not only leave positive reviews, but they can become brand ambassadors who will be happy to spread their positive experiences and brand recommendations among new customers.
You can ask your happy customers to leave positive comments about your business and services on the relevant review sites and platforms. Google loves businesses with a rich portfolio of positive customer reviews. And it actively rewards these sites with higher rankings in SERPs.
- Aim for the Coveted Google SERP Position Zero
Sometimes in response to a user query, Google will pull up content or information from a relevant site and display the content in a special answer box/special featured snippet – and this snippet is typically displayed above the top ranking search result or in position zero.
Position zero, which is also known as a featured snippet, is a coveted spot and it occupies the most visible spot in SERPs which is above the number one ranking site. Google uses these snippets to provide users with the most direct responses to their queries.
When a featured snippet is used by Google, it is important to note that its search algorithm is not basing the featured snippet on a site’s keyword relevance or on how well the site has optimized its content. Rather it is based on something far more basic – just how well a particular piece of content matches a user query.
So if you can get your site content displayed as a featured snippet in SERPs, it can give your traffic tremendous boost since the snippet will include a link to the source page. Not to mention, a featured snippet can actually drive brand credibility and visibility in SERPs.
If you want to grab position zero, then you need to focus on bulking up your site content to provide authoritative, clear, and direct answers to the most likely searches that are related to your industry or business.
- Get Yourself Interviewed
A great way to win eyeballs, establish brand credibility and authority, and boost site rankings is via interviews. When you get interviewed (printing press or online portal), in all likelihood a link to your website will be provided which typically links up with your site web page that features your story and information about your business. It works almost like a personal recommendation – again, something that search engines recognize and reward in SERPs.
Getting yourself interviewed can also help build business credibility both offline as well as online within your local market space.
So now the obvious question – how do you get interview requests?
Here’s something you can try. Look up interviews of people from within your industry or even interviews of your competitors. Provide feedback via email on the interview in the form of alternative solutions or options (a more optimized solution or cost-effective option) that can actually address customer issues in a better way.
The idea here is not to put down the other person, it simply is about displaying your authority or expertise on the subject by providing a more optimized solution or response to the issues discussed.
In the same mail, towards the end you can simply ask the interviewer if they would like to interview you. Even if they don’t set up an interview immediately, they will remember you the next time they are in need of a domain expert.
- Infuse an Element of Fun
The service industry is serious business. Your customers are people who want their homes cleaned or restored after suffering some form of damage. The same goes for local businesses offering plumbing services. There isn’t really much space for fun – seriously what can you do to make house restoration fun?
This is for want of a better word, a boring niche. So you’re probably wondering if it is even possible to infuse any kind of fun element to your brand presence in a way that will make it popular not just with customers but also with Google.
Well if you are wondering, then that’s a good enough place to start. Tweak you approach and you could find ways in which boring can be converted to fun. Ok fun might be a bit of a stretch, but you can definitely do things that can make your content entertaining for customers.
Informative articles and content will always be your bread and butter items. However, think of how you can include content items, bite sized bits of information or content that can make for an entertaining read.
So for example if you run a disaster restoration company, perhaps you could do monthly items on famous restorations through history. It doesn’t have to be your area of expertise, but restorations of historical sites or even cities or other public structures can be interesting to readers. It’s like giving them a slice of history while not fraying too far away from your domain.
As a local cleaning company you probably do a lot of “before and after” stories about your services. You could add an emotional element to your before and after story by capturing it on video – get a background story if you can and edit it into your video. Or if you have the resources, you could offer a lucky draw for some freebies or cleaning service for a family facing economic challenges. These are all hard hitting stories and always get an emotional response that can lead to social shares as well as position your website for discovery in all the right places.
If you are a plumbing company, then you could run weekly or monthly items on topics such as “50 Fun Plumbing Facts You Did Not Know.” Or you could create bite sized fun/quiz content or use visual content on your website or app (if you have one), or social pages linking up to your website. It’s interactive and engaging and does not require too much time to consume – a necessity in today’s fast-paced lifestyle.
The idea simply is to get customers engaged and add an element of entertainment to your content. It will keep them coming back for more and effectively focus on something beyond the boring aspects of your business.
It’s not going to easy of course. And these are just examples of some of the things you can do. But you know your customers better and so take some time to actually think of fun ways to make your content fun to consume.
- Answer Some Questions
Sites like Quora, Ask.com, and Wiki Answers are all popular for posting all kinds of questions and getting answers. While a lot of the questions do get answered, there are a number of questions that go unanswered or don’t get responses that are actually helpful.
The internet has made it easy for people to quickly find answers – and this is where you can make a mark. Join Q&A sites, or sites that are more relevant to your industry and look up questions that don’t have too many responses or questions with answers that are poorly crafted. Keep in mind that when you respond, your answer should be well written, highly relevant, and packed with information. Once you are done crafting your answer, you can include links to your website in your answer wherever possible and in an organic manner. Refrain from getting spammy.
When you do this, not only will you be adding to the knowledgebase of the site and helping readers, but you can also effectively draw attention to your site links and amplify the exposure component of your links among a wider audience base.
Not to mention, this will help build brand credibility for your local business and you will be seen as a go-to-source for people who will be more inclined to click on your links.
To Wrap Up
Ranking higher in SERPs is an achievable goal for local businesses – but it will take both time and effort. In addition to the above mentioned strategies, make sure you focus on On-page and off-page SEO. Of course not every single strategy will work for every type of local business out there. You need to identify the ones that are best suited to your business and market and go with those.
Most importantly remember, ranking high in SERPs is an ongoing effort. So you need to keep at it with focused planning, implementation, and tracking of results. If something works, then understand why it works and see how best you can continue to leverage it or tweak your approach to get better results.
The digital space is in a constant state of evolution and so it’s important that you keep up with trends and new strategies as a way of keeping ahead of the competition. And ranking high in SERPs is definitely one of those things that can help you expand your business presence and beat competition.