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How to Rank in the Google Map Pack

Local SEO is essential to your overall search marketing. If you run a local business like a coffee shop or boutique store, you want your site to be directed to your specialized community. You can prioritize those target customers with the help of Google Map Pack SEO practices.

When you become more visible on Google Map searches, you are automatically going to bring more people through the doors of your business. Ranking in the Google Map Pack is a process that takes strategy and specificity, but it can bring loads of success for your company.

What is the Google Map Pack?

Picture this: You’re going to look for a fun, local restaurant. What is the first thing you do? Google “local food near me.” The search engine will load multiple options, but three businesses will be highlighted at the top by the image of Google Maps.

Each of these listings appears with details about the restaurant like its address, a summary of the location, ratings, business hours, and a photo. This is prime real estate on the Google search engine results page (SERP). You may also hear the Google Map Pack referred to as the Google Local Pack or the Google 3 Pack Ranking.

Having your local business appear on this list of results is a make or break for your organization. Almost 50% of clicks on the SERP go to businesses on the Google Map Pack. Underneath these images will be traditional text-only links which can seem less enticing to potential customers. For this reason, the Google Map Pack is the coveted spot that you should aspire to get to with your business.

How Does the Google Map Pack Work?

Google Map 3 Pack

Years ago, your search engine results would show seven companies within the Google Map Pack. As more and more people perform searches on their phones, Google lowered the results to only three businesses to make viewing simpler for mobile users.

When you search, the SERP will automatically show you three organic results. Others may be sponsored or paid ads that appear over these suggestions, but those can be less effective for harnessing new business.

Google bases which three get the coveted spots based on location, relevance, quality, and the reputation of the websites. Remember, SEO is a constantly evolving field that adapts to new developments that search engines implement. While there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, you can improve these three primary areas that do affect the Google Map Pack.

  1. Connect to Google My Business
  2. Harness the power of online reviews
  3. Maintain your web listings with relevant information

These are the different elements that contribute to your overall local SEO and Google Map Pack ranking in particular.

Benefits of Ranking in the Map Pack

There are tremendous benefits of ranking in the Google Map Pack. The world is full of individuals and customers who prioritize ease and convenience over everything. Draw them into your business by leading them to it in the simplest way possible.

When you appear in the big three at the top of the Map Pack, you are right there. Customers can see your address, hours, reviews, and even pictures without even having to scroll on their phones. It has been proven that they are more likely to click on one of those three options without continuing to search.

SEO is all about creating organic success for your website on SERPs. Even if you work hard to get your site high on the text-based results, you’re still going to fall behind other businesses in that coveted Map Pack spot. At the end of the day, Google Map Pack ranked sites get 40%-60% of the initial clicks on any given search. Those are huge numbers to ignore.

Beyond just clicks on your site, you can expect more phone calls and inquiries when you are ranked on the 3-pack. These results actually do impact potential customers buying decisions. Your phone information and address will be right next to your business name, so once again, this makes things exceedingly easy for customers. They’ll be able to click on the map to see how far away you are from their location or call in with the click of a button.

You can also link to social media and direct target customers to further reviews and information on those platforms. It truly is incredible how interconnected everything is on your smartphone. Take advantage of that and benefit from the ease and convenience you can bring to your customers.

Being on the Google Map Pack promotes your business in ways a traditional link won’t be able to do. Customers don’t have to click on your website to get information. The highlights will be listed right there on the search result page. One of the biggest benefits to this is the visibility of Google Reviews. Your stars are listed right there under your company name, and people will be able to directly read other customers’ positive responses.

Do note that this typically means you need to watch your reviews and strive for as many positive ones as possible. This element will actually help you rank higher and become more likely to make it on the Google Map Pack.

3 Tips for Getting in the Google Map Pack

Google has specific patterns and algorithms that help determine what businesses and websites rank higher on its SERPs. These can be difficult to navigate because there no surefire guarantee that one technique will work vs. another effort.

However, SEO experts continue to work diligently to master Google as a platform and help your business thrive. If learning how to rank in Google Map Pack is important to you (which it should be), you can rely on some of these specific techniques to improve your chances of landing a top spot.

1. Improve your Google My Business account

It’s almost impossible to run a business when no one knows where you are located or how to get in contact with you. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to search a business and not be able to find their address, phone number, or even the official business name?

To combat these problems, you’ll need to be sure to follow up with Google My Business. This is the mechanism that allows you to update and input business information for your company on Google. The process is relatively simple, but incredibly vital. Go into the current listings, verify your information, and claim your business.

From there, you’ll be able to update the company name, add an address, pick a specific business category, and much more. Overall, this is an essential step to help guarantee the right, most updated information is on the internet about your specific business so it can move into the Google 3-Pack.

While Google My Business is important for any company, it is essential for brick-and-mortar stores. Web transactions can take place from anywhere and be shipped to customers. However, if you’re a local business, you need to be sure people can find your address and information. Updating these details will help prove you’re available and ready for the Google Map Pack.

While these two entities are quite different, they are mutually beneficial for you to get your business elevated on search engines. Read below for more information about the difference between Google My Business and the Google Map Pack.

2. Work to grow your online reviews

Google My Business Reviews

You’ve already read a bit about the importance of reviews, so you won’t be surprised that this is the next essential step to improve your Google Map Pack rankings.

Customers tend to rely on reviews to get a good feel for certain businesses. Research has shown that people are less likely to trust businesses with average reviews under four or five stars. They’re also less likely to trust a business with very few reviews. Therefore, having more reviews and higher ratings will absolutely help you look like a more credible website and move up the rankings with Google.

So how do you actually generate more online reviews? Look for more organic ways to encourage this kind of positive customer feedback. Start by creating easy mechanisms for leaving reviews. Add a button on your website, post a promotion on social media that encourages feedback, or send a well-timed email after someone purchases an item from your store. You can even direct customers straight to the Google review link so that feedback automatically appears on your Google Listing.

Perhaps the best way to encourage positive reviews is by providing exceptional service. The more you can impress your guests, the higher the chance you’ll get positive reviews. Also, remember how important it is to avoid negative reviews. They can drag down your Google rating which will ultimately hurt your chances to end up on the Google Map Pack.

3. Focus on location information and local citations

local citation

Local SEO goes beyond the basics techniques you may have already implemented. While creating backlinks and optimizing your content is essential, you will need to go a step further to get on the Google Map Pack. It’s time to start focusing on location information and local citations.

This step is mainly for companies with one location or a few in a specific area. It may seem redundant, but the more you can include your address and location information, the better. Restructure your website so you have that intel on every page. Include operating hours, special promotions, local news, and other ways to connect to your community.

You can even add your own Google Maps app to your “About Us” page so people know exactly where to find you. Digital search engines like Google acknowledge this information and see your site as more credible compared to other local businesses. This will also help direct your SEO efforts to that specific city or town.

The more you can connect your brand with a certain city, the more likely you are to climb up the ranks. Connect with sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and even the online Yellow Pages. Many people rely on these sites as credible sources.

Staying consistent within these sites, local blogs, and even your community’s social media pages will help increase your visibility. The more your website or brand is mentioned, the more likely it is to be on Google’s radar. Work to target these SEO strategies to a local area to improve your Google Map Pack ranking.

Google My Business vs. Google Map Pack

Think of Google My Business (GMB) as a tool and the Google Map Pack as a goal. The GMB gives you opportunities to set the record straight about your business and promote it the way you see fit. There can be so many inconsistencies online, which can harm your company.

Logging on to create a GMB account gives you the opportunity to rewrite the narrative. Adjust your business name so it is clear and succinct without keyword stuffing. Correct issues with your important company data like names, hours, and contact information. Add photos that make your company look compelling and enticing. GMB puts you back in the driver’s seat when it comes to how you want your business to be perceived.

Google Map Pack on the other hand still leaves control in the hands of the search engine. The goal is to make it onto the Map Pack and stay there, but it isn’t a consistent thing. You also have to continuously update your GMB to improve your overall SEO practices to reach this end goal.

General SEO Practices & How They Help with Google Map Pack

Getting onto the Google Map Pack is an important goal, and SEO is a powerful tool that can help you reach that milestone. Beyond specific strategies to get on the 3-Pack, you also want to prioritize your general SEO practices. Start by creating a better web design and investing in backlinks. By optimizing and creating great content directly on your site, you’re setting yourself up for success. When you can’t completely control how Google operates, you start by simply controlling what you can control: your own content.

One of the first steps to take is improving and optimizing your web content. This includes creating high-quality content full of keywords and technical SEO elements. Streamline your title tags, rework any meta-descriptions, and create cultivated blog posts and product descriptions. Include pictures and local elements that help your site score higher in those areas. This will help eliminate any clutter while allowing Google to browse and understand your content instantly. Start by simply reviewing your site to find opportunities for growth and improvement.

The simple truth is this: if you aren’t committing to SEO practices, you’re falling behind other companies who are improving their websites in this way. The expansion of digital marketing has created intense competition for any business to garner hits and increase visibility. If you want to have a chance to make it onto the Google Map Pack, you need to be taking advantage of every strategy you can. Start connecting with GMB, engage your local community through reviews, and work to optimize your site in the best way. Local SEO practices can make a huge difference to your business totals and overall sales numbers.

Climbing onto the Google Map Pack may seem like an intimidating task, but it is extremely doable. With the right team, tools, and determination, you can help your local business achieve this milestone. Sign up today to receive a consultation and start taking steps to grow your customer base.

4 Local SEO Tools to Boost Site Traffic and Foot Traffic

For any local business that wants to appear at the top of the SERP results, local SEO tools can help get you there. Local SEO has a lot of moving parts. But getting your website into local search rankings for your geographic area can be an affordable and efficient way to drive traffic to your website. It can also bring foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar store.

Beatles GIF

People often search for local businesses near them on their mobile devices. If your business website shows up near the top of those results, that means more site visitors and potential customers.

To help you get started with a local SEO strategy, here are 4 helpful local SEO tools. By utilizing them, you can help your website rank higher for location-based queries.

#1: Local Search Results by LinkGraph

Does your website need to focus on content, backlinks, technical SEO, or UI/UX design? It will depend on your target keywords and the websites that are already ranking in the top positions.

Looking to your competitors can be a great way to understand what is necessary to rank on page 1. With the help of LinkGraph’s local search results tool, you can see local SERP results for any geographic region.

To use the tool, simply type in the keyword or search phrase and the geographic location where you want to see top-ranking SERP results. The tool will show you the search engine results for that specific region.

Local Search results tool from LinkGraph
Local search results for the keyword phrase “hvac companies near me,” in Austin, TX

For SEO professionals that provide services to clients outside of their geographic area, this tool makes it easy to understand their clients’ local markets.

For site owners who are creating location specific landing pages or targeting new markets, this tool can help you understand the local SERP competition in other geographic regions.

#2: Local Directory Scan

Local Director Scan tool
Local Directory Scan from LinkGraph

It’s hard to know how to improve your local SEO strategy if you don’t know where your website currently stands. The local directory scan is an SEO tool that lets you identify where your local business is currently listed on major third-party review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, or TrustPilot. It will also identify the business listings or local citations you have already secured.

Local search has different ranking factors than other types of searches. One of the primary factors is local citations. They are essential to your local website’s ability to rank in local results and the Google Map Pack.

Google looks for consistent business information across these local directories and citations. Starting off with a local directory audit can give you a sense of whether your local citations meet Google’s standards.

How to Run a Local Directory Scan

To use the SEO tool, enter your website url and business information into the required fields. It will take a few minutes to generate the report, but it will include the following information.

  • Links and Website Authority Analysis
  • Rank Checker
  • Local Business Listings
  • Reviews & Ratings with recent customer feedback
  • Google My Business Optimization
  • Existing or Missing Business Profiles on Social Channels

In the above example reports, this website is missing listings for 18 key local business directories. They are also missing some profiles on major review sites. Getting these profiles and listings properly set up with updated information can have a major impact on this website’s ability to rank in local results.

If you are missing profiles or you have a listing that is unclaimed, you will be notified in the report. You can use the report as a general overview of your local online presence and a guide for where you can still improve. 

By completing and claiming more local listings, and focusing on improving your customer reviews, you can see significant improvements in your rankings for location based searches.

#3: BrightLocal’s Citation Builder

Want to start building the local citations that you are missing? BrightLocal’s citation builder is one of the most efficient ways to get multiple listings setup quickly.

BrightLocal citation builder
Bright Local’s local citation builder

BrightLocal’s listing management allows you to pick the most relevant, industry-specific sites that you want to earn citations from. It also includes any major data aggregators.

Simply provide your business information and location information, your preferred listings, and they will build the citations for you. The tool also ensures consistent and accurate listings across all third-party directories — a key local SEO ranking factor.

There are other other types of local SEO software like Moz Local and Yext, but BrightLocal helps your business get permanent citations and at the best value.

If your small business wants an affordable and quick way to jumpstart building your site authority, investing in local seo services is a fast and affordable way to do so.

#4: LinkGraph’s Schema Creator

So once you start ranking for local keywords in your industry, how do you rank in higher positions? Make sure that your site has the local business schema.org markup on the backend of your website.

Schema markup makes it so your website can appear in rich results. They are SERP displays that are more clickable and make your business stand out against your competitors.

But not many digital marketers use schema.org markup on their site. For that reason, adding it to your high performing web pages can have a big impact on your local SEO rankings.

Local Business rich result
Local Business rich result as seen on a mobile device

When users search for local businesses on Google or in Google Maps, the local business schema will display your website in a prominent knowledge graph or in the map pack with relevant details like your physical address, your hours of operation, and other key business information.

If your local business takes appointments or reservations, you can use the Maps Booking API to add an appointment or booking feature to your SERP result.

How to Use the Schema Creator

To use the LinkGraph schema creator, follow these steps:

  1. Select “Schema Creator,” in your LinkGraph dashboard
  2. Select the schema type that you want to generate markup for, in this case, “Local Business”
  3. Input the required properties
  4. Copy and paste the subsequent JSON-LD markup into the heading section of your web page
Schema creator tool from LinkGraph
LinkGraph’s Schema Creator tool used to generate Local Business schema markup

Once you have added the local business schema markup, you can test it using Google’s rich results test. This test will identify if there are errors in your schema markup and confirm whether Google can successfully generate rich results from the structured data on the page.

Adding schema.org markup is an optimization that costs nothing and can dramatically improve local search rankings and the click-ability of your SERP results. More clicks means more website traffic and foot traffic. Read our guide to schema.org markup to learn more about this powerful optimization.

Final Thoughts on the Best Local SEO Tools

Investing in local search is inexpensive and very effective. If you want to make sure searchers can find your local business, there is no better way than by elevating your local SEO efforts so they always know where to find you.

You know where to find me GIF

The above local SEO tools can help your local or small business better understand a competitor, find the right target keyword, create new business listings, craft your own local SEO checklist, show up in Google maps, and improve your overall visibility for local searches.

For more insights into how to elevate your local SEO rankings, read our guide to local SEO. Also, make sure to setup your free LinkGraph dashboard for a free trial of these local SEO tools. In your dashboard, you’ll also find other SEO tools that can help you take ownership of your local SEO strategy or better understand your performance with tons of great SEO data.

And of course if you have any questions, our SEO experts are here to help. They can help you narrow in on the parts of your website that will most benefit from optimization and elevate your overall local search rankings with our local SEO services.

Plumber SEO: A Straightforward Guide

In any given location, a number of small plumbing businesses are competing for service calls and clientele. Given the set area these businesses can service, the list of potential first time and repeat clients is quite short. That means competition is fierce, and any leg-up on the competition can mean big business for a local plumber. 

If there’s any trade that continues to prove its everlasting and always-growing importance, it’s plumbing and HVAC. As other industries gain innovative tools and techniques through the use of technology, plumbers and HVAC professionals continue to be one of the most sought-after service hires in the country.

When you consider the universal need for HVAC and plumbing service experts to fix homes, offices, and other fixtures, there’s never a bad time to be a plumber. The skills of these professionals are always going to be relevant to communities around the United States.

So what’s standing in an HVAC company or plumber’s way of regular service calls? In most cases, it’s the difficulty that potential clients have in finding their services when they need help.

Industry technology is advancing, and so are the digital measures with which plumbers and HVAC companies earn new customers and build brand visibility within regions of their operation. Like any local business, plumber SEO is a key element to growing an online presence and establishing a brand. With a constant need to grow and expand clientele, SEO offers plumbing businesses an affordable way to grow online reach while simultaneously promoting their plumbing or HVAC services.

Let’s go over the importance of SEO for a plumbing or HVAC business, as well as key initiatives to help start increasing service calls and help plumbers become the most trusted brands in their service area.

Why Use SEO for an HVAC or Plumbing Business?

Grow the Business and Increase Service Calls

First and foremost, the primary goal of a plumber or HVAC contractor is to increase the number of service calls you receive. Without calls, there’s no development for business, and no chance to become someone’s go-to in the wake of pipe or tank problems.

For plumbers and HVAC contractors, service calls are the entity by which small businesses live and die. Just a few decades ago, taking out print ads or radio spots helped earn a number of potential leads. The medium has since moved to digital spaces like major search engines and social media. But, the concept stays the same: getting your name out there is the only way to get new customers and boost ROI.

Use Search Engine Optimization to Find Clients in Need of Service

If potential customers are going to find your business to make a service call, then you first have to find them. SEO is a key strategy for finding customers in the places they look for services.

As mentioned, there’s no more scanning the yellow pages or checking the newspaper to see who can help with a burst pipe. Now, people simply do a Google search.

In doing so, the terms and keyword phrases clients use almost always come from a need. Today’s search engine users are rarely searching for things without the strategy of satisfying their search quickly.

For example, they won’t search “find me a plumber,” and search through hundreds of search engine result pages. Instead, they’ll search for something like “plumber near me” or “best plumber in Columbus” and work their way down from those appearing at the top of Google.

As a plumbing or HVAC business owner, you cannot bank on someone finding your business listing when ten or even five businesses’ web pages are listed above yours. In order to increase your ranking, you will need to improve your site SEO. If you don’t have SEO best practices implemented into your website right now, there’s no need to accept your poor search results. It’s never too late to take the first step in implementing digital marketing strategies that can boost you higher in search rankings. Better yet, the process of implementing plumbing or HVAC SEO fits hand-in-hand with the things any plumbing or HVAC business is already doing to market their services.

For example, any plumber that features free consultations is going to use that feature to increase service calls. Why? Because that’s what potential clients want to see: a reason to pick your small business over another plumber. With SEO, combining services you believe are selling points with strategic keyword phrases and terms helps put you above the competition and in line to be your service area’s go-to plumber.

 

SEO tips and tricks

What is HVAC and Plumbing SEO?

If keywords are a primary element to plumber and HVAC SEO, then how do you start choosing what’s going to work? As mentioned, keywords should be terms and phrases you know customers are searching for. This includes everything from plumbing services you offer to features that you implement to beat out the competition, such as free consultations or weekend availability.

An HVAC or plumbing company’s keywords directly address the needs of the client. By seeking out the things customers would want to know, you in turn place yourself right in the crosshairs of popular searches that are proven to become service calls and business.

A keyword strategy should include both simple and complex – or long-tail – phrases and terms. Simple keywords can focus around the HVAC or plumbing services you offer. Long-tail keywords can be more situational, focusing on instances that someone might search for a plumber. The latter usually involves words or a phrase someone uses when doing a Google search to fulfill a specific need. A great example is the phrase “emergency plumbing,” which clearly indicates the immediate need for assistance. By utilizing that and related keywords on your web pages, along with other strategic phrases, your plumbing company can be the first result that someone sees when they need your services most.

 

Likewise, local SEO connects potential customers in your service area to your website, and in turn, your business. Things like “plumber in Los Angeles” or “HVAC services near Frisco” can be what many clients search when looking for someone nearby. As a customer, proximity often means timely service, and that’s a huge selling point you can take advantage of by using location-based SEO.

An HVAC or plumber SEO strategy doesn’t yield immediate results. Google analyzes web pages for richness and rewards them with higher listings accordingly. However, starting to implement an SEO campaign now means a successful future for months to come. Any current digital marketing plan you have in place for your HVAC plumbing business fits into an SEO strategy perfectly.

Don’t change what you’re doing, or the technical services you offer; simply use them more strategically within your website content by leveraging SEO keywords to reach more customers.  That’s another perk of an HVAC or plumber SEO strategy: the goal of increasing a business listing’s search ranking already fits hand-in-hand with what you want to accomplish as a small business owner.

How does SEO fit into a Plumbing or HVAC Business Plan?

Any plumbing or HVAC business is going to feature a number of different pages on their website. For example, a services page is essential to show site visitors what plumbing or HVAC services you provide to customers. By integrating an SEO strategy into your services page, you can help potential clients reach their most vital web pages faster and in a more convenient manner.

What’s involved in an SEO campaign is far from an overhaul of an HVAC plumbing website. Rather, the implementation of keywords and phrases elevates the site’s richness according to Google’s standards. Marketing practices already in place, such as paid ads on social media sites or traditional media efforts don’t need to go away. Rather, a plumbing or HVAC SEO strategy elevates the first point of contact most customers have with a business when searching for HVAC or plumbing services online.

Not to mention, SEO is incredibly budget-friendly. Unlike other marketing efforts, you don’t need to break the bank to achieve a higher ranking among search results. Even paid SEO experts that help pinpoint targeted keywords for your area and clientele don’t cost as much as other marketing methods. Essentially, search engine optimization is the fastest-growing and most effective method of getting new customers, and it doesn’t even need to significantly impact your business plan.

Increasing visitors to your website home page and service pages means two crucial things happen in the process of increasing service calls. Firstly, web visitors who come across your business page via a search engine get an introduction to your company. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to also feature SEO phrases on your homepage. Secondly, once on a website, clearly organized services and optimized website content help to begin the process of converting that visitor to a potential client.

Trends in HVAC and Plumber SEO Strategies

A few key trends are helpful in implementing a plumber or HVAC SEO strategy. Firstly, like we mentioned earlier, local SEO is going to be one of the most proven ways to reach your core audience. As an HVAC company or plumbing business, your core audience is going to be potential customers in your service area. Targeting things like locations, cities, and areas (“Miami Beach area”) in your keywords is going to effectively rank you higher to the customers most likely to use your services.

SEO is also a growing trend in the management of lead generation. By pinpointing keywords that prove to lead to service calls, plumber companies and HVAC contractors can manage which keywords are bringing in more leads than others. Online efforts, including SEO and social media, generate more leads today than traditional forms of lead generation.

B2B lead sources

Lastly, a top trend in plumber and HVAC SEO is utilizing customer recommendations as a feature of optimized web pages. You should by no means add keywords into your customer feedback; doing so is unethical. Instead, the customer recommendation page of your website could lead with a paragraph explaining that you are a “top rated plumbing company in ‘X’ location,” or use the sentence “check out why we’re one of the most trusted HVAC contractors in the ‘X’ area.” Doing so places customer recommendations on business pages likely to come up in certain searches.

How to Develop an SEO Strategy for a Plumbing or HVAC Company

Establish a Keyword Strategy

To begin implementing an HVAC or plumber SEO strategy, you’ll first want to obtain keywords. There are two ways to go about finding keywords relevant to your business. Firstly, you can type in your plumbing or HVAC services to Google and see what comes up in Autofill. Autofill is the algorithm that predicts what you’re searching for. So, if you type in “plumbing,” your autofill might give you things like “plumbing in ‘X’ area” or “plumbing near me,” showing you what to target.

A more effective way to obtain keywords is to use a dedicated keyword research tool. These tools are much more accurate in defining keywords that are more likely to work for your HVAC or plumbing company.

Trends in Plumber SEO

A crucial element to growing a plumbing business online is obtaining a Google My Business Listing. Customers searching for HVAC services turn to Google more than any other search engine. With a My Business Listing, users get an organized, detailed set of information regarding everything they need to know about requesting services from you.

It’s crucial to have a My Business Listing because most questions a potential service caller has about your business is likely to be answered on this page. They might wonder about your hours, availability, or even how to get in touch with you. Rather than hope that they dig into your website for this information, Google’s My Business Listings keep it easy for them. As we all know, the easier it is for a client to find your business, the more likely they are to call you.

Enhance Site SEO with Optimized Content

The next step after obtaining plumber or HVAC SEO keywords is to implement the words or phrases into your onsite content. Including related keywords on web pages like your services page, about us page, or contact information page help those vital business pages rank higher on search engines. Be sure to use things discussed above like local SEO, or service phrases and features like “weekend plumbing service,” as well as things you discover in Google AdWords or organic keyword searches.

To Blog or not to Blog

Another step to consider is whether or not you want to start a blog on your website. On a blog, customers can learn more about particular topics for which customers often search. For example, a blog about Spring HVAC checklist items to consider heading into a new season can be great for web traffic, provide an organic place to use SEO keywords, and promote your HVAC services and specials. You can share these blogs on social media, as well as use more keywords in your web content to increase traffic.

 

Track Performance with Google Analytics

Lastly, setting up your plumbing or HVAC website with Google Analytics is an easy way to track how your web pages are performing. The easy-to-use layout of the program provides detailed information about how many clicks your site has, as well as other things like exit rate and room to implement Pay-Per-Click marketing.

Since Google is the primary search engine that potential clients are using, it pays to know what the search engine can tell you about your site. Analytics will even show you multiple areas in which you could improve your site, which is extremely handy.

SEO for HVAC Industry

Final Thoughts

successful HVAC company or plumber business needs a combination of current clients as well as constant lead generation. An HVAC or Plumber SEO strategy targets both of these key areas of interest, and helps to increase the number of people in your service area calling your business when needs arise. Your competition is likely already using SEO services or internal strategies to target customers that could be choosing your business if you were easier to find. Getting ahead of the curve means being able to turn your plumbing or HVAC business into a brand local customers know and trust sooner rather than later.

If you are new to the game in terms of your plumber or HVAC SEO strategy, it’s never too late to start using these tactics in your digital marketing. The future of services like plumbing and HVAC rely on search engines like Google, where customers can type in what they need and find it immediately. Have your business page be the first thing your potential clients see when they do a Google search for local HVAC or plumbing services, and build on the business you have now in massive ways. It’s all possible with SEO.

Simple SEO Steps for Doctors and Therapists

It wasn’t all that long ago that choosing a new doctor or therapist relied heavily on positive reviews from friends and family. Alternatively, many potential customers simply selected a medical provider through their healthcare plan and hoped it was a good choice. A little further back in time, people walked their fingers through a thing called the Yellow Pages to play “doctor roulette.”

Times have changed and so have the ways that people use to find medical providers. these days, potential patients conduct research about medical professionals from their computers, phones, and tablets.

In a survey of over 1,700 adults in the US, 80% of respondents–that’s four out of five–used the internet for a healthcare-related query in the preceding 12 months. Whether through search engines, directory listings, or insurance provider websites, people know they can find a lot of details to help them decide who to call, and they are making full use of the resource.

Shining a virtual spotlight on your private practices through search engine optimization (SEO) will help potential clients find you and determine if you are a good fit for their needs.

Medical SEO is a critical part of acquiring new patients. The good news is that optimizing your medical practice in cyberspace can be a straightforward process. As simple as 1, 2, 3, in fact.

Potential Patient Decision Criteria

 

In terms of SEO for healthcare providers – whether SEO for doctors or SEO for therapists – there are three key decision criteria that searchers use to find and choose a medical practice. These are important things to keep in mind when optimizing your private practice website to reach the first page of Google.

Decision Criteria 1: Healthcare Plan

The first thing involved in the search for a medical practice is often the healthcare plan that the searcher is covered under. Sites like WebMD advise potential patients that it’s important to check coverage to find out if there are preferred medical service providers or any requirements that will impact their choice of doctor. Many insurance companies have robust “find a doctor” search tools for their customers, so it’s important that your medical practice can be found on the sites for plans that you accept.

Decision Criteria 2: Specialty

Whether a new client is looking for a doctor or therapist through an insurance site or through a search engine, a provider’s specialty will be a factor to narrow the field of choices. Whether you’re a plastic surgeon or offer another niche service, keep this in mind as you work through your healthcare SEO activities.

Decision Criteria 3: Location

A 2017 survey of over 1,000 Americans across numerous demographics reported that 70% of participants thought that a medical practice located close to work or home was an important factor. Though potential clients may be willing to travel outside the immediate area to see a particular specialist – like a plastic surgeon – or a doctor with a great referral from a trusted source, the bottom line is that geographic location plays an important part in deciding who to make that first appointment with.

 

The Foundation of SEO for Medical Practitioners

There are many facets to medical SEO for online searches. Some are easy to grasp, others not so much. It’s best to start with the basics because without those in place, more complex SEO efforts will fall flat. 

Completing these three simple steps will effectively position that online spotlight to help your healthcare practice stand out in search results.

 

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Step 1: Focus on Your Keyword Research

When you are thinking medical SEO – including SEO for therapists – include all the key search variables that are important to prospective patients. Brainstorm a list of keywords and terms that could put your private practice at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). Using a search term tool to get quantitative information about the best keywords can be very helpful. 

Keep the three user decision criteria in mind when conducting keyword research and come up with variations of words and terms that focus on those. For example, rather than limiting location-related terms to your town, include other relevant location terms like street name, zip code, neighborhood name, shopping center or medical park name, and county. Do the same with healthcare plan provider names (like acronyms as well as the full name) and specialty names.

Test things out. Do your own searches using the keywords and phrases you’ve generated and check out the first page of results. Use your findings to come up with a list of words and terms that you can incorporate into your own website content and use in directory listings and other online sites your practice will show up on.

 


Step 2: Update Your Medical Website

With your new keyword list in hand, review the content on your website and incorporate relevant keywords and phrases naturally into the copy. With page optimization, think creatively and include your words in key spots like page titles and subtitles, image filenames, and alt-tag descriptions of images. 

If you can, it’s a good idea to include keywords in your site URL–this might require buying an additional domain and auto-redirecting it to your site. And be sure to review the meta description for every site page to incorporate keywords into the roughly 155 characters that Google will display among organic search results. 

Finally, test your page load speed. Google now includes this metric in its algorithm for how websites rank, so find ways to increase page speed if needed.

 

Start thinking “mobile first” because that’s what Google is thinking. Users are spending more and more time on mobile devices and as a result are doing more online searches from handheld devices. Mobile first means that page load speed and responsive website design, which resizes itself for any device screen size without losing navigational effectiveness, are two requirements that are now part of the ranking algorithm.

Step 3: Set up Google My Business

You have your list of keywords. Your medical website is updated and pages load fast. Now what? It’s time to focus on that third important factor that goes into a new customer’s decision: the one that 70% of users use to find a doctor or therapist close to home or work. Optimizing your medical website for local search is like turning that virtual spotlight into a laser beam pointing people straight at you. 

Enter Google My Business (GMB). Think of GMB as a search engine within a search engine. This powerful tool focuses specifically on returning relevant results that are local to the user. The goal is to provide rich and robust details like a location map, patient testimonials, and details about the practice in the content delivered to a local search. Medical practices that effectively leverage local citations like GMB have a better chance of growing, attracting qualified leads, and reaching the top of local search results.

 

 

An effective SEO strategy requires taking full advantage of Google My Business. Fill your private practice listing out completely with quality content and not just your website URL, address, phone, and office hours. 

Include great content that will build credibility, establish your online reputation, and give potential patients as much information about you as possible. Ensure that your business page is accurate. Check and double-check that everything is correct and matches what you present on your website. If something changes—like your phone number or office hours—make sure that your GMB listing gets updated.

Google has provided video tutorials to help businesses make the most of GMB. Here is a good place to start.

 

To make your GMB listing stand out as much as possible and maximize the effectiveness of a local SEO strategy to drive website traffic, pay attention to these sections:

The “About” Section

A short summary (no more than two paragraphs) of your practice that incorporates your keywords in a natural way without affecting the user experience.

Appointment Link

This feature allows a current or potential patient to click through to the appointments page or form on your website straight from GMB.

Ratings and Reviews

Peer reviews can be a strong influencer for potential patients and Google’s algorithm includes reviews as a ranking factor, so it’s a good strategy to proactively ask patients to post reviews to your GMB listing.

Categories Listing

This section is for general service areas that will help ideal clients decide if you are relevant to their need. The Services section below is for additional detail. Enter descriptions for your service areas that will be recognized by potential patients. Examples include “family practice,” “sports medicine,” and “family counseling.”

Questions and Answers

This section can be very useful in establishing your credentials and philosophy of care. It allows any user to ask as well as answer questions about your practice. Note “as well as answer,” so monitor this section regularly and respond quickly to any posted questions (using keywords if possible).

Photos and Videos

Images and videos are a great way to enhance your GMB listing and can make a difference to users who find it. Use high-quality content depicting your practice’s office and your staff. A nicely produced video can also be a great benefit and drive quality traffic to your site.

Services

This section allows you to expand on the services you listed in the Categories section and is an opportunity to set your practice apart in your areas of specialty. For a practice offering family medicine, for example, the Services section might offer details about annual checkups, high school sports exams, women’s health services, and geriatric care. A local therapist specializing in family counseling might offer Services details for relationship counseling, life transitions counseling, and premarital counseling.

Posts

Posts are unique content that helps you stand out and give users a sense of you and your practice at a glance.

Each piece of content is live online for only seven days, so you can use this section to promote specials, offer reminders, post seasonal messages, or provide excerpts from your site blog to catch users’ attention and interest. Examples include an announcement that it’s National Blood Donor month in January, a reminder to “take along the sunscreen” just before Memorial Day weekend, and a “we are ready for your school sports physical exam” in the late summer.

Insights

This is the place to see how your GMB listing is performing. This includes data like the number of visits the listing receives, what keywords are attracting people to your listing, and what images are viewed most often.

Does this look like a lot to do? It can be, but it is well worth the effort to fully complete your GMB listing. Approach it as a project that spans a period of time–a month, a quarter–and make regular progress. 

Once your listing is complete, maintain it. Respond quickly to submitted questions, ask patients to post reviews about your practice, add posts on a regular basis (remember they only “live” online for seven days), and add photos and videos. And, of course, integrate your keywords in all the content you have on your listing.

These local SEO activities will give you a good ROI on the time you and your staff invest in your GMB listing.

Stepping up to the Next Level of Medical SEO

Once the simple 1-2-3 SEO process is done, there’s more to think about. Here are some of the factors to consider that will help you continue to improve your search rank and use your