The year 2020 has motivated many business owners to take a closer look at how they market and run their companies. For service professionals, digital marketing is more important than ever in order to stand out from competitors and maintain a strong client base that is built on trust and consistency.
In terms of search engine optimization, or SEO, many marketing approaches that worked well in the past are outdated. What’s more, Google and other advertising platforms now offer new tools for service professionals to verify their trustworthiness and hit the top of search results. If you run a service company and are looking for new digital marketing approaches to improve your rankings and attract new clients, below are four opportunities to consider.
Write high-quality, long-form content.
There are two reasons that business owners should make an effort to write informative, long-form content. For one, providing lots of good information helps tout authority in your profession to potential clients. There is also an SEO benefit to having longer webpages on your website, as Google prioritizes detailed pages with authoritative content.
But where to start in improving your content? Consider adding frequently asked questions to your existing pages. No one knows better than you do what potential clients want to know about your services, and answering these questions will likely also result in naturally keyword-rich content. In addition, consider writing blog posts on the latest developments in the industry, how-to articles, and any other relevant information you know about.
Take advantage of Local Services ads.
When people search Google for services in their area, they now see Local Services ads at the top of search results. Separate from Google ads, these local ads display a company’s name, location, review rating, phone number, and hours of operation. Users can click or tap on an ad to call or send a message directly to a company that advertises this way. Businesses pay a flat fee per lead (rather than per click, as with Google search ads).
The biggest benefit of using Local Services ads is being seen at the top of Google – above organic results, pay-per-click ads, and Google Maps. And, businesses can use Local Services ads and Google pay-per-click ads at the same time, allowing them to have more real estate in search engine results.
Get Google Screened to verify your business’s trustworthiness.
In addition to Local Services ads, certain service firms in the U.S. can use Google Screened to build a trusted reputation and help potential clients find them more easily.
In addition to enjoying a position at the top of search results, Google Screened gives businesses eye-catching listings with a photo, office hours, company name, years in business, and review rating. Upon passing Google’s requirements, firms display the Google Screened icon on Local Service Ad listings, which gives potential clients peace of mind that they have undergone background and license checks with Google.
Prevent click fraud.
If your business uses pay-per-click ads, some of your advertising budget could be going to waste because of click fraud. It happens when fraudulent clicks pass as genuine engagement, accruing charges with zero return on investment (ROI).
Click fraud may sound malicious (and often it is), but it’s not always competitors and webmasters clicking on ads to waste another company’s ad budget. Company staff and potential clients can also unintentionally rack up clicks.
Google and other internet advertising platforms do filter potentially fraudulent activity. However, they do not catch them all. To further reduce click fraud, some digital marketing companies employ their own tools to monitor clients’ ad performance around the clock to block IP addresses that repetitively click on the ads. These tools can also block IP addresses associated with a client’s developers, staff, and other companies so they cannot see or click the ads.
Pay attention to your past client reviews.
Each business has an online reputation score based on the reviews of past clients. This score can affect your click-through and conversion rates either positively or negatively.
In addition to hurting your score, poor online reviews can drive potential clients away from your company. If your business has some not-so-good reviews online, you may be able to have them removed. Many reviews violate the platform’s terms of service – for example, fake reviews from competitors or disgruntled ex-employees. If you can identify reviews that violate the rules, you can have them removed to improve your rating.
Every business should frequently audit whether they are using the latest online marketing tools. Consulting with an experienced digital marketing firm like hybrid traffic can help you stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and best practices.