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2018: The State of Local SEO for Professional Services Firms and Practices

By MVP Marketing + Design | July 25, 2018

Is Your Professional Services Website Optimized for Local SEO?

There are excellent opportunities for professional services firms and practices in such areas as law, accounting, medicine and dentistry to invest in local SEO. The ones that have taken this step are seeing the fruits of their labor.

  • Local search results categorized as having “local intent,” rank first for 93% of searches
  • 50% of the consumers who perform a local search on their phones will visit a store within a day
  • 34% of whom conduct a local search from a computer or tablet will also visit a store within a day
  • 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale
  • Overall, local listings receive a high click-through rate and in some cases, outperform the first listing in search results

Source: http://www.go-globe.hk/blog/local-seo/

After seeing these numbers, it’s hard to think that any business that wishes to attract nearby clients or customers would ignore local SEO, but it happens often.

What Are the Best Practices for Local SEO in 2018?

While local SEO might seem a bit technical or cryptic at first, it’s different than optimizing your site for organic search results. The result, if properly implemented, could reap better rewards than your organic SEO efforts in certain areas.

The Importance of Having a Google “My Business” Page

If there’s one local SEO must-have for any professional services firm or practice, it would be a Google “My Business” (formerly Google Places) page. Google pulls 90% – 95% of its local listing data from the Google “My Business” page, if available.

There are a few steps to page set up, and you will have to verify the listing. This could take a couple days, but it’s worth it!

All information on a Google “My Business” page may be used in local search results. It also can help Google understand your service offering and location.

Many firms and practices are tempted to skimp on the details, such as omitting the key practice areas, or bypassing the “about us” section. However, every piece of accurate information can help bring in clients or customers, and assure that Google lists your organization accurately.

Once the information has been entered, one can use certain techniques to optimize the page for listing placement and click-throughs. A click-through is a “click” on the listing leading to your website.

Ways to Optimize Your Google “My Business” Page

Upload a clear picture of your building or office. This helps people identify your location easily. You’d be surprised at how many prospects can’t find an office and decide to call you for directions instead. Having an image that people can use to identify your business is key to getting them through the door.

Don’t over-categorize. Google allows you to choose more than one category for your firm, and it can be tempting to select as many as possible with the thought that you want to reach as many clients as possible, but this can hurt your optimization efforts. Choose at most the two most relevant categories and ignore the rest.

Be consistent. Make sure that you write down your firm or practice name, address, website and phone number in the exact format that you will use on your website or any other digital properties such as a landing page, online ads, social media accounts, etc. Firms and practices that have consistent information do better in the search results.

Don’t Ignore Other Local Sites

Because Google generates over 50% of website traffic, the search engine receives a lot of attention. However, this does not mean it’s the only one you should optimize.

Sites like Bing Places, Yelp, and other local listings shouldn’t be ignored. If there are local online directories, try and obtain a listing there as well.

Get Help From the Local SEO Experts

From law firms to medical practices, and from community banks to consulting firms, MVP Marketing + Design is a full-service digital agency with SEO  localization capabilities. We work collaboratively with our clients to ensure they understand our SEO strategies as well as how they work and what they can achieve. We customize our strategies to fit our clients’ needs.

Want to learn more? Contact us to discuss your needs today and receive a complimentary SEO website analysis!

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