A Simplified Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Guide
If you are just trying to familiarize yourself with the topic of local SEO and are interested in increasing visibility for your local HVAC company or appliance repair business, welcome!
We have ensured that this guide is simplified and free of any unnecessary jargon, so everything is explained in plain simple English and we provide plenty of tips that are easily actionable.
We will make sure to cover every essential local SEO tool that can help make your life easier as an AC repair or appliance repair business owner while providing you with the most complete overview of all the areas to focus on in order to increase the visibility of your local air conditioning or appliance repair business to customers. So, let’s begin!
The basics: Why is local search important for your AC repair or appliance repair company?
Anyone who is new to Google local search will be wondering where it has come from and the reason why it has become so important for local AC repair and appliance repair businesses everywhere today. But we are probably all aware of the new technology in our pockets, hands, or desks. Our answer for the above question comes from that piece of technology, which is our smartphones.
Today it is estimated that more than 96% of Americans own some type of a cell phone, out of which 81% own smartphones. In the age bracket of 18-29, smartphone owners are estimated to be 96%. That means up to 9 out of 10 of those Americans are able to instantly access the internet wherever they are as they go about their business everyday.
With mobile technology having become so widespread, now people from any location and at any given time can easily go online to search for and find any product or service they need, including air conditioner repair and appliance repair services. Virtually any product or service you can think of is only a few taps away on your smartphone screen.
There’s a great convenience with constant connectivity which allows more and more people to use Google on their smartphones. They do it when they need to find anything related to shopping for products or services online. About 27% of consumers will go online to look for local businesses everyday, 59% will do it weekly, and 69% monthly.
As an AC repair or appliance repair business owner you can easily see how prominent appearance on Google with people locally searching for your services can be highly lucrative!
People are not just searching using text alone but also increasingly voice search. You have already used and experienced voice search if you have asked Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant for things like the weather or films showing at the cinema. Consumers can easily use it to ask for nearby AC repair or appliance repair services.
Many people are contacting local search without even realizing because voice search in most cases especially when people are looking for services to help them, is providing local results. This area is expected to experience a lot of growth going forward and will be an area of local search to watch.
What is the meaning and how does a local search differ from a normal search?
Here’s an example we can use to explain local search. You have realized that the air conditioner in your office or your home has stopped working and a solution is needed as soon as possible. If you need to make an arrangement to get that fixed, what do you do? You will probably pull out your smartphone, head to Google Search and type ‘AC repair technician’. At this point, what will happen is that Google will provide local search results even if you didn’t type ‘near me’ as part of your search query. Google is using GPS or your Wi-Fi connection to determine your location and can easily identify all the air conditioning contractors nearby so that the results you see can make sense to you. If you do the search while at home, the results you get may differ from the ones you might get if you do the same search from your office if located far enough. Because each time you do the search Google is assuming that you are doing a local search, so they give you results that include the nearest service providers for AC repair services.
Proximity or distance makes one of the key 3 important pillars or aspects of local search for ac repair or appliance repair companies. The other 2 key aspects include relevance and prominence, which apply for the businesses that want their online presence to be seen by the right people in specific areas at the right times.
When you are doing a search on your mobile device, Google knows that you need a solution that is close to you. So Google will easily calculate the distance between you and businesses in close proximity that offer the AC repair or any other appliance repair services you need. Google uses all that information to decide on how to rank local AC repair or appliance repair businesses in local search results.
Let's break down your air conditioning repair or appliance repair service search
More than 46% or one out of every two searches have a local Intent according to data revealed by Google Itself. The words and phrases that you type into Google search gives Google a very good idea whether you need local search results or otherwise.
Near me searches for services that HVAC or appliance repair companies offer
Sometimes customers want to make it very clear that they are interested in services from the nearest hvac or appliance repair businesses. So a customer in that case will type ‘AC repair technician near me’, and a local search in that case must be triggered since the intention is very clear that only a local AC repair service business can help in this situation.
Google understands when they need to present local air conditioning repair or appliance service providers from the immediate location where a customer is searching from. So if you own an air conditioner repair or appliance repair business, you must make sure that local search visibility is properly taken care of so that you are more visible to customers in your local area where you can win more jobs.
Geo-targeted searches for heating and cooling or appliance repair business
Sometimes instead of adding near me at the end of your keyword you may instead specify the specific location by name. For example, you would type ‘AC repair technician Miami’ which makes it clear to Google that this is a local search and therefore it gives you the most relevant results. it will show you AC repair business listings from that specific area.
Location-enabled searches for air conditioning repair or appliance service
When the location setting on your phone or any other device is enabled, most of the searches you perform will be local even if sometimes you won’t realize it. For example, you may just type ‘ac repair technician’ and local results will be returned simply because location is enabled on your device.
However, search results do vary depending on the type of businesses searched for. For instance, the possibility of location enabled search results getting triggered is much higher for local service oriented businesses like HVAC businesses and appliance repair service companies, than it is for some rarely searched types of businesses where you are likely to have definition results triggered from sources like Wikipedia instead. But Google is still increasingly getting smarter to include a wide range of business types in its local search results for users on location-enabled devices.
What is a local search result?
We have discussed several types of local searches so far, so we can expect different types of local search results as well.
The type of a local search result that may be shown depends on the type of device used as well as the type of search performed. The good news for ac repair, appliance repair and similar types of local service businesses is that improving visibility for one particular type of local search result in most cases will also end up working for all the other local search result types.
It is important to be familiar with some of the terms commonly used to describe the local search results, so that you can comfortably carry out the local search or speak to local air conditioning or appliance repair SEO experts for help.
The local pack is a prominent section of google search results that includes a google map and also lists up to 3 top local businesses depending on your search query. It is also known as the 3-pack and is normally triggered if your search query has a local intent. In addition to the image of a map that will be shown, you might also see snippets for reviews, times when the business is open, pictures, etc.
Local SEO is very critical to target these 3 spots in google search which are consistently shown across devices like smartphones, desktops and so on.
If you use google maps to do your search, you will get local map results. The results can be filtered based on rating, hours, etc, and should look as shown in the screenshot below:
If you click on the ‘View all’ link within local pack results, you will get the local finder results where additional local businesses will be listed. There are different ways provided to filter the results based on things like rating, hours and your past visits. The local finder results get pulled whenever you see business listings on google search results with the first 3 on the local pack results. So the local finder is like the source of truth for all local businesses listed on google.
Localized organic results
The results are slightly different from typical local search results and will strongly relate to businesses but may not include specific businesses unless they rank very well for the search term used. Directory listings often appear in the localized organic results and so are articles from local bloggers, newspapers, and “listicles” like top 5 X in Y.
What is local search marketing?
Local search marketing is all about the efforts that go towards getting a specific business or a page to show up in local search results for certain keywords related to a certain location.
Small businesses as well as businesses with several physical locations are particularly focusing more on local search marketing for two main reasons. The first reason is because it is quite hard to appear in the main search results where large brands like Amazon and Walmart seem to dominate the top three or four spots. The other reason is related to the predominance of smartphones as they are being used to search for anything or everything from anywhere and at any time as needed.
According to statistics from HubSpot marketing, local search has made it lucrative for many small businesses. It shows that about 72% of the local shoppers performing local searches are going to visit local stores within a 5-mile radius from their locations. Up to 88% of those performing their local searches on mobile devices, they are often calling or visiting the local businesses on the same day.
In 2021, mobile devices are expected to start influencing about 1.4 trillion sales per year. This clearly demonstrates the profitability that can be expected if an HVAC or appliance repair business achieves prominent positions in local search.
So how do you go about local search marketing as an AC repair or appliance repair business owner? It is important to understand the entire process, so some actionable takeaways will definitely help. That includes the kind of activities needed for you or your marketing team to focus on in order to get your AC repair or appliance repair business ranking for its services in your local area.
The Local search marketing checklist
Here we are going to focus on a few of the factors that will go into helping obtain top local search results:
Links are the equivalent of currency when it comes to the SEO world. Getting another site linking back to your own site is equivalent to getting a vote of confidence. What makes that link even more powerful is if that other site is in a similar field for topical relevance, or same location as your site for geographical relevance.
A link gets even better if it uses one of your keywords. In addition to being a sign of trust or a vote of confidence, a link is also a pathway leading local customers to your site.
Building links requires taking a long-term perspective because it is supposed to be an ongoing process. You have to be strategic and look for the ideal partners especially those in the same field as your site to collaborate with and generate links. Make an effort to reach out to local newspapers or the Chamber of Commerce and provide them with some good reasons for linking back to your site.
Local search greatly benefits from local citations. A citation simply refers to the mention of your business name, its address, the phone number, business hours, website address, email address, or any other useful information about your ac repair or appliance repair service company. The most popular way of building citations is completing listings on online directories but you also get a citation for filling out social media profiles or getting mentions in local newspapers.
Generation of online reviews
The importance of online reviews cannot be overemphasized. The majority of customers online will trust reviews the same way as they would trust recommendations from people they personally know. So that makes reviews one of the most powerful tools for sales.
Google also takes reviews seriously as local search positions are getting influenced by things such as the number of reviews you have, number of reviews that are positive or negative, how many reviews include pictures and how fast you respond to the reviews.
Keep in mind that customers are mostly looking at the most recent reviews. That means you should make consistent efforts towards generating new reviews on a regular basis. Google will take into account your consistency of generating reviews to determine your local search position.
Google My Business Optimization
If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business listing that is something you should do immediately. This is because GMB signals make an important factor for local search rankings.
It is easy and takes only a few steps to complete filling out information for your Google My Business profile. Make sure to provide as much details as possible that Google needs to know about your business. Choose the most relevant category for your GMB listing and include relevant geo-tagged images.
To become even more visible in local pack results on Google, you should add from your GMB dashboard posts about your latest offers or events. That can be very useful for local search success if done regularly.
On-page SEO work
Use the content available on your website to improve your performance towards local SEO. Ensure you have included information that ties your business locally. That includes ensuring you have the full address and zip code included in your website content. Your AC repair or appliance repair business name, full address and telephone number (NAP) should be consistently used across your website and elsewhere online.
You also need to regularly update your website content to keep it fresh while making sure local keywords are included. Technical SEO considerations including optimization to speed up the loading of your website pages is also critically important.
Hopefully, you now understand how local search types compare to local search results in terms of their differences and similarities. So you can keep going further and deeper to learn more about what affects all those things, and how as an HVAC or appliance repair business owner can take advantage of it all. Remember you have to keep learning and testing throughout the process because there’s nothing like setting and forgetting in SEO. Local search is no different, and at times you may even end up updating things like citations, because everything about your AC repair or appliance repair business may not always stay the same in future.
Make use of our comprehensive digital marketing and local seo resources for ac repair and appliance repair companies available on this site. We include actionable tips and ideas that you should start implementing today and trigger growth for your HVAC business or appliance repair company.
Local SEO is vital for your HVAC or appliance repair business to become more prominent in relevant local search results shown to the right people that are most likely to become your customers. But if you want to be successful with local SEO in terms of properly implementing it and converting more leads into paying customers, you may need to consult us because we have the experts for HVAC SEO marketing and leads for appliance repair. Make sure to schedule your free evaluation for online marketing and SEO today.