One of the biggest online media problems any service oriented business has to solve, is to first achieve top search positions. The other problem is to maintain those positions. In the dog eat dog world of home services, media dependency is more the norm than most like to believe.
Search engine optimization has become the new Yellow Pages now, and getting found on page one is equivalent to one of the old quarter page or half page ads in the Yellow Pages. The top three positions on first page in search are the coveted spots where over 60% of all searches end up in a click through and visit to the site.
Traffic and Sales Conversion
When you are getting a majority of the traffic in your niche, chances are good that the phone will ring and new business will follow. Unfortunately that is not always the case. These days there is a lot of competition with visually appealing websites, so it is important to make an immediate impression.
People have become accustomed to higher levels of professionalism when searching for any service company now. They expect to be impressed by something in the first few seconds, otherwise they will back out and keep searching. They are looking for something that will evoke trust, quality, experience… things designed to sway them to call you instead of a competitor.
There are a number of obvious factors when it comes to making a favorable impression with a prospective customer. The visual appeal of a website is important, but if there is too much graphics then you may lose them with a lack of content. Balance is important if you want to make a good first impression. Things like an explanation of experience and accomplishments in the field will help. Even better, write about what a customer will get when hiring you for service work. They want to know what’s in it for them.
Graphics and Icons from professional associations you are a member of can be linked from your site to the exact profile. This helps evoke trust and shows a level of commitment on your end. The BBB is a good example of that. Have someone call your local BBB rep and ask for their tracking code to your membership profile. Then send that code to your webmaster so people can click from your site to your BBB profile.
Your Online Reputation
Another conversion factor is the online reputation of your company. When people have time to research the service they are interested in they will look for online reviews. They want to see what other people have to say about their experience with your service. This is a form of social proof that we all use to help make decisions, because we are too busy to go into extensive research on everything we need to deal with day to day.
Fact: Few people will voluntarily write reviews on purchases. We are all consumers living in a world full of choices. Do you go around writing reviews on everything you buy? Of course not, so why would anyone expect their customers to do that. What really motivates someone to write a review is when they feel like they were treated poorly or ripped off. Then watch out!
Online reviews have actually helped raise the level of customer service in some industries. Google probably knew this when they decided to include reviews as a ranking signal for search. If your business is not asking for reviews then we suggest that you consider doing that. Everyone gets the occasional bad review and that’s normal. The thing you must do is get as many positive reviews as possible, so when prospects are looking at your review profile they see a balance of good and not so good. That will actually look more natural than 5 star reviews on everything. A phony review profile is almost as bad as a ton of complaints.
To wrap things up, of the SEO factors mentioned in this article, the most important is reputation. You don’t need top search positions to get traffic… that can be done with paid advertising. You do need a good reputation though. People will search for your company name and add reviews or reputation behind the name as a search phrase to see what others have to say. Good work helps, but a good reputation will win the day.
For more information and a little more details, click on this link to read our article on local seo