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6 Ways to Improve Local SEO Ranking for Your Propane Delivery Company
Picture this. A prospective customer searches Google for your propane delivery service. The prospect’s eyes graze over the search results page...but your business' website is nowhere to be found.
What do you do? Throw your hands up and say “Well, shucks, I guess that’s the way the cards were dealt”? No!
Since 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses, this is not the answer.
When it comes to your site's search engine ranking, you have the power to improve.
As a local business, there are several things you can do to make your company more visible to search engines, and make it easier for prospective customers to find you.
Before we dive in, let's cover the basic anatomy of a search results page before sending you on your way with six ways to improve your local search engine appeal.
Top Search Engine Real Estate: Paid Ads, The Local 3-Pack, and Organic Results
You should set a goal to show up in the following three places on the Google front page--this will help you get a lot of eyeballs.
You want your website to show up in 3 places: Paid Search, the Local 3-Pack, and Organic Search.
Paid Search Ads
Paid search can help local businesses in a competitive space get quick results. Organic growth takes times. But in paid search, you can show up at the top as soon as your ads are approved.
The local 3-pack refers to the top 3 search results that are neatly packaged at the top of the search results under a map.
This is prime real estate for local service-related businesses. Not only is it more visually engaging, but it also contains contact information and reviews.
Reviews play an important part in the effectiveness of appearing in the local 3-pack. In a recent study, 56% of consumers selected a Google local-pack business if it displayed positive ratings and reviews.
Organic Search Results
Organic search results appear after the “Local 3 pack” and any paid advertisements.
Appearing in first 3 organic search results is ideal. As you can see in our example of the local 3-pack, being in the top 3 puts you on the map!
The top 10 is good (first page). But if you appear on page two or worse, you’re probably not getting traffic.
Think about it. How many times have you clicked through to the second page of results when searching for something? Probably not very often.
What Your Propane Gas Company can do to be at the top of Search
Make Your Name, Address, and Phone Number Consistent Across Major Online Directories
Consistency with your name, address, and phone number (NAP) builds credibility with search engines.
Though it seems nitpicky, even minor variations can count against you. Inconsistencies commonly include misspellings, abbreviations, or incomplete data. For example, there are several ways you might write out a single address:
- 401 Fort Point Road
- 401 Ft. Point Road
- 401 Fort Pt. Road
- 401 Fort Point Rd
This type of mismatching is a small detail that can hold your business back from ranking in the the top tier.
Correcting your NAP across directories is a small effort you can take to gain the edge over the propane gas competition in your area. 49% of small businesses never update their online name listings.
How to correct your NAP listings
You’re running a business. You don’t have time to search every corner of the internet to ensure your NAP is consistent across all directories.
The good news is, you don’t have to.
SEO professionals know how find and clean-up your NAP data efficiently. Hire an SEO pro to take these tedious task off your plate and focus on other ways to boost your search engine ranking.
How to include your NAP info on your website
Search engines will extract your NAP from your website. Therefore, it should be included:
- In the header or footer of your website as text. If your NAP is in an image, it is invisible to search engines.
- On your contact page.
- Embedded as a Map. You can use Google Maps or another map generator.
Research, Employ, and Modify Local Keywords
Create a list of root keywords
Root keywords are the basic words or phrases that people type into search engines when they’re looking for a local business like yours, e.g. propane, or propane delivery.
Thorough keyword research will help you identify exactly which words your customers are using to find your business.
Keyword research is an important facet in your SEO strategy. Therefore, we recommend you employ the expertise of a marketing agency or SEO firm to provide you with a keyword list that is relevant for your business.
Add Local Modifiers
Once you have a list of root keywords, make them specific by adding counties or towns to your keyword phrases.
For example, if you deliver propane in Kalamazoo, instead of optimizing for just “propane delivery,” you should optimize your page to target “propane delivery in Kalamazoo.” Adding localized lingo to your keywords will help you to reach the nearby websurfers.
Integrate keywords on your site
You should include the keywords you’ve identified in your…
- H1 tags (heading 1)
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Content - create content that is keyword-focused without drowning out your message with repeated phrases. Google will recognize variations, as long as the intent is still there.
Write Local Content
Local customers will find your business easier if you create local pages for your website. By local pages, we mean whole web pages that talk about your services for a specific city or town.
“Propane gas delivery for YOUR CITY NAME”, for example.
Repeat this same concept for different cities you want to show up for in search. Be careful though, you can’t have duplicate content on the site.
Another way is to use content marketing and blogging to speak directly to them and their local concerns. You can include the names of towns and neighborhoods you serve right in your blog posts.
Check out our case study of Kauffman Gas to see how this local company created pages for each of the towns they serve in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Let Good Reviews Do the Talking
At a certain point, users don’t really care what you have to say about your service or product. They want to hear it from the people you’ve actually helped. That’s where reviews come in.
Good reviews are proven to increase click-throughs by 22-percent and improve your local rankings.
While Google warns against hounding your customers for reviews, you can remind your customers that leaving a Google review is quick and easy.
An occasional friendly reminder could help you get more good reviews, and the more good reviews you get, the higher you will rank in search results.
Visually, too, your company will stand out among the rest of the search results when 5 golden stars shine proudly next to its name.
Let’s say you were looking to get your haircut in Texas City. Which of the following hair salons would you pick?
The first thing that catches your eye is the number of stars. After a quick comparison, you’re probably going to click on Total Technique Salon because it outshines the others.
Another way to get more reviews is by linking to review sites right on your webpage. Nudge your visitors to check out what others are saying about your business.
However, all reviews are not always good reviews. For local reviews, remember that quality matters just as much as quantity.
But, if you do receive a negative result, many review sites encourage you to address the concerns, so you can eliminate that review.
Optimize Google Business Listing
In addition to encouraging good Google reviews, you need to optimize your Google My Business page.
Google My Business is like a dashboard where you can see the various ways your business may show up on Google--through Search, Maps, Insights, Analytics, and Google+.
Google My Business gives you a comprehensive and detailed look at your business as a listing. For example, Google My Business helps you manage that pop-up card that appears in the right hand corner when someone googles your business.
You want to include as much information as you can on your Google My Business:
- Your logo
- Pictures of your business or products
- Your office/business hours
- Types of payments accepted
- Keyword-rich business description
- And any other fields available
Add Offices in Areas you Want to Target Most
Physical location is important in Google search. Even if you create city/local pages for a city like Chicago, you will still come in behind a competitor who actually has a physical location in Chicago.
It’s possible that businesses without any Google reviews (or even a website!) can rank ahead of you if they are closer in proximity to the searcher. This is because proximity is now the #1 ranking factor in local search results.
So, you’ve done everything right and you’re still falling behind...what can you do? We suggest you add physical offices in the locations where you want to rank the highest.
Google wants you to have a space where you physically do business. Not just a mailbox. But consider renting space in a low-cost shared facility and sending your sales people there to do business a few days a week.
Once you establish offices in those areas, people will have a better chance of finding your company at the top of their local search results.
If you’re looking to add offices and increase your search engine appeal for specific locations, check out the Google Guidelines for representing your business fairly.
Improve Your Local Business by Taking Search Engines Seriously
To stay on top of the local competition today, you need to take search engine ranking seriously. If Google can’t find you, neither can your customers.
So, take the power into your own hands and show the search engine who’s boss:
- Promote your NAP across multiple online directories
- Research and use your core keywords
- Write local content
- Optimize your Google My Business page
By making yourself more visible with these suggestions, you can increase traffic to your site and watch your search engine wizarding transform more leads into customers.
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