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New Jersey Local SEO | What You Need to Know

Nearly half of all Google searches are looking for local information. And more than 9 out of 10 searchers will pick businesses that show up on the first page of a local search. Consider that the next time you're thinking about how much time, energy and money to devote to your website's search visibility.

Here at JAM, a big part of what we do is to make sure that our clients' New Jersey business websites are getting found. We don't want to just make a site that gets no traffic. So we've learned quite a lot over the years about local search engine optimization.

We figured it might be helpful to make a resource on our site to explain exactly what we're talking about here. So below you'll find a bit about:

  • What is Local SEO?
  • How will Local SEO help benefit my business?
  • What kinds of businesses are a good fit for Local SEO?
  • What are the basic principles of a solid SEO strategy?
  • How can I get started?
  • When's the best time to get started?
  • How do you break out your locations?

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What is Local SEO?

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a strategy to make a company's website, social media profiles, and general web presence more visible to customers in its vicinity.

It does differ slightly from classic organic SEO in that it focuses on one particular geographic region, whether that's a neighborhood, a town, a city, a county, a state, or a group of areas.

The goal of a local SEO campaign is of course to get web searchers to find your business via a search engine, but it's also about getting these prospects to take a specific action and reach out to you, whether that's through calling by phone, filling out a web form, or asking a question via a site chat system.

Coordinating a solid local SEO strategy means taking several moving parts and having them work together in harmony. It will involve: your website, your Google My Business profile, your Facebook account, your Instagram account, your Twitter account, your YouTube page, your Yelp reviews, and all sorts of different aspects of your web presence. It's all about making sure that you're doing everything right so that your business comes up in search.

How will local SEO benefit my business?

Local SEO can benefit a business in a variety of ways. First and foremost, it can bring in more customers and directly impact your bottom line. Your website is your most important salesperson, so why not give it a way to get in front of people?

So it's most important task is to get people to find you. But it's also important for --- convincing prospects to turn into leads. It will focus on showing off testimonials, answering FAQs, anticipating questions the visitor might have, anticipating objections they might come up with, and putting all of those to rest.

So the goals of SEO are twofold. 1. Bring in more qualified traffic to your site. 2. Convert more of that traffic into real leads for you to turn into new business.

If done correctly, this approach can fundamentally transform a business and change how they get new customers. We've seen very often that companies are skeptical about local SEO, because in the past, they always got leads from word of mouth or some form of advertising. They're skeptical that the internet will be able to bring them new business at a rapid clip. We are always very happy when after only a few months of working with us, they understand the true power of showing up in that top spot on Google.

What businesses are a good fit?

A few types of businesses tend to be great fits for local seo. Those are businesses that serve a particular geographic region, and those that have a relatively high ALTV (average lifetime value of a customer). Why? Because if your local SEO campaign brings you 10 additional leads per month, and 40% of those convert into new customers. That could fundamentally change your business.

Here is just a small sampling of some businesses particularly well suited for investing in Local SEO:

  • Auto repair businesses
  • Dentists
  • Doctors & Medical Offices
  • Electricians
  • Exterminators
  • Flooring contractors
  • Home health care agencies
  • Junk removers
  • Locksmiths
  • Martial arts schools
  • Plumbers
  • Psychologists
  • Roofing contractors
  • Tree trimmers
  • Veterinarians
Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first. Wendy Piersall

What are the basic principles of a solid SEO strategy?

We could spend a lot of time diving in depth here, but let’s stick with six key points:

1. Get to know Google My Business

Claim and take control of your Google My Business Account. Post updates, make sure that your information is accurate, analyze your performance statistics, and understand exactly how (and how often) searchers are finding you on the web. Having a firm grasp of Google My Business and its many features is crucial for any business.

Above is a look at some of the metrics the Google My Business dashboard provides. Monitor these numbers on a consistent basis so you can track your progress.

Take full advantage of the Google My Business "posts" feature. This allows you to post short updates and links directly to your search result listing. Taking just a few minutes per week to post updates can drastically increase visibility.

2. Have a Google review strategy

Encourage happy customers to leave you positive reviews! This powerful form of social proof will really make your business stand out online. Once you get at least five 5-star detailed reviews, not only will you show up more often, but when you do show up, customers will view your business as more credible than your competitors with fewer reviews. Also, if you already have any detailed negative reviews, you can bury them and lessen their impact.

To really streamline this process, we recommend you set up a custom Google review link at "www. [your-business] .com/review" and start sharing it with your loyal and trusted customers.

Don't be afraid to follow up and respond to reviews as well. It shows that you are listening to feedback and you value your customers' input.

3. Make sure your listing is consistent all across the web

Make sure that, at bare minimum, your business's name, address, and phone number are listed correctly and consistently across the internet. Any discrepancies or errors can severely punish you in the search engine rankings. Even little things like suite number and phone number layout can make a big difference. You can sign up for different directory sites manually, or use bulk listing management software to take care of this.

Here's a look at a dashboard view monitoring local listing consistency.

4. Optimize your web pages for search results

Optimizing and updating your page titles and meta descriptions will help entice searchers to click onto your website, driving a higher click through rate and increased visibility. Below are two different results for the query "electrical contractor los angeles." The first example has done a good job optimizing, the second has not.

In the first example, Brentwood Electrical uses keywords, explains who they are and what they do, and encourages you to take action by calling for a free estimate.

In contrast, the second example here, Rosendin Electric, does not use any keywords in their page title nor do they provide an enticing and relevant description. Don't make the same mistake!

5. Use local structured data on your website

Allowing Google to properly index or "crawl" your website completely and accurately is key to any successful SEO strategy. That's why using snippets of code called local structured data can help your site rank better. This process allows search engines to more easily understand who you are, where you are, and what you do. Best of all, you don't need any coding knowledge to take care of this. Google's Data Highlighter tool allows you to accomplish all this quickly and easily within Google Webmaster Tools.

6. Track your improvements with progress reports

Make a list of your most important keywords, load them into a search results monitoring tool, and keep an eye on your progress. You can even enter some of your competitors in to see where they rank well, and how you can overtake them. Monitoring your most lucrative keywords and continually optimizing around them is the final step in the local SEO for electrical contractors. You'll also want to take a look at your overall traffic, your most popular landing pages, and your backlinks.

So there you have it --- six crucial steps to proper SEO for electrical contractors. Get started with these tips today and the sky's the limit of how far you can go. But remember, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to build up momentum.

How can I get started?

There are two main ways to go about starting an SEO strategy. First, you could do it yourself or in-house at your company. Task someone to learn the basics of the topic, start implementing some changes, and track progress.

Alternatively, you could hire an SEO marketing company. This is probably the best way to achieve results, but don't expect it to start working overnight. When choosing an agency, make sure that they understand your business goals and that their pricing is transparent and reasonable. You get what you pay for, so don't cut corners here.

Want to get started today? Start by building a list of your most important keywords and your most important locations. If you have this list nicely organized, when you contact an SEO agency, they'll be able to start more quickly.

When's the best time to get started?

The best time to have gotten started was about 10 years ago. The second best time is right now. If your competitors have already done their SEO homework, you probably have some catching up to do. But that's ok. Because if you get a smart strategy into place, and start investing in SEO, there's no telling where you'll go.

How do you break out your locations?

Location is probably the most important factor when talking about local search. Breaking out your locations will depend on a couple of factors: 1) your local geography. Are you in a large city, a small town.

The distance to your nearest competitor. Are there three competing businesses in the same zip code? Or do you have three competitors in the rest of your state? Here in New Jersey, companies tend to have a lot of different zip codes within their service areas. So we do what it takes to get all of them included, in order of priority.

By now you should have a decent idea of what SEO is, what it's all about, and how it might help your business.

Thanks for reading. Need professional SEO help in New Jersey? Maybe just want to ask about a particular problem you're having with your campaign? We would love to help. Hit us up today. We'll give you some feedback with absolutely no obligation.

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