As a locksmith, you get to be a hero in customers’ eyes on a daily basis. For anyone who finds themselves in the unenviable predicament of being locked out of their car or house, the person who remedies the situation is a day saver. But how can you improve the chances that this person is you—and not one of your competitors?
In today’s connected world, all anyone needs to do when they need a service is pull out their smartphone (or go to their computer) and do a quick Google search. They can type something like “locksmith in Philadelphia,” and contact the first business that shows up. That means that if you want to attract customers, you need to be in the search results.
In other words, you need to use search engine optimization, or SEO, to ensure that your business can be found online.
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If you’re new to SEO, figuring out what to do with your site can be challenging. Here are a eight of the best SEO practices to help you get started:
When a potential customer is looking for a locksmith, they likely want to find one that can help them as soon as possible. This means they’ll search for terms related to their location, and choose one that is relatively close.
In order to reach local customers, you’ll need to optimize not only for keywords related to locksmiths in general, but also for keywords related to your location. For example, “locksmith services in San Diego” would be a much better keyword than simply “locksmith services,” because it would attract visitors who are looking for businesses where you already are.
Think about the situations in which people typically call a locksmith. Your services are likely needed quite often by those who are locked out of their cars or homes—those who have no way of getting to their computers. Instead, they’ll use their smartphone or other mobile device to search the Internet.
Because of this, mobile-friendly sites are especially important for your business. If your site is only accessible on desktop or laptop computers, you could be losing a lot of business from people who are stuck in a parking lot or on their front lawns looking for assistance.
The best way to reach customers on all devices is by using responsive design, which displays the same regardless of screen size or browser. As an added bonus, making your site mobile-friendly can help your rankings in mobile search results.
Search engines prefer sites that are frequently updated with “fresh content.” The easiest way to do this is through the addition of a blog. Just update the blog at least twice per month, and search engines will be more apt to crawl and index your site. This will help boost your page rankings, so when someone types “need a locksmith in Chattanooga TN” or “best commercial locksmith in Allentown, PA” into Google, your locksmith company will come up on the first page of listings.
When a search engine sees that backlinks to your website are occurring from other reputable, high-quality sites around the Internet, the search engine will assume that your site is also reputable and high quality.
However, it’s important that you never buy links. This practice can get you blacklisted by search engines. Instead, create quality site content (like the content on your blog), and allow the links to develop naturally. Encouraging others to link to it is perfectly fine, but stay away from link farms and any site that offers links in exchange for payment.
Pay-per-click, or PPC, ad campaigns are a great way to attract customers, even before your SEO strategy has time to take effect. Essentially, you can create small ads that will display when people search for keywords you choose—as long as your bid is the highest.
The word “ad” will be noted on the paid search advertisement, but that won’t negate the fact that your company’s name will be the first one the searcher sees. Many times, people will click on these links, which take them directly to landing pages on your site. You’ll pay each time the link is clicked, so make sure your PPC ads are very targeted, and evaluate their conversion effectiveness regularly.
Is there a locksmith across town that seems to be getting tons of business that you’d like to have? Do a thorough examination of their website. See what keywords they seem to be using, check out their PPC ad campaigns and look at all their social media and blog posts. Then, learn from what they seem to be doing that you’re not. Chances are good that a few hours of investigation can help you significantly!
Satisfied customers often have to be prompted to leave online reviews in favor of your locksmith company. Feel free to (gently) remind them, especially after you’ve done great work. If positive reviews of your business on sites like Google and Yelp begin to show up in search results, potential customers will see them and likely feel more comfortable giving you a call.
You may not feel like you have the time to devote to Facebook, Twitter or Twitter, but you owe it to your business to spend a couple of hours every week or so on at least one social platform. Although this won’t directly affect SEO, having a strong social presence will improve your reputation and branding.
Being active on social media also allows you to engage with customers and answer their questions. This will show them that you care about their needs (and their business), and will encourage them to become repeat customers if and when they find themselves in need of a locksmith again.
Chances are slim that you’re the only locksmith in your area, so if you want to attract customers, it’s important to rank well in search engines. Be sure you stand out as the best locksmith by strategically using SEO, and by following the above best practices.
If you need some help getting started, don’t hesitate to contact us! Our dedicated team of Internet marketers is more than happy to help you develop and implement an SEO strategy tailored to your site, and start generating more customers with your online presence.
Find out how WebFX can create an effective Internet marketing strategy for your website. Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today for a free evaluation.