As a local business, it’s your goal to provide the best customer experience in your industry. You want to please people with your services so that they not only come back, but they tell their friends about you as well.
A great way to improve your relationship with customers is by using SEO (search engine optimization) as a primary tool. There are five main ways to better your customer experience this way, including the following:
- Post Relevant Content
- Create Service Pages
- Remember to NAP!
- Engage Through Social Media
- Encourage Reviews
Let’s get started!
1. Post Relevant Content
Content marketing—the distribution of relevant content such as blogs, videos, etc. for a specific audience—is a huge contributor to how a company ranks. Google determines the thought leaders and experts in each industry based on content that’s produce. In order for this to happen, you must create valuable content that improves your SEO and your customer’s experience.
Blogs are a great way to enhance the customer experience while building your SEO. A dentist, for example, may write an article on how long a patient will miss work after having their wisdom teeth removed. This improves the user’s experience by providing an answer to a common customer concern. Plus, updating your site regularly with fresh content improves your SEO and keeps Google happy.
At Loud Rumor, we wrote a blog called “Pros and Cons To Having Your Business on Yelp” to address whether or not it’s really worth putting your business on Yelp when so many reviews are filtered. Addressing this concern made us a resource for local businesses. We still receive a ton of traffic each month to our site as a result.
Customers won’t always be comfortable asking you their questions outright. Producing content that addresses their concerns not improves SEO, but meets an unfulfilled need of a potential customer.
2. Create Service Pages
As a local business, you want to rank for specific services to ensure your target audience can find you easily online. Returning to our previous example, a dentist may choose to focus on veneers, teeth whitening, Invisalign, dentures, and so on. These services become keywords—the words or phrases customers will type into search engines—and you want your business to show up when a potential customer uses them.
To do so, each of your services should have their own page explaining what customers can expect. Individual pages provide more opportunities to use your keywords, but also build relationships with your customers by a more thorough explanation of your background, skills and methods.
3. Remember to NAP!
Including your NAP (name, address, phone number) throughout your website is a simple way to better serve your customers. Being able to easily find how to contact you and your location improves the experience of researching your company prior to making a purchase. Additionally, your NAP is a very important factor for local SEO. It’s a strategy many local businesses use to rank more prominently in the map section of Google.
4. Engage Through Social Media
Social media promotes a sharing environment where people can ask questions, see pictures, and get information. Customers enjoy interacting with companies they patron via Facebook, Twitter, and so on. As a result, 46% of people refer to a business’ social media prior to making a purchase. It’s no longer optional—engaging in social media is crucial to your business.
Fortunately, social media is a fun and unique way to communicate because it’s still fresh. It’s not as common as a phone conversation or email, so customers get excited when they comment on a company’s post and receive a response. This small gesture makes them feel special and improves their perception of you as a business. Plus, social media offers several ways to incorporate SEO, such as with hashtags. Use your keywords as hashtags in your posts so your services are easy for users to find. Then, when someone comments on your social media post, be sure to respond right away in order to provide the best interaction possible.
5. Encourage Reviews
Good, quality reviews help you stand out. While reviews only have a small ranking signal in terms of SEO, they play a huge role in determining whether a customer will engage with your service.
90% of customers say their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews, which they trust as much as personal recommendations. Therefore, it’s important you truly care about your customers and provide them with a great experience—then they’ll want to go out of their way to review you.
These online reviews show potential customers what people love about you. For example, I recently ate at Arrogant Butcher because they had so many good reviews. People raved about their oysters and suggested sitting at the bar in order to interact with the chef. Had I not read the reviews, I would have sat at a table and ordered something else. Those reviews not only convinced me to eat there, but helped me have an even better experience.
Google’s algorithms may be complex, but their goal is simple—to put the most relevant, worthwhile information in front of users so they have the best possible experience. By making this your goal, you’ll find it is much easier to win at the SEO game.
Mike Arce is the Founder and CEO of Loud Rumor, an online marketing company that helps local businesses grow with AdWords management, Local SEO, social media marketing, and YouTube marketing.
Learn about optimizing customer experience in our guide: Happy customers, efficient businesses.