Local search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is increasingly important for professional businesses if they wish to fully capture the power of their local markets. A strong SEO strategy for medical services, legal services, and restaurants has proven to be especially effective in driving up business. There are certain components which are equally important across these domains, while each also has its specific differences as well. All of this needs to be considered when developing your strategy and tactics to carry it out.
For all of these professional businesses, the first step is real to create a wonderful website. It should be easy for prospective clients and customers to navigate and the key information should be prominently displayed. This includes the services which you offer, contact information, your address, potentially testimonials, and some history or information about you and your business. High-quality content is really the key here. Google loves it and so do visitors. Adding a blog component with the dynamic content providing tips, advice, etc. (as legally okay) to potential clients can also be a plus. Once you have a great website, make sure to synergize it with your traditional marketing by including it on business cards, in advertisements, and any other form of putting the word out there.
Once this is complete, then you can really focus on the electronic means of promoting your website and business.Even here there are a few things that you should consistently do regardless of your type of business. In addition to the points above, you need to make sure that your website appears friendly to both mobile and computer users. With the web increasingly going mobile, Google is placing more and more weight on making sure that websites appear correctly for visitors. Responsive design that conforms to the screen size is really the gold standard here.
Now, to get into specifics of different types of businesses… For medical websites (including dental clinics, pharmacies, urgent care, etc.), engaging content is very important. This is especially true for specialties which are focused on acute care for visual issues such as teeth whitening for dentists where before and after pictures can be a very nice touch. A strong blog providing well-referenced information and with the note that it is not meant as medical advice can also be a nice free service to get potential patients engaged. An FAQ (frequently asked questions) section can help address any questions or anxieties which prospective patients may have including cost, whether you take their insurance, etc. All of these components also serve as great content for Google and other search engines.
In addition to this, you can take your efforts off-site by trying to leverage review websites and business directories including Yelp or more health-specific ones like ZocDoc.
For law offices, creating a Google My Business page is particularly important given the regional focus of the business. The website should specifically focus on the type of law services provided whether it be “divorce lawyer” or “criminal lawyer”, etc. Try to incorporate these keywords in a natural way on your Google business page as well if possible. Client reviews also go an especially long way in this niche.
The final niche which is slightly different than the previously two described is the restaurant niche. This is different because it is not a professional service and typically has a much broader and different set of clientele and promotional needs. One of the key reasons for this is that restaurants, bars, and hospitality have some of the highest turnover rates in the economy with regards to changing customer makeup. As a result, over one million new restaurants typically open in the United States during any given year. The key to success in such a hyper competitive industry is to really build a strong set of loyal customers who keep coming back for more.
This is where local SEO plays a critical role. As with the aforementioned services, customer reviews are extremely important. But not only that- in this case, quantity, as well as quality matter and certain applications and websites like Yelp, are especially important due to the high prevalence of customers who frequent those tools. Reviews are so important, in fact, that the argument can be made that they are more important than even original content in this space.
As far as content, that really should be more focused on the customer experience here. Customers frequently look for certain key items on restaurant websites when trying to decide where to eat and if you do not have those items on your page, you may lose out on some easy business. Some of these key elements include a menu, preferably with costs, directions, phone number, hours of operation, and any specials or special offers that you may have ongoing.
Overall, whether you have a professional business or a retail one like a restaurant, you need to focus on local SEO if you want to maximize the return you get from your website and from your local community. Certain things hold constant regardless of niche including the necessity for good content, strong and plentiful reviews, and useful website design. If you can maximize these, especially relevant to your competition, you will be sure to drive greater sales and really get the most traffic and client potential that you can, which will certainly payout over the long run. Good luck on your adventure and hang in there as it can be arduous at times, but the dividends will pay off!
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