For home service businesses, SEO is an extremely important aspect of marketing. Among other things, it’s what drives your online visibility, gets you seen by local searchers, builds trust and credibility, and attracts targeted traffic. However, for many home service business owners, SEO isn’t a familiar subject, and in all honesty, it can be tough to understand. That’s why our team at Hooked Marketing has put together a definitive SEO checklist for home service businesses. The goal is that you will improve your SEO as you check off each item on the list.
Let’s take a closer look!
The Importance of SEO for Home Service Businesses
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays an important role in helping home service businesses reach their target audience and grow their customer base.
Here is a more detailed look at some of the reasons why SEO is important for home service businesses:
Better Online Visibility for Your Business
SEO is essential for improving the online visibility of a home service business. For example, let’s say you run an HVAC repair business. When you leverage SEO, and potential customers search for services related to air conditioning, heating, air ducts, or even regular maintenance, a well-optimized website is more likely to appear higher in search engine results.
The closer your business is to the top of search results, the higher the chances you have of attracting potential customers actively searching for the services you offer.
Get Seen By Local Searchers
More often than not, home service businesses serve their local or regional market. When you leverage local SEO strategies, it helps optimize your online presence for searches in your area.
A few ways to do this are by:
- Ensuring accurate business information on online directories
- Creating Google My Business profiles
- Incorporating location-specific keywords
Build Credibility and Trust with Your Audience
When your business is seen at the top of search engines, it instills a sense of credibility and trust with your audience because many people associate higher search rankings with a business’s reliability and expertise.
A well-optimized website, good online reviews, and up-to-date business information are key to building trust with potential customers.
Attract Targeted Traffic
Good SEO helps attract targeted traffic to your website. This is done by optimizing for keywords related to your services. Let’s go back to the example above. If you are an HVAC repair service, a predominant keyword would be “air conditioning repair”.
When you incorporate this keyword, you increase your chances of being seen by people searching for those services.
SEO Checklist for Home Services
Now that we’ve established the importance of SEO for your business, it’s time to get into the checklist.
SEO Checklist 1: Mastering Your Content Strategy
In this context, and in simple terms, a content strategy is your approach to SEO. It covers the basics of how you can implement good SEO on your website.
1. Write for Humans, Not Search Engines
This first point is so important. As you create content for your website, it’s easy to get so caught up using keywords that your content starts to feel robotic and unnatural. When you share this kind of content, it flags the search engines and can end up doing more harm than good. Check out Google’s Helpful Content Update to learn more about this.
Additionally, when potential customers read your content, you want it to sound as much like you as possible because it reinforces your brand and builds more trust.
2. Check for Duplicate Content
Duplicate content can cause another harmful hit to your SEO. Search engines filter through content to ensure it’s original and valuable (again, check out Google’s Helpful Content Update) and only rank the sites that are following those guidelines.
If you want to improve your SEO, check for duplicate content and ensure you are only sharing original content on your site.
3. Create Topic Clusters
A topic cluster is a content marketing strategy that focuses on creating a comprehensive piece of content and linking it to a “cluster” of related, more specific pieces of content.
By creating valuable, organized content using this approach, you’ll improve:
- Search engine visibility
- The user experience
4. Map Your Keywords
Mapping keywords is the process of using specific keywords or phrases on certain pages of your website. The goal is to optimize each page for a targeted set of keywords so that they have a better chance to rank in search engine results for those terms. It’s a good way to prove to search engines that your page is relevant.
SEO Checklist 2: On-Page SEO
On-page SEO focuses on optimizing web pages to improve their search engine rankings and attract organic traffic. This is done by doing the following.
1. Do Keyword Research
Keyword research is at the center of effective on-page SEO. Before optimizing your pages, find relevant keywords that align with your services and target audience.
For each keyword, consider the:
- Search volume
- User intent
Use relevant keywords in your content, headings, and meta tags for the best results.
2. Use H1 Tags
H1 tags (heading tags) help you structure your content and hold significant weight in search engine algorithms. For the best results, make sure your H1 tag:
- Is descriptive
- Includes relevant keywords
- Reflects the content on the page
Heading after H1 tags (H2, H3, etc.) should also be used to organize your content for both search engines and readers.
3. Add Title Tags
Title tags define the title of a webpage. They are the clickable headlines in search engine results.
Create interesting title tags that:
- Include your target keywords
- Entice searchers to click your link
- Are under 60 characters so the whole title is viewable
4. Include Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are a summary of the page’s content and show up below the title tag in search results.
These should be:
- Descriptive of what’s on the page
- Within 160 characters so it’s all viewable
5. Optimize Your Page URL Structure
Create user-friendly URLs that are descriptive and include target keywords. The best way to do this is by avoiding long, complex URLs so it’s easier for visitors to understand the page’s content.
6. Implement Image SEO
Images are great for visual appeal and help with SEO. Leverage images by:
- Using descriptive file names
- Including alt text that’s a concise description
- Compressing images for faster load times
7. Ensure Effective Bread Crumb Navigation
Breadcrumbs show the user’s path from the homepage to the current page. They are helpful because they:
- Improve user navigation
- Help search engines understand your site’s structure
SEO Checklist 3: Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO involves optimizing things outside of your website to improve your site’s authority, credibility, and visibility in search engine results.
1. Get High-Quality Backlinks
Strong backlinks are essential for off-page SEO because they show search engines that your website is authoritative and trustworthy. Here are a few tips for incorporating high-quality backlinks:
- Look for backlinks from reliable and relevant websites within your industry.
- Incorporate the links naturally into the page.
- Only use links that add value to your content.
2. List Your Website in Business Directories
Listing your website in business directories improves your online visibility and contributes to local SEO efforts.
Place your website in directories that are relevant to your industry and location, and optimize your listings with descriptions and relevant keywords.
3. Set Up Social Media Profiles for Your Business
Social media helps off-page SEO with brand visibility and engagement. Use social media to:
- Share your content
- Engage with your audience
- Encourage others to share
Good engagement improves your website’s authority in the eyes of search engines.
4. Build Strategic Partnerships
Collaborating with influencers, industry leaders, and complementary businesses is a great way to improve off-page SEO. These help to:
- Increase brand exposure
- Diversify backlinks
- Put your business in front of another audience
- Establish credibility within your niche
SEO Checklist 4: Technical SEO
The goal of technical SEO is to create a strong technical foundation that positively influences search rankings and improves user experience. Make sure you check these boxes:
1. Add hreflang Tags
Hreflang tags are essential for websites with content for multiple languages or regions. They show the language and regional targeting of a page so that search engines can give the best results to searchers.
Implementing hreflang tags is great for improving the international visibility of your content.
2. Improve Page Loading Speed
Page loading speed is important for users and search engine rankings. You can make pages faster by:
- Compressing images
- Leveraging browser caching
- Minimizing unnecessary scripts
3. Create a robots.txt File
A robots.txt file guides search engine bots by showing them which pages to crawl and index and which to avoid. Make sure important pages are accessible to search engines and try to prevent the indexing of sensitive or duplicate content.
4. Optimize Your Site Structure
Optimized site structure improves user navigation and search engine crawling. Organize your content logically to:
- Help search engines understand the relationship between different pages
- Ensure important content is easily accessible to both users and search engine bots
5. Install an SSL Certificate
Security is becoming more important for search engines and having an SSL certificate now impacts rankings.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encrypts data transmitted between a user’s browser and your website to provide a secure and private connection. Websites with SSL certificates are considered “secure” in browsers and improve user trust and search rankings.
6. Submit Your Sitemap to Google Search Console
A sitemap provides search engines with a map of your website’s structure and content. Submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console helps search engines crawl and index your pages more efficiently.
You should regularly update and submit your sitemap to make sure search engines are aware of new content and changes to existing pages.
7. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Because so many people surf the web on their phones, having a mobile-friendly website is essential. So much so, that Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in search results. Do this by:
- Implementing responsive design
- Ensuring readable text and tap-friendly buttons
- Optimizing images for mobile devices to provide a seamless experience for mobile users
Follow The Definitive SEO Checklist for Home Services for The Best Results
To make sure you are checking all of the right boxes for your website’s SEO, follow the checklist our team at Hooked Marketing outlined above! It covers all of the bases, including creating a content strategy, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
Wondering where your SEO stands? Reach out for a FREE SEO audit from Hooked Marketing! We’ll see where you rank and can help you create a strategy to improve your SEO.