Local SEO: Secrets to Killing The Competition

Let me ask you a question, how difficult would it be for you to roll into the “mortgage” market and rank well on the search engines? The truth is that for most decent search terms ranking well is hard. Flip that around and look at the same search locally and suddenly ranking well becomes easy and few people understand how much traffic that really can be (hint: done correctly it can be a lot). This is the first part of a two-part article.

In this article I’ll explain how to absolutely dominate local search by using an example site to show what’s being done right, what’s being done wrong, and what he should be doing to become the number 1 player in his market.

I recently came across a small local business in South Jersey run by a John Pepe He’s a tile installer, and if you do a search on “south jersey tile installation,” he’s the second listing. To have his spot, he does far less link building, PPC, advertising, and everything else than the number one guy, or even the other three people below him.

However, there are certain things that he could be doing much better that would allow him to trounce his competition and become the number one tile guy in his area, both in terms of how much he could charge and in how many customers he had.

To start with, let’s talk about what he’s doing right so far.

1) He’s got a Google+ account, and he uses itHe’s constantly sharing pictures of his workThis creates links to his main site, and starts to give him some level of social engagement — but it could certainly be better.

2) He has a Blogger blog, on which he also shares pictures of his work.

3) He posts pictures of his work on his main site so that it’s being regularly updated.

4) He does a little social bookmarking, and his Superpages listing is up to date.

That’s it — right there, you have his entire link building program.

Doing just what I said above, he’s got over 100 followers on Google+ and over 180 Twitter followers (and when they need tile installed, who do you think they’re going to use?).

That’s on top of the number two rank on Google search, which will get him even more customers.

Understand something: in some ways, he is already doing much better than the number one company, because he has a captive audience of over 100 people that the other guys don’t.

However, he’s certainly doing some things wrong.

1) His site is kind of uglyNo two ways about it, it just looks very amateurishThat alone stands a good chance of chasing off the best and highest paying clients. The very first thing that he needs to do is hire a graphic artist. For only around $50, such an artist could create a better looking logo and shift his site to some kind of CMS. WordPress is what I’d use for a business like his, especially given the obviously low level of computer technical skillThat will help his sitem look much better.

2) Other than a link all the way down at the bottom to Twitter, his site has no links to any other social sites with which he may have accounts — and since I already linked to his Google+ account, clearly there’s one there. He should be prominently giving links to Facebook, Google+, and Twitter; these links should be “above the fold,” near the top of the siteI would also include links to his Google Places, SuperPages, Yelp, CityVoter, and so on listingsAgain, these should be above the fold.

3) Zero “before” pictures.It’s good that he’s showing what his work look like, but showing what something looked like before he started would help greatly, to give potential customers something with which to compare and contrast even better, he should show pics of before, one-fourth the way through, three-fourth the way through, and completed. Better even than that would be a time lapsed video showing him do the full installation.

Even with those things “wrong,” notice how little he’s doing to basically crush it for his local market However, let’s talk about taking him to the next level In fact, let’s talk about dominating all of the levels and turning him into the undisputed authority and local kingpin of tile guys in South Jersey (and by extension, you could follow the same advice).

One important note here: I’ve already given some advice on what he should be doing, and in some ways I’m going to repeat some of it so that I can give a step-by-step look at how to become the top dog of a local market. Tomorrow, I’ll give you the full story of how this man can dominate his local market.

For more of my work, please check out http://www.mattgoffrey.blogspot.com/

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