Did you know that 72% of people who searched a local business online visited that store within five minutes?
That’s the power of local digital marketing. This cost-effective approach can extend the impact of marketing spend and give small brands greater exposure in their region, helping them target the right customers in the right areas. And who relies more on local business than field services companies like lawn care or pest control?
This article will talk about local online marketing, why it matters, and practical tips to implement it in your field service business.
Local marketing is the approach of targeting customers only in a specific location. It’s a hyper-targeted form of advertising that can help you make the most of your marketing spend. For example, it would be useless to promote your lawn care services to a town that you don’t cover.
While local marketing has traditionally been used by brick-and-mortar stores, location-dependent service businesses also benefit immensely. In fact, it has a bigger impact since most companies of this nature don’t have physical stores located in high-traffic areas.
Local marketing is a growing trend right now. According to Google, queries that have a specific location in the keyword (such as a specific city or “near me”) have increased by 3,400%.
There’s also the trend of people checking online reviews first before committing to a brand or company. In fact, 93% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. Chances are you’ve done this – do you look up online reviews before getting a massage or checking in at a hotel?
This trend tells you one thing: if you’re a local lawn or pest control business offering services regionally, relying on word of mouth or referrals won’t cut it anymore. To improve your visibility and customer acquisition, you need to integrate local digital marketing into your strategy.
Local digital marketing is another channel you can add to your acquisition strategy. It can expose your business to the right audience, who may not yet know you exist.
Using local SEO can also divert these potential leads to your website. And, with effective branding and copy, you’ll have a bigger chance to get them to take action, whether it’s to request a quote or schedule a home visit.
One of the great things about local digital marketing is that it can level the playing field. Small businesses no longer need to spend thousands of dollars to have expensive billboards or radio ads to advertise their services.
Local online marketing is a low-cost yet highly targeted method, which means smaller businesses with limited budgets can still get great results. In fact, being a small local establishment is an advantage since consumers are more trusting of small businesses than large corporations.
Local marketing is all about pinpoint targeting. With tactics like local SEO and Facebook ads, for example, you can effectively reach only audiences that have an interest in your business. That means you get more quality leads without unnecessary spending on a “spray and pray” approach like TV ads.
In addition, local digital marketing can help foster relationships with your customer base. That’s because targeting your audience effectively means knowing them on a deeper level. Thus, you can better serve their needs which, in turn, inspires trust in your audience.
The first step when it comes to local marketing online is to create (or, in some cases, claim) your business pages on various platforms. Some prominent options include Google Business Profile, Facebook for Business, and Yelp.
This step is important because many of your potential customers will be looking for you on these channels. For example, many people rely on Google Business Profile pages because it’s the first thing that pops up when someone searches for your business on Google or Google Maps.
If your listing isn’t claimed on Google, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers. Don’t believe us? 92% of the world’s traffic is searched on Google. If you’re not showing up on Google maps, chances are customers will just go to your competitors instead.
Also, having the correct name, address, and phone number (NAP) is important for search engine optimization (SEO). Not to mention, review sites will also refer to this information when looking you up online.
However, having a business page isn’t enough. It’s crucial that you regularly update it as part of your local business internet marketing strategy. Unfortunately, many companies make the mistake of creating it once, then forgetting about it.
Having outdated information is riskier than not having a page at all, as it can reflect poorly on your company. For instance, if your service hours aren’t up-to-date or your phone number is incorrect, it’ll frustrate customers enough that they’ll no longer be willing to do business with you.
According to Statista, 63% of queries on a search engine were done using a smartphone. With such a huge percentage of your potential customers on mobile, it’s crucial that your website gives a great experience to these users.
If you have a mobile-friendly website, it can reduce friction for users. It will make them much more likely to engage with your business. But more than giving a great experience, mobile responsiveness will also make you rank higher on search results. That’s because having a mobile-friendly site is now a Google ranking factor.
However, having a mobile-responsive website isn’t just a matter of scaling down your desktop website and calling it a day. There are intricacies with how people navigate on smaller screens that you need to consider.
For example, buttons on mobile devices should be larger and have ample space between other elements to account for users with bigger thumbs. In addition, the layout should avoid horizontal scrolling; thus, a rehaul of the webpage is often needed for mobile.
If you’re not sure how mobile-friendly your site is, you can use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test for a quick audit. While it may seem like a small factor, mobile-responsive sites are a fundamental part of local website marketing.
Social proof is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your disposal. The thing is, many consumers find it hard to trust new or unfamiliar businesses online.
However, if other people are leaving great feedback about your business, it drastically increases trust and establishes credibility by communicating that you’re a legitimate business that offers great services.
Do you have a loyal customer who gets their lawn serviced every other week? How about a happy customer who called to thank you for your excellent extermination services? Simply thank them and ask them to leave a review online.
Encouraging customers to leave reviews should be a regular part of your local online marketing. People are busy, and leaving reviews usually isn ’t top of mind, so don’t wait for them to give it.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as sending a courteous email or text message asking for it. However, framing it properly (for example, as a way to improve your services) is also important in these cases.
Of course, you need to make sure that you offer a fantastic product or service first. If not, you risk people leaving negative reviews that will do more harm to your local digital business.
Local SEO is optimizing for keywords that customers in your target area are using (such as “best lawn care company near me”). This ensures that you rank high on these keywords, increasing your visibility locally.
Implementing local SEO isn’t that different from SEO in general. You still need to research what keywords customers in your area are using. Fortunately, most tools like Moz and SEMRush offer this option. Google Trends can also determine the search terms people in your location are using.
Once you know what these keywords are, it’s just a matter of incorporating them into your website as much as possible. One good tactic is to include your location on your website when appropriate. For instance, instead of describing yourself simply as a “lawn care company,” you can frame it as “the best lawn care company in Austin.” As a result, whenever people search for that term, your website is more likely to appear in the top pages of search results.
Another effective approach is to invest in local content marketing. For example, if you run a pest control company in Nashville, you can write a blog post on the most common household pests in Tennessee. Not only will you rank for queries in Nashville, but it also shows off your local expertise.
Lastly, if you have multiple locations or service several regions, it’s vital that you have a “Location” page on your website that lists the NAP information of all your branches. This also allows you to optimize your website to rank in local search results.
While organic search is great, don’t forget to invest in pay-per-click (PPC) ads as well. This online local marketing tactic is vital for reaching even more potential customers for your business. In addition, it helps you get more reviews, word-of-mouth advertising, and even social media followers. These efforts can give your local web marketing more momentum.
The most important factor in local paid ads is the keyword you use. Like in local SEO, you want to incorporate keywords your potential customers are using. This ensures that you’re only paying for impressions that target your ideal market.
Also, Google prioritizes an ad’s quality over its maximum bid when determining which ones to show an audience. And if your ad message is highly relevant to a user, Google will perceive it as having a higher quality.
A healthy mix of organic and paid initiatives is the key to success with online marketing for local businesses.
Backlinks are a cornerstone of ranking higher in search engine results. And while they’re often used in traditional SEO, they have a place in local SEO as well. The difference is that you’ll need to target relevant local businesses and websites.
For example, some local governments have an official website of the city or town, often including a section of local businesses. You can then ask them to list your company there, effectively creating a backlink. Or, you can partner with other local businesses and provide each other with backlinks. For example, a pool care company can include a link to your lawn care company (and vice versa).
The key here is to get as many of these links as possible. Because while one backlink won’t boost your SEO overnight, several credible backlinks can have a huge impact.
Social media is a powerful channel for local digital marketing, especially when you focus on localized content. For instance, you can post regular content about your location and upcoming seasonal changes (“Tips for Winter Lawn Care” or “How to Keep Pests Out This Summer”). You can also use Facebook to run online contests for people located in a particular area. This is a great way to drum up interest in your company and gather new leads.
In addition, many social media platforms (notably Instagram) allow you to set the location whenever you’re posting content. The use of hashtags can help further boost your local presence.
Lastly, you can also utilize the powerful ad targeting capabilities of social media platforms. For instance, Facebook allows you to pinpoint your target audience down to the specific town or neighborhood.
Digital marketing isn’t the only channel you should invest in. Offline efforts can actually boost your online marketing in significant ways.
For instance, you can increase visibility within your community by running a charity event or attending local festivals in your area. Not only does engaging with your community give you great exposure, but it also provides you with content that you can post on social media. Plus, it shows that your business is invested in the community, which can inspire trust with customers.
FieldRoutes Marketing Suite is a local digital marketing solution for lawn care and pest control companies. For local digital marketing solutions created for field service businesses, by field service businesses, partner with FieldRoutes. Our cloud-based local online marketing solutions can help your field service business get more customers to your door.
Whether you’re in need of lawn care software or pest control software, we’ve got you covered. From managing your sales pipeline to getting high-quality leads, we can help you improve your bottom line.
Contact us today or schedule a free demo.
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