As a digital marketing consultant, I seem to attract locksmiths. I never intended it to be my specialty, but at DINOMADIC, we’re pretty good at it.
Most internet marketers don’t want them. The industry is rampant with scammers who slam local markets with unrelenting locksmith spam. It’s a daily grind fighting these guys and trying to get the behemoth Google to take action is at times, excruciatingly slow.
Yelp drives more business for some of our clients than their website does, and we never advertise with Yelp. We do it all organically.
Regardless, we’ve learned a lot over the last five years and all, but our newest clients enjoy top visibility in their markets. The new guys will come along soon enough – you can’t rush things with Google anymore, but usually within three to five months, a new client can usually get top visibility in search if they do things right.
Promote Your Business, Not Just Your Site
First, get out of the mind-set that SEO and local internet marketing is about your website. Your site is a big part of it, but so are other third party profile pages like Yelp. I’ll let you in on a little secret. In some cases, Yelp drives more business for our clients than their website does, and we never advertise with Yelp. We do it all organically.
If you work at promoting your Yelp profile with quality search engine optimization practices, it will rank a lot quicker than your website. Yelp has authority built right into it so if you give your listing a little extra push with some good inbound links and social sharing, it may just be enough to outperform the competition. And don’t forget to get reviews or it can backfire on you.
Be a Good Locksmith
If you are not a good locksmith or like to use bait-n-switch tactics by misleading consumers with a $15 locksmith charge, a Yelp strategy isn’t going to work for you. You need to make people happy and sneaky tactics is just going to get you a bunch of bad reviews. It’s worth noting at this point that in today’s market, the biggest part of your marketing strategy is to do good work. I won’t take a new client if they want me to cheat, spam, scam or mislead consumers. I also won’t take them on if they are not licensed or good at their craft.
Other third party profiles you may want to promote are your Facebook fan page, your Yahoo Local profile and your BBB listing. It’s best to promote any profile or business listing page that will show gold stars in search results. Ohh how those five gold stars just jump off that page, begging consumers to pick you over your competitors – another reason to be good at your craft.
Expand Your Online Footprint
Making sure you are listed in all the business directories and local websites for locksmiths is very important, but so is adding pages to your website for very specific categories and locations. You should have a unique page for every neighborhood in your community. Those pages are likely to be more visible than your home page in those places. Don’t forget to geo tag them for the specific location and then add?Schema?review mark up – or, just ask your developer to do it. Review mark up will enable those gold stars to show for your web page right within Google search results, just like your Yelp profile. Again, this is a huge conversion advantage for consumers who want someone good and someone quick.
Be a Quick Locksmith
Sure having a quick response time is important for every lockout situation, but I’m referring to your website. Today, many websites are built using a WordPress platform. WordPress is great and is very SEO friendly. We use it, too. Most new WordPress platforms are also responsive; another really good feature. Responsiveness will make your website viewable on all screen sizes. Google will soon penalize websites for not having a mobile version of their site so a responsive format is now essential. The problem? Responsiveness makes websites very slow, especially on mobile view. Not only is this a bad consumer experience, but page load speed is one of Google’s ranking factors. Yikes!
What we recommend is that you should go ahead and use the responsive design on desktop and tablets, but have your developer design the mobile phone version of your site using raw html. We’ve experienced dramatic load speed increases by using this approach and our pages rank great. You don’t even have to worry about your mobile pages being lite on content or being a duplicate of one another if you redirect pages to the desktop version. All this stuff is a bit technical so ask your web developer about it. Or,?ask us.
There are a lot of other techniques we use to rank our locksmith clients in search, but most of it you’ve already heard (write plenty of unique content, add lots of inbound links, participate in social media, etc) or is too technical to explain here (optimized title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags, etc).
To learn more on how to use good search engine optimization practices to promote your locksmith business, contact me at?[email protected].