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Sean Flamand

Why SEO Is So Powerful for a Service-Based Business

Even today, the average service based business we interact with hasn’t committed to SEO or building their online presence overall. Learn why SEO is so effective for these companies.

SEO: The Most Powerful Tool in Your Marketing Playbook

Service based businesses are uniquely positioned to take advantage of SEO for their lead generation and see major benefits. However, even today the average service based business we interact with hasn’t committed to SEO or building their online presence overall.

In today’s post, we’re taking a look at a few reasons why SEO works so well for service based businesses. Afterward, we’ll share a handful of quick tips for how you can start driving organic traffic right away. Want to learn more about your opportunities for organic growth? Request an SEO audit from our team!

a neon sign for a plumber, an example of a service based business that could benefit from SEO

SEO Has High ROI for Service Based Businesses

Most small businesses are (rightly) concerned with turning a profit so that they can grow their business. Their marketing budgets are often fairly small compared to typical overhead expenses—so it’s imperative to spend that budget wisely and efficiently.

Time and again, SEO ranks as one of the single best marketing strategies for service based businesses when it comes to ROI. And if “service based” sounds broad, that’s because it is—this generally applies to home services companies like roofers, HVAC companies, plumbers, painters, etc. However, the service umbrella also includes medical professionals, financial advisors, lawyers, accountants, movers, and much more.

Each of these industries routinely see an ROI of at least 500% for SEO services. In other words, if you provide just about any service within a particular area, SEO is one of the single most efficient ways to bring in leads to help your business grow. Let’s take a look at some of the major reasons why.

High Intent to Purchase

Keyword research is a crucial part of the SEO process for any business. To choose the best keywords, you need to evaluate the volume of traffic, the difficulty of ranking, and the intent of the keywords. Keyword intent can vary, but keywords typically fall into one of a few categories:

  • Informational, where a user is simply searching for general facts about a topic.
  • Commercial, where a user is comparing companies or products/services.
  • Transactional, where a user is looking to make a purchase.

When it comes to turning website traffic into sales, it’s obviously most beneficial to get users on your site who have a higher intent to make a purchase (“transactional”) compared to those simply looking for information.

A major reason why SEO is so effective for a service based business is their websites can be optimized for specific services that users will be searching for more urgently. For example, if someone simply searches for “dress,” they might be looking to make a purchase, but they may also simply be doing basic research, looking for inspiration, or any number of things. 

If someone searches for “roof repair,” on the other hand, it’s much more likely that they have an urgent need to hire a roofing company. 

Able to Use Local SEO

Of course, the above categories are just one way that keywords can be narrowed down. Users are also likely to include local information within searches for various products, and this is almost universally true when it comes to service-related queries. After all, if you need your HVAC system repaired, you’re looking for a company in your immediate area, not one located hundreds of miles away.

In fact, local search may just be the number one reason why SEO is so powerful for a service-based business. This is because local searches have a very high intent to purchase or convert. While there are many statistics backing this up, we’ll highlight just one: 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.

In other words, if you’re in a position to show up in local searches—which nearly all service-based businesses are—-you’re also well positioned to see major gains in highly relevant organic traffic to your website.

Potential for Market Inefficiencies

While the SEO landscape is more crowded than it used to be, there are still many industries where few companies are bothering to optimize their websites for organic traffic. Similarly, there are many regions or markets where the same may be true within an otherwise competitive industry. Yet at the same time, there’s almost no industry or locale where customers aren’t searching for products and services online. 

In other words, depending on your industry and the services you provide, you could be positioned to take advantage of a major market inefficiency simply by optimizing your website. You may see significantly lower keyword difficulty and rank on the front page of Google for higher-volume keywords than would typically be possible.

We’ve seen firsthand the power of SEO for a service based business in an industry where few competitors are optimizing their content. After Alter Endeavors built and optimized a website for Polished Metals, a metal finishing company, they saw their organic traffic increase by more than 1,200% within the first year. 

Today, they continue to see nearly 3,000 organic visitors to their website each month—all because few metal polishing companies bothered to target high-value keywords to generate organic leads. And while the rest of the industry has gotten wiser to the power of SEO, Polished Metals has already built up a healthy edge over the competition that will be very difficult to overcome.

Oh, and one more thing? If your industry isn’t behind on SEO, this is still a major reason why SEO is so important for your business—because if everyone else is focused on SEO, it’s critical to get caught up and start ranking for key searches.

a roofer with a service based business hauls materials onto a roof

Quick SEO Tips for a Service-Based Business

SEO is a major tool in the marketing arsenal for any service-based business. Between available high-intent keywords, the ability to optimize for local traffic, the potential for market inefficiencies, and the overall ROI these factors bring, it’s hard to think of more cost-efficient ways to grow your business.

Because of this, you may be eager to get started right now. And while SEO is itself a long-term play—it often takes anywhere from 3–6 months to see significant results—there are a few actionable items you can do right now to get the ball rolling.

Set Up Google Analytics and Search Console

The first thing you’ll need to develop a long-term SEO strategy is data. If your website doesn’t have Google Analytics or Search Console installed, you’ll want to add them right away. Both of these properties are free and provide direct data about your website, straight from Google itself.

Submit Your Website’s Sitemap

While your website can be crawled and indexed without it, a sitemap acts as a guide for Google’s robots to better understand your website. Submitting your sitemap is easy once Google Analytics and Search Console are installed, and it can help prompt Google to find pages it might otherwise have missed.

Evaluate Current Traffic

Once Analytics and Search Console have collected data for a few weeks, you can start using that data to better understand how much traffic your website is getting. Within Search Console, you can see overall search visibility, including which pages are getting the most attention (as well as for which search terms). Google Analytics, meanwhile, will show you where most users are coming from—whether it’s direct traffic, organic (search) traffic), or users from social media.

Search Your Services and Industry

Another simple item that can tell you a lot about your status in search is to open an Incognito browser and search for relevant queries within your industry. Use keywords including major services you provide, your service area, and general industry terms (such as “plumber” or “roofing company”). 

Take note of where you rank. Do you appear on the first page? What about the second, third, or fourth? Do you see results from your company’s website at all?

Build a List of Keywords

Keyword research is both an art and a science, and one that takes a lot of experience to master. That said, it’s well within everyone’s power to build a basic keyword list for their industry. 

Build a list of keywords that you want to show up in Google searches for. Include those terms you searched for in the last step, and identify priority keywords based on where your business ranked. Whether it’s 5, 50, or 100 keywords long, making a list will help you in the next step.

Start Adding Content to Your Site

Particularly when it comes to SEO, content is king. The more new content you can add to your website, the more chances you have to rank for various keywords. Additionally, keeping your site fresh by updating and adding content will also help improve your website’s rankings in search, as this is a ranking factor for Google.

Content such as service pages or blog posts answering common industry questions are frequent SEO targets for a service based business. Make sure content is substantive (at least 500–600 words long where possible) and includes your target keyword around 2–3 times.

Invest in SEO Services from Alter Endeavors

Of course, one of the major reasons why SEO remains a golden opportunity for many service based businesses is because small business owners simply don’t have the time to put all this effort into their website. While the above tasks will help you get started, a truly sustainable long-term SEO strategy takes careful planning and consistent execution.

If you’re a business providing a specific service to customers in your area, our SEO team at Alter Endeavors is eager to work with you. We have years of experience developing and executing sustainable strategies to bring organic growth for clients across numerous industries, including HVAC companies, industrial services, financial services, healthcare, and more. 

We’ve seen firsthand how powerful a tool SEO is for any service based business, and we’re excited to drive highly relevant new leads for your business. Want more information? Book an SEO audit today and our team will show you the opportunities you have for growth!


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