They’ve locked their keys in their car. They lost the extra house key. Or maybe they broke their only key to the home safe inside the safe’s lock. In almost every instance, when people need a locksmith, they need one now. So when consumers search for locksmiths, it’s safe to say they do so where they can find one quickly — online. That’s where your locksmith business SEO (search engine optimization) comes in.
The average consumer no longer rifles thru a newspaper or hangs onto old printed flyers to find a locksmith, especially if they’re on the go when the need strikes. Instead, they turn to online searches via sites like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Where your business appears in those online searches is up to you.
It’s time to take better care of your online reputation. Use these locksmith SEO tricks to rank better in online searches.
1. Start with PPC ads.
This one’s more of a search engine marketing (SEM) tip than an SEO tip, but the two search practices go hand in hand. One of the fastest ways locksmiths get found online is by paying for ads with search engines. If you’ve yet to find your business in top search results, or maybe you’re brand new to the locksmith business, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising may be right for you.
With PPC, you bid on ads on a per-click basis. To get the most out of these clicks without racking up a massive advertising bill, write copy that’s clear about the services you offer and exactly where (and to whom) you offer them. Then, use the search engine’s ad targeting options to narrow your target audience as much as possible. This way, only people who are likely to use your locksmith services are costing you money by clicking your ads.
Here’s what Google’s PPC ads look like. They’re the ones that look kind of like typical search results, but they appear at the very top with the words “Ad” or “Sponsored” appended to them.
Pro tip: Not quite sure which locksmith keywords to build your ads for? Run a few searches of your own, and see what your closest competitors are ranking for. If you don’t go after the same keywords, choose similar terms for similar success.
2. Claim your online listings.
The web is a giant place. And if you weren’t already aware, your business is being mentioned across various sites online whether you put the information there or not. These sites, like Google, Yelp and Angie’s List, are called online business listings sites.
Online listings sites make a living out of sharing as much information as they can about businesses so consumers and search engines come to them for recommendations. But not all the information out there is going to be accurate and consistent unless you make sure it is. That’s why it’s important to claim your online listings.
Note: Once you claim your online business listings, always link them back to your business website. Search engines love consistency in linking, and they reward sites who do it well with better positions in search results.
3. Show Google some extra love.
The more online listings you claim and manage for your business, the better. But did you know Google makes up 95% of mobile searches? Basically, consumers who need locksmith services quickly are very likely to use their mobile phones, and Google, to find your business.
With Google running the search engine show, take extra care when managing your Google My Business listing. It’s free, and doing so helps Google trust you just a little bit more. As far as Google’s concerned, trust turns into increased search recommendations.
4. Target Google’s local pack.
Underneath the paid ads in Google’s search results, you’ll see Google’s local pack. These are 3 (used to be 7) of Google’s most recommended businesses for whatever search query it’s responding to — in your case, locksmiths.
Here’s what Google’s local pack looks like when I search for locksmiths in Dallas, TX.
Notice the 3 recommended locksmiths appear directly below the paid advertisers. And that’s the desktop view, of course. Here’s what Google’s local pack looks like when I searched the same phrase on mobile.
Why is the local pack important? You can easily see how well it stands out compared to the listed results Google serves up directly below it. Google displays a map showing exactly where your locksmith business is located compared to the others, and it also shows your average online rating based on previous customer reviews.
Note: Google’s regular list of search results is nothing to scoff at. Even the locksmith businesses listed below the local pack on the first couple pages of results get tons of clicks, views and leads.
5. Work for those reviews.
Online reviews are another important influencer of your search engine optimization. The more you get, the better your chances of having high average ratings. And once again, the more Google will trust you as a locksmith business it’s willing to recommend.
Enough 5-star reviews, and you may even make it into the coveted local pack.
Ask happy customers to leave you a review online, and send them to the exact site where you want them to leave reviews. Tell them it’ll help other customers find the same high-quality locksmith services fast!
6. Optimize your website.
Your locksmith business website is sort of the “hub” for your search engine optimization. While it may not be your main source of traffic or leads, it’s a solid reference point for search engines looking to serve up quality locksmith services providers in their search results.
Use the locksmith SEO keyword tips below to optimize your locksmith website for search engines. Incorporate the keywords you choose into the copy on your pages and the back-end code, including URLs, title tags, meta descriptions and image attributes. (This is called on-page SEO.)
7. Get creative with your keywords.
When you sit down to choose keywords for your locksmith business SEO, it’s tempting to use the first keywords that come to mind.
“Locksmith near me,” “locksmith services,” even simply “locksmith” make sense…until you think about just how competitive these broad keywords will be in your local market. Chances are the big brand name locksmiths already rank for and bid on these keywords online. So your chances of showing up ahead of them or even near them in search results is slim to none.
Get creative. Think about the terms aside from the broad ones that describe exactly how your locksmith business can help your target consumer. These days, consumers are searching more specific, longer search phrases to find what they want, because they know search engines like Google can deliver.
Consider keyword phrases like:
- Who to call locked out of house
- Keys locked inside car
- Help fixing broken lock
- 24 hour vehicle locksmith
- Fast residential lock installation
…and so on. Take it a step further by making these keywords local.
8. Make your keywords local.
To really up the quality and competitiveness of your keywords, make them local.
Consumers actively searching for locksmiths aren’t looking to find a business three states over. They want someone who can get to them quickly, like a locksmith based in their local neighborhood. To optimize your keywords for local search, include “City, State” and “near me.”
9. Pay attention to the length of your keywords.
If we broke down Google searches by word length, they’d look something like this:
- 1 word: 21.71%
- 2 words: 23.98%
- 3 words: 19.60%
- 4 words: 13.89%
- 5 words: 8.70%
- 6+ words: 12.12%
Traditional SEO advice would say keep your target keywords under 4 words, and you’ll cater to almost 75% of searchers.
However, if you want to be more competitive, longer search terms are where you’ll shine. More than 25% of searches contain 4+ words, making them long-tail keywords. More specific terms aren’t just more likely to bring you qualified traffic (people more ready to hire you), they’re also less competitive than the more common, shorter phrases.