I Have a Local Service Business, What Sort of Online Presence Do I Need?

April 16, 2019    Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Do you have a business that serves a local area?

If so, this post is for you!

You could be a dentist whose customers are in your city or neighborhood. You could be a plumber who has a local customer base within the county but doesn’t service anyone outside that county.

Are we on the same page? Let’s move forward!

Google Business Listing

First things first, you need a Google Business Listing.

You thought I’d say website, didn’t you? That’s important, but you must start with a Google Business Listing.

Why?

What’s the first thing someone does who they are looking for a plumber?

Get their phone book? Yeah, sure.

They grab their phone and search for a company.

If it’s a plumber, they get their phone, type in “plumber near me.”

You can guess they are using Google since over 90% of mobile searches use Google.

After they’ve searched, guess what’s at the top of the list?

A list of local plumbers.

What do those listings contain?

All the information for that business, hours of operation (are they open right now?), address (with directions link and map), phone number (click to call), about statement, photos of the business, including reviews (if they have any), and a link to their website.

These are Google Business Listings.

You need to be on this list.

After all… it’s free!

If you’re not, people aren’t going to keep scrolling to find your website down below.

They are going to look at these results and select a company or two to call.

Below these listings are websites, but the far majority will start their research with the Google Business Listings.

To create a Google Business listing, go here:
https://www.google.com/business

Local directories

After you’ve covered the above, you’re going to want your business listed in all free business directories online. This is important because it creates more “spaces” online where people can find your business.

It’s important that you use the exact same address and information for each listing. Google corroborates all these listings to make your business appear as one online. Make sure you copy and paste your address identically across each listing.

The above will take you some time, but a services like MozLocal can take this weight off your shoulders:
https://moz.com/products/local

Facebook Page

This should be obvious, but you need a Facebook page for your business.

You may not be a “Facebook person”, but I can assure you, your customers are. With marketing, you must go where your customers are, and with 1.8 billion people on Facebook your business needs to be there.

Instagram

This one is iffy. It depends on your target market, if they are on Instagram, same thing applies as Facebook.

Other social platforms

Look into Pinterest and YouTube as well as they all have a purpose and a possible solution to help your business.

Don’t overlook video. Video can be a huge boon to your business if done right.

Again, it all comes down to where your customers are.

Pick & Choose

The important thing to note is that you don’t have to get on every social network. Get on one or two and update those and forget about the rest.

If you give it a good “college try” on a platform for 6 months to a year and get nothing from it, then move on. Ideally, you hire someone that can manage these platforms for you and update them like clockwork. That way it’s always fresh and if someone stumbles onto it, it provides a good impression.

Website

You’ve waited long enough. Yes, you need a website.

While the above places are great to list your business, they are third-party companies that can be out of business tomorrow. You have no control of that. They could also decide that they don’t want you on their platform and place you at the bottom of the list.

The lesson here is that you need to have one place where you control everything. A hub where everything links back to. A place you can send people to directly and easily. “Go to www.mywebsite.com” is simple.

The rest of the benefits to a website should be obvious. If not, give me a call (360) 450-3711.

We can help

We can create your platforms and website. For Facebook and Instagram, we have plans where we create the content and post to them for you, so you can forget about them (sort of) ? We have many content ideas to help engage with your customers and make these platforms a benefit to your bottom line.

Call or text us today (360) 450-3711 or fill out this form.

Hope this post helped you!

Written by Shawn Hooghkirk on April 16, 2019

Last updated on May 04, 2020. Shawn is the President of Graticle, Inc.

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Huge Shout-Out to Graticle Design for their amazing work on our agency’s Run the Path logo design for this year. Shawn Hooghkirk was easy to work with, super efficient and paid great attention to detail. If anyone needs any graphic design or website design he is the guy to go to!

Graticle Design is such a great company to work with! We are a nonprofit mental health agency and we use Graticle whenever we can! They always manage to make my visions come to life and somehow they do it on the first try! We will continue using them as long as we have projects to give them! I highly recommend Graticle!

Marissa Carpentier

Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator

Columbia Wellness

ColumbiaWell.org

Longview, Washington

As a Marketing Consultant, my business depends on reliable freelancers that I can call on when needed. Having Shawn as my lead designer and developer for all of my client work allows me to deliver amazing work every time!

I have him do all the design for my own needs, even though I have numerous other designers I work with as I love his style and “can-do” attitude.

All of my clients love working with him after my projects are done, too.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a designer that has his skills and his responsiveness, which make him a big value to any team!

Joshua Long

Joshua Long Consulting

www.JoshuaLong.co

Fresno, CA