How to attract local customers with SEO for service-based businesses


Are you a service based business owner who wants to attract local customers? Well, SEO (search engine optimisation) is a smart way to do it. You may think that search engines are great at reaching a worldwide audience, and they are. But if you use the right SEO strategy and techniques, it can be really effective at targeting a specific local audience – the people that make up your target audience. Here’s how.

What is local SEO for service-based businesses?

Have you ever turned to a search engine to find a dentist, plumber or hairdresser near you? You want the search engine results page (SERP) to return links to websites of relevant service businesses in your local area rather than miles away. That’s why local SEO is so important for service-based businesses. It helps your website to rank higher in local search results and attract potential customers.

Unlike an e-commerce business which has the aim of driving people to purchase from its website, a local service based business aims to get customers to visit their store/ business or contact them to arrange an appointment.

We’ll go into the specific SEO efforts in more detail below, but essentially it’s important to optimise your service-based business website for the local market. For starters, you can incorporate local keywords and relevant, quality content on your web pages. Utilise local business directories and social media channels. All of these SEO efforts will alert the Google (or Bing) algorithm to direct people to click through to your website.

How important is SEO for local service companies?

SEO is one strand of your overall marketing strategy, but it’s a particularly valuable one. Unlike paid digital marketing strategies, such as pay-per-click (PPC), SEO doesn’t have an advertising cost. Your website traffic from SEO efforts is entirely organic.

Local SEO helps you to:

  • improve organic traffic and conversion rates on your website
  • support continuous, long-term business growth
  • make marketing strategies more cost effective
  • boost the visibility of your brand in a specific local area
  • build a loyal customer base
  • gain a competitive advantage over rival local businesses.

How can a service-based business improve its Google search ranking through SEO?

Follow our step by step guide to create an SEO strategy that will help you to reach potential customers, engage them with your brand and generate sales.

A few SEO tips from Margaux, our founder and SEO expert.

Do your keyword research – find the most relevant keywords that are achievable for your business. Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush are useful tools for this, or simply use a search engine to see the results for search queries that are relevant for your service.

Use keywords in your optimised content that include major services you provide, your service area, and general industry terms (such as “domestic plumber in Manchester,” “family legal advice in Milton Keynes,” or “women’s hairdresser in Guildford”).

Show your expertise – your service will solve a problem for someone. Create a blog or web pages that provide your useful information and knowledge for free. This is a great way to build trust with your target audience. When you show that you know what you’re talking about in your specialist field, people are more likely to trust you and pay for your services.

If you’re a personal trainer, you could create motivational tips and expert advice on fitness techniques. If you’re an interior designer, you could comment on design trends and ‘how to’ styling guides for example. Position yourself as an expert to build trust.

Create high quality content – engage your target audience with relevant content. Writing blogs and articles is a careful balance of pleasing your audience and the search engines. You need to write to inform, entertain and satisfy your readers, whilst also incorporating target keywords and metadata to comply with search algorithms. Low quality content that’s simply stuffed with keywords won’t engage people and it may also repel the search engine too.

Build a relationship with your reader – once you engage people with good content that they’re interested in, they start to invest in the relationship. Then you can encourage them to take the next step with you. Craft promotional calls to action to encourage them to take an action like signing up for emails or contacting you. This moves the user from a passive reader and into your marketing funnel.

Encourage positive reviews – make it a two-way relationship. You provide people with useful or inspirational content as well as providing a great service. In return, you can ask them to write a positive review on Google, local directories and/or social media. This is powerful stuff for service providers.

Help people find you – update your Google My Business details with your contact information including your business address and phone number and Google map location if it’s relevant.

Technical SEO – this could be an entire blog in itself. But it’s important to make sure your website is performing well. It’s advisable to conduct an SEO audit to identify where to improve your site’s performance and user experience.

Testimonial: RAW Hair Salons

We worked on local SEO with RAW hair salons in Kent to improve their website’s performance, search ranking and attract potential customers.

Firstly, we optimised their location webpages to boost local searches for phrases like “hair salon Beckenham.” Then, we created service pages to showcase the different services provided by RAW. We focussed on their most popular services, including hair extensions and Balayage.  We also optimised their Google Business profile, ensuring all their citations, phone numbers and addresses matched up.

We are a small business, trading for six years. Our website was very basic and we have never had any targets or marketing ideas to promote our business. MGX Digital helped us rank first position when potential clients are searching for our services in our local area. We also had 25% increase in website clicks. Our website looks so much better now. MGX helped us to promote our brand efficiently as we all know that the traditional marketing ideas are unsuccessful,” Madalina, Salon Manager.

Let us help you with Local SEO

Our local SEO services can really drive business growth, attracting a target audience in your area. Whichever local service you provide, we can help you to improve your local search rankings, reach local customers and drive your business onwards and upwards.

We’re here to help you stand out from the competition. Please get in touch to find out how we can work together.