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Starting Service Business

Discussion in 'Local SEO' started by bookbuster, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. bookbuster

    bookbuster Newbie

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    I am so excited to read the information here. I will be reading this forum daily for a long time. As you can see I have been a BHW member for a long time but never really was able to do much with the information I find here. Now its different, because I am starting a new business, and of course I want to have a really great online presence in this very competitive market.

    I have so many questions, so i will just post a few and see what happens.

    1) I have a mailbox that is forwarding mail to me (this is a service business operating from home), I will be moving soon, so this mailbox has been used on all official documentation for the the business. This mailbox is in Los Angeles, but I want to focus all of my SEO on Pasadena, CA. Unfortunately, this mailbox is also nickel and dimeing me and I don't feel like I can rely on them longterm. I paid 6 months for the mailbox (stupid, and I'm only about 2 months in at the most). Should I cut my losses now and pay for a mailbox in Pasadena right now and before I make profiles on other websites ( I have made a google business page but haven't verified yet). It really sucks to pay for two mailboxes, and the Pasadena boxes are actually much more expensive than my LA mailbox (but the LA mailbox doesn't let you pick up mail for free, you have to forward all of it, and I didn't realize they charge you for envelopes and crap)

    2) I have a website with a good domain that I am working on. Should I enter this website in directories, or the google site? I was thinking if the google site was linked maybe google will put it up in the local results section. I don't know how you even get that, example would be "google epic pest" on the right-hand side you see a pest company from South Carolina, but the California company with the same name has their yelp result at the top. Stuff like this boggles my mind.

    Is it ever a good idea to list the google business page as your website, just to get google linked and maybe some google juice flowing??

    3) When it comes to reviews, Should I just focus on Google Reviews, Yelp, and Angie's List? Do any other sites even matter? I was thinking City Data might have some relevant review sections.

    4) What is Acxiom? Can it help in any way? Are there services that could help me? Or should I just read here and do it myself?

    5) If anybody wants to look at my website, just PM me. I know I need to optimize it for local, but I'm not sure how. I don't even think I have tags on it yet.
     
  2. Andrew Scherer

    Andrew Scherer Senior Member

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    Here is my advice, for what it's worth.

    1) Since you've already paid for the box in LA, you might as well get a G places page verified with it. After your contract expires, you'll still have an address you can play with in LA if you ever want to start pulling business from there. The address you eventually get in Pasadena can be set up as yet another location for you (2 locations are better than one especially for a service based business, that means more leads for you down the road).

    2) After your business address is verified with Google (wait for the verification process, this is important) then I would start with directories, citations, maybe a press release, and general website promotion.

    3) I know of about 30 sites that allow local reviews, but Google Places and Yelp seem to be among the most important. If someone wants to leave a review for your business, I would direct them to either of those 2 if you can help it.

    4) Acxiom is a local data aggregator and it is one of the first 10 or so sites you want to get verified with. Same thing with infogroup. If you're looking for a service for getting the main authority citations like these done for you, I have one here on BHW.

    5) You can add me on skype if you want or if you have any more questions: andrewdscherer - I'm happy to help.
     
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  3. sully1975

    sully1975 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Are you in pest control? Is that your service buiness?
    brightlocal.com/2014/10/09/top-citation-sites/
     
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  4. bookbuster

    bookbuster Newbie

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    Yes, it is a pest control business.

    Thank you for the replies in this thread.
     
  5. Canuck

    Canuck Junior Member

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    Pretty much agree with Andrew, seems like a good place to start.

    1) Yeah, you're gonna want a pasadena address quickly - it takes time to get a listing up and moving in the right direction with citations, reviews, etc - so the sooner you can do that, the better. But do what Andrew said and verify LA, get your moneys worth from it.

    2) It looks like the California company doesn't have a website - the domain on their Yelp listing is busted. Those 'local branded' results can be quirky. You'll see them show up in random places, but basically you want to be the core person associated with your brand. Have a site, verified G+ Local page - fully filled out, link to it from your site and vice-versa. Create twitter/FB/etc pages that all link to your site. Own your brand everywhere and link them together by a common thread (name + domain).

    Listing your G+ page as your domain won't really help much, no. It's better to send folks to your site.

    Building citations and getting reviews on your verified listings will help the likelihood of you being high up there.

    3) G+ & Yelp are the places to focus on for sure, as Andrew said. People trust those. For services, there might be some specific ones. Search for <service + city> for your city and others, see if there are directory sites that pop up. One bigger one up here in Canada is HomeStars - so reviews on there help because their pages seem to rank well for home services type stuff.

    4) Data aggregator. Most sites you want to be listed on grab their data from a common place, you can see what that looks like in the states here: http://moz.com/learn/local/local-search-data-us

    5) Feel free to PM me if you need some help, or drop some comments in the thread that's linked in my sig and someone from our team will help you out.

    Good luck!
     
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  6. sully1975

    sully1975 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    You might also want to try out Houzz and get a real listing. I believe they do pest control as a category. There is a book on kindle on how to get the most out of a free ad on there.
     
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  7. sully1975

    sully1975 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    [h=1]The Unofficial Guide to Houzz.com: Create a Profile That Resonates with Clients and Outranks Your Competition[/h]
     
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  8. sully1975

    sully1975 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Finally, Amazon.com is testing out kind of like there own version of Angie's List. But it is only in a very limited Number of Markets like LA. If they have pest control featured like they have electricians, plumbers, etc... you may want to look into it. They take a huge 20% of the first hit of whatever job, but if you can close this customer for other work off amazon, then you can make it work. If you are interested, I'll see what I can dig up. As I said before, it wasn't in my area, but Cali Los Angeles and parts and I was thinking of you.

    I wounder how juicy that link of being listed would be? Maybe right up there with Houzz?
     
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  9. bookbuster

    bookbuster Newbie

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    I really like Amazon, Thank you for alerting me about the Service program that they are starting. Pest Control was select-able from the drop-down menu, so I applied. They don't have pest control listed in some other places (like the place where liability insurance was listed) - so they may not be using this category from launch, but they obviously will some day, so hopefully I am among the first on there.
     
  10. sully1975

    sully1975 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    No problem, I am glad I could be of some help. I am rather new to this whole BHW seo kind of stuff. I have a family electrical and mechanical (HVAC) business in Jersey right opposite Philadelphia. I am always spying on stuff for service contractors and saw Amazon was rolling out this kind of deal in very limited areas like Metro NYC and Metro LA.

    You may also want to join some forums that are specific to your trade as well as general like contractor talk.
     
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  11. b1step-ahead

    b1step-ahead Senior Member

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    don't forget craigslist
     
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  12. valesence

    valesence Newbie

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    Only a couple small problems with the mailbox concept. Pest control services are regulated by the statepestcontrol board and addresses advertised on promotional material must be active and registered with the california state pest control board. Cost more but its best to get an actual pysical location.
     
  13. LoftPower

    LoftPower Elite Member

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    SEO optimize locally can be done a number of ways. I would suggest that you do craigslist, as well as facebook. And you can also do other SEO methods that are not online, such as advertising in the paper for your site or bumper stickers, stickers, tshirts, etc.