As you may have heard, Google has been making some significant changes over the past couple of years concerning how they rank local businesses in their search results – this includes title companies! If you're still unsure what local SEO is, you've come to the right place!
We will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about local SEO, how it affects title companies, and provide you with some great resources and takeaways that will help get you started in your journey towards improved visibility with clients. Let's get into it!
As a quick reminder, Search Engine Optimization or SEO, is the practice of optimizing your website so that you appear higher in the search engine results which can attract more clients.
#1: How does local SEO differ from traditional SEO for title & escrow companies?
Local SEO is simply a subcategory of regular website optimization. If you're trying to improve where you show in Google's search results for targeted keywords (“title insurance Tampa, FL” as an example), local SEO may be a good fit for your business. But how is it different from traditional optimization?
With traditional SEO, you can optimize your site and content for any keyword—whether or not that keyword has anything to do with the physical location of your title company. However, with local SEO, you need to include both geo-targeted information and data on nearby businesses to rank well in local search results.
That said, local SEO isn't just a subset of traditional optimization. It also includes new best practices and keywords you may want to target.
#2: What are some best practices for improving local SEO for my title company?
Getting started with local SEO is like getting started with regular website optimization. Start by doing some keyword research to identify which keywords are driving traffic to your competitors, and then work on optimizing your site for those terms.
But there are also a few key differences, including how you optimize your address information and what sort of content you publish. Below, we’ll walk through some additional strategies to improve your local SEO rankings.
One of your most valuable tools is a local directory, such as Yelp or HotFrog. These sites have business pages you can claim, which will also show up in search results and provide a way for people to find your title company’s information when they're searching online. Claiming your listing puts a great deal of additional information about your business out there, but it also allows you to verify ownership of that listing.
One of your best opportunities for local SEO is to make sure you have an address and phone number on your website – something we’ve seen lacking with many title company websites. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, make sure that people can find an address and phone number clearly when they come to your site. Then use your Google business profile to verify ownership of those details so that search engines can find them.
If you do have a website, make sure that it's mobile-friendly. If you don't have a title company website, consider creating one. Even though title insurance is very much a personal relationship business, a website can be an essential source of visitors and additional information about your title insurance company that search engines will use to rank you higher in local search results which can yield new clients. It can also help build your online reputation and generate some traffic from potential clients—traffic that doesn't require any special effort!
#3: What Types of Businesses Can Use Local SEO?
Local SEO is an excellent fit for businesses that have physical locations, like most title companies, where most of your business is generated from local real estate agents and lenders. With just a few tweaks to your existing website structure, you can boost your Google maps search results rankings so potential customers can find you online more quickly.
As you can see, local SEO is an excellent fit for title insurance professionals. It's also important to note that it's possible to use local SEO tactics outside of local search results.
That's because local SEO also helps you get more relevant results in non-local search engines. If a prospective client is searching for your business name on Google, or Bing, you want to appear at or near the top of those results so they can find you. With local SEO, it's much easier to do that.
#4: How Do Title Companies Use Local SEO to Get The Attention of Clients In Cities and Towns Outside Your Physical Location?
Local SEO is a way to build a strong local presence and compete for local customers. Whether your business is across town or across the country, you can get great results with location-focused keywords that map to your ideal customer.
Google understands (and supports) businesses that target online customers outside their physical location. In fact, they've mapped every block in some locations, so if your target market resides there, your business has a chance to rank well in local searches.
However, you'll always show higher on Google when potential clients search for your business near your area. The further away the prospect is from your location, the less likely you will appear on the first page. For title companies that are licensed in multiple states, this is especially important.
It's not impossible to rank in cities other than where you’re physically located. For example, you can make pages on your website for your target cities. However, you should know that local SEO is a tough battle. Everything being equal, the business closer to the person searching will often win.
To achieve local results, you'll want to start by targeting your top competitors. Check out their ranking in Google and see if they have a physical address specified. Once you know who they are, you can use location-specific keyword research tools like SEMrush to learn what people are searching for in that area.
Need Help Setting Up Local SEO for your Title Company?
Dalton Digital specializes in assisting title and escrow companies in being visible in local search results so that clients can find them. Contact us for a free strategy session if you are looking to attract more clients and grow your closing volume.