Local SEO Guide for Bail Bonds Companies: 5 Easy Steps to Boost Your Google Rankings

/Local SEO Guide for Bail Bonds Companies: 5 Easy Steps to Boost Your Google Rankings
Local SEO Guide for Bail Bonds Companies: 5 Easy Steps to Boost Your Google Rankings 2017-11-12T10:13:37+00:00

Bail bonds companies face an interesting challenge when trying to draw in new customers. After all, bail bonds aren’t something that the average person needs or thinks much about until someone they love is arrested. When that happens, most people run a quick Google search and go with the first or second company on the list. To bring in new customers, then, you need to find your way to the top of the rankings.

We will walk you step by step through our proven process to get to that vital top spot. First, though, let’s go through why local SEO is so important for bail bonds companies.

3 Reasons Bail Bonds Companies Should Invest in Local SEO

  1. Bye-Bye Yellow Pages, Hello Google:

    Not too long ago, bail bonds companies could do quite well by simply placing an ad in the Yellow Pages and waiting for calls. Now, however, fully 97% of people search for local businesses online, and Google is the undisputed top of the heap.

  2. Free Traffic:

    Although this is not as true as it used to be, advertising remains one of the top expenses for many small businesses. If you boost your Google rankings, you get a constant flow of free traffic that you can convert into paying customers.

  3. Zippy Results:

    For national and international companies, it can take 6 to 12 months to see much movement in rankings after launching a new SEO campaign. Luckily, though, bail bonds companies have a tremendous advantage. You are competing only against other bail bonds companies nearby, not across the country. And many of your competitors are not using local SEO. That means that with a bit of effort, you could reach the first page of Google local results in as little as 30 days!

Step 1: List Your Keywords

The first step is simply to list possible keywords that match your services. For example, you might try “bail bond agent”, “bondsman”, “bail bonds service”, and “bail bond company”. When you have a fairly extensive list, sign up for a free Google AdWords account.

There is no reason to build or fund an ad campaign at this point, but you need the AdWords account to access the free Google Keyword Planner tool. This allows you to type in your keywords to learn how much traffic they drive. The tool also suggests related keywords that may not have occurred to you.

Now you can finalize your keyword list. All keywords can be loosely organized into 2 categories:

  • Buying Intent: A prospect searching for buying intent keywords is in imminent need of your services. For example, a search for “bail bond agent Manhattan” suggests that the person knows someone who needs bail and is trying to help.

    Buying intent keywords drive the quickest results, so make them your priority. Feature them on your homepage and create service pages based on them.

  • Research Intent: Research intent keywords signal that a prospect is seeking more information. He might need your services at some point, but not right now. For example, someone searching for “how do bail bonds work” may be writing a paper or satisfying idle curiosity.

    Drop these keywords to a lower priority, as they do not drive fast conversions. Hang onto them, though, because they are great for FAQs and blog posts. These helpful posts serve as your introduction to prospects who might remember you if they need a bail bond.

Step 2: Optimize Your Keywords

Now that your keyword list is complete, it is time to optimize in 2 places—your Google My Business page and your website. Here’s how:

Google My Business

Your Google My Business page can be visualized as a mini-website on the “Maps” section of Google. It offers prospects a snapshot of your company and boosts your overall online presence. It can also give you a quick ranking upgrade, because it is far easier for a Google My Business page to rank highly than a website.

To optimize your Google My Business page, fill out all of these elements completely and accurately:

  • Verification: The first step is to claim your page and put it through the Google verification process. You will know this is done when a checkmark and the word “Verified” appear next to your business name.
  • NAP: Your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) must be both accurate and consistent across all of your web listings. Use a local phone number to let Google know that yours is a local business.
  • Categories: Google categories must be service-oriented. In addition to Bail Bonds Service, you can include any other services that you provide. Listing 3 to 5 categories is ideal, but not required.
  • Description: The description is a short introduction to your company that closes with a call to action. Keep it between 100 and 200 words, and format it similarly to: {Name of Company} offers {bail bonds, or similar} in {Your City}. {Give a bit of information about your company and/or why your customers choose you.} Call {Phone Number} today for a free {keychain or other promotional item}.
  • Hours: Double-check that your hours of operation are accurate, and are identical to the rest of your internet listings.
  • Images: Images are key to driving new business, but bail bonds companies must be careful not to violate customers’ privacy. Try adding a few photos of your staff or your office. Your images must be in focus, sized between 10KB and 5MB, and have a minimum resolution of 720px x 720px. We also recommend replacing the generic Google My Business background image with a branded image.

Website Optimization

Your first priority is to optimize your “core” pages (homepage and service pages) for your buying intent keywords. Then you can optimize your “content” pages (FAQs and blog posts) for your research intent keywords. Here’s what to do:

  • Homepage: The title tag plays a similar role to a chapter title in a book, and is the most essential element of your homepage. Make sure it is between 50 and 65 characters long and formatted something like this: Bail Bonds in {Your City} | {Name of Your Business}.

    Next is your meta description, a 100 to 150-character overview of your core services that ends with a call to action. Try this format: {Name of Company} offers quality {bail bonds, or similar} in {Your City}. Call {Phone Number} today for a free {free promotional item}!

    The visible headline, often referred to as the H1, must be descriptive but concise, and contain your primary category. This format works well: {Bail Bonds Service} in {City, State}.

    The last element is your page copy. At 500 to 1000 words long, it should be clear, descriptive, and well-edited. Provide a brief description of your company, list your core services, and close with a strong call to action. Feature your primary keyword as it naturally fits.

  • Service Pages: Create an individual service page for each main service. Optimize it as you did the homepage, substituting in the relevant keyword.

Step 3: Develop Citations and Links

With your SEO campaign’s skeleton in place, you can move on to citations and links. Both improve your reach and boost your Google rankings.

  • Citations: A citation is simply a listing of your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) in an online directory. You can choose general national directories such as Facebook and yellowpages.com, general local directories such as your Chamber of Commerce website, and targeted directories for bail or court-related services. Your NAP must be exactly the same in every listing.

    While many directories place free listings, some charge for listings. Before spending money, head over to Google Analytics. Never pay for a site that does not drive traffic and conversions.

  • Links: Reaching the top of the Google rankings requires inbound links from authoritative, credible websites. Focus on building strong relationships with companies whose services complement yours. Once a relationship is in place, ask to trade links. The Moz Open Site Explorer and similar tools will show you where your competitors’ links come from.

Step 4: Ask for Reviews

Customer reviews play two key roles in your campaign: they show prospects that they should give you a try, and they help convince Google that your business is legitimate. While all review sites are useful, the quickest rankings boost comes from Google My Business reviews. Send an email to your satisfied customers that contains a link to your Google My Business profile, and specifically ask them to write a review. If you make this a habit, you will soon have a steady stream of reviews.

Step 5: Track Your Results

You can only be certain that your local SEO campaign is working, and find areas that are not yet optimized, if you track your results. There are innumerable ways to track your data, but these 3 metrics are essential:

  • Rankings: Because Google customizes its displayed search results based on past browsing behavior, only a ranking tool can show your true rankings. The free Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is an excellent choice. Ask your webmaster to install it, and check your results at least once per month.

    If you want to dig deeper, consider upgrading to a paid rank tracking tool, such as the one offered by RankRanger.com. It can track both your Google My Business page and your webpages, and it automatically updates ranking data from all of your SEO campaigns.

  • Traffic: For tracking your traffic, or website visitors, it’s hard to beat Google Analytics. You can view your total traffic, the amount of traffic on each individual page, and how much of your total traffic comes through Google search. Monitor your report at least every 30 days, and keep an eye out for any long-term trends.

  • Conversions: A conversion is something specific you want your prospects to do, such as contacting you for a free item. Google Analytics lets you track both web and phone conversions, see which services drive the most conversions, and even learn which pages have the highest and lowest conversion rates.

Ready to Get Started?

Now you understand why a local SEO campaign is so important to expanding your customer list. Make your way through each step in order, and fully complete one step before beginning the next. Here is a recap of the 5 steps:

  1. Keyword research
  2. Keyword optimization
  3. Citations and Links
  4. Reviews
  5. Tracking

Want Help with SEO?

At Main Street ROI, we specialize in helping bail bonds companies attract more local customers through Google. If you’d like help with your SEO, contact us for a free quote.

Click here to request a Free SEO Quote

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