HOW YOU CAN USE LOCAL SEO TO PROMOTE YOUR TAXI OR CAB BUSINESS IN INDIA
If you’re a local taxi service, the benefits of local search engine optimisation (SEO) can be fantastic. In an increasingly digital world, it’s more likely customers will seek out nearby cab services via online searches – an estimated 7 to 10 billion Google searches occurred per day in 2018.
Nowadays, we’re glued to our gadgets. Whether we’ve had a long night out, need to get to a job interview or reach the nearest airport, most of us will look to our phones for help sourcing a cab service via mobile searches.
Local SEO capitalises on this, enabling you to strengthen your position in online local search results, increasing the dominance of your business locally. Better yet, it doesn’t cost you a penny – currently.
How do you get started? The Taxi Insurer is here to help. Protecting your business is at the heart of what we do, offering quality taxi fleet insurance and top-notch advice.
We’ve created the perfect taxi business owner’s guide to local SEO, so take a look and see how it could help you.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO works by producing search results based on proximity – when a customer looks for services online, the businesses which appear in the search results will be those closest to them, put simply.
It plays an even greater role in shaping mobile search results, as many mobile users enable their phone to access their location on a rolling basis.
Google states that 46% of searches are made with a ‘local intent’, for example, a person’s Saturday night search for ‘best taxis near me’. Most users don’t click past the first page of search results.
Using local SEO is a savvy move: it will boost your taxi service’s position in online search results, improving clickthrough rate (CTR) and increasing your chance of winning customers in the local area.
Because local SEO is location-centric, companies looking to benefit must make their physical address or location readily available online, accurately and consistently – this is the most important element of local SEO, as Google will use this as one way to evaluate your business’s online authority.
The stats on local SEO search
- 72% of consumers say online search is their first choice when seeking information on local businesses
- 97% of online search engine users searched for a local business online
- In 2019, there were 350 times more ‘near me’ or ‘local’ searches than there were 10 years ago
The role of the local pack and organic listings
If a searcher is seeking a ‘mini-cab service’ on a site such as Google, Google will note their location and show the searcher a ‘local pack’ of taxi services nearby, followed by organic results.
Your goal is to rank somewhere in the local pack, a list of roughly three businesses which sits above Google’s organic results.
Except for ads, it’s the first thing searchers tend to look at when performing an online search for a local service, and is primarily based on proximity.
Online citations play a core role in determining which businesses feature in the local pack. A citation is a listing of your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP).
Claiming your profile on online business directories, especially on Google My Business (GMB), helps boost your chance of ranking in the local pack, as your NAP will feature on these, communicating your taxi service’s physical location to Google.
You can also claim citations on Bing Places for Business, Yahoo Local, and more.
An accurate, up-to-date GMB profile, combined with quality website content and strong reviews, will likely lead to your site being linked to by other websites.
Google factors in citations, links and reviews, so a strong combination of these should translate into a rise in your organic results ranking, and, hopefully, in the local pack, too. This will boost your online presence and credibility and the customers should start rolling in.
What does local SEO involve?
Your first step should be to create your GMB profile or, if one already exists, claim it. A GMB profile is a key ranking factor for local searches. GMB feeds data to Google Maps and the local pack, helping you rise through online search ranks.
How do you optimize your GMB account?
If you don’t already have one, sign into your Google account (or create one of these, too) and create your GMB profile.
Make sure all the information on your profile is consistently accurate and up to date, including details such as:
- Your address
- Your business hours
- Your business category
- The services you offer
Try to provide as much information as possible, as this affects your ranking – the more location-based data Google has, the better. A shocking 56% of local businesses don’t claim their GMB account, so put yourself ahead of the crowd!
You should also include plenty of photos and videos. Images of your taxi service’s physical location, the cab fleet and members of your team help make an impression on potential customers.
Reviews and questions
The reviews section of your GMB account is where you should aim to respond to customer feedback. Reviews are another key ranking factor, so it’s essential you reply to all reviews – even the negative ones. This demonstrates consistent customer service to potential customers and boosts your local SEO.
In addition to this, you have a Q&A area, where customers can ask you questions related to your taxi service. You can stay ahead of the curve by adding frequently asked questions.
Answering queries such as these online saves you time, keeping your phone lines clear and enabling your customer base to find quick answers to questions they may have.
You can also make posts on your GMB account. Posts are a fantastic means of engaging with present and potential customers, keeping them in the loop regarding special offers, service changes, seasonal updates and relevant news.
Another major perk of GMB is the ability to monitor customer engagement. Reading through insights from your profile will help you understand how customers interact with your business.
You can learn how customers sourced your profile, what search terms they used and which elements of your profile they were drawn to the most.
Build your citations
Alongside claiming your online profiles on the main platforms, don’t overlook reputable local review sites – these often rank highly in organic results. Look for sites relevant to your mini-cab service.
Set up accounts on any social media channels appropriate to your industry – this will help increase exposure to customers and boost your search ranking. Make sure your NAP is accurate on each of these profiles, too.
Localising your website
Ensuring your NAP details are accurately replicated throughout your website is a vital part of a successful local SEO strategy.
Here are some other top optimization tips:
Create a contact page
Make sure you show your NAP prominently, as well as your email address. Ensure you include all additional business addresses.
Include your NAP in footers sitewide
Local SEO is heavily based on proximity, so replicating your address wherever possible on your site is a clever move.
Include a map
Featuring a Google Map of your location will boost your ranking in local search results, as many people search for businesses via Google Maps.
Provide clickable phone numbers on your mobile site
This enables customers using mobile search to contact you with ease.
Add a testimonials page
According to Local SEO Guide, Google interprets testimonials as a “trust signal” – especially if they’re unpaid testimonials. Testimonials help build the credibility of your business.
Research local keywords
Optimising your website means optimising your content, so local keyword research is a must.
Knowing which search terms potential customers use to find you helps you to tweak your content, increasing the chance of your site appearing in popular online searches.
You can use tools such as Moz Keyword Explorer, which allows you to see the metrics behind any keyword you wish to search. You’ll be able to see:
- Clickthrough rate (CTR)
- Monthly volume of searches
- Priority – the level of importance attached to ranking for that specific search term
Use Google Search Console to observe which keywords bring in traffic to your website. You can also monitor elements such as CTR. Tools such as these help you understand what does and doesn’t attract customers.
Ensure you place keywords close to the beginning of copy forming content on your site. For example, if your taxi service is based in Cardiff, a search such as: “reliable cab service near Cardiff” may be highly ranked.
In response to this, you can boost your local SEO by placing this phrase at the start of a piece of content on your site, something like this:
Looking for a reliable cab service near Cardiff? Speedy Taxis are the best pick in town.
The better your online content is, the more likely it is that other websites will naturally link to it. Links boost your position in organic listings, which in turn will help boost your business and a wider audience.
For example, if you develop a dependable website promoting your local taxi service, the council or local hotels may link to it on their own websites, boosting your ranking in Google’s organic listings. This may lead to more companies seeing them citing your company’s website.
How can it help your taxi business?
As illustrated by this guide, in the digital age, local SEO is a sure-fire way of strengthening your taxi service’s local presence.
While fundamentals such as reliable taxi fleet insurance should never be forgotten, a stronger local presence, both on and offline, means more customers.
Local SEO benefits
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons local SEO will boost your business:
It’s budget friendly
If you’re looking to start a taxi service business, it’s likely you’re working with a tight budget.
As it stands, local SEO services on sites such as Google won’t cost a thing – they’re essentially free advertising for your cab company.
Rather than bear the expense of paying for print or radio ads, you can sit back and wait for people to carry out inevitable online searches such as Late night mini-cabs near me.
If you follow the tenets of local SEO, your website should pop up in the local pack, or at least rank highly on the first page of organic Google results.
The potential customer is then likely to click through, and, if your website has clickable numbers, call you directly – sale!
Even if your taxi service is well-established, local SEO could significantly boost your profits.
Builds your reputation
While it’s vital you cover the basics such as taxi fleet insurance, another way to protect your company’s future is by building a solid reputation locally.
Tools such as your GMB profile and website allow customers to write reviews and offer feedback. If you deliver great customer service, this provides you with an easy means to build your local reputation.
Potential customers are more likely to click through and book a mini-cab, as they’ll feel a greater sense of security and trust in your brand.
Helps build business relationships
The online community is a great place to foster links between you and other local businesses. Developing relationships with local hotels, restaurants and pubs will open up a whole new customer base for your mini-cab service, as they may link to your website or provide a citation for your business online.
In turn, you may wish to provide links to these businesses on your own website. Local SEO helps secure the future of local businesses and encourages co-operative teamwork.
Local SEO disadvantages
A greater online presence means greater exposure, so, of course, there are some drawbacks to local SEO.
If you have a dissatisfied customer, they can easily post a review on any number of your online profiles. Other people will see such reviews, potentially developing a negative image of your business – this is why it’s essential to handle negative reviews in a timely and polite manner.
You should also ensure you’re covered by trustworthy taxi fleet insurance, in case of vandalism or targeted theft.
If you’re not tech-savvy, local SEO could feel overwhelming. Other taxi services may have staff with more technological prowess, so you may have to incur the added cost of hiring in help, or risk losing business to rival local cab companies.
Whether you’re looking to start a cab service or you already own a taxi fleet, protecting your business is vital. Online SEO is a brilliant way to improve business prospects, but you should never overlook reliable taxi fleet insurance.
While the future is undoubtedly digital, it’s impossible to predict road traffic accidents, driver injuries or vehicle damage.