Disclaimer: I'm not an SEO expert, I just develop things. I'm speaking with past experience growing and ranking local service businesses.
I've never understood the idea of businesses touting they pay "$$$" per month for SEO. From my experience your ranking moves up organically as your site becomes more set in your target industry and region. For instance, if the search rankings are wide open with not many competitors for specific keywords. You could come in with almost any domain and likely be on the first page result for targeted keywords in 6-10 months with the proper content marketing and website structure.
Here is how I'm planning to bake that in from the get go on Aloha Lawns. If you visit the site you can see the basic link structure starting to take shape. It is important to keep your URL end points keyword happy.
The URL structure for our services will allow the bot to see multiple keywords associated with our domain name ("aloha lawns lawn mowing", for example). The bot will pick up keywords in the URL as well as check our title and meta tags AND our page content for keywords. I'm sure you've clicked a result because you saw there was multiple keywords bolded on the results page for a specific search listing. However, a majority of our searches will likely be LOCATION keyword specific. So, this won't help us get in the front of potential customers for our service areas.
The title tags should also be unique for each of our pages. Something as simple as "Aloha Lawns | Lawn Mowing", "Aloha Lawns | Shrub Trimming", etc. will suffice. If you wanted to stuff in there a region, you could. ("Aloha Lawns | Hawaii Lawn Mowing | Lawn Mowing")
You get the point. Each of these pages will follow proper keyword and meta descriptions sprinkled with the target keywords for where we want to get ranked. It's important that you come up with unique meta descriptions for each page. Of course these service pages will have useful information about each service offering with proper copy and an action that the user can take to get their service booked.
Key things when building and ranking your site in no particular order:
- Sitemap, create and submit a sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools
- Ensure proper meta keywords and descriptions, unique descriptions are best
- Have as many keywords in your URL structure that makes the most logical sense
- Be sure to have some keywords throughout the content on your pages you want to get ranked
- List your business on Google Places/Bing Places and get verified
- Stuff your pages with Schema Local Business mark-up wherever you list your location address
- Be sure your pages title tags are unique
- Responsive and mobile friendly first
Once you have these things in order, you simply ping the search engines to crawl your site. And the waiting game begins. This really is a long term investment that pays off down the road, we're measuring in months, not weeks.