If you work in childcare, you know how important it is for parents that they find the best place for their children. Whether it’s a place to keep them while the parents work or a chance for the kids to socialize, daycare centers and childcare services are popular among parents from all income brackets, and they’re a local business that will always be in demand.
Of course, it seems like there is a growing market for daycare facilities these days. More and more people are branching out on their own or opening up franchises of various operations so that they can enjoy the fulfilling career of taking care of children, helping them learn and grow, and so forth.
While you’ve got your hands full with kids and activities and parents with 200 questions, who’s taking care of your marketing strategy? Do you have a marketing strategy? If not, it’s time to get on board and the best place to start is with local SEO.
As the name states, local SEO is all about optimizing your content for local search. Google has gotten quite intelligent over the years and it will take more than tacking a keyword onto “daycare center” to get your business ranked. Just as you would with your other SEO efforts, you’ll need to research to find out which keywords you should be using.
Of course, local SEO is about more than keywords. It’s also about building a strong reputation as an authority within your industry and a trusted resource according to Google. After all, you can’t very well get good rankings if the search engines don’t think you’re worth it.
The first thing that you should do, if you haven’t already, is to obtain and complete your Google Business Profile. This profile will give you plenty of room to tell people about your childcare center or daycare facility, list your contact information and hours, and even link to your website. You can use titles and tags to add keywords to content, and more. Make sure that you fill out this profile completely and correctly.
You can do a lot with local optimization but if you don’t take care of this step, none of it will matter as much.
You can’t just make up keywords and use them. There are tools out there to help you plan and research all kinds of local keywords related to your business. Your city or town, as well as your state, county, or even a neighborhood could all be part of the keywords that you find. You can use the same sites that you’d use to find other keywords for your website, too, making it easy to use what you know.
Make sure that you consider unique and long-tail keywords that might not be getting as much attention. If you can capitalize on these less-frequently used terms, you might end up creating a better local search campaign.
The Internet offers several different types of directories and forums where your daycare business can get listed, no matter what type of childcare you offer or where exactly you’re located. Take the time to find reputable local business directories, as well as childcare-related forums and directories. Parenting websites are another good choice, and you can’t go wrong with the leaders like YP.com, Yelp, and others.
The key here is to make sure that you’re getting listed with reputable sources—less credible mentions of your business actually hurt your reputation more than they help. Check out the directories and forums you’re going to use and ensure they are reputable and relevant to your daycare business.
Childcare and daycare facilities have a lot of options for local networking. Schools make sense for those that have after-school programs or even before-school childcare. Your center can make connections with all kinds of local businesses. Consider churches, schools, and other businesses where you may be able to build a network and drum up some new business. This is different than getting listed with directories—this is about building connections (and hopefully backlinks) with relevant businesses.
One big selling point for a lot of parents who are searching for a daycare provider is the rating of said provider. There are likely plenty of online reviews about your childcare or daycare business even if you haven’t been around that long. People like to leave reviews. If you’re lacking them, there’s no harm in asking people if they’d care to speak up on your behalf, provided that they have something good to say.
And as for those negative reviews—and you will have them—it’s less about trying to make them go away and more about addressing them head-on. People will see that you’re taking the time and effort to right wrongs and that shows huge professionalism and growth. It also gives others peace of mind that if issues do arise, you’ll be able to handle them without incident. Answer every negative review and rating and attempt to understand what went wrong so that it doesn’t happen in the future.
With the new local SEO efforts, you’ll also want to make sure that you have a 24/7 answering service ready and waiting so you never miss a single opportunity. A partnership with Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists will give you that along with a custom solution for lead intake, appointment scheduling, and so much more.
Plus, we’ll even help with your outreach campaigns and outbound sales if you’re still working on marketing and need a hand. And it all comes with a custom strategy to manage every detail so that you can guarantee that your communications and optimization efforts are handled.