SEO for contractors might sound like a fad or something too complex to learn, but SEO offers a great opportunity to win more business. As a business owner, it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends, much less what’s going on in the online world. Because the internet holds so many lead generation options for contractors, it’s important to take some time to explore these opportunities.The Yellow Pages are shrinking, literally. Newspapers aren’t being bought as much as they used to be. And people are spending more and more time communicating on social media networks. It’s a changing world. That’s why your marketing game has to change with the times as well.One of the biggest opportunities online is with SEO (search engine optimization). It means getting free traffic to your website anytime someone looks for the information you provide. When you need an electrician you go to Google and search for something like “local electrician.” The goal of SEO is to be the first result that comes back and getting the attention of that user to click over to your website. There’s so much to SEO, but this guide should give you a starting point to get there.
Before you can master SEO, you’ll need a website for the search engines to send you visitors. You can create your own website with a solution such as Squarespace or hire a web development firm to do all of the work for you. There are a lot of advantages to hiring someone else to manage the process for you. But with the improvements in DIY website services, this can be a great place to start.Your website really needs to represent you well. The best way to accomplish this is to think of your website like a digital catalog or brochure. You want people to FEEL your story and KNOW that you are their best choice. Having a professional online image that shares your company’s story and efforts will always win in the end.
Many website owners get frustrated with Google, but all Google wants is to provide the searcher with the best search results in the most natural manner possible. Usually an upset webmaster is mad because they tried to take a shortcut and fool Google in hopes of a higher ranking. It seems like everyone has the latest “trick” you can use to get a great ranking. But they’re usually a bad idea, and the results are short-lived. Google will always find out in the end.So in order to win the battle against the search algorithms, just create a website, an online asset, that produces tremendous value to your target audience. Make sure that it answers the questions that they are looking to answer. And offer it the way they that they need the information. More than half of web searches are done on a mobile device, so make sure your website is ready for mobile users.
To the point above, when it comes to SEO there are aren’t truly any shortcuts. You have to put in the work, but it does pay off in the long run. With the ability to easily target your specific audience and what they’re searching for, the result can be a strong source of traffic that is looking for your services.When it comes to the things that will help you rank it boils down to quality content that’s regularly updated, links from trusted websites within the industry, relevance, and social interaction. For a more comprehensive overview of ranking factors, this SEO checklist from ClickMinded and this comprehensive list of Google’s Ranking Factors provided by Backlinko are must reads for getting to the next level of SEO mastery. To start, here are a few of the most important factors:
Because search engines only respond to users’ question, you’ll need to know what your audience is searching for. This can be done by using keyword research tools such as the ones available over at Moz (a suite of SEO tools used by the biggest marketing agencies). You can also use predictive search and Google Trends to accomplish this, but only to a certain extent. For example, if you go to Google and start typing “Remodeling” into the search box, Google will give you some ideas using it’s predictive search feature. But as you can see, this returns only a small list of big ideas related to remodeling. As a research method, this doesn’t tell you how many people are searching for this topic, which is important.
Once you have a good idea of what people are looking for that a contractor could help with, start mapping out a strategy of how to accomplish this. Is it a new services page that you need to add or is it an informative blog post you could put on the blog? Maybe it’s an entire blog post series. By being there for your customers when they’re searching, you’ll be top of mind if they choose to hire a professional now or in the future.
Regular updates to your website signal to search engines that you are working to help their search users. This is actually why companies have embraced the art of blogging. It allows them to maintain a consistent presence while ranking their posts for terms the website may not have already hit on. In turn this leads to more people being reached and a higher amount of traffic to your website.One big mistake people make is thinking that a ton of short blog posts will do the trick. Unfortunately, it won’t. You need to hold each page or blog post to high standards. Make sure to provide a good amount of detail in every piece of content. As far as how often you should post, sometimes a post a week will work or you might find that 2-3 times per week will produce or exceed the desired results.Keep in mind that consistency is the key here. This proves to search engines that your information is relevant and isn’t outdated. One tactic commonly overlooked is to rework older pieces of content. by adding, removing, or modifying it to the point it still serves its original purpose while containing the most up-to-date information possible.
While working on up-to-date, relevant content, don't overlook the technical side of SEO. Relevant page titles, informative descriptions, SEO friendly URLs, keyword tags, and links from related websites are the basics of SEO. If you need to brush up on any of these terms Moz offers a great guide to SEO basics.What it takes to win at SEO is always changing, so you’ll want to stay up-to-date with the latest insights from experts. Here are a few of our favorite resources to stay current:
There are other ways to advertise online, but when you want a source of traffic for months or years to come, SEO is the only way to go. From allowing you to rank for trending topics to ranking for service-related terms, the amount of exposure available is nearly endless.