When it comes to SEO for contractors, there are a few things you need to take into account if you want your website ranking #1 on Google and scooping up the lions share of traffic and leads.
The only problem is there’s a lot of BS and incomplete information out there on the internet.
In this blog post, we’re going to show you the four steps you need to follow to rank your contractor website #1 in your local market.
Let’s get into it:
Benefits Of SEO
You landed on this blog post because you already have some idea of the benefits of SEO, but I want to make sure we’re clear on the BIG benefits of having a website that ranks #1 on Google.
- Benefit #1: Free Traffic – SEO is one of the only online marketing techniques that costs almost nothing. Home Advisor charges you per lead while Google Adwords & Facebook charge you per click. The above strategies may work, but you constantly have to pour money into the pot to get customers back out.
- Benefit #2: Cut Out The Middleman – If you’re like your average contractor, you’re not head over heels with lead sites, but you just learn how to live with them. They can fill in some gaps during slow seasons and make sure your crews are always at least doing some work. When you successfully rip off the training wheels and build your own lead generation system, you can cut out the middleman and significantly cut your cost to acquire a customer.
- Benefit #3: Time Effective – Once your website is ranking #1 for your target search terms, it doesn’t need a whole lot of maintenance. Compared to paid ads where you constantly have to update them to stay fresh, SEO has always been the same for almost the last two decades.
- Benefit #4: Higher Quality Leads – One of my favorite benefits of leads generated through SEO is the quality of the leads. When someone takes the time to search up your service on Google, click on your site, and navigate to a CTA, it means they’re interested in using your service.
Ok, enough of that!
I can go on and on about the benefits, so let’s get into the how of SEO for contractors.
Four Actionable Steps To Ranking #1 In Your Market
Perform Keyword Research
In laymen, keywords are search terms people put into Google when they’re looking for a solution.
If you want to install a new deck in your backyard, you’ll type in “deck builders + city”
Depending on your industry, there are about 15-20 different keywords you’ll want to heavily target on your website to rank.
How do you find those keywords?
Here are two options:
To find the most valuable keyword to target, we calculate what we call the “golden number”.
This is simply the monthly search traffic x CPC (cost per click)
For example, let’s say “Deck Builders Houston” gets 500 searches per month and the CPC for this search term is $15.00, then the golden number is $7,500.
That ranking #1 for this keyword can be worth up to $7,500/month worth of leads to your company!
Take your keywords and list them out from the most valuable to least.
Optimize Your Website
Once you have your keywords, the next step is to optimize your website.
When it comes to ranking, Google likes lots of authoritative content.
Meaning content that:
- Teaches the reader about all the services you offer.
- What cities/towns you service.
- Why customers should choose you.
- What they should look for when hiring someone in your respective industry
- What they should expect, pricing, etc.
We like to fill up the homepage with about 1,500 words of content while sprinkling in the top keywords 3-5 times.
Note: Be sure to include your #1 Keyword & target city in what’s called an H1 tag. This will tell Google exactly what your site is about and what it should rank for.
Along with good content, you’ll want to add photos to your homepage as well.
Create Service Pages
Service pages are an underrated way to squeeze in some extra traffic and conversions from your site. Service pages allow your website to rank for long-tail keywords that your homepage doesn’t have the reach or authority to rank for.
Create City Pages
If service pages are a hidden gem for your SEO, then city pages might as well be the 8th wonder of the world.
City pages, or (location pages) is a page designed to rank for one specific location. These pages are important for service-area businesses and multi-location brick and mortar stores because they need a way to indicate that they serve multiple locations.
Get High-Quality Backlinks
A backlink is when another site links back to your site. In Google’s eyes, this is like someone else giving you the seal of approval or a thumbs up.
However, not all backlinks are created equally, which is why I say get high-quality backlinks.
We employ two strategies for local businesses:
- Backlink Jacking: No, you’re not literally taking your competitors backlinks away from them, although I’m sure a small evil part of us all would like to do that. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we’re just going to take a look at your competitors’ backlinks and see who’s linking to them. A local business chamber? Charities? Contractor associations? If you see a site that you think would also link back to your site because of locality, niche, etc, then reach out and earn a backlink.
- Guest Posts: Once we’ve exhausted every local backlink opportunity, the next method is to build backlinks through guest posting. This is where someone else allows you to share your expertise on their blog. Build a list of home improvement sites that accept guest posts and write about industry-related topics.
Optimize Your GMB
Often the forgotten step-child of SEO, Google My Business is the ultimate “hack” to quickly getting a lot of customers blowing up your phone lines.
Have you ever seen this section right here?
This place that you definitely want to be is called the “Google Map Pack”. As you see, only three businesses earn a spot in the map pack.
This is prime real estate since customers tend to trust whichever business is in this three-pack is trustworthy. Simply being there will send you a ton of calls and website traffic.
How do you get there?
The Top 5 Ranking Factors For The Google Map Pack:
- Website Ranking: The higher your website ranks, the more likely you are to rank higher on Google Maps.
- # Of Citations: A citation is any place on the internet that mentions your exact company name, phone number, and address (NAP). These are places like Facebook, Yelp, and YellowPages. Just like a backlink, citations are a thumbs up in Google’s eyes and show your business is trustworthy and credible.
- GMB Page Optimization: Don’t just let your GMB page collect dust! Add tons of photos, content, and posts to it just like you would for your website. We recommend at least 20 photos.
- Google Reviews: Many contractors are surprised by the fact that your # and quality of reviews isn’t the top ranking factor for the Google Map Pack. There is plenty of evidence that this isn’t true, starting with the picture above. However, reviews will help your ranking and more importantly draw the eyes of searchers away from competitors with worse or fewer reviews than you.
- 3rd Party Reviews: Reviews from sites like Facebook, HomeAdvisor, Yelp, and BBB play a small role in your rankings on GMB. Again, Google wants to see signals that you are a reputable company, and reviews from trusted sources are the best way to show this.
Complete Your GMB Profile
As we mentioned in step 3, we mentioned filling your Google My Business profile completely.
Here are some steps to do that.
- Verify Your Address: Before your profile is actually visible to the public, you have to verify with Google that you’re a real business. Their form of doing this is by sending a postcard to you with a verification code. Don’t serve customers at your actual address and want it hidden? No problem, you can still hide your address on your GMB and verify it just the same.
- Add Categories: You’ll want to add all of your services to your profile. For example, if you’re a carpet cleaner you may also do air duct cleaning, pressure washing, and upholstery cleaning. You’ll want to add all of these services to your profile so Google and customers know what you do.
- Hours: Of course, add correct business hours.
- Images: Just as we suggested before, add as many images as possible to your profile.
- Description: You’ll want to add about 200-250 words of content to your profile going over what services you offer, what cities you service, why customers should choose you, and lastly how they can get in contact with your business. Keep in mind, these steps are so customers AND Google can know what it is you do.
Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy for your marketing. If you need customers’ TODAY and are operating on a tight budget, then you may want to focus the majority of your efforts elsewhere. However, if you have the ability to prioritize your long-term strategy, then SEO is 100% the way to go.
Did you find this guide helpful?
Lucky for you, there’s a LOT more where that came from… In fact, we have an entire blog dedicated to SEO for local businesses just like yours. In fact, we have a full online guide for local SEO going over every topic in this blog post (and more) in-depth.
Here it is: The Ultimate Local SEO Guide
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