As a contractor, you know that local SEO is crucial for attracting new leads and growing your business. But what are the best ways to improve your rankings and conversions?
If you’re not familiar with SEO, it may seem overwhelming at first. Learning how to win on Google while keeping on top of your lead pipeline and running your day to day business is a lot to manage.
Thankfully, there are a handful of things you can do right away to start improving your online presence in your local market.
In this blog post, we’ll cover 9 essential tips to improve local SEO for contractors who want to attract the right clients on autopilot.
1. Keyword Strategy and Tracking
When it comes to local SEO, it’s important to focus on the right keywords. Not only do you need to find keywords that have good search volume, you also need to make sure that they are relevant to your business and match what the local market is searching for. Choosing the right keywords to target is the foundation of your SEO strategy.
To find the right keywords, you can use a variety of free tools, including Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, or Answer the Public. For example if you’re a general contractor based in Pittsburgh, type “general contractor Pittsburgh” into Answer the Public to see what related terms people are searching for, then input all those suggestions into Google Keyword planner to get an idea of how many people are searching for your keyword.
You’ll also want to track your keywords to see how they perform over time. Here’s an example of how we track keywords for a local HVAC company. You can see that the number of tracked keywords earning a top spot on the first page of Google increased dramatically over the span of six months.
Now this customer regularly gets 10-20 service calls a day with no other forms of paid marketing.
2. Online Directories
Directories are websites that have business listings in a specific industry or area. Think about Yellow Pages, but digital. Online directories are a great way to reach local customers who are looking for contractors. They can be great sources of leads for contractors as they increase the visibility of their local business online. Yelp and Angi are great examples of directories.
Listing software like Birdeye can help you manage your online listings to keep your information up to date across many online directories. You can create a business profile including your company’s contact information, hours of operation, and service description. It helps to add photos and videos to your profile to help customers get a better idea of what you do. This is a great way to stand out in local searches.
3. Google Business Profile
A well-optimized Google Business Profile can help your business show up in local search results, and even on Google Maps. Showing up on Google Maps is key to quickly letting people know you’re available in the area.
You’ll want to include your business name, address, and phone number, website URL, a business description, hours of operation, and photos. Having a complete and accurate profile will help potential customers find you easily online just like these Pittsburgh roofing contractors.
We’ve found that taking the time to fully complete your Google Business Profile can have a great impact on local SEO for contractors.
For example, with one of our first customers, we found that one month after optimizing their profile, they saw a 26% increase in website clicks and 55% increase in phone calls.
4. Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are essential if you want to improve the strength of your online presence and stand out as a local contractor or construction company. Reviews help new customers decide to work with you and prove you have a great track record. You can direct customers to leave reviews publicly on your Google Business Profile, further completing your profile and positioning you as a leader in your local market.
To get more reviews rolling in, make sure you provide clear instructions on where and how you’d like them to leave a review so you can gather them in a spot that shows you continue to work with happy customers. You can grab the review link directly from your Google Business Profile:
Once you start getting more reviews rolling in, you may run into the issue of a negative review on your profile. If this happens, we suggest an active approach to review management.
Once you’ve reviewed the comment, in addition to doing what you can to make things right with the customer, it’s helpful to post a visible response demonstrating your care and attention on the matter.
Here’s an example of a strategy we use for negative review management for our customers- acknowledging the concerns head-on, and taking the opportunity to clarify the experience if it’s not aligned with your service offering.
5. Website Experience
A well-designed website is key to a good SEO strategy. Not only does your site need to be keyword rich, but it also needs to provide a great user experience. Visitors who have a bad experience on your website (too slow, poorly written or unorganized content) are likely to leave and never come back. Google tracks this user behavior, which can hurt your SEO rankings, reducing your organic traffic and leads generated online. You should also test your site regularly on different devices to ensure that everyone is getting a consistent experience.
This screenshot shows part of a home page design we created for a roofing and renovation contractor. Notice the main heading of the site is straightforward and describes their services. The sub-heading clearly points to where they are located, and a simple contact form makes it easy for the visitor to know how to take the next step to reach them. The images are optimized for fast loading and provide a pleasing visual hint at what the visitor is looking to achieve: a shiny, brand new roof.
6. Create Content on Local Topics
Another way to rank higher in local search results is to focus on creating content that specifically highlights topics and keywords relevant to the area and people you want to target. For example, you could create content and post photos about local events or landmarks to demonstrate ties to the area.
If you want to see a good example of this, you can learn a lot from one of the leaders in local SEO strategy: Airbnb. For each region they target, they have a page dedicated to covering commonly searched topics related to that area. For example, this page covers everything you’d need to know about booking a stay in New York:
One way you could apply this technique to your contractor business is to create an FAQ page about your services, and focus on answering common questions local customers might ask in your area.
For example, if you’re a roofing contractor, what type of roof materials work best for the local climate? Or, how often should you treat your roof to prepare it for winter conditions in Pittsburgh? You could make a list of topics to address based on what you’ve heard from clients that match phrases you identified in your keyword research.
7. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is a critical part of any local SEO strategy. In order to improve your local rankings, you need to make sure that all of the content on your website is properly formatted and structured for search results. This means including the correct keywords and phrases in your website copy, titles, headings, and descriptions.
Here is a list of things you’ll want to address when optimizing your on-page SEO:
- Website title tags
- Meta descriptions on all key pages
- Image alt text
- Keyword rich body text on blogs and key pages
Optimizing your on-page SEO plays a big role in how well your site will rank on Google search results. For example, here’s a screenshot of the progress we made over three months working with an HVAC company. By taking the time to ensure their website included relevant keywords and had the right SEO strategy in place, they achieved a 62% increase in overall site visibility for their headquarters in Pittsburgh.
8. Build Links to Your Site
Link building is also critical to a successful SEO strategy. Links help to improve your site’s authority and trustworthiness (rankings) in the eyes of Google, which directs more organic traffic your way. There are a handful of ways to go about acquiring links.
Here are three tips to get you started:
- Publish high-quality, helpful content on your site that is worth linking to.
- Submit your site to local business directories and review sites.
- Exchange links with complementary websites. As a contractor, you could link to a real estate developer or architecture firm’s website.
9. Ensure You Have a Call to Action
In order to get the most out of your SEO efforts, you need to have a call to action on your website for lead generation.
A call to action is a button or link that tells the visitor what they should do next, such as calling you for a quote or filling out a form. Without a call to action, you’re leaving money on the table and won’t get all the benefits from your efforts.
For Gosu Sites, we have a call to action visible right on our Google Business Profile listing. This makes it easy for anyone to contact us as soon as they discover us on Google search:
It’s best practice to include a visible call to action wherever you interact with clients, so make sure you have one on your directory listings, your website, and business cards.
In Summary: How to Improve Local SEO for Contractors
Now that you understand the basics of local SEO for contractors, it’s time to put these tips into practice.
Remember, local SEO is all about creating a strong online presence in your area. This means optimizing your website and local directory listings with accurate business information, adding customer reviews, and publishing high-quality, keyword-rich content on your website.
Gosu Sites can help make this easy for you. We specialize in creating dominant digital presences that make contractors’ phones ring off the hook.
To find out more about how we can help you grow your business, give us a call at (412) 444-8219 or leave your contact information.
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