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SEO for Contractors – Tips, Tricks & More

Are you a contractor looking to use SEO to get an advantage over your competitors? Or are you someone who’s already hired a company or a freelancer to handle SEO but you aren’t sure they’re doing a good job?

Well, this article aims at being the best source for SEO for contractors. We’ll go through the steps you have to take to improve your online visibility, how much SEO for contractors costs, and more tips and tricks. Read on to learn more! 

Why is SEO for contractors important?

No matter the type of business you are in, if you provide services in a certain region, your customers should be able to find out about you online.

The vast majority of potential clients nowadays look up businesses before deciding to purchase anything from them, whether products or services. Moreover, they even look for reviews just to make sure they’re spending their money wisely.

seo for contractors

SEO and digital marketing are essential nowadays for almost any kind of company, whether you are a contractor not. 

One thing we would like to note is that most of the techniques that have to be applied are universal, so they work for patio contractors, HVAC contractors, and any other kind. 

PPC vs SEO for contractors

You might have heard the term ‘PPC’ if you’ve already looked into means of marketing your business. The essential difference between these two advertising methods is that SEO is ‘free’ whereas PPC is paid. 

Doing SEO is hard and you probably have to pay someone to give you at least a number of directions or tips on what you should do, on and off-site wise. 

You can also get an SEO course and teach yourself SEO in your spare time, in which case you’d just pay for the learning resources. There are lots of free resources out there, too, if you’re on a tight budget. 

But if you want someone to implement the SEO for you, you have to pay them. The biggest advantage to using SEO rather than PPC is that it lasts. 

Once someone has changed your website architecture, solved your technical SEO issues, and explained what you have to do for the future to prevent making mistakes, you’re on the right path. 

On the other hand, if you have no problem paying for ads, you can use Google or any social media network to put together several, giving you an advantage over your competitors using this method. 

The downside to PPC is that it doesn’t last. When your budget runs out, your ads will disappear, so your site is not going to be the first one people come across when they search for ‘HVAC contractor near me’ or some other search term. 

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While it is true that SEO is complicated and can take a long time to give you results (especially if your site is brand new or if it has a lot of technical issues to solve), it’s long-lasting. 

The SEO techniques that you use are also worth mulling over as Google has a strict set of rules. If you go against them, your site might get penalized, and the process of getting your website back on the search engines can be very long and tedious. That doesn’t mean that you can’t slightly bend the rules, if you want. 

Best SEO for small contractors 

On-page

On-page SEO refers to the things that you can do to improve your SEO and that you have complete control over. 

While you can’t always control the type and number of backlinks that you acquire (which would be off-page SEO), you can optimize your site so that it’s error-free SEO-wise. 

Here are some things that you can do to improve your on-page SEO. 

SEO keywords for contractors

Keywords are the search terms that regular people (including your potential customers) use to find the services they need. 

If you use keywords on your posts and pages, you have a chance of being found by someone who might hire you. If you don’t, well… you might never be found by anyone. 

But there’s a plan that you should have in place to make sure that you’re using the right keywords and also to ensure that you don’t go against any search engine’s rules. Keyword stuffing is a no-go, for example, so you should avoid overusing search terms in your content. 

Here’s an example of a checklist you should consider before starting to create content. 

Research

There are many tools that you can use for the purpose, but two of our favorites would have to be Ahrefs and SEMRush. If you use any of these two, you’d be able to set your location, too. 

For example, if your business is located in Canada, you’d be interested to know what people are searching for in Canada, not the United States. This matters a lot. Naturally, some keywords are location-based anyway (such as ‘patio repairs Calgary’), but general keywords also work in establishing you as an expert in what you do. 

High-volume keywords that have as low a competition as possible can provide you with the right results. 

User intent

Try to think of how you’d phrase your search terms if you would be the one looking for your services. If you’ve been in business for a while, you can even look at what problems your customers have encountered in the past six months or so and search for keywords that aim at fixing them. 

In the end, there’s always the option of you asking a customer that you might have acquired online what they looked for and how they came across your services. 

Research the right keyword placement

While you should definitely avoid overdoing it with keywords, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a decent number of them in your pages or posts. Use your keywords as naturally as possible, but do keep in mind that you should add them to certain places throughout your content. 

For example, your main keyword should be located in at least one of your headings, in the first one or two paragraphs of any blog post, and somewhere in the content, too. 

Regularly update your content to target new search terms

Google likes updated websites, and so do any other search engines, for that matter. Fresh, meaningful, and above all, useful content can make all the difference and can also convert your site visitors so that they at least want to find out more about what you do. 

While some pages are static (such as your About page), it definitely wouldn’t hurt for you to create a blog where you can showcase your work. 

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If you’ve recently done a remodeling or helped someone with an interesting problem, you might as well create an article about it, packed with lots of images and even a video of your approach. 

There’s no right and wrong when it comes to the frequency of your posts, but you should at least try to update your blog with fresh content at least 3-4 times a month. 

Place keywords everywhere

We’ve already mentioned that there are certain locations where keywords have to be placed, but you should also have them in your URLs, page titles, and alt attributes (image tags). 

Site architecture and content analysis

Make sure that everything is correct technical SEO wise (you might need someone’s help with this). Look at your content and see whether you have enough images in it.

While there are ways of manipulating your click-through rate, since this is not something that Google really approves of, you might want to steer clear of such practices, at least when you are starting out. 

Look at your bounce rate, get a heatmap generator (like Clicky) and see what people are actually doing on your site. What parts of your blog posts are they most interacting with? Chances are that you’ll notice that they click on images and videos rather than reading the whole article — but your text also matters as it contains keywords. 

Is your site mobile-friendly or not? Did you know that more than half of all searches are now performed using mobile devices? 

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If your site takes more than 3-4 seconds to load or if its theme isn’t mobile-friendly, people are going to go back to the search page and click on another search result → which will lead to a low bounce rate, by the way, so your rankings are going to be affected. 

Is your site certified as HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure)? If it’s not, have a talk with your SEO manager. 

Updates

As we have already mentioned, anything from page titles, meta description, your image alt text, and your content matters. 

Unfortunately, if you’ve already built hundreds of pages on your site, you will have to analyze each and make sure that they contain your main keyword and that they’re optimized for humans, too, not just machines. 

URL structure

Your URLs should be as clean as possible. If you create an article about a bathroom remodelling, that’s what your slug should be, something like this: ‘https://contractorsite.com/bathroom-remodelling’. 

URLs can also look bad. They could contain numbers or years in them (by the way, just to give Google the impression that your content is still going to be available in the future, avoid using years in your URLs). 

They can also be created automatically by your content management system in a flawed manner. You can set your URL structure in any WordPress site. 

Unique content

Google doesn’t like duplicate content, so if you think that you can just copy and paste some of your competitors’ content onto your website and achieve something with this, you’re in the wrong. 

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When creating your posts, try to make them more informative than those of your competitors. Unique and relevant content makes all the difference and while the length of the articles doesn’t matter that much, it definitely wouldn’t hurt if your posts would be longer than those of your competition. 

Heading structure

People used to believe that the way they should use headings would have to be like this: H1, H2, H3 and so on. But the truth is that any page’s title is the H1, so your first heading always has to be an H2. 

If you create bullets or other headings under it (and talk about things that relate to that specific topic) those are H3s. 

Using your headings correctly is very important and besides making it easy for your site visitors to read your content, they also give the search engines a clue that your articles are well-structured. 

Image alt text

Both the actual image name and the image alt text matter, and a lot. If your image doesn’t end up loading for one reason or another, the alt text will tell both users and the search engines what it’s about. 

Google has gotten a lot better at interpreting images these days, but image alt text should still be used. Also, adding your main keyword in the description definitely doesn’t hurt (and the image title, too). 

Meta titles and meta descriptions

Both of these should contain your main keyword, but you should also make them as catchy and attractive as possible. After all, they’re the first thing that people see when stumbling upon your page in any search engine! 

Your meta description should be short and sweet, but also describe what that specific post is about. 

Links

Internal linking

Do you offer several different kinds of services? Because if that’s the case, your ‘roofing’ articles shouldn’t be in the same category as your ‘plumbing’ ones.

Think of several different categories even before you start creating your first articles. Otherwise, you’re going to have a hard time re-organizing them later on. And if at all possible, make sure that your internal links are used properly — don’t link to a ‘roofing’ post from a ‘plumbing’ one and the other way around. 

Also, your homepage is the most important page you have on your site. So, if you want people to come across one of your most important posts and you also want Google to crawl it more often, you should include a link to it right on the homepage. 

Outbound links

Use external links sparingly, but if you have to link, do it only to highly relevant and authoritative websites. 

You can also link to other businesses in your area that you recommend — not necessarily in your field of activity. 

How safe is your site?

We’ve already mentioned HTTPS, but the truth is that SSL certificates are essential nowadays. 

The last thing you might want would be for your potential site visitors to be shown a page where Google notifies them that your website isn’t safe and that they’re risking their safety and privacy by continuing — the likelihood of people going back and checking out another website is very high. 

Off-page

Local business SEO for contractors

No matter the place where you do your business in the world, you should make sure that people are able to find your location. You can start by claiming and editing your Google My Business account. 

By the way, doing this also prevents your competitors from claiming your business, which can create a huge problem for you in the long run as it can be challenging to get it back. 

Optimize your content for local searches if you are based in an actual physical place and make sure that all of the listings of your business in online directories are correct — and contain your address, phone number, and contact. 

Backlinks

Link building is perhaps one of the most challenging SEO problems that most business owners, including contractors, have to face. These days, almost no one recommends a website out of the goodness of their heart — they all seem to be asking for compensation. 

Getting links from high-authority domains that are relevant to what you do is extremely important and can significantly influence your rankings. 

Links can be: 

  • Organic
  • As a result of an outreach campaign
  • Self-created (from forums, blog comments, PR, or directories)

Handling possible negative SEO campaigns

While your competitors can’t really affect what’s going on on your site, they can definitely create toxic links for you. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to never become the victim of a negative SEO campaign, but many people have.

For this reason, it is a good idea to take a look at your link profile every now and then. Links don’t usually influence your rankings that quickly, so checking your Google Search Console and the links you’ve acquired once a month is the right way of going about things. 

Customer reviews

Social signals are extremely important when it comes to your rankings, but they also matter in terms of acquiring customers. If someone has had a great experience with your services, you might as well ask them to leave a Google review or at least a rating on your Facebook page, right? 

Finding the right SEO service for contractors

Hiring the right SEO company for contractors can be a little difficult, especially if you don’t have any experience with working with someone that can handle your digital marketing campaign. 

There are two best practices. You can either pick an extremely seasoned SEO that’s going to understand your needs due to their experience or you can hire a company that actually does SEO only for contractors. 

In some cases, it’s best to avoid large SEO companies as they often don’t have the time to create customized campaigns — and you want someone to help you achieve your specific skills. 

If you’re in HVAC, try not to get the services of a company that does SEO for book authors.

How much do SEO companies for contractors charge?

An SEO campaign can cost anything from $800 to $2,000 a month and more, depending on a number of factors. Do you want the SEO to also get all the work done, change your URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, and everything else? If that’s the case, it’s going to cost you more. 

Most good freelance SEOs ask for at least $80/hour, so there’s also the option of someone auditing your site and giving you advice on what you are supposed to do on your own. 

Need help with your SEO or digital marketing efforts? We have lots of plans and courses available. Get in touch to find out how we can be of assistance!