29 min read
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Updated: November 16, 2022

How Contractor SEO Can Grow Your Business

Contractor search engine optimization (SEO) is a form of digital marketing that helps contractors increase their website’s visibility in search engines (namely Google) to get more organic traffic, and, ultimately, profit.

It’s a multifaceted process that involves keyword optimization, content marketing, backlink profile building, and local SEO strategies to ensure your web content matches your target audience’s search intent.

Most internet users don’t even think about which search engine to use. They simply Google. The giant technology company maintains over 90% of the market share, and with good reason. Google has spent vast amounts creating a popular search engine that provides the best results, fast.

In the current digital age, all local businesses need to understand how search engines (specifically Google) collect and distribute information and how this affects online business client acquisition.

keyword research data

Search engine optimization for contractors is the bedrock of digital marketing for construction companies. You might consider it to be the art of working with a search engine’s algorithm to get your business’ website ranking as high as possible when users search for information relevant to your business.

Let’s look at how contractor SEO works and why it should be part of your online marketing strategy.

The Importance of Search Engine Optimization for Contractors

4 SEO components

Search engine optimization for contractors is about helping search engines understand and present your website content to internet users.

How does this work, and why does this matter?

Let’s say a user types in “How to fix a broken sink pipe?” in Google or Bing. These search engines use bots to crawl billions of pages on the web, going from site to site and collecting information about pages with that phrase or words (keywords) before indexing them.

Next, the search engine will analyze the pages in the index according to over 200 ranking factors to determine the order the pages should appear in the search results for the given query.

Think of this as walking into the most extensive library in the world and having hundreds of staff that are experts in their chosen field, all working in sync, to find the most relevant information within seconds

Of those 200 ranking factors Google uses, SEO plays a major part. It is how you get your website to rank higher than your competitors. The goal of search engines is to take digital content and organize this information into results pages that provide users with the information they’re seeking.

So, how exactly is this done? Well, there are four facets to SEO:

1. On-Page SEO

This is the practice of optimizing web pages to earn organic traffic and improve a website’s ranking in search engine results (SERPs) with relevant keywords. This includes optimizing HTML, internal links, and metadata, along with posting high-quality images and/or videos.

2. Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is a tactic to generate external backlinks and ratings to improve your site’s authority and credibility. While link building plays a big role in improving off-page SEO, good PR and social media marketing also form part of a robust contractor SEO strategy.

Get ahead of the game. Improve your website's organic traffic
Get ahead of the game. Improve your website’s organic traffic

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Get ahead of the game. Improve your website's organic traffic

3. Technical SEO

These SEO optimizations happen behind-the-scenes and have to do with improving the code on your website, so search engines can crawl and index your web pages more effectively. Things like site speed, structure, and URL canonicalization fall under technical SEO.

4. Local SEO

This SEO category helps your contractor company become more visible in local search results. It targets specific locations, so a business can rank in that area. The difference between local SEO for contractors and on-page SEO is intent. In practice, local SEO for general contractors is the act of enhancing your online contractor profile, so your business is found by users searching close by.

To have a holistic marketing ecosystem, an SEO strategy for construction companies must incorporate all four types of SEO to increase the chances of ranking high on search engine results. The better your website’s SEO, the higher you’ll rank, and the higher you rank, the more likely you are to receive a steady stream of traffic.

And the more steady traffic you get, the more likely you’ll maintain your position on search engine results or climb even higher. Why does this matter?

Well, 75% of people never scroll past the first page on a Google search. So, if you want to achieve good search engine marketing results, you simply can’t afford to rank on the second page.

What Are the Benefits of Search Engine Marketing for Contractors?

attract clients by creating interesting content

To stay competitive, contractor companies have to adjust their digital presence to be more visible, available, and valuable to their customers. These are some of the many benefits of SEO for contractors.

Lower Long-Term Costs

Smaller companies spend 1000 dollars

An SEO strategy for construction companies is cost-effective because it targets users who are actively seeking the services of a contracting company. Traffic derived from SEO is generally more qualified due to the tactic’s inbound nature.

While you may have to invest more capital upfront, you gain a higher return on your investment that’s far greater than any other marketing strategy tactic because search engine marketing works 24/7 without continuously having to invest more money.

To give you an example, small companies spend an average of $9000 to $10000 per month, paying an average of $1 to $2 per click, whereas smaller companies using local SEO could spend roughly $1,000 a month per project.

With SEO strategies, you get new clients organically, whereas if you invest in paid ads, you have to pay every time someone clicks on your advertisements. Contractor search engine optimization takes roughly 6-12 months to work, but the results are long-lasting.

Your website could potentially rank for months or years, provided you monitor and tweak SEO performance when necessary. However, the minute you stop paying for paid ads, the traffic derived from them will dry up.

A note on inbound marketing: Inbound marketing is a methodology that attracts more customers via strategic content creation tailored to their needs and buying journey. Rather than blatantly selling products, this method focuses on drawing customers in by forming connections, answering questions, and solving potential customers’ problems.

Increased Brand Awareness

greater brand recognition by content creation using right keywords

A good SEO strategy improves online customer experience by enhancing your website’s speed, design, content, and responsiveness, which contributes to greater visibility. The easier it is to find your local business online, the faster you can build brand awareness and attract your target audience.

Effective SEO for contractor websites can deliver on traffic and conversions while enabling you to present a coherent message and good image to your target audience. This establishes industry authority and search engine trustworthiness.

When you combine contractor SEO branding with content marketing, you let your audience know more about your company and its services. As soon as there’s a high volume of digital engagement with your web pages, Google will start to connect your brand with particular keywords through its algorithms.

The more searches you get for the same types of keywords, the more you carve out a sphere of influence on search engines, and the higher you rank. Good content like articles, podcasts, infographics, and videos not only generate traffic but also provide greater brand recognition.

Competitive Edge

As previously mentioned, contractor search engine optimization is a long-term strategy rather than a one-off campaign. An SEO strategy demands that contractor SEO is up-to-date to stay ahead of the competition. A custom contractor SEO strategy starts with identifying issues and solutions to achieve contracting business goals and “ends” with reviewing the strategy and starting the cycle again.

Because SEO is an agile strategy that continues to test, learn, and transform leads into sustainable and measurable ROI, it will always offer a competitive advantage when properly executed. For small-to-medium businesses, SEO for contractor websites is the best tool to raise brand awareness, establish trust, and engage target audiences at an affordable price.

Google says roughly 15% of searches it sees every day are new, which means new content opportunities are emerging all the time. Search interests are also constantly evolving, and companies that optimize for these new opportunities first have the biggest advantage in the SERPs.

When you keep an eye on search volumes, keyword data, and click-through rates, you’re able to flag new opportunities as soon as they offer value. How? Well, you can use Google Analytics to identify existing keyword opportunities to fill in the gaps in your SEO and content marketing strategies.

Great ROI

The average ROI of SEO

Instead of focusing on unrealistic construction marketing ideas and promoting your products to a generalized market, search engine optimization for contractors is more cost-effective because it hones in on the target audience that helps build strong impressions where needed.

The average ROI of SEO for every $2.75 dollar spent is around 275%. This is because organic search is often a company’s biggest acquisition channel, allowing you to capture as much traffic as you’re willing to work for.

SEO leads are legitimate. When you create content that addresses real questions customers ask, you offer a great way to attract qualified traffic to your website, and fill your sales funnel with people who want what you have to offer.

SEO ROI is more significant because the longer updates are left, the more they improve over time. Once your contractor website gains traction ins SERPs, it becomes easier to rank for higher traffic and higher value keywords, which equals more revenue.

Basically, a 24/7 Marketing Campaign

SEO for contractor websites always works. It is one of the few digital marketing tactics that you can implement today, and reap the rewards for months to come. Contractor SEO will promote your contractor company, bring in quality traffic, enhance customer experience and help your contracting business consistently rank high for organic keywords.

Search engine rankings also don’t disappear overnight and continue to improve and promote your business while you’re offline. With SEO, you achieve online visibility 24/7. A well-run SEO campaign can become a lead and sales-generating machine. It is basically like a “gift that keeps on giving.”

Top 6 Tips for Conquering Search Engines as a Contractor

Navigating SEO for contractor websites can be complex with Google algorithm and martech updates, and changes in consumer behavior; however, best-practice SEO strategy principles remain more or less the same.

Conduct a Keyword Research

4 main types of keyword research

The point of keyword research is to reveal what terms your potential customers are searching for, as well as their competitiveness, to help guide your local SEO strategy. It is the first step to achieving SEO success is conducting thorough keyword research.

By selecting the right words, you create the opportunity to rank well in search engines for specific topics or queries. And by now, as you know, the higher your rankings, the more traffic and, ultimately, sales.

An expert contractor SEO agency would agree there are four main types of keywords that classify user intent:

Informational Keywords

These are used when users are looking for more information about something. Whether it is a product, service, or guide, their intent is to learn and find out more about the topic. Informational keywords often contain words like “How,” “What,” “Why,” etc.

For example, “How do I know my house has an electrical fault?”

Navigational Keywords

Navigational searches are when someone is looking for a specific website, web page, or brand. For instance, “Amazon.” It may also refer to direction queries.

Navigational keywords examples:

“Netflix”

“The New York Times”

“Where is the nearest Starbucks?”

Commercial Keywords

These keywords reveal a searcher’s interest in specific products or services and occur when a prospective customer wants to know more about a particular product or service. The use of these keywords indicates a strong desire to purchase.

You can use these keywords in listicles, reviews, or how-to-articles. Some examples:

  • “House painters”
  • “matte vs. sheen paint”
  • “Matte paint reviews”

Because commercial keywords reveal a person’s intention to take some kind of commercial activity in the future, they present valuable opportunities to reach your target audience.

Transactional Keywords

When users implement transactional keywords, they have already done all the research they need and are ready to make a purchase. Words such as “buy,” “purchase,” “best,” or “cheap” are examples. These are precisely the kinds of queries that are most likely to deliver the highest ROI.

The thing with keywords is it’s not just about including the ones your potential customers search for in your website copy; you also have to map them correctly. Different keywords appeal to users at different stages of the buyer’s journey; awareness, interest, desire, and action.

Therefore, the types of keywords used must coincide with different stages of the buyer’s journey. For example, you wouldn’t use a transactional keyword at the awareness stage of the marketing funnel.

Optimize Your Website for Users

Optimize your website

Both UX and UI are needed to create responsive and authoritative contractor websites that meet search engine requirements and appeal to users. UI focuses on visual aspects (how information is presented and how visitors interact with it), while UX focuses on how visitors get from point A to B as they navigate through your website.

A great contractor website is mobile-friendly (provides a good experience for users on their phones/tablets) and forms part of your brand identity. It combines functionality with attractiveness, and loads quickly, so users don’t grow impatient and leave.

However, this alone is not enough to increase your website’s visibility. Optimizing your website technically (technical SEO) ensures search engines correctly interpret the value of your content, so you rank perfectly.

A fast loading time, secure server, an optimized URL structure, and SSL security certificates make for a high-performing website. Technical SEO for contractor websites is important because it ensures your website is free of technical issues that prevent it from being understood by search engine bots.

Content Is the Main Pillar

Content marketing falls under inbound marketing. As a strategy to attract new customers, content marketing includes creating, publishing, and distributing SEO-friendly information that’s useful to your target audience.

Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing doesn’t just tell potential customers how great your contractor services are, but also demonstrates your business’ expertise and authority.

An SEO strategy for construction companies builds consistent brand resonance across every digital touchpoint. Content marketing positions you for online success and is a win-win because it:

  • Builds customer trust and brand reputation
  • Provides quality content that drives traffic
  • Fuel social media engagement
  • Improves conversion with high-quality leads
  • Builds backlinks and increases website authority

82% of marketers actively use content marketing to set themselves apart from competitors. Consistent content marketing builds traction with potential customers and search engines. When content has clear calls to action, it facilitates lead generation.

Local SEO for Contractors Is Your Bread and Butter

Local SEO for contractors

95% of people use their mobile devices to perform searches. Of those, 45% are for a local business. For companies providing local services within a geographical area, local SEO is an incredibly effective strategy to market services online.

Local SEO for contractors focuses on improving local visibility in Google search results. In 2019, Google started ranking business websites for geographically related searches based on proximity, relevance, and prominence.

Therefore, if your general contractor website is close to where someone is conducting their search, offers services or products they may be searching for, and has a Google My Business (GMB) account, then it’s more likely to be found online.

Listing your general contractor business on online directories and collecting positive customer reviews also improves search rankings. GMB is completely free. Just be sure to fill in all details as accurately as possible.

Link Building

Link building is part of off-page search engine optimization for contractors. It entails acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. The more links you have from credible websites, the better you will perform in a search for relevant queries because, at a basic level, Google views each link as a “vote” for your website.

Links also drive referral traffic and help develop relationships. The caveat: Good links require intentional effort, and they take time. Submitting your website to online directories, offering to write guest blogs, and investing in a bit of PR to feature on other websites or social media channels are different link-building strategies.

You can also use marketing software like Ahrefs, which has a built-in link-building tool to help you find the right high-quality backlink opportunities.

Publishing a blog (content marketing!) is also a popular link-building strategy. Blogs have the unique ability to contribute fresh material on a consistent basis and earn listings and links from other blogs.

Just make sure the content you produce is valuable, and the websites that link back to yours are legitimate. You won’t get good results if you post thin content or have backlinks from subpar web pages.

Analytics and Growth

There are many variables at play in the contractor SEO process. Having Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) allow you to identify what’s working, and, more importantly, what’s not. This is where a contractor SEO agency can help separate the wheat from the chaff.

When looking at data, you have to focus on key information that validates marketing spend and helps make better strategic decisions.

Industry-standard metrics to keep tabs on include:

  • Organic traffic: Traffic that comes to your site from a search engine but isn’t paid for.
  • Keyword rankings: Your web page’s position within search results for a particular keyword search.
  • Domain authority: Your website’s relevance for a specific subject area or industry
  • New backlinks: Links from other websites that go back to a page on your website
  • Page speed: The amount of time it takes between the browser’s request for a page and the complete rendering of the page’s content.
  • Conversions: When a user completes a desired action on your website, like making a purchase, filling out a contact form, or signing up for a newsletter.

Regardless of the metrics you choose, they should always align with your contractor’s business goals. There must be a direct correlation between these metrics and business improvement. For example, keyword rankings are usually positive, but can you demonstrate an increase in sales?

In every SEO strategy for construction companies, some tactics will prove more beneficial than others. You need to measure not just if your campaign is successful, but also which aspects have proven to be valuable. This will replace tactics that don’t work with ones that do.

An SEO Audit for Your Construction Business

Before we begin search engine marketing for contractors, we conduct a full analysis of all the factors that affect their website’s visibility in search engines. SEO audits are an important, necessary component of keeping SEO strategies up to date.

What’s more, it would be foolish to implement SEO without knowing your current website’s status. Only once we’ve identified technical issues, and missed opportunities, do we formulate a custom strategy for your construction business.

Furthermore, audits don’t only occur before investing in a fresh digital marketing strategy. You should conduct them once every quarter. This is because search engine algorithms change, and you want to make sure you’re maintaining a positive experience for all your site visitors.

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Should You Hire a Contractor SEO Agency?

Any sound internet marketing company will tell you contractor SEO is a great investment, not just a cost. As the maxim goes: “You have to spend money to make money.” However, perhaps what it leaves out is that you should spend money wisely, and allocating budget for SEO services packages is a smart, long-term, investment.

With that comes the question of whether you should hire a contractor SEO agency. Our answer: A resounding yes! It’s a no-brainer if you want expert knowledge application backed by experience, more time to focus on your business, and guaranteed results.

As an award-winning SEO company for contractors and one of the top-rated SEO companies in Chicago, we have a reputation for increasing our client’s traffic by 175%, on average. From analytics to content marketing and all aspects of SEO, we’ll deliver the results you need to grow your business. Contact us to learn more about how our contractor SEO services can improve your business.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Stan Bogdashin
Stan co-founded Comrade Digital Marketing and serves as its marketing strategist and IT expert recruiter.
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