How do consumers and businesses find a reputable contractor? For most, the search begins on a search engine like Google. It’s not enough to just appear in search results, though. Your website has to be at or near the top of these results if it’s going to generate the new leads you want, and the best way to get there is with SEO.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and includes all of the steps taken to make a site rank as high as possible in search results. As more and more people rely on search engines to find the service providers they need, these rankings will play a large role in keeping your business afloat.
On this page, we’ll discuss why SEO is an important part of online marketing, the benefits of high search engine rankings, and a few ways you can improve your site’s chances of ranking well.
What does it matter whether your site ranks first, third, or tenth in a web search? As it turns out, a lot. The majority of clicks go to the top three results in a search engine—and most of those clicks go to the first site listed. Anyone looking for contractors in their area may begin with a search engine, but that search can end shortly after clicking on a site with the kind of information they’re seeking.
Your website will get more of these clicks as its ranking goes up. However, an increased ranking and number of clicks are not the only goals of an SEO strategy. They’re simply the first steps towards achieving other goals, such as those listed below.
The most immediate benefit of SEO is a higher ranking in search engines. That’s not the only benefit, though, and as search engines play a larger role in purchasing decisions, these other benefits will be magnified.
It sometimes takes more than one search to decide which contractor to hire. When your company’s name keeps appearing in these results, people start to remember it. It doesn’t take long before they’re skipping the search engine and going to your site to see what you have to offer.
SEO is not free, but the investment has a broader reach and longer shelf life than what you’d typically spend on traditional marketing. Your efforts continue to build up over time, and as your site’s authority improves, you’ll increase the visibility of your site no matter when or where people are searching for contractors.
Larger firms will always be able to outperform you in traditional marketing tactics because they have larger budgets. With SEO, your site can outrank the big companies. The higher number of clicks that come from higher rankings will help you compete against these major players.
While SEO can yield great results for your business, it takes time to see them take shape. SEO can take a lot of trial and error before you get it right, and even then a change in algorithms could affect how you go forward. But as long as your strategy includes these three steps, you’ll be able to handle whatever changes occur.
When searching for a contractor, homeowners and businesses may use a variety of terms—some general like “contractor” or “contracting services,” and some specific to a particular type of project. Choose the best keywords for your particular business and incorporate them into your strategy.
Instead of broad terms, which could yield all kinds of irrelevant results, go for long-tail keywords that differentiate your business. Include licenses and certifications, location and areas served, target audience, and other distinguishing characteristics. Your site might appear in fewer results pages, but you’ll appear in front of more qualified leads and get a higher clickthrough rate.
Search engines don’t just look at keywords on your site, but also at your overall online reputation. Links and mentions from other sites are known as off-page elements, and play a huge role in your site’s authority and ability to rank well. Make sure your SEO strategy goes beyond your website and includes outreach and reputation building efforts.
Also, make sure your name is consistent from one channel to another. The more frequently your company appears online, the greater the visibility and the more likely your site is to rank higher in web searches.
As you optimize your site and begin your outreach strategy, you need to measure how well your efforts are working. Like other marketing strategies, SEO is based on assumptions that may be right or wrong. Measure your efforts and put a plan in place to refine them if you don’t get the results you want the first time around.
Measurement is important because search is constantly changing. Even if you rank first on your keywords, search behavior might change or another site starts optimizing and ends up outranking yours. Monitoring your analytics will help you identify changes in search patterns and adapt your strategy to stay at the top.
As search engines become the primary source for finding contractors, SEO should be a significant part of your marketing strategy. Put an SEO strategy in place to ensure your site is getting the rankings, clicks, and leads it needs to keep your calendar full.
If you’d like to improve your online visibility, don’t hesitate to contact us! Our talented team of Internet marketers has years of experience creating successful SEO strategies for our clients, and they’ll do the same for you.
Ready to start your Internet marketing and design campaigns? Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to learn more about how WebpageFX can help with your SEO challenges.