Search Engine Optimization For Trades & Contractors
Whether your trades and contracting business is small or large, all the different types of marketing can be used to promote your business. With digitization taking over the world, a majority of businesses are preferring to make their presence felt on the internet. Again, to create this presence, you have multiple options to choose from. Although promoting business through website ads, email marketing, and mobile marketing have their fair share of popularity, the major focus of businesses is to make their business content SEO-friendly for good search engine ranking. As a business with local clients, the focus should be on working on the local SEO for trades and contractors to gain more customers locally. Why so? Because you do not want to waste the money and energy on promoting your business globally when you plan to cater only to the local consumers.
So what exactly is local SEO? It simply refers to search engine optimization which is more focused on optimizing your business content locally to capture the attention of your local audience. Though local SEO is one of the most cost-effective methods to reach out to a large audience, it is not that easy to boost your SEO rank. To help you out, here are some tips to work on the local SEO for trades and contractors business.
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Focus on Your NAP
When we talk about the online presence of your plumbing or electrical service company, the very first thing to talk about is your website. Any business with the plan to have an online presence will definitely have a website. But simply having a website will not help you to rank higher in the local search results. To begin with your local SEO planning, you need to first have a close look at the contact details on your website.
The very first aspect to work on is the NAP element of your website. NAP stands for name, address, and phone. Basically, you need to give importance to the contact page on your website. Make sure to write your complete company name, address and all the contact numbers, without any mistake. If you have more than one office location, make sure to mention the NAP for all the location as it makes it easier for people to contact the office which is closer to them. Another nifty method of optimizing your website contact is including the location of your company on Google map and adding it to your contact page. This will cut down the effort of the user to search for you on Google Maps. For example, have a look at the example of Pro Plumbing website, in which they have provided a map of their location for easier access.
Apart from optimizing the NAP for your website, you need to make sure that the NAP details that you upload to any other websites such as online listings and social media are consistent. If the contact details and address do not match, it will have a direct impact on your SEO ranking.
Create Online Profiles
Your website is important when it comes to your online presence, but it is not the only aspect to work on when planning the local SEO for trades and contractors. There are various other platforms on the internet on which you can create a profile for your business. Websites such as Yelp, which provides reviews and comments along with your business information are a good option to list your business as it may help bring up your ranking on the search engine result page. Some other important options that you should not miss out on include, Google My Business, social media platforms and local listings. Remember though, the contact details and business information that you provide on these varied pages should be alike to boost your SEO ranking.
Google My Business is a simple and free tool by Google which allows the users to build a detailed business profile. With the help of the business details that you add to the profile, Google My Business helps you to enhance your presence in the Google search and Google Maps. The amazing feature of Google My Business is that it not only helps the users to find you but also enables you to provide them with all the detailed information about your company, which you add to the profile. To give you a better idea, here is a Google My Business page of a structural steel contractor.
When working on online profiles, how can you forget about social media? Social media helps you to connect with the audience. When you have your social media accounts, you not only get to promote or inform about your business but also get to converse with your followers and solve their queries.
Coming to local listings and directories, these are websites which let you list your business profile and allow the users to write reviews and comments about your service or product. Such types of websites work well in bringing up your SERP ranking. Also, these listings are often trusted by the locals as it gives them an honest insight of your service with the help of the user reviews.
Create Area-centric Content
Talking about local SEO for trades and contractors, you need to create local SEO-friendly content. The most important factor to keep in mind for SEO-friendly content is the use of keywords. Keywords are words and phrases which are used by users to conduct searches on search engines. When these popularly searched keywords are used in your content, the chances of your website ranking high on the SERP increases.
To make your content more local and area-centric, you should identify more specific keywords. For example, if you have a plumbing business in Edmonton, instead of using “plumbing services” as a keyword, try using “plumbing services in Edmonton”. This inclusion in your content will make sure that your website turns up on the SERP when a user is specifically looking for a plumbing service in Edmonton. Do keep in mind to host the blog from your own domain to enhance your SEO. Also, add good internal and external local links as it will help you get local organic traffic.
Apart from promoting your business in your locality, you might want to promote it in your neighboring cities. So how can you tap the target audience of cities where you can provide services? The answer is by including some neighboring city names in your content. This will help you gain customers from close to areas where you will be able to provide your services. Another idea which can prove beneficial for your local SEO is adding the links to other local businesses in your content. Now be careful, you do not want to add competitor’s links. To give you a better idea, if you have a blog about bathroom plumbing fixtures for your plumbing business, you could add links to a local electrical business in the blog for the lighting options.
Respond to Reviews and Comments
Having your business presence online is not just restricted to putting up blogs, website content, business pages, etc. The internet is an open forum which enables a two-way communication. While business promotion is your way of communication, comments and reviews are the customer’s way of communication. The reviews and comments that you receive can be both positive and negative. You do not really have a control over it. However, what you can do is be responsive to these reviews and comments. When reverting to reviews, keep your tone formal and agree with the mistakes pointed out by a customer if it is true. Ideally, you can offer to provide a discount in the next service as a form of apology. This will help build your goodwill and enhance the brand image of your business to attract more new customers.
Getting good reviews and ratings is extremely crucial for local SEO. When users make local searches for trades and services, they majorly rely on the ratings and reviews provided by the existing customers. This makes it important for you to have good ratings and reviews. So how do you manage that? Simply but subtly ask your happy customers for it. A quick way to do it is by sharing links to your local pages and listings with your customers and ask them to give their reviews or provide ratings. You could also add the link for reviewing on your website or in your emails to the customers.
Now there is a catch to asking for reviews from happy customers. The online listings and profiles such as Google My Business, have a strict policy about reviewing. So if you plan to provide a discount on service to a customer for a good review, do not do so as Google My Business does not allow it. It is advisable to rarely ask for reviews from your customers as your business should do that for you. Provide good services and let the customers express their views on their own. Do not get insistent.
Know and Use Citations
To boost your local SEO for trades and contractors you need to promote your business as much as possible. To make it happen, you can create citations for your business. Citations are mentions of your contact details or NAP and website on other websites and online listings. These citations help to increase your local SEO ranking.
When creating citations for your business, keep in mind that it is applicable to physical locations and not virtual premises. So, if you have a written address but no physical office, creating citations may not be useful. Also, it is important that the name, address and phone number details that you provide for the citation is identical on all the online platforms. If they differ, Google will not be able to crawl and connect it to your main website and so, your website may lose out on some SEO benefits.
To build a good citation for your local SEO, try and get your business listed on good and relevant websites. The more citations, the better ranking.
For a company which works for trades and contracts, tapping the local market with the right information is crucial. Apart from right information, using the right marketing strategies to spread the right information is equally important. To achieve this, you have to come up with the best strategies to boost the local SEO for trades and contractors. The above-mentioned ideas should help you bring up your local SEO ranking. However, if you feel you need any assistance to perfect your local SEO, take help from local search engine optimization experts.