You've heard of search engine optimization (SEO). Maybe you've done a little research and have a solid understanding of how a better ranking on Google could help you grow your construction industry business.
...But you have no idea where to start.
To help you get the process started, we're going to explore seven simple, effective tips to help move your contractor website to the first page—and make no mistake about it, the first page is where you want to be. That's where almost all the action happens.
Estimates vary, but most marketers believe that 95% of search engine users never make it past the first page. Only Google itself could give you entirely accurate figures on these statistics, but it's clear that businesses with a first page ranking receive the majority of search traffic.
Getting to the first page isn't an overnight process, but it's doable with consistency, determination, and a smart strategy. Let's discuss some of the most important cornerstones which your online presence needs to have to claim a spot at the top:
Establishing a Google My Business profile is usually the first step a contractor should take to get visible on Google. When a user searches for your business name or keywords related to your business, this gives you the opportunity to display a variety of helpful information such as your...
As you can see, a complete Google My Business profile allows your potential customers to learn everything they need to about your business and how to hire you. General contractors, roofers, plumbers, electricians—everyone should have this.
To get started, create your profile, verify you're the business owner or that you have the authority to create the listing, and start filling out your details. Google will even provide business owners with helpful statistics like how many views their listing has received and how many users have clicked through to their site.
When you're in the field working on a project, how often do you look up information on your smartphone or other mobile device?
It's probably pretty often.
You're not alone: consider that 80% of internet users own a smartphone and nearly half begin their research with a search engine like Google. If your website isn't optimized for mobile browsers, you're alienating a significant portion of your potential customers.
From an SEO perspective, Google prefers websites with mobile browser optimization.
The good news is that most modern web design is already optimized for mobile devices. If your website is older or wasn't designed with mobile users in mind, it's time to make some upgrades.
Google tends to give preference to websites that load quickly. They even offer users a suite of performance analyzing tools, including a platform to test your page load speed on mobile devices.
Aside from the SEO benefits, a faster website means that your visitors will have a better experience. If you've ever tried navigating a slow website, you know exactly how frustrating it can be—and it probably leaves you wondering just how professional the business or individual really is.
A faster contractor website also means that your potential customers are less likely to leave your site before discovering important information like your phone number or the services you offer.
This is called a “bounce rate,” which is a figure you want to keep as low as possible. In addition to an easily navigated website, responsive design, and helpful information, the speed of your website will reduce your bounce rate.
The best practices for keyword placement have changed in recent times. For your construction industry website, it's less important that you repeat the same keywords over and over. Instead, the strategic placement of keywords that relate to your business will help you rank your contractor website higher on Google.
To clarify, it won't help if you have the keyword “best roofing Colorado Springs” crammed 30 times onto every page of your website (although it might have in 2002). Instead, keywords should be used naturally throughout the content on your site, perhaps appearing a handful of times throughout the main text and in titles.
Keywords aren't the end-all-be-all of good SEO, but they are still incredibly important.
Google loves what they call “rich media.”
Essentially, rich media refers to content like:
While it's still very important to have text-based content on your website from both an SEO and human standpoint—some people prefer to watch a short video—ensuring that your contractor website has plenty of rich media will help your Google ranking.
Great ideas include an image gallery of projects you've completed, action videos of your company on a job site, or recorded testimonials from customers.
In addition to providing your customers with a platform to get to know your company and the kind of construction industry work you do, a blog can establish your company as expert in your field; and offers a number of highly effective SEO benefits.
Google loves websites that have “fresh” content—meaning that your website has been updated recently. Since it's not likely that you'll be changing static content like the services you provide, your mission statement, or your contact information, a blog gives you the ability to have a regularly updated website.
From a more technical perspective, blogging will also give your website more internal links and indexable pages, both of which are great for SEO.
Backlinks refers to other websites which link to yours, and social shares are whenever your website or blog posts are shared on a site like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. This signals to Google that your website is relevant to their search results.
As an added benefit, active social media profiles increase the number of results directly related to your business that show up when a potential client searches for your company name.
Getting both backlinks and social shares is significantly easier if you're an active social media user yourself—at a minimum, create a Facebook page for your business if you sell to the public. If you sell business to business, create a LinkedIn page for your company.
The good news is that when you have a high quality website that gets regularly updated with genuinely helpful or interesting content, backlinks and social shares tend to increase naturally. Potential customers and other businesses in the construction industry will take note of your work and share it with their own audiences.
Bonus tip: construction industry professionals often miss out on a major social media opportunity. You're almost certainly familiar with Facebook and Twitter, but what about Pinterest? This image-sharing social network features a largely female demographic and is the perfect platform to show off your work. Before and after pictures of remodeling projects or any work that you're particularly proud of should be “pinned” immediately!
Good SEO is all about consistency and attention to detail. If you follow the tips above, you'll be in great shape—and likely quite a bit ahead of many of your competitors.
If your time is limited and you can only implement a handful of the suggestions we discussed here today, your first priority will likely be to get your Google My Business profile set up. It doesn't take too long and your potential customers will have a much easier time finding you.
Next would be to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. The number of internet users browsing with their smartphones, tablets, and an ever-growing assortment of other devices continues to grow with each passing year. Make it easy for them to navigate your site, learn about your services, and contact you.
The others are important too, but make sure you've got those nailed down.
If you'd like to learn more about SEO for construction industry businesses, we'd love to have the opportunity to discuss your goals with you here at Contractor-Websites.com. Please feel welcome to call us at 719-749-1112 or send us an email to discover how we can help you secure the first page of Google.