What’s one of the best ways to get more consistent leads for your business?
Local SEO, hands-down. It’s one of the best ways contractors can market themselves.
Not to be confused with an organic SEO campaign, local SEO for contractors is all about getting your Google Business Profile to show up when someone in your service area searches for a service you offer.
So the question is… how can you influence Google to show your profile?
In this guide to local SEO for contractors, I’m going to show you some simple (and some not-so-simple) changes you can make today that will lead to more profile impressions, clicks and call today.
The 5 Most Important Local SEO Ranking Factors
Before we talk about how you can influence Google to show your profile more often, we need to know what factors Google actually takes into account when ranking profiles for searches.
To summarize their findings, here are the top 5 most important factors in ranking order:
- Primary GPB Category: The most important. If your primary category isn’t related to the search, you likely won’t show up.
- Keywords in GBP Business Title: If you have a keyword in your GPB business name, you’re more likely to show up. Caution: stuffing keywords in your business name can get your listing suspended.
- Proximity of Address to the Point of Search: How far away is your business to whomever is searching for the services you offer?
- Physical Address in City of Search: Most times, your business will only show up if it’s physically located in the city from which people are searching.
- Removal of Spam Listings Through Spam Fighting: SEO professionals ranked the removal of spam listings as one of the most beneficial parts of a local SEO campaign.
This is all valuable data, but not extremely helpful. Why?
Because you likely can’t do anything to influence 3 out of 5 of those factors.
You can influence your GPB category and you can work to remove spam listings if they’re flooding your market, but you can’t change your business name (at least, you shouldn’t) to include keywords or change where you’re physically located to influence local rankings.
So… what can we do to get more leads?
Moving further down their list, they have the following ranking factors:
- High Numerical Google Ratings (e.g. 4-5)
- Additional GBP Categories
- Quantity of Native Google Reviews (w/text)
- Verified GBP
- Proximity of Address to Centroid
- Keywords in GBP Landing Page Title
- Completeness of GBP
- Sustained Influx of Reviews Over Time (rather than bursts)
- Dedicated Page for Each Service
- Keywords in GBP Landing Page Headings
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere.
Keeping all this data in mind, lets focus on the ranking factors we can directly influence:
- Your GBP itself, including its categories and overall completeness.
- Your reviews, including your overall rating and the frequency at which you get reviews.
- Your website, including your use of service pages and keywords.
These are the ranking factors we can influence to start generating more leads.
Now, lets take a look at how we can optimize those factors.
3 Ways Contractors Can Win With Local SEO
Now that we know the local SEO ranking factors for contractors, how can we positively influence them to show up more often when people are searching for our services?
You could book a free strategy session with us :)
Or, you can do everything yourself.
In the follow sections, I’m going to teach you how you can optimize:
- Google Business Profile
- Review gathering
- Website and landing pages
Having these three things optimized can do wonders for your local SEO rankings.
1. Have a fully-optimized Google Business Profile
Don’t let the word “optimized” scare you. We won’t be doing any coding.
In fact, “optimize” is really just a buzz word people in the SEO profession throw out.
What does having an “optimized” profile mean?
Simple. It means being filled out completely. Here how to do it:
- Categories: Start specific, go general. Don’t try to stuff irrelevant categories, but be sure to include every category that makes sense. Here’s a list of all categories in 2023.
- Service area: Start with the city in which you’re located, and then spread out. Google allows counties, too. List as many as are relevant to you.
- Description: You have 750 characters to work with. Use them all.
- Products: Do you sell them? If so, fill it out.
- Services: Your selected categories will automatically show up as services. However, you can provide more. If “kitchen remodeler” is your primary category, you can add custom categories beneath it such as “cabinets” and “countertops,” along with descriptions.
- Images: Your logo and cover image are first. Put some care into this – people will see them when your Google Business Profile shows up in Google. “At work” photos are for when you’re on the job. “Team photos” are of, well, you and your team. “Identity photos” can be of signage on trucks or vans, office signage, business cards, etc… Fill out every category.
As an ongoing basis, you should work to do the following:
- Add regular updates: The “updates” feature of your GBP is a great way to add blurbs, project photos, blog posts, events and more.
- Respond to reviews: You should respond to every review you get. While not a huge ranking factor, it does help with conversions.
- Respond to Q&As (or post them yourself): The Q&A feature is a great way to provide additional information about your business.
If you do all that, congratulations! Now, you’re “optimized.”
Having an optimized GPB is part of a holistic digital marketing plan for contractors.
2. Have an automated review-gathering system.
From the above ranking factors, it’s clear Google puts a huge emphasis on reviews.
It’s important to have an automated method to get reviews easily and consistently.
Email marketing is a great tool for this particular job. With it, you can:
- Create a customer list. With email marketing, it’s important to segment your lists based on certain criteria. Since we’re going to be targeting people to leave reviews, it makes sense to create a list with only customers.
- Create an automated email sequence. You can set this sequence to go out any time someone new is added to your list. The email would, of course, ask for feedback, and provide a convenient link for your customers to place a review on Google.
After that, all you have to do is add new customers to the list. Each time someone new is added, they’ll automatically receive the email asking them to leave a review on Google.
Of course, this takes a little bit of setup work and hands-on management. You could always book a strategy session with us to see how we can help you get more consistent reviews.
If you’re not ready for this much automation, you could always ask for the reviews in person – or, better yet, send your customers a text message after the job is complete.
Whatever you do, make sure you’re getting consistent reviews.
Your Google rankings will thank you.
3. Have an optimized website.
You have an awesome, optimized contractor website, right?
If not, maybe you should look into contractor web design.
Without getting into the weeds too much, your website needs to be optimized for search engines.
Perhaps even more importantly, however… you need to have content to optimize. You see, most websites don’t fail because they’re not optimized – they fail because they don’t have enough content.
You know… the whole reason people are on your website in the first place.
Here are some examples of pages your website should have:
- Pages for each service you offer (yes, all of them)
- Pages for each location in which you offer those services (ditto)
- Pages for your beautiful project portfolio (you have one, right?)
- Pages showcasing your team members (show some personality)
- Blog posts people actually want to read (and that actually target the right keywords!)
You could write all this yourself, or you could hire a contractor marketing agency to do it for you.
Either way, make sure your website has enough content.
Local SEO for Contractors Drives Leads
When done correctly, of course.
And it’s really not that hard.
In order to start generating leads from your local SEO efforts, you need:
- An optimized Google Business Profile
- A way to gather consistent reviews
- A website with loads of helpful and relevant content
That’s really about it.
At Local Sight, we build websites that make the phone ring.
We also provide local SEO for contractors and other home services providers.
Get in touch with us to book a free strategy session today.