If you’re looking to drive more sales through your contracting website, this guide will get you started doing just that using SEO.
Don’t let the term “SEO” intimidate you. Most of it is actually easy enough to do yourself.
Here are three quick steps to get you started with SEO to attract more traffic to your contracting website.
Step 1: Define your target keywords.
You can use the Google Keyword Planner to quickly and easily take care of this step. Log into your account, and then click on “Get search volume and trends”, then search for keywords that are relevant to your business. For example, if you run a home contracting business in Orlando, Florida, you might want to search for keywords like “home improvement contractor Orlando”, “contracting business Orlando”, and “carpenter in Orlando”.
The goal here is to see how many people are searching for those terms. This will bring up a page that looks like this:
If you’re not getting too many results for your searches, you can configure the “Keyword options” on the left-hand side of this screen to also show you related search terms. This will help you understand what people are actually searching to find companies like yours on the web.
You want to look for relevant keywords with competition that is low or medium, with a relatively high amount of average monthly searches. Try to compile a list of five to ten good keywords to start.
Step 2: Incorporate the keywords into key areas of your site.
The next step is to put those keywords to use. There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about this.
It’s important to avoid being redundant. If you just group a bunch of keywords together on a page, Google might mark your website as spam, and it won’t show up in search results. So make sure the way in which you are mentioning a keyword in your content is natural, and you’re not just putting it there for the sake of putting it there.
So, where should you incorporate your keywords? Some areas that are important to focus on are page content; header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.); meta info of the pages themselves; and the metadata of your pictures.
Here’s an example from our website of incorporating keywords into a page’s content naturally:
The keyword here was “Bostik GreenForce”, so we incorporated that keyword into the two <h2> tags you see in the picture, the <h1> tag at the top of the page (not pictured here), and into the metadata of the picture (which is only viewable behind-the-scenes). For variation, we dropped the “Bostik” and just incorporated “GreenForce” into the second <h2> tag in the picture. We did this to avoid being redundant, and also because some people search for the product just using that keyword.
How do you go about doing this? If your website runs on WordPress, you can install the free Yoast SEO plugin, which will guide you and allow you to customize otherwise difficult-to-access metadata quite easily. WordPress also provides a built-in mechanism for editing your photo metadata. You can access a mini-tutorial for editing picture metadata in our ebook about advertising your contracting business on the internet. Download that ebook for free here.
If you don’t have WordPress, you might have to go into the HTML file of each page and edit the metadata including the title, description, and keyword tags, as well as the metadata of your pictures (it’s especially important to edit the alt tag and title of each). Once you know what to look for and you get the hang of this, it’s easy to do. But if you’re unsure about doing this yourself, consult this guide to editing metadata or ask a web developer to help you out.
Within your content you’ll also want to couch your keywords in between <h1></h1> and <h2></h2> tags, which should serve as subheaders within your content — look at them as ways to describe each section and break up the monotony of the page while incorporating your keywords into the content when appropriate. H1 tags should be used only once per page and they are your most important header tag. H2 tags and beyond can be used multiple times on a page.
Step 3: Observe and adjust.
The final step is to set up Google Analytics on your site and measure your traffic over time (click here to read Google’s guide to getting started with Analytics). Don’t expect anything drastic to happen overnight — it could take several months to start seeing results.
If you start to see your numbers increase after your SEO efforts, celebrate and keep doing what you’re doing.
However, if after several months you’re not seeing any noticeable change in your traffic, you’ll probably have to make adjustments to either your keywords or your strategy.
If there’s a lot of competition in your area for the keywords you’ve selected, you might want to consider starting a blog or going on social media to give your site a boost. Blogs are a great way to incorporate more keywords into your content naturally, and social media is great for funneling people to your website.
For more tips on how to improve the SEO of your contracting website, download our free ebook about advertising your hardwood floor contracting business on the internet.