A Beginner's Guide to Local SEO for Contractors

When you need to make a purchase, where do you go first? If you’re like most people, you pull out your phone to find what you need. Individuals search for terms like "pizza delivery near me" or "best mechanics in Houston" countless times each day, and that includes your clients.

In fact, 63.5% of homeowners use the internet as their primary source of information for a home improvement project. When your next client searches for "electricians in my area," you need your website to be the first thing they see. To do that, you need to have a basic understanding of local search engine optimization, or local SEO.

Learn how you can reach your next local construction clients effectively.

Why Contractors Need to Know About Local SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is a way of telling search engines like Google more about your site and services so that you can rank for search terms that are relevant for your business.

The type of search terms that are relevant to you will depend on your business model. For example, an online retailer could ship anywhere in the world, so optimizing for search terms like "clothing stores near me" might not be as important. However, an electrician who works in Columbus, Ohio will want to make sure his site shows for customers in the geographic area he serves. He'll be targeting terms like "electricians in Columbus" or "best electricians near me."

That's where local SEO comes in. Local SEO is a way of optimizing your site and brand to focus specifically on ranking for searches in the area you serve. With the right local SEO strategy, you can tell a search engine where your business is located and what area you serve, so that when someone searches for "the best plumber near me" in your area, your website will show up.

Local SEO is an incredibly effective way for contractors to generate new leads for their businesses, and there are a few simple things you can do on your own to start improving your local search rankings.

3 Easy Ways to Start Optimizing for Local Search

#1: Claim Your Google My Business Profile
Setting up a Google My Business profile lets you add relevant information about your business to Google Search, Maps, and other Google properties. Google is the largest search engine in the world, so this should be your first step in optimizing your company for local search.

Claiming and updating your business is a straightforward process:

  • Sign in to Google My Business
  • Enter your company's address
  • Choose how your business will display in search results. As a contractor, you will most likely select "I deliver goods and services to my customers" which will then allow you to list your service areas
  • Enter relevant information, like your phone number or website URL
  • Follow Google’s directions to verify your listing

Once you have your Google My Business profile fully filled out, focus on earning good reviews. Positive Google reviews are a great way to improve your local search rankings.

#2: List Your Location on Your Website
Next, ensure that your website communicates where you're located and where you serve.

On your contact page, verify that your business address is listed. This may also appear on the home page or footer of your website.

You can also communicate your location and service areas by using appropriate keywords on your site. For example, using the term "Electrician in San Jose" on your services page helps search engines understand the area you serve. You can use this same approach and use location-specific keywords in your blog posts to further build on your local search rankings.

Do some research to come up with relevant location-specific keywords to use to do this. There are a few great ways to research which search terms will be most beneficial for you:

  • Evaluate your competitors' websites to see what language they use on their sites
  • Use Google Trends to see which relevant terms are most popular
  • Consider a paid tool like Moz or SEMRush

#3: Earn Relevant Citations
Like an old-fashioned phonebook, online directory listings can help new customers in your community find you. Having your business information listed in relevant online directories is a great way to boost your local SEO. These listings are called citations in the SEO world.

It's important to note that your business's information needs to be consistent across all of your citations. The information you list in these directories is called your NAP - Name, Address, Phone. Your NAP should be written the same everywhere. If one citation has your cell phone number and one has your office line, or if different listings have different variations of your URL, it can make your business appear untrustworthy in the eyes of Google's algorithm.

Online directories primarily serve to build trust and authority for your business, so be sure to choose ones that your customers would use and that would reflect well on your business. To get started, try:

  • The Chamber of Commerce: Listing your business on your local Chamber of Commerce website is a great way to earn a trustworthy listing
  • ContractorHub.com: a free online directory for artisan contractors
  • HomeAdvisor.com: This site helps customers find professionals for home improvement projects
  • Angi: Formerly Angie's List, this is another great site for contractors
  • The Better Business Bureau: Listing your company with the BBB gives you a citation that carries a lot of authority
  • Yelp: If you don't already have a Yelp page, this is a great time to start one. Just be sure to check regularly and respond to any reviews
  • YellowPages: The phonebook is online now

A well-optimized, well-performing website is the best way to bring in new local customers online. You can get yours in just a week with Artisan Contractor Websites. Get started now.