Have you ever wondered how some tradesmen can get here?
Well, the map pack doesn’t have to be a far-fetched dream.
Some people can actually get there by sheer luck.
But not us, we get to the map pack by hard work and being better than our competitors – right?
Exactly! So let’s hop right in and start showing your customers why you’re the best in town.
Here’s a brief overview of what we’ll be getting into:
- Local Directory Listings
- Create Hyper-Local Content
- Find the Right Keywords
- Add Your Keywords to GMB
- Building Backlinks
- Create Location Pages
- Add FAQs
- Add Blogs to Your Home Page
- Mobile-Friendly Site
- Embed Google Maps
- Start Collecting Emails
1. Local directory listings
So what is a local directory listing?
A directory listing is when your business is listed on sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, Yellowpages, Cylex, Mapquest… the list goes on.
What’s great about these listings is that they’re generally free, help your site get more traffic from their platform, and best of all – the domain authority.
Why does it matter?
Mostly, for the domain authority. I say this because when is the last time you went on Mapquest to look for a new business?
Not a very common trend in the online world where Google dominates.
But, these sites have developed quite a reputation among Google for being trustworthy. This helps your site because when they link out to you, Google sees you as more trustworthy as well.
It’s as simple as signing up, so it’s pretty common to get as many as possible – the more relevant to your industry, the better.
How impactful are they?
–According to Whitespark, citations were responsible for 7% of the ranking factors in Google my business
That’s pretty hefty, for just signing up on a bunch of different sites – that can definitely help a new start-up tradesman who’s just getting out there!
2. Create hyper-local content
What is hyper-local content?
It’s content specifically created for the geographic area you practice your trade. For example, if you’re a roofer in Orlando you would make a blog about “5 Reasons You Need a New Roof in Orlando”.
Why does it matter?
It actually helps in a multitude of ways. First, most people are most likely to read a blog that pertains to their actual area of residence, when you specify their city in the blog, it makes even a mundane topic something of more value.
Second, it matters with Google. Google is making huge changes in its search algorithm to strongly favor and prioritize local results.
To prove this, type “roofing contractor” into Google and watch it display results for roofers in YOUR AREA.
This was a huge change and opportunity for smaller businesses to make their mark, you’re now only competing with your local tradesmen with SEO, not every tradesman in the world.
How impactful is hyper-local content?
Let’s look at this example from Roofing Experts St. Paul, you can see that they rank for “how to find a leak in your roof in Minnesota”, they’re ranked #1.
However, if we just type in “how to find a leak in your roof” in general, you’ll see tons of other info blogs that outrank Roofing Experts St. Paul.
So why is this effective? Because Roofing Experts St. Paul now only competes with other Minnesota roofers who wrote a similar blog.
If you’re located in Minnesota and search for “how to find a leak in your roof” you can expect that Roofing Experts St. Paul will pop up.
This works because the people who will be seeing your article will only be potential customers from your area, not the entire country.
This is great because now you’re not competing with these HUGE sites to get your article seen to your ideal audience, now it’s delivered to them based on location.
3. Find the right keywords
What does it mean to find “the right keywords?”
When you create your website and describe your services, inevitably there will be a way you will refer to them.
For example, will you target the word “roofer”, “roofing” or “roof” contractor?
Believe it or not, these words do convert at different rates, so be mindful of which variation you’ll use.
An easy way to see which keyword you should choose is to look at your competition.
They will have ultimately done this for you as Google has clearly chosen them to rank, thus using those keywords.
Another way to find those keywords is to use Google’s Keyword Planner, put in your competitor’s website, and let the good times roll with all of your new keywords.
Why does it matter?
Because with billions of sites floating around, the only way Google can know that your site is relevant to your industry is by using these magical keywords.
And again, they don’t convert equally.
For example, “roofer” has a cost per click of $17 and a search volume of 165,000.
On the other hand, “roofing contractor” has a cost per click of $48 but a search volume of 48,000.
Which keyword would you choose? Well, the one with a higher cost per click is generally your best bet.
If it costs a lot to run ads with the keywords, you can bet it converts.
How impactful is using the right keywords?
Well, let’s calculate using our prior example.
“Roofing contractor” is worth almost 3x more than “roofer” and almost a 4x lower search volume, which means less competition.
So, targeting “roofing contractor” would be 4x easier and net you 3x the return, this is why keywords are so special.
It’s about working smarter, not harder!
4. Add keywords to your GMB
What does it mean to add these keywords to your Google My Business?
We have to find those meaningful and high converting keywords from before, and be very explicit in adding them to your Google My Business profile.
This will just further reinforce to Google that you’re the expert in your area in regards to these keywords.
Again, further reducing your competition down to who’s actually targeting these keywords.
You can add them in the “info” section, you can create “posts” using these keywords, you can even input the keyword into your business title, believe it or not, there’s no penalty for such.
I would also recommend adding them to the “products” and “services” tabs as well.
Here’s a great guide on how to add keywords effectively into your profile.
5. Building backlinks
What does it mean to build backlinks?
A backlink is when another site links out to your site, sort of like a citation.
There are different types of backlinks, which carry their own different weight, but for the most part, there’s just a “follow” and “nofollow” backlink.
A “follow” backlink is when the site that references you actually offers up some of their “SEO reputation” or “link juice” to your site.
These are more powerful than “nofollow” backlinks which basically refer to your site without providing some “link juice”.
Since any site can reference you at any time, it’s inevitable that you will generate some “nofollow” backlinks along your SEO journey.
A healthy ratio seems to be around 75% “follow” to 25% “nofollow” links.
You can check yours for free by visiting SEO Review Tools
Why does it matter?
Google has stated that their algorithm, in a very, VERY, condensed statement, centers around EAT.
EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness.
Backlinks, particularly when the site they’re coming from is powerful, send a strong signal to Google that you are an expert and an authority in your niche. Since you’ve been recognized by another industry authority.
Using roofers as an example, the top 3 sites ranking for the term “roofing in Orlando”.
All have at least 230 backlinks.
6. Create web pages for every area you serve
Why does it matter?
So we know that Google pulls most of its information based on geography and location. Then how exactly do we rank for a city that’s close to us, we do a lot of work in, but aren’t technically located in?
That’s when location pages save the day.
The content and keywords you use on these pages will tell Google that you’re a service business and can provide this service outside of a specified zone.
This makes all the difference in whether or not you’ll rank for the cities near to you.
It’s a great way to fight back at the location-specific searches Google provides your customers with.
How impactful is it?
Enough for Rocket Focus to write an entire blog article centered around the correct way to structure your location pages.
It really is a secret tip to expanding your reputation in other areas and outranking your competition.
For tradesmen SEO, this is particularly important since most of your business will involve a multi-city work area.
7. Add FAQs to your service pages
What is an FAQ?
An FAQ stands for frequently asked questions. This is generally a section like this that answers potential questions customers may have prior to purchasing.
These are not only a great idea to help build trust, but a phenomenal way for optimizing your SEO for your service.
Which questions should I use?
You should answer the most frequent objections you will encounter in a normal sale.
If you’re a roofer you should answer some questions like:
- “How long is the warranty on this product?”
- “Is it available in any color?”
- “How long will it take to install this product?”
- “What is the average cost for this product?”
Obviously, these are fairly simple and straightforward, but you get the picture.
Why does it matter?
FAQs are another ingredient in the SEO for tradesmen secret sauce.
Why? Because those questions mimic ACTUAL searches your customers are typing into Google.
Consumers go through a series of searches before finally making a decision, these “top of the funnel” questions allow you to warm up your customers while they’re still looking around.
And if you answer these questions, but your competition doesn’t, who would you trust more?
That’s right, you!
For trade industries, trust is generally the limiting factor in a conversion.
Odds are, your leading trade competitor in your region has an extensive “About Us” page, they’re probably a prominent figure in the community, there’s a high probability they’re active on social media and their website will have a TON of pages.
Start answering questions on your site and you’ll be seen as the expert you are.
8. Add your blogs to the home page
What do you mean by adding blogs to the home page?
It’s fairly straightforward, ask your webmaster or perform it yourself, but basically, just add links to your blogs on your home page.
Why does it work?
Google gives precedence to the motifs that occur on your home page.
Keywords are a great way to observe this.
If you head over to Google Search Console for your site, you’ll see that the majority of the keywords you rank for on present on the home page.
This includes URLs as well.
So, if you place your most visited blogs on your home page, the prioritization of the URL is given.
Which is phenomenal when you write awesome content, which you’re already doing… right?
It allows you to rank for more keywords than you would already if you just feature static content on your front page.
At least that’s what the stats say- and that’s what we believe!
9. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
What does it mean for your site to mobile friendly?
Everything is moving to mobile – in fact, more than 60% of all searches are done through mobile devices.
Optimizing your website for mobile user experience is a MUST.
- Make sure your site loads in under two seconds
- Optimize button size and font size
- MUST: have correct dimensions for images and margins for blocks
- Make Call To Actions clear
- Provide meaningful content
Why does it matter?
Because most users will actually leave a site in less than 3 seconds if their attention is not captured.
That means a well-structured site that delivers as much information as possible in four seconds is how optimized your site must be.
The majority of the content on your page should be centered around building trust, introducing yourself, and highlighting what makes you unique.
Ditch the stock photos and hire a professional photographer for maximum impact on your overall performance.
You can monitor the public perception of your website by monitoring your site’s bounce rate, ideally under 60%.
10. Embed Google Maps into your pages
What does it mean to embed Google Maps?
Have you ever seen a map like this on a web page? It’s not there by coincidence.
This helps Google identify the location of your business.
It’s a very simple process and is initiated from the Google Maps platform, something we’re all familiar with.
Here’s Google’s short tutorial on how to embed a google map into your page.
Why is it effective?
Because it allows users to pull directions EXACTLY to the location provided.
In all great marketing, the fewer steps the better.
Google, in turn, is always happy when you use any product they create and will reward you for such – everything helps!
11. Start collecting emails
How do you collect emails?
Place a sign-up form on your website and incentivize readers who subscribe with an offer, discount, or guide that will benefit them in some way.
Why is it effective?
Email marketing WORKS, I mean $44 to $1 ROI – works.
But we’re here to talk about SEO.
Blasting out new blogs or video content you create is an easy way to get direct traffic immediately to your blogs.
The majority of the effort in creating content is promoting – not just the construction.
This is a sure-fire way to turn your small blog into a beast that outperforms your competitor’s 150 blogs – that receive no traffic.
I hope that wasn’t too intimidating, you can obviously adapt these tactics for the trade industry you specialize in whether it be HVAC, roofing, or auto repair.
Most of these tips center around content creation and using the right keywords EVERY TIME you have the chance to.
Much more can be said about promoting the hyper-local content you create, but creating as much high-quality content around the keywords that convert in your industry is a solid path to success for your trade.
If you have any questions whatsoever or are confused about the details regarding these tips, feel obliged to leave a comment or check out John’s article, which is equally helpful.
We’re more than happy to help with your SEO!