What’s the Deal with SEO for Contractors?

I get a lot of questions on the topic of SEO for construction companies.

Although I have written about SEO for contractors several times before, in this article I would like to take a step back and define what SEO actually is.  Then, in a follow up post, I will give some examples of why SEO for construction companies does not always work.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Wikipedia gives a nice, clear definition:  SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s natural (or unpaid or organic) search results.  In other words, it is the art of getting your website or web page to the top of search results in Google and other search engines. In general, the higher your website is in the search results for searches related to your industry, the more people will click on your site and the more site visitors you will have.

What is the Difference Between Organic and Paid Search Results?
Organic search results are affected by SEO efforts that websites and businesses undertake to get their pages ranked highly.  Paid search results are advertisements that businesses pay for that also show up in search results, but are designated as Paid Ads.  To the untrained eye, it may be difficult to see the difference between organic results and paid results, especially in Google.  This graphic shows the difference very clearly.

How Do I Get My Contractor Website to the Top of the Results?
This is a broad question.

First, you must determine what search terms you would like to be at the top for.  If you are a custom home builder, you would want to show up for a variety of searches, such as:  custom home builder, custom home building, custom homes, new custom home, and so on.  Generally, as a small business, you should seek out a few (4-6) searches for which you would like to rank, and focus on those.  You’ll never rank highly for all searches related to your industry.

Second, is a lot that goes into attempting to rank for search words and phrases.  An incomplete list:  modernize your website, optimize the content on your website, build social media profiles, try to get other websites to link to yours, create and distribute quality content related to your industry on a regular basis, and so on. The list is near endless and the code is never fully cracked.  That is why SEO for construction companies is often referred to as scientific.

How Does SEO Actually Make Me Money?
The short answer is that you invest time and money into SEO for several months, your website starts to appear at or near the top of the search engine results for searches related to your industry, people click on your website, they visit your website, and you engage them there by educating them and offering your services to them in some way, shape, or form.  SEO for construction companies is the practice of getting your website to the top of search results so people click on it.  Once people click on your website, there is also a lot of work to be done to ensure that your website is a valuable resource to your visitors and you are able to convert visitors to actual leads for your business.  I will get into conversion rate optimization in some upcoming posts – it’s a big and important topic!

What Does SEO for Construction Companies Cost?
This is akin to asking how much a house costs.  There are many, many variables that go into pricing for SEO for construction companies.  As a baseline, if your website is not currently optimized for search and you have never done any SEO, you should expect to pay at least $3,500 for up-front optimization work and at least $1,000 per month for ongoing SEO work.  If you are using content marketing for SEO, which I highly recommend, you will probably be paying around $2,500 per month.  Those are ballpark estimates.  There is a lot that goes into SEO for construction companies, which is why I do not always recommend it for clients.  It works for many clients, but not all.  I will break down some business case studies in an upcoming post.

For now, I hope this little guide on SEO for construction contractors sheds some light on a gray area for many small business owners.

If you are interested in digging further, let me point you to few our useful articles.

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments.

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