What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is the practice of improving and promoting a web site in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines. SEO involves doing work on your website and off of your website to attempt to get your website to show, or ‘rank’, highly in the free, or ‘organic’, search results.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, in addition to the SEO guide for contractors, SEO is just one tactic of an overall marketing strategy. In and of itself, it is not a solution that is going to turn your business around. To be effective, SEO must be one piece of the puzzle, with other pieces supporting it.
SEO takes a good amount of effort, time, and money. That’s the unfortunate part. But therein lies the opportunity! Because it takes effort, time, and money, not many of your competitors are doing it. Whenever you have the opportunity as a builder or contractor, or the owner of any other type of business, to look at the market to see what everyone else is doing, and then do the opposite, it’s something worth considering.
The real estate at the top of the Google results is limited. It is a limited pie. There are a defined number of slices to that pie.
This means that if you put in the effort that your competitors are too lazy to put in, you’re likely to differentiate your business from theirs and ultimately attract more customers and clients.
In the SEO guide for contractors, I touched on some basic details of SEO, which we’ll dive into more in the next couple weeks. But I want to list them here because they’re helpful details:
Local SEO Power
Let’s run through a quick scenario that will explain why local SEO for contractors is so important.
You’re the owner of a local roofing and siding business. You finish a job at a home in your neighborhood. The customer, Jen, loves her new cedar roof. It just so happens that Jen’s best friend, Melissa, needs a new cedar roof as well, and mentions this to Jen on their morning run. Jen tells Melissa what a great job you and your company did on her new cedar roof, and Melissa is happy she has a first-hand referral.
When Melissa gets home from the run, she hops on her laptop and Googles you to learn a little bit more about you, your company, and the types of work you do. What is she going to find? A custom roofing website or a bunch of negative reviews?
Although Jen and Melissa are best friends and they trust each other with recommendations from dresses to cedar roofs, they are savvy consumers and still like to do their own research.
If Melissa finds nothing about you or your company online, do you think she might be a little hesitant to give you $50,000 for a new roof?
That’s a large sum of money.
You have to believe she would be more comfortable parting with that money and giving the job to you if she was able to learn more about you and your company, see some past project photos, and get in touch with you easily.
This is the power of the Internet.
SEO for Builders and Contractors Takes Work!
First, let me state that there are never guarantees with SEO for builders or any marketing strategy – online or off. If anyone is guaranteeing you results, run, don’t walk, in the other direction. SEO strategy is not about revolutionizing businesses. It’s about making minor improvements in several areas that, when combined, have a significant multiplier effect on the bottom line.
Second, not everyone is doing it because it takes a good amount of time, effort, and usually, money. It’s very logical, but not easy.
- It takes time for an SEO campaign to improve your results in the search engines – 3-6 months at the minimum
- It takes time and often a professional web designer to design your website for visitor engagement and to optimize it for search engines
- It takes time to create relevant and valuable content on a regular basis
- It takes effort nurture your leads and convert them to customers
Time and effort.
None of these things happens automatically. They require time and effort. They require the business owner to be proactive. As you know, nothing good comes without effort.
Are Multiple Domain Names Good for Contractor SEO?
Have you purchased multiple keyword-rich domain names with the idea that they would somehow help your SEO effort?
Do Exact Match or Partial Match Domains Work?
While Google did crack down on the power of exact match domains a few years ago, the fact is that they still work when used the right way. By “used the right way”, they should have websites on them of legitimate companies doing legitimate business. A domain name really has no value unless there is a market to sell it or unless you have a website built on it. If you’re just going to buy a bunch of domains and point them to your website, it’s not going to do you any good.
The only tangible way that you could use these is to use them in your offline marketing material. For example, you could have business cards printed with www.miamicustomhomes.com as your website, and that address would just point to your regular website, www.customhomesbyrob.com. What’s the value in that? Just the ability to brand your company as Miami Custom Homes, if that is something that Rob would want to do.
The Value of Multiple Websites
Your next question may be whether it makes sense from construction marketingperspective to have multiple websites. The answer largely depends on the type of services you offer, your location, and the size of your geographic service area. I know contractors who have several sites they use for online lead generation, and it does work, but it requires a lot of time and money to keep those running.
97% of the time, you’re better off just putting all of your effort into one website, rather than spreading your efforts and marketing budget out over several websites. Now that Google is weighing a business’ overall online presence, rather than just its website, the bigger opportunity is building your online brand into a powerhouse. Check out the results that we drive for our customers who buy custom plumber websites, websites for roofers, websites for landscapers, remodeler websites, architect websites, and painter websites.
If You’re Just Starting Out
If you’re just starting out and you are looking to purchase your domain name, you may be well served to purchase a keyword-rich domain, such as www.floridacustomhomebuilder.com and build your website on that, if SEO is going to be a key part of your client acquisition strategy. These types of partial-match domains definitely work well. But you also need to think of the long-term implications of this. Five years down the road when you’re successful and don’t necessarily need to or want to rely on SEO for lead generation, are you still going to want your primary business website on that domain? Or would you rather have something that reflects your name and brand? If you’re in it for the long term, don’t worry about getting a keyword-rich domain. But if you’re going for short-term wins, you may want to think about it.
Multiple Domain Names for Contractor Websites – Conclusion
- Domain names have little to no value unless there is a site built on them
- If there is no site built on a domain, the domain is not going to help you for SEO
- Having one website is better than having multiple websites, in most cases
- Feel free to use alternative domains for your offline marketing material
- For the longer-term, branded domains are stronger. For short-term wins, partial match domains can work well
How to Set Your Website Up for Construction SEO Success
Business Contact Info & Local Schema
The most fundamental step for local business SEO is having your contact info displayed on every page of your website. Search engines want to serve the most relevant results possible. So if someone is searching for ‘contractor in Springfield’ and you happen to be a contractor in Springfield, you need to have your business address on your site to let search engines know who you are and where you are.
To make it even easier for search engines to know who you are, your business info should ideally be in Local Schema format. This is a programming markup that draws attention to your contact info and shouts to search engines, ‘I am a Kitchen Remodeling Contractor!’, ‘I am located in Springfield!’, and ‘This is my phone number!’
The Local Schema looks like the below and is a piece of code that goes into your website. Unless you’re particularly tech-oriented, you’ll likely have to ask your web company to insert this into your site. A good place to have it is your website footer to ensure that it shows on every page.
Since Google has about 67% of search market share, we recommend that everyone embed a Google Map of their business location on their website, either in the footer, on the Contact page, or both. This is as simple as going to http://maps.google.com, entering your business address, and then grabbing the embed code to paste into your website. Again, this is something that will require a little technical maneuvering, so you probably want to check with your web company on this one as well.
Google and other search engines want to display the most relevant results possible. Website load speed is a factor to which they are giving increasing weight in search results. If your website takes a long time to load, not only is Google going to notice it, but your visitors will notice it too.
As we all know, people are impatient these days. We’re jumping around from one thing to the next and aren’t going to wait around for 5-10 seconds for a website to load.
Fixing page load speed is super technical. We have a site speed guy and that’s all he does. I don’t really understand what he does or how he does it, but he makes it happen. Get in touch if your site is too slow and we’ll see if we can help.
Title and Meta Descriptions
Extremely, extremely important to get right. These descriptions are what tell search engines (and people) what your site is all about. Don’t confuse these with keyword tags or meta keyword tags, which are basically just a bunch of keywords stuffed into your website as a half-hearted attempt at SEO. Google stopped considering keyword tags years ago and they have 0 relevance.
The meta title is the title of your page that shows up in search engine results. Similarly, your meta description describes what your page is about.
Below is an example from the About page on our website, so you can see how we’re using the title and description to tell search engines and prospective site visitors what this particular page is all about.
If your site is built on the WordPress platform, there are SEO plugins that make this easy. Check with your website company to make sure that every page of your site has a unique title and meta description.
If you don’t have these in order, it’s going to be very difficult for you to see results from SEO efforts.
Again, this is something you need to do for search engines and for your website visitors. On site content really is the foundation of what drives traffic to your website. It’s ideal to have at least one page for each of your services and include the geographic areas that you serve.
For example, if you’re a Springfield Remodeling Contractor, you may offer kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, basement remodeling, and additions. You should have a page for each one of those, and if you are really serious, blog posts about each of those as well.
Your page titles should be something like, Springfield Kitchen Remodeling Services, Springfield Bathroom Remodeling Process, and so on.
Then, somewhere in each one of those pages, list some of the towns or counties that you service.
How much content is ideal? It depends on what else your contractor SEO strategy involves, but we recommend having at least 5,000 – 10,000 words of unique geographic-specific content on your website as a base, and again if you really want to rank well, adding at least 1-2 new pages or posts monthly.
Another simple fix that can mean the difference between SEO results for construction companies and no results at all. A permalink is your URL for each page. So going back to our Springfield Remodeling example, a good permalink for the Kitchen Remodeling page would be:
This is one more thing that lets search engines know what this page is about and helps them better index it in search results.
A poor permalink for this page would be something like:
As you can see, this doesn’t really help search engines learn what this page is about.
It’s important to note that if you’re going to improve your permalinks, you must set up 301 redirects from the old non-ideal permalinks to your new permalinks. This will ensure that any SEO juice you had going to those pages will continue to go to your site, but will go through to the new pages. If you don’t set up redirects, your visitors will be getting a lot of 404 errors and will be leaving your site asap. ***This is very important. You could do some serious damage to your SEO efforts if you don’t do this properly.
A sitemap is another thing that helps search engines crawl and index your site. As you may know, Google is constantly crawling the Internet and indexing the pages of your site so it can continually improve its search results. The sitemap is another simple thing that can contribute to your SEO efforts (learn more here).
This sitemap shouldn’t be confused with the page on your site that lists all of the pages. The sitemap I’m referencing here is something that operates in the background and is not visible unless someone knows how to search for it.
To check if you have a proper sitemap, go to your URL bar and add /sitemap.xml to the end of your website address.
If you have one, it will show up correctly. If you don’t, you will get a ‘Page Not Found’ error.
Contractor Website SEO Checklist – Conclusion
While there are dozens of factors that can contribute to success with Construction Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online marketing, the 8 that I have outlined here are very important on-page fundamentals to have in place.
Just this morning I had an initial consult phone call with an Electrical Contractor, and although he said he has been paying another agency for SEO for 6 months, over half of these fundamentals were not in place on his website.
That’s just money out the window for this contractor, unfortunately.
Please take the time to do this and make sure your foundation is in order, especially if you’re paying someone for SEO.
How to Make Sure You Don’t Lose Your Rankings When You Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
Background: I was speaking with another website marketing person (yes, we do collaborate with others in our field) who said he heard from multiple contractors recently that they recently updated their websites to make them mobile responsive, but their search engine rankings have tanked! He admitted to me that he is better on the content side and generic SEO strategies, but he has less experience on the mobile migration strategies. What bothered him (and I agree) is that the issue makes no sense at all! The whole point of updating your site to make it mobile friendly is to make Google happy and rank even better in the search engines, not fall off the map. I gave it some thought and decided to offer some suggestions that may be missed by others.
If you’ve experienced a similar fate, the good news is that there are a few simple things you can check to ensure that you remain in Google’s good graces.
When you’re building a new website, taking the time to go through a quick checklist will ensure that all the hard work you’ve done on SEO will not be lost.
Why a Mobile Website?
First, why would you want a mobile friendly site in the first place? A couple months ago, Father Google announced that they are going to start weighing mobile friendly sites more favorably in their search algorithm. Truth is, they’ve been doing this for some time, but this announcement made it official. So, if you’re putting any sort of effort into your web presence or online marketing, you’ll be better served having a mobile responsive contractor website. In addition to pleasing Google, you’ll also be pleasing your website visitors, as more and more of them will be viewing your site and doing their research from a smart phone or a tablet. In fact, if you track your website traffic at all, you’ll notice that a good 25% – 35% of your visitors are viewing your site on a mobile device.
How to Make Your Construction Website Mobile Friendly?
A common misconception is that you can take any website and tweak a few things to make it mobile friendly. Unfortunately, in most cases, it’s not that easy. A mobile friendly or mobile responsive site is built a certain way from the very beginning. It’s akin to trying to convert an old diesel truck into an electric truck. Sure, it’s possible, but you’re usually better off just scrapping the old and building a new one from scratch.
Tip: If you’re not sure whether you have a mobile friendly website, ask Google.
Rather than retrofit your old site, here are 3 ways that you can build a mobile friendly website:
1. Switch to a Responsive Theme or Template
Most website platforms, including WordPress, have thousands of out-of-the-box mobile responsive themes you can purchase or download for free. Other platforms such as SquareSpace and Wix have mobile friendly themes as well. We develop our own responsive themes that are 100% customizable, so get in touch with us if you need a hand.
2. Redesign Your Site From Scratch
If switching to a pre-made theme or template is not your cup of tea, you can ask your web team or Contractor Dynamics to build you a brand new custom site from the ground up.
3. Create a Mobile Subdomain
In my opinion, this is a bandaid solution, not a long term fix. Depending on your site structure, your web team may be able to do this without a ton of work. There are also mobile options such as Duda Mobile that are quite popular.
How to Maintain (and Improve!) Your Rankings During the Switch
1. Rebuild in the Background
First, whoever is redesigning your site should be doing so on a subdomain or a local server and then uploading the new site when it’s complete. This minimizes site downtime to a couple hours, rather than a couple weeks. Don’t let your web developer put up a Coming Soonpage while they’re building your new site. This is one of the fastest ways to drop in the search engines. Why? On site content is the foundation for all of your SEO efforts. A Coming Soonpage means you have zero on site content for as long as that page is up.
2. Don’t Block Search Engines
Most website platforms will have some sort of “website visibility toggle” that will ask you if you want search engines to be able to read your site. On some platforms, this toggle is switched to “NO” by default. For example, in WordPress, there is a toggle box that says “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.” Many times, on a new site build, this box will be checked, which means that you’re going to be invisible to search engines. Some web developers or designers who don’t have a marketing mind will not understand this, so make sure you’re double-checking and asking them.
3. Submit Your Site to Search Engines
Once your new site is up, you want to submit it to Google and Bing at the very least. We use Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools to make sure search engines are indexing our sites properly.
4. Check Your Sitemap
Part of submitting your site to Google, Bing, and the others, is submitting your XML Sitemap. Your sitemap is sort of a road map that instructs search engines how to crawl your site efficiently and rank you for the things that you want to rank for (in an ideal world). To check if you have a sitemap, just put /sitemap.xml at the end of your domain name in your browser bar. Note that there are a lot of free online tools that will do this for you, but they’re all fronts for selling you things you don’t need, so don’t bother with them. If you do not have a proper XML sitemap, call your web company ASAP.
5. Optimize Your Page Titles & Meta Descriptions
Often, when a new site is built, a web designer or developer will not insert optimized title tags and meta descriptions on each page, two key pieces of information that can make or break you in the game of SEO. Your titles and descriptions tell search engines what each page is about, so they can index your site more effectively. Rather than get into a lengthy explanation here, I will link directly to Google’s resource all about titles and meta descriptions.
6. Redirect Old URLs to New Ones
Let’s say your old site had a page with the following URL: http://abcremodeling.com/kitchens.aspx and your new site has an improved URL structure, so the new kitchen page is http://abcremodeling.com/kitchen-remodeling. What you need to do is program your site so the old page automatically redirects to the new page on your new site. Otherwise, you risk losing a lot of Google juice and frustrating visitors. Here’s some more info on the importance of 301 Redirects.
7. Monitor Your Rankings
We always recommend that you plug your keywords into a handy rank tracking too, such as Serpbook, to monitor your daily keyword positions. We do this for all of our clients, but if your web or marketing company is not doing this for you, ask them to set it up, or set it up yourself. It’s relatively simple. Monitoring your positions on a daily or weekly basis will help you catch any sharp drops.
What Does It All Mean?
The bottom line is that if you make updates to your site or build a new mobile friendly website and your search engine positions drop, something is very wrong. Going trough the 7 points above will likely resolve any issues that you have. But the best approach is always the proactive approach. If you are having someone build your site, have this conversation with them before the project begins. Communicate your goals and make them understand the importance of not losing all of the effort that you have put into ranking your site.
8 Questions to Ask Your Contractor SEO Agency
What is your experience in my industry?
SEO is an intimate service. A small business looking to improve its web presence and a contractor SEO agency will need to work closely together over the course of months in order to achieve any real results. There is a lot of content writing to be done, competitive analysis to undertake, and additional work to your website that will need to be done. In order to do these things successfully, any contractor SEO agency needs to have a very good understanding of your business and your industry. If a particular SEO agency is working with restaurants, law firms, e-commerce stores, and contractors all at the same time, there is a good chance that the agency does not have a deep enough understanding of your industry to affect any true results. Where possible, try to work with an SEO agency that specializes in your industry.
What is my current standing in online search results, where do you propose to get my business, and how long will it take?
Never do anything in business, especially when it is something that requires a good chunk of time and money, without first establishing these basics. There are tools that can give you a detailed analysis of where your company stands in the search engine results for various searches (contact us if you want to get this ranking report now). If you don’t have a baseline from which to work, how will you know how to measure improvement? Then, make sure the contractor SEO agency puts in writing the exact results they are aiming to help you achieve. Note: there are never any guarantees with SEO, so if your agency is promising results, such as being #1 in Google, run fast in the other direction. However, there have to be some clear objectives. Third, find out how long this SEO agency expects your project to last. Typically, you will begin to see some good traction after just a few months, and after 6 months of consistent work, you should begin to see good, tangible results. For more competitive industries, expect a minimum of 12 months of SEO work. Again, if a contractor SEO agency is promising results in just a month or two, they’re flat out lying to you. These things take time. The key take-away here is to ensure that the expectations of both parties are outlined in writing and in advance.
What is the SEO strategy that you will deploy for my business?
Any contractor SEO agency will have a clear, direct answer to this question. Link building used to be the go-to strategy for ranking websites. Now, things have shifted for the better, and the best SEO benefits are realized through consistent and valuable content creation and distribution. Don’t pay an SEO agency for links. This is the cheap-way out and will not result in any long-term benefits.
How are we going to determine which keywords to target for my business?
When you say you want to ‘get to the top of Google search results’, you have to qualify the words and phrases for which you would like to ‘rank’. If your company is Joe’s Plumbing, then of course anyone in your area who Googles ‘Joe’s Plumbing’ should find your website at the top of the search results. But that’s the easy part. The hard part is getting to the top of the page for terms like: plumbing, water heater repair, clogged drain repair, and so on. Your contractor SEO agency will work with you to determine the few key words or phrases that you want to target for your business. There should be a clear process for this based on data and research. Don’t accept anything less. You can also read our guide Choosing the Right Keywords for Your Contractor Marketing
How will we measure the results from the SEO campaign?
This ties into the question above about goals. Define success. What outcome are you looking to achieve? Are you looking for an improved position in the search results, more website visitors, more phone calls, or some other metric? Again, make sure you and your SEO agency have the same expectations before you begin that enable you to measure success or failure.
If or when we stop working with you as our SEO provider, will our search engine rankings drop?
If a contractor SEO agency tells you that you must keep paying them or else your search engine results will plummet, there’s a good chance they are using some questionable link-building tactics to get your website ranked. Avoid agencies like this. SEO is something that you should never really stop doing, but if you are doing it the right way (content over link building), and for some reason you had to stop, your website should not plummet in the search results.
May I call 3 of your current or former clients?
This is nothing new. Before you spend a lot of time and money with a contractor SEO agency, ask for some references, or just look on their website, and call a few of their former or current clients. That is the best way to get the real scoop on your contractor SEO agency.
What services do you offer for on-site optimization?
As I’ve discussed several times before, SEO is not a marketing strategy. SEO is one tactic and should be part of an overall contractor marketing strategy. Any contractor SEO agency worth its salt should offer on-website optimization services and suggest changes to make to your website to optimize for all of the new traffic you will be getting, and convert more of those website visitors to leads. This is commonly referred to as Conversion Rate Optimization. I have a couple articles planned to discuss it. The point here is – don’t pay thousands of dollars to get people to your website and then leave them there to die because your website is old or not optimized to engage with these new visitors and actually convert them into leads for your business.
Contractor SEO Rates
So what can you expect when it comes to contractor SEO rates?
The answer to this is highly specific on the business and the industry involved. It is near impossible to pinpoint an exact number without some research into a business’s current marketing efforts, industry and competitive analysis, and future goals.
With 90% of consumers researching future purchases online, businesses that ignore online marketing do so at their own peril. Having a robust online presence is no longer an if question.
A successful SEO and online marketing campaign demands a lot of work up front as well as ongoing work on a monthly basis. Marketing is not a ‘set it and forget it’ strategy. It’s a process, just as traditional selling is a process.
Between website design, content creation, on-site optimization, and off-site optimization, an SEO agency is putting in hundreds of hours of work. Sure, there are SEO agencies that will charge you $200 a month for SEO and promise you the top spot in Google. As with anything else in this world, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. You can also buy an umbrella for $5. But you don’t.
To provide a range of contractor SEO rates, a good online marketing campaign, including SEO, will have an up-front cost and a monthly retainer for at least 6 months. For a Local Builder or Construction Firm, the initial cost can range from $2,500 – $10,000 and the monthly retainer can range from $750 – $5,000 and even higher.
If you’re paying much lower contractor SEO rates than this, you’re just not making a good effort to grow your business and there is a good chance you are wasting your time and money. Why? Because the pie is limited. Space on the first page Google is limited. You are competing with others in your area for real estate in the search results. If your SEO agency is spending 2 hours every month on your campaign and your competitor is spending 20 hours every month, guess who has a better chance of getting the prime Google real estate? It’s an unfortunate reality and I’m not usually a limited pie size thinker, but this is Google’s world and we must adapt to it if we want to play in it. That’s why contractor SEO rates tend to be all over the map.
SEO Case Studies
I would like to highlight a construction SEO case study.
Bob is a custom home builder. The homes he builds have a price tag of $500,000 – $1,000,000. His average profit per home is $75,000. Bob is doing well, but he recently brought his son into the business and has capacity for more work. So he is looking for ways to generate more qualified leads and ultimately build more homes. Since he is an established builder, he has a modern website that is well-optimized and has a lot of educational material about custom homes and contracting in general. He decides he wants to invest some time and money in a construction SEO agency to start generating some new qualified traffic to his website every month. Notice I said traffic, not leads. When you pay for SEO, you pay for website traffic, not business leads. There is a big, big difference between the two, which I touch on in this article.
Bob contracts with a local contractor SEO agency for a period of 12 months. The monthly retainer for SEO services, which include a lot of content creation and content marketing, is $10,000. So he’s investing $120,000 and a decent amount of his time over the next year. After about 4 months, Bob’s building website starts to turn up on the first page of Google search results. And after 6 months, his site is consistently in the top 3 or 4 results for terms related to custom home builders.
When he logs into his website analytics, sees that he is getting about 2,000 website visitors per month, which is up from about 1,000 per month before he started the construction SEO work. On his website, offers an educational guide called The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Custom Home Builder, which he gives away for free in exchange for a visitor’s email address. When a website visitor enters his or her email address to receive this free guide, Bob considers that a conversion into a lead. Bob’s conversion rate is 10%, so every month he receives 2,000 visitors to his website, and every month, on average, 100 of them convert into leads.
From there, Bob has a regular email campaign in which he educates the prospective home buyer even more over the next several months. For every 100 leads that Bob gets, 4 of them, on average, end up signing a contract with Bob to build a custom home. If we do the math, that is 4 new contracts per month, or 48 per year, which is double what he was getting prior to getting started with the construction SEO work.
Construction SEO By The Numbers
Getting a little bit further into the numbers, since Bob is building 24 additional homes per year than he was before beginning the construction SEO work. Recall that his profit per home is $75,000. Multiply 24 homes x $75,000 in profit and we get $1,800,000 in additional profit. Bob just doubled his business with a $120,000 investment in construction SEO services, a 14X return on his investment.
Bob understands that you sometimes have to invest time and money to do the hard things such as guerrilla marketing or construction SEO that your competitors are not doing. Bob will be in business for a long time, and more importantly, Bob’s son is growing into a robust business that is ready for even more growth.
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.
If you like this example you will love real case study in which our client talks about how he had to stop us because his sales team got overwhelmed by the amount of leads he was getting.
Hiring an SEO company for Contractors is not always the best Strategy-
Jill owns a local plumbing and heating business. She and her husband run the operations and have a crew of 3-4 plumbers, depending on the season. They service local homes and small businesses and have had a pretty good business for about 6 years, averaging $400,000 in annual revenue. Jill is used to getting most of her business through word of mouth, local networking groups, and referrals.
However, sales are not where she wants them to be. She would like to grow her business a little so she and her husband don’t have to work 12 hours a day quoting jobs, paying bills, invoicing, balancing their bank accounts, handling HR and insurance duties, and the like. She thinks that if they can increase their revenue by 20% to $500,000 over the next year, she will have enough money to pay a full time manager to take care of most of the daily tasks.
So she gets in touch with a local SEO company for contractors. She’s smart enough to know that she should hire an agency that specializes in her industry, rather than a general marketing agency who may not understand the ins and outs of her business.
She ends up signing a contract for 6 months of SEO services with the best SEO company for contractors she can afford. Her monthly investment is $1,200, for a total of $7,200 over the 6 month period. She thinks that if she can just ‘get up there’ in the search results’, her phone will be ringing off the hook and all will be right in her world.
This SEO company for contractors is pretty good at what they do and they succeed in getting Jill’s website on the first page of Google for search terms related to plumbing & heating in her area. Chances are, many homeowners and business owners in the area are seeing her website there on the first page of Google and clicking on it.
But Jill is not really sure.
To start, she does not have any way to track website visitors or phone calls she gets from her website. Therefore, she has no way of knowing if the SEO is working, other than that ‘the phones seem a little busier’.
On top of that, her website is 4 years old (and looks like it), and is basically just an online brochure. It doesn’t look any different from any other plumbing & heating company website, it doesn’t engage visitors, and overall, it’s just not very appealing.
After 6 months, Jill hasn’t really seen a spike in business and is a little skeptical about this whole ‘SEO thing’. She feels she just wasted $7,200 of her hard-earned money on a tactic that didn’t work.
And she’s absolutely right. She did waste $7,200 on this SEO company for contractors.
The SEO Company for Contractors Failed Her
And it’s not necessarily her job to know better. The SEO agency should have done their job and ensured that Jill’s entire web presence was optimized for generating traffic and converting that traffic into leads for her business. They failed her and now her view of every SEO company for contractors, or marketing agency in general, is forever tainted.
The core problem here is that SEO is not a marketing strategy. It’s not a panacea. It’s not going to turn your business around. It’s one tactic that should be a part of a larger strategic marketing strategy.
This happens all the time. People are searching for the quick fix, the magic pill that will catapult their business to the next level. It doesn’t exist. It takes hard work, time, and often a reasonable investment of capital. That’s why everyone isn’t doing it. But, for those who do, they have the opportunity to experience unprecedented success in their business.