In this guide, we explore the best SEO tips for contractors so you can increase your website’s organic search traffic and create more inbound leads for your company.

Why is this vital for your business??

Inbound leads from search engine optimization (SEO) carry a 8.5X higher chance of conversion than an outbound lead does.

If you focus on these techniques alone, you’ll start driving more traffic to your website and improve your search rankings relatively quickly.

1. Write For Humans First, Search Engines Second

It’s more important than ever to prioritize the actual humans reading your website over a search engine that is crawling your site. Search Engine crawlers (or spiders), will never use your services or become loyal customers to your brand.

Here’s a tip: when writing content for a page or post on your website, try not to think about the existence of a search engine like Google. Instead, create content that will help your clients in both subjects related to your field of work and even some subjects a bit outside of your wheelhouse (assuming they will help your customer).

Become an ultimate resource for your clients in an effort to enhance their experience on your website and build trust with your audience.

Let’s face it, most construction topics can be a bit dry and monotonous to write about. However, finding a way to use your expert knowledge on a subject most people know very little about (and getting them to read it) will put you leaps and bounds above your competitor.

Take the ARS plumbing blog. They are not just writing about plumbing tune-ups, replacing pipes or blasting their phone number in the off-chance someone reading their blog has an emergency in the next 24 hours. Instead, they take the opportunity to educate their customer on topics like: Why Is My Toilet Overflowing, Improving Your Home’s Water Quality, and Plumbing FAQ For First Time Homebuyers.

SEO Tips for Contractors and Plumbers

2. Make Webpages Mobile Friendly

Since April 21, 2015, when Google updated their search algorithm to include mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, businesses have been scrambling to update or redesign their website to create a mobile-responsive website. However, over 50% of the Fortune 500 companies in America still don’t have a mobile-friendly site. WOW!

If you want to rank on Google, and you don’t have a mobile friendly-site, you’re making it almost impossible for yourself.

Why does Google put such emphasis on having a mobile-friendly site? Mobile users are different. They have different objectives than desktop users. They want information in quick, easily digestible bites. This underscores the important of optimizing your mobile experience to match a visitor’s needs and behaviors in the context of how they will be using your site.

Outside of the 8 to 1 searches on mobile vs. desktop and the proven increased brand engagement that happens on mobile, it is absolutely vital if you want to rank in an organic search for your product or service.

Already have a responsive site that works on mobile? Ask yourself these questions to make sure it’s working as hard for you as it should!

  • Does it load in less than three seconds?
  • Does it draw your eye to your key selling points or message?
  • Is the content easy to read?
  • Is it easy to navigate?
  • Is it easy to recognize and activate the call to action?
  • Does it provide a good user experience?
  • Is it a website you would spend time if it was not your own?

If you mostly answered “no”, then it’s time to optimize your mobile site and capture the traffic and sales you’ve been missing out on.

Take a look at the website below: it’s a truly responsive website that works seamlessly between desktop, tablet and mobile. Your web designer should do complete website audits across various sized devices to ensure the website is as ascetically pleasing on one device as it is another.

Construction Websites, Construction Website

3. Remove Anything That Slows Down Your Site

Do you remember using the internet in 2003 and waiting…and waiting…and waiting for a site to load? Yes, those were the days of dial-up when inbound marketing was just making an appearance into marketplace.

Now, a slow-loading site is a kiss of death in today’s marketplace. In 2010, Google added site-speed to it’s search algorithm and has increased it’s importance almost every year since.

A slow page can frustrate the user experience and ultimately discourage people from using your service or buying your product.

In the mind of potential buyers, a slow site is an untrustworthy site. Period.

Page speed is vital, both to users and search engines. In fact, 40% of people will leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. 80% of those visitors will never return…gone into the abyss, never to be heard from again.

This means that if your pages are slow, you’re fighting a losing battle for top organic listings, regardless of the quality of your content or your professional website design.

What’s the take-away? Get rid of non-essential elements that slow down your site.

Pro-tip: Declutter your sidebar and put only essential widgets there. If you’re a WordPress user, think about deactivating extra plugins you may have installed but don’t actually need.

4. Get Links

This is major. You must encourage other trustworthy sites to link to your site. Inbound links (links found on another company or organization’s website that link to a page on your site) are still the lifeblood of search engine rankings.  Effective link building tactics revolve around creating exceptional content and then getting people with access to high authority sites to see it.

How do you get backlinks? Here are some of my favorite strategies:

  1. Use a tool like Majectic to see where your largest competitors are getting backlinks then contact the website owner who linked to your competitor.
  2. Infographics still rule in “backlink land” and consistently prove to be a favorite among readers.
  3. Offer to write a guest blog on an authoritative industry website or blog. Make sure to put two links to your own site inside the blog.
  4. Get interviewed for a podcast. When a podcaster does a show, they almost always have a website where they post show notes. They post links to the resources mentioned in the episode.
  5. Make authoritative businesses love you with detailed reviews and testimonials on your site. Share the reviews and chances are they will publish on their site for their own clients to see.
  6. The holy grail of link building, .edu and .gov domains are some of the most trusted, authoritative sites on the internet. Get these, and you’ve just built an asset that your competitors can only dream of.

Just as with most factors in SEO, ignore anything you’ve read about link building that was published before April 24th, 2012. Google’s Penguin update changed SEO in a big way.

You’ve heard it before: “Don’t build links, build relationships.” Almost everyone in SEO agrees that the best way to build links from authority sites is to get to know the people that run them.

5. Write Meta Descriptions For Every Page

A unique and well crafted meta description is one of the most overlooked SEO must-haves by companies today.

A company may rank on Google for their homepage without detailing meta descriptions on every page…but they probably won’t rank for much else. (and we know true inbound success comes from long-tail keyword pages…not generic pages like a homepage).

Take a look at the search results on Google when I search Commercial Contractor Los Angeles:

SEO for Contractors

A sure way to tell if the website owner has not identified a meta description is if it ends in an ellipses (looks like this: …)

Coming up #1 on the search is a company with the name of my exact search terms, Commercial Contractor Los Angeles. They also have a meta description identified.

Now, take a look at the second result, Austin Industries. They don’t have a meta description identified and they have 12 offices across the US…so they are a pretty large GC. In theory, they should be outranking a small company like Commercial Contractor Los Angeles. But they aren’t. Why??

This is what comes up when I search Austin Industries in Google

Austin Industries Marketing and SEO strategy

See the … at the end of their meta description? That means they haven’t identified it here either. It’s safe to say that if a company hasn’t identified a meta description on their homepage they probably haven’t done it anywhere else.

Big mistake.

One of Austin Industries largest business sectors are bridges. If I type in “Best Bridge Contractor” into Google, where do you think they show up?

They don’t.

They are lost among the rif-raf of the second page. Chances are, if they added a meta description and for every page, they would jump to the first page for these long-tail keywords pretty quickly with this SEO tip for contractors.

93% of people doing a google search don’t go past the first page…making every detail in an SEO strategy count.

Pro-Tip: Using WordPress? Download the Yoast SEO plug-in. This makes it super easy to outline the meta descriptions without much hassle. It’s a super easy step that can make the difference between a 1st and 2nd page rank.

Which other search engine optimization tips or techniques do you think are most crucial for improving search rankings? Are there any SEO tips that have worked against you?