So you’re looking to expand your contracting business’s online presence? Continue reading because you’re about to find out exactly what you need to know before you start SEO. Having worked with contracting firms such as HVAC and plumbing companies, there are four things you want to know before starting SEO. Whether you’re planning to do it on your own or hire an SEO agency, you’re going to want to keep in mind the following:
- SEO is a long-term strategy
- The more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it
- You’re not just optimizing your site for Google
- Content is what’s going to rank
SEO is a Long-Term Strategy
Search Engine Optimization, like any form of marketing, does not come overnight. What I mean by this is that you are not going to see your website go from page 3 to page 1 in one day, nor will you see it happen over the course of a few days, not even a few weeks!!
Google has to crawl billions of sites every day, and while Google is super powerful, it still takes time to sort through all these sites. So even if we did everything perfectly over the course of a long weekend, we probably wouldn’t see your site move up for some time.
How long does it take? Well, that’s not an easy question to answer. However, you should ask yourself a few questions
- How large is my city/target location?
- How many competitors are there in my area?
- How old is my website?
- What is the volume of my target phrase? (see SEO Terminology Basics)
The more consistent content you put out, the more Google will crawl your site
If you update your site by adding pages or blog posts once a month vs. once a week, Google will crawl your site based on just that. So if it knows you’re writing every week, then Google will crawl your site more frequently. This is why your biggest competitors are most likely investing thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars on professionals who can write content and manage content for them.
Once you’re at the top, you’re safe for some time
The reason why organic SEO is so attractive is that once you’re listed at the top, you’re likely to say there for some time. If you have solid content (e.g., videos, FAQs, etc.) and users stay on your site over your competitors, you’re likely going to continue receiving calls for whatever your page is ranking for!
Is there any timeline I can follow?
Yes, luckily, we have some numbers that will help you understand how long you can expect to wait until you see “results”
When we say results, we’re talking about upward momentum for phrases related to a service (e.g., page 3 to page 2).
If you do SEO properly, and you’re targeting a very specific phrase like “hydro-jetting service Tampa” you can see upward momentum within the first 90 days of launching your SEO campaign. For larger phrases like “plumber Tampa” or “HVAC Tucson” you can expect to see major results (first page) 6-12 months after starting.
If you want a more accurate timeline, consult with a specialist who specializes in contractor SEO.
The More You Put in The More You Get Out
This shouldn’t be surprising, and if you’re the type of person who just wants quick overnight results for cheap, organic SEO is not for you. You’re either going to have to invest time or money to receive higher rankings and more phone calls.
I’m doing SEO on my own how much time should I spend?
Ideally, you’re going to want to spend as much time as possible. But if you’re like me and prefer when things are clear and cut, here is a quick overview.
During your lunch break, spend a few minutes learning about search engine optimization and online marketing. You can watch videos, or read articles (like the one you’re reading).
Once you get home or over the weekend, audit your site and see what can be improved. Then spend roughly 2 hours, or 3 hours if you’re feeling ambitious, a week writing content for your site. We’ll talk more about content later in this post.
I have no time for this; how much money should I spend?
If you know you’re not going to commit to doing it yourself, maybe you don’t have time or don’t know where to start, you can hire a company or consultant to do the work for you. How much you spend will often reflect how much you receive.
For a solid SEO campaign that will get you additional phone calls, you can expect to pay between $1,000 – $2,500/mo. Some agencies require a commitment plan; others may ask for 3 months upfront; others are more lenient and allow you to pay month to month.
There are some exceptions, and some people will charge less, however, be careful when hiring someone for anything less than $1,000/mo. Good SEO and online marketing doesn’t come cheap, and this is your business, after all.
A good agency will provide you with strong content, be easy to communicate with, and keep you in the loop as your campaign progresses.
Content is King
Content is king, content is king, content is king… yes it needs to be said three times.
Google likes content, the more content that engages your readers the higher you’ll rank.
But what kind of content should you publish, and how often?
Publish Supporting Articles
If your target keyword is based on “leak detection tampa” then you would want to create supporting articles that show relevancy. In other words, you would want to create a blog post on “how do plumbers identify leaks” or “what are the most common symptoms of a leak” which all point back to your original topic that has your target keyword.
This will show Google that you should be seen as an authority on this topic.
Whether you choose to have a post written once a month, twice a month or once a week is up to you, so long as you’re consistent. Yes, Google wants to see your post as frequently as possible, but publishing every day is not realistic. If you can afford the time or money, try getting content (articles, landing pages, etc.) posted on your at least once a month just to show Google you’re still active.
A good SEO agency will provide you with location pages, blogs, and additional service pages, usually 3-5 times per month.
You’re Not Optimizing For Just a Robot
Here’s the thing, many SEO experts lose track of the overall objective. It would be great if you started getting a hundred visits to your site per month, but what if you get no calls or conversions? Then you might as well not have those visitors!
At the end of the day, you want to write to a human being, someone who is going to give you their business, not a machine. I’m talking about keyword stuffing. Nobody wants to see “best ac repair Toledo” a thousand times on a website.
Yes, there are techniques that can still utilize keyword stuffing, even in 2020, but on your main site PLEASE avoid doing that. Remember that a good SEO agency is also familiar with overall marketing. Instead of saying “ac repair Toledo” as the first heading, one might say “Looking for expert AC repair service in Toledo?” Sounds a lot more natural right?
So to summarize, avoid optimizing for a robot and keep the user in mind.
- What is Pay Per Lead?
- Why SEO May Not Work For Your Contracting Business
- What Makes a Good HVAC Website?