According to Google Keyword Planner, the phrase “excavation company” is searched up to 10,000 times a month in the United States. Most of these people are homeowners or small-sized commercial property owners who need a professional excavation contractor to tear up some dirt, rock, and general debris.
In this article we’re going to give you a complete excavation SEO guide and overview to help you get to the top position of Google and out-do your competitors!
What is Local SEO?
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of ranking for a specific phrase within a location. This could be ranking in a small town or a major city like New York or Chicago. Through SEO excavation and general contractors can expand their online visibility and generate more phone calls and increase the number of projects they can take per month.
Additional SEO Resources
If you manage an excavation business then the following resources will prove to be of great value in your quest to best utilize Google for your company:
- Local SEO Pricing
- What Contractors Should Know Before Starting SEO
- SEO Terminology
- Why SEO Might Not Work
- Should You Pay Per Lead
Setup Your Google My Business
If you haven’t already registered your Google My Business page, then do so NOW! Why? Because it’s where the majority of phone calls will go, especially for a service like excavation and land clearing.
If you setup your Google My Business properly and perform some basic Google Maps SEO then you will be able to rank in what we call the “three-pack” of the maps section. The above image shows the three-pack listings.
Take notice of JOY Inc. Excavation which has an “Ad” marked to the left of the listing. This indicates the company has not ranked organically for this phrase, but is instead paying for the placement.
Hide or show your address
When filling out your Google My Business, you can choose to hide or show your address. Regardless, you will still need to enter a proper address to receive mail. Google will send you a postcard and ask you to enter a code to verify the business location.
Should I hide or show my address for SEO?
This is a commonly asked question, especially amongst contractors. At the end of the day Google wants to provide users with a relevant search experience. So if there are 10 excavation companies already listed on Google in your area it might be best to show your address since property owners near you can easily find you based on location and distance. Although if there are no companies near you, then being specific and hyper targeting a location may not be necessary.
It’s best to consult with an SEO expert who specializes in local SEO to answer this type of question.
Avoid using a postal address!
Setting up a Google My Business account using a post office or virtual office address is a big mistake that can get your listing penalized. Too many people are buying up fake Google My Business listings and selling leads to other companies, this is known as “rank and rent” and the most common way of doing this is by purchasing a postal address or virtual space in a specific neighborhood, creating a fictitious website and selling the leads to contractors.
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your location for whatever reason, then you can simply hide the address as mentioned before.
If you do find yourself needing to use a postal address make sure that you are showing, to the best of your ability, that it is a legit business located there and not a spam site. Submit geotagged photos (company logo), have your “office” area include labels of your company name with the address.
The more you enter the better
Always be sure to fill out as much as possible for your Google My Business listing. This will give Google the proper information it needs to rank your company higher than your competition.
Here is a quick guideline your excavation company can follow:
- Upload a minimum of 5 photos (crew members, logo, projects, etc.)
- List a minimum of 3 service areas
- Fill out your primary category (hint: excavating contractor)
- Enter your business hours (A MUST)
- Add a short handle (e.g., @johnsexcavationgmb)
- Add any specific holiday schedule changes
- Specify if you are LGBTQ friendly, are veteran-owned, etc.
- A business description with your keywords
There are many more fields that you should fill out, but the above are simply those that are an absolute must.
Perform Proper Keyword Research
Keyword research is a delicate subject to explain since there are a few terms you need to know in order to understand this process. However, the main terms you should know are: Search Volume (Vol, Volume, Monthly Search Volume), Keyword Difficulty (KD, Difficulty, Competition), Keyword (Keywords, Keyphrase, Search Phrase), CPC (Cost-Per-Click, Cost)
- Keyword(s) – A particular word, or phrase that is entered into the search bar. Sometimes referred to as “Keywords”, “Keyphrase”, or “Search Phrase”
- Search Volume – An average amount of times a particular term is searched per month. Sometimes referred to as “Vol”, “Volume”, “Monthly Search Volume”
- Keyword Difficulty – An average difficulty it is to rank for a specific phrase. Sometimes referred to as “KD”, “Difficulty”, or “Competition”
- CPC (Cost-Per-Click) – The average cost in order to receive one-click when running a Google Ad.
If you’re doing the SEO yourself you’re going to want to look for phrases that are profitable in your area so that you’re using your resources in the most effective manner possible.
Write down what customers are asking you
This is a great place to start. All you need to do is write down a list of 10-30 questions that prospects, customers, and peers have asked about your excavation business.
Use tools to monitor popularity
There are a number of free keyword monitoring tools you can use to help you get to the top of Google.
We recommend using the following (no affiliation):
- LSI Graph
- Also Asked
- Answer The Public
- Google Keyword Planner
When using keyword tools such as Also Asked you will get different variations of that phrase and have a clear idea as to what questions people asking. Take a look at the image below.
Some of the most commonly asked questions that are related to “excavation” are “what is trench excavation?” and “what is excavation work?”
Perfect Your On-Page and Technical Side of Your Website
Once you’ve setup your Google My Business page and have the proper keywords in place, it’s important to get your on-page SEO done right.
But what does that exactly mean? Many specialists in the industry talk in fancy terms that you, the contractor, likely don’t care to know, you just want results. So to simplify it here’s a good analogy.
Your on-page is the framing of your house, it’s the foundation. There are technical terms that you should become familiar with, although this depends on whether you plan to do the work yourself or hire an agency to help your business.
If you’re using a platform like WordPress, then modifying your website should be easy, or at least more straightforward that if its been coded from scratch or using some old or obsolete builder.
Site speed and user experience
Check your site speed using GTMetrix. Your site speed will determine how long it takes for your website to load, which is incredibly important when it comes to user experience. While there have been various experiments within the SEO industry, each with different results, our recommendation is to have your site load within the 2-5 second mark.
A site that takes longer than 5 seconds will start to see an increase in the bounce rate, meaning people are going to simply leave and go to your competitors. However, a site that loads within 0-2 seconds may actually turn off a user because there is a loss of anticipation. This is a controversial subject within the search engine community, so once again you may be advised to speak with a professional about load times.
Backend and technical work
If you plan to do everything yourself, make sure you understand the terminology of the search engine marketing industry. The technical work bellow is best completed on a WordPress site, otherwise you should consult with your web developer or manager. You should also be able to complete most on-page tasks with other site builders such as Wix and Sqaurespace (although not recommended).
Some terms to consider are as follows:
- Schema markup
- Heading tags (h1, h2, h3, etc.)
- Meta description
- Title tag
Be Consistent and Relevant
Consistency and relevancy when creating a website and blogging is critical. Think of your website like a shark, if it stops moving and producing, it will die. That’s a bit of an extreme analogy but it’s also a good way to think about it. You want to be #1, not #2 and certainly not #3 so make sure you’re always answering questions and providing potential clients with high quality content.
Think of this article as a good example. How many excavation companies are actually going to read this article and think “wow this is great, let’s implement this in our marketing!” not many… at least it’s not likely. However, if a handful find it useful and decide to implement this strategy, then it’s all worth it!
This is why we publish content regularly surrounding the contractor niche to help people like yourself wrap their heads around such a complicated subject.
Publish at least once a month
Because excavation companies aren’t as popular, at least not on Google, as plumbing companies and HVAC brands, you don’t have to worry too much about being active on your website. At JCSURGE we sometimes publish blogs three times a month for clients just to keep up with their competitors.
However, given the competition for excavation SEO is much less than doing online marketing for a plumber or roofer, publishing an article once or twice a month will likely give you the boost you need to rank higher.
Use images and show Google you’re relevant in your area
Take photos of your crew, and make sure to GeoTag them. Why? Because Google sees this as relevancy in your location and if it sees that your crew is working on a job site around the region you claim to serve, the bots will give you a higher ranking!
Taking photos of your crew and people that work for your company is another great way to establish trust. People, especially homeowners, wants to see the faces of those who are going to appear at their doorstep before they have you come out.
Contact JCSURGE for Excavation SEO Services
We hope you found this excavation SEO guide of use to your business. If you have any additional questions please consider emailing email@example.com and or calling (917) 747-4234. We’ll walk you through how we can beat the excavation contractor next door and get you to the top of Google.
We’ll also send you a complete analysis of your website and competitor’s site to show you where the two of you stand. Request a free video analysis today!