So you’ve been hit with a cold email, cold call, interesting pitch at an event, or simply found the concept online. Agency directors promising millions of dollars in return for a simple fee of $1,000-$1,500/mo with no minimum and a hassle-free cancellation policy, results not guaranteed of course and obviously no refunds. And you think to yourself “wait a minute, how do I know if this is going to work out or not?”
That’s exactly it, you DON’T KNOW! And in many cases I’ve seen contracting companies spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month on poorly managed campaigns that deliver absolutely no results, some don’t even do the work they say they’re going to do!
In this article we’re not going to discuss the benefits and beauties of ranking high on Google, but instead we’re going to talk about the ugly. When SEO doesn’t go right, and why it may not work for your local business.
The Most Common Catalyst of a Bad SEO Campaign
Never in a million years will someone who has a bad mindset about their investment reap its full rewards. This is no different with ranking higher on Google. A bad mindset, or lack of understanding of how SEO works will almost always leave you empty handed, feeling cheated and resentful of the online marketing community.
I’m not going to explain the countless benefits to investing (time and or money) in SEO, because truth be told, it should be a no-brainer for the contracting industry these days.
But the problem isn’t not being able to see how it can help your business, but the work involved. You see, we don’t just hit up Google and say “Can you rank this landscaper #1 on Google?” and suddenly get you to the top. Nor do we just throw keywords like “best landscaper near me” and bam, call it a day.
It’s Hard Work
Search engine optimization is an arduous process that requires a lot of project planning and data analysis. Now, this may not digest easily since you might think “well that’s their job and they should be able to handle it” but just like when homeowners hire you to “just trim the tree” or “just fix the toilet” a lot of work goes into meeting the needs of the customer, sometimes more than what’s presented at face value.
Not understanding the basics of how SEO works and the amount of work required to rank you on the front page will often hurt you in the long run. Obviously you don’t need to be an expert, especially if you’re looking to hire an agency to do the work but the least you can do is read a few articles about how search engine optimization works and get a feel for the work involved.
For more information read our article on “What Contractors Should Know About SEO“
If You Don’t Have The Money You’ll Need to Invest Time
What you lack in money, you’ll need to make up for in time. Simple.
Here’s the problem, most contracting businesses, especially small scale operations, require you to be out on the field giving estimates and doing physical work. Writing blog posts and learning about keywords is something you’re probably not interested in.
But if you’re starting out or are on a tight budget then you’ll need to make up for that lack of initial capital with your time. SEO is by no means overnight or short-term investment. It’s a long-term strategy that will make you an authoritative figure in your industry and will reward you with additional phone calls and jobs if done correctly.
Your time should be spent finding new keywords for your business, you can use tools like Keyword Planner, analyzing your data with Google Analytics and Google Search Console, and consistently writing new articles/blogs at least twice a month. Why? Because Google likes to see consistent high-quality content. You may also want to spend time reaching out to other similar companies and ask for a “link” back to your website or article.
For instance if you’re a landscaper and you write an article that involves removing trees, consider calling the tree removal company in your neighborhood and ask them to give your article a shout out on their site in exchange for mentioning them.
SEO Is NOT Manipulating Google, At Least Not Entirely
Most people when they hear “search engine optimization” get the impression that we’re simply going to manipulate the search engine, in most cases Google, into favoring our website over our competitor’s. And while in many ways this is true, it’s not like we’re embedding some magical code or purchasing bots to click on our page. Far from it.
You see, many times people will hire an agency for cheap ($200/mo or around that range) and think that they can rank #1 in 30 days. But this almost never happens, and if it does you’re either ranking #1 for a useless phrase that nobody searches like “emergency ac repair 123 main street Toledo, OH” or you’re going to get penalized by Google.
If you don’t understand this then you could end up hiring the wrong agency, spend lots of money, and then be resentful of marketing as a whole when in reality online marketing, specifically SEO, is what can make or break your contracting business in the coming decade.
A good SEO company will always keep the consumer in mind. The consumer being your customer or ideal prospect. What this means is your agency should actively be looking for problems your customers are having, and formulating content that surrounds that problem with a solution, the solution being your company’s service or product. What we’re doing is essentially making you the Wikipedia of your industry. The more content your website has about your niche, the more Google and people will trust you over your competition.
Search engine optimization is misleading, what we’re really doing is optimizing a website for a user. Because Google, Bing and other search engines prioritize user experience, it’s in all of our best interest to be providing the user what they want, answers and solutions to problems they’re having.
You’re Working With The Wrong Agency
Would you go to a dentist to diagnose your stomach ache? Would you go to an optometrist to remove your wisdom teeth? Well the same thinking applies when hiring your SEO agency.
There are some agencies that specialize in certain areas. Many will say “we’ll work with any small business” which is what we at JCSURGE used to do until we realized that’s a horrible way to operate. Why? Because we don’t have hundreds of employees with industry specialists all over the place. We’re a small-sized company that has specialized in one niche, home service contractors. More specifically contractor SEO.
Why is this important? Well, unless you spend millions of dollars of world-class marketing agencies, chances are you’re going to be in the $1,000-$1,500/mo range and any agency charging that much for search engine marketing and claims to be able to help “any and all small business” will likely deliver mediocre results at best. This is because they don’t understand your niche. They might work best with eCommerce clients, or software companies, not roofers and electricians.
How Can I Find The Right Agency?
In order to find an agency or company that will help boost your online rankings you should always look at their website and who they’re addressing. If you visit our home page, you’ll see “Providing contractors with more leads and more traffic through SEO” crystal clear. No nonsense, no fluff, straight to the point. We work with contractors, we get them leads and increase visibility by using search engine optimization.
Some might even be more specific than us and provide SEO for one specific industry. Take a look at Shibga Media who specializes in providing SEO for roofing companies only. They don’t advertise that they’ll work with plumbers or dentists.
In order to find the right agency consider how much you can afford to spend, and really look at the clients or portfolio of the company that is pitching you. Ask them if they’ve worked with people in your industry or similar industries and what have they learned.
Request a Video Audit From JCSURGE
If you’re a home-service contractor looking to hire an SEO company then consider reaching out to us at JCSURGE. We specialize in providing contractors such as electricians, roofers, plumbers, and HVAC companies with more search engine visibility and as a result, increase their inbound phone calls. We provide a complimentary video audit to show you exactly how we can help and what the process looks like.
401 E 74th. St #1B New York, NY 10021
Phone: (917) 747-4234