We wish we could tell you there was a super quick and easy method for this. If we were to describe in one phrase what it takes to get your contracting website on page 1 of Google, we would say “time and patience.” Well, that and an experienced marketing team who knows what it takes to properly optimize your site.
Getting your website to rank on a search engine page means understanding how it indexes, analyzes, and then ranks a website. Search engines, including Google, have a large index of all the pages of all the websites they know, and your contracting website can only show up on search engine results pages (SERPs) if it’s in that database. This is where SEO (search engine optimization) comes in!
What Is SEO?
If you’ve ever done any marketing online, you’ve probably heard the acronym “SEO”. But if someone asked you to explain it, could you?
The concept of search engine optimization is actually fairly simple. It’s the process of getting traffic from organic search results on search engines. By organic, we mean free—you’re not getting ranked due to paid advertising. Paid search marketing and PPC (pay-per-click) are important parts of a contractors’ digital marketing toolbox, but not what we’re discussing today.
Generally speaking, the fundamental steps to SEO success are:
- Figuring out what homeowners and business owners are searching for as it relates to your business.
- Optimizing each page of your website for target keywords and keyword phrases.
- Increasing the “crawlability” and “indexability” of your website.
- Creating share-worthy, compelling content that earns links, citations, and amplification.
- Producing a great user experience, including fast page load times.
- Ensuring your website is accessible to both search engines and humans.
One very important factor to remember about SEO is that it’s just as much about people as it is search engines themselves. You have to know your audience! Know the words they’re using, what sort of content they wish to consume, even the different verbiage they may use based on their locality.
Why Is SEO So Important?
There are a number of digital marketing tools that help make contractors successful. Paid advertising, social media marketing, reputation management, and even live chat are all things that can help you acquire leads and convert them into customers.
But the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines. Organic search engine results cover more digital real estate than any other form of online marketing, they appear more credible to the educated consumer, and they receive far more clicks than paid advertisements. In fact, according to Moz.com, SEO has ~20X more traffic opportunity than PPC on both mobile and desktop.
How Does Google, and Other Search Engines, Work?
Search engines have three main functions – to crawl, index, and rank.
Crawling means scouring the internet for content and looking over the code and content for each URL they find. They’ll look at things like the URL for the page, the meta-data, the content of the page (text, images, videos, etc) and how each page is being linked to. This will help search engines understand what keywords and phrases the page is most relevant for.
Indexing means storing and organizing the content that’s found during the crawling process. Once a page is in the index, it’s in the running to be displayed as a result to relevant searches.
Ranking is the part you’re likely most familiar with—it’s providing the pieces of content that will best answer a searcher’s query, which means that results are ordered by the most relevant to the least relevant.
Not All Search Engines Are Created Equal
Have you ever noticed that when talking about SEO, “Google” almost seems synonymous to “search engine”? Google does have the largest market share, and it’s the one that the SEO community pays attention to most—because this is where the greater majority of people search the web!
In fact, over 90% of web searches occur on Google. This is not to say other search engines aren’t important, but rather to stress the need to use Google’s quality guidelines when developing your SEO strategy.
Should You Hire a Marketing Professional to Help with Your SEO Efforts?
When you work with a marketing team to develop a strong strategy for your contracting business, you’ll want to work with one who knows the ins and outs of Google, SEO, and most importantly, your business!
We’ve only just brushed the surface here on what it takes to make sure consumers find your website. Working with our team means you’ll stay up to date on all the SEO tools necessary to build a beautiful and functional website, and have access to whatever digital marketing needs you may have.
iMarket Solutions is the expert in digital marketing and SEO for contractors. To learn more about how our SEO services can help you grow your business, contact us today. Dedicated to Contractor Success!