Ask any builder worth their salt and they’ll tell you that the foundation is the most crucial part of a building.
It doesn’t matter how nice the fixtures are or how many marble tiles are in the bathroom, if the foundation hasn’t been built properly the home is a disaster waiting to happen.
Your website needs a solid foundation too.
When you invest in a custom website it’s not enough to have someone with ‘web designer’ on their LinkedIn profile throw a few pages together. And that $50 custom website package on Fiverr might save you some cash, but when your tradie website fails to rank on Google, you’ll leave hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table in lost clients.
It doesn’t matter if you run your own trades business, you’re a contractor, or you install window shutters in your spare time, if you want to appear on Google, your website needs to follow a strict SEO roadmap.
In this article we’ll explain how we build custom websites optimised for SEO, cover why this is crucial if you want to appear on Google, and leave you with a few options if you’re new to SEO.
Yes and no.
If you know the name of a business and punch it into Google, 9 times out of 10 that business will appear in spot #1 (the exception being if the site hasn’t been indexed or “found” by Google yet).
Which looks great at first. It means your new custom home improvement website absolutely can appear on Google – in the #1 spot no less!
Here’s the catch though…how many of your potential customers will search for your exact business name?
Let’s say 100 people need some home improvement help around the house. And 5 out of those 100 people know you by name well enough to search for you on Google. At the very best you’ll get 5 new customers.
But you’ll miss out on 95 potential customers.
Most people don’t know the name of your business. Instead they’ll jump on Google and start describing their problem using keywords like “home improvement help”, “benchtop installations near me”, or “roof tile replacement”. You get the idea.
If your website hasn’t been built for SEO, it will NEVER appear when the majority of people go to Google to describe their problems with keywords. You’ll still get the small handful of people who searched for your exact name, but to everyone else you’ll be invisible.
If a website isn’t built to generate leads, it’s not one of ours.
We ignore keywords that aren’t going to drive qualified leads to your business.
Instead, we create SEO-friendly custom websites designed to rank for relevant keywords that drive qualified leads. That’s why we offer a $300 cash back guarantee – if we don’t increase your leads, you get money back no questions asked.
It’s common for contractor SEO agencies to shroud their tactics in mist, mostly because it makes it close to impossible for you to call them on their bullshit. So we won’t just pull back the curtain, we’ll roll out the red carpet and guide you through each stage of our custom website building process step-by-step.
Step #1 – On-Page Set Up
✔ Site Audit & Analysis:
None of our tradie websites are built on “gut feeling”. We don’t care about the latest design trends or what website fad is doing the rounds.
We use SEO tools to analyse your existing site (if you have one) and run audits on your current traffic and keywords. This helps us identify their SEO features that are delivering results, and we use those to start building your custom home improvement website.
✔ Keywords Research & Preparation:
It’s not what you say, but what keywords you use to say it that count. All of our custom websites are created following a strict keyword-driven plan. This allows us to target multiple keywords your ideal customers use to search online.
We use our SEO tools to track monthly volume and competition to land on keywords that are getting searched, but haven’t been swallowed by the big boys with million dollar SEO budgets.
✔ Competitor Analysis:
Success leaves clues so we scour your competition’s websites looking for every SEO advantage they have. These websites are ranking on the first page of Google on the back of strong backlink profiles and strong user experience.
We find gaps in their current SEO efforts so we know where to insert your business. Best of all, there’s nothing they can do to stop us finding this info. With our SEO tools (we tend to use these a lot), we dig up all the dirt we need.
✔ Architecture Structuring:
With most of the research done we plan out how your contractor website will look to your future customers. Without this step your site will be a random mess of pages and links that confuse people and send them running back to Google to find a better website.
By analysing the keywords we found for you we create a simple website structure that guides people from page to page, right to your ‘request a quote’ or ‘book a call’ buttons.
Step #2 – On-Page Development
✔ Create a Staging Site:
Staging a website (which means we create a mock version before the real site goes live) lets us spot any bugs or flaws before your site goes public and your customers get a chance to browse your content. First impressions matter to your customers, and glitchy websites can hurt your SEO.
Since every second your website is down or facing technical problems is time you’re losing potential customers or sales, starting your website with a staged version means you don’t run into trouble and miss out on leads down the track.
✔ Set Up Your Theme:
Setting up your website theme isn’t just a matter of choosing colours that match your brand, it’s about creating a website that does the little things right. This might include adding your business name, address and phone number to your site’s footer to boost your local SEO and help Google see that every page is helpful to customers in your local area.
✔ Develop Homepage Layout:
Your homepage is the hub of your trade website. This is crucial to get right. The homepage is where plenty of people will land when they find you through Google.
If your homepage isn’t easy to navigate and user-friendly, then people might exit back to Google. This is called ‘bouncing’ and if your bounce rate goes up, Google starts seeing your website as a dud, and your SEO suffers.
✔ Develop Service Pages:
Our contractor SEO websites have been carefully planned so every service you offer is available on its own service page. This isn’t done just so you can blow hot air and talk about yourself. With specific service pages you can rank for a variety of keywords and dive deep into a potential customer’s problems.
If you’re able to show you’re an expert, and answer people’s questions/address their concerns, you’ll be one step closer to a new customer.
✔ Add Content:
Your SEO is only as strong as your content. All the technical upgrades and the flashy bells and whistles won’t do a thing if your content hasn’t been created around the keywords your target audience is using.
Since we already know what keywords to build your site around (thanks to our Keyword Research earlier in your site development) it’s a matter of publishing quality content that catches Google’s eye, and shows your audience that you can solve their problems.
✔ Optimise Title Tags:
Your Title Tags are (apart from an SEO term you’ll never need to memorise) how people see your content when they’re on Google. Let’s say you searched for a local plumber and the top result said ‘Cheap Local Plumber | Zero Call-Out Fees’. That’s the Title Tag.
We place keywords in Title tags so that when people go searching for products and services in your industry, it’s YOUR business that appears.
✔ Optimise Alt Tags:
Alt Tag is another one of those SEO terms you’ll never have to know or care about. In short, it’s the words used to describe your images. Google is pretty clever these days, but it can’t “see” pictures so we add keywords to your images to give Google more clues about your expertise.
The more ways we can show you to be an expert in your space, the better your SEO.
✔ Set Up Internal Links:
Internal links help your site visitors move from one page to the next. On the surface this sounds like a practical inclusion, after all, you want people to browse your site until they feel ready to get in touch with you for a quote or service. But internal linking is an SEO factor all sites need.
Google moves through internal links to index (or ‘find’) your pages, which is a necessary step if you want to appear when people search online. But more importantly, internal links make your site easy to use. If people land on dead-end pages and don’t know where to go, they’re more likely to head back to Google and find a site that makes browsing easy. That’s how you lose leads to your competition.
Step #3 – Quality Assurance
✔ Check ALL Content:
Building a website is a technical process that needs to tick a ton of boxes, but there’s a very human element to a successful SEO site – the content.
Whether we’ve created the content, or you’ve given us content to publish on your site, we check every single word looking for spelling errors and whether your content is providing value or not. Your customers want content that’s helpful, practical, and solves their problems. So we make sure our SEO websites do just that.
✔ Check Responsiveness and Alignment:
Over 52% of all website traffic comes from mobile phones. If your home improvement site doesn’t display on someone’s smartphone, they’ll shake their head in disappointment and find a business they can browse on their phone instead.
Our contractor SEO websites are fully mobile-responsive, meaning they fit to the size of the screen they’re viewed on. Iphone, Android, iPad – our websites look great on every screen. This helps improve your conversion rate, as people can contact you on the go, and boosts your SEO as Google uses mobile-responsiveness when applying their SEO algorithm.
✔ Check Speed:
How frustrated do you get sitting at the lights when the car in front hasn’t moved and the light is green? That’s how your customers feel trying to access a slow website. We check your site speed using the performance monitoring tool Pingdom to make sure every page is loading fast.
More than a frustration for your customers, a slow site hurts your ability ro rank, with website speed something Google is looking for when applying their SEO algorithm.
✔ Check SEO Features:
We’ve set up your SEO features already, but we do over every single ranking factor on your site to make sure nothing has been missed.
Are you Title Tags optimised? Are all internal links working? Are your menus taking people to the right place? If it affects your SEO, it gets checked to make sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to.
✔ Test All Forms:
Without testing your forms there could be problems that you don’t realise until you’ve lost tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. If that sounds extreme, consider what would happen if your ‘Request a Quote’ button didn’t direct leads anywhere.
Instead of putting you in touch with a curious prospect, those people would leave (feeling frustrated) and find a business that cares enough to fix their site. All our contractor SEO websites are tested to make sure every single form takes people from where they are towards a sale.
“I’m worried SEO is too confusing, should I bother with all this?”
You’re not alone if you think SEO is too confusing and you’d be better off sticking with the word of mouth that’s got you this far.
Whether you work on roofs, in the yard, or inside your customer’s home, it’s the face-to-face dynamic that keeps people coming back as repeat customers.
But you’ll never have the chance to ‘wow’ your clients with your workmanship and work ethic if they can’t find you in the first place. When search engines like Google are the source of 93% of web traffic, you need to be on Google if you want to attract new customers.
Think SEO is a waste of time because your competitors can outspend you? Find out how to outrank ANY business.
Luckily, SEO can be simple.
Our step-by-step process for building contractor SEO websites is designed to:
- Figure out what your customer’s problems are
- Create content centred around those problems
- Make sure your website ticks Google’s algorithm checklist
- Ensure your site is fast, easy to browse, and user-friendly
- Keep you up-to-date with the latest SEO changes to protect your rankings
With a website that covers these bases there’s less uncertainty down the track. And your site becomes a lead-gen machine attracting people from Google, funneling them through helpful content, and showing them how to get in touch with you.
While your competitors scramble to rejig their keywords 6 months down the track or try to figure out why no leads are coming through their busted contact forms, you’ll have a contractor site that’s been purpose-built to rank on Google, attract site visitors, and deliver leads.
Ready to put your business on the first page of Google?
Schedule a FREE consultation [valued at $495] to learn how