What is SEO Content and Why Does my Trade Business Need It?
What’s the big deal about ‘SEO Content’? You’ve gone through the hassle of setting up a website, don’t people prefer to see you’ve got tons of 5-star reviews, affordable prices, and free quotes?
All of that is true, but here’s the catch – customers can’t see those qualities if they never find your website in the first place. SEO content is how you rank on Google and bring in qualified leads 24/7. Here’s why your trade business needs SEO content (and how to create it from scratch).
Imagine you walked into a hardware store and asked for nails. The employee behind the counter nods and smiles and asks you what type of nails you want.
Because there are plenty of nails to choose from depending on your needs. Common nails, roofing nails, drywall nails. You’re asking for trouble if you don’t know the difference between each type.
That’s how content works
There are plenty of content types, all with different goals.
The content you put in an email has a certain goal just like the content you put on your social media has a certain goal. And when it comes to your website, you need SEO content that helps you rank on Google and attract more customers.
It’s not enough to just slap down a few hundred words and wait for the phone to ring. You need SEO content that’s been created a very specific way, and we’ll show you how to do it.
Tradies: Don’t Invest a Dollar in Digital Marketing Until You Read This!
What is SEO content?
SEO content is content that’s been optimized to rank on Google.
And if the word ‘optimized’ feels overused in every SEO article you read, it really just means it’s been researched and written in a way that makes it more likely to appear when a prospect jumps on Google and enters a search related to your business.
It’s a mistake to think all content is SEO-friendly though, because the majority of pages and blog posts that trade business owners publish are never seen by anyone. Without the right keyword research and writing skill, most content sits on a contractor’s website collecting dust.
It’s also worth pointing out that SEO content can be many types of content, from videos to case studies, but typically SEO content refers to your optimized service pages and your blog articles.
That means your search for more customers can’t rely on competitive prices and great work alone. Those features of your home improvement business will help when someone lands on your site – but you need SEO content to get them on your site in the first place.
“Why do I need SEO content if my word of mouth brings me work?”
If your word of mouth is strong enough to bring in new customers, that’s great.
But without SEO content you’re leaving money on the table. 81% of people do some research online before making a large purchase, and you better believe they’ll get on Google to research your industry too. If you’re a bathroom renovator charging $20,000 a pop, the people searching for articles online as part of their research will never find you without SEO content (but they will find your competition if they’re running an SEO campaign).
In short, SEO content builds on your current lead-gen success – it doesn’t replace it.
If you already get leads through referrals or flyers or a giant blimp with your phone number on the side, that’s great. But you can collect MORE customers by putting your business on Google using SEO content – and at the same time you’ll take away those customers from your competition.
Writing SEO content explained
Creating SEO content is easy if you’ve got a framework to follow (which we do) or you’ve got an SEO expert to share their framework with you (which we will).
Here’s how SEO website content can be written from scratch.
Step #1 – Keyword Research
Whatever topic you write about, whether it’s laying synthetic turf or installing granite benchtops, needs to have ‘traffic potential’. This means there are enough people searching for your topic online to make your SEO content worthwhile.
If there are zero people searching for the topic you’re planning to write about, you’re wasting your time.
To find out the traffic potential of your topic, you’ll need to do a little keyword research.
And since keyword research is a HUGE topic that can fill pages on its own, if you want to learn more about finding the right keywords to target you can check out our ultimate guide.
When you get to the step of creating your content, you’ll scatter these keywords throughout your content naturally which will help you rank when people search using those same keywords.
Step #2 – Competitor Analysis
Figuring out what your competition is ranking for can help you take some shortcuts. By researching what keywords they’ve built their content around, you can reverse engineer their most successful keyword tactics and use them yourself.
This step is as simple as taking the keywords you found in the previous step and punching them into Google. Avoid any website with the word ‘Ad’ in front of it as these are using Google Ads, so their content isn’t using the SEO strategies you’re trying to emulate.
Once you’ve found the top 5 organic results you can compare them for clues.
· What does their content have in common? · What keywords or keyword variations are they using? · What extra info on the topic have they added?
It’s your job to match these inclusions in your own content then make your content 25% more awesome than anything else online. You could do this with more up-to-date info, better pictures, videos, new insights or just writing about the topic in a more helpful and clear way.
Which brings us to the next step…
Step #3 – SEO content creation
You’ll have seen in your competitor analysis that the competition is fierce. You can’t write 400 words about ‘drain cleaning’ and expert to rank in the top spot when someone searches for ‘How to clear food scraps from a blocked drain’.
Your goal should be to give someone searching for that topic EVERYTHING they wanted to know PLUS info they hadn’t thought to ask yet.
For example, to rank for the keyword above you could cover:
· How to clear food scraps from a blocked drain · How to clear other foreign objects from a blocked drain · How to use preventative measures to avoid blocked drains · A range of DIY suggestions to help clear blocked drains · A video on how to clear blocked drains
But that’s why it works. Your competition is probably too lazy to spend their whole weekend writing the ultimate guide on clearing blocked drains. If you do it (or find someone to do it for you) then you’ll have a better chance of ranking on the first page and getting more leads.
SEO can seem a lot more complex than it needs to be.
It’s true you can make your SEO content more successful by building backlinks (as quality content and backlinks are two of the most significant ranking factors) and by sharing your content on social media to drive more eyeballs.
But great SEO content can be boiled down to 3 steps:
· Get your keywords right · Figure out how your competition used those keywords in their content · Create content that is 25% more awesome and helpful than your competition
If you follow that framework, you’ll be on the right track. The more you read about SEO the more needlessly confusing advice you’ll run into, like “research extra similar keywords and use them throughout your content” but this is making life harder than it needs to be.
If you put your customers first and cover your chosen topic in-depth, you’ll naturally use a range of keywords that boost your SEO without making your content seem like it was written by a robot.
“How long will it take for my SEO content to rank on Google?”
This is where most tradies get frustrated.
The roadmap towards rankings is simple, but it takes a while to get there.
SEO website content can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months, right up through 12 months to rank. Your ranking timeline will depend on the competition you’re facing and the quality of their SEO (that includes their content and their backlinks).
SEO content takes a lot of time to rank (which is why we spend so many man hours on client SEO each week to speed up the process of outworking their competition) but it is worth it.
Leads from Google have a conversion rate of 14.6%, which is significantly higher than the 1.7% conversion rate from traditional marketing like flyers, pamphlets or ads in the paper. And once you’re ranking on Google you’ll have a source of traffic that keeps on coming even if you stop printing letterbox pamphlets or getting referrals from clients.
To sum up, you need SEO content because that’s how people will find your business online and because your competition is already publishing SEO content. When you start doing the same, you can take their rankings and their leads.
When you start doing the same, their rankings and leads can become yours.