What Keywords Can Tradie Digital Target for My Contractor Business?
Everyone keeps talking about keywords, and half the time it seems like they’re a buzzword that salespeople use to try and sign you to a long-term SEO contract. But since we don’t have contracts at Tradie Digital, here’s our simple approach.
Keywords are the heart and soul of SEO. If you build your content around the wrong keywords then no one finds you on Google. But build your content around the right keywords and you’ll earn leads while you sleep.
Keywords, keywords, keywords.
Everyone talks about them, so what’s the big deal?
Well, turns out they’re a MASSIVE deal if you want more visitors to your site and more leads through Google.
93% of people start their search looking at a blank Google screen, so choosing the right keywords for your trades business is crucial if you want more leads. And if you’re thinking about finding an SEO agency to help you get those leads, it’s natural to wonder what keywords they’ll target.
But since SEO can get needlessly confusing, the most important thing you need to remember about keywords is this…
The amount of keywords you can target is determined by the amount of pages on your website.
More pages means more opportunities to target keywords (as long as the content is high-quality, but more on that later). At the same time, you don’t want to target every keyword under the sun. Instead, use the following metrics to choose which keywords are right for you:
- What monthly search volume do your target keywords have?
- What is the intent of someone searching for those keywords?
- What level of competition are you facing for those keywords?
- How skilled is your SEO team at creating content?
Let’s unpack these metrics a little.
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What keywords should you target?
You can literally target any keywords you want.
But every keyword comes at a cost. This is a cost of time, effort and skill for an SEO company. And at a cost of money for you.
But “what keywords can you target?” is also the wrong question.
The better question is “what keywords should you target?” and the answer is predominantly determined by the size of your website AND the quality of your content.
Take for example the following keywords and their demand…
“Commercial Cleaning Melbourne” with 590 searches a month
“Commercial Cleaning Services” with 40 searches per month.
Given one keyword has a lot more demand, it’s safe to say it will also bring significantly more competition. If you want to rank for the higher volume, and higher competition, keyword then you’ll need to:
- Have a better website (faster, easier to use, better backlinks)
- Have a better popularity score in Google’s eyes
- Have better content than your competition (this is an artform).
- Have more content than your competition (but that doesn’t mean creating content for content sake and writing a bunch of crap).
How to know which keywords to target?
This depends on three factors.
1: How your SEO agency compares to the competition
Are they skilled at website development? Are they skilled at understanding your customer psychology? Are they skilled at creating engaging and unique content which will help your customers make informed decisions?
2: How aggressive you can afford to be with your SEO investment
The more you have invested, the faster you’ll get to the front page or the top of the search results.
3: How many pages of high quality content you can afford to create on your website
The more high quality content pages you have, the more keywords you can target – but be careful not to create lots of “meh” content
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What is the process for deciding which keywords to target?
You need a keyword strategy to make sure there’s method to madness and you’re not targeting keywords just because you *think* people are searching for them.
STEP ONE: Always start off with keyword research to determine what keywords your customers are using (your SEO company will do this for you if you’ve outsourced your campaign).
STEP TWO: Figure out monthly search volume. Broad keywords have the most demand and niche keywords the least. But niche keywords have higher intent, meaning people who search for them are closer to a purchase (‘home renovation’ vs ‘where to find bathroom tile installation help’). Do you have the budget to show for the broader keywords and the niche keywords?
STEP THREE: Identify how competitive those keywords are. Usually the higher the volume, the higher the competitiveness)
STEP FOUR: Assess who you are competing against. Do you have the resources to compete with businesses in your niche or do you need to target keywords with less competition?
STEP FIVE: See if your customers are using similar phrases or variants. Are there lower volume keywords you can target which have a greater chance of ranking on a limited budget? If your customers are typing in other keywords to learn about your product or services, do you have the budget to create quality content around these topics?
Understanding the five general keyword types
||“Outdoor Patio Blinds”
||Low / High (Depends on the specificity of your website).if you have a website ONLY about Ziptrack blinds it will be easier than starting off more broadly in “Outdoor Blinds”
||“Outdoor Blinds Florida”
||Varies by location
||“Ziptrak Blinds vs Sidetrack Blinds”
||Varies by topic
How to run an aggressive SEO campaign without a big budget
- Niche down. Want to be dominant in outdoor blinds but don’t think you’ll ever have the budget to compete against the big boys. Niche down to a specific type of blinds (It might help systemise your business too. But that’s another topic).
- Focus on your local area only (assuming there’s enough demand). Rather than your city. Focus on the suburbs around your city.
Still want to be aggressive for your city or broader niche. But don’t have the budget right now. What should you do?
Short answer, find a Google Ads partner who kicks butt.
Google Ads can generate money, right away. Done correctly.
A skilled Google Ad campaign team (along with a well-constructed website that appeals to your target audience) can set up an ad campaign that’s cost-effective and targeting the right keywords to bring in new leads and sales.
Don’t have a website yet? Click here to learn how to build a successful website
A skilled Google Ads provider can also generate leads within one to two weeks.
They should be able to pull enough profit so you can generate the extra revenue you need to put into an SEO campaign. A Google Ads campaign typically takes up to 3 months usually to fully optimize, but you should be generating work straight away.
How to target local keywords
Keywords connect their problems to the businesses they search for. Every keyword has the potential to land customers and make money, so there are no easy keywords to target. But you can be smart about your approach and tip the scales in your favour.
Here are 4 ways we give you the advantage at Tradie Digital…
#1 – We use keyword research tools
You know how hard it is to get the job done with the wrong tool. Good luck hammering a nail with a broom. Keyword research requires tools that will tell you:
- What keywords your customers are using
- How many monthly searches those keywords have
- How competitive those keywords are
- What similar phrases or variants your customers are using
Keyword research tools are crucial because they remove guesswork. You may think you know what your customers want, but keyword tools tell us exactly how people describe their problems. From here all you need to do is to write in a way that makes people feel like YOU can solve their problems.
If you want to play around with keyword research tools to understand how the data works, check out Google Trends, Answer The Public, Keyword Surfer and Google Keyword Planner (you’ll need a Google account for this last one) to start you off.
#2 – We know the right keyword isn’t always the most popular
Imagine doing your keyword research and finding a relevant keyword that’s being used 20,000 times a month.
In theory this is ideal – but in reality it means every business in your niche wants to rank for that keyword too (and there’s a good chance their SEO budget is bigger than yours – unless you want to be aggressive and dominate your competition in your local area at all costs).
For trades businesses sometimes it’s better to go for keywords with lower search volume (this is how many times they’re punched into Google each month) so you can bypass most of the competition. Typically, the longer and more direct a keyword is, the less competition.
This is the difference between ‘Adelaide Pest Control’ which might have 5,000 monthly searches. And ‘Termite Pest Control Port Adelaide’ which might have 50 monthly searches.
Targeting the longer keyword means less competition, and the 50 people punching it into Google have a specific problem to be solved (in this case a pesky Termite infestation in Port Adelaide) so you’re more likely to get a quote request or phone call.
#3 – We use your competition to find keywords
If your competition is ranking for keywords already it’s a good sign those keywords are driving traffic to their websites and generating leads. The keyword research tools we use can be used to create entire lists of your competition’s top keywords.
All we have to do is reverse engineer their content, find out what value they’re bringing in their blogs and articles, and then make sure your content is more helpful, longer, and adds more value.
#4 – We target local keywords
Seeing the same giant brands at the top of Google feels deflating. You’re not going to outrank Jim’s Mowing if you’re a landscaper looking to get more work – and you don’t have to.
Leave the big brands of Australia to spend millions on capturing popular searches while you go local, specifically your local suburbs. Keywords related to your surrounding suburbs can slash competition further and turn you into a local expert.
For example, if you run a kitchen remodelling business just out of Sydney, don’t waste your time trying to rank for the keyword Sydney. Instead, target keywords for individual suburbs (Newtown, Mascot, Bondi) and capture localised leads looking for your products and services.
“Can I save money and find my own keywords?”
Yes and no.
Handling your own keyword research might be penny wise and pound foolish.
As businesses grow, the list of tasks to do are endless (as you’re well aware).
On the surface it might seem like you’re saving money. But you’ll quickly realise every step in the keyword research process takes time. The research, the strategy, the writing, the publishing, the organising core elements – it’s not worth your time if you’ve got a business to grow.
Remember, keyword research is less than half of the battle. Creating high quality, informative, well written content that guides your readers through their purchasing decision is where the gold is at.
In short, it’s typically easier to employ companies like ours who have a proven track record of keyword research and SEO success.
If you really want to do it yourself, the key is to get it right the first time and save yourself having to go back and fix mistakes over and over. Once you’ve had time to play around with the keyword research tools available, you’ll need to get in the habit of creating content regularly. From there, there’s no timeline for publishing content that works, instead it’s about consistency.
If you publish an article every week then your audience and Google will come to expect that output. Failing to keep publishing high, quality content on a regular basis can undo your SEO hard work and cause your rankings to suffer.
Choosing the right keywords is more complicated than randomly talking about your services. But if you have the time to search for low-competition keywords that are likely to bring you qualified site visitors, and you have the time each week to write 1,000 words of high quality content, and upload that content to your website with all the right technical elements, then you may want to handle your own keyword strategy.
For most of you though, the smart answer is to let the SEO companies do what they do best, while you get on with growing your business.
Our Tradie Digital key takeaways and lessons
- The right keywords are determined by your budget (carefully select either broad, semi-broad or niche keywords when building your new website).
- You may need to completely rebuild your site from scratch to get the structure, the content and the messaging right within the design. Think $7.5k or $10,000 is a lot for a website? Try investing $12,000 in SEO with no results for a year, only to start again. That could cost $200,000 in lost revenue. Not to mention the $12,000 lost investment and 24 months worth of time. Don’t make the mistake of not investing in the right website. Your website is your literal shop front. It’s your 24/7 sales person. Never forget that. When you’re sleeping. Your website is still working.
- Your website needs more pages. Not less. If your website hasn’t got enough high quality content, you will lose over the long term.
- Creating quality content isn’t easy. It requires skill and a lot of expertise. You can write a piece of content, but can you write a piece of content which inspires trust and action in your readers? Now that’s an art form.
- High quality content rules all (turns out it’s not content that’s king, but awesome content).
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The advantages of our Platinum SEO package
Google’s SEO algorithm in 2021 doesn’t match up your keywords with your customer’s exact keywords.
If your content is in-depth, thorough, and written to help people, you’ll end up covering one topic from multiple angles. That means 1 of our keywords could rank for 10 or more different keyword variations.
For example, if you’ve got a page on ‘Emergency Plumbing’ that’s full of tips and tricks, prices and packages, reviews and testimonials, and info to help people identify their emergency plumbing problems, you might end up ranking for:
- ‘emergency plumbing’
- ‘24/7 emergency plumbing’
- ‘plumbing emergency’
- ‘plumbing emergency prices’
- ‘how much to fix plumbing emergency’
The point is, when we create quality content around 1 keyword, that content naturally ranks for more long tail keywords (these are search terms of three or more words). So when you pay for 14 high volume keywords, you’re actually paying for 25, 50 or 100 keyword variations.
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