Ranking in Google and other major search engines is now more important than ever, especially for contractors and home service businesses.
The primary driving force of leads is through internet searches for home service businesses. This is exactly why our company provides Local SEO Websites for contractors.
We know that with properly configured SEO backing a motivated business, we can keep achieving positive results and growing the companies we work with.
With just a quick glance at this graph, you can easily see the rising trend of people searching a generic “Contractors Near Me” keyword over the last 5 years. *The dips can be explained simply by the seasonality of the trade.
Though there may be a few alternate factors impacting this upward trend, the bottom line is, more and more people are searching for contractors services online in today's technologically driven society.
Based on our own experiences working with local contractors over the years, this is what we have found to be true:
There’s no denying that American culture has skewed the way people think of trades in general.
Unless you grow up with a parent working in a contractor trade-related field, chances are, you were pushed towards the more standardized education route by your guardians, educators, peers, and mentors.
Fewer parents are teaching their children how to fix household problems and instead of calling in someone else to take care of the issue. That leaves Millennials and younger generations in the technology age spending extensive amounts of time on their computer in a more sedentary lifestyle.
For contractors, tradesman, or home service professionals, that means that when a problem arises in the home, they often have trouble figuring out the issue for themselves, because they were never taught properly. That leaves them needing said home-based contractor services.
This is excellent news for those of you who understand that fixing people's problems and building tangible assets for them is one the most valuable offerings anyone can bring to the table.
With this culture shift, it means there is more scarcity in all the trades in general.
As teachers, parents, and society push students toward 4-year college degrees, fewer people are going to trade schools and learning these skills that were once more common knowledge, especially for homeowners.
As fewer people take on learning the trade, your value and demand as a contractor goes through the roof! Check back with the Google Trend chart above and refresh your mind on how many people are actively and routinely searching for contractors these days.
Everything in business comes down to trust.
In the contractor industry where consumers frequently get burned by unlicensed, unprofessional, or just unqualified workers, integrity is a significant factor when doing research on any one company.
Certain lead service companies that are known to host unlicensed contractors and offer them top paid spots has turned into a major problem for other honest professionals that are properly licensed.
Before Google became trusted by the average user, when a person was in need of home services, they would look to their friends and family for personal recommendations.
That was the main contributing factor as to who they would use for their next home improvement project. This is why contractors used to be to be primarily a word of mouth industry.
While referrals are still an absolute gold mine for contractors, many of these homeowners are trusting Google now to deliver reputable companies based on their internet searches.
The best part of this idea for contractors is that people can see your standing reputation and reviews from previous customers right on Google’s search results. A study from bright local indicates that people trust these online reviews almost as much as personal recommendations!
It's quite possible that you already agree with the points above, but aren't entirely convinced that people are actually searching for the specific services you offer.
Here is what I can do for you to prove that they are. I’m going to go over a completely free tool that you can use right now that will show you an accurate estimate of how many people in your area are searching for your exact services on a monthly basis.
The other nice feature of this tool is that it tries to give precise estimates on Cost Per Click (CPC) for Google Adwords too! It's not always perfect, but if you try a couple different keyword variations, you will see a trend of how much people are willing to pay just for clicks on their website!
The tool is called "Keywords Everywhere." It is a Chrome extension which you can easily download get by clicking here
When you have it downloaded and search for a keyword in Google, the results will look something like this:
As you can see by the red arrow, the tool will indicate the approximate search volume of 260 searches per month for the keyword “window replacement Colorado Springs”.
It also gives us an estimated Cost Per Click (CPC) of $26.03 that people are paying in Google AdWords.
As a local SEO company, what this means for us is that if we are able to capture 35% of the traffic through a #1 ranking position for this keyword, we can do some math to see what that ranking is worth in traffic value. 260 x $29.03 x .35 = $2641.73. This is the value of the traffic that we are driving to your website for FREE when we rank a website through the implementation of organic SEO.
To the right of the screenshot above, you can also see some related keywords that the tool provides you with. These words and phrases sometimes miss the mark we're aiming for or bring up competitors branded keywords, but they still give you great insight on how to get more deeply involved in your keyword research.
For those of you that are operating in smaller towns and cities, you may be worried that with fewer locals, people aren't looking for your services as much as they would be in a more densely populated location.
That brings about another easy math problem...
All you have to do is find a populated city near you and start testing keywords in that area. Once you see the approximate volume, you can figure based on the population difference what the difference in keyword volume should be.
This is one point that is extremely important to point out in how most lead generation services work.
When a prospective customer goes through big lead generation websites, they are likely looking for multiple quotes from various contractors to get the lowest price.
The result is underbidding and under-delivering on services. Not to mention getting beat out by an unqualified contractor who can low ball you with inferior services!
Another issue with these services is the customer almost never contacts you directly. They will take the lead and have the company contact the customer.
This shifts the whole sales dynamic and creates one where it seems like you need the customer more than they need you.
When you create a website that ranks in Google these leads are unique in the fact that they are exclusive.
What that means is you can charge what you should be earning without impacting your profit margins.
Inbound leads are MUCH easier to close on as well.
Think about when the customer calls you directly and you answer the phone. It is much easier to get the ball rolling and close the deal before they even contact the next guy, right?
You have the opportunity right then and there to prove to them you are who they need, not the other way around.
Let me start off by saying you can find a company that will build you a website really cheap.
You can even find SEO services for as little as $250 a month. But as with anything, you get what you pay for?
With that kind of budget, in this world, it's practically the same as working with the unlicensed, unqualified contractor.
Local SEO is a complex process, and if you have no idea how website ranking works, how you rank in Google or other local virtual maps, or if you have never really invested in any marketing for your local business, I strongly suggest you first do some research for yourself.
You can then get a clearer understanding of our world and the inner workings of it all.
LeadsForward recently put out a course that goes in-depth on our up-to-date methods and how you can apply them to your business directly. You can also learn more here on how we rank local contractors in Google Maps.
If you already understand the complexities of Local SEO and Digital Marketing, then let me show you exactly why a financial contribution in your website is one the best investments you can make for your business today.
Let's take a glance at a larger example.
Think of the existing retail stores you are familiar with. We see malls closing and brick and mortar retail stores downsizing every day.
Where is all of that business going?
It is either going to Amazon OR, these companies are making their websites and making them e-commerce friendly.
That's because they already understand that this is where their existing and potential customers are shopping now. They know that instead of creating more physical assets for their business, creating a digital asset that turns into sales, is more profitable.
Now compare this to one of the major lead generation companies out there. They are the Amazon in this situation, and you, the contractor, are the retailer.
They know that establishing this online lead generation machine is extremely valuable, and they are now fully capitalizing on their approach. When you, the contractor, also realize the value in creating a valuable digital asset for your business (your website), you can tap into the vast number of quality leads and consumers that have switched to Google searching the services that you offer.
If a website brings in leads and income for your business week after week, it becomes a sellable asset like anything else in your company. If your website is more of a liability than an asset, you should reassess whoever manages it.
Consider finding and working with a company whose bread and butter is Local SEO instead of those that are just looking to take your money.
One thing you have to understand about SEO is that it is an essential tool to enable businesses to get the results they deserve in various search engines.
SEO goes hand-in-hand with a great online reputation, superior marketing messaging, and excellent customer service.
Local SEO for contractors compliments great businesses!
Here at LeadsForward, this is precisely why we extensively vet whoever we decide to work with.
We are looking to build relationships with contractors who already have a positive reputation or a competitive service attracting customers into doing business with them.
A positive online reputation is one of the strongest ranking factors for local businesses. Without a compelling value proposition and competitive edge, the people that we have worked to drive to your website might not stay.
We want to get results in every single one of our Local SEO campaigns, and if we are doubtful, we will tell you straight up that our company might not be the best fit for you quite yet.
If that's the case, just be sure that whoever you do decide to work with to create your local lead generating website is getting the leads themselves, AND they have proven results from other local businesses as well.
SEO used to be pretty simple. You could take steps in past years to rank that would get your website blacklisted and banned forever in a minute today.
Currently, there are hundreds of ranking factors, but in 2019 the significant update is Google Rank Brain. Here’s how it works:
The company at the top has a captivating value proposition as well as internal links built into the website so that people can navigate where they want to straight from Google. The result is a higher CTR and higher rankings for the website.
The point of it all is, you can’t just have anyone with a computer building your website anymore.
With user experience being evaluated more and becoming more important, creating a truly professional custom SEO website is what you need to make the difference you're aiming for in your local market.
You can certainly try to build something yourself with a GoDaddy Website builder or Wix, but at the end of the day these will do nothing to generate leads for your business.
If leads are why you are here, you need to strongly consider making the investment and creating a digital asset for your business. You want and need one that will continually generate leads for you and your company now and for many years to come.
Whoever you decide to work with on your first local SEO campaign, ask for referrals from their previous or existing clients. Make sure they get results that they can prove by showing you the statistics.
Most of all, don’t expect superior results from a company offering you SEO services on a shoestring budget anymore than you would expect an unlicensed, dishonest, low-budget competitive contractor to provide exemplary home improvement renovations.
Ready to setup a local SEO powered website (aka a Lead Generation Machine)? GET STARTED HERE.
More of a Do It Yourself type of person? Then you'll DEFINITELY want to check out our lead generation course here.