Doing local SEO for contractors is easier when you have a simple checklist. This list will show you what you’ve done right with building a strong foundation and what needs some improvement.
Get more contractor jobs with this 15-Step Local SEO for contractors Checklist:
- Make a list of how many places people can leave reviews
- Claim your local listing sites
- Compare your list to other competitors
- Optimize GMB page
- Optimize Yelp page
- Optimize Facebook page
- Write a get reviews email campaign
- Teach your front desk person this get reviews script
- Share your new reviews on social media
- Optimize homepage
- Optimize service page
- Optimize blogs
- Make a list of everywhere you’ve been interviewed
- Make a list of everywhere you’ve spoken
- Make a list of PR opportunities that would give you a backlink
Each of these 15 steps is part of our 5-Step LOCAL Process. LOCAL is an acrostic for local listings, optimize GMB, customer reviews, accelerate visibility through website SEO, and link-building opportunities. During our 30-day setup process, we do these 15 checklist items plus another 10 so that your business can show up on Google page 1 and Google Maps more quickly.
If you want us to do it for you then schedule a call, BUT if you want to learn how to do our checklist yourself, keep reading…
Step 1: Make A List Of Places People Can Leave Reviews
This list will change depending on the exact radius of your service area and specialty, of course. But, there are the big ones you need to consider adding to your list.
Google The main review site is the world’s biggest search engine. One of the first things that will pop up when a customer does a search for your business is your reviews. You have to stay on top of your reviews to know what customers are thinking so that you can implement any helpful information they offer into your business.
Yelp is a worldwide web platform for review & customer feedback and boasts over 90 billion visits per month with home and local typer services leading the charge in its category.
Yellow Pages is still alive and well, even though you won’t get as many customers discovering your business from Yellow Pages books anymore. More than 13 million users can find local businesses on the site. Unfortunately, without the thick yellow book full of razor-thin pages, you’ll now have to purchase an actual booster seat if that’s how you always used it before.
Porch helps homeowners with their home services by connecting them with quality professionals. After reviewing your profile, customers are able to reach out to you directly.
Thumbtack users can find local professionals on the internet, including massage therapists and saxophone instructors. A total of 10 million users and 260,000 businesses use the site.
Still a great platform that can be used for both informational and fun posts as well as a way to have customers share reviews, is Facebook. With a user rate of 2 billion per month, you’re guaranteed some visibility. Once you learn to leverage that visibility, you’ll be unstoppable. While they don’t use a ‘star’ system, your customers will have the option to either recommend or not recommend your services.
The founder of Homestars had trouble finding reliable home services professionals while she renovated her house. The site now has reviews for all-things-home services, from repair professionals to retailers. With 1.3 million registered users, it is a contender and a site you should consider.
Houzz is a site that will hook up customers with professionals in design. This could be landscaping, general contractor, or remodeling so it’s a great site to get your business listing onto.
Step 2: Claim Your Local Listing Sites
This is an integral part of being visible and standing out from your competition.
I worked as an estate manager for a time and was always baffled by the seeming inability of business owners or managers to give me a return call. This would happen for even the most seemingly simple questions or needs. You’d be surprised how many businesses don’t keep up with these simple tasks. I’ll tell you right now, it will cost you if you don’t. It will cost you in both relationships and business. Who can possibly have respect or trust for someone who doesn’t bother even calling you back?
Now that I have your attention… take this one step at a time for each of your listings.
It’s pertinent that all of the details in each listing are correct and consistent across all pages.
In another blog we wrote, we gave some tips on business listings. Follow this link What is a Business Listing in SEO for those tips.
Step 3: Compare Your List To Other Competitors
There are a couple of ways we do this. One is free and the other you can get a free trial to see how you compare to your competitors.
FREE: List out your top 5 competitors. Google their business name and reviews. You’ll see a list of all the review sites they are on. Make sure to sign up and get reviews on each other of those sites. This levels the playing field.
Make sure to click to view pages 2, 3, or 5 and add all those review sites to your list.
FREE Trial: Click here to check out the tool SEMRUSH. This tool is great for tracking your progress as you work on building up your local visibility.
This is what it looks like when you do a search for your website URL.
Knowing what “Organic Keywords” your website shows up on Google for is so important. We use this feature to start to figure out what the low-hanging fruit is. Which profitable keywords are getting you close to page 1 of Google? These profitable keywords are things people search when they are close to scheduling a call or requesting a quote. Those customers are further along in the buying cycle. They’ve done their research and it’s just about choosing the right contractor.
See how there are 5 competitors in a list and the circles? The AI picked those. But if they aren’t really who you consider as being your competitors, they can be edited. Most of the time we edit them to find who offers identical services as our client.
Step 4: Optimize GMB Page
GMB means Google My Business. It is free, easy to use, and you can personalize it to your specific business. Many contractors don’t have physical locations and that’s okay. There’s an option for ‘service area business’ and all you have to do is choose that and follow the rest of the directions. Here is the link for GMB service area questions and answers Google My Business.
Download our 5 Hacks To Getting On Page 1 Of Google. You’ll get another checklist and 5 videos Liz teaches you the 3 most important parts to optimizing your GMB.
Step 5: Optimize YELP Page
Whenever you see ads on a website page and a search capability, you can be sure this is indicative of the presence of an algorithm that will help rank pages. While Yelp appears to be review-driven, there are ways you can and should optimize for increased visibility. SEJ has great info on 7 things you can do to accomplish this.
Step 6: Optimize Facebook Page
Here are 5 easy steps to optimize your Facebook Business Page
- Choose Your Name – It’s one and done. You get one chance to choose your business name on Facebook, so make it count. As far as Google is concerned, the first word in your name is the most important. It’s all about brand and personality with this one.
- Choose Your URL – This is like having a vanity license plate! Making it match your Facebook business name will increase your brand identity and recognition.
- Complete Your Profile – All fields should be filled out and information should be complete and up to date. Add your profile photo.
- About Us Section – Choose the right category for your business. You can highlight your story. Don’t be too wordy, keep it brief, yet poignant. You can highlight the benefits of your products and service. The words that will show up under your page name when people search on google are called ‘snippets’. It needs to be short but to the point. It’s best when you’re able to make a complete sentence work; without it being cut off in any way.
- Use Those Keywords – Figure out what your keywords are and use them strategically and where they fit naturally into the content on each page. Don’t overuse them or use them haphazardly. That won’t work. Foll0w this link for some statistics around keywords and SEO Ahrefs.
Step 7: Write A ‘Get Reviews’ Email Campaign
I realize this can sound intimidating. Anything with the word campaign sounds like an entire years-long and incredibly detailed operation. But, I promise, it only takes some time and brainstorming to come up with the perfect email to send to your customers asking for their review. Who better to ask than people who know exactly what you have done for them?
Additionally, regularly thinking in this direction will ultimately lead you to perfect your customer experience. You’ll be extremely aware of the things you are doing right, the things you are doing wrong and that need improvement, and most importantly, the things your specific customers are after when they come to you. Stay with me for a second here…
You’re a contractor. Your customers are coming to you for home improvement needs, remodeling, and additions to their homes. But, what are they really coming to you for? I realize you create walls where there were no walls before and that you can help me with permits (which I want nothing to do with, so thank you). The question I’m asking is… what do they really want from you as a contractor? Of course, I want to know you’ll do a good job and that you’ve done good jobs for other people. But, why were those customers happy? Okay, I’ll get to the point now.
Customers are happy when they have found someone they can trust and be comfortable with. If I am having you come into my home (especially if I live there while the work is being done), I want to feel comfortable with you there. Don’t worry, I’m not inviting you into my bathroom for a talk while I get ready in the morning or anything. But, if you happen to catch me walking up the stairs with my coffee after escaping the kitchen in my robe, I want to feel safe and know I can trust you.
I want to know you’ll be discreet and appropriate. I want to feel like I made the right decision. The end result of the work is incredibly important, but the personal touch is what will keep me choosing you for any other work and recommending you to my friends and family for as long as you are a contractor.
So then… that personal touch. What kind of personality, character, and work ethic do you bring to the table? What kinds of questions can you ask your customers that have not only to do with the completed work but the way the work was done? On-time and under budget are winners every time, but how many contractors out there have used that line?
Check out another blog we wrote with Good Testimonial Questions. It will never hurt you to ask questions. You’ll be in the know when it comes to what you’re doing right and what you can improve which is an excellent position.
Step 8: Teach Your Front Desk Person A ‘Get Reviews’ Script
Did you know that 95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase? (boldeyemedia.com)
This means that you need to be intentional with both your service and the way you ask for reviews. If you’re a contractor, it is likely that you don’t necessarily have someone working at a physical location. Even if your employees are not at a front desk making face-to-face contact with your customers, they are still making some kind of contact. It’s important that the person representing your company is able to handle a conversational approach.
What does this mean? It means that the questions shouldn’t come off as random and stale. They should be questions that relate to your customer and why they chose your business. The person asking the questions should be able to present in a way that is more people and relationship-oriented rather than checking off a box that proves the question was asked. In short, it shouldn’t be a task. It needs to come from a place of genuine curiosity about how you’re helping your customers.
Step eight is kind of a trick… This is less about having a script than it is about training those who will be interacting with your customers on how to handle them properly.
Check out our RebelFishLocal Facebook for videos full of information on getting reviews.
I don’t necessarily like the idea of having a script for staff members to follow. It seems so sterile and usually falls flat. This is what corporations do all the time. This is why they lack personality. But, if you’re a massive corporation, you’re not reading this because you’re not interested in learning how to do SEO for contractors. You have an entire team dedicated to that. Lucky you.
Here’s the thing. Not everyone is perfectly suited for a ‘front desk’ type position. Maybe your spouse takes care of this work for your business. Maybe your nephew, twice removed, needed some work and you feel obligated as a family to help. Either way, this can be a difficult position for both you and the person on the front line.
So, you need to prepare them to do their job as best you can. This means giving them all the information they’ll need to do their job. In addition, I think it’s worth a mention to go above and beyond when it comes to showing your appreciation of a job well done when it happens.
Ethically, it’s not really acceptable to promise anything in exchange for a review. Make sure your staff is aware of this and that you’re not asking them to promise anything in exchange for reviews. Then provide the tools they need to ask your customers for reviews in a proper way.
Step 9: Share Your Reviews On Social Media
This is easy if you already have your social media accounts and reviews. Pairing images with reviews is extremely helpful. If you’re at the stage where you don’t yet have any reviews, be sure to start your social media accounts.
Leverage the images! Use them to your benefit. Everyone loves quality pictures. Learning to take good pictures will never hurt you. Also, use the power of hashtags and keywords on your social media accounts.
Make sure your accounts are all linked to your website.
Step 10: Optimize Homepage
You’ve got to do keyword research to choose the right keyword for your homepage. As you can see here we use Rank Math and our Focus Keyword is local SEO. The dark blue text is the title of the page. Make sure that under Basic SEO you get all green checkmarks.
When you click “edit snippet” you’ll be able to edit the paragraph that shows up on Google under the dark blue text.
We used a shortened version of our StoryBrand One-Liner.
- The problem we solve: “Many businesses struggle being found on Google”
- Our unique solution: “We created a 5-step local SEO plan”
- What success looks like: “That drives more traffic to your website”
This snippet is what shows up on Google or social media when someone shares our website URL.
Step 11: Optimize Service Page
The function of the service page on your website is two-fold. The first is to list the services you offer. The second is to show your potential customers how you stand out from your competition.
You’ll want to use images if that helps you showcase the quality of your work. Of course, use your keywords. Use them for location in the images as well as any keywords for specialty work you do. The key for these keywords will be intent. What intention are your potential clients looking for when they search online?
An example of this would be “bathroom remodel in Los Angeles”. Go with intent and you’ll get eyes on your site.
Step 12: Optimize Blogs
If you have a website without a blogs section, it’s time to consider adding one. There are so many things you can write about as a contractor. There are plenty of things customers out there are wondering how to do with regard to home improvement. One thing that’s important to understand is that it is not going to hurt you to ‘give away’ information. In fact, it will absolutely help you.
If you’re not a writer, fear not. You can hire writers that know how to write and optimize the blogs for your industry, the subject matter, and your local area. The more content you have and the better it is will make a massive difference in the traffic coming to your website. That’s what optimizing is all about. When you have the traffic coming through you have the opportunity to grow your email list and ultimately, your overall reach.
Step 13: Make A List Of Everywhere You’ve Been Interviewed
Have you been featured on any YouTube videos? Do you have a relationship with any real estate agents out there? Even if you haven’t done these things before, they can be excellent ways to get yourself and your business some exposure.
Real Estate Agents can be exceptional resources for contractors. Developing a professional relationship with a few of them can make a giant difference to your bottom line each year. When you come highly recommended by one, your customer base will grow naturally and quickly.
So, even if you haven’t been interviewed and therefore don’t have a list, you can start to reach out to agents and see if they’d be willing to partner up with you somehow. Of course, you’ll need to have a pitch ready to go and they’ll want to know why they’d risk their reputations to recommend you. Be ready for these questions and you’ll be well on your way.
Here’s one idea to get you started. Many homebuyers are intimidated by homes that need a lot of work in order to be move-in ready. This makes selling the home a bit difficult for the agent. If you are willing to see the home and give the agent ideas and your best estimate of the costs related to making improvements, you’ll be the one they call. Once you’ve proven you can be trusted, you’ll be off to the races.
Step 14: Make A List Of Everywhere You’ve Spoken
Have you spoken at construction-related events? Some people are more naturally gifted at this kind of thing. Both, at finding these kinds of opportunities and at the speaking, in general. Don’t worry if this is not exactly up your alley. It will not make or break your business.
But, if you are so inclined, start to think about conferences and expos you can participate in. Start thinking about what you could talk about and get to work. Here’s a tip along the lines of what I mentioned earlier in step 7. Creating a speech around the topics of what customers ultimately want and how they can obtain that would be a great start. Contact the producers of these events and pitch your ideas.
Here are a few topic ideas to get your brainstorming started:
- Questions to ask your contractor before you hire them
- General contractor checklist
- How to find and hire the right contractor for your specific needs
- How to define the scale of work
- When and how to pay your contractor
Step 15: Make A List Of PR Opportunities For Backlinks
This is another one that can sound intimidating if you’re not used to the languages of marketing and SEO. This is simply about finding other businesses, associates, colleagues, or happy customers that would be willing to have the link to your website on their website or blogs.
Just like any other industry, work and opportunity will come in waves. Sometimes those waves are huge and it’s difficult to keep up with the workload. When you can’t take the contract, it’s a great thing to have trusted associates in your field that you can recommend to your customers. Having an optimized website page dedicated to these types of relationships will serve you well.
Let’s say that you have a competitor who is skilled at something in particular, like rendering stucco. You can ask that they link to your site for something and return the favor for them on your website.
Maybe you have an associate in landscaping that you recommend on the regular. If they have a website (and they should), you can ask that they link to your site. Of course, you’ll reciprocate.
If there are local businesses that you have made a habit of frequenting for your construction needs, why not see if you can partner up with them?
So, make a list and start contacting them.
Let us know how your SEO is coming along. We’re here to help you, schedule a call with us today!