Are your competitors outranking your contracting website on Google?
Do you want to start doing SEO so you can generate leads for your contracting business yet are unsure where to start?
We can fix that.
You need a local SEO strategy tailored to your contracting business’s specific needs.
With the right local SEO strategies, you can:
- Organically attract in-market leads
- Stop wasting thousands of dollars on SEO tactics you don’t need
- Close more contracts
- Improve marketing ROI
Remember, 93% of customers use search engines to find local businesses and service providers.
Don’t miss out—turn SEO into your best marketing weapon with the strategies below.
1. Preparing a general contractor website for SEO
A professional-looking website can supercharge your general contractor business’s visibility, lead generation, and profitability.
That is, if you implement the right technical SEO strategies.
Technical SEO involves on-page optimization strategies that improve:
- Structure. The organization and grouping of related pages.
- Crawlability. The ability of search engine bots or “crawlers” to find links to relevant pages.
- Performance. How fast and stable a website loads.
SEO professionals and agencies have different approaches to technical SEO.
Using a silo structure, running a site audit, and optimizing loading speed are perfect SEO strategies for general contractors.
Implement a silo structure
Using a silo structure is ideal for general contractor websites because of the following reasons:
- Organizes content for users and search engine users
- Increases relevance for specific services and service areas
- Provides optimal internal linking strategy for local businesses
A silo is a group of related, interlinked pages that help readers find the information they need.
Website siloes improve the user experience by helping visitors navigate your website and find important pages.
For example, if users land on a page about pre-construction tips, they should easily find a link to your pre-construction services (or product) page.
The link can be a CTA button in a sidebar or an in-line link on the page.
Here’s an example from RIB CCS with an in-line link to their product page:
A silo structure also helps search engine crawlers index web pages better, which is crucial for ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs) and generating website traffic.
Website siloes start from a silo or “pillar” page, which briefly covers all relevant subtopics and links to all silo posts.
Here are some examples:
- Service pages. Create a “Services” pillar page that links to pages for every service you offer.
- City pages. Create an “Areas We Serve” page (or something similar) that links to pages highlighting the services you offer to specific regions.
- Industry pages. Create a page that links to site pages about the industries you serve.
Run a technical SEO audit
Run an audit on your contracting website with tools like Semrush or Ahrefs.
SEO audits generate thorough reports of your website’s SEO performance that are crucial for your on-page SEO.
This includes actionable recommendations that address SEO-related issues, like broken links, duplicate content, etc.
Enter your website’s URL into Semrush’s Site Audit tool and click “Start Audit” to begin the analysis.
It may take a while for Semrush to gather enough data and generate the site audit report.
When available, select “Issues” to identify high-priority on-page optimization issues.
These issues relate to your website’s crawlability, performance, internal link structure, etc.
Click “Why and how to fix it” to learn how to resolve each issue.
You may be surprised at how easy it is to resolve many on-page SEO issues, like duplicate title tags and broken links.
To give you a top-level view of what to look out for when doing technical SEO audits, consider these points:
- Does your site have acceptable server uptime?
- Does your website render well on mobile devices?
- Is your on-page SEO on point?
- Is Google indexing one version of your website?
- Do you have thin, worthless content?
- Is your structured data working properly?
- Do your pages load fast?
- Do you have indexing problems?
- Is your Robots.txt optimized?
- Do you have security issues?
- Do you have broken links?
- Do you have backlinks from suspicious websites?
Websites can have a lot of potential technical SEO issues. The points above are some of the most common you need to look out for.
Generate website performance reports to speed up your website
Use performance optimization tools like PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix.
These tools help you identify technical SEO problems that slow down your site (or individual page), impacting SEO and the user experience.
In the example below, we’re using PageSpeed Insights.
Enter your web page URL and click “Analyze” to create a performance report.
Switch to “Desktop” or “Mobile” depending on your SEO priority.
PageSpeed Insights starts with a report of your website’s Core Web Vitals, which are Google’s performance quality signals created for website owners.
Below is an example of a website’s performance issues diagnosis, including suggestions and resources for fixing them.
2. Target commercial intent keywords
With your site pages ready, the next step is to optimize for commercial intent keywords.
Your prospective customers use commercial intent keywords when they’re ready to purchase—making keywords with commercial intent ideal for general contractors looking to turn their SEO efforts into sales.
Here’s how to find these relevant keywords…
Start with seed keywords
Seed keywords are broad keywords that are relevant to your industry.
They’re usually 1-2 words long.
General contractors, for example, can simply go with “general contractor” as the seed keyword.
Plug your seed keywords into keyword research tools to generate more specific long-tail keyword ideas.
Here’s how it works with Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool.
Use keyword research filters to find transactional keywords using modifiers (see “Use keyword modifiers” below).
Click “Include keywords,” select “Any keywords,” enter relevant modifiers, and click “Apply.”
The Keyword Magic Tool will supply you with viable commercial intent keywords that contain the modifiers you need.
These keywords can help you create pages that attract prospective leads, those interested in your product and services, and not just random users.
A few tips when doing keyword research for SEO:
- Focus on low-medium competition keywords. Low-medium competition keywords on Semrush have a Keyword Difficulty (KD) rating of 0-49.
- Check phrase match and question keywords. Diversify your target keyword pool to attract more traffic without targeting competitive keywords.
- Assess Cost Per Click (CPC). A high CPC indicates high advertiser interest, which proves the keyword’s effectiveness in attracting prospective buyers.
Pro tip: Those offering professional local SEO services often target just a handful of highly relevant, targeted keywords with strong commercial intent.
You don’t need hundreds of keywords; just a handful of keywords can skyrocket your revenue as a reputable contractor.
If you have the budget, however, target as many keywords as possible while prioritizing the crucial ones.
The more relevant keywords you rank for in Google’s search engine, the more organic traffic and better online visibility you get.
Use keyword modifiers
Use modifiers when conducting extensive keyword research to make the job easier.
Keyword modifiers instantly make seed keywords more specific and viable for local businesses.
What’s awesome about keyword modifiers is they’re easy to use.
Below are examples (seed keyword + keyword modifier):
- General contractor company
- General contractor services
- General contractor costs
You can also try plugging in your target cities to come up with valuable keywords:
- General contractor NYC
- General contractor Austin
- General contractor Chattanooga
Finally, break down your seed keyword into more specific keywords about your industry, products, or services:
- Design and build general contractors
- Preconstruction services
- Kitchen remodeling services
- Interior design services
- Preconstruction contractors
- Construction management services
To rank higher on google search results, use your keywords to create content that generates potential leads:
- How to find preconstruction services near me?
- How much do construction management services cost?
Use these local SEO strategies to come up with commercial intent keywords for your contractor services site.
3. Optimize for on-page SEO
Whether running a construction company or any other local business, uncovering target-worthy keywords is meaningless if you don’t have an on-page optimization strategy to make your pages SEO friendly.
First, be sure to mention keywords in the following page elements:
- Title tag
- URL slug
- Subheadings (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
- Main content body
- Image filenames and alt-text tags
Don’t just add your target keywords mindlessly; remember that Google frowns upon keyword stuffing.
Make your keywords fit your pages naturally.
That brings us to…
Write better SEO content
Since Google’s BERT algorithm update, the search engine has become exceptional at understanding the context of queries.
Unlike Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF) which looks at words at face value, BERT can determine the nuances of human language.
Here are some tips to keyword-optimize your pages and content for BERT:
- Understand keyword intent. Do readers want to hire services or just do research?
- Create specific content. Don’t beat around the bush and tackle what’s mentioned in the title.
- Answer questions. Address questions that your target audience may have around the topic.
A cool SEO trick for construction companies is to analyze the top three pages ranking in Google search for your target keyword.
Fire up Google and enter your target keyword, like “best general contractors in New York City,” and observe the top three results.
This helps you understand user intent and identify the subtopics and questions you should include to serve your local marketplace better.
Furthermore, it lets you determine how long your content needs to rank well.
Get the average word count of the top three results and make your page 100-500 words longer.
Whatever you do, don’t add fluff.
Focus on quality information that helps readers achieve their goals.
Wrapping up your siloes
Remember the silo structure we mentioned earlier?
Group them using internal links to help readers and search engines find more relevant content and to make your site more SEO friendly.
For example, your city pages should link to service pages available in those locations (and vice versa).
4. Perform thorough SEO competitive analysis
Conducting competitive SEO analysis guarantees you’re using strategies proven to yield high rankings.
This is a crucial aspect of your custom contractor SEO strategy since it helps you “spy” and “steal” from your competitors’ strategies—in a good and legal way, of course.
There are several types of competitor analysis done in SEO:
- Look at competitors’ top-performing content. What topics help your competitors get the most traffic from your local market? How do they build content around those topics?
- Use the Skyscraper Technique. Create content that outperforms your competitor’s top pages. Identify weaknesses like outdated data, lack of visuals, incomplete information, unanswered questions, etc.
- Analyze their backlink profiles. Where do competitors get their backlinks from? What types of backlinks do they use, and how many are there?
Several SEO tools such as Ahrefs or SEMRush can help you thoroughly analyze your competitors.
On both platforms, simply enter your competitor’s domain into the main search bar.
The platform should automatically launch the right tool for domain analysis, like “Site Explorer” for Ahrefs.
Analyze your competitor’s top pages
Select “Top pages” under “Organic search” to reveal your competitor’s top-performing content, including important details like their top keyword and average monthly visitors.
Inspect your competitor’s top pages and pay attention to key elements, like:
- Word count
- Title tag
- Visuals (screenshots, graphs, etc.)
- Subtopics (subheadings)
- Internal and external links
Remember to make your content better in all aspects.
Give readers and search engines clear reasons to prefer your pages over theirs.
If they have a top 10 list, write a top 20 list.
Or, if they have a step-by-step guide, create one loaded with screenshots or a video tutorial.
If you can find your competitor’s top content, you’ll find ways to outperform them.
Check your competitor’s backlink sources
Comprehensive SEO tools can reveal your top competitor’s backlink sources or “referring domains.”
These are websites that link to their pages, improving their search engine rankings.
From the Site Explorer page, select “Referring domains” to jump straight to their backlink sources.
Select “Backlinks” to view details about each link.
Ahrefs will reveal the referring page, the target page (your competitor’s page), and valuable metrics relating to the backlink’s quality.
All the data from this report is useful for the Skyscraper Technique, which goes as follows:
- Find your competitor’s top-ranking page or post
- Create something significantly better
- Reach out to their backlink sources and propose to link to your content instead
Done right, competitive SEO analysis will unveil other strategies your top competitors use to drive traffic and get leads from Google.
It’ll be a huge handicap for your local SEO strategy if you don’t include competitor analysis.
5. Local SEO
Local SEO refers to marketing strategies that optimize websites for local searches.
Start with getting a Google My Business account to improve your local visibility. It helps local search engine users find your contracting services online easily.
Google My Business is an online directory of sorts that makes helpful business information (service packages, exact location, store hours, etc.) available to users.
The service also makes businesses searchable on Google Maps, which prospective customers use when they’re in a buying mood.
Create a Google My Business account by following the on-screen instructions on their website.
Additional tips for local SEO
- Include accurate and consistent NAP details (Name, Address, and Phone)
- Use schema markup on city pages to convey your place(s) of business to search engines
- Create city landing pages specific to your service area, include them in your service area silo
6. Get Listed in Local, Niche-Specific Directories
Local listings and niche-specific business directories can put your brand in front of hundreds—if not thousands—of potential customers. (They’re the modern-day yellow pages.)
They also provide your general contractor website with natural backlinks from trusted domains, helping you attain higher rankings.
Use Google to uncover popular directories for general contractors.
Speed up your search with boolean search strings like the following:
- Exact phrase (“ ”) — general contractors directory “NYC”
- Synonyms (~) — general contractors ~services ~directory NYC
- AND — general contractors directory NYC AND Brooklyn
- OR — general contractors directory NYC OR Brooklyn
- Exclude (-) — general contractors directory NYC -licensing
- In title (intitle:) — general contractors intitle:directory NYC
- In text (intext:) — general contractors intext:directory NYC
- Exclude website (-site:) — general contractors directory NYC -site:houzz.com
Boolean operators let you refine your Google search and find more specific results.
For example, use the exact phrase operator to look for a general contractor directory that specifically serves NYC.
Combine multiple operators to further narrow down your search.
Below are a few examples to get your general contractor business listed on as many directories as possible:
- The Builders Online
- Dun & Bradstreet
- The Bluebook Network
- CAI Professional Services Directory
Each directory follows different processes for listing service providers.
For example, on Houzz.com, you need to create a Houzz Pro” account to get listed.
Start with your business email and desired password.
Fill out the registration form as completely and accurately as possible.
Remember, the information you use on business listings should match the details on your website.
Upon completing your registration, complete your profile by following the on-screen instructions.
While the exact steps differ for each directory, the required pieces of information and profile completion steps remain the same: provide your business information (including your website URL), upload project/business photos, select the services you provide, and so on.
Be sure to include plenty of high-resolution images or videos of your previous projects.
As a general contractor, images and videos serve as clear proof that you’re more than capable of quality work.
Some directories like Houzz.com include extra steps, like requesting reviews from past clients.
Statistics show that 73% of consumers will trust businesses with real, positive reviews.
They’re great in winning the trust of prospective clients, especially if they’ve never heard of your business before.
If the business directory you’re submitting to doesn’t have a review request feature, you can collect reviews on your Google business profile instead.
Follow the steps below to automate this process:
- Create a free account on email marketing services like Mailchimp
- Import your client email list
- Automate or send a review request email with a link to your Google business profile
You can also use reputation management platforms like Boast.io and GatherUp to automate different types of reviews for your general contractor business.
These solutions include features that can generate authentic customer reviews, video testimonials, and actual feedback that can help you improve your services.
7. Content Marketing Should Focus on Driving Middle of Funnel (MoFu) Leads
Local service-based businesses need to rely on Bottom of Funnel (BoFu) optimization with commercial intent keywords to reap SEO benefits.
But that doesn’t mean they should ignore the Middle of Funnel (MoFu).
MoFu optimization involves producing content that converts organic traffic into high-quality leads. According to statistics, this approach is 3 times more effective in lead generation than outbound tactics like display advertising and email marketing.
How to drive leads through content marketing
- Start a blog on your business website and produce content that solves your target audience’s problems.
- Conduct keyword research to identify informational intent keywords (how to, what is, etc.).
- Create content that helps people achieve their goals or avoid their problems.
- Convert traffic into high-quality leads with opt-in offers (templates, checklists, white papers, industry reports, eBooks, buyers guides, etc.).
8. Build links to your site
Backlinks from authoritative domains improve your contractor website’s trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines.
Here’s the deal: Websites that rank #1 on Google have 3.8 times more backlinks on average than the rest of the top 10 results.
But it’s not just about the quantity.
Quality is also essential for a successful link-building strategy.
SEO specialists and agencies can provide you with made-to-order backlinks en masse.
To land those top-quality backlinks that elevate rankings, below are some DIY link-building tactics:
- Guest blogging. Submit content to high-authority publications and insert a link back to your website.
- Long-form content creation. Long-form content (1,000 words and longer) receives 77.2% more backlinks than short articles.
- Link exchanges. Create link bait content that mentions your target website, notify them, and request a backlink in return.
Don’t forget to optimize your website’s internal link structure to spread link equity and rank more pages. Prioritize adding internal links from pages that have the most high-quality backlinks.
9. CRO & Lead Nurturing
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of improving conversion rates on website pages.
A conversion refers to any desired action that users make to elevate their relationship with a business, such as:
- Sending a quote request
- Calling a phone number
- Subscribing to your newsletter
- Signing up for your webinar
- Downloading assets
A proven strategy is to split test multiple versions of a page or blog post.
For example, two versions of the same landing page may contain different Calls-to-Action (CTAs).
Through split testing, you compare the performance of both versions within a specific time period.
At the end of the split testing period, the CTA in the winning landing page version gets to be kept and tested further.
Beyond CRO, businesses need to follow through with lead nurturing strategies to push captured leads down the sales funnel.
Some lead nurturing practices are:
- Retargeting campaigns. Launch paid ads and content promotion campaigns to leads that visited or interacted with your general contractor website.
- Marketing automation. Automate emails, such as welcome emails, birthday emails, and “thank you” emails for building your relationship with leads.
- Targeted interactions. Engage your target audience with interactive content like social media polls, survey pop-up forms, and special discount offers.
10. Track SEO metrics and KPIs
You’ve come a long way in optimizing your general contractor website for the search engines.
Don’t stop there.
Your SEO strategy should be ongoing and requires monitoring and continuous adjustments.
Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from the get-go to align your SEO campaign with your marketing goals.
Examples of KPIs:
- Keyword rankings
- Organic page views
- Referring domains (backlink sources)
- Conversion rate
- Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQLs)
- Conversion value
Use online tools to track your KPIs and determine if your strategies are working.
For example, Google Analytics is a free analytics platform that measures performance data like website traffic, unique page views, traffic sources, and conversion goals.
SEO platforms like Semrush, on the other hand, let you track your website’s keyword rankings, among other key metrics.
If you use multiple services and want to consolidate all your analytics into one place, consider using Google Data Studio.
This streamlines analytics tracking by generating visual reports using data from multiple sources.
Wrapping It Up
General contractors can achieve SEO success through strategic website development, extensive keyword research, on-page optimization, local SEO, CRO, and lead nurturing.
There’s some content marketing and link building, too.
However, service-based businesses need to prioritize BoFu keywords for on-page optimization while targeting MoFu keywords in content marketing. (As opposed to prioritizing writing bazillions of blog content.)
Fine-tune your contractor SEO strategy.
Use the tips shared in this guide to dominate the search engine results and pull in top-quality leads for your general contractor business.