SEO for Tradesmen: The Secrets to Ranking Higher

Are you a tradesman struggling to get noticed online? You’re not alone. Many service providers rely on word-of-mouth and traditional advertising, but they overlook the enormous potential of online marketing. In this step-by-step guide, I’ll show you how to rank your trade services higher in search results, increasing your visibility and attracting more customers. You’ll learn how to leverage the power of SEO for tradesmen and local search to reach your target audience and stand out from the competition. Follow these tips and you’ll soon see your services appear at the top of search engine results pages, driving traffic to your website and growing your business.

Why Should You Care About SEO as a Tradesman?

I’m sure you get tons of requests for quotes and jobs already. So why even bother with all this online stuff?

Here’s the thing – most people start their search for trade services online these days. How many times have you needed to get something fixed in the house and immediately went to Google?

If you’re not showing up on the first page, you can bet customers looking for someone local to get the job done probably won’t even come across your name.

And if someone else is ranking higher than you, where do you think that business will go?

That’s right, straight to your competitor.

Another big reason is that ranking higher builds authority and trust. If customers see your website show up at the very top of the list, you automatically look like an established, reputable company.

So even if they haven’t heard about you before, they’ll likely give you a shot versus someone buried further down the results.

Why Should You Care About SEO as a Tradesman?

Start With the Basics: Your Google My Business Listing

I like to think of this as home base for establishing your digital presence.

Google My Business is a free tool that businesses can use to manage how your information shows up in local search results.

So this means when someone searches for “electrician in Cleveland,” your business listing can show up on the right-hand side or even in the map listings on top.

But lots of tradesmen completely miss this opportunity. Make sure you set up a listing right away, if you haven’t already.

Key Fields You Need to Fill Out

Business name, address and phone number are no-brainers. Make sure they’re formatted correctly. This is what establishes you as a local business.

Add your website URL so Google ties your website and listing together.

Provide as many categories and services as possible that relate to what you offer. The more detail here, the easier you are to find.

So instead of just “electrician,” you could list:

  • Lighting installation
  • Electrical panel upgrades
  • Ceiling fan installation
  • Home generator installation

You get the idea – be as specific as possible.

Upload quality photos of your team doing actual work, your branding and logos, equipment/fleet vehicles, past project examples, etc. This helps customers put a name to a face.

There’s also an option to verify your location address by receiving a postcard from Google at that address. I highly recommend doing this as it gives your listing a trust boost in their eyes.

And don’t forget to regularly monitor and update your listing when anything changes.

Beef Up Your Website

Hopefully you have a professional-looking website already. A custom platform built specifically for your trade service can really inspire confidence and trust with visiting customers.

But even with a nice looking site, there may still be gaps from an SEO for tradesmen perspective.

Plenty of tradesmen use popular DIY website builders like Wix or SquareSpace to throw something together. But these tend to lack under the hood in terms of optimization.

Here are some key things to evaluate on your current website:

1. Mobile Responsiveness

Google has stated that mobile friendliness is a ranking factor. As the majority of searchers are now on phones rather than desktops, sites that are difficult to navigate or read on mobile get penalized.

Test yours out – are images and fonts still clear on a smaller screen? Can visitors easily find contact info and call you from their device? If not, time for an upgrade!

2. Site Architecture

The way your site is organized from an information hierarchy perspective is important. Properly structured pages that focus on specific service categories make it much easier for search engines to digest your content.

For example, an electrician should have their main service pages such as:

  • Residential electrician
  • Commercial electrician
  • New construction wiring
  • Lighting installation

Rather than just a generic “services” page.

3. Page Speed

Another technical consideration Google measures is how fast your pages load. bloated sites full of heavy images or web fonts that creep along will suffer in performance scores.

Test your homepage load speed here and optimize where possible: Google PageSpeed Insights Tool

4. Content

The actual words on your pages need some SEO tender loving care as well. Many DIY site builders stuff pages with tons of images and video, but minimal text content.

Each page should contain at least 300 words of helpful, relevant info focusing on important keywords a customer would use to find that service.

And include geo-modifiers like your city name! Such as “Cleveland electrician for home lighting installation” rather than just “lighting installation services.”

Create Link-Worthy Assets

Okay, diving a bit deeper now into more advanced organic search strategies. But stay with me!

A pivotal ranking factor for Google is other websites linking back to your pages with your target keywords.

For example, if the neighborhood newspaper or blog covered your recent big rewiring project and linked to your site when mentioning your company, that’s a quality endorsement in Google’s eyes.

Problem is, trade services often fly under the radar and aren’t likely to earn media coverage and backlinks randomly like that.

So you’ve got to get creative with assets that attract attention and links by being helpful. Like:

Blog Content: Set up a blog or guides section of your own website to post regular long-form articles around popular customer topics.

For a roofer this could be an explainer around insurance claims for storm damage, or a checklist for what to ask when getting your roof replaced.

Tools or Calculators: Create something interactive that provides helpful info. HVAC techs could have a calculator estimating costs savings when upgrading equipment. Plumbers might build one for estimating water usage.

Data Studies: Conduct or compile interesting statistics relevant to your work like “Electricity Usage Per Capita in Large Cities vs Small Towns” that media outlets may reference and link to.

The key is producing “link bait” content that captures attention and drives links back with anchor text potential customers may use like “Hudson roofing contractors” or “Eastside Cleveland electricians.”

Over time and through promotion, quality assets like this could score nice backlinks and elevate your organic presence.

Leverage Directories

Trade-specific and local business directories represent another source of good links and referral traffic.

While getting listed should never replace your own website, curating profiles across quality directory sites helps reinforce your business in the local space.

When people search for related services, they often cross-reference directories and review sites to vet options. So the more presence you have, the better.

Some good directories I’d recommend submitting to include:

  • Angie’s List
  • Porch
  • Houzz
  • Local chamber of commerce site
  • Relevant industry associations

Take time filling out profiles completely and accurately representing your services. Participate in Q&A and community discussions where possible to further establish your cred as an expert.

Get Visual

People engage way more with visual content compared to blocks of text when browsing online. Videos can convey messages and emotion beyond what copy alone allows.

Yet so few tradesmen tap into video marketing. Understandable when your priority is keeping customers happy, not fussing with videos!

But an easy, impactful approach is documenting case studies and client testimonials that combine useful footage with authentic reviews.

For example, a roofer could showcase before and after a big residential re-roof project, featuring the delighted homeowners talking about their experience working with the company.

Tie videos like this back to your YouTube channel and embed on website pages to boost engagement.

You’d be surprised how many positive calls and referrals something simple like that could generate just from increased visibility and word-of-mouth exposure.

Craft Compelling Ads

While I firmly believe mastering organic search should be priority #1 for long term gains, paid search ads definitely complement an effective strategy.

Particularly when launching a new brand or looking to steal market share in competitive spaces, pay-per-click ads allow you to get in front of searching customers right away.

I won’t deep dive here, but will share a few best practices for trade services:

  • Leverage detailed negative keyword targeting around DIY phrases and commercial contractor terminology to hone in on your perfect homeowner audience.
  • Structure ad groups tightly around specific services like kitchen electric upgrades, whole home rewire, etc rather than generic “residential electrician” to improve click to call/contact conversions.
  • Create location-specific ad versions calling out neighborhoods you service allows for higher relevance and geo-modified keyword bids.
  • Test out display with YouTube as an affordable awareness driver, retargeting visitors who searched previously or showed interest but didn’t convert.

Monitor keyword to topic relevance, ad position/CTR trends, and landing page experience closely as you experiment to ensure spend aligns with return.

Turn Customers Into evangelists

Okay, you’re ranking higher organically now, supplementing with paid ads, seeing promising traffic growth month over month. Outstanding!

But not if those visits aren’t converting into quote requests and jobs!

You could have the flashiest website and the biggest ad budget, but without delighting customers so much that they eagerly refer friends, it’s all wasted effort.

I can’t emphasize enough how vital glowing online reviews and word-of-mouth testimonials are for service providers like contractors trying to earn the community’s trust.

PR agencies charge massive retainers just for a shot at landing press features and reviews in local outlets on behalf of brands!

Yet the internet allows past customers themselves to become your best spokespeople.

What can you do to incentivize rave reviews?

What can you do to incentivize rave reviews?

Over-deliver on communication: Set clear expectations upfront on timeline, costs, cleanup policies and be incredibly responsive throughout via calls/texts. Follow up after with helpful maintenance tips.

WOW with attention to detail: Do consummate pro tier work taking the extra time to get things perfect. Carefully examine, measure twice. Give them more than they expected! Brand anchor screws, haul away all debris, tighten loose parts unrelated to the job, etc.

Make payment frictionless: Quickly send customizable invoices through PayPal, Venmo or similar apps and take credit cards. Make it easy for happy customers to pay you promptly so they feel even more satisfied.

Ask directly: Don’t be shy reaching out after a job well done asking if they’d be willing to leave an online review. Most folks are happy to help a contractor they appreciate, they just need reminding.

Do right by customers with these principles and soon reviews should start pouring in applauding your awesome service across Google, Facebook, Yelp and more.

These rave testimonials in turn attract new local customers, kickstarting that vital word-of-mouth momentum for your trade business. Then it’s just about maintaining the level of excellence long term!

Wrapping Up

Alright my friends, let’s recap real quick the SEO for tradesmen checklist for boosting your trades service visibility online:

Optimize Google My Business listing completely

Enhance website speed and content quality

Produce FRESH link-worthy assets

Get listed on relevant trade directories

Create engaging video content

Experiment with paid search ads

Deliver 5-star service experiences

See – I told you this digital marketing stuff wasn’t so bad! Just remember, take that first step to get the fundamentals going.

Consistency and discipline day-to-day with business visibility efforts combined with phenomenal customer experiences is the key to long term success.

Now get out there and start climbing those search rankings! Rooting for you guys.

Let me know if any other questions come up!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the best directories for home service contractors?

Some top local directories include Yelp, Angie’s List, Porch, Houzz, BBB, and your local chamber of commerce website. Complete and claim listings on these sites to boost visibility.

How often should I blog or post new website content?

Ideally blog 1-2X per month at minimum, posting articles running at least 500 words focused on service keywords your ideal customers may search. This fresh content will help pages rank better overtime.

What’s the most important page I should optimize?

Make sure your website homepage is incredibly search engine and mobile friendly above all else. This is likely the first page visitors land on so ensure load speed is fast and it clearly communicates your key services.

Should my services have individual pages or be just one?

Dedicate separate website pages for each specific popular service line rather than bunch everything on one generic “services” page. Helps search engines properly index and rank unique content.

What’s the #1 ranking factor for local search?

Without question, positive online customer reviews and word of mouth lift local credibility the most. So focus heavily on delighting every client with 5-star service quality and incentivizing feedback. This earns trust fast with potential customers researching options.

In Conclusion

Success in the trades relies first and foremost on delivering exceptional service and valuing each and every client.

Approach your work with passion, communication and integrity at the foundation.

Dive into the world of SEO for Real Estate Investors: Unearthing hidden profits, where the effort to rank better digitally not only reveals hidden opportunities but also positions your business for growth. Remember, owning the first page of search results in your community for the services you provide best is a strategic move that can unlock unprecedented success.

Let potential customers find and choose you ahead of competitors thanks to savvy and thoughtful SEO for tradesmen strategies.

The playbook I outlined today works for electricians, contractors, plumbers, roofers and all home service providers prepared to take that next step.

I invite you to start with just small wins first. Maybe nail down your Google My Business profile completely. Then talk to your web developer about site speed. Over time, these efforts compound for the rankings you desire.

Looking forward to seeing you prosper, my friends! Now who’s ready to do this?

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