- Complete a Competitive Digital Marketing Analysis
One of the most important parts of your digital marketing strategy is a complete understanding of what your competitors are doing, how they’re doing it, and the results they’re getting. To start, you’ll want to complete a comprehensive competitor analysis for at least 3-5 local contracting companies that are your direct competition.
(Don’t compare your business to indirect competitors — it’s the least valuable use of your time.)
What Goes Into a Competitive Analysis?
- Who your competitors are
- What services and products your competitors offer
- Their sales strategies and marketing tactics
- Their content development strategy
- Their customer reviews and third-party recommendations
- How they market their content online
- Their social media presence
- Their strengths and weaknesses
- Any gaps they are leaving in the market
- Identify the Top Sales-Driving Keywords In Your Industry
Keywords, or key phrases, are specific words you use on your pages to describe what your page is about to both search engines and human readers.
For example, if you use the words “roofing contractor” or “plumbing services” and related keywords like “how to fix a roof” and “what unclogs a toilet,” this tells your audience and Google exactly what your website is about, so Google can better match your website to people looking for your services.
Start by identifying important keywords and key phrases your target audience uses to search for your services. Then, build high-quality content around those keywords in a way that emphasizes what you do and your company’s unique value proposition.
- Optimize Your Website for Search Visibility and Conversions
Your website should be optimized not only for visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) but also for conversions. First, make sure your website is tagged with relevant keywords and follows white-hat SEO strategies to rank highly in search engines so your audience can find your website.
Then, once they arrive, make sure the user experience is a great one. Your website should be optimized to nurture potential leads through the buyer’s journey. This is called conversion rate optimization and helps ensure that when people arrive at your website, they not only get the information they’re looking for but that they’re also encouraged to take action at the right time, in the right way, before leaving your website.
- Make Sure Your Website is Fast and Secure
Today’s users don’t want to spend time waiting for website pages to load. They’re likely to bounce if your website takes more than just a couple seconds to load, meaning they may find their way to a competitor’s website instead. They also want to make sure the websites they’re browsing and giving their information to are secure.
Page Speed Analysis
Conduct a page speed analysis to see how your home page and other pages stack up. Some page speed tools give you a letter grade, making it easier to understand how your site compares to industry standards.
An SSL certificate encrypts data between your customers and your website, including names, email addresses, payment information, and other sensitive data. This protects it from interception by hackers and establishes a private connection between you and your website’s visitors.
- Install Call Tracking and Google Analytics
Before you begin investing in digital marketing campaigns, it’s critical to have a way to measure their efficacy and value to your contracting company. Without this data, you could continue to sink money into marketing campaigns that don’t work, while missing big opportunities for other types of marketing.
At its core, Google Analytics is designed to track, monitor, and report on website traffic. However, it goes beyond tracking traffic and can also help you monitor video, Flash, and social media data.
Call tracking is important for all types of contractors because it lets you know how callers found your company. This allows you to directly monitor the efficacy of your marketing campaigns so your ongoing strategy can be optimized.
- Consistently Create High-Quality Content
Content has long been called “king” for good reason — it’s why users come to your site. It’s what they’re looking for when they arrive, and why they leave if they don’t find it. Content gives you an opportunity to both educate and sell to your target audience.
Blogging is a standard part of every content marketing strategy. Publish blog content on a consistent basis that covers topics your core audience wants to know, like how to choose a roofing contractor or when to call an electrician.
Many contractors can benefit from focusing the majority of their content marketing on case studies. Essentially, these are written reports of jobs-well-done that users can read to get an idea of why customers are choosing your company and how they’re benefiting from it.
Google has put a stronger emphasis on long-form content than ever before. Make sure your blogs are 1500-2000 words in length and publish comprehensive service pages that go into detail about what you do and the benefits of those services to consumers.
- Publish Creative Content Assets
Beyond blogging and producing long-form content, you should also look at publishing creative content assets such as:
An infographic is a visual collection of images, graphs, charts, and a very short amount of text. Their purpose is to give consumers an easy-to-understand summary of a specific topic.
An eBook is a great way to capture potential leads while offering value to website visitors. Create an eBook on a topic relevant to your industry, such as how to choose between ducted and ductless air conditioning if you’re an HVAC contractor. Then, offer it for free download in exchange for an email address.
Video marketing is gaining steam and is showing no signs of stopping. If you don’t have a YouTube channel yet, now is the time to start one. According to Forbes, it’s the second-largest search engine behind Google and can be a powerful way to increase brand exposure and drive traffic to your site.
Podcasts are another effective way of marketing creative content on heavily-used platforms like iTunes and SoundCloud. They are easy to record and can double as written content if you publish the transcript of the podcast along with the sound file on your site.
- Optimize Your Content for Voice Search
More users are utilizing voice search through their smartphones and home smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Instead of typing the words “leaky roof” into a search engine, they may turn to their smart speaker and say, “Alexa, what is the best way to fix a leaky roof?”
If your pages are optimized for the way users will phrase a question when using voice search, you have a greater chance of being ranked highly for those search results. You also want to make sure that at the top of your page is a short answer to the question, between 55 and 58 words. This short answer is what will be read by AI over the speaker if your page ranks in position 0 for the key phrase.
- Build Local Directory Citations
Local citations are any reference or mention of your business on the Internet. Typically, a local citation includes your business name, web address, phone number, and address. The more citations you have on quality websites, the better your local search results. Citations on toxic websites, however, may be harmful to your SEO ranking.
Professional citation publishers can use a wide variety of websites, including but not limited to Yelp, YP, Merchant Circle, and CitySearch. While it’s possible to build citations yourself, most contractors either won’t have the time to do so, the access to business directory lists, or both. By working with a citation publisher, you can ensure you have robust local citations on reputable websites.
- Engage in Link Outreach and Link Building
One of the most influential factors in a website’s search engine ranking is the amount and quality of backlinks pointing to their URL. Google considers a backlink a “third-party recommendation” of sorts, meaning that the more you have, the better your company’s online reputation.
Recent changes to ranking algorithms have allowed bots to tell the difference between backlinks coming from good websites and those coming from toxic websites. So not only do you want to have plenty of backlinks, it’s critical that they’re only from reputable websites. If you have backlinks from toxic sites, you’ll need to disavow them, meaning you’ll formally tell Google that you no longer want to be associated with those websites.
- Optimize Your Google MyBusiness Profile
The far majority of consumers will look a business up online before ever calling or stepping foot in their establishment. This means that your company’s online business listing should be as appealing as possible. Make sure your Google My Business listing is up-to-date with accurate information and has as many fields as possible filled out, including your bio and hours of operation.
You should also consider adding photos of your office, your contractors, and some of your work to your Google My Business profile to help users better engage with your brand before reaching out to contact your company.
- Create and Manage Social Media Profiles
Most consumers today have one or more social media profiles and it’s no longer an option for contracting companies to be MIA from social media channels. Make sure you set up an account on all social platforms that are applicable to your business, including the major ones like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
You should use your social media to engage directly with consumers in a way that other platforms — like your website — won’t allow you to. Post frequently and make sure to answer consumer questions and respond to people on your pages in a timely manner. Even people who don’t necessarily reach out on social media are watching how your company reacts to those that do.
- Monitor the Analytics of Your Marketing Campaigns
Watch your marketing campaigns to see how well they perform. If you don’t have enough visibility into your marketing analytics to gauge key performance indicators (KPIs), you won’t know how your marketing efforts are working or if you’re blowing your entire ad budget on campaigns that aren’t driving leads.
You should be evaluating your marketing every month, quarterly, and annually to determine how your campaigns are performing. Avoid watching your numbers too closely — checking every day or week isn’t going to give you the long-term data you need to make important decisions regarding your company’s advertising initiatives.
- Examine Data from Call Tracking
You also want to take a look at the data that is coming in from the call tracking software your company is using. Where are your calls coming from? Are they coming from a mix of different advertising sources, or is there one clear source that is driving the majority of your calls? Be sure to check your call data at least monthly, and it’s a good habit to get into checking your call analytics at the same time you look at the performance of your marketing campaigns.
- Monitor Industry Trends
You should also continually monitor trends in your industry as well as what your competitors are doing. Keep an eye on what is changing and what consumers are looking for from companies in your niche. Make sure you stay ahead of the trends so your branding doesn’t appear outdated, especially when compared to your competitors.
- Make Changes to Your Marketing Campaigns as Necessary
Based on the above data you collect — Google analytics data, call tracking information, social analytics, and movement within the industry — you should custom-tailor your marketing campaign to be in alignment.
For example, if your social analytics says that Facebook is driving the majority of your social leads and you’re only posting once a day versus three times a day on Twitter, you could allocate two additional posts to Facebook and drop Twitter down to once a day. This allows you to channel your efforts into what’s working, without necessarily incurring extra advertising costs.
- Work with An Experienced Contractor SEOCompany
Keeping up with marketing and SEO as a contractor is challenging at best. Many HVAC contractors, plumbers, electricians, and other contractors have difficulty making the most out of their web marketing while also running a contracting business and ensuring customers receive quality service. Many contractors have excellent skills in their respective fields, but when it comes to internet marketing, they’re not necessarily well-versed.
You can have the best of both by working with an experienced contractor SEO provider that can help you monitor and manage your online marketing initiatives while you focus on the most important thing — growing your business. A good contractor SEO company will help you develop a strategy that aligns with your goals, budget, and brand to drive traffic and leads, ultimately increasing your bottom line.
Why Choose Tactical SEO Consulting?
Your business is unique, and it’s important to work with an SEO expert that truly understands your industry and the problems your target audience faces. At Tactical SEO Consulting, we work with contractors of all types, including:
- Roofing companies
- HVAC contractors
- Remodeling companies
- Restoration contractors
- Window and door sellers and manufacturers
- General contractors
- Contractor franchises
Contact us today to learn more about SEO for contractors and how you can get help creating an authoritative online presence that drives sales. Call now at 719.358.3613.