10 Ways to Improve Google Search Rankings for Contractors

Let’s discuss a topic that most every small business has interest in, which is how to improve Google search rankings. In 2019, the most effective way to generate business leads is through Google search. The business websites that rank the highest will acquire the most customers and so the goal of every company should be to pursue the top position. It’s important to be realistic however, since a number of factors determine whether or not a website will rank well. Add Positions is a digital marketing company that specializes in SEO for contractors. Below are 10 ways to improve Google search rankings for contractors in 2019 and beyond.

1) Google My Business

Let’s be very clear about something, Google My Business has replaced traditional websites as the central hub of online marketing visibility. Consumers who have a pre-existing awareness of your brand, searching for its name on Google will no longer prompt them to go directly to your website. Instead, they will see what is known as your Google Homepage, which is a full spectrum profile of your business throughout the SERP, mostly stemming from your GMB profile. The better optimized GMB profiles will produce the most ideal Google homepages. A GMB profile should be:

  • Accurate: Display the correct NAP information
  • Branded: Show your company logo, and business description, with a verified address
  • Optimized: Refined for search with proper categories, hours of operation, etc.
  • Updated: Regularly used for Google posts and consumer notifications

2) Reviews

Customer reviews are the modern day word of mouth. The difference is that today, word of mouth travels at the speed of your local WiFi connection. Both good and bad news travels fast, especially when it comes to contractors and their services. If we’re being honest with ourselves, bad news travels fastest. That’s why contractors should combat negativity by making it as convenient as possible for satisfied customers to leave reviews. This can be done through a website-integrated reviews widget, and by asking the customer in person upon service completion. It also helps to provide a business card with review platform links: Consider this:

  • Ask in Person: Request a review after service completion
  • Business Card: Provide business card with review platform links
  • Website Reviews Widget: Install a reviews widget like Righteous Reviews

3) Content Quality

There’s a saying in the SEO industry; content is king. The validity of this statement is questionable, but one thing isn’t; that content is extremely important to ranking well online. Google’s algorithms have gotten better at deciphering high quality content from its low quality counterpart. Google has even released quality guidelines for the public to review. There general principles follow the rule of common sense. For example, they state webmasters should make pages primarily for users and not search engines. They urge content creators to pose the question to themselves; does this content help my users? Here’s what defines quality content:

  • Engagement: How engaged readers are
  • Uniqueness: How original the content is
  • Value: How relevant and helpful the content is

4) LSI: Keyword Synonyms

The days of creating a standalone page for the sole purpose of ranking for a keyword are long gone. Today, Google purportedly determines the legitimacy of content by its usage of LSI keywords. For those who are not familiar with latent semantic indexing, the simplest way to describe it is synonym diversity. Instead of using the term tree trimming service 10 times within your content, you would use it only once, and then use synonyms to support that primary keyword. You might use the term arborist, tree treatment, and things like it. You can also use tools like lsigraph.com to help you identify LSI keywords for your target phrase. Focus on:

  • Diversity: Language is better when it’s not redundant, but instead diverse
  • Relevancy: A synonym implies the fundamental meaning of the term or phrase is similar
  • Synonyms: Words have many different variations and explanations, which you should use

5) Schema Code

Schema.org is a programming language that helps Google parcel data. In layman’s terms, schema helps Google better interpret your website and web pages, and subsequently market it to its users in a mutually beneficial manner. The goal of Google is to provide the most relevant results to its users, and the goal of contractors is to acquire the most relevant search traffic which has a greater chance to convert. Schema markup helps each party achieve their goal. Because it is a programming language involving microdata, professional assistance is strongly advised. Proper use of schema can enhance SERP results through the following:

  • NAP Information: SERP extensions showing name, address, and phone number
  • Review Snippets: SERP extensions showing aggregate 5 star review ratings
  • Service Pages: SERP extensions showing links for individual service pages

Add Positions Schema Markup Banner With Computer HTML Coding

6) Social Signals

Some might think posting on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter is redundant. But it’s not a fruitless effort when you consider the idea of social signals. MOZ has listed social signals as one of their local ranking factors and it’d be foolish to ignore such a strong phenomenon in the internet sphere of influence. Since Google clearly favors brands, having signals originating from major platforms with high usage and activity can only help your overall SEO. While its precise influence on organic ranking is undetermined, there’s circumstantial incentive to pursue social media activity on the following platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

7) Location Data

To excel online as a contractor, you must have a verified location. We touched on this briefly in the Google My Business section, but we’d like to further stress the importance of location verification for contractors. As a professional contractor you likely service multiple towns and cities, especially if your main location is outside of a major metropolitan area. The bad news is that the days of purchasing a virtual office have been eliminated. Google cracked down on this tactic as a way of prioritizing geographical legitimacy. It can be frustrating for a contractor who resides in a small town, but you have to find ways to work around it. At the very least, you must do the following:

  • Analyze: Research where your largest client base is, and your current distance from them
  • Optimize: Show identical location data on your website, GMB page, and elsewhere
  • Verify: Ensure address verification on Google My Business

8) Blogging

We noted the importance of content quality, but stopping there is not enough. The frequency of content production is also important. Yes, the quality must continue to maintain its standards, but you must have processes in place to continue publishing content. One of the best processes for that is blogging. Blog posts are a great way to keep fresh pages circulating on your website. This is especially true with WordPress-based websites, which count blog posts as actual pages on your domain, to be indexed by Google accordingly. The habit of blogging shows Google that your site is NOT static, and that it continues to produce relevant pages. Blog posts should be:

  • Consistent: Follow a fixed schedule, and publish posts at least once per month
  • Quality: Maintain the standard of quality outlined previously
  • Relevant: Relate (at least loosely) to the subject matter of your main website

9) Video

An underrated content medium is video. You can use video in a variety of ways. For instance, you can chop up video content and syndicate it through social media, websites, and extract the audio for podcast distribution. Google views videos in a positive light. This makes sense when considering the popularity of YouTube, and the amount of time the average American spends watching videos from that platform on a daily basis. Add Positions believes strongly in video content, as you can see by our embedded YouTube episode towards the top of this blog post. You as a contractor can also improve SEO with video content, with these methods:

  • Distribution: Uploading videos to YouTube and other channels
  • Production: Recording and editing videos, or having someone do it on your behalf
  • Syndication: Circulating video content through websites and social media channels

10) Domain Authority

MOZ has a metric known as DA or domain authority which measures the perceived trust of a website. It’s calculation is largely based on inbound links, both quality and quantity. Websites of a certain age, are more likely to have higher DA’s than brand new websites. The DA scale is 1-100 but at Add Positions, we’ve found that local contractors can do quite well by reaching the mid 20’s. In competitive markets, clients with DA’s 15 or below, are going to have a difficult time showing up for keywords on page one of Google, based on our extensive research. Some of the best ways to build DA are:

  • Content Marketing: Producing blog posts and syndicating them on social media
  • Inbound Linking: Earning links from external domains, but ones that a relevant to your industry
  • Tenure: Being around for a long time, which tends to help you earn trust organically

11) Design & Coding (Bonus)

One method of improving search ranking that cannot be overlooked is web design & coding. What happens behind the scenes can make just as much of a difference as what the user sees on their device screen. Google crawls and indexes websites using technology, and it’s far easier to crawl a cleanly coded website than one that is clunky and obtrusive. Furthermore, designs that are unique (non-templates) encourage Google crawler-bots to perceive them more favorably. Many contractors are under the false impression that their existing site is custom, when in fact, it is a $60 WordPress template that might look original, but has identical coding to other themes. Additional ranking factors that relate to design & coding include:

  • Responsive Design
  • Semantic Markup
  • Site Speed

Search Ranking Help for Contractors

Add Positions works with contractors (and other industries) to create custom WordPress websites that are fully optimized for search engines. Our 250+ client base can vouch for our attention to detail and execution of best practice optimization. Not only will we design a unique website for your business, but we will implement all of the SEO strategies mentioned in this blog post. It’s important to understand that each of these components works better in concert, rather than as an exclusive entity. In other words, a website alone is not enough, nor is content alone, or SEO alone.

Every business has different goals and aspirations, but one thing most every contractor has in common, is a desire for lead generation. The goal of Google optimization is lead acquisition. Anyone who says something different might have ulterior motives. Add Positions helps contractors reach their goal of lead generation by pursuing every channel available online. As a group of 15 digital marketing experts, each with a unique skill set, we can attend to the details that separates excellent websites from mediocre ones. Call today!