The best SEO digital marketing strategies for contractors
Want to launch yourself as a contractor – or build your existing business? Here are three of the best SEO digital marketing strategies for contractors.
It’s not just large businesses that need to have an online presence today. SMEs and contractors also need to be investing time and money in digital marketing marketing campaigns if they want to remain competitive and win the battle for awareness and business.
But how do you get started in contractor marketing? What exactly does ‘digital marketing’ even mean?
The good news is that you don’t need to become a technical expert to build an online presence you can convert into actual paying clients. Just ensuring you’re covering off basic best practice, and investing your time in simple strategies that you consistently maintain every week will see you reap the rewards in the long term.
To help you get started, here are three of the best SEO digital marketing strategies for contractors.
1) Invest in a fast, mobile-friendly website
If you’re serious about winning contractor work, it’s a good idea to invest in a website.
For both SEO and user experience, you need to make sure your website loads quickly. Both will penalise you if it takes too long for pages to load – potential clients will click away in frustration, and you’ll signal to search engines that your site shouldn’t be prioritised in ranking.
Don’t focus on a site that looks beautiful on desktops only either. Most users today check out websites on their mobiles and laptops, and ‘mobile first’ is fast becoming the default approach to website design.
This means designing your website with mobile in mind, ensuring that it doesn’t just meet the basic mobile guidelines, but offers the best possible experience for mobile users. This will also give you good SEO karma.
When we say ‘invest’ in a website, you don’t need to spend thousands on having a site designed just for you. There are many excellent developers who can build you a beautiful template site for a reasonable fee. Or you can build your own site using platforms like Wix. The site itself is free to design and build, then you’ll just need to pay for hosting once it’s ready to go live.
2) Learn about SEO
If you genuinely want your website to rank highly on SERPs (search engine results pages), then it’s important to do some research into SEO.
Make sure you publish regular, fresh, unique content that is relevant to your offering. Help your website visitors (and potential clients) to learn more – not just about you and your services, but how they can solve the problems you specialise in. (Remember to use your keywords.)
Showcase your expertise through content to both potential clients and the search engines, and let them know you’re an authoritative expert with plenty to say – and that you’re worth paying attention to.
If you want to improve your SEO rankings, try to publish fresh content on your website every week. And make it easy for the right people to find your website.
Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and think about what possible keywords they could use when looking for your website – then use them. Don’t forget to include them in your meta tags, scheme and images.
3) Work on your social media marketing
Social media has made it easier than ever for businesses and consultants to make direct contact with their target audience.
So spend some time finding out where potential clients spend their time on social media, and invest time in building a profile on that platform. Establish yourself as a knowledgeable expert and engage regularly to build relationships.
Genuine business success on social media though is about much more than just maintaining your profile. If you want to leverage the potential, you need to plan a social media marketing campaign.
Think about who you want to engage with on social media, and why they’re on that platform. What kind of relationships are they trying to build, and what information do they need to solve their problems?
Once you know this, start planning your content. Use a rich mix of content – short tips, links to blogs and videos, expert opinion, brand story, customer feedback, facts, images and engagement, and spread it out so you’re sharing something new every day, or serval times a week.
Ensure that your content is varied. Don’t post a customer review five days in a row, for example. And don’t be too self-promotional – mix up content that broadcasts how great you are, or promotes your services, with genuinely useful content that helps people solve problems, or educates or entertains them.
The general accepted ratio of social media content is 80% of content that is interesting or useful and 20% of content that is self-promotional. And remember to engage too. There’s nothing ‘social’ about a profile that’s just on broadcast, and doesn’t engage in any human interactions.
And don’t make the mistake of launching with a flurry of content and engagement on social media, only to lose interest a few weeks later. There are too many social media accounts that have gone stale, with posts gradually drying up. It never looks good for a current business to have an ‘active’ social media account that was last updated a year ago.
So if you’re going to invest time in social media, have a long term plan. Drip feed your content and engagement over time – little and often really works here. Plan a realistic amount of time each day or couple of days that you can invest in social media, and plan what content to share and when (use scheduling tools to do the hard work of sharing, and use your time to actually engage in real time).
Get social media right and work on it consistently over time, and it will repay your effort and diligence with a gradually growing following of engaged potential clients and useful connections.
Consistency is the key to success
It’s not just on social media that consistency matters. Any contractor marketing plan – from launching a website to rocking SEO – will only work with continued investment of your time.
You won’t become a well known and successful contractor overnight. But by doing the right things consistently, week after week, you will see things coming together over time. And your patience and work will be well rewarded.
Photo by Dries De Schepper