For contractors, the rules of the internet apply just the same as they do for everyone. So, increasing your visibility online requires the same techniques, no matter what industry you are in. You will rank where you rank within Google searches for the same reasons that other companies rank where they rank. If you rank highly, it is likely because your website provides valuable content, among other things.
The best way to increase your ranking with Google as well as other search engines is to provide the visitor of your site with an overall helpful experience. If you think about it, you will almost never open up your browser and type in a URL of a site that is not helpful. You type Google because it helps you search. You type Hotmail because it helps you check your email. You type in CNN because it helps you check the news. People do not visit websites out of charity. They surf the net to look for something.
They are looking for information, products, services and entertainment. So, if your site isn’t truly providing any of these entities to the website visitor, your website will not rank highly. Remember, every search that someone performs is like a test for Google. Google’s and other search engines’ main goal is to provide the most relevant and helpful results for the person who is searching them. Of course, some responsibility will always be put on the searcher to perform a smart search. But, this is a different subject.
Assuming the search keywords are relevant to the intended results, the actual search results should provide what the searcher is looking for. If not, the search engine has failed. To that effect, if people continually perform searches for something and they continually click on the second or third page of the results, these sites will eventually start to rank higher and will likely be on page one of the results before long.
Of course, if people continually click on these sites and then quickly navigate away from the sites, these sites will fall even lower in ranking. This means that people can no longer “trick” the search engines into ranking highly just by receiving pointless clicks or using spamming techniques. If your site is worthless, the visitor will communicate this to Google by clicking away from the site just as fast as he clicked onto it. This in turn diminishes your Google ranking.
So, the question becomes, how do you allow for people to visit your site and then stay on your site. And, again, it all comes back to content. The simple way to look at it is this: If you were searching for the services that your site offers, would your site be of service to you? If not, this is the first issue you need to address. Again, if your site is not helpful, you simply do not stand a chance.
If you think about most successful sites, they provide a certain service or product better than anyone else. Or perhaps they provide information that most other sites do not. Google is the best site for searching online. But perhaps TMZ is the best site for celebrity gossip. eBay is the best auction site while a different site is better for learning how to advertise.
The trick is that almost all of these sites perform one thing and they perform it arguably better than anyone else. This is why they are successful. This is good news for you because this means that in order to rank highly in search engine results, you don’t have to have an all encompassing website about everything. You simply need to have a very helpful website about one thing. Of course, when you look at companies like Google and eBay, you see that the sites are among the most dynamic in the world and that they offer a plethora of services beyond the search and auction genres. But these extra services all branched from their original singular internet functions.
Once you are successful online for providing one service, you can start to use that success to offer other services. In fact, this is the exact formula to be extremely successful online and to stay at the top of your respective online industry.
As a small contractor, you may never compete with national contracting and construction brands and companies. These sites and companies have already established themselves as the leaders in the industry and competing with them online will be about as fruitless as competing with them anywhere else. So, the key is to develop a niche. No matter how “normal” or basic your services may seem, they are always unique in some fashion or another.
You may be a handyman contractor. You may think that there are thousands of handyman service companies competing with you online- and you are right! But maybe you are one of only a few handymen that provides electrical services. Or perhaps you also perform emergency repairs. Maybe you offer a specific discount or a special “limited” material. If nothing else, you probably are only one of a few contractors that work within your given area.
Even if you provide services to a large city or a large geographical area, focusing on the locality of your services will greatly diminish competition from those providing similar services outside of your work radius. So, the main thing is to focus on what you do differently as a company that sets you apart from others. The next thing to do is to write about those things.
We’ll say it again: CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT. If the words are not written on your site, there is no way for Google or other search engines to know what makes your company special. So, using the above handyman example, you would want to blog on your site about using special materials or electrical handyman services. And you would especially want to blog about providing services in you the areas that you do so.
But, you want to avoid simply talking about what your company does or how great you are as a company. After all, a site can only have but so many “about us” pages. People get sick of reading the same things on every similar website. The other thing to remember is that people are always performing informational searches. Try to imagine what people may search for, relevant to the services that you provide.
Let’s say you are a masonry contractor that specializes in block foundations. You can imagine how there may be homeowners or even other contractors that perform online searches for “how to lay block correctly,” or “places to find cheap masonry in (city,USA).” Being an insider, you know the answers to these questions and you could write articles about these topics and post them on your blog/website. Someone performing such a search would eventually land on your site, read your information and then perhaps click on other pages and articles on your site.
This is why it is so important to provide as much content as possible that is relevant to your industry and the services that you provide. You must realize that people that are interested in one topic that they find on your site are probably very interested in other similar topics and if they can find this other information on your site, why wouldn’t they stay on your site longer?
Not everyone that finds your blogs will become a customer. But, just like everything else, it’s a numbers game. The more visitors you get and the longer they stay on your site, the higher your site will start to rank within search engines. In turn, the higher it ranks, the more visitors you will get and the more visitors you get, the more customers you will gain. But, it all starts with providing valuable niche content.
Unfortunately, we cannot tell you exactly what you should blog about. We cannot tell you specifically what your niche market is. But, the good news is that you know your market better than most people. You know what types of questions your customers always ask you and you can bet that these questions are common online searches as well. Essentially, you would be posting answers to these questions on your site. This allows your site to be helpful instead of simply promotional. If your site truly is helpful and useful, this will win out in the long run.