SEO for Tradesmen: Rank Higher & Attract More Customers

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is no longer optional for tradesmen, it’s one of the essential ingredients for success.

As more people turn to Google to find local services, from plumbing to landscaping, showing up in those search results can mean the difference between a phone that’s ringing off the hook and one that’s not ringing at all. 

That’s where SEO for tradesmen, or Search Engine Optimization, comes into play. 

Specifically, local SEO can transform your trade business by connecting you with customers right in your area who are searching for the services or products you offer.

In this roadmap, we’ll explain how to navigate SEO for trades.

Understanding SEO Basics

First things first, what is SEO, and why does it matter? SEO stands for search engine optimization. In simple terms, SEO is all about making your website display higher in search results on search engines like Google. 

For example, if you type into Google [plumber + city], the companies that come up on page 1 of search results are the ones that get the most clicks. 

There are three main components of SEO: 

  • on-page SEO (optimization you do on your website)

  • off-page SEO (SEO-related things that happen off your website, like backlinks – think of it as other websites referring your website through links which is a signal of your authority in online space)

  • technical SEO (the behind-the-scenes tweaks that make your site run smoothly).

Each type of SEO influences your ranking and how easily potential customers can find you online.

Benefits of Local SEO for Tradesmen

Local SEO is a game-changer for tradesmen looking to elevate their business and connect with more customers in their area.

Here’s why investing time and effort into local SEO strategies pays off:

Increased Visibility in Local Searches

The most apparent benefit of local SEO is that it puts your small business in front of people searching for your services in your area. 

When someone searches for “electricians near me” or “best plumber in [City Name],” local SEO helps ensure your business appears at the top of those search results, increasing the likelihood of them contacting you.

High Quality Leads

Local SEO doesn’t just increase the number of your leads, it also focuses on their quality by targeting strategic industry-specific local keywords. 

People searching for tradesmen in their local area are often ready to hire, meaning the leads you get from local searches are more likely to convert into actual jobs. 

Local SEO is especially valuable for tradesmen whose businesses require a local customer base.

Improved Online Reputation

Your online presence isn’t just about being found, it’s also about being selected from other similar businesses providing the same service as yours. 

Local SEO helps build your online reputation through increased reviews and ratings, detailed business listings, and quality local content.

A strong online reputation makes potential customers more confident in choosing your services over competitors.

Cost-Effective Marketing

Investing in local SEO is investing in the long-term growth of your business. Unlike one-off advertising campaigns with Google ads or social media, the benefits of local SEO build over time and are more cost-effective. 

Competitive Advantage

By focusing on local SEO, you can gain a competitive edge over other tradesmen in your area who haven’t optimized their websites. 

Being one of the first businesses to appear in local searches can significantly increase your chances of being hired, especially as more people rely on online searches to find trade services.

Access to Valuable Insights

Through tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console, local SEO provides valuable insights into your customer base.

You can find out how your customers are finding your website, which services they’re interested in, and what search terms they’re using the most often.

These insights can guide your marketing and business strategies, helping you to better meet the needs of your target audience.

If you’re a tradesman, the digital landscape offers a wealth of opportunities to connect with your local customers and grow your business.

At Rank SEO Solutions, we did a local SEO campaign for a small tree business in Halifax to boost outreach and gain more customers. The campaign focused on local SEO, targeting keywords like “tree removal Halifax” and writing niche-relevant content.

This strategic focus led to a significant increase in local inquiries and jobs. See the traffic chart below.

Graph from Google Search Console showing a trend of total clicks and total impressions over time, with clicks and impressions showing an upward trend, accompanied by data summaries indicating 1.79K total clicks, 54.7K total impressions, a 3.3% average CTR, and an average position of 23.1 per month

Keyword Research for Tradesmen

Okay, so now that you understand SEO and why it can benefit you, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. 

The cornerstone of each SEO strategy is so-called keywords or simply search terms that people type into browsers like Google when they search for information, services, products or simply navigation. 

By doing a keyword analysis, you can know exactly what your customers are typing into Google when they search for your services. 

Keyword research tools like SemRush or AHrefs can help you discover the right keywords, so you can tailor the content on your specific service web pages accordingly.

Start by analyzing your competitors and by writing down a list of all the main services you offer.  Let’s say you’re a plumber in Halifax:

  • Drain repair
  • Faucet repair
  • Boiler repair
  • Boiler installation
  • Emergency plumbing services
  • Leaking pipes
  • Sewer repair, and so on

Once done, expand this list by adding any related keywords. 

You can find them by simply typing your search term into Google. 

Google search dropdown menu showing related keyword suggestions such as 'boiler installation halifax', 'boiler install halifax', 'boiler fitting halifax', 'electric boiler installation halifax', 'oil boiler installation halifax', 'boiler installation cost uk', 'does halifax home insurance cover boilers', 'boiler installation cost'

If you scroll down the Google page, you’ll find more related searches.

Screenshot displaying a list of 'Related searches' on Google for seo trades like plumber in halifax ns, including terms like 'Plumber halifax ns residential', 'Cheap plumber halifax ns', 'Emergency plumber halifax', 'Best plumber halifax ns', '24 hour plumber halifax ns', 'Small jobs plumbing halifax', and 'Halifax plumbing and heating'.

There are a couple of factors that we consider when we perform keyword research and that you should too:

User Intent

User intent refers to the ultimate goal or intention a person has when typing a query into a search engine. Understanding user intent is crucial in SEO as it helps in creating content that meets the needs of the users.

In terms of search engine optimization, user intent can be categorized into four main types:

  • Informational Intent: Users are looking for information or answers to their questions. They seek knowledge on a particular topic without necessarily aiming to make a purchase or take any action. For instance, someone searching for “how to fix a leaky faucet” has informational intent.
  • Navigational Intent: Users are searching for a “plumber near me.” They might just want directions. 
  • Buyer Intent: Users are in the research phase and are considering different options before making a purchase. They are comparing products or services and looking for reviews, comparisons, or specific features. Searches like “best plumber in Halifax”

You should also determine if the keywords have local intent. An easy way to find out is by typing your search term into Google and checking if the Google map pack appears in your local search results. 

By identifying and tailoring your content with the user intent in mind behind search queries, you can create a web page or blog post that effectively addresses the needs of your target audience, leading to higher visibility, more traffic, and ultimately, better conversions.

Keyword Search Volume & Difficulty to Rank

Keyword search volume refers to the number of times a particular keyword or phrase is searched for on search engines within a specific timeframe, typically per month. 

Understanding keyword search volume helps you gauge the popularity and demand for certain keywords.

To find a keyword’s search volume, you can use paid SEO tools like SEMrush, or Ahrefs. Alternatively, Google Keyword Planner is free but less effective.

These tools provide insights into how often a keyword is searched, competition levels, and related keywords that users are searching for. 

By analyzing keyword search volume, you can identify high-demand keywords to target in your content strategy and optimize your website for better visibility and organic traffic. 

It’s essential to strike a balance between search volume and keyword competitiveness to maximize the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.

Table of keyword data showing search volume, cost-per-click (CPC), and pay-per-click (PPC) for various plumber-related terms in Halifax. Keywords include 'plumber halifax', 'plumber halifax ns', 'halifax plumbers', 'plumbers halifax', and 'plumbers in halifax', with respective search volumes ranging from 90 to 880 and a score highlighting the keyword 'plumber halifax ns' with the highest volume

Optimizing Your On-Page SEO for Trades

A mobile-friendly, easy-to-navigate website isn’t just good for SEO; it’s what your customers expect. 

Speed is also crucial. No one likes a slow website. And don’t forget about having a clear call-to-action (CTA) on every page, guiding visitors towards booking your services. 

Structuring your site with clear, service-specific landing pages helps Google understand what you offer, making it easier to match you with potential customers.

As a tradesman, you want to have a specific service page on your website for each main service you offer. 

But there’s more that goes into optimizing the SEO of your trade business.  

Once you have identified which keywords you want to target for each page, you need to strategically place them within your website content. 

These places include page titles, headings, URL, within the content on your website and meta description. 

If this terminology doesn’t make any sense to you, don’t worry. We’ll unpack it in more detail below.

SEO tools, such as Yoast SEO, can help you optimize your website for search engines. However, the Yoast plugin is only compatible with WordPress. That’s one of the reasons why we build websites for our clients on WordPress rather than Squarespace or Wix.

It provides much better functionality and customization for SEO optimization.

Ok, so let’s unpack how to optimize your on-page SEO.

Include Target Keyword in URL

One of the easiest ways to indicate to search engines what your web page is about is by including your target keyword in the URL.

Doing this not only clarifies the page’s content to search engines but also to potential customers. Keep URLs short and only include your primary keyword. 

Webpage banner for S&H Power Services Inc. featuring 'ELECTRICIAN HALIFAX NS' in bold lettering with the same keyword in website's url.

Include Target Keyword in Page Title

The page title, or title tag, is a major ranking factor and appears as the clickable headline in search results.

It should accurately describe the page’s content and include your target keyword towards the beginning. A well-crafted title tag can significantly impact your page’s click-through rate.

It should have max 60 characters.

Search engine results showing the webpage titles and descriptions for electricians in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Include Target Keyword in Headings

Headings help organize your content, making it easier for readers to navigate and for search engines to understand the structure and relevance of your page.

Including your target keyword in headings, especially the H1 tag, emphasizes the page’s focus. Use H2 and H3 tags for subheadings to structure content further and incorporate related keywords.

Add Internal Links 

Internal links interconnect your content and give search engines an idea of the structure of your website.

They can help establish a hierarchy on your site, allowing you to give more importance to the main pages. Using clear and descriptive anchor text that includes keywords can also boost your SEO efforts.

Add External Links 

Linking to reputable external websites can enhance the credibility and trustworthiness of your content. It shows search engines and users that you’re connected to and aware of the larger community or industry.

Just make sure these links open in a new tab to keep your website open in the user’s browser.

Add Meta Description

A meta description is a brief summary (between 50-160 characters) that describes the content of a web page. It’s a short snippet of information about the webpage that appears in search engine results under the headline.

The meta description should be concise, informative, and engaging to entice users to click on the link and visit the webpage. Including relevant keywords in the meta description isn’t a very significant ranking factor, but it’s a good SEO practice nonetheless.

search results for electrician in toronto to show what is meta description

Optimize Images

Images can significantly impact your website’s SEO and user experience. Use descriptive, keyword-related file names for your images and fill out the ALT text field with a brief description that includes your target keyword.

This not only helps search engines understand and index your images but also improves accessibility for users with screen readers.

Content Marketing

High-quality content is king in the SEO world. You can look at what information related to your industry customers are searching for. Once you identify their queries, you can create blog posts with helpful tips targeting specific keywords. 

This strategy not only attracts more customers to your website but also highlights your expertise.

Just make sure that your content is original and engaging. Although it might seem tempting, copying content from other websites is considered plagiarism and can get you penalized by Google. 

Other great ways to show your expertise and trustworthiness are having an About page with your credentials, videos showcasing your work, reviews of happy customers and before-and-after project pictures. 

Building Local Citations and Links

Citations (mentions of your business name, address, and phone number) and backlinks (links from other websites to yours) are another ranking factor when it comes to SEO for tradesmen. 

Listing your business in local directories like Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and industry-specific platforms can boost your local visibility. 

Quality backlinks, meanwhile, signal to Google that your site is trustworthy and relevant.

Ways to Get Backlinks

  • Reach out to local publications, news sites and determine how much business features cost. Ask if they include Do-follow links.

  • Reach out to businesses you already work with and ask to be placed on their resource page or if you can contribute an article to their blog.

  • Reach out to bloggers and ask if they accept guest posts. Bonus points if they’re local. This tactic scales very well, so we do a ton of this.

  • Write guest posts on industry-relevant blogs where you can share your expertise (like this article you’re reading right now).

  • Sponsor local sports teams that have websites and ask for a link.

  • Donate to local charities and ask for a link.

  • Sign up for platforms like the BBB, Yelp, your local chamber of commerce,industry-specific directories etc.

  • Add your name to local directories. These are often maintained by the local paper or by local business organizations.

Setting Up Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google my Business) is your digital storefront and a key player in the local SEO game for your trade business.

The local map pack is a prime piece of digital real estate. It’s what shows up when searching for local services on Google before other organic search engine results. 

By claiming and optimizing your Google Business profile with your business name, phone, address, photos, and services, you’re more likely to catch the eye of local customers.

Google Maps search result for 'plumber halifax ns' with a list of businesses and an accompanying map.

Brief Step-by-Step Guide to Optimizing Your GBP

Create or claim your GBP

Fill Out Every Detail: Provide comprehensive details about your trade business, including your business name, address, phone number, website,  offer and hours of operation. Consistency is key, so make sure this information matches what’s on your website.

Choose the Right Categories: Select categories that accurately describe your services. This helps Google match your business with relevant searches. You can use Google Chrome extensions to identify the most frequently used primary categories of your competitors.

Set your Service Area 

Set Services & Products You Offer

Add Photos and Videos: Visuals make your GBP more eye-catching and trustworthy. Include original high-quality photos of your work, your team, and your logo.

Verify Your Profile: there are multiple ways to verify your GBP – by postcard, email, phone, video, or you might even be able to get instant verification if you have your Google Search Console set up

Collect and Respond to Reviews: Encourage your customers to leave reviews and take the time to respond to them, showing that you value their feedback.

Add Your Social Media

Post Interesting Content 

Managing Online Reviews and Ratings

Reviews are a powerful factor in both your SEO performance and your business’s reputation. 

Positive reviews can enhance your visibility and make potential customers more likely to choose your services over competitors.

Encouraging Positive Reviews

  • Ask for reviews: Ask Satisfied Customers to leave a review after you successfully complete your job. A simple request after a job well done can lead to valuable positive feedback.

  • Make It Easy for your customers: Provide links to your Google Business Profile or other review platforms in your email signatures, on invoices, or via text messages to make leaving a review as easy as possible for your customers. Or prepare little cards with a QR code linking to your GBP that you can hand over to your customers in person. 

  • Gather 3rd party reviews: Although Google reviews are great, having reviews from other platforms like Yelp, Facebook, or TrustPilot is beneficial. It sends more trust signals to Google and boosts your search engine rankings. 

Handling Negative Reviews

  • Respond Promptly and Professionally: Address negative reviews by apologizing for any issues and offering to resolve them. This shows potential customers that you’re committed to customer satisfaction.

  • Learn from Feedback: Use negative reviews as an opportunity to improve your services. Constructive criticism can be invaluable.

Monitoring and Improving Your SEO Performance

To ensure your SEO efforts are paying off, it’s a good idea to monitor your performance and make data-driven decisions for continuous improvement.

But even more important than monitoring your SEO performance is first getting your website on Google. You can do so by submitting a sitemap through Google Search Console. 

Watch this tutorial to see how to go about it:

Tools for Tracking Your SEO Progress

Google Search Console: This free tool from Google provides insights into how your site performs in search results, including which queries bring up your site, how often it appears, and how many clicks it gets.

Google Analytics: Another free tool that offers deeper insights into your website’s traffic, including how visitors find your site, how long they stay, and what actions they take.

At Rank SEO Solutions, we review SEO performance reports regularly to understand what’s working and what isn’t. We track ranking positions for certain keywords and the monthly traffic and adjust our strategy based on the data collected.

Unfortunately, SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it task. Search engines constantly update their algorithms, and your competitors are also working on their SEO. So it’s essential to stay informed about the latest SEO best practices and continuously refine your strategy to maintain and improve your rankings.

By focusing on optimizing your website and Google Business Profile and collecting positive online reviews, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your online visibility and attracting more customers to your trade business. SEO is a long-term investment, but the benefits it brings to your business are well worth the effort.

If this whole SEO thing sounds a bit overwhelming, you don’t have to do it alone. Our SEO specialists at Rank SEO Solutions got you covered. We can help with on-page optimization, guest posting and everything inbetween.

So, instead of figuring out SEO and all the technicalities of optimizing your website, you can focus on what you know best: providing your service. 

We help multiple trade companies:

  • Plumbers
  • HVAC
  • Contractors
  • Construction
  • Home cleaners
  • Handymen
  • Painters
  • Pavers
  • Roofers
  • Remodelers
  • Landscapers
  • And many more

Do you need help with your SEO? Book a complimentary strategy call with us. 

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