SEO tips for Contractors/Subcontractors

What is SEO and why should you care? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, – and it plays a large role in who comes across your business online, how quickly, and where your website shows up in a list of similar businesses. Even if you’re new to SEO, there are basic tips and tricks you can learn to use it to your advantage.

Let’s start at the beginning. Search engine results pages (or SERPs), are what pop up after you type a term into a search engine (i.e. Google). SEO is what then determines where your website will fall in the list of search results. This is important because 67% of all web users will only click within the top five listings. (Source: Advanced Web Rankings).

The Value of High Search Result Rankings

Why does having a high search result ranking matter? The first page of search engine results receives almost 95% of website traffic. That’s where SEO comes in. A few simple steps can get you started.

How to Raise Your Ranking: Understanding Basic SEO

Research the top keywords in your industry and geographic region: Keywords are King. Successful SEO starts with figuring out the best way to explain what you do, and where you do it. Keywords are the words associated with your industry and the most searched terms from web users. How to find/utilize keywords:

Once you have a list of keywords, make sure you optimize your website page titles by using them. Update all of your business listings, such as directories, review sites, and social media to reflect your top keywords.

Use Directories: Directories serve essentially as online Yellowpages. (Remember those?) But they’re much more than that when it comes to SEO. If you’re a local or small business, this is a SEO step you cannot afford to overlook. Many customers are more likely to interact with businesses registered with or verified through a legitimate directory. More interaction equals higher SEO. Make sure all your website information is up to date and uniform across the web to optimize your presence on a directory.

Consider Mobile Accessibility: Make your website pages mobile friendly. Approximately half (51.5%) of online traffic comes from people using their mobile devices. This should come as no surprise, considering everywhere you look, everyone is on their phones. But have you ever arrived on a website on your phone, only to see scrambled text, or a less than user friendly experience? Chances are you quickly exited that website, and simply moved onto the next one that was easier to navigate. Make sure your website functions on mobile devices, not just desktops. Chances are, you will reach an entirely different audience because the people searching on their phones don’t spend as much time on their computers, and vice versa. SERP ranking is different between mobile and desktop around 35% of the time. (Source: Kommando Tech)

Clean Up Your Website: Get rid of absolutely anything that may be slowing down your website that isn’t completelynecessary. Long gone are the days of dial-up Internet, and while a slow loading page may have been acceptable in 2002, it will almost certainly be a mortal blow for your site. Studies from StrangeLoop have shown that a 1 second (yes, you read that correctly) delay can lead to a 7% loss in conversions. It’s no surprise in today’s instant satisfaction society, but it is a huge number when you consider the loss of potential customers that come with it. A frustrating UX (User Experience), can cause people to bounce off your site to the next within a second. Why is that? Because in a potential customer’s mind, a slow site might mean an untrustworthy site, which translates quickly into an untrustworthy company. According to eConsultancy, 40% of visitors will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, and 80% won’t return. Bottom line? Streamline your site.

Once you’ve established your keywords, listed your business on local directories, and created a mobile masterpiece, how do you know if all your hard work has paid off? Organic traffic to your website is a fairly good indicator of how your SEO attempts have paid off. Utilize Google Analytics, or your site’s own reporting page to filter down exactly where the main source of your website traffic is coming from. Remember that almost no website, no matter the scale, has SEO down to a science, and you can adjust your practices as you see what is working for your specific website.

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