Local SEO

Local SEO for contractors: Your blueprint for search success

Plant your contracting business’s flag firmly on the map and attract more local clients

Quick Summary
  • With more people turning to search to find tradesmen, local SEO for contractors has become more important than ever.
  • Ranking in the top three results in Google’s local pack can mean the difference between struggling for clients and a booming business.
  • Semrush’s Listing Management takes care of local SEO for contractors by simplifying citation building, review management and position tracking.

Local SEO for contractors is no passing marketing trend. In fact, a recent study found that apps like Google Maps drive 30 to 40% of local business discovery.

That’s a huge number of potential clients that could be directed to your contracting business. With that in mind, climbing the rankings ladder and making sure your reviews look polished should be a priority for growing contractors.

But while that might seem simple in principle, success with local SEO for contractors isn’t something you can turn around overnight. You’ll need a solid strategy and a trustworthy tool like Semrush’s Listing Management to boost your online prominence and your reputation.

But before you get started on your journey to the top, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of local SEO for contractors and exactly how it can benefit your contracting business.

Why local SEO for contractors is so powerful

When users search terms like “contractors near me” on Google, the search engine brings up several different types of results to help them find what they’re looking for.

The first thing people will probably see are Google Ads results, which can be identified by the “sponsored” headings above them.

Below those, Google tends to recommend directories that might be helpful in comparing contactors (such as Yelp), followed by a Google Maps snippet and the top three results (known as the local pack).

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To appear in Google’s local pack, businesses need to create or claim a Google Business Profile, arguably the most important online listing for a contractor.

As these three results tend to be the ones with the most reviews, users typically make their decision from this shortlist and don’t bother clicking through to the fourth and fifth listings.

Competing with the best contractors in your area takes consistent work to make sure you not only have a strong citation profile, but also listings that are complete, correct and up to date—not to mention a solid average review rating.

This takes time, but as long as you’re armed with knowledge of how local SEO for contractors works and you have the right work ethic, you can expect to see a boost in rankings and your online reputation, opening the doors to new clients and higher revenues.

Reliable mentor: Building a well-structured local SEO profile is not a project to undertake alone. Trust Semrush’s Listing Management to point you in the right direction and alert you to the biggest issues with your local SEO before the cracks start to appear.

Building blocks that strengthen local SEO for contractors

There’s no great secret to what it takes to succeed with local SEO for contractors.

But as with all marketing strategies that stand the test of time, those who invest in doing it properly are the ones that see solid growth over time and position themselves so competitors stand a much lower chance of knocking them off the top spot.

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The first step in a contractor’s local SEO strategy should be a full audit of their current visibility to identify quick wins.

You can do this for free with Semrush’s Listing Management, which shows you which directories your contracting business hasn’t been listed on as well as the monthly traffic you’re missing out on.

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Citations can be built manually, with each login and password recorded in an exhaustive spreadsheet. But not only does that take forever, making a simple edit to your profiles takes just as long (and you probably have better things to be doing with your time). Automating your business listings doesn’t mean cutting corners, it means getting fast access to the best online directories with a fraction of the effort involved in submitting to them all individually.

Get it done: Local SEO for contractors is a marathon, not a sprint. But that doesn't mean you can’t give yourself a solid head start. Let Semrush’s Listing Management do the heavy lifting to get you in the directory results with fast distribution to more than 70 top business sites.

A strong online presence puts your contracting business in front of the traffic those directories receive and signals to search engines like Google that you have a solid citation profile (something Google itself admits is a key ranking factor in local SEO for contractors).

Your NAP data (name, address, phone number) should be consistent across all your profiles, so Google can verify that your details are correct and feel confident in ranking your business for its users.

Remember, your Google Business Profile is what both Google Search and Maps use to populate results, so be extra sure to make an extra effort to ensure your listing is as complete as possible. Take the time to look through the categories on the platform (there are more than 4000) and choose the one most relevant to your business. For example, if you specialize in roofing, choose “Roofing contractor” rather than simply “Contractor" or “General contractor”, which you should list as secondary categories (you can choose up to 10). Also include a detailed description of your services in the description, with relevant keywords.

But, of course, getting all this right might mean nothing if your website isn’t optimized for mobile. Most users searching for products and services in their area tend to do so while on the go.

Local SEO for contractors: Solid foundations for managing your reputation

With your listings distribution underway, you should next turn your attention to your average number reviews.

With 60% of users getting in touch directly from SERPs (search engine results pages), contractors have got to up their star rating to convince potential clients to pick up the phone.

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Getting more reviews is quite straightforward: you simply have to ask for them.

Satisfied customers are usually willing to jump online and write you a review for your contracting work, providing you make the process easy for them.

One of the best ways to get your review numbers up is to send a text (SMS is thought to have the highest open rate of any communication channel, as much as 90% according to some reports) with a short link to your Google Business Profile.

But the job is not quite finished there. Replying to customers who have taken the time to leave you a comment and rating is an important part of review generation. It not only shows people that you value their feedback, but also demonstrates to new users discovering your business online that you take customer opinions seriously and want to do the best you can to offer a high level of service.

And if that’s not reason enough to give your customers a polite reply, consider the fact that businesses who do respond are actually more likely to get more reviews. A study from Harvard Business Review found that businesses saw a 12% increase in reviews when they got back to their customers; people are more likely to offer feedback if it’s clear that someone will actually read it.

Fast replies: When your contracting business’s local SEO is going well, you should start to see more reviews pouring in from multiple platforms, which can be a lot to manage even if you keep your replies short and sweet. Let Semrush’s Listing Management bring all your reviews together under one roof so you can be sure you have replied to everyone.

Cornerstone content: Your website structure matters

Creating content related to contracting in your area helps search engines understand what you do and how best to rank your contracting business for local searches.

If you serve a large geographical area, start with landing pages for each specific town or district you serve, making sure the content is useful and unique (don’t copy/paste copy for each location and simply swap out the place names, it will probably negatively impact your rankings).

Include case studies of contracting work you have done in the area with photos and client testimonials. You should also make sure your NAP data (exactly as it appears in your business listings) is published prominently and marked up with schema code (you may need to hire a developer to help you with this).

Create content relevant to your skill sets and end each post with a call to action for your own services. For example, you might write helpful DIY tips for customers looking for solutions that they might ultimately end up hiring you to help them with directly. And even if they choose to fix the problem themselves, they’ll remember you when a bigger issue occurs in the future.

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If you don’t have confidence in your writing skills, consider hiring a freelance writer or content agency to take care of it for you. You’ll also need to conduct thorough keyword research, so if you do hire someone to write your copy for you, make sure they have experience in local SEO for contractors.

Plan out the main topics you’re going to write about and then create relevant articles around them so that you’re clustering similar ideas together.

On top of helping you rank organically, content is also one of the most powerful ways to attract links from other relevant websites in your area. For example, you might write up content on community projects you have helped out with using your contracting skills, which the organization and even the local press might be happy to link to.

Plan ahead: Keeping up with a good content publication schedule can be hard work when you’re running a busy contracting business. Semrush’s Listing Management subscribers not only get access to a wealth of local SEO tools, but also Social Poster, which allows you to schedule website content to be distributed across all your channels.

Check your
local listings for free

Semrush’s Listing Management: A power tool for drilling down into your rankings and competitor data

By now, it should be clear that by taking local SEO seriously, contractors can transform their businesses and become the top-ranking results locally.

But with actual contracting work to do, chances are you could use some help to get things going without the serious time your competitors are putting in to get the same results.

Semrush’s Listing Management handles a lot of the heavy lifting involved in building out your citations, as well as helping you manage reviews, track positions and letting you take a peek at what your competitors are up to…

Let them know where to find you

Some people search for contracting services on Google, others look for recommendations on Facebook, while some go straight to local directories.

But can you really justify the time it takes to submit your profile to every platform, save the usernames and passwords (never use the same password twice), and update them all when necessary too?

Let Semrush’s Listing Management make sure your business is everywhere your potential customers go to find contractors so you don’t miss out.
A candy store’s online presence as shown in Listing Management

‘Spy’ on competing construction companies

Local SEO for contractors gets especially tricky when you’re up against stiff competition from businesses that have been around for a while or have impressive resources for attracting reviews.

Give yourself the edge with a tool that can quickly compare your competitors’ total reviews, responded reviews and average ratings so you know what you’re up against.

With Semrush’s Listing Management, you can work towards goals that stand a good chance of paving over the competition and putting your contracting business on the map.
 Listing Management’s Competitors Review Report

Get a true measurement of your ratings

Checking your Google Business Profile ratings is a great start to monitoring your reputation online, but it’s a far cry from the complete picture.

Great local SEO for contractors means having a presence on dozens of directories, and with that comes reviews that also need to be tracked and managed.

Semrush’s Listing Management gives you an average rating across all your listings and shows your review breakdown over time so you can rest assured you’re on the right track.
 Listing Management’s Review dashboard, which helps track success with local SEO for contractors

Excavate duplicate listings and errors

Managing business listings is far more than simple distribution, you also need to keep a keen eye on the web for profiles created by directories themselves that don’t properly reflect your contracting business.

These can pop up at random at any time and might be duplicate profiles that need to be suppressed, have your business name stylized incorrectly or even direct people to the wrong address.

Let Semrush’s Listing Management worry about scanning the web for issues so errors and inconsistencies don’t impact your local SEO for a second longer than necessary.
Duplicates that need to be suppressed, courtesy of Semrush’s Listing Management
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