Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving and increasing the discoverability of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs), such as Google or Bing. SEO is crucial in order to get found by your local, ideal customers. It’s important to note that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.1
Why is SEO Important for Electricians and Electrical Contractors?
In the past, customers searching for an electrical contractor would whip out the Yellow Pages and flip through the pages to the “E” section. Nowadays 97% of consumers go online to find a local business or service. If you can’t easily be found online, your company may as well not exist. Yeah, that’s kind of harsh…but that’s the reality of today’s digital world.
Now that we know how important local SEO is for electricians and other local businesses, let’s get started! This may seem like a lot of information, but just keep in mind this isn’t rocket science. As long as you are producing good content that fulfills the user’s search query with a decent enough website you may be able to rank and grow your business, but if you are serious about ranking, we recommend you either spend some time learning and optimizing, or hire an agency (like us) to take the heavy lifting off your plate.
As a business owner, I know how busy you are with running your business and you may not have time to get into all of these details. If that’s the case, please contact us or request a free SEO audit or consultation and we will be happy to discuss how we can help.
Google’s Results, Explained (Local vs. Organic)
When a user searches for a local service or business category, Google displays whats known as the Local Three Pack, or “snack pack” if you will. These top positions are highly sought after, as they earn most of the traffic and customers from the search. In fact, 40% of people consider only one contractor before making a decision. If your electrical company is not their first call, you are missing out on many new customers.
Google Local Results
your goal is to show up in the local three pack (see below image), in order to do this – you will need to “claim” your Google My Business listing and optimize it. These are referred to as the local results.
Every other result on Google’s page that is not in this format is referred to as “organic results”. These results are more geared towards websites trying to rank for certain keywords that are national. (see image below).
Google’s Organic Results
How to Get Started with SEO for Electricians
Step 1: Create a Mobile Friendly Website
SEO won’t do you much good if your website is clunky, slow, hard to navigate, and just downright ugly! 60% of Americans use tablets and phones to search for local products and services.2 , and 53% of mobile users will leave your website if the page doesn’t load within three seconds.3
We highly encourage you to lay the proper foundation with a fast, mobile friendly, easy to navigate website with a prominent call to action.
Essential website elements for success:
- Mobile Friendly
- Easy to Navigate
- Secure (SSL) (https:)
- Fast (Loads in Under 3 Seconds)
- Prominent Call to Action
- Company Details – Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP)
Step 2: Keyword Research
Know Your Customer
To be found, you must know what your customers are searching for, and craft your keywords and content around that. It helps to make a list of all of the services you provide, and the main cites you perform them.
Local vs. National Keywords
Being an electrical contractor, your keyword research should be geared towards local searches – meaning users will put “near me” or the name of their city or town after the keyword. Local searches have less volume than national searches (“electrician”), but are more focused and convert better.
Another important aspect about keyword research is learning a user’s keyword intent. A search for “generator” is unclear what the person is looking for – images of a generator? Brands of generators? Different types of generators?
If a user types in “generator install Chicago, IL”, you know exactly what their intent is, and can help fulfill that query by targeting that keyword with your city, and including information about generators, install processes, before and after photos, reviews from customers, etc.
Step 3: Competitor Analysis
We recommend to search the keywords you want to rank for and analyze your competitors – how much text do they have? Images? Do they seem trustworthy? If you were a consumer, would you buy from them? What keywords are they targeting? Does their website load fast?
Collect as many ideas as you can and compile a list of what you’d like to include on your website, and everything you need to do to be better than their website. If they only have a home page with minimal text and images, that is a good sign for us. Your website needs to have more content than theirs in order to rank.
Step 4: On-Page SEO Optimization
Now that you are familiar with keywords your customers are searching for, and your competitor’s websites – let’s make sure we put our first foot forward with optimizing your website the best way possible with on-page SEO.
No, this does not mean “keyword stuffing” your target keyword into as many places as possible. That used to work several years ago, but search engines have become much smarter and will now penalize your site for these shady tactics.
We aren’t going to get too technical here, but these are the basics to on-page SEO:
Title Tag Optimization
Make sure to include your main keyword + modifier in the title tag of your home page, for example: “Electrician Chicago, IL”
Generally, this is the first few sentences of the page and should include your main keyword. This is read by search engines and displayed on the search engine results pages (SERPs), and is commonly the deciding factor of whether a user clicks on your page.
Header tags are HTML elements used to create structure on your page and designate headings. <H1> is generally reserved for the title of the page, which is a good rule to follow so user expectations are clear and match up with title tag.
There are also sub-headings that rank in order of importance from <h2> to <h6>. For example, this paragraph is under <h4>Header Tags</h4>. The higher the number, the lower the importance. Use header tags appropriately to indicate to Google what your content or website is about.
A URL is also called a “web address”, and it specifies the location of the page on the internet in addition to telling your browser how to retrieve that page, such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, etc.
First off, Google has clearly stated they favor websites with an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). This means the information exchanged from the browser and the website is encrypted. Google chrome displays “not secure” on any website without an SSL, which could also appear shady to a standard consumer. Once your SSL certificate is active, your protocol becomes HTTPS:// instead of HTTP://.
It’s important to keep URL structures clean and easy to identify the topic of the page without having to click, such as below:
You want to make sure to include the primary keyword for the page, and always follow along the same structure so all of the URLs are uniform.
Navigation structure helps users maneuver around your website and see the more important pages easily by putting them in the header menu, or the footer. Although, The less menu items the better, and personally, we try to avoid a ton of links in footer.
Ensure your content links to 2-3 of your most valuable service pages and perhaps a few external links to relevant pages.
Google loves content. Create lots of content. Images, videos, infographics, text, blogs, how-tos, and a solid 500+ words for most of your pages. Pictures your team are valuable as well.
Step 5: Claim and Update your Google My Business Profile (GMB)
Essentially this is your business’s profile on google. It displays information to customers about your business, where you are located, hours, and lets customers read reviews, and leave them as well. When a company’s name is searched, it displays their profile prominently on the screen, as shown below:
It’s important to claim your listing and update the information. Fill in all of the options, in its entirety, add images, and request reviews from all customers.
Step 6: Content Creation
Content is very important for customers as well as the search engines. If you can create content that fulfill’s the user’s search query and establish your company as an authority, your company will have a much higher level of success. Content comes in many different forms – text, images, videos, infographics, tweets – etc.
Content marketing must be strategic to maximize your return on investment. Keyword research, intent, relevancy, and usage all should be taken into account when creating content. Below are some ideas for great content that will help your company to stand out as an authority.
- Social media posts/updates – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
- Website articles assisting with potential customer’s issues or topics
- Videos with relevant topics linking to your website
Step 7: Backlinks
When other websites link to you, that is called a backlink. It helps show search engines that you are a real, credible source and potential authority of your niche. The more links, the more credibility assigned to your website, the higher it can help your rank.
Now, don’t go buying thousands of backlinks from a Fiverr gig, as google penalizes this type of shady behavior. Try to obtain legitimate backlinks from local websites and organizations such as:
- Chamber of commerce or local associations
- Local news – offer a deal, free inspection, contest, etc
- Sponsor a local team, donate local charity
- Do free work for a local business, charity, organization, etc.
- Build your blog with useful resources other websites will want to link to
- Guest blog on reputable sites with a high authority domains
Step 8: Analyze, Measure, Audit
The goal of all of this SEO is to be found online, and it’s important to monitor progress and identify what’s working and what’s not, that way you can continue to invest more time and resources into the best methods for your business.
Need some more guidance? Contact us today for a free audit and consultation.