Getting your handyman website to show up on the first page of Google’s search engine is an excellent way to gain new customers. In fact, It’s my favorite way to market. It takes some effort up front, but the long term rewards are incredible. If you are willing to put in the effort required to reach page 1 in google, you’ll see an increase in new customers for services that you want to provide. In this article, I’ll show you how to boost your rankings in the search engines and get more business.
The first thing that you need to realize is that anybody can do it. Search engine marketing is not rocket science. By following some very simple guidelines, consistently taking action, monitoring your results, and testing new tactics, you’ll eventually reach the coveted #1 spot in google. How soon you get there will depend on how much competition there is. But, rest assured, you CAN get there.
When I started my handyman business I decided that I wanted the majority of my business to be generated online. I saw an amazing opportunity with Internet marketing and went for it. Here some of the strategies for ranking high in the search engines that I’ve learned along the way.
#1 Build a Quality Website
This is my #1 recommendation if you want to have long term success at the top of the search engines. Sure, a low quality website has the ability to rank high in google’s search engine, but this usually won’t last long. Google is constantly changing it’s algorithm that determines your sites ranking in order to weed on these bad eggs. For long term success with search engine marketing, quality is your best friend.
A quality website should meet all of the following criteria:
Don’t settle with a sub par website design. Frankly, it’s just too easy to obtain a quality design these days. There is no need to settle on a uninspired website. If you are lucky enough to have a website built in WordPress, a professional design is at your fingertips due to the thousands of themes available online.
For my handyman business website I use a theme that I downloaded from www.elegantthemes.com. I receive comments on how professional my website looks on a weekly basis. Additionally, I know that my theme was designed with search engines in mind and has a few features to help increase my search rankings. If you are looking for a theme for your handyman website, I highly recommend Elegant Themes.
Provide Value to Visitors
This is extremely important when search ranking are concerned. If your website does not provide value to your visitors, they will immediately leave your page. When they do so, this is called “bouncing.” Google tracks this information to help determine how useful your website was to each visitor. A high bounce rate will work against you in your quest for the top.
A great way to provide value with a handyman business website is to write compelling content that sells your services. This should include images of jobs you’ve done, services you offer, company values, and the benefits customers will get from hiring you. Also, ensure your contact information is really easy to find.
Easy to Navigate
Make sure your website is easy to navigate for visitors. The easier you make it to use your website, the more likely visitors will stick around long enough to read what you have to offer.
#2 Build Links
When other websites post click-able links that lead to your website it helps your search engine rankings. In Google’s algorithm, links work similar to voting. When another site links to your site, it’s like a vote that your site has something useful to offer. Links from websites of higher authority have a stronger effect than smaller, newer websites.
Signing up for Online directories is an effective way to get quality links to your handyman website. I’ve written an article on how to sign up for these directories which you can read by clicking here.
Another way to build links is to post great content that people find valuable. If they find it valuable, they may link to it on their website or recommend it to a friend, thus giving you more traffic and potentially more links.
Link-building is a very powerful way to quickly get your site to the top of google. Unfortunately, because it is such a great way to get to the top, many people have figured out ways to cheat with link-building and build a massive amount of links very quickly. However, Google has rolled out several changed to it’s algorithm that penalize these sites that look “unnatural.” I personally stay away from link building (other than signing up for directories and social media) and try to let it happen naturally which has worked well for me personally.
Google favors websites with a lot of content and blogging is a great way to increase the amount of content on your website. There is only so much you can say about your company and the services you offer. In order to get more content, blog.
Another benefit of having a lot of content on your website is that you will get search traffic from “long tail keywords.” These are keywords that consist of a phrase such as “my faucet is leaking” or “my garage door won’t open.” When compared to more popular keywords like “handyman,” long tail keywords are easier to rank for and have the ability to drive more targeted traffic.
I’ve even written a blog post and received leads and traffic within the same week due to long-tail keywords. In fact, most of my business that I get through my website comes from long-tail keyword searches. Although I’m ranked on the first page for the keyword “my city handyman,” this isn’t where the money is. The money is in the long-tail.
#4 Engage in Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest are just a few of the social media websites out right now. Engaging socially on these websites will not only gain exposure, but also increase your search engine rankings.
Enticing people to “like” your content in Facebook, give you a +1 in Google Plus, or retweet a link in Twitter, will help gain a positive reputation in Google’s algorithm. Not only that, you are likely to generate business from these sources.
For my handyman business I have a Facebook account setup, a Google+ account, and a twitter account. I don’t spend much time on each, but I do maintain a presence. It’s difficult to say how much this has effected my rankings, but I’m sure it hasn’t hurt.
Aside from search engine rankings, I see social media as a great way to market a small service business and plan to implement a strategy to gain more business by using it.
#5 The Technical Side of Things
I don’t want to go too deep into the technical parts of search engine rankings (partly because I’m not all that technical myself). I would like to share some quick tools to help you in your quest for the top.
As mentioned above, wordpress is a great platform for building a handyman website. There are so many benefits to using WordPress that I wouldn’t even consider using another platform. Here is why you should consider WordPress.
- It’s Free
- It’s open source software which means it is constantly evolving and there is a ton of support available.
- There are thousands of themes available giving even the least experienced web designer the ability to kick out a professional website.
- There are numerous plug-ins available for download that allow you to customize your site as much as you want.
A WordPress theme is like the skin of WordPress. Wordpress provides the user interface and structure to the site and the theme allows you to make it look and act the way you want it to.
When choosing a theme for WordPress, I recommend purchasing a premium theme from one of the well know theme designers. This way you will ensure that it is optimized for SEO purposes and you will have someone to turn to if you have a problem.
I currently have experience with Elegant Themes and Thesis Theme and I’ve very happy with both.
ElegantThemes – I use this for my handyman website and it works very well because the design is professional with enough features to do what I want. This is a better option if you don’t want to design anything for your site and want something out of the box.
Thesis Theme – This is the theme that I use for HandymanStartup.com. It is a really awesome theme as well, but is like a blank slate as far as design goes. I only recommend this theme is you would like to have a custom design implemented. Thesis theme is a little better for SEO purposes, however.
Google Analytics is a free tool offered by google that will provide you with useful statistics on your websites performance. It allows you to see how many visitors you have, where they are from, which internet browser they are using, and how they interacted on your site. It’s pretty awesome and extremely addicting to look at.
This is a very helpful tool to help increase your search engine rankings because it allows you to track your progress and see what strategies pay off. To get it now, click here.
As you can see, ranking high in the search engines can get a little complicated and may seam daunting. Try not to get discouraged, though. Having a strong web presence will bring you business that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
Internet marketing isn’t an all or nothing game either. You don’t need to be ranked on the first page to get customers. Just by implementing some of these strategies you will uncover long-tail keywords that bring in profitable business.
Have a question? Leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help!