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SEO For Tradesmen: The Easy Guide to Ranking #1

SEO for Trades Cover Image

SEO. Probably the last thing you want to be doing yourself, but you’re aware you have to do it. Getting SEO for tradesmen right is incredibly lucrative… emphasis on right. You’ll have the opportunity to get in front of hundreds of potential customers every single week, simply by ranking at the top of the search results through search engine optimisation.

That’s why I’ve created the no-bs guide to SEO for tradespeople.

I’ll walk you through the important SEO tips, step by step, without

  • Technical fluff that you don’t care about
  • The need for expensive tools
  • Wasting your time on things that simply aren’t going to help your trade business out

It’ll be helpful for all tradespeople and home improvement companies; from plasterers to joiners.

So What is SEO for Tradesmen?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It is the process of getting your trades business found on Google. We do this through changes and improvements to your:

  1. Google Business Profile
  2. Website

💡 This guide will share tips for tradesmen SEO for both your website and Google Business Profile.

So when someone searches Google “electrician in Hove” or “plumber in Corby”… you’ll soon be coming up on the first page.

While SEO may seem confusing, the key to getting your business found online comes down to three main parts:

  1. Technical SEO = website structure
  2. On-page = website content
  3. Off-page = website authority

So take notes as we go and you’ll be on your way to page 1 in no time. 

The three main parts of SEO for tradesmen

The Keyword Research Strategy Behind SEO for Trades

Having the correct keyword strategy is fundamental to having people find your business online and land on your tradesmen website. This will inform your on-page SEO strategy, your content marketing and ultimately help you to rank higher, sooner. Let’s dive into it.

Step 1: Define Your Service and Service Area

The first thing you want to do is understand what you want to be found for. 

The easy solution to this is combining:

  1. All areas you serve
  2. All services you provide

So you’ll want to write down a list of services you want to be found for and the locations you want to service. This will underpin your tradesmen SEO strategy.

Here’s an example of how this might look if you were a plumber in North West London:

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Step 2: Combine Services and Locations

So now you know the trades you want to be found for with SEO and where you want to be found for them, the next step is to combine the two. So you’ll have a big list of keywords:

  • Plumber Stanmore
  • Plumber Wembley
  • Plumber Ruislip
  • Plumber Pinner
  • Plumber Northwood
  • And so on…

💡 Tip: I like to use this tool from SEO scout to combine my keywords easily.

Step 3: Prioritise Your Keywords

We have our list of keywords, now it’s time to prioritise them as we need to create one website page for each keyword we want to target.

You can use fancy tools here to find search volume and keyword difficulty, but really you can just use some intuition. As a tradesperson, you’ll know your service and area the best; and the aim of this SEO for trades guide is to keep things as simple as possible.

So here’s what you should do:

  1. Select your main service that is all-encompassing (e.g. Plumber) and your most important area (e.g. Wembley)
  2. Allocate this keyword (Plumber Wembley) to a page (this could be your homepage)
  3. Now do the same for your secondary target areas
  4. Now repeat this process for your secondary services in your primary area (e.g. “Tap Repair Wembley”)
  5. The final part will be your secondary services in your secondary areas, but by this point you might have lots of work to do that you might not want to prioritise any new pages

The best way to allocate these is in a spreadsheet like I’ve done below:

You can make a copy of this spreadsheet by visiting this link.

💡 Important Note: You’ll notice that I added in page URLs in the spreadsheet. The best way for you to do this is going to be dependent on your business and how many pages you want to create. Common approaches to this include

  1. Folderless structure for smaller sites (like I’ve done with myplumbingcompany.com/plumber-ruislip, myplumbingcompany.com/plumber-northwood etc.)
  2. Location subfolders are suitable for multi-location businesses (e.g. myplumbingcompany.com/wembley/plumber, myplumbingcompany.com/norwich/plumber)
  3. Service subfolders are suitable if you intend to create a lot of service pages (e.g. myplumbingcompany.com/plumber/wembley, myplumbingcompany.com/plumber/ruislip, myplumbingcompany.com/boiler-repair/wembley etc.)

How to Do Local SEO for Trades

The first of the two types of SEO worth looking into is having your website pages show up in search engine results. You now have the list of keywords and the pages you are going to use to target those keywords. The next step is taking action on this.

You should have a good idea of the URL structure you’re going to go for at this point (as mentioned above) and I would highly recommend building this spreadsheet beforehand so you make your life easier.

Step 1: Find Technical Issues

The first thing we want to do here is run a check to see if there are any issues with your website. The technical issues of a site mainly to do with a search engine’s ability to crawl and index the content on your site. If there are issues that prevent this, you are going to struggle to propel your business to the top.

Free tools that I’d recommend using here:

  1. Siteliner to check for duplicate content and broken links
  2. SEMrush free trial to gather data on the keywords you currently rank for and use their audit feature to find easy-to-understand technical things along the way
  3. The Detailed Google Chrome Extension to find the important data from any web page, such as title, meta description, whether it’s indexable and all the headings in the content

Screaming Frog is a tool that I personally use in all audits, but it will probably go into a bit too much depth for what you need right now.

As a “quick and dirty” SEO audit, I’d recommend using the SEMrush site audit to crawl your site, Siteliner to check for broken pages and use Detailed to investigate your site on a page-by-page basis when issues come up from those other tools.

Looking for someone to take it off your hands?

We’d love to help you out. Schedule your web strategy call with us today.

Step 2: Fix Technical Issues

If you have a web design company you work with, they should be able to point you in the right direction here. But you’ll also be able to find some solutions to some of the issues using a simple Google search for something like “Fix 404 pages WordPress”.

The main things that you need to prioritise to help rank your website and appear in search results are:

  1. Make sure that your website doesn’t have broken pages
  2. Ensure you have unique content on all of your pages
  3. Confirm that your pages can be indexed and crawled properly by Google and other search engines

Some of these you’ll be able to do yourself, some of them you might find it easier to just reach out to an expert rather than spending a long time Googling how to make certain fixes. You don’t need to go overboard with technical SEO, the likelihood is that you have a relatively small site and your competition will also have technical issues. That’s why it’s important to use the 80/20 rule here and focus on the things that are going to have a direct impact on the success of your business.

💡  A lot of the time, small business owners like to start their digital marketing afresh with a new website design project. This is something you might want to consider if your website is due an upgrade and you want to generate more business with web pages with a better user experience – I’ll leave that up to you.

Step 3: Create Content for Your Target Pages

Grab the spreadsheet you created of your target keywords and the pages we’ve assigned. This is where we use this to inform the content we’ll create to rank you higher in search results.

This is going to be time-consuming and/or expensive, but SEO best practice here is to create relevant, valuable and in-depth content for each individual page that you want to rank on Google. Lots of people who don’t specialise in SEO will fall into the trap of duplicating the same content for each area they serve (oh if only it was that easy!) – Google isn’t going to like this as it’s duplicate content so make sure you’re making unique content for each page you create.

One of the most common questions top SEO experts will get asked is “how long should my content be?” and my best answer is: “as long as is necessary to satisfy the intent”. For example, this article is one I want to show up for “SEO for tradesmen” or “SEO for trades” – the goal of the article is to provide a full guide on how to do SEO. Because of this, it’s going to end up about 2,500 words long.

Your service page, however, probably won’t need to be this long. You’ll want to go into detail about what it is you do, and what makes you unique, but don’t go overboard here – try to keep it concise or readers will get bored! 500-1,500 words is probably a good range to stay in to get the best results for your business.

How to Optimise Your Google Business Profile

A successful SEO marketing plan isn’t complete without focusing on your Google Business Profile. Google’s search results are dominated by the map pack so if you can get your local business in the top 3, you’re going to have a lot of calls coming your way.

The key to ranking in the map pack is dependent on a few important factors:

  1. Proximity to the location: you aren’t going to show up in the map pack for “electrician Leamington Spa” if your Google Business Profile address is in Liverpool.
  2. Optimisation of your profile: this includes a whole host of things we’ll dive into right now
  3. Optimisation of your website: make sure you optimise your website – not just your Google profile – as the algorithm will be looking at the content on your website too.

Step-by-Step GBP Optimisation for Trades to Grow Your Business

  1. Name: Use your legal business name here and don’t try to stuff in a keyword
  2. Categories: Add in the primary and secondary categories that are suitable to your business
  3. Address: Add your company address and make it visible on your profile (ensure your website also contains this address)
  4. Service Area: Select the entire area in which you can deliver your service
  5. Services: Add all the trades services you offer and provide useful, keyword-rich descriptions for these services (up to 300 characters)
  6. Photos: Add lots of photos to showcase your services, team and everything else that a potential customer may find useful when looking for your services. You can also geotag these photos with the location you are targeting.
  7. Products: You may also want to showcase “products” – which will actually be services – but they can add some relevance to your Google Business Profile and may help you to rank higher in search
  8. Q&A: Answer any open questions that you may have on your Google Business Profile. A great opportunity to add more relevance to this is to add extra questions to your profile
  9. Reviews: Respond to recent reviews, thanking the customer. We’ll cover how to get more later.

Looking for someone to take it off your hands?

We’d love to help you out. Schedule your web strategy call with us today.

Keep Your Tradesperson Search Engine Optimisation Efforts Going

What we have covered so far is enough to give you a solid foundation of SEO for your business website. But this is the point where people will often stop their SEO work. This is a fatal mistake to make and will leave people thinking “SEO for tradespeople doesn’t work”. Once you have built the foundation, this is only the beginning. We need to build on this and I’ll show you how.

Building on Your Website SEO Efforts

Once you’ve optimised the technical and on-page sides of your website, you’ll need to take this a step further in two ways:

  1. Creating content
  2. Acquiring backlinks

The first point, creating content, is the process of producing useful articles like this one that your target market would find interesting. These can be focused on your service and location. My recommendation would be to post between 2 and 8 times per month if possible.

The second point, acquiring backlinks, is a little harder to achieve. Backlinks are links that point from one website back to your website. Google basically sees these as popularity votes in favour of your business and they will increase the authority of your site. By doing this, you’re going to help push your website up the search results and drive more traffic to your website.

So how do you acquire these backlinks to your website? Like a lot of things, it’s about value exchange – you can share insights from your blog with other website owners, offer to post a guest post on their blog, pay for a mention of your business in a particular article and many more ways.

⚠️ Warning: Link building is part of SEO that can damage your site when done the wrong way. Make sure you are getting your backlinks from sites that are relevant to your industry and don’t have a history of penalties and/or affiliations with dodgy sites. Do not buy backlinks in bulk from platforms like Fiverr; they’ll do more harm than good.

Building on Your Google Business Profile Optimisation

There are three things you’ll want to do to continue to develop your Google Business Profile and increase the number of calls you’re getting.

Part 1: Get Reviews

Something that will really help your search rankings in the map pack is getting more reviews. Here are my top three recommendations for getting more Google reviews for your trades company:

  1. Do a good job – obviously
  2. Ask the customer for a review when you complete a job and have a QR code on a business card you can give them
  3. Leverage SMS and email automation to ask for reviews after completing a job

Part 2: Build Citations

Another way to work on your local SEO is link building through directory listings. This is where you’ll submit your business’ name, address and phone number to a site. Having lots of these citations across the web can ensure that Google and other search engines are aware of what you do and where.


Part 3: Leverage the Posts Feature

The Google Business Profile “posts” feature is another really powerful method companies use to grow their local presence. Post image updates – like you would on social media – with descriptions that are keyword-oriented and link to your website and/or Google profile.


To really maximise the performance of your tradesman SEO campaign, you’ll want to do this multiple times per week and have regular opportunities to get in front of your target audience.


Should You Hire an SEO Agency to Grow Your Trade Business?

Person calling SEO agency to help their trades business

Hiring experts to deliver an SEO service for you is something worth considering to fastrack your results and improve your tradesperson SEO quicker. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re in a competitive market and need to have the very best SEO work done.


However, if you’re just getting started, this might not be the best option. Being the owner of an SEO agency, I only want to take on clients where there is a clear path to get the client what they want. Often – when you’re just getting started – what you want is sales, now!


SEO can’t do that – you might be investing £10k-£30k before you see the massive compound effects of the work. Lots of new businesses can’t put that much aside. If this is the case for you, paid ads or networking are probably the best options so you can get some quick returns. Yes, they’re going to be expensive, whether that cost is financial or your time – but they can get you a result quickly before allocating your budget towards the sustainable growth of your business through SEO.


If you do feel that you have built your business to a point with a solid foundation and you are ready to hand your SEO over to an expert, then feel free to get in touch with us today. We’d love to help put your trades company at the top.

Conclusion: Don’t Let Your Online Marketing Stop at Your SEO Campaign

SEO is a tool that will help take your business to new levels when implemented correctly, but it’s not the only thing you should focus on. Leading SEO experts will know that it isn’t the only fix to a business’ online marketing struggles (although it’d be nice if it was). Use it as something to lead or support your marketing, but don’t let it be the only channel. Supplement your efforts with paid ads, email campaigns and social media for a well-rounded, omnipresent approach.

Looking for someone to take it off your hands?

We’d love to help you out. Schedule your web strategy call with us today.

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