Note: I highly recommend picking up our free Marketing Guide, which will be mentioned several times.
It’s important to note: following this guide is not a replacement of a professional SEO service. This guide is intended for small businesses that don’t (yet) have the marketing budget to hire a professional handyman SEO company (like us). That being said, there are plenty of things you can do to improve SEO on a limited budget. Hence this guide!
First things first… You might be here because you know SEO is important, but I’m sure many have this question: what in the heck is SEO? And rightly so!
SEO for handyman and remodeling contractor websites (and any industry for that matter) is complicated and shrouded in mystery. I believe it’s because of the many opinions out there from “SEO experts” that claim to have unlocked the secret sauce to domination…
What is SEO, and why is SEO for handyman businesses important?
SEO (search engine optimization) is a long-term strategy to rank #1 in search engines for your business-related keywords, within your service area. This establishes you as the leading provider of handyman services in your area – needless to say how valuable that is for long term business success!
A website that ranks on the 1st page of Google for your keywords and service areas provides a steady, low-cost acquisition channel for new leads. Because more-and-more homeowners are turning to Google and researching before making a purchase, SEO is a vital source to long-term business growth and success.
Now that we’ve explained WHAT SEO is, and why it’s important, let’s proceed to the guide: 7 DIY Handyman SEO Tips For Online Success.
1. Website Optimization
The first step to successfully launching a DIY SEO endeavor is to be sure your website is optimized. If getting to the 1st page of Google is a horse race, your website is the horse. It needs to be correctly set up and optimized for your SEO efforts.
We’ve got you covered
First, our customers need not worry about this. All our websites are dialed-in when it comes to SEO. We also offer ongoing Handyman SEO services to professionally manage this vital aspect of local domination and long-term business success.
Key items for a DIY website design
If you don’t yet have a website, and are on a limited budget, we advise checking out our Marketing Guide for tips to set up your basic website.
For remodeling contractors and handyman businesses that manage their own website, here are some items to have in place:
- Premium host speed and security – a “budget” hosting company might be saving you money, but it is ultimately costing your business. Hosting is not something to skimp on when it comes to your online presence!
- Individual pages with primary keywords built-out – don’t keyword stuff one page
- Set up individual geographic pages targeting towns within your service area
- Pay attention to your “Heading” tag structure – ex: h1, h2, h3, etc.
- Meta tags – be sure all your pages have title and description meta tags
- Compress images and add “alt tags” – be sure all your images are compressed are sized correctly (to not slow down the load speed) and alt tags are added
- Setup and regularly post blogs – articles or project summaries are good for your blog and SEO
- Setup Google Analytics and Google Search Console for monitoring traffic and SEO results
We highly recommend all established businesses to invest in a professionally designed website – it will pay for itself over and over again.
2. Setup and optimize high visibility profiles
Setting up and optimizing “high visibility profiles” is one of the highest ROI marketing tactics you can implement, and incredibly important to your Handyman SEO strategy!
What are high visibility profiles?
High visibility profiles (or platforms) are where a majority of your potential customers are looking for your services.
There are two universal profiles that every handyman and remodeling contractor needs to have:
- Google My Business (GMB)
Here is a guide we created to set up and optimize your GMB: Optimization Guide For Google My Business
Basically, a TON of homeowners search Google and Yelp for “handyman services,” “bathroom remodeling,” etc.
They are the go-to platforms to find home services; therefore, having your business on them is critical for success.
This is not an all-encompassing list of high visibility profiles, but will certainly be the top 2 of most areas. We recommend searching your primary keyword in your area (ex: dallas handyman service) and using the first platform that organically shows at the top of Google. Common examples include:
- Home Advisor
- Angie’s List
What does this have to do with SEO?
Having these profiles setup, optimized, and gaining reviews is beneficial to your SEO by:
- increasing your website traffic
- being a great “backlink” that will grow in value over time, as your profile develops authority (which comes with increased views, website link clicks, reviews, and time)
3. Create directory listings across the web
Creating directory listings across the web has the same benefit to your SEO as just mentioned above. All else equal, what website does Google show:
- A business with a Facebook page, Yelp and GMB linking to their website
- Or a business with a Facebook page, Yelp, GMB and 100 other online profiles linking to their website?
So how do you find these directories?
Get a jump start: we have an extensive list in our Marketing Guide (with links).
Manually: search your primary keywords in your service area (ex: san francisco home remodeling) and create profiles on every directory on the first 3-5 pages.
Paid service: there are also directory creation services that can do the heavy lifting quickly, and save you time. A handful of popular services include: Yext, WhiteSpark, MozLocal, BrightLocal.
An important note on creating online profiles: be sure you are using IDENTICAL information in all profiles. You want to use the same:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Website address
- Business description
- You get the point.
Search engines are cataloging this information across all your profiles, and it’s a positive signal when it’s uniform.
4. Local link building
🤔 The third step in a row that relates to “backlinks”… Hm… These links to my website must be important to SEO!
You can think of a backlink as a voucher.
A potential customer looks at your reviews as a voucher to your legitimacy.
A search engine looks at your backlinks to rank your website – among many other things – but the backlinks are extremely important to ongoing improvement. (Especially so in a competitive market! There might be some who read this and dominate the search results in their area with a DIY website – that is great! It is likely you are more rural with little competition in the digital space.)
Okay, back to the topic at hand – local link building!
The goal here is to establish “local signals” to your website.
Example: if your Bentonville handyman website has a backlink from a hardware store located in Bentonville, that is a strong local signal.
It further communicates the legitimacy and quality of your website as a local service provider.
Here are some ideas to build these important links for your DIY handyman SEO strategy:
Small businesses you have relationships with
Take the example used above with your local hardware store. If you know the owner, ask if they have some kind of “partners” page your business could be listed on. You can also link their website within a section that talks about the quality materials you use in your work.
Another idea is having a conversation with other trade businesses you use as subcontractors from time-to-time (or regularly). There is ample opportunity to benefit each other. From a customer perspective, it communicates that you only work with other local professionals.
Chamber of commerce, realtor associations, and other business groups
This one is easy, because obtaining the backlink only requires membership. Among the many other benefits these groups can have for local small businesses, the link alone is valuable!
Membership fees vary by organization. In my local area, the chamber dues are around $20, and the Realtor association is closer to $50/mo. On top of the SEO value – land one job and your annual dues are more than paid for!
Local blogs or groups that feature small businesses in your area
In many areas there are groups that feature small business owners and entrepreneurs; whether it be conducting interviews, podcasts, or features on their website, they exist to promote local business and learn from their experiences.
These interactions can easily produce a valuable backlink to your website, and become an SEO win!
5. Online reviews
Did you know: 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 52% of 18-54-year-olds saying they ‘always’ read reviews?
Did you know: The average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business? (Reference: 2019 Consumer Review Survey)
To further explain the importance of online reviews, as it relates to SEO for remodeling contractors and handyman businesses, I’d like you to ponder this question?
What is Google’s job?
Google’s job is to serve valuable results that satisfy a user’s query.
Try searching “restaurants in *your town*” – in most cases, Google will return the highest rated restaurants. You likely won’t see the local McDonalds make the list. Imagine typing in that search and only seeing fast food restaurants? Or restaurants with bad overall ratings? If that were a consistent problem, you would use a different search engine!
So, when someone searches for a handyman service, Google wants to serve THE BEST handyman services in the area.
Should you make that list? Let Google know by getting awesome customer reviews.
Your business’s “online reputation” is an ever-increasing SEO ranking factor. Google is cataloging your “reputation” (reviews) across all your online profiles – not just reviews on your GMB!
Focus on high visibility profiles
Consistently garnering 5 star reviews for your online profiles (especially the “high visibility profiles” mentioned above) is a great SEO tactic. And even more importantly, it will give your potential customers plenty of vouchers to convince them to call you.
Reviews on niche directory sites
Occasionally, you’ll get a customer that finds you on a profile you don’t focus on (BBB is a common one, especially for older customers). Giving them the option to leave a review on that site is a good idea when the opportunity presents itself.
Note: you can only know how someone found you by consistently asking customers how they found you, a good habit to develop or systemize.
Best way to consistently garner 5 star reviews
You probably guessed it – follow ups!
Consistently following up with your customers is a critical, and often overlooked, marketing tactic.
In this follow up you can accomplish 2 important things:
- Ensure they are satisfied. This goes a long way in creating a long-term relationship, and establishing a new point in your “referral network.” If your work is great, and you provided an exceptional experience, they will likely recommend you to their friends and family!
- Secondly, a follow up is the perfect time to ask for a review. The trick is to make it as easy as possible for your customer to leave a review. I recommend creating a template email (or text) that contains “review links” to your high visibility profiles (or a profile you’re focusing on). In our GMB Optimization Guide, it walks you through step-by-step in creating a review link.
Note: because of the importance of consistently generating online reviews, all our customers are setup with a Review Generating System that automates this process. We make it easy to regularly bring 5 star reviews to your most important online profiles. Read more about our Handyman Marketing Program.
6. Link website in all social media posts and advertising
This is toward the bottom of the list because links within social media posts do (basically) diddly-squat, as compared to a link from an online profile.
Note: don’t confuse this with social media PROFILE links; this is talking about links within social media POSTS.
The biggest SEO benefit is driving website traffic. All else equal, what website is Google going to show:
- A website with 10 monthly visitors
- Or a website with 100 monthly visitors?
Also, with time and consistency, having a “call to action” with your website link will increase your leads.
Overall, posting a link to your website within all your social media posts is a great habit!
7. Time, patience and consistency
Results from your DIY Handyman SEO strategy, like many other marketing tactics, comes with time and consistency.
It’s a common understanding amongst SEO experts that it takes between 6-12 months to see results. However, this is highly dependent on many factors:
- Overall industry competitiveness
- How competitive your specific market is
- Your overall marketing strategy (SEO works best when you’re doing everything else right)
The good news for handymen and remodeling contractors is this: compared to other homes services industries (HVAC, movers, plumbing, to name a few), your niche within home services isn’t nearly as competitive.
In our experience, fruits of good SEO for remodeling contractors and handyman businesses come much quicker than the industries mentioned above.
Thanks for reading our DIY Handyman SEO guide!
I sincerely hope you have found value in these tips, and encourage you to take steps to implement the strategies mentioned.
As the highest rated handyman marketing agency, we know what it takes to accomplish everything mentioned in the best possible way.
While most businesses may not be ready for a full-fledged professional SEO plan, a website and lead generation strategy is a great first step. Be sure to check out our Handyman Marketing Programs.