Local SEO Guide for Asphalt Paving Contractors: 5 Steps to Boost Your Google Rankings

/Local SEO Guide for Asphalt Paving Contractors: 5 Steps to Boost Your Google Rankings
Local SEO Guide for Asphalt Paving Contractors: 5 Steps to Boost Your Google Rankings 2017-11-12T10:14:35+00:00

Asphalt paving contractors can have a tough time bringing in new business. When someone needs asphalt paving work, he tends to simply call the first listing on Google and work his way through the list. To maximize your customer base, you need to find a way into that crucial top spot.

We will take you step by step through our proven process to move your business to the head of the line. But first, let’s look at why local SEO is crucial for any asphalt paving contractor.

3 Reasons Asphalt Paving Contractors Should Invest in Local SEO

 

1. Google Replaced the Yellow Pages:

At one time, it was a simple process to place an ad in the local phone book and wait for customers to call. Today, however, a full 97% of people search for local businesses online, and Google has by far the largest market share.

2. Free Traffic:

While Yellow Pages ads are a thing of the past, advertising remains one of the largest expenditures for many businesses. If you can boost your Google rankings, however, you will have an ongoing stream of free traffic that you can convert to customers.

3. Fast Results:

It takes, on average, at least 6 months for national or international companies to see much improvement in their Google rankings. Asphalt contractors have a huge advantage here, because your competitors are only those contractors in your local area, not those located across the country. And many of your competitors are not yet taking advantage of local SEO. This means that you could easily reach the first page of Google local results within just 30 days!

Step 1: Identify Your Keywords

The first step in your local SEO campaign is to make a list of keywords that reflect the services your business provides. Examples might include “asphalt paving”, “asphalt repair”, and “asphalt driveways”. Once you have several potential keywords on your list, set up a free Google AdWords account.

You don’t need to create or fund an ad campaign, but you need the account to access Google’s free Keyword Planner tool. This lets you research the keywords on your list to see how much traffic they draw, and the tool will provide suggestions for additional related keywords.

With this information in hand, you are ready to choose the keywords you will use. All keywords can be loosely organized into 2 basic types:

  • Buying Intent: Buying intent keywords are used by prospects who are ready to buy. For example, someone who searches for “asphalt driveway repair Austin” probably has an asphalt driveway that needs some work, and is ready to have the job done.

    The primary focus of your local SEO campaign should be on buying intent keywords, which produce the fastest results. Place those keywords on your homepage, and design Services pages around them.

  • Research Intent: Someone who searches for research intent keywords is just shopping around. He might buy something eventually, but is in the earliest stages of the sales funnel. For example, “is an asphalt driveway better than gravel” could indicate that the prospect is considering a driveway replacement sometime in the future.

    These keywords should be of lower priority to your local SEO campaign, since they will not drive fast conversions. But be careful not to throw them out. FAQs and blogs based on research keywords let you introduce your business to prospects who might then remember you when they are ready to buy.

Step 2: Keyword Optimization

After you choose your keywords, you need to optimize for them in 2 different locations—your Google My Business page and your website. Here is what to focus on:

Google My Business

Google My Business pages are featured in the “Map” section of Google listings for local businesses. Your Google My Business page is a sort of mini-website that increases your presence on the internet and gives new prospects an overview of your company. It can also boost your Google rankings quickly, because it is much easier to get highly ranked for a Google My Business page than for a webpage.

Your Google My Business page must be completely and accurately filled out:

  • Verification: The first step is to claim your page and undergo Google’s verification process. When you see a checkmark and the word “Verified” next to your business name, you are ready to proceed.
  • NAP: Ensure that your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) are correctly listed on your Google My Business page and are consistent across the internet. To highlight the fact that yours is a local business, use your local phone number rather than an 800 number.
  • Categories: Google requires your categories listings to explain what services your business provides, rather than what the results are. As an asphalt paving contractor, you might select such categories as Paving Contractor and Road Construction Company, as well as Asphalt Contractor. You can also add any supplementary services that you perform, such as Excavating Contractor. Try to list 3 to 5 categories.
  • Description: The description is a brief overview of your company followed by a call to action, with a total word count of 100 to 200. Try following this formula: {Name of Company} offers professional {asphalt paving and repair, or similar} in {Your City}. {Provide some information about your company and/or why customers choose you.} Call {Phone Number} today for a free estimate!
  • Hours: Keep your service hours up to date, and make sure they are listed consistently across all sites. If you offer emergency after-hours repairs, list that information separately.
  • Images: Adding images is an excellent way to boost customer engagement, so include a few photos of your team on the job or even completed projects. Make sure your images have a sharp focus, are sized between 10KB and 5MB, and have a minimum resolution of 720px x 720px. We also recommend replacing the generic Google My Business background image with a branded image.

Website Optimization

Begin by optimizing your “core pages,” which are your homepage and service pages. Focus them specifically on your identified buying intent keywords. Later, you can focus your “content pages,” or FAQs and blog posts, on research intent keywords. Here is what you need to do first:

  • Homepage: The title tag serves roughly the same purpose as a book’s chapter title, and it is the most important element of your homepage. It should be between 50 and 65 characters, and written in a format similar to: Asphalt Paving Contractor in {Your City} | {Name of Your Company}

    The next element to consider is your meta description, which highlights your main services. Aim for 100 to 150 characters formatted similarly to: {Name of Company} offers quality {asphalt paving and repair services, or similar} in {Your City}. Call {Phone Number} today to schedule your free estimate!

    Your visible headline, also known as the H1, should be concise but also descriptive. Include your primary category in a format similar to: {Asphalt Contractor} in {City, State}.

    The last critical element is the page copy. It should provide background information, briefly explain your primary services, and include a strong call to action. Make sure it is approximately 500 to 1000 words in length, is well-written and edited, and includes your primary keyword in a natural fashion.

  • Service Pages: Each of your primary services should have its own separate page, and should be tightly focused on a relevant keyword. Optimize each page following the suggestions above.

Step 3: Gather Citations and Links

With the basic structure for your local SEO campaign in place, the next step is to gather citations and links, both of which will boost your Google rankings and improve your reach.

  • Citations: A citation is any internet directory listing of your business NAP (name, address, and phone number). You can place citations in general national directories, including Facebook and yellowpages.com, and general local directories such as your Chamber of Commerce website, as well as directories that are specific to the asphalt paving industry.

    Many directories offer free listings, but some require payment. Before you pay for a listing, use Google Analytics to determine whether you are receiving traffic and conversions from that site. Also, make sure that your NAP is identical in every listing.

  • Links: Inbound links from credible, high-quality sites are essential to boosting your Google rankings. Build relationships both online and offline with companies that complement yours, such as homebuilders and real estate agencies, and then ask to trade links. You can use a tool such as the Moz Open Site Explorer tool to learn where your competitors’ links are coming from.

Step 4: Get Reviews

Reviews serve a two-fold purpose: convincing prospects to try your services, and letting Google know that your business is legitimate. While all review sites are important, focus on Google My Business page reviews for the fastest rankings boost. Send your satisfied customers an email asking for a review, and be sure to include a link to your Google My Business profile. If you do this regularly, you will soon have an ongoing stream of reviews.

Step 5: Track Your Results

The only way to know how well your local SEO campaign is working, and to identify those areas that need revision, is to track your results. Although a great deal of information in available, these 3 core metrics are the most important:

  • Rankings: Google customizes its search results based on the user’s previous browsing activities. Therefore, to determine how a particular page truly ranks, you need to use a tool. The free Google Search Console, previously known as Google Webmaster tools, is a good start. Ask your webmaster to install it, and then check your results at least once per month.

    For more detailed results, consider using a paid tracking tool, such as the one offered by RankRanger.com. You can receive automatically updated ranking results from all of your SEO campaigns, and track your Google My Business page as well as your web pages.

  • Traffic: The best tool to track your traffic, or how many website visitors you have, is Google Analytics. You can see your overall traffic, the percentage that comes from Google search, and even which web pages draw the majority of traffic. Take a look at your reports every month, with an eye toward understanding any long-term trends.
  • Conversions: A conversion is a specific action that you want your website visitors to take. A common conversion for an asphalt paving contractor is calling you to schedule an estimate. In Google Analytics, you can track both web and telephone conversions, see which services bring in the most conversions, and learn which web pages have the lowest and highest conversion rates.

Ready to Start?

A comprehensive local SEO strategy is essential to driving more prospects to your asphalt paving company. Work through these 5 steps in order, and fully complete one before moving on to the next. Here is a recap of the 5 steps:

  1.    Keyword research
  2.    Keyword optimization
  3.    Citations and Links
  4.    Reviews
  5.    Tracking

Want Help with SEO?

At Main Street ROI, we specialize in helping asphalt paving contractors attract more local customers through Google. If you’d like help with your SEO, contact us for a free quote.

Click here to request a Free SEO Quote

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