7 Big Mistakes Contractors Make That Hurt Their Local SEO

10 Deadly Local SEO Mistakes Contractors Make

Contractors need local SEO because they depend on their local community and serviceable area for clients. Traditional methods such as word of mouth or flyers aren't as effective as implementing local SEO methods. Yet, that's where many contractors face difficulties.

So, today we're going to address some common local SEO mistakes that contractors make so that you can avoid them!

Top 10 Common Local SEO Mistakes Contractors Should Avoid

1. Generic Keywords

When picking local SEO keywords, it's often the instinct to select 'city or state + industry' keywords. However, those are far too broad and don't directly target your local demographic. 

Say, for example, you're a contractor in Utah who specializes in tiled roofs. You need to implement more than just 'Utah contractor.' 

Selecting keywords such as 'Roofing Contractor in Utah' or 'Tiled Roofer Salt Lake' are stronger rankings options. That's because it targets clients searching for your exact services in your area. 

This keyword knowledge comes with research. Local SEO experts can do this easily. But, if you don't have the budget for an expert, you can use keyword tools such as: 

  • Soolve - Aggregates keywords from top platforms such as Google and YouTube. The below screenshot shows how well it offers trending keywords from various search engines. 
  • Jaaxy - Use the 'QSR' feature to see other contractors using the same keywords. 
  • Ahrefs - Its' keyword difficulty' feature shows how many backlinks are required to rank for the keyword.

2. Unclaimed Listings

Yellow pages and magazine ads aren't as effective as online listings on reputed platforms. These listings are free or budget-friendly, and search engines use the information as ranking signals when fulfilling a user's search query. 

According to a report by Small Business Trends, businesses with a Google My Business listing saw an increase in calls by 61% during the pandemic. Yet, even with incredible statistics, many local contractors still have unclaimed listings. 

Take a look at the below screenshot showing the contractors in Newyork. If one misses claiming their business on GMB, then they are missing a large chunk of prospects. 


Among the many benefits, claiming a listing will:

  • rank your business in more local searches,
  • increase quality leads,
  • increase conversion rate. 

Contractors can reap these benefits by getting a listing on these platforms:

  • Google My Business - it's free, and since it's the most popular search engine, chances are your clients use Google for their searches. 
  • Yelp - Research on states that Yelp's online directory has the largest search engine share of user traffic for the keyword ' contractor.'
  • Angi is a popular and large listing platform dedicated specifically to all home and contractor businesses.

Read: Step-by-step Setup Guide for Google My Business Set up

3. Poor Optimization

One of the biggest mistakes contractors can make is not properly optimizing their website for local SEO. Many contractor websites are optimized only for general SEO, which means that their page is competing among the 77% of small businesses in the U.S that have a website. 

That's why it's essential to optimize the website for local searches. If you want any chance of ranking in the local 3-pack spot, it all starts with optimizing your pages for local searches. Local 3-pack can be a game-changer for local businesses in terms of revenue. 


For example, adding location keywords to your URLs and meta tags is a great location signal for search engines. It uses this information to establish your company's location and ranks it in more local searches. 

Here are a few ways to optimize for local SEO:

  • Adding Name, address, and phone number (NAP) info on all pages. 
  • Ask local clients to review your company on your Google My Business page
  • Get citations/ links from reputed local media houses, online newspapers, etc.

4. Not Optimized for Mobile. 

You might be thinking, "I've optimized for local SEO; why does my website have to be responsive for mobile, too?" Well, here are some compelling reasons: 

  • According to Sistrix, 62% of people use their mobile devices to search for companies, services, or products. 
  • Additionally, 76% of smartphone users conducting 'near me' searches visit the business within 24 hours. 

Yet surprisingly, 91% of small businesses still need website mobile optimization. Meaning only 9% of small businesses see the value of being mobile responsive. 

For example, a new contractor has opened up in your neighborhood. However, your website is mobile-friendly and optimized for local searches - theirs isn't. It gives you the advantage. 

Therefore, Google will rank your business higher in searches. So, test whether or not your site is mobile-friendly using free rankwatch or Google tool. 


For these staggering reasons alone, contractors should strongly consider making their websites mobile responsive by:

  • Developing a mobile app.
  • Using a mobile-friendly website template. 
  • Hire a developer to make the existing website responsive for mobile.
  • Enable Accelerated Mobile Pages

5. Reviews Ignored

Search engines strive to give their users the most relevant and quality results. One way they do that is to look at reviews. A company that responds to reviews tells search engine crawlers that your business is active and can be trusted. Therefore, it gives it a ranking boost. 

Additionally, 88% of users rely on reviews and base their purchasing decisions on what clients have said about a business. So, when users see a company's response to a negative or positive review, it gives them a better impression of their work ethic. 

Additionally, the lack of responses to negative reviews online creates a negative impression on your business. It might lead to huge losses in the future. 

For example, look at the below screenshot where the negative reviews are left unanswered. 


Review interactions like these send positive ranking signals to search engines. Therefore, it's vital to respond to all your reviews. Don't ignore them.

Manage your reviews on multi-platforms using these time-saving tools: 

  • Podium - Customer interaction platform with easy review management and text messaging feature. 
  • Trustpilot - A reputation management platform with many review-focused features. 
  • Yext - Reputation management platform with an easy-to-use review management dashboard.

6. No Backlinks 

Backlinks are like a "vote" of confidence that search engines rely on to judge your company's authority. The more reputed backlinks your website acquires, the more trustworthy search engines deem your company/website. And, therefore, pushes it out onto more SERPs. 

Acquiring backlinks from local sources and reaching out to publications is time-consuming and takes effort. That's why many contractors don't do the extra step to acquire these vital links, which is understandable. 

However, let's say your local competitor has got plenty of feature blogs/articles from reputed local sites. And, your company doesn't. The lack of backlinks or "votes" can cause you to be outranked in search results. 

For example, take a look at the below screenshot. The website has got only 12 backlinks in 2 years, which is a grave mistake. 


So, here are a few ways to get backlinks:

  • Reach out to local online newspapers for a feature. 
  • Create profiles on various social media platforms.
  • Reach out to local influencers/bloggers for articles.
  • Claim profiles on home-improvement, industry-specific directories. 

7. Incorrect NAP Info

NAP refers to the Name of the business, Address, and Phone number mentioned on the directory listings such as GMB. Here’s an example in the below screenshot:


Let's say you're a contractor in Brooklyn, New York. And, you haven't updated your NAP info. Thanks to your local SEO efforts and their proximity to your office, a user in your neighborhood finds your listing.

Yet, when they try to call, the number is incorrect or missing. Even if you're the best contractor in Brooklyn, with missing NAP info, the user will go to another contractor. So, avoid this one simple mistake. 

That's why Name, Address, and Phone Number information are vital. Additionally, NAP info is a signal for local SEO. It tells search engines where your company is located. 

Therefore, all your listings must be consistent. Manage them using these listings management tools:

  • SEMrush - Manage and create listings on various directories using the platform.
  • Yext - Manage listings across 100s of directories that are integrated on this platform
  • Moz Local - Among many features, you can create a master listing on this platform which is sent to directories of your choice.

8. No Local Content

Creating content is one of the best ways to use multiple local SEO techniques to help your business rank in local searches. The more local content you publish, the more search engines and potential clients see you as an authority in your niche and your location. 

Yet, many contractors don't take advantage of this knowledge. They neglect their website's blog section or don't create regular posts on social media platforms. 

If you're a contractor and want to rank in local searches and get more clients. Then you must:

  • Create industry and location-specific blogs; for example, a Houston contractor should create content as shown below
  • Write about local events you've participated in,
  • Create short how-to videos,
  • Publish testimonials from local clients on your website. 
  • Post updates on your Google My Business page, etc. 

Creating content is vital, yet it is time-consuming for a contractor running multiple projects. Therefore, consider hiring a digital marketing agency or a content writer to create consistent local content.

9. Slow Page Speeds

Think about the last time you waited longer than a few seconds for a page to load. You probably didn't and clicked off to another faster web page. This user behavior (a.k.a, bounce rate) caused by low page speed is an important ranking signal. 

This applies to local SEO too. It’s believed that both the users and search engines value sites that load before 3s on the web. 

In the below screenshot, a contractor site takes almost 7s to load, which will annoy the users. 


So, even if you've optimized for local searches, search engines will drop your results rankings due to slow page speed. Since many contractors are not SEO savvy, knowing their website's loading speed or how to optimize it can be a daunting task. 

We suggest hiring a Local SEO specialist or web developer because optimizing page speed is achievable and relatively easy. 

They can improve your page loading sleep by simple techniques such as:

  • Reducing image sizes,
  • Reducing redirects,
  • Choosing a performance-based hosting provider, etc.

10. Poor Technical SEO

While it's sometimes easy to forget because of how advanced they are - search engines are essentially robots that rely on algorithms and code. Your contractor's website must go through a technical SEO audit. 

Things like missing links or getting a 'not secure' page notice when a user is browsing your website can cause your page to drop in rank. Also, you lose the trust of potential clients. Technical SEO can rectify all these issues. 

Additionally, it will boost your website's local ranking because it sends out more signals that search engine crawlers can index. Here are a few examples of how technical SEO can help with your local SEO efforts:

  • adding local keywords to URLs,
  • Adding location and industry keywords to meta descriptions, the below screenshot best represents it.
  • Converting your HTTP site to an HTTPS site.
  • Fixing broken links, etc. 

Consider hiring a technical SEO professional to help you with this vital step to start consistently ranking in local searches.

Key Takeaways

  • Claim your contractor listing on Google My Business, Bing Places, and Yext. 
  • Create listings on local and industry-specific directories. 
  • Make your website responsive for mobile. 
  • Create a backlink profile that has links from reputed local sources. 
  • Publish regular local content on all platforms - social and your website. 
  • Conduct a technical SEO audit of your website. 
  • Respond to negative and positive reviews from clients on various directory platforms. 
  • Ask for reviews on your GMB profiles from local clients. 
  • Use tools such as SEMrush and Moz Local to manage your listings.

Rank Your Website

Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.


Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.