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Keyword Research and Analysis: The Foundation of Effective Contractor Marketing

Contractor doing keyword research and analysis for digital marketing

As a contractor, you know that marketing your business effectively is crucial for attracting new clients and growing your company. But with so many marketing strategies and tactics out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

That's where keyword research and analysis comes in. By understanding the keywords and phrases that your potential customers are searching for online, you can create targeted, effective marketing campaigns that drive real results.

In this post, we'll dive deep into the world of keyword research and analysis for contractors. We'll cover:

Whether you're new to contractor marketing or looking to take your efforts to the next level, this guide will give you the knowledge and tools you need to succeed. Let's get started!

What is Keyword Research and Why Does It Matter?

At its core, keyword research is the process of identifying the words and phrases that people use when searching for information, products, or services online. By understanding what keywords your potential customers are using, you can create content and campaigns that show up in their search results and draw them to your business.

For contractors, keyword research is especially important. Home improvement, renovation, and repair services are highly competitive industries, with many companies vying for the same pool of customers. By targeting the right keywords, you can help your business stand out from the crowd and attract qualified leads who are more likely to become paying clients.

Keyword research also helps you understand the intent behind a search. Are people looking for general information, or are they ready to hire a contractor for a specific project? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you tailor your marketing messages and offerings to meet your audience's needs.

How to Conduct Keyword Research for Your Contracting Business

Now that you understand the importance of keyword research, let's walk through the steps of actually doing it for your business.

Step 1: Brainstorm relevant topics and terms

Start by thinking about the types of services you offer and the problems you solve for your clients. Make a list of broad topics related to your business, such as "kitchen remodeling," "roof repair," or "bathroom renovation."

Then, brainstorm more specific keywords and phrases that fall under each topic. For example, under "kitchen remodeling," you might list terms like "kitchen cabinet installation," "countertop replacement," and "kitchen flooring options."

Step 2: Use keyword research tools

While brainstorming is a great start, you'll also want to use keyword research tools to uncover additional keywords and get data on their search volume and competition level. Some popular options include:

  • Google Keyword Planner: A free tool that shows you keyword ideas and traffic estimates based on your business and services.

  • SEMrush: A paid tool that provides in-depth keyword data, competitor analysis, and content optimization recommendations.

  • Ahrefs Keywords Explorer: Another paid tool that offers extensive keyword research and analysis features.

Plug your brainstormed keywords into these tools and see what other related terms come up. Pay attention to metrics like monthly search volume and keyword difficulty to gauge how popular and competitive each keyword is.

Step 3: Analyze search intent

As you're reviewing your keyword list, think about the intent behind each search. Are people looking for:

  • General information or answers to questions?

  • Specific products or services?

  • Local contractors to hire?

  • DIY advice or tutorials?

Understanding search intent will help you select keywords that align with your business goals and create content that meets searchers' needs.

For example, someone searching for "how to install kitchen tile backsplash" is probably looking for a DIY tutorial, while someone searching for "professional kitchen remodeling contractors" is more likely to be ready to hire a pro.

Step 4: Prioritize your keywords

Once you have a solid list of keywords, it's time to prioritize the ones you want to target in your marketing efforts. Some factors to consider:

  • Relevance: How closely does the keyword relate to your business and services? Prioritize terms that are most relevant to what you offer.

  • Search volume: In general, keywords with higher search volumes have more potential to drive traffic and leads. However, they may also be more competitive.

  • Competition: Keywords with high competition may be harder to rank for, especially if you're a newer or smaller business. Look for a balance of high-volume and lower-competition terms.

  • Business value: Consider the likelihood that a keyword will bring in qualified leads and customers. A term like "free kitchen remodeling ideas" may get a lot of searches but not drive many sales, while "kitchen remodeling contractors in [your city]" will probably attract people who are ready to hire.

Using Your Keywords in Your Marketing

Once you've selected your target keywords, it's time to put them to work in your marketing efforts. Here are a few key places to use them:

Website content

Use your keywords naturally throughout your website copy, including your homepage, service pages, and blog posts. Aim to include your primary keyword in:

  • Page titles and headlines

  • Subheadings

  • The first paragraph of your content

  • Image file names and alt text

  • Meta titles and descriptions

Avoid "keyword stuffing" or forcing keywords where they don't make sense. The goal is to signal to search engines and users what your page is about while still providing valuable, readable content.

Local SEO

If you serve customers in a specific geographic area, local SEO is a must. Include location-based keywords like "[service] in [city]" or "[city] [service]" in your website content, business listings, and online profiles.

Other tactics for boosting local SEO include:

  • Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business profile

  • Building citations (online mentions of your business name, address, and phone number) on local directories and industry sites

  • Encouraging happy customers to leave reviews on sites like Google and Yelp

PPC campaigns

Paid search campaigns on platforms like Google Ads allow you to bid on specific keywords and have your ad show up when people search for those terms. Using your top keywords in your ad copy and targeting can help you attract qualified clicks and leads.

Keep in mind that popular, high-volume keywords will likely be more expensive to bid on. Balance your ad spend by targeting a mix of competitive and less competitive terms.

Social media

While keywords play a smaller role in social media compared to search engines, you can still use them to guide your content strategy. Use hashtags related to your target keywords, and create posts that address the topics and questions people are searching for.

You can also use social media advertising platforms to target users based on their interests and behaviors. For example, Facebook Ads allows you to target people who have shown an interest in home remodeling or have recently made a major life change like buying a new home.

Measuring Your Results

As with any marketing strategy, it's important to track your results and adjust your approach as needed. Some key metrics to monitor:

  • Organic search traffic: Use tools like Google Analytics to see how much traffic your website is getting from organic search and which keywords are driving the most visits.

  • Keyword rankings: Track where your site ranks in search results for your target keywords over time. Gains in rankings can indicate that your SEO efforts are working.

  • Leads and sales: Ultimately, the goal of your keyword strategy is to drive business results. Track how many leads and customers you're getting from organic search and paid campaigns, and calculate your return on investment.

Based on your results, you may need to adjust your keyword targeting, optimize your website content, or revise your ad campaigns. Keyword research and analysis is an ongoing process – as your business evolves and search trends change, your keyword strategy should evolve too.

Get Started with Keyword Research for Your Contracting Business

Keyword research and analysis is a powerful tool for contractors looking to attract more qualified leads and grow their business. By understanding what your ideal customers are searching for and using those insights to guide your marketing efforts, you can reach the right people with the right message at the right time.

Ready to get started? Contact us to learn more about our SEO, PPC, and lead generation services for contractors. We'll help you identify your top keywords and create a custom marketing plan to drive results for your business.

Not sure if you're ready for a full-service agency? Check out our blog for more do-it-yourself marketing tips, or book a free consultation to discuss your goals and challenges. We're here to help you succeed!


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