10 Free Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website in 2021

Tips and tricks to get your website ranking higher.

You know what the internet needs?
It’s 2,515,918th article on improving SEO and website conversions.

While I say that tongue-in-cheek, what the internet really needs is an SEO-guide written specifically for construction companies and tradespeople.
I’m going to list 10 ways you can increase your SEO for free, with not a nickel spent, other than some time and writing skills.

1. Use specific landing pages with a clear value proposition

A value proposition is a quick summary that promotes the unique value of your products or services.

Too many companies focus on themselves and get too technical on their services or products. People want to know your solution, not how the sausage is made.
This is why a solid value proposition is at the core of all marketing communication. You are speaking to a person with a problem you can solve.

This is a great example from Everlast Vinyl Fencing in Edmonton, AB:

construction website

Everlast goes straight to the point of addressing the customer’s desire.

YES = “… the perfect fencing style to complement your home and landscape design.”

NO = “… thousands of fencing styles in our inventory.”

YES = “featuring materials that protect against the sun and stay durable against impact.”

NO = “featuring materials that are UV 400 rated and coated with durable polyethylene.”

Three quick tips on creating a strong value proposition:
  • It should explain how your product or service best solves a customer’s problems or needs.
  • It should describe what specific benefits your customer will receive.
  • It should explain why you are the right choice to solve that problem.

2. Improve on-page SEO

First off, what is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization refers to the practice and system of optimizing your web pages to improve a page’s search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic to the site.

Search engine results are like real estate.
You can pay an advertiser like Google to list your company at the top for your desired search terms, and rent that top space, or you can put the work into owning that space by implementing good SEO practices.

A strong SEO strategy is focused on useful content creation, as well as best practices when it comes to site loading speed, social media engagement, and development best practices.

Three quick tips on building your on-page SEO:
  • Test your site speed and optimize deficiencies. Use GTMetrix or PageSpeed Insights by Google
  • Get an in-depth SEO analysis done. Use Moz Free SEO Metrics or SEOptimer
  • Don’t forget to engage with your audience and customers. Frequent posting and engagement with your community is a vital part of building your domain’s authority and trustworthiness.

3. Build backlinks

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What are backlinks?
Backlinks are links from one website to another. Google and other search providers use backlinks as a sort of vote on how trustworthy a site is.
Good sites usually have lots of people linking to them, bad sites usually don’t.

The pages that rank highest in search results are usually the ones with the most backlinks and engagement, especially for high-volume searches.

One best practice is to build links to useful assets. If you want people to link to your page, you need to create or share something useful.
A great asset can be a blog post, guide, useful video, calculator, quiz, etc.

Three quick tips on building more backlinks:
  • Focus on high-quality links (local associations are great) over low-quality but high-quantity links.
    Spammers link to other spammers and will reduce your domain authority.
  • Build more linkable assets such as blogs, tools, and useful content.
  • Search Google for posts in your industry that are already ranking well, and build upon it. Many articles are overview only (like this one) where each category or topic can be expanded and improved.

4. Optimize your Google Business profile

Having a Google My Business page is THE MOST IMPORTANT factor in ranking well in search and getting more customers.

Google’s algorithm for search ranking does not just consider keywords, domain authority, and trustworthiness, but relevant locations with highly optimized profiles.
Optimizing your Google My Business profile is the first thing a business should do when focusing on improving SEO as it allows you to be the first result even when searching for broad keywords like “edmonton electrician”.
Here are a few examples:

THE GOOD
2021 01 30 10 18 49 colz electric Google Search We create high-performing websites for the construction industry.
 
THE BAD
2021 01 30 10 25 33 rite on electric Google Search We create high-performing websites for the construction industry.
THE UGLY
(No GMB profile at all, even when searching for the actual business name)

2021 01 30 10 24 22 taylored electrical services Google Search e1623850317423 We create high-performing websites for the construction industry.

Three quick tips on optimizing your Google My Business Profile:
  • Register your business at Google My Business and add your business information.
  • Start gathering reviews from your customers. Every business should have at least 5 reviews, and a great score is anything above 4.4.
  • Add a Call-to-Action similar to the first screenshot. Do you want customers to contact you before requesting a quote, or can you send them straight to one of your estimating forms?

5. Get social

Links from Social Media do not contribute much to your websites page ranking, but it does one thing better than any other medium. It spreads useful and viral content by incentivizing people to share it with their networks.

People can’t link to content they don’t know about, so you could be creating tremendous value on your site, and no one would ever know.
Someone much wiser than me once said, “It doesn’t matter what you know if nobody knows you know it.”

Three quick tips on engaging with Social Media:
  • Maintain a list of your best-performing content, update it, and share it regularly. Don’t feel bad about sharing old content. Remember that most social shares do not reach the full audience.
  • Don’t treat social media as a chore. Engage with your audience in an active and helpful way, and they will become your biggest fans.
  • Create more partnerships with the industry.
    Consider using your platform to elevate other businesses that you enjoy working with.Your goal here is to build real relationships and useful partnerships with people in your community. It’s not enough to just like every post they share, you need to engage, ask questions, and be useful to them.

6. Create high-quality infographics and imagery

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We live at high speed these days, and much can be communicated to our short attention spans with a well-designed infographic.

What is your customer searching for, or what is their unknown unknown? (i.e. what do they not know that they do not know?)

Infographics for home and car maintenance routines have been a home-run. Everyone needs a reminder once in a while to clean their dryer lint trap, replace their furnace filters, and de-ice their freezer.
How does this apply to your industry?

Three quick tips on creating useful imagery:
  • Use a site like Canva to quickly create images that can be directly shared to social media. Small, frequent, and useful images are more effective than once-per-year supermassive infographics.
  • Do something that someone did before, but do it BETTER.
    You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, and you can use existing content to build yours. Just don’t plagiarize.
  • Make sure you tell a story that is interesting and useful to your audience. Random information and statistics about your industry are not engaging unless you are posting to a forum specific to your trade.

7.  Submit your site to search engines

This is so simple that I wasn’t sure if I should include it, but too many site owners believe that they can “build it and they will come”.

Google will index your site if somebody else is linking to it, but how will someone link to it if they can’t find you? And how will Google find you if no one is linking to you?
Submitting your site to Google also verifies the ownership of the domain, which increases your domain authority.

Three quick tips on connecting your site to search engines:
  • Connect your site with Google Search Console. They will also give you useful information on which keywords are best for bringing users to your site.
  • If you want to go the extra mile, also submit your site to BingYahoo, and Yandex.
  • Make sure you sign up for interruption-of-service notifications. If your site goes down, you want to be the first to know.

8. Host or participate in a podcast

Do you like to hear yourself talk?

Do you often go on long and intense monologues?

Well, then podcasting may be for you.

Podcasts are one of the best ways to engage with your audience these days. The podcasting platform is still new enough that there are giant market gaps, especially in construction and trades-related categories.

Look around for podcasts that you can participate in as a guest, or start your own if you have the voice and personality for it.

Three quick tips on using podcasts to your advantage:
  • Search Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts for relevant shows in your market. Reach out with a topic in mind and ask if you can be a guest host. Remember to sell yourself and your story.
  • Getting started with your own podcast show takes little more than some time, about $100 in recording equipment (a decent microphone), and some editing skills.
    Here’s a great guide by Buffer on starting your own podcast.
  • If you’re set on starting your own podcast, see if you can find a good co-host or partner. If you don’t have the editing skills, maybe find someone that does.

9. Optimize for longtail keywords

Popular shorttail keywords like “edmonton electrician” might generate the most traffic, if you manage to rank for them, but targeting competitive keywords like that is not that useful for finding the right customers.

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Why?

Let’s say you’re a local commercial electrician, and you specialize in new commercial construction and high-rise buildings.
What you really want to rank for are keywords like “commercial electrical contractor edmonton”, because Google will only place so many links to your page on their first page of search results, and using highly competitive keywords is crowding out your niche long-tail keywords.

If your page is optimized for “edmonton electrician”, you’re going to get a ton of people looking for someone to fix their breaker box or install new outlets in their house. This is a waste of your time.

On the other hand, the “commercial electrical contractor edmonton” longtail keyword will not have as many monthly searches, but because it’s longer and more specific than the shorttail keyword, you will more easily rank in the search results and generate more qualified leads.

Here’s a screenshot of “edmonton electrician” and how many searches are done per month:

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And here’s a screenshot of “commercial electrical contractor edmonton”:

We create high-performing websites for the construction industry.

What are we seeing here? Way less volume for the second long-tail keyword, but these are the exact customers you want.

2021 01 30 13 30 52 Keyword ideas Standard Scaffold Insulation Google Ads We create high-performing websites for the construction industry.

Three (longer) quick tips on using longtail keywords:
  • Think about your ideal customer. What problems do they have and how are they looking for a solution?
    In the example of a commercial electrical contractor, they may go to Google and search for “edmonton commercial electrical contractor wcb cor”, because they’re looking for a qualified and experienced contractor with all of their safety requirements in order.
  • Write for the modern-day search algorithm. Google no longer ranks the sites with the most keywords or exact phrases on their site. We have progressed to user intent searching instead of keyword targeting. This means users are becoming more accustomed to typing in their exact problem into search instead of keywords.
    E.g. They used to search “edmonton electrician”, but now they are starting to search for “electrician to fix my breaker panel”.
  • Create useful content (ABU!). In our experience, we discovered that it’s easier to rank for longtail keywords in long-form blog posts and case studies.
    Instead of creating just another blog post, focus on actionable guides and data-driven posts that are helpful to your audience.

    SEO has evolved from strictly keyword targeting, so it is absolutely essential to have content that is highly specific and niche.
    Constantly study your customers, gather feedback, engage with them on social media, and understand what problems they are facing and how you can help them.


10. Optimize your highest traffic source

Google Analytics is a powerful tool when used properly. Unfortunately, most people don’t use it properly. Pulling useful information and valuable insights can be tricky, especially if you have a low-traffic site, but there are a few tricks to it.

You need to familiarize yourself with two areas of Google Analytics: Acquisition and Behavior.

Acquisition breaks down the data on where your visitors are coming from, and Behavior breaks down how they interact with your site.

Acquisition – How your customers are finding you.

Behavior – What your customers are doing on your site.

On the Behaviour page of Macsson Snow Removal, we can see that most people land on the homepage and then click on their Request A Quote form. After that, they return to the homepage and go to the About page or Contact page.

This is extremely useful because you can find out what your customers are after and how they look for it. Sometimes it’s just a quick quote, and sometimes they want to know more about your company.

Three quick tips on using Google Analytics:
  • Find easy and low-effort opportunities to boost traffic. Does one of your blog posts get 10x more traffic than the others? Use it to link to your other posts and update it as often as possible.
  • Look for your high-converting pages and improve their SEO.
    Our goal with SEO and content marketing is to drive potential customers to our site, and to engage them in a way that they trust us with their business.
    One of the best ways to do that is to capitalize on one of your best pages and use it to drive traffic to other parts of your site.
  • Find new keyword opportunities by tracking your internal site search. Does your site have a built-in search bar? If you do, you can analyze all of the inputs to gather information on what your customers are looking for.
    If you have a large search volume for “products”, it may mean that your products page is not visible or obvious enough for people to find.

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