The economy is finally recovering, people are buying homes again and, with spring here and summer just around the corner, more and more people will be taking advantage of the warmer weather to tackle projects around the house or flat that are best done in weather when one can have one’s windows open for ventilation. These often include home renovations for which homeowners call upon skilled tradespeople to carry out most or all of the work.
This is all good news for tradespeople targeting a local market, but there’s something else to consider: that local market can be challenging to reach through the phone book and through traditional forms of advertising because people aren’t using the Yellow Pages like they once did for locating people who can do household repairs, fix the air conditioning or plumbing and so forth.
As with everything else, people are now doing simple Internet searches to find everything they need. This is particularly true now that smartphones have become the norm. If your potential clients have Android phones, for example, you want them to be able to find your details simply by typing in “plumbers Newcastle” or “home renovations North East” from the Google search field on their phone. The right key phrases will do the job just like magic.
This magic is called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO.
How SEO works is simple: the mysterious powers behind the Internet and major search engines such as Google and Yahoo rank the results of certain keywords, and top-ranked results based on those keywords or key phrases are displayed most prominently in search results. Going back to the plumber in Newcastle example, let’s say that you already rely somewhat on word-of-mouth advertising and have been recommended by past clients who remember which street your business is located on. Since the odds do not favour the presence of multiple plumbing companies on the same street, a key phrase such as “plumber (street name) Newcastle” is likely to reveal only one accurate search result, and this is the one that will lead today’s Internet- and smartphone-savvy individuals in Newcastle who have plumbing problems to pick up the phone and call you for their repairs.
But how do you gain this type of visibility on the Internet, you ask? In brief, you do so by developing relevant online content that Internet users will be directed to when they type in relevant keywords and key phrases.