SEO for Tradesmen: A Beginners Guide for Local Tradies

It’s not rocket science to know that tradesmen, like all businesses, need more leads and customers from their website.

By: John Devlin

SEO Tradesmen

If the traffic to your website is on the low side and you are ready to do something about your tradesmen SEO, then this post is for you.

I have been in the marketing for tradesmen space for coming on ten years and mainly specialised in home improvement SEO marketing.

Below is a new test site built for local lead generation.

As the image shows, keywords are on the rise and traffic is increasing quickly.

In this post, I list the exact SEO strategy I use to get traffic like this to all the business sites I optimise.

How to do SEO for tradesmen

Today, I am going to show you: how to do SEO for home improvement and construction companies.

Also how to get your business into both local and organic spots.

By doing this well, you can guarantee an increase in potential clients contacting you and hopefully becoming customers.

Jump to the section that you want to read.

I am not going to give you the usual rubbish on tradesmen marketing about how you should write more content and post on social media.

Although that stuff has it a place to get traffic for your business, It’s not going to get your tradesman website moving up the search results at speed.

In 2021 tradesman SEO strategies are tougher than say ten years ago, with the arrival of big sites like Checkatrade and to join the more established lead generators like

All these companies use SEO to rank for thousands of keywords and are burning real estate on the first page of Google, leaving fewer spots for the local tradesman marketing their businesses.

Well, I want to share a few things with you first before we get into how to do SEO for a tradesmen website yourself.

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Google supports local home services websites

Think about it logically, do you think Google and other search engines, enjoy seeing these large organisations dragging hundreds of thousands of their users from their platform.

Google is a business after all if it could show the answer to your query itself every time it would.

Look, it’s already doing it for specific keywords.

Imagine how that feels to the weather website owners! 

No traffic is coming there.

Google wants to return the best information combined with the best user experience in the quickest time possible.

There are tradesmen ranking top 3 with good SEO

Check out the two images below, they all show local tradies doing a quality job of their digital marketing.

This local business website is outranking all the big lead generation companies for the phrase “plumber London” and other valuable keywords.

It doesn’t come harder than that. 

Any general contractor SEO agency would agree, that is the most challenging search term to rank in the UK plumbing services market. 

And in fact, the first four spots of the first page are all local plumbers doing great SEO.

What about this guy, he’s got himself jammed in 2nd spot against 3 of the UK’s biggest home service companies.

If your website is not ranking keywords on the first page and getting targeted traffic, then there is just one simple truth.

Your site is just not good enough to rank... yet!

It’s that simple really, big companies like Yell and Yelp across the pond are pushing the little guys out.

Google WANTS to see you are up there, but the next bit is the top and bottom of it all.

It won’t allow a poor website to rank on its first page.

What defines poor?

  • Slow load time
  • Broken links
  • Poorly optimized images
  • Not mobile responsive
  • Thin pages / short content
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Website rarely updated.
  • No backlinks

Here’s 15 more if it’s got your attention.

If you’re sticking around, I am about to show the most critical parts of tradesmen SEO that will skyrocket any local firm towards page 1 and further.

So for SEO to work for any local business and work well, we need to do three things.

Let get started

Before we dive in, we need to check the exact NAP (name, address and phone number we are using on Google.

Please copy and paste this into a Word doc or Google doc; we are going to use this a fair bit, never write this (mistakes happen).

Always copy and paste this when you use it to ensure consistency.

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Is your website mobile responsive?

Check it here for free.

If we have a green pass badge, great we move on

(Note) Don’t worry too much about the yellow warning; it’s not an error its a warning to do with page loading issues.

If the site is responsive and loads quickly which we are coming onto next, you’re good to go.

What if it fails?

If the website fails the responsive test, then this needs to be fixed before we move on, contact your web design agency.

If you are doing your digital marketing and built the site yourself, then hire a developer from Upwork or People Per Hour.

You will be able to find someone for less than £50 to fix that issue.

Here’s how to do it.


If you think your website is crap (and be honest), this will be the start of your issues as we go down this list. 

Don’t be afraid to start again with a new site. 

Go for WordPress, here’s why and choose a tradesman’s theme that is built for local lead generation, speed and is fully responsive. 

Something like this is simple; you add your change the colours, add images and content. 

The techie stuff is virtually done right out of the box.

Like this theme? You can get it here.

Check page loading times

Super quick section, you need the load speed to be under 3 seconds, or it will hurt your rankings, and if visitors do stick around it will cripple your conversions which means fewer leads.

Oh no, we are not having that!

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Check the site speed free

Use this free tool called Pingdom and check the loading times. 

Remember to site the “test from” drop down to your location.

If it’s under 3 seconds, nice one.

If it’s around 4 seconds, I’d personally have it fixed, but it’s up to you.

If it’s over 4 seconds, then this will hurt your SEO so follow the steps above and hire someone to fine-tune it.

Take the time to do it; you won’t regret it.

The next step of promoting your business in search engines is to get listed in all local and relevant directories.


Local & Relevant Directories

Relevance – We are going to be choosing only industry-relevant directories

Localise your business – We are going to tell Google we are a local company in this location.

Backlinks – We are coming onto to link building soon, but needless to say links for the two above should be the foundation of any local internet marketing campaign.

There are tons of reasons why you want to list your website in directories, but here is the top three, and how they help SEO for tradespeople.

Finding a relevant or local directory (or 20!)

You may well know 1-2 directories that only list companies that cover your services. Excellent get listed.

But you will need more.

Here’s how to find them (like an SEO expert)

  • Type in the directory and your trade and trawl through a mix of lists, blog posts or whatever other rubbish is online
  • Use keywords and search operators which are strings of code to tell Google to find them

The search operators

  1. Inurl:directory “industry”
  2.  Inurl:directory “location”

Just go to Google, flip out what is in inverted commas and put in your industry keywords or location. 

Scan the results and go sign up for everything that fits the criteria above.


Building a Social Fortress

Most tradespeople I have met don’t love social media, it can be complicated, and none of the social media platforms tradespeople use is instant lead machines which is why tradies don’t invest here in general.

But we are NOT going to leverage these social media sites for leads; we are going to leverage them for trust.

Google only wants to rank sites that are trusted authorities, even at a local level, it’s trying to determine who’s the best for its user.

And these sites are some of the most trusted sites in the world.

And we want to be associated with those social media powerhouses.

Claim your free listing at all of these below, even if you have zero intention of using them.

The most prominent companies in the UK are on these social media platforms, and our business is going to be too.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Quora

Fill out the profile professionally and include your website with a backlink.

Progress Notes

If you have got this far and your website is fast, loads well on iPhones, Androids and more have trusted profiles at some of the most important sites online and has 10-20 local and niche relevant backlinks then well done.

Your SEO is on course, and you are well on your way to first-page search results.

The next four sections require their pages and own tutorials; these following sections are where the SEO for tradesmen goes to the next level.

If you have completed all of the tasks, we’ve discussed so far.


Citations and Nap

Citations are just mentions of your business on the web from other credible sources.

Most can be built free of charge, and a consistent NAP (name, address and phone number) plays a big part here.

Here are 5 of the best:

It’s painstakingly time-consuming.

In this guide, It will show you how to find them, how to create them, and how you get a professional company to do the whole thing for a few quid.

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Keyword Research

Keyword research, researching keywords, sound simple enough, right?

You’d be amazed at how many online marketing professionals can’t get this right.

Even with local SEO and location keyword research.

This post will show you not only how to choose the most profitable keywords for search engine optimisation, but also how to steal your competitor’s keywords for your business.

Read my guide on how I do keyword research for local tradesmen.


Onpage SEO - what is it?

On-page SEO is the things we change on our site like keywords and metadata that helps search engines understand what we are trying to say to them.

In turn on page-SEO helps search engines rank our local business for the terms we want to acquire.

To familiarise yourself with on-page tactics read chapter 1 and 2 of this epic guide

Professional on-page search engine optimisation

To continue improving our website, you are going to need quality on-page SEO for your local business.


Building high quality backlinks

All of the above, completed correctly will probably be enough to see your site on the first page of Google.

But before your SEO efforts have you climbing that first page, you are going to need trusted and quality backlinks.

Backlinks are what will move the needle; this guide will show you how to build local backlinks well.

It takes time to be able to acquire good backlinks and things like local content marketing can help.

If you’d like to use a trusted source to go them for you, then I’d recommend these guys.

I’ve used them before for local links, and they deliver each time.

Last Word

If you’ve come this far you’re committed to doing your digital marketing for tradesmen right, remember it takes time but your now doing all the things a good home improvement marketing agency would be doing.

But the rewards of ranking high up on Google and using SEO to catch those precious local leads when customers are ready to buy products and services makes the whole thing worth it.

Best of luck, follow me on Facebook for more internet marketing tips, make sure to let me know how you are getting on.

SEO Tradesmen

John Devlin

With over 20 years working in the home improvement industry, I have successfully transitioned from a small trades business owner to a digital marketer. I knew very early that the secret to growing a trades business would rely heavily on learning scalable lead generation strategies and marketing the business better than others online. This blog is where I share everything I learned (and continue to learn) on my journey.