The digital marketing landscape has evolved dramatically over the past few years, with a major shift towards online and social media marketing. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated this shift, as lockdowns and social distancing measures meant that traditional marketing channels were no longer effective. Many businesses, especially in the trades industry, had to pivot their marketing efforts to the online space quickly.
Tradies faced unique challenges during this time. With more people staying home, demand for trade services like plumbing, electrical work, and home renovations increased. However, restrictions made it difficult for tradies to market their services and find new customers. This highlighted the need for tradies to establish a strong online presence and utilise digital marketing strategies like search engine optimisation (SEO).
Off-page SEO refers to optimisation activities performed outside of a website, mainly through link building and social media engagement. For tradies, focusing on off-page SEO is crucial to drive traffic to their website, establish credibility, and improve search engine rankings. With the right SEO strategy, tradies can attract more qualified leads even in an increasingly competitive market.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO encompasses all the activities and strategies focused on earning quality backlinks and citations for a website instead of on-page SEO, which covers optimising the website itself. The main goal of off-page SEO is to signal to search engines that a website is an authoritative and trustworthy source of information on a given topic.
Unlike on-page SEO, which focuses on factors like meta tags, content, site architecture and speed, off-page SEO is all about developing relationships with other high-quality websites and content creators. By getting reputable sites to link back to your website, you can increase referral traffic and improve your search engine rankings.
For businesses like tradies, off-page SEO helps establish credibility and authority in their field. The more high-quality backlinks and citations a tradie’s website has, especially from industry-specific directories, review sites and niche blogs, the more trustworthy it appears in the eyes of Google and users searching for those services. Strong off-page SEO is key to ranking higher on search engines and driving qualified traffic to a tradie’s website.
How Does Off-Page SEO Work?
There are several core strategies and tactics involved in off-page SEO:
Link Building Tactics
Link building refers to acquiring backlinks, which are inbound hyperlinks from external websites pointing back to your own site. There are two main approaches to link building for off-page SEO:
This involves listing your business information (name, address, phone number) on high-authority online directories, review sites and niche listing platforms relevant to your industry. Examples include Yelp, BBB, Manta and industry-specific sites. The more quality listings your business has, the better local SEO and credibility you can build.
This involves contributing guest posts to popular blogs and publications in your field. By publishing high-quality content on external sites, you can include natural links back to your website within the post. Focus on getting placements on reputable sites with good domain authority and traffic. Avoid low-quality blogs or paying for links, which can negatively impact your SEO.
Social Media Connection
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter play an important role in off-page SEO by allowing you to establish authority, increase awareness and drive referral traffic to your website. Integrating your website with social media accounts through link sharing and cross-promotion can significantly boost traffic and improve SEO.
For tradies, actively maintaining company social profiles, engaging followers by sharing content and reviews, and leveraging paid promotions can help establish your brand across social channels. This makes it easier to get clicks back to your website. Using branded hashtags and tagging locations can also help with local SEO and visibility.
Google My Business Listing
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows local businesses to manage their online presence on Google Search and Maps. For tradies, having a complete and optimised GMB listing is crucial for off-page SEO.
Key benefits of GMB include:
- Increased visibility in local Google Searches
- Ability to showcase important business information like contact details, location, opening hours, photos, etc.
- Customers can easily find and engage with your business profile
- Business profiles appear prominently in Google Maps/Satellite view for relevant searches
- Can gain customer reviews to establish credibility
By regularly updating and maintaining your GMB listing with complete and accurate details, tradies can enhance local findability and amplify their digital presence. This is hugely impactful for off-page SEO.
Reviews and Forums
Customer reviews on sites like GMB, Yelp and industry forums create social proof and credibility for tradie businesses. Actively encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on relevant platforms and being responsive to negative feedback allows tradies to showcase trust and authority in their field. This helps support off-page SEO efforts.
Understanding the Role of Content Marketing
Content marketing complements SEO efforts by allowing you to create and promote valuable, relevant content that resonates with your target audience. For tradies, having a blog on your website filled with industry-specific articles demonstrates your knowledge and establishes you as a thought leader.
Some tips for effective content marketing that also boosts SEO:
- Research target customer interests and pain points, then create content addressing those needs. Optimising content for SEO keywords gets you found more easily.
- Focus on quality over quantity. Well-researched, useful, original content performs best. Avoid thin content just for the sake of more posts.
- Promote your content across social media, PPC ads, email newsletters, etc., to drive traffic. The more engagement your content gets, the better it is for SEO.
- Guest post on industry blogs and link back to your website where relevant. This allows you to tap into an existing audience.
- Include visual assets like images, videos, infographics, etc., to make your content more engaging.
By publishing valuable, optimised content on your site and beyond, tradies can attract and convert more customers while boosting their off-page SEO.
Importance of Local SEO
For tradies offering location-based services, local SEO is hugely important for off-page optimisation. The goal is to improve your visibility and rankings for searches within your geographic service area.
There are several key local SEO strategies tradies should focus on. Firstly, optimise your website content itself to target location-based searches. This includes using relevant keywords in page titles, meta descriptions and headers such as “Brisbane plumber” or “Perth bathroom renovations”. Create localised blog posts and service pages tailored to each region you serve.
Secondly, ensure your online business listings accurately reflect your service area. Fully complete your Google My Business profile with exact details like address, regions covered, and local phone numbers. Build matching citations on other directories like Yelp using consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) details. Gain customer reviews that mention your business location and the area you serve.
Finally, connect with your local community offline, too. Sponsor relevant local events, partner with neighbourhood businesses, and find opportunities to interact face-to-face with potential customers. On your website, use schema markup to identify your business type, address and service locations. By combining online and offline local signals, tradies can boost local SEO visibility and rankings in their target markets. This allows you to be easily found by nearby customers looking for your services.
SEO Monitoring and Analytics
It is important to continuously monitor your off-page SEO efforts and analyse performance using tools like:
Provides data on website traffic sources, acquisitions, conversions and other behaviour metrics to gauge SEO effectiveness.
Google Search Console
Shows how your site appears on Google and valuable data like top-performing keywords, clickthrough rates and search queries.
SEO tools to monitor backlinks, organic keywords ranking for, competitors’ strategies and more.
Tracks keyword rankings, local listings, link profiles and on-page optimisation recommendations.
Get notified of new keyword mentions, backlinks gained, online reviews, etc., related to your business.
Regular monitoring and analytics are crucial for tradies to maximise their off-page SEO results. Using tools like Google Search Console, Moz, and SEMrush, tradies can identify successful tactics and double down on what works, such as link-building outreach that drives measurable increases in organic traffic. They can also quickly discover issues like rankings drops, lost backlinks, or duplicate content.
With the right analytics dashboards and tracking in place, tradies can demonstrate ROI from SEO efforts through metrics like higher conversions from organic searches. Monitoring tools also facilitate adapting SEO strategies based on changing search trends and competitor activity. Tradies should set clear SEO goals (e.g. 10+ new quality backlinks monthly) and use analytics to guide continuous optimisation. With rigorous tracking of key organic search KPIs, tradies can maintain their edge and outperform competitors.
SEO Best Practices for Tradies
Here are some top off-page SEO best practices tradies should prioritise:
- Update and maintain complete business listings on Google My Business, Yelp, YellowPages, etc., with current information.
- Collect positive customer reviews on these directories and social media. Respond professionally to any negative feedback.
- Create unique, optimised website content targeting service locations and relevant keywords.
- Share company news, service updates, helpful tips, etc., on social media. Include links to the website.
- Sponsor or participate in community events to connect with local customers. Distribute promotional material/handouts containing website URLs.
- Pitch relevant, insightful expert quotes to journalists writing articles on the trade industry. They may link back to your site.
- Send personalised outreach emails when prospecting link-building opportunities, don’t blast spam requests.
- Prioritise getting backlinks from .edu and .gov domains to increase trust and authority.
- Disavow low-quality links from questionable websites to protect rankings. Monitor new backlinks gained using SEO tools.
- Create a Google Alert to keep track of new link-building opportunities, keyword ranking and online reviews.
By sticking to white-hat tactics and best practices, tradies can execute an effective, long-term off-page SEO strategy that connects with customers and steadily improves website visibility.
The Value of Professional SEO Services
As highlighted in this post, off-page SEO is essential for tradies looking to amplify their digital presence, attract more customers and establish credibility online. By actively building quality backlinks, engaging on social media, optimising online listings and monitoring efforts, tradies can reap tremendous benefits.
However, mastering SEO does require significant time, effort and expertise. Rather than attempting SEO themselves, it is wise for tradies to partner with a professional agency like TradesFormation. Our team of experienced business and sales coaching offer end-to-end solutions tailored to the trade industry, taking care of everything from technical website optimisation to building your business online. We use proven tactics to enhance local search visibility and drive qualified traffic to your website.
If you run a trade business and want to unlock the power of search engines, get in touch with the experts at TradesFormation today. Our superior solutions provide the edge you need to find more customers and grow your brand online.