Monthly Archives: October 2021

Simple SEO Tips When Your Contracting Business Doesn’t Have a Marketing Budget

You probably know that if you want business success, you’ve got to have an online presence. But in order for your potential customers to find you online, they need to be able to find you in a search. Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is a way of targeting the content you put online to help your business in a search. You can pay a marketing company to handle this for you, but there are a few things you can do for yourself. Here’s what you can try.

Search for Common Terms
In order to figure out where you would like your page to show up, you need to figure out what’s there. Some keywords are overused, and it’s hard to tell how much until you start searching for them yourself. For most small businesses that operate within a limited location, your ideal keywords will be the type of services you offer in your broad location. If you live in a small suburb or in a rural area, you may need to search for multiple nearby cities to get a sense for what may work. Search terms that don’t bring up a lot of hits may have a need that’s not met, or a lack of demand. Use your best judgment to determine which is the most likely scenario.

Try Various Types of Keywords
There are many different ways to approach keywords. Potential clients may use a variety of them, or stick to just one. For example, you might have clients who search for “plumber in Los Angeles,“ while others search for “plumber Los Angeles.” There’s been a resurgence in the use of long-tail keywords, which are long key phrases that encapsulate what the user is looking for. You may have more of an opportunity to increase your search rankings by using them yourself. You might try creating a few different pages that each focus on a different keyword style.

Answer Questions
To improve your search engine rankings, adding value is the thing you need to do most. When you search for something on Google, you’ll often see a list of similar questions that people search for, related to your topic. These snippets can be an excellent way to get your business onto the first page. You may have to make a few guesses as to which questions are most important to your prospective clients. But if you can answer them better than other companies, you might be able to get a big reward that way.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Years ago, many companies aimed to bring their search engine rankings up by cramming each page with the same keyword dozens of times. This is an old trick that may have worked in 2010, but is likely to cause problems for you in 2020. People visit your site or your social media pages because they are looking for relevant information. A page full of nothing but keywords isn’t likely to get them what they need. As a result, Google tends to penalize pages full of keywords with lower rankings. Aim to keep the content natural, with a handful of keywords sprinkled in. Using them in headings or near the top of the page can be the most helpful.

Track Your Progress
Although you’re trying to do this on a tight budget, that doesn’t mean you should just make a bunch of random efforts and hope that something sticks. You still need some kind of a strategy. In order to know how well your SEO techniques are paying off, you’ll need to track it somehow. Social media platforms may have easy ways to track visitors and engagement. If you want to track the performance of your website, it might be worth signing up for something like Google Analytics. Many of these services offer a free version, but it’s usually pretty limited. Consider it a way to evaluate your options and decide which one is worth making an investment.

SEO is one way that people can find your business, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. To discover how becoming a licensed contractor helps you build the business of your dreams, contact CSLS today!

How to Use Your Senses to Assess Construction Site Safety

As you start to think about construction site safety from the vantage point of a business owner, you’ll spend a lot of time reading rules and guidelines. But once you start to master them, you’ll find that you need to be able to assess the situation regularly and quickly. If you use your five senses to your advantage, you’ll see how your natural instincts can tell you what could be wrong.

Sight
What you see on the jobsite is probably your first indicator of its safety. For most people, sight is the first or possibly the second sense they rely on to understand their surroundings. You can use your vision to evaluate the surrounding environment for each task you’ll be doing on the site. It’s important to get a 360° view, because it’s likely that there may be hazards behind you. For example, if you’re working in a busy warehouse, you should know if there will be equipment in use behind you, or people moving through with small vehicles. Working with multiple people helps to increase the likelihood that someone will see a disaster before it happens. But this isn’t guaranteed, so you’ll want to evaluate it in advance.

Sound
Sounds on the construction site can be trickier to navigate than what you see. This is because many pieces of construction equipment generate a lot of noise, and that isn’t necessarily an indicator that something is wrong. In some cases, the task you’re doing produces so much noise that you need to wear protective gear to reduce sound levels. This means that other people, who might call out to you to get your attention in case of a hazard, may not be able to get through. Tools for construction safety often use a combination of indicators, like a loud beep and a bright flashing light, to get someone’s attention even if they may can only hear or see it.

Smell
If you have ever walked into a room that had left natural gas running too long, you know the unmistakable smell. This scent exists to warn you of danger. In some cases, a bad smell is an indicator that disaster is about to strike. A strong burning smell may come as the result of a natural construction process, or it could be an accidental fire. Unfortunately, people are often trained to ignore bad smells because it is sometimes impolite to comment on them. But it’s better to make a note of them than to tune them out. Of course, for contaminants like carbon monoxide, you may not be able to smell it at all. That’s why you install things like carbon monoxide detectors to alert you, in the event that the room is not properly ventilated.

Touch
You’re less likely to rely on your sense of touch when you can see and hear clearly. But if you can’t, your sense of touch may be the difference between safe passage and a fall. Falls on construction sites are one of the most common sources of injury or even death. They’re more likely to happen in places where people cannot see clearly, or where they are distracted by the task at hand. When you’re working above the ground, make sure that you can keep both feet flat. If you start to feel that you don’t have a firm grip, you may need to use additional safety equipment or temporarily suspend work.

When to Trust Your Instincts
When you’ve got a long day of work and you’re most of the way through, it’s tempting to ignore your instincts just so you can get the job done and go home. Statistically, this is when accidents are more likely to happen. You don’t need to be on constant alert to the point that you can’t focus on the task. But you should certainly take breaks to evaluate your environment for possible hazards. That way, you can manage them before you start the task, and ensure that you leave the environment safe for the next person.

Trusting your senses is one way to keep your contracting business safe for years to come. To learn more about taking the contractor licensing exam, contact CSLS today!

5 Ways Working in Construction Isn’t Like TV

If you want to work in construction, you should have some idea of what you can expect. Of course, it’s easy to look at construction professionals on TV or in the movies as a starting point. But those depictions aren’t always accurate. Here are five ways that your construction career won’t be like what you see on TV.

You’ll Probably Run Multiple Projects at Once
Licensed contractors on renovation TV shows may invest all of their time into working on one project before shifting gears to the next one. In reality, there’s a high likelihood that you will be balancing several larger projects at the same time. This might not be the case for repair jobs or other fields wherein most of your work can be completed within a day. But you’ll still have to handle things like scheduling and consultations, even in those instances. As such, you’ll have to build experience in balancing the needs of several clients at once.

You Can’t Work 24/7
You know how it is with these budget renovations intended to provide a big surprise reveal at the end: Everyone works nonstop until it’s done. But if you do this as a licensed contractor, you’re going to run yourself into the ground in very short order. In most cases, what you see on TV isn’t even true. They stage it so that it looks like everything is done in a very short period of time. In fact, you may have to stagger the work to accommodate the needs of employees and subcontractors. There’s also the fact that some jobs can’t be done in tandem, so you’re going to have to wait for someone else’s schedule.

Progress Happens in Pieces
If you are a regular contractor, focusing all the progress toward a surprise reveal at the end could be a nightmare. In the real world, clients may want to see progress throughout the project. That’s because it is important to confirm that everything is happening according to specification. The last thing you need is to get to the end and realize that there is something that the client isn’t happy with, and you could have saved yourself a lot of time if you found that out earlier. Instead, you may have progress that happens in stages, with breaks in-between while you work on other projects or continue negotiating with clients.

There’s a Lot of Activity Behind the Scenes
When you own your own business, you’ll have to do a lot of things beyond showing up to a job site and performing a construction task. The TV shows also have a lot of activity going on behind the scenes, but they make it seem as though there isn’t. They want to give the impression that what you see is truly what you get. But in construction, if you don’t do the necessary tasks for administration, permitting, or inspections, you could have a project that fails or a business that can’t keep going. As a licensed contractor, you may have to wear a lot of hats unless you can hire people to do that work for you.

You’ll Need Lots of Practice
It’s a little horrifying to watch the host of a TV show just start slamming into walls or breaking countertops, especially if they don’t have a lot of skills or experience in the field. If home renovation TV has done any damage, it’s the sense that anybody can do construction whether they have the training or not. In truth, people spend years just developing the knowledge that they need to run a business on their own as a licensed contractor. They will also spend their entire careers learning and refining their skills. You may be handy to start with, but you’ll have a lot of room to grow.

When you first start to get into construction, it can be tempting to see it the way it is presented in media. But you’ll soon see how different it is, especially as you work toward becoming a licensed contractor. For more information about courses to help you prepare for the contractor licensing exam, contact CSLS today!