Contractor Website Design Tip – Choosing Service Areas

choosing-service-areas_blogWhen planning your website and marketing strategy, determining your service area is a crucial aspect of this process. Where do you want to focus your business? Where are your clients located? What areas would you like to target to get more customers?

Some of our clients want to focus on an entire region or state, others want to avoid working in larger cities and would rather focus their marketing efforts to towns outside the perimeter. We recommend focusing the optimization of your website on a large nearby city in order to reach our larger audience, but it’s ultimately up to you. Where do you want to work?

Are Potential Clients Searching for Your Specified Area?

When determining your service area, or at least, what you’re going to call your service area, a factor you should consider is how your potential clients input location-specific searches.

Some of this comes down to being a local. We’re based out of Pensacola, Florida, and while many of our employees have lived and traveled throughout the U.S. and U.K., it is doubtful we’re going to know the local lingo of your specific area.

Take this for example: The residents of “Town A” may refer to a specific region between “Town A” and “City B” as “Lake Name area” due to a lake that spans part of “Town A” and adjoining cities. It’s a way of referring to a larger specific region, but it’s also “localese.” We’re not going to know the importance of this area if you don’t mention it to us. Most of the internet probably doesn’t know about it either; so it’s up to you to determine if this area is worth optimizing for on your website.

You have to consider how often someone is going to search for a plumber or remodeling contractor in “Lake Name area.” Sometimes it’s only worth it to mention these type of areas – not optimize for them. The same goes for counties. When people add counties to their searches, they’re more than likely looking for the DMV or some other government institution, not so much contractors.

We understand you may feel nervous about focusing your website’s content on a specific town – you don’t want to exclude all the other areas you service, after all. Hence the reason many of our clients choose to focus their optimization on counties or regions. Using these larger areas as the main focus of your content optimization isn’t going to help you as much as choosing the town your business is located in or the next largest city around, however. This is why we encourage our clients to market for “Large City Contractor” and have a list of cities we can create specific city pages for under the service areas section of the website.

What Cities to List in Your Service Area

Listing every city within 200 miles isn’t likely to do you much good, especially if you aren’t actually willing to drive 2-3 hours out to take care of a simpler service request. We don’t blame you, either! At some point, you start losing money rather than gaining business.

Likewise, listing every subdivision or community in a town isn’t likely to help your marketing. When was the last time you were searching for a service or product online and used a subdivision as a point of reference?

You may want to promote that you service an entire state, but most of your target audience is going to be searching locally. So don’t neglect the importance of targeting specific cities in your service area. Focus your service areas on towns and cities you actually want to drum up business in, so we can turn potential search inquiries into leads for you.

Getting Local with Geo-Specific Content & City Pages

Most of your potential clients will search for a service, company, or commodity using a location specific search. For example, a homeowner in Atlanta in need of plumbing repairs will likely search for “Atlanta plumber.” At Footbridge Media, we specialize in creating geo-specific content based on your targeted service area. This could be anything from a city to a region, town, county, state or zip code.

The issue is determining what your clients will actually be searching for in terms of locality. This is where city pages become useful. If your company is located near a large city, we’ll try to focus the majority of the website on that area; but we also create city pages to target specific towns and areas you want to reach.

Are you struggling with reaching a certain location in your service area? Consider signing up for our Pay Per Click service. PPC campaigns are a great way to really target your audience.

About 

Aaron O’Hanlon is a marketing consultant with Footbridge Media , a marketing firm, specializing in the contracting industry. It is his mission to create awareness of marketing online to the home improvement industry, and to educate, inform and assist contractors on taking over their own online presence.