Is SEO for Local Contractors a Scam?

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I decided to open with this subject because I know a lot of local contractors get burned over and over again by SEO companies that promised they will own Google for them, and after 6 months, all they do is take their money.

You are probably getting hammered with e-mails and phone calls every single day from SEO gurus that guarantee you the first page of Google. First of all, nobody can guarantee that; secondly, they don’t even bother to ask if you are interested at all, whether you need more jobs, what your goals are for the next 12 to 36 months, etc.

No, all they want is money from you and hopefully not to contact them ever again.

What I can tell you is that SEO works. It’s not some magical system that will get your phone to ring more often; it’s a simple matter of getting attention from the people in your area.

People used to use phone books and yellow pages to find local contractors to help them with their roofs, windows, etc.

Nowadays they just flip out their phone, go to and search for it. Let’s I live in Oklahoma city and looking for a roofer to inspect my roof.

I’ll go to Google, type in something along the lines of “Roofing contractors in Oklahoma City” and check out the first couple of results (I’ll never go to the second page of Google).

If I find a roofing website with a nice number of positive results, great pictures, there is a big chance I’ll give them a call.

That’s the complete story of SEO. If you want people from your area to call you when they need a roofer, then you need to be on the first page of Google. The bigger the city, the more people there are searching for a roofer every month. In bigger cities, there are a couple of thousands of people searching every month.

Let’s use basic math and say there are a 1000 people a month looking for a roofer. By being on the first page you can capture between 15 and 35%.

1000×25% = 250 people

250 people who will visit your website. Depending on your website, out of those 250, around 10–40% will call you.

So that’s 30 to 50 calls a month.

Why do you need to be on the first page of search results? Well, take a look at this diagram below. You can see that almost nobody will check out the second page of Google.

There is a famous saying that “the best place to hide a dead body is on a second page of Google”.



The process of getting your website on the first page of search results is called SEO or Search Engine Optimization, and that’s it.

Unlike Google Adwords or any other type of marketing, you don’t need to pay for every click. Once you are there, everybody can find it and if the website looks good (i.e., you have a lot of reviews), they’ll give you a call.

SEO will give you the biggest ROI but there is a high change somebody already scammed you.



How Do People Get Scammed by SEO Companies?


Each day, more and more people are getting into this SEO game because they think it’s easy money. It’s definitely not, but it’s easy to trick people with it.

SEO companies are spamming local ones daily by pitching them their service. Once they gain your trust for $200, $500 or $1500 a month, they do some basic optimization that takes 5 to 10 hours a month tops, and they move on to the next potential client.

You’ll keep paying for the next 3 to 6 months, and once you realize there are no results, you’ll fire them. They simply don’t care because they’ll find another local company. They do little to no work, charge you a couple of thousands of dollars and move on.

The other side of the coin are the people or companies that can rank anything on Google but they don’t want to deal with local companies. There are much bigger opportunities out there for them to do, like, for example, rank for national keywords that have tens of thousands of monthly searches.

You have to find that sweet spot. It’s hard, in my experience, 75% of all SEO gurus are scammers or beginners, 15% are SEO masters that don’t want to deal with local contractors and then there are 10% of us that like to deal with people, know how to do SEO, and like what they do.



Things SEO Gurus Are Using to Trick You into Believing They Know Their Job

1. Ask them to show you rankings from bigger areas.

They’ll show you 1st-page rankings of some roofer in another city. Most of the time, it will be a really small city that is easy to rank. So they build a fake website, throw in some basic SEO and spam the website with links in order for it to rank for a couple of months. You’ll see that and maybe think to yourself, “Wow, they really know their stuff”. You have to understand that ranking in Google is all about competition. It’s one thing to rank for a keyword like “roofing Cooper City” (which has a population of 35 000 in Florida) and for a keyword like “roofing contractor Dallas”.

2. Ask for references.

If you are not 100% convinced, call the references they provide. If they are legit, their references will be able to confirm that.

3. Don’t expect to get on top of Google (that will potentially get you hundreds of thousands a month in revenue) for a couple hundred bucks a month.

Real marketing companies (SEOs) need 50 to 150 hours a month for optimizing your website to get you on the top of Google search results. You can’t expect they’ll work for less than people flipping burgers get.

4. Talk with them about your industry.

If your industry is roofing, they need to know at least the difference between residential and commercial roofing, what are different types of roofing, and where can you make the most out of your money. Again, it’s one thing to rank for “Roof Repair + City” and a whole different game ranking for a specific type of roof like “rubber roofing + City”. That rubber roofing may have only 10 searches a month, but if those rankings can get you 1 job in 6 months, I am sure your SEO investment will pay for itself.



Bonus Section


I found an example of a pricing structure which I think it is a complete fake and I believe that, if you ask for their services, you will probably just lose money. I found such a company and I’m going to dissect their fancy language on their service page so you’ll never fall for the same phrasing again.

[expand title=”Click here to read the bonus section”]

In the following photo you will see a list of things they will do for your company:


PRICING: To manage a real SEO campaign this is not enough, on the other side for the things they mention for each package maybe too much.

15 TRACKED KEYWORDS: Why only 10 or 15? Why not rank them all? It doesn’t make any sense. You cannot possibly know what someone will type into Google. You are not paying for rankings, you are paying for more clients every month.

DIRECTORY TRACKING MONITORING: It doesn’t mean anything! If somebody finds your Yelp listing (or any other) and decide to contact you, you will receive that e-mail or phone call. Directory Tracking Monitoring is a fancy word for basically nothing.

REPAIR + UPDATE LISTINGS: What if you don’t have any listings (your Yelp profile is an example of a listing)? Does this mean they won’t do anything? Always go for at least 300 listings. They will probably build only 25 (the biggest ones).

GOOGLE, YAHOO & BING OPTIMIZATION: Again, it doesn’t mean anything. If you hire somebody to get you leads, of course, they will optimize for every search engine. It takes approximately 5 hours to optimize it.

WEBSITE CREATION: It could potentially be a disaster, but there is a chance you’ll get a nice looking website. Be careful and always check the overall speed of that website.

SEO-FRIENDLY WEBSITE MOBILE RESPONSIVE TECHNOLOGY: Fancy terminology, but basically, it means they will build you a mobile version of your website. They have to do that because Google won’t rank you on mobile devices if they don’t do that.

REVIEW WIDGET: They will install a plugin so people can leave reviews. It takes literally 5 minutes to set it up.

REAL-TIME-REVIEW ALERTS: Once again, it doesn’t mean anything.

KEYWORD RANKING REPORT: You can track them yourself for absolutely free or charge.

BUSINESS LISTING REPORT: This is the same as the service mentioned above, REPAIR + UPDATE LISTINGS.

GOOGLE ANALYTICS: You can set it up in 5 minutes.

ONLINE MARKETING EXPERT CONSULTATION: There’s nothing “expert” in their services. I don’t know what this means. You can get that for FREE easily.

MONTHLY OPTIMIZATIONS + UPDATES: This can mean a bunch of different things. Again, just some fancy content to distract people who don’t know anything about online marketing.

To sum it all up, what they offer is the following: they will create a new website, install Google Analytics, build a couple of citations and that is it.

6 months and $3000 later, your website will be buried deep inside of Google and you will have to find another company.

Just to give you an example of what they are missing: the most important part of SEO are backlinks – they don’t mention them at all! What about website speed, on-page optimization, Google schema, press releases, Google Maps listing optimization, blog, social profiles management…?

They didn’t mention anything!

This was just an example; there are tons of other companies doing the same thing. Using “fancy” online marketing language to lure you in and all they do is take your money for a few months and move on to another business owner.



If you have suspicions about any other marketing agency that you want to do business with or you are currently paying somebody and you are not satisfied, or you have any questions, feel free to LINK them below and I’ll tell you what I think.