Many contractors and home remodeling businesses that are first starting out, struggle with generating qualified leads. In the process of advertising or digitally marketing their business, they often find that their efforts either don’t reach their target audience or reach clients they can’t serve.
While it’s great to receive requests for a quote from a customer, if they live across the country or not a good match for your services, it’s unlikely for that lead to pan out. You may have heard a little bit about local SEO for remodeling contractors and are wondering, “do I need this for my business?”
The short answer is “of course!”. But, our goal today is to help you understand “why”. We’ll dissect what local SEO is, the basics of how it works, the benefits of local SEO for a home remodeling business, and lastly, what are some things you can start doing right now to make sure your business and website don’t fall behind.
What Is Local SEO?
There are many obstacles that home remodeling companies run into when trying to grow their customer base, but one of the biggest difficulties is that customers searching for general contractors simply enter their search into Google and only look into whatever the top three choices are. Most people don’t have the time or the patience to click “next page” to search through endless businesses, so ensuring that your business is in the top rankings on search engines is vital to attracting new business.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the process of increasing your website’s traffic by making it more visible on search engines. Local SEO helps you to market your business’ products and services to local customers when they’re looking for them online. There are differences between standard searches and local searches, as when someone searches for a business near them, Google knows to show them business suggestions based on location. Local SEO is important in that it helps drive your business to the top of that list on search engines.
While in the past the Yellow Pages were the way to go with advertising for contractors, currently most people are using search engines to find local businesses. While paid advertising is an expense that a lot of new businesses may not be able to afford, local SEO provides your business with free traffic from which you can generate qualified leads. It also ramps up how quickly you rise through the Google rankings, as many of your competitors will not be using local SEO and will, therefore, be at a disadvantage.
How Local SEO Works
1. Choose keywords
The first thing you have to do when using local SEO is to come up with a list of keywords that represent the services you offer. SEO for roofing companies is going to be different from other SEO, for example; so choosing words like “roof replacement” would be vital to accurately drawing in the correct customers. Other words like “home improvement” and “kitchen renovations” are also excellent keywords to use as SEO for contractors.
Once you’ve built a pretty good list, you can set up a free Google AdWords account that will provide you with access to Google’s Keyword Planner. While you don’t need to use AdWords to build an ad campaign, you can use the Keyword Planner to see how much traffic is generated by your keywords. It also suggests additional keywords that you may add to your list that have a high potential to generate traffic.
There are two categories for keywords: buying intent and research intent. Buying intent keywords show that the person searching is ready to purchase a service, such as “Los Angeles roofing companies”. These should make up the bulk of your keyword list, as they have the highest rate of conversion. Feature these words on your homepage and service pages.
Research intent keywords show that the person searching is simply browsing, and is usually someone who’s at the beginning stages of planning a project. Keywords such as “home remodeling ideas” should be given a lower priority as they are less likely to generate instant business. Your business should still include some research intent keywords, however, in order to generate brand awareness for your company and draw in potential future clients.
2. Optimize keywords
Once you have your keyword list you can optimize your keywords in both your website and in your Google My Business page.
Your personal website can be optimized for SEO on both your homepage and on your service pages. The most important part of your homepage is your title tag followed by the meta description, which describes your core services and ends with a call to action. The copy on your page should tell customers about your business, providing them with background information and explaining your primary services. Each of these parts of your homepage can include buying intent keywords in order to optimize them for local SEO. Finally, create service pages for each of your main services, each focused on a different buying intent keyword and including the same optimization as for the homepage.
Google My Business (GMB) is a mini-website appearing in the “Map” section of Google results when someone searches for local businesses. GMB shows a brief overview of your business and can boost your presence online if you fill it out completely with current information. Each category of GMB can be optimized with local SEO keywords to increase your ranking, so include keywords in places like the categories and description areas.
3. Create citations and links
A citation is a listing of your business’ name, address, and phone number in an online directory. You can choose national directories such as Facebook, local directories such as your Chamber of Commerce website, or construction directories specific to your industry. Having citations for your business online will help increase your reach of customers and boost your rankings in Google. Try and get your company listed with as many free directories as possible, but use Google Analytics before paying for a citation to see whether or not the site drives traffic and will result in conversions.
A link from a credible site will give you a high Google ranking, so try and build relationships with companies that provide complementary services to yours. If you can establish a quid pro quo with businesses such as real estate companies or subcontractors, you can trade web links with them and boost your Google rankings.
4. Get online reviews
Online reviews are an incredible asset to any home remodeling business as they convince prospective customers to trust the quality of the job you’ll perform for them. They also have the added benefit of proving to Google that your business is legitimate, so amassing as many reviews as possible will help raise your business’ standing. Google My Business reviews, in particular, will create the biggest boost in your Google rankings, so regularly request GMB reviews from happy customers in order to help drive more business.
5. Track the results
Tracking and monitoring the effectiveness of your local SEO campaign is critical to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. You want the time you invest in SEO to be well spent, so focus on your rankings, traffic, and conversions to ensure that you’re generating as many qualified leads as possible. Using a tool such as the Google Search Console will help you to objectively check your rankings at least once a month.
Google Analytics will help you monitor the traffic to your website. Seeing the number of visitors to your website and which pages in particular draw the most traffic will help you figure out what’s engaging with customers and what isn’t. Google Analytics can also help you see your rate of conversions or specific actions you want visitors to your site to perform. It can track conversions over the phone and online as well as show you which pages of your website have higher conversion rates over others.
Benefits of Local SEO for Home Improvement Companies
Local SEO is much easier to employ than regular SEO because the amount of competition is much lower among local businesses than among all home remodeling business. It’s much easier to rank higher when someone is searching for “Tampa home improvement companies” than it is to rank in the search for “home improvement companies”.
It also helps you to receive targeted prospects who are looking for a business in your community rather than customers outside of your service area. When trying to grow your home remodeling business, you want to increase your customers as quickly as possible, but it only helps if the leads you’re generating are qualified.
Local SEO also has a high return on investment, as money spent on paid advertising can be much higher than money spent optimizing local SEO. When first starting out, you want to make sure you’re spending your money on the most effective way for growing your business, and local SEO is definitely a sound investment.
6 Tips To Get Started With SEO Today!
Publish as much quality content online as you can. If you create SEO optimized stories or articles about your business, then people will be much more likely to share and spread that content with thousands of people. This will, in turn, boost your search engine rankings and drive traffic to your site, resulting in more qualified leads than if you were to pay for a commercial. Content that focuses on helping the customer with their home improvement projects is what is most likely to be read and shared, so gearing your content towards helpful and friendly advice will boost your chances of SEO optimization.
Distribute your content as widely as possible, whether it’s via email to your friends and clients, posts on social media, or press releases on local newspapers. The wider you can distribute content, the higher the return on your investment.
Optimize your website for conversions by including a call to action on each of your pages. If you never ask for the sale, you run the risk that many of the visitors to your site will never become customers. Including the call to action turns traffic into leads and provides visitors to your site the opportunity to decide to hire you.
4) Improve Speed
Make sure your website has a quick loading time because no amount of SEO optimization will keep a customer waiting through a loading page for more than a few seconds. Having a reliable web host and optimizing your website’s code will help make your site load faster and ensure visitors stay on your site for as long as possible.
Invest in a great design for your website, because employing local SEO means that you’re going to have a lot more traffic than you did before. Customers are more likely to be converted by a website that has a professional design than one that seems cheap or boring. First impressions are everything, and it’s crucial to make sure that your website accurately represents the high level of quality that your business can provide.
Be as consistent as possible with updating your online presence as well as tracking and monitoring your SEO campaign. It takes a lot of time and effort to generate qualified leads using local SEO, but if you pick a strategy and stick to it, it will work. Consistent updates to your online profiles whether it be social media or your personal site will also have the added benefit of maintaining your ranking and keeping your business relevant.
Consider Getting Some Help
Now that you know a little more about contractor SEO and how you can benefit from a local SEO strategy, you have to consider whether this is something you’ll have time for or not.
If you realize that you want help, we suggest trying to look for local SEO agencies that specialize in or have extensive experience in Local SEO for Home Remodeling.
There are a lot of technical details with SEO such as outreach, backlinks, on-page/off-page, meta tags, alt tags, etc, that you may want the help of a professional to navigate. A small monthly investment in a local SEO company for contractors will be rewarded with better search engine rankings, more website traffic, and more qualified leads that will grow your business and your sales.