If you’re a remodeler, custom home builder or contractor, SEO (or search engine optimization) is essential for your business to be found online. Each day, people turn to search engines, like Bing, Google, and Yahoo (among others), to find information and products they need. Google alone processes over 40K search queries each second – that’s over 3.5 billion searches a day! But it can be tricky to know how to optimize your website and content for search engines. Here are five actions contractors can take to maximize their organic SEO. Not only will they help you boost your ranking, but they will also ensure you get more qualified leads and leverage from your digital marketing efforts.
SEO Content Writing: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
SEO content writing (sometimes referred to as SEO copywriting) creates compelling, valuable, and helpful content targeting specific keywords and keyword phrases. While writing for SEO only is not a suggested practice (this is called keyword stuffing), writing SEO-friendly, high-quality content is an important aspect of crafting any page or blog post, as there is no sense in writing content if it won’t help you improve your website’s rankings.
SEO writing also helps to increase the relevance and authority of your website while improving your ranking with search engines, like Google, for the targeted keywords.
When you are purposeful in your SEO content writing technique, you can target your customers and solve their problems and pain points with well-written content that enhances search engine results and grows your company’s credibility.
SEO for Contractors: Maximize Organic Results
Writing for SEO is both an art and science. Yet while you want to be strategic with SEO, you never want to neglect user intent. You should write content with the mindset of offering valuable content and relevant information for your audience. Think of the search intent of your target audience. What were they looking for when they searched (and does my content help this?) This should always take precedent over keyword targeting.
Now that you understand what it is and why it’s essential, it’s time to dive into improving your efforts.
1. Include Keywords in Your Title Tag and Meta Description
The title tag is one of the most critical elements to focus on in your SEO strategy. A person can find a title tag in the browser title bar and on the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). Plan for your title tags to be between 50-60 characters (so it’s not truncated in the search engine results), and include both the target keyword and your brand.
The meta description describes a web page and is a snippet or summary of what’s on your page. Plan between 160-160 characters. It looks like this:
While meta descriptions don’t necessarily impact SEO and including (or not including) focus keywords won’t impact your ranking, you still need to include them here consciously. Why? Because meta descriptions do affect click-through rates (CTRs), which is a metric in your Google analytics.
Remember, the meta description is the first thing users or customers see about your webpage. The language you use will determine if they click or choose a different SERP result.
Creating a solid meta description will provide a thorough explanation of what the page is about but leave plenty of room to attract and engage your users and encourage them to click on the link provided.
2. Optimize Service Pages for Maximum SEO
You can’t just pay attention to your site’s homepage when optimizing for SEO – the service pages matter, too. When you optimize your service pages, you increase the likelihood of generating more leads from SERPs.
There are a few steps you can take to improve service page optimization. These include:
- Improve existing content quality. In addition to reviewing the content on every web page, a smart SEO strategy splits the content into distinct groupings. For contractors, this often means that instead of having one page that lists all of your services, you’ll want to split up each service (i.e., kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, home additions, etc.) into separate category pages. This allows for one target keyword per page, a much better tactic for on-page SEO and generating website traffic because search engines have a clear idea of the page topic.
- Optimize the metadata for your service (or product) pages. Metadata is the general term used for both the title and meta description See #1: Include Keywords in Your Title Tag and Meta Description for why this is so important.
- Create keyword-optimized content. Part of the SEO writing process is to conduct strategic keyword research to identify each page’s main (and best) keyword. Another SEO writing tip: Write content that includes relevant keywords, too.
- Format the content properly. Make sure you properly use H1 and H2 tags on each page. Again, when you write content, be sure to keep search intent at the forefront.
- Optimize your images. There are several important image SEO Tips to remember, but here are a few mistakes contractors often make:
- Not compressing images, which bog down your site.
- Not using original images (and using stock images instead). As a custom home builder or remodeler, you MUST use your own images of projects you’ve completed. You deteriorate your credibility if you don’t.
- Not customizing image file names, and instead, uploading an image with a generic name (assigned by your camera, like IMG_051921). Instead, name the file, like “kitchen renovation countertop install Ballard.” Then when you upload the file to your website, not only is it appropriately named, but you also need to assign an alt-tag that describes the picture. In this example, the alt tag could be “marble-kitchen-countertop-install-Ballard-WA.” See #5: Invest in Local Seach for Better Organic Traffic for more details.
- Not writing SEO-friendly alt-text. Paying attention to your alt-tag strategy is beneficial to the on-page SEO.
- Use internal linking. Linking to other pages and posts on your site helps your readers understand you and get to know you more thoroughly. A bonus is that from an SEO perspective, it can decrease bounce rates if you are providing links to relevant content.
- Strengthen your site’s credibility using inbound links. This is a more complex SEO strategy involving other websites linking to your site. This tactic can improve your website’s authority.
It’s important to remember that the primary goal of SEO writing is not to write for a search engine but to answer your target audience’s questions and guide them deeper into your website.
3. Optimize Your Internal Linking Structure to Help Search Engines
Before your content ranks on any search engine, links are required. Google will easily find your pages and posts when they are linked from another location on the web.
Also, internal links will connect your content and give Google a map of your site’s structure. They also help create a site hierarchy, ensuring the most important posts and pages include more link value than the other, not-so-valuable pages. For example, your Home page is the most valuable page on your site; then for contractors, it’s usually their About, Services and Service Area pages.
When you get the linking strategy right, it can significantly enhance your organic SEO efforts.
4. Use Long-Tail Target Keywords
Long-tail target keywords are usually three to five words in length. Because the keywords are more specific than generic keywords, they help you target particular demographics. The keywords aren’t typically as competitive as generic ones, but search engines love them because they reflect the way people ask things online.
For example, the term “kitchen remodeling” gets over 43,000 searches a month, and the top results include many national websites – something a local kitchen remodeling company cannot compete with nor is it helpful for attracting local leads. So instead, expand your ideas to incorporate long-tail target keywords, such as kitchen remodeling Pittsburgh (300 searches a month) or kitchen remodeling Pittsburgh, PA (100 searches per month). These long-tail target keywords are much easier to rank for and attract a local audience searching for your services. NOTE: Stats as of 2/2/2022.
When you use long-tail keywords in your optimization efforts, you can attract more high-quality traffic, which is more likely to result in conversions. So be sure to include this focus keyword phrase in your title tag, too.
It’s worth noting that up to 70% of all search queries are long-tail keywords. This is especially true for voice search, which is becoming more and more popular.
A simple way to use long-tail keywords in developing SEO friendly content is to utilize the questions you get asked all the time:
- What’s the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel?
- How much should you budget for a home renovation project?
- Should you move or improve?
Search engines get asked these questions all the time, making it excellent SEO content for blog posts. If you need additional help determining blog post ideas, install the free tool, Keywords Everywhere, onto Google Chrome or scroll down to the bottom of any page on Google for more ideas.
5. Invest in Local Search for Better Organic Traffic
Local SEO efforts take your marketing strategy a step further, helping searchers who are on the go find what they are looking for based on what’s nearby.
With over 211 million people throughout the country using smartphones for searches in 2020, people who are on the go want to know where they can find what they need.
Even if you use all the right keywords, if your precise location isn’t picked up in the search, the keywords probably won’t help when people are searching close by. Since smartphones know their user’s exact location at all times, it is an aspect of marketing you must tap into. This is especially the case if you have a physical location and not just an online presence.
Local SEO efforts provide several benefits, which include:
- Increased web traffic
- Remain competitive with nearby businesses
- Build links with companies that are nearby
- Increase the possibility of repeat customers
- Start building a community
- Earn more trust with higher rankings
The easiest way to add local elements to your keywords includes just including your city and state names. For example, instead of just saying, “kitchen renovations,” you would say, “kitchen renovations in San Francisco, California.” The inclusion of your local area will drive people close to you to your website.
Are You Ready to maximize Your Website’s SEO?
As you can see, there are several things you can do to help improve your site’s SEO. First, take some time to evaluate where your efforts fall short, and then adjust accordingly.
By implementing these action items, you can feel confident your site will rank higher, achieve the views, and generate the organic search traffic you want and need. Also, with these SEO tips, you will make the most of your marketing budget, which is a win for any business in today’s competitive landscape.