How home renovation brands can boost visibility in local search?
The demand for home renovation companies, kitchen and bathroom renovation contractors have seen a significant increase during the pandemic. With the new work and learn from home reality, homeowners have faced the need to remodel their living spaces in order to accommodate this new lifestyle. This has resulted in more people turning to online search to find expert advice and cost-effective solutions to renovate their homes. In fact, over 93% of homeowners use Google search to look for a reliable and trusted contractor.
Take a look at the search trend in Ontario for the “home improvement” keyword from January 2019 to December 2019.
The graph below shows how the interest for the key phrase "Home Improvement" has changed over the period of one year
For a home reno business that wants to be successful and be found in their local area when potential customers search for a home renovation contractor in Toronto and the GTA, it is crucial to focus the digital marketing efforts on increasing the online local visibility through organic SEO.
First, I wanted to note that there are many home renovation companies advertising on the Google search network. Someone must have told them that running Google Ads and increasing their budget on ad spend, will lead to more leads and ultimately more business! Well, that is simply not true and while it could provide some temporary pleasure to the business owner, does not provide any long-term results whatsoever. Why you ask!
Let me explain:
- Over 75% of people who search on Google prefer to click on organic listings, and completely ignore the paid ads?
- Running paid ads does not help you to establish a brand reputation as a trusted home reno contractor, which as you already know it is one of the main factors that most people looking to renovate base their decision on.
- Buying attention does not improve your website’s ranking position on local search
4 Steps your home reno business can get found in local search?
For your business/brand to be seen by more than 70% of people I recommend you make the organic SEO part of your digital marketing strategy, educate yourself and understand that results of organic SEO take some time, just like any other long-term investment.
Here are some of the bare minimum and most important digital marketing elements that every home improvement contractor must optimize, in order to move the needle in local search rankings.
- Google My Business listing optimization
- Manage customer reviews
- On-Page Optimization
- Write content your customers want to digest
1. Optimize your Google My Business listing (GMB)
Creating an optimized and solid GMB profile will set you on the right path to securing a top spot in the local map pack. As of December 2020, Google My Business profile plays a major role in the local map pack ranking factors contributing a whopping 33%. Each individual aspect of GMB plays an important role in how your business appears in local search, your local visibility, generating sales leads and converting more leads to customers.
- Choose the correct GMB primary category,
- Build the secondary business categories
- Create landing pages for locations where you provide services,
- Create a strategy and stick to a schedule for posting on regular basis,
- Research and use relevant industry keyword phrases,
- Publish visual content
- Optimize the Q&A section of Google My Business
List all the services you offer in your GMB profile
Here is an example of the services listed on the GMB profile for a home building company
- Bathroom Remodeling
- Bathroom Renovation
- Building & Renovations
- Cabinet Installations
- Custom Cabinets
- Hardwood Floors
- Home Addition
- Home Remodeling
- Home Renovation
- Install Flooring
- Kitchen Remodeling
2. Monitor your online reviews?
Reviews also are a very important ranking factor in local search taking 16% of the pie (See image above). One of the most effective ways to generate reviews is asking for feedback at the time when you are in front of the customer. Ask customers if they would be willing to provide a review via email, send them a link generated from GMB or any other sites you use to collect reviews. Here are some tips that will help collect and manage reviews
- Do great work and focus on building relationships with your customers.
- Do the proper follow-ups and ensure customers are satisfied with your work. They are most likely to leave positive reviews and have confidence in referring you to other people.
- Ask specific questions about if your service met customer’s expectations
- Take responsibility for what could wrong and strive to make it right
- Respond to reviews, and especially the negative ones. I agree nobody wants to get a not so positive or negative review, but when you get one use it as an opportunity to improve and learn.
- Watch for any reviews that may use inappropriate language. Set up Google alerts to find mentions and links about your site and your business.
- Pay attention to which other sites customers leave reviews for your business such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Local directories etc. What is the authority of those sites?
- Keep track of your reviews using Google My Business.
3. On-Page Optimization
Optimizing the technical aspects of your website is one of the most important factors that will influence how your business ranks in local search, especially for home renovation brands that have regional exposure. Researching and using keyword phrases on your page titles and meta descriptions, keeping your website free of 404 and 301 errors, ensuring your website is mobile-friendly and checking site speed to make sure your website loads fast on desktop and mobile, are just a few on-page elements to optimize. To start, it is important to audit your website, to ensure it is crawlable and indexable and to assess the technical and SEO elements. Request a website analysis here
4. Write the website content with user search intent in mind
This will set you apart from the competition and Google will reward your website by ranking it higher on organic listings. Content marketing is one of the fundamental pillars of organic SEO. It is important to remember that the type of content that helps your business move the needle in the local SERPs, is the content that will satisfy your user’s intent.
There are a variety of ways contractors and home renovation experts can generate content, from customer reviews, video testimonials, podcasts to blog posts, web stories and social posts. Think about documenting the process you go through from the moment you take on a project and every step along the way to completion. The key is to understand what your customers are searching for, how are looking for information, where do they search and how they digest the information and create content that will satisfy user intent. Google’s mission is to provide the most accurate, comprehensive and relevant answer for search queries. All the above content forms, offer huge possibilities to develop content that will provide answers to your customer’s search queries.
Use structured data code in your web pages
Structured data or schema helps Google better understand what your web pages are about and influences your local rankings. The better Google understands your website, the higher your site comes up on the local search. There are a few ways of how using schema in web pages can help a local home renovation contractor business. For example: create a profile page for each member of your team where you can use schema markup for that individual, create a page dedicated to frequently asked questions, where FAQ schema can be applied. Here is more on how structured data can benefit your local business
Listen to customers
In every customer touchpoint, there is an opportunity to learn more about the needs of the customer and understand them better. Engage in in-depth discussions with your customers outlining your work process and the possible “casualties” that could happen.
Build trust and credibility
By providing guidance, useful home reno tips and sharing your knowledge. As a home renovation contractor, you are more likely to build trust and come across not only as an expert but also as someone who is willing to go above and beyond to meet customer’s expectations. With that in mind, customers will feel more comfortable sharing their information with a contractor who is trustworthy, expert and offers upfront value.
Find out how SEO can help you grow your home renovation business!
You have nothing to lose, except time and marketing dollars spent on ineffective online advertising campaigns that are rarely analyzed and tweaked for best ROI! Is never too late to start working on your home improvement business growth strategy and start acquiring more organic leads and clients. And when you do, without a doubt, search engine optimization will be an important part of it. Local SEO Rankings will help you analyze your current website and create a local SEO strategy based on data and research, that will help your business stand out from the competition.
Whether you are just starting out as a home renovation contractor, kitchen remodeler or basement reno expert, or you’ve been working in the industry for quite a few years, at the very least you still are going to need an optimized website and a solid online marketing strategy that will drive business growth, keeping an eye on your marketing budget. By making organic SEO part of your overall marketing strategy and investing your marketing dollars for long-term success, you will generate more leads and convert more of those leads to customers.