SEO for Construction Companies – How to Build a Better Online Presence
This article/blog section is often devoted to SEO advice for vertical markets that require a unique take on search engine marketing (SEM) tactics. The SEM strategy of one vertical in particular must be built on a different set of principles – the construction industry. Having worked with many property developers over the years, I know you don’t have time for fluff, so let’s get right to it.
5 Things Builders and Contractors Need to Know About SEO for their Construction Business Website
1. Website Architecture is the Key to a Strong Foundation
As a residential, commercial or industrial builder you understand the importance of a strong architectural plan. When it comes to your website, that plan is referenced by what we call on-page SEO. This is the technical nitty gritty, the table-setting that will dictate the success of your website performance moving forward. It includes the logical navigation of your website, your sitemap, and the responsive design and development that equates optimal page speed and easy user navigation, no matter the device (smartphone, tablet, desktop, or laptop). It also includes your meta-data. These are the titles, headings, and descriptions which are born from carefully researched keyword strings. These keyword strings allow you to rank for terms and expressions that convert commercial, residential, and industrial enterprises into paying clients. Before your SEO plan can move forward, your site design needs a clean bill of health.
2. Commercial, Residential, and Industrial Builder SEO Needs are Different
Level of competition will be different for each type of construction. And this will vary by region. Commercial construction is highly competitive on Google in the state of California, but in Hawaii, not so much. Residential construction continues to grow competitively in the fast growing market of Vancouver, while it’s becoming less competitive in New York. Wherever your construction business operates, you will face a unique field of keyword competition year after year. What works for one type of construction likely won’t work for another. What’s true in one season, may not be in the next. User-intent of keywords searched on Google will also vary, and can cause confusion. For instance, if you’re a residential builder, you may find yourself competing with pesky Realtors for key terms such as “new development homes” in your locale. The semantics around your keyword targets need to account for this, where applicable.
Knowledge on the in-and-outs of keyword competition can be attained by signing up for Google AdWords and playing around with the Keyword Planner tool, in addition to following updates on Google Trends as it applies to your industry. But in the end, only a specialist can decipher your keyword targets.
3. Specialized Building Methods Are Key to a Niche Strategy
In many markets, attempting to rank well on Google for general construction terms such as “builders”, “construction company”, or “contractor” with your city name appended to it can be extremely challenging. This is especially true if your competition has had a website (and/or SEO campaign) up and running for a long period of time, before you made the decision to join the fold.
However, your website can sneak onto Google and bring in client-converting traffic by capitalizing on your unique talents. These talents, include the construction practices that you specialize in. This can include green-building, design-build, pre-engineered metal buildings, or even the use of insulated concrete forms (ICF). By using these high-converting keywords in your SEO campaign you can beat your bloated competition to the punch and take clients that they didn’t even consider going after.
4. Local Link Building is More Important
Your site’s backlink profile accounts for approximately 20% of your ability to rank well on Google. Having reputable business, media, municipal, and organizational websites link back to your website is the key to strong search engine rank. Construction businesses have close community relationships that very few businesses do. Tap into them.
The local media is interested in your up and coming project. Invite them down to your construction site and allow them to ask questions that result in a link back to your website as the source of information. The local Chamber of Commerce will have a section on their website dedicated to local residential, commercial and industrial development. Become a member and get your website listed on their directory. Educational institutions in the area would love to have the opportunity to provide students with on-site insights into the construction process, especially for niche builders (green-builders, etc.). Invite a class down for a quick informational session, in exchange for a link on the institution’s website resource page. As a local builder, the world wide web is your oyster when it comes to online organizations that want to connect with you. Take full advantage.
5. Social Networking Signal Tie-ins
In my numerous conversations and strategy sessions with builders I have found that practically all are hesitant to devote resources to social media. Who wants to see posts about pouring concrete on Facebook? Surprisingly, some do. But I’m not here to convince you of that (been there, done it). Instead, I’ll just quote a fact. Accordingly to local search engine ranking factors studies, social media signals account for approximately 6% of search engine rank. Simply put, if all else is equal, and your competitor has an active Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (Company) and Instagram profile, and you don’t, they will win the battle for rank on Google. The next time you pour concrete, Snapchat away (you know what that is, right?)!
Conclusion – Just as I have no business installing drywall you will want your staff to focus on your business. SEO/SEM is not something than can be managed in-house for a construction company. Consider SEO as you would a subcontractor, brought in to manage a part of your project that requires an expert touch. But you also require more than a talented provider. Given that your industry is fiercely competitive, you need keep your custom strategy isolated from competitors. To account for this, I offer EXCLUSIVITY for your local construction business. This agreement means that for the duration of our contract I will not accept SEO contracts from any other builder in your locale.
Contact me to discuss and lay the foundation for your SEO build.