Construction SEO: The No-Frills Guide to Ranking on Google (2021)
Looking for higher rankings and more website traffic? Step up in Google’s search results with construction SEO that attracts new customers to your construction website.
A home wasn’t built in a day.
While some construction marketing tactics can work overnight (like Google Ads), others are more of a slow burn approach. They build up momentum to produce long-lasting results, and while those results can take a little longer to see, they’re also worth the wait.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is one of those long-game strategies. With SEO leads closing at an average of 14.6% (compared to the 1.7% conversion rate of cold calling or letterbox drops), the numbers tell an exciting story.
The goal of SEO for your construction company is to make your website easy for people to find as they search for relevant construction keywords. When done effectively, you can enjoy a steady stream of website traffic that boosts your quote requests, leads and new contracts secured.
By optimizing your content you can appear in search results for construction-related keywords. Let’s say someone searches for “bathroom renovation near me” or “deluxe home construction company prices”.
If you’re not using SEO to rank for these searches, you’ll lose 53% of your potential customers instantly.
In contrast, if your website has an entire service page about ‘Bathroom Renovations’ or a blog on ‘Deluxe Home Price Guide’, you can rank on Google and tap into the 1 out of 2 people using Google to look for construction companies.
Instead of paying for Google Ads, your SEO is cost-effective so you save on recurring ad costs. It’s worth noting you will have to invest a little more time and energy up front to get your SEO campaign set up for success, and results can take 2-6 months to show.
Other than the potential savings, SEO is beneficial because you can, for the most part, set and forget the content once it’s done. Pages that are ranking well can be left to continue to rank and attract customers organically. And you can put your effort into creating new content, running ads, or just running your business.
That’s how SEO becomes a 24/7 lead generator and salesperson.
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Onpage SEO tips for construction companies
SEO starts with your company website.
Everything you do on your site falls under the umbrella of ‘onpage SEO’ and it’s the process of making your site easy to use, your content easy to read, and your business easy to hire.
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Whether you’ve just whipped up a new site or you’ve had one for a few years without seeing results, here are a few onpage SEO tips to help you boost your rankings and generate quality leads.
Optimize title tags and meta descriptions
Google will look at your webpage and look for a summary or description that tells them what the page is about. The clearer you express a page’s value, the more likely you can rank for that topic.
For example, it’s important that the page title includes your keyword(s) and that it matches the content on the page. For example, a page about Knockdown Rebuilds might have a page title of, ‘Affordable & Fast Knockdown Rebuilds | Your Business Name’. That tells Google what your page is about, and since you’ve included the keyword ‘knockdown rebuild’ you’ll be helping to rank for that phrase.
You’ll also need your meta descriptions to support your page title. As a quick recap, your meta descriptions are the short summaries that tell Google (and searchers) what a page is about. These are the short blurbs you see when looking at the search results on Google. Make sure you include any keywords in your meta description as well as a short sentence or two to make people excited to click.
You’ve only got 160 characters to work with before your meta description gets cut off, so focus on being clear and to the point.
Individual service pages to target multiple construction keywords
If you want to rank for multiple services, you’ll need to create a unique page for each one. Someone searching for roof installation won’t want to sift through a page that also covers granny flats and commercial construction, so make things easy and obvious.
Try to think like a customer.
What services or information might they look for?
If you were looking for a major service, you’d want a dedicated page for it. For example:
Tile Installation & Repair
On each page include easy-to-scan content showing what you do and how you do it. The readability of your content will help (or hurt) your SEO. Google takes into account the way people interact with your site, so if people are bouncing back to the search results quickly, your SEO suffers. But if people are clicking from page to page, your rankings will improve.
The ease of navigation is also a big factor. The more pages you make, the easier you want to make it for users to move around the site.
Plus, your SEO will get a boost when you have a keyword (e.g. Bathroom Renovation) in the navigation menu, page title, and page content.
Add a construction blog
Not a writer? Not a problem.
Start by picking topics that you think will answer your customer’s questions. Do they care about price? Construction timelines? Red flags to watch out for?
Use these ideas to create blogs.
Blogs also give you a little more room to be creative than your service pages. You can tell customer stories, share tips and tricks for specific projects, or do an FAQ that can help homeowners understand your industry.
Another approach here is to think through all of the questions you get asked – over and over and over – by potential customers. Make that list, and then write up the answers. You can feature the bigger ones on their own, or do an FAQ article for a particular topic.
Make it super simple for people – and Google – to know how people can contact you.
After all, the goal of luring people to your website is to get them to take action. Presumably, you want them to buy a service or take the first step to doing so.
The core contact details for your address, phone number, and email should be the same throughout the site and really easy to find.
Consider adding these contact details to your site’s header, footer, or both. You can also include statements like “Call 555-5555 today for a free estimate!” in your blogs and throughout your page content to funnel traffic towards contacting you.
Off Page SEO tips for construction companies
We’ve covered onpage SEO for your construction company website, but that’s only half the battle. Well, less than half.
SEO studies have shown off page SEO – the strategies you apply away from your website – impact up to 75% of your ability to rank. So once you’ve nailed your onpage SEO, you need to focus on what’s happening off site.
This type of building doesn’t need a hammer or heavy equipment. With onpage SEO providing the groundwork for your website, you want other websites to point back to your web pages in the form of links.
It might seem odd to spend time getting other sites to link your site, but Google gives backlinks a TON of value. In fact, link building is among the top ranking factors used to evaluate a website’s rankings. This is because it is extremely tough to manipulate backlinks, and Google wants to see the most valuable construction sites rank on page #1, not the smartest at gaming the system.
And if 5, or 10 or 50 websites are linking to your content, that’s a great sign you’re a valuable construction site.
Keep in mind, it’s not a matter of “how many”. Instead, aim for relevance and quality. Attracting links from sites connected to the construction industry is worth more than a link from the Burger King website.
So, how do you control links that aren’t on the site you own? Here’s a few proven link building tactics for you to steal.
Content promotion: Share your expert blogs on social media and others might start to share it, too.
Guest blog: Offer to write or republish a post on an industry publication site or local newspaper.
Ask around: Ask partners or subcontractors to list you as a preferred contractor (with a link).
How to nail your construction site’s technical SEO
Technical SEO is *technically* happening on page, but it falls into its own category because it’s so, well…technical.
Even with quality backlinks, a popular construction blog, and plenty of keywords in the right places, you need your technical SEO to be on point if you want to rank.
Again, Google wants to rank construction sites that are the most valuable. And a website that won’t load on someone’s iPhone, or a site that frequently crashes, isn’t showcasing value.
The mechanisms behind the scenes that tell Google your site is well built, easy to use, and worth recommending that people check out are all aspects of technical SEO, and here’s how you get them all firing and helping you rank.
Website load time
Slow equals no.
People don’t have the patience to wait around for a website to load up, and Google knows that. Sites that take more than 3 seconds to load have an extremely high bounce rate of 90% and higher – which means people are immediately bouncing back to Google without looking at more than one page.
Google prioritizes what it thinks is the best experience for a searcher. So if a site is slow (and yes, Google can tell how slow it is), it will be less likely to rank you higher.
If you’re concerned about your site’s load times, use Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool for a speed score, plus optimization tips to speed things up.
“Responsiveness” can feel like a marketing buzzword, but what it really means is your website scales down to fit any screen size properly, while supporting navigation so people can move around, and can read your content without a microscope.
Google likes things neat, tidy, and clearly labeled.
You can check this one off the SEO list by making sure your pages are organized. For example, the page label in the menu navigation should match the page title on the actual page (which should match the keywords in the content, by the way). So if a menu says ‘Backyard Subdivision’ then the page it leads to should be on the topic of backyard subdivision.
You also don’t want menus that go 15 pages deep and leave people wondering how to get back to your home page. Google (and users) want an easy and quick experience so keep your menus short with no more than a few levels of content.
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BONUS: Three SEO tips for your construction website
Every man and his dog is doing some type of SEO in 2021. With competition for customers fierce, you can’t afford to leave your site without optimization.
While it can feel overwhelming knowing everyone is trying to rank for the same construction keywords as you, here are 3 simple strategies to give you the edge.
#1 – Focus on local SEO
You likely have a set geographic area that you service. Whether it’s a town, county, state, or beyond, you’ll want to make sure that Google knows where you operate.
And as 46% of all Google searches carry local intent, you can tap into one out of every two people by ranking for local searches – these are those triggered by “near me” keywords. For example, ‘Affordable bathroom remodelling near me’.
Google is pretty clever these days, so by including your location in your contact information (plus a consistent NAP) you can rank in local search results, even on Google Maps.
Another way to boost your local SEO is to make sure you consider your service area(s) as keywords themselves. Someone might search “bathroom renovation,” while another might search for “bathroom renovation Orange County”.
You want to come up for both of these keyword phrases, so include your location in your page copy often and where relevant.
#2 – See what keywords your competition rank for (and steal them)
Hey, it’s public knowledge if it’s on the internet, right?
In all seriousness, go look at what your competitors are doing. We mean it. Go search them. Now.
What did you find? Do they have pages for every service? How detailed are they? Do they have a blog? Do they come up for a search if you look for your keywords? What pages are you seeing for their sites?
You can use this information to decide on your own SEO strategy.
You can hone in on those keywords and beat them out with better detailed content and more frequent posts. Or you can decide that a keyword is absolutely monopolized and your time would be better spent on something else or something more specialized.
#3 – Publish content regularly
We said that SEO is great because you can build content and leave it – and that’s true.
But you can supercharge your results by adding new content over time. Google wants to see fresh content regularly posted to show that a website is still active and relevant for its searchers to consider, so get in the habit of publishing blogs or updating your service pages with new stats, industry info, etc.
Remember, Google isn’t using the number of leads you generate as a measure of how “fresh” your site is. They want to see changes to your content to ensure you’re still offering the most valuable content possible.
So keep updating your site by:
Checking over your pages to make sure things are accurate and adding or editing content as needed.
Adding to your blog on a regular basis with new pages that have new keywords baked in for maximum reach.
Creating brand new cornerstone pages to reflect new services or projects that you offer.
How to decide whether to DIY your construction SEO or hire an agency
We’ve covered a lot of theory toda, and if this all sounds like a lot of work, it is.
With proper planning though, you can start small and build up a winning DIY SEO strategy.
Then again, there are agencies that specialize in construction SEO if you’re looking to stay focused on your business and leave the hard work to the pros. The advantage here is that an SEO agency has the tools to analyze and report on SEO performance in real time, so they can also keep adjusting your site content for better and better results.
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Using a website builder with some built-in SEO might be a middle ground to consider. After all, the best website builders make sure that you don’t miss title tags or meta descriptions along the way. But it will still be up to you to conduct your keyword research and write your copy.
SEO is such a broad topic that it can be hard to boil it down to a few tips or tricks.
But the core of everything you do will come down to:
Quality content (and relevant keywords)
Simple website architecture
Remember, consistency is key.
SEO takes patience as Google considers so many factors, with off page strategies like backlinking taking months to take effect. If you aren’t getting an instant traffic boost, don’t panic!
Give all of your hard work time to show results and in the end, you’ll start to see an uptick in traffic that brings more qualified people ready to chat with you about their upcoming construction projects.
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