Why Does SEO Matter to Home Builders?
Did you know that about 70% of clicks go to the first listing on a Google search engine results page (SERP)? So you can see how important it is to rank at the top to get the most organic traffic and leads to your website.
So What Can We Do to Rank Higher on Google?
There are over 200 known factors that Google uses to decide what order to rank websites in. Read on and we'll show you SEO tactics that will improve your home builder website rankings and leads.
How Does Google Decide Which Home Builder Website to Rank First?
Before we begin, it's important to understand the logic behind how Google ranks websites. What factors does Google use to determine which website ranks higher than another?
To understand this, we need to think about Google's customers. Why? Because Google's primary goal is to make people happy with the search results they get and thus, keep using Google. Google doesn't care which website ranks first, their goal is to make sure the person who entered the search is happy with the results they get.
Note: We use Google in this tutorial because Google dominates the market share of search engines (over 92% at the time of this writing) but the same principles apply to other search engines as well.
1. Content Is King
Why do you visit a website? The reasons vary such as read something of interest, find an answer to a question, or learn about a topic. The same goes for your potential customers. Think about the questions they may have about purchasing a home. What do your customers want to see? How will you satisfy their search query better than your competition?
If someone searches for “best ranch floorplan designs in [your city]” will you be found? How about a search like “kitchen checklist when building a home”?
Predict what your audience will search for and then write articles and blogs in response to those searches.
Use tools such as Google Keyword Planner (free account required) or Answer the Public for topic ideas. You can also write articles about the most asked questions you get asked by your customers.
Answer questions that people actually search for, you’ll soon become the expert in your area.
BONUS: Use portions of your articles as teasers on your social media sites and link to the full articles on your website.
2: Make Your Home Builder Website Responsive for Mobile Devices
Most searches on phones so Google now ranks websites that work on mobile before sites that don't.
Aren’t sure about your website? Go to your website on your smartphone and see what the user experience is like. Is it readable? Are the fonts large enough to read? How well does it function? Can you find what you want?
If you answer no to any of these questions, we can help. Reach out for your free website analysis.
3: Get “Votes” For Your Website to Rank Higher with Inbound Links
Another major factor that Google uses to rank websites is the number of links from other websites to yours, called inbound links. Google analyzes the number of links from other websites to yours and uses that to decide which website will rank higher. But, it’s not just any links, the better quality links within the home building industry, the more important that link is.
How do we get home builder inbound links? Some ideas:
- Homebuilder association sites such as NAHB: https://www.nahb.org
- Social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Houzz, and others
- Request links from your suppliers and contractors from their website to yours
- Check the backlinks of your competitors and get listed on their backlinks
- Setup and maintain your “Google My Business” page
4: Have a Top-Notch Website
Google scans your website not just for content, but also for quality. Broken links, slow load times, high bounce rates and stale content, and sure-fire ways for your website rankings to drop. Google wants to send people to “quality” sites so these are some of the factors it uses to determine site quality.
Another factor is the user experience. The better the user experience is, the more people come back. Intuitive navigation, fast load times, fresh content, and rich resources all are factors that make people stay on your site.
If you have high bounce rates and short amounts of time people stay, Google determines there’s not much reason for people to stay on your site and therefore, won’t send others to your site.
- Keep it fresh and regularly create great content that people want and will stay on your site to interact with. This will decrease bounce rates and increase the number of time users spend on your site
- Fix problems on your site such as broken links, typos, server errors, slow load times
- Use high-quality images and videos for a great user experience
- Have a great design that represents your brand and engages with your audience
- Add most-searched keywords into your articles, page titles, and meta tags
- Make sure your site works on mobile devices (responsive)