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Components of a great SEO campaign for home builders
Regardless of your growth plans, there are a few core areas of focus for a good SEO plan. These include proper and detailed keyword research, technical optimizations, content, and link acquisitions. For Home Builders looking to stand out in the crowd and expand their source of leads online, they will need to pay close attention to local factors and signals in each area in order to associate themselves with the local market.
Let’s review these core components and review how they might apply to home builders.
Keyword research for the home builder industry
Keywords can be broken down into one of three categories:
- Navigational keywords
- Informational keywords
- Transactional keywords
Needless to say, each of these types of keywords have different searcher intent and potential value to you as a business. Let’s take a look at the different types of keywords for the home builder industry.
1. Navigational Keywords
This group of keywords are primarily branded search terms, such as “[company name] website” or “contact [company name]” they are search terms where the searcher is expecting to get somewhere specific.
If you are not properly targeting branded search and navigational keywords there is a big opportunity to improve your visibility here. However, most brands that have been in business for a while should have good visibility in this area.
2. Informational keywords
These keywords are long-tail keywords where the searcher intent may be more focused on gathering information over making a transaction. They may not have an immediate need for a new home, but they may be planning on buying in the near future or looking for a better community to raise their family in. Some of these types of keywords could include:
How much does a custom home cost?
Do I have to buy a lot before building a home?
Custom home vs newly built home.
What style home should I build?
Many of these types of keywords are question-based where the searcher is looking for information and answers to potential questions.
While they seem to be looking for information now, it is a great opportunity to answer their questions, provide additional value and build your brand recognition (and potentially capture their email address in the process).
3. Transactional Keywords
This is the more competitive keywords that can be more general or geo-focused. Examples of some of these types of keywords may include:
Home Builders near me
Home Builders [city]
[City] home builders
New communities in [City]
The searcher in this instance is looking for the specific business due to an actual need.
It’s also important to note that while at first glance both the transactional and informational keywords may seem very competitive, Google is really good at determining location-based factors into their search results. Meaning if you do a good job as associating your business with a local community, and creating great local-focused content, you will out perform others for keywords searched by those within your market.
Once you’ve gone through all the proper keyword research it is time to build out a proper keyword map so you can best associate keywords with pages and build out a site structure that makes the most sense while optimizing the page-specific data.
SEO For Home Builders: Technical and Website Optimizations
There are a lot of technical issues within this industry. From listing different layouts and communities without duplicating content to optimizing a website for speed while still displaying beautiful photos, there is a lot to consider in the home building industry from a technical perspective.
However, where there are lots of issues in an industry, there is a lot of opportunity as well.
There are a few basic steps to follow after you’ve built out a proper keyword mapping document for your website:
Run a technical SEO audit based on real crawl data and traffic data. We use a tool for this called Sitebulb that generates very nice visual reports and crawl data. Fix any technical issues with the website that may be present in order to improve visibility.
After completing this technical audit and fixes, it’s really important for home builder SEO to review your existing content. Because this industry can produce so much duplicate content it’s important to do some searches in Google for content that is on your website. A typical crawl won’t pick up external duplicate content – which is the significant issue.
Rule of thumb is that if you or someone you know well didn’t write and create the content for your home builder website, then it’s possibly duplicated and worth digging into.
While you’re in the content mindset, take this time to review your keyword research and mapping document and consider creating any recommended content that exists for your site.
Adding and Optimizing Website Content to Support Home Builder SEO
If you haven’t noticed, we’re pretty big into well optimized content. This is simply because it’s been a serious issue when working with local businesses competing in local markets, like in the case with Home Builder SEO. Having good service content with excellent keyword placement is necessary for growing your organic traffic and revenue.
This means take the themes and topics from your keyword research and building out a content strategy that you can chip away at – it will make you stand out from your competition and boost your rankings and visibility.
We don’t mean just write for writing sake. It’s important to note that if your piece of content doesn’t add value to the website visitor then get it off your website. Likewise, if you’ve already written about this topic before, don’t duplicate your effort – if you have something more to say, add it to the old piece of contnet.
Make sure your content is top notch, answers the questions your clients have, and is engaging in a way that will make them take action.
Link Acquisition, Citations, and Website Promotion for Home Builders
Let’s be honest. Search engine optimization doesn’t have a great reputation. It’s likely that you or someone you know as a business owner has been burned by outdated SEO tactics and short-term thing. Most of these practices follow into this category – link acquisition.
There are many different ways to build and acquire links within the home builder industry. Depending on your market and growth plans things may vary slightly, but assuming you compete primarily in a local market here is how the usual approach should start:
1. Get local, national, and if possible industry-specific citations. Citations are instances of your business name, address, and phone number that appear across the web. Getting your business into the top national, local, and industry-focused directories and citation websites is basically the ante for local SEO. Meaning that while it won’t be enough to get you into the 3-pack map results, it’s a must-do for local optimization..
I’m not sure what else to say about this one. If your business isn’t already on Google My Business, Bing Maps, Apple Maps, etc. then you need to do this before considering other aspects of link building.
2. Leverage your existing partnerships. This could mean some of your partner contractors, realtors, mortgage brokers, or other professionals in your industry. Connecting with these individuals and adding value to them in some form or another in exchange for a link back to your website can go a long way. You’ll be surprised how many links you can build this way with very little effort.
3. Resources for industry partners. Continuing on the partnership theme, we’ve seen a lot of success in creating valuable local and sharable resources that you can give away to your industry partners.
This could be something like the important factors to consider when building a new home or Building vs Buying: What you need to know and have this as something you offer others in your industry and in return have them share it on their website with a link back to yours.
4. Industry associations. Your national, state, or local level Home Builder Associations are a great source for links. Whether it’s as simple as a member listing, or as robust as arranging guest posting opportunities, these associations are often looking for great high-quality content to feature on their website or for their members – trading this content for links and visibility can often be well worth the effort.
5. Broken link building. This is one of our favourate appraoches and probably one of the most popular methods of safe link acquisition outside of the labour-intensive outreach. It’s about as safe as it gets (since you are getting links from real websites) and it’s really effective at getting results.
There’s a lot that goes into a good broken link building process that we won’t cover in this post, but at a high level, you crawl through high authority industry websites to identify any broken links they may have. Then create resources for these sites and present them as an alternative link than the broken one – resulting in great authority with often very minimal work.
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