If you’ve invested in internet marketing services in the past, you’ve likely been conditioned to believe that keywords are the gateway to online roofing leads. While they cannot be discounted entirely, Google’s evolution provides several reasons to reevaluate the usage of keywords. It helps to understand what a search engine, and more specifically; Google, actually is. In our race to exploit it for our own personal gain, we’ve lost sight of its primary intention, and it’s coming back to bite us. The goal of Google is to provide the most relevant information possible to its users. As its algorithm has gotten smarter, and has developed a greater ability to understand language, context, and overall user intent, the information it relays to those users has changed.
It’s poetic justice that roofing companies who’ve been attempting to generate leads ethically for years are finally being rewarded for their behavior and those that have engaged in manipulative tactics are now suffering the consequences. Still, there exists a massive grey area between websites that are designed entirely for the user’s benefit, and those whose only purpose is to trick search engines into improving their rankings. If we’re being honest, most roofing websites lie somewhere in that grey area, and the question becomes; “what should we do?”. One thing is clear, it’s time for roofing companies to start moving away from keywords, and moving towards user experience.
An Emphasis on User Intent
Back in 2012, Google shifted its focus away from its primary algorithm (PageRank), and began considering “semantic search” which means that the presence of verbatim keywords are no longer necessary to prompt relevant results. Sites stuffing”cheap roofer” in their content no longer have an advantage over websites that refrain from using such terms. Instead, websites that provide engaging and valuable content and inform users of their roofing services, prices, and contact information can still rank without verbatim keywords. Aspects of user intent include:
For roofing websites, this means that filling on-page content with “affordable roofer” is not as important as creating a website about your affordable roofing service. What would your content look like if keywords were not a consideration? If your only goal was to inform the public about your roofing company and the services it offers, what would your website look like — and read like? These are the questions you should be asking and answering as you decondition yourself from an antiquated philosophy.
The Emergence Of New Channels
Another reason why keywords were once the be all end all of search marketing is because the top organic ranking was the only place to guarantee conversions. Today, many other channels exist in which to acquire traffic and generate new leads. Research even indicates that the click-through-rate (CTR) of organic results has diminished, as new and more engaging outlets have come to the forefront. Newer channels include:
- Local 3 Pack: 3 Local results appearing on SERPs
- Featured Snippets: A highlighted snippet from a chosen web page
- Knowledge Graph: The top right portion of a SERP, showing a company profile
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and others
With so many new avenues to reach consumers, the premium on organic results has been somewhat deemphasized. That’s not to say it should be abandoned altogether. In fact, organic keyword ranking should remain a part of your search engine optimization strategy. The difference is that it should not be your only focus, as the manifestation of new channels has promoted diversity in online lead generation. Roofing Webmasters is eager to help you get started today. Call (800) 353-5758 to further discuss roofing keywords and what they mean for your business.