The digital marketing world knows Google well for its secrecy, but not so much for subtlety. When the search engine giant drops a massive new update that potentially affects millions of businesses around the country, you can bet there will be a scramble to get up to speed on critical changes. Thankfully, our team at Roofing Webmasters has done all the Local SEO prep work already.
So let’s talk about the Local Search Update, and how your business can adjust its content strategy!
SEO Tips for Roofers
The latest local search update places even greater emphasis on diverse keyword strategy.
Make sure your website has enough service pages to rank for your desired terms!
Schema coding dramatically helps your business stand out from others.
Immediate Impact of the Local Search Update
Let’s get started with the most important impact the local search update might have on your roofing business. If you’ve relied on a company name that incorporates an industry keyword (ex: Bill’s Roof Repair) to earn you leads, you may have already noticed a steep drop in local listings. That’s because Google’s neural mapping system has expanded the search engine’s ability to recognize synonyms of hot industry keywords.
Now Google can recognize all kinds of synonyms and phrases related to roofing and use them to assign ranks in local search results.
If your business has already developed a diverse collection of industry keywords on your roofing company website, you may notice an increase in rank. However, if you’ve relied on generic go-to phrases that everyone else does, you may drop in local search ranks. That could be especially damaging if you’ve held a long-term position at the top of a local map pack!
How to Take Advantage of the Local Search Update
As always, Google connects search users with the highest quality content. Since they don’t have to rely on exact matching and the same old keywords, they will vigorously expand their ranking process to hunt for even better search results. There are a few ways you can take advantage of the local search update for your business:
How to Earn Stronger Ranking After the Local Search Update
Make sure your website has dedicated pages for each of your specific services.
Avoid spammy (repetitive) usage of keywords as you try to rank.
Write naturally, using synonyms and language a ninth grader could understand.
Infuse your pages with schema code, especially in headers and lists.
Continue releasing material (through content marketing) with new, relevant keywords.
What Tools Can You Use to Optimize?
If you haven’t taken the time to develop a broader keyword strategy, don’t worry. There’s always time to start optimizing your website. Look to helpful tools like SEMrush, Moz Keyword Explorer, Answer the Public, and Ubersuggest to search out new and exciting phrases!
Ideally, you’ll want to target mid to low-volume phrases with high user intent. That means the terms themselves clearly reveal what the consumer is looking for (such as installation service). Mixing these quality keywords in with more generic phrases makes your content pop in Google Search!
If you haven’t taken the time to update your Google My Business (GMB) account recently, it’s time to take another look! No other tools affect your local listings as much as your GMB, so regular checkups are essential. Continue adding photos of all your greatest jobs! You can also promote limited-time offers through GMB posts.
Is Your Website Ready?
There are a few ways to tell whether or not your website is ready for the Local Search Update. First, compare the number of pages on your website to the number of individual services your company provides. If the site currently tries to advertise all your services on a handful of pages – it’s even worse if your site doesn’t mention them at all – you’re not ranking as well as you could be. Dedicated service pages are the way to go, at least for now.
Next, make sure that your pages have plenty of schema code. This coding allows Google to better interpret various page elements on your website, improving your chance of earning outstanding local ranks. If you haven’t already, you need to listen to our talk on Righteous Reviews and schema-enriched client reviews! The results we’ve seen in local search are truly incredible.
If you’d like to learn more about local search, the Local Search Update, or anything related to website optimization, our team at Roofing Webmasters would love to talk with you! Consult with our experts for free at (800) 353-5758, and see why so many contractors come to us for higher search rankings.
We’ve all heard the tales of marketing disasters, but few professionals fully understand just how close they could be to losing serious business online. In our latest podcast, Nolen tells the scary story of how a once successful roofing professional lost over two thirds of their annual revenue ($2+ million) thanks to some unfortunate online mistakes! If you ever feel worried about the future of your lead generation, be sure to listen in.
Key Lessons for Roofing Professionals
Your Google My Business account plays an essential role in local search results!
Trying to manipulate the rankings of other companies is a recipe for disaster.
Relying exclusively on reviews and referral traffic can lead to sudden drops in lead generation.
Make sure your company has an organic presence to work off of.
A Shaky Foundation
Every seasoned industry professional knows that even the strongest roofing system is only as sound as its supporting framework. Without a solid foundation to rely on, a roof can quite literally implode on itself. One roofing company owner – we’ll call him “Bob” – found out the hard way that this concept applies to online search marketing as well!
In fact, a handful of mistakes cost his business over two million dollars in one year!
Bob ran a very successful company. With years of experience under their belts, Bob’s team managed to complete hundreds of roofing projects each year. Much of his business arose from repair and replacement jobs, as the company operated in one of the top hail-prone states in the country. His staff consisted of over 30 people, and the business still saw fantastic profits year over year. Unfortunately, all Bob’s success came crumbling down around him one day.
A Painful Local Search Mistake
Bob’s company did little in the way of marketing online, with the exception of collecting reviews. The company’s Google My Business account had yet to be verified. His website lacked essential optimization factors that could elevate rankings in local search. He didn’t even have to advertise very often. Like too many contractors and owners, Bob assumed that the company could coast along in reviews, so that’s where he spent his efforts.
That’s where he made the gravest mistake of all.
Bob wanted to encourage people to submit reviews for his company, so he offered $50 gift cards for anyone who would provide them. In the man’s defense, he wasn’t trying to coerce or bribe people for better ratings. His team already did great work, and the reviews created were from real, happy customers.
That didn’t matter when Google found out about his practice. It seems an unhappy former employee contacted the search engine and informed on his boss’ practice. Since this violated Google’s quality guidelines, they closed down Bob’s GMB account. Almost overnight, Bob’s roofing company went from premium rankings to practically disappearing in local map results.
A Difficult Lesson
Bob made an honest mistake when he incentivized reviews. Regardless, his company went from earning $3+ million in revenue to less than a third of that. He contacted Google, eagerly sought out his error, and apologized. Google reinstated his account, but Bob’s company still hadn’t recovered when they came to our team at Roofing Webmasters for help.
His company signed on, and we’ve worked very hard to restore Bob’s company to their former online glory. It’s been a challenging journey. The shaky reviews-only foundation that had supported the business collapsed when the GMB account was suspended! Because the company had practically zero search engine optimization for their website, no one could find the brand when they tried to search local contractors.
We’ve since started overhauling Bob’s website so he can start ranking again, but it’s going to take some time before his team fully recovers.
How Can You Avoid Bob’s Mistake?
There are a few key activities you can tackle to lessen your chances of a major marketing disaster like Bob’s. First, make sure that you’ve claimed, completed, and verified your Google My Business listing. While verification methods change from time to time, you should be able to get your roofing company taken care of within a few weeks.
Second, invest in a quality, search-optimized website. A sturdy website should have dedicated pages for each of your services. We see companies that provide dozens of services strip down their list to two or three, then jam-pack those few pages with way too many keywords. Instead, craft a handful of pages for your top categories (such as residential, metal, and commercial roofing), then create sub-pages beneath each of those with all the related services. Take time to work related keywords into every page in a way that reads naturally.
Finally, make sure that your company is consistently asking customers with reviews. Of course, you should avoid any sort of practice that could be interpreted as incentivizing reviews! If you ever feel unsure about a particular practice, check out Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines.
How to Earn Leads and Avoid Search Penalties
Register, claim, and verify your GMB account.
Create a custom, keyword-optimized website with dedicated service pages.
Collect reviews from a variety of sources (Yelp, Google Reviews, Manta, etc)
Get listed with citation sources, such as the Better Business Bureau.
Never offer incentives for reviews!
Never try to mess with reviews or listings for competitors.
Consult Google’s webmaster quality guidelines.
If you’ve been hit with a serious Google penalty, our team at Roofing Webmasters would love to help. Contact us anytime at (800) 353-5758 for a free consultation!
Does earning front-page rankings for your roofing business seem impossible? You might be closer to breakaway success than you think. In our latest podcast, Jason and Nolen discuss how to set your brand apart from the rest with SEO services for roofers. So if you’ve struggled to make headway with your business online, be sure to listen in!
Helpful Lessons on SEO for Roofers:
Just completing the SEO basics puts you miles ahead of other roofing contractors.
New companies should focus on GMB, optimized website design, and collecting reviews!
It’s almost impossible to rank well without using your free Google My Business listing.
Organic search efforts should only take a few months to start producing results.
Before You Can Compete
Anybody can jump into the online marketing fray without laying the proper groundwork. The backend pages of Google Search results are lined with roofing contractors that thought their SEO preparations were “good enough.” These companies earn little to no website traffic, and they shake their fists wondering why their haphazard efforts have failed.
There’s a bare minimum that every company must perform to rank for their desired services.
SEO Basics to Start Ranking
Step #1: Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Step #2: Establish Your Company Website
Step #3: Build Citation Sources and Collect Reviews
Open a GMB Profile
So what does a dedicated roofing company need to do to start earning business online? First, they need to claim and fill out their Google My Business (GMB) profile. A GMB listing allows the search engine to better understand the location and function of your company. Whatever address you use for the GMB account, make sure all your other citation sources match it!
The profile will request many other details of your business. Fill out as much of the information as you can, and check back yearly to make sure your data is still accurate. GMB also allows you to post photos and videos of your business and personnel. Try taking some pictures of your finished roofing projects to post on your account! You can even use existing materials from your Facebook Business to get started.
Create Your Optimized Website
We can’t stress enough just how important it is to nail your company website! So many businesses put up a cookie-cutter, terribly written website and earn inferior leads as a result. If you want your website to do well, make sure you have it crafted by a professional team that knows what they’re doing. A healthy site relies on an organized collection of service pages, keyword optimization, quality content, simplified navigation, lots of schema coding, and review integration.
No single marketing professional can provide all of these aspects, which is why it’s best to rely on a well-rated team. Few other factors of your online marketing so heavily impact your online lead success! Once you’ve established a well-optimized website, you’ll have the foundation necessary to spring into the rest of the SEO basics.
Citations & Reviews
Create More Listings and Earn Reviews
There’s no greater mark of authenticity than a host of glowing customer recommendations. Client feedback shows trustworthiness, one of the three E-A-T factors that Google analyses when ranking a roofing company brand. But, of course, the only way to pull in reviews is to establish listings for your business. As we’ve already mentioned, your GMB account is a great place to start. In addition, Google Reviews naturally integrate well with local search results, making your business much more visible.
However, the search engine provides better results when reviews come from a variety of sources.
That’s where citation sources come into play. These companies offer additional venues to list your company address and services, not to mention a convenient way to collect reviews. While some shady companies might push you to list dozens of obscure websites, it’s best to start with more established brands. The Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Angie’s List are a few intelligent places.
Overcoming the Online Competition
We have a saying at the Webmasters, “You don’t have to be perfect. You have to be better than everyone else.” So far, we’ve covered online activities that will keep you in pace with the rest of the successful roofing companies. Now we come to the SEO basics that make your brand stand out as a clear winner.
SEO Strategies for Winners
Ask for reviews all the time.
Regularly blog on the company website.
Create and manage a Facebook Business page.
Take advantage of customer complaints.
We’ve already talked about how critical reviews are for your business. So why not ask for them consistently, especially after a job is well-done?Our team at Roofing Webmasters gets even more SEO power out of client feedback through a tool called DataPins. It adds geotagged data that shows Google the approximate locations of all job sites and showcases our clients’ roofing projects. While that level of review enhancement is pretty rare, a few other tools out on the market can provide added benefits for all your reviews.
Few roofing companies faithfully add to their company blog, which is why those that do consistently add well-written content are certain to stand out. The best part? You can take the informative material and share them on your social media pages for some added oomph! That’s just one reason to create a Facebook Business page, by the way. The social media platform offers a beautiful place to share information about your business, showcase your latest work, and tactfully address negative customer feedback.
Looking for More Online Leads?
Follow these winning strategies and SEO basics, and you’ll undoubtedly start earning higher rankings for your website. If you’ve been frustrated with organic or paid search, however, our team at Roofing Webmasters would love to help. Check out some resources throughout our website.
Roofing SEO has been around for decades. At this point, roofers understand that outranking other contractors on search engines like Google is critical. But how can these roofers learn the SEO strategies and tips that boost their website to the top of results? If you need more clicks, leads, and sales, the following SEO plan can help.
Roofing Webmasters is known as the best SEO company for roofers. However, many of our roofing clients like to understand the SEO process better. This guide will outline Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how to rank your website on search engines like Google.
In this Roofing SEO guide, you will discover:
What is Roofing SEO, and why is it essential
Best strategies for keyword research and optimization
Best strategy for on-page SEO
Best strategy for technical SEO
How to earn high-quality backlinks from credible sources
How long Roofing SEO takes to start working
How to track, measure, and analyze SEO performance
How to use DataPins to increase organic traffic 25x
Starting the Roofing SEO Learning Process
After completing this guide, you will better understand Roofing SEO, its purpose, and how to use it to generate high-quality roofing leads in 2022.
In addition, you will have the tools to rank your website for thousands of keywords on Google and other search engines.
Table of Contents
What is Roofing SEO?
Roofing SEO is the process of refining digital content to rank higher on Google search results for industry-relevant keywords. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can include various tasks including title tag editing, keyword placement, internal and external link-building, and website enhancement. SEO can apply to an official roofing company website, Google Business Profile, and other online entities. Any task performed to increase organic search rankings, impressions, or clicks is a form of search optimization.
Why is Roofing SEO Important?
Let’s say you own and operate a roofing company in Lubbock, TX. Ranking #1 on search results for “roof repair in Lubbock, TX” and other similar terms will drive relevant consumers to your business. Whether they find your Google Maps listing on the Local 3 Pack or locate your company website in traditional organic results, they’re discovering your company name, address, and phone number. With that information, they can now contact you directly.
In short: higher rankings ultimately produce increased lead generation and sales, which is what every roofer wants.
Successful digital marketing strategy goes beyond the rankings themselves. For example, once a visitor enters your website or views your listing, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you. Not every website visitor becomes a lead, but you can improve the percentage of those that do. Each service requires clear explanations so that prospective customers can quickly determine that you provide what they are looking for when visiting your site for the first time. These and similar tasks form the process of conversion rate optimization (more on that later).
Roofing SEO Strategy: The Planning Stage
arch engine optimization is not an as-you-go process. A well-laid, detailed strategy is essential for SEO to work properly. With this in mind, Keyword research provides the foundation of SEO strategy. First, roofing contractors must identify terms that attract the most relevant consumers to their website and other digital assets. Your business should note each keyword’s search volume and competition level—tools like Moz, SEMRush, and UberSuggest provide volume metrics. Choosing the right keywords benefits all your subsequent digital marketing activities, such as developing a URL hierarchy, writing content, and executing on-page SEO.
In other words, you must nail your keyword selection.
Keywords and search queries aren’t just abstract concepts floating out there in space. In many ways, they represent your target customers. That’s why keyword research tasks should be calculated and intentional. If you run a roofing company in Hartford, CT, you aren’t going to want clicks from people in New York City.
Don’t worry. Local websites aren’t competing against everyone in the country for the same term. So high-volume keywords like roofer, roofing company, roofing services, etc. are dependent on the searcher’s location. Every roofer should be aware of the top roofing keywords before starting their more extensive keyword research. These terms are the basis of your overall strategy. They also inspire ideas for long-tail keywords that will be even more relevant to your local business and help you generate the right kinds of roofing leads in 2022.
When it comes to connecting with people in your community, the most optimal keywords include references to the target service area. The keyword “roof repair” shows consistently high volume throughout all parts of the United States. If your company serves Atlanta, GA, your keyword would be “roof repair Atlanta” or “Atlanta roof repair.” In other words, you want the keyword+location to create a local keyword.
Many of the tools previously mentioned (Moz, SEMRush, etc.) can show you the volume of local keywords. For example, “roof repair Atlanta” has a search volume of 11-50 according to Moz and therefore would be a better term to target than “Atlanta roof repair” which has a volume of 0-10. You should still use both terms within the body of your content, in support of Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), something we’ll discuss in greater detail later. For your traditional on-page SEO (meta, title, headers, etc.) however, “roof repair Atlanta” will be the more valuable search term.
The most successful roofing websites use interior pages to describe more specific services offered by their company. Just like your homepage, these internal pages should intentionally target keywords you want to rank for.
Let’s say your company provides a modified bitumen roof installation. You’d want to research the volume for terms like “modified bitumen roofing services” and “modified bitumen flat roof installation.” Once again, you will want to add the location term to make it long tail. For a roofing company in Louisville, KY, the keyword would look like “modified bitumen flat roof installation Louisville.” With such a long-tail keyword, you’d have a significant chance or ranking in the top 5 on search results for that query. If you execute it really well, you might even score the #1 placement!
URL Structure & Hierarchy
Once you research and identify the best keywords for your roofing company, you can then construct a URL hierarchy. In simpler terms, you’re building a map for how your pages will be organized. Every website has a homepage, and most have an About Us and Contact Us page as well.
What separates roofing websites from each other is the structure of the site and how deep it goes.
At the top of the URL hierarchy are your main service pages, also known as top-level pages or “parent” pages. For larger roofing companies providing both residential and commercial services, those two main categories would each serve as a parent page. The URL for these pages would look something like this…
Underneath those main pages would be more specific pages, known as lower-level pages or “child” pages. “Commercial Roof Replacement”, for instance, would be a child page of Commercial Roofing while “Residential Roof Replacement” would be a child page of Residential Roofing. In the URL, a child page would look like this…
Child pages can be further broken down into sub-levels as needed. If you have a parent page of Commercial Roofing and a child page of Flat Roofing, you can have yet another child page beneath that for something (like Modified Bitumen). You should not go more than 3 pages deep in a hierarchy however, as longer URLs are difficult for Google to crawl and therefore less likely to rank well on SERPs.
Images & Videos
User experience plays a key part in a website’s performance. That’s why images and videos naturally fit well in most SEO strategies. Designated certain images for specific pages, you prevent duplication and accidental mismatches. The best images are always original, meaning they are shots of your actual company, facility, employees, equipment, and transportation. The worst images are stock photos, which are last resorts for roofers who don’t have any photos of themselves.
Search Engine Optimization: The Implementation Stage
SEO is a massive-scale undertaking spread across multiple activities. You shouldn’t expect to understand every optimization method utilized on the web at first glance. Several concepts may seem foreign to you, at least initially. If you’re wondering whether or not a specific activity is part of optimization, just remember this:
Any activity that influences rankings can be considered part of SEO.
Critical planning and research make it easier to implement your SEO strategy smoothly. The better overall picture you create in advance, the easier it will be to maintain a cohesive plan as you arrange your website, listings, etc. Again, SEO is not an as-you-go process. As the saying goes, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.”
When visitors arrive at your roofing website, it takes less than a second for them to form a subconscious impression of your brand. This decision instructs whether or not they stay on your website, or move on to the next result on the previous SERP. There are several factors at play, subtly influencing a user’s experience. Some of them are less tangible, like aesthetic taste. Other factors are more easily defined, such as resolution.
Aside from pleasant appearance, users also crave simple navigation, clear and convincing calls to action, clean graphics, and instructive menus. They want to feel confident about the company’s reputation and leave with an impression of trust and reliability. Websites with obsolete design are more likely to be perceived as scam-y. If it looks like your business page was created with DreamWeaver in 2003, you can expect Google to remove it from the top of search rankings.
The most important part of local SEO for roofers is contact information. Since the lead conversion funnel is predicated on the visitor’s call to action, NAP visibility is paramount. For those unfamiliar with the acronym, “NAP” stands for “name, address, & phone number“.That information should be clearly evident on each page of your website (especially the homepage).
It can’t just be present, however. Your NAP data should be accurate and consistent across every single page. A mistake with your company address or phone number can result in a substantial loss of leads. Worse yet, it can initiate a snowball effect that drops your rankings because of poor user experience and decreasing trust. Even a small error can have large implications for a roofing contractor. For this reason, doing a check of your phone numbers on each page is a good habit to get into. Make sure your NAP information is consistent across your off-site listings too, such as the Better Business Bureau!
Call To Action
A call to action (CTA) is an element of your site that directs visitors to perform a given action, such as calling your office. It’s often accompanied by your NAP data. Strong calls to action provide a compelling incentive to your visitors which encourages them to actually call your number or complete some other kind of action that gets them inside your sales funnel.
CTA’s vary significantly in complexity and design. The simplest urge users to call your number from their mobile device (i.e. a clickable phone number button), while more complex CTA’s cast a less demonstrative hook (such as a “Free SEO Audit” button). CTAs have different goals and functions too. A Free SEO Audit offer casts a wider net, targeting uncommitted prospects currently at the start of the sales funnel. This type of offer may not convert people as effectively as direct phone calls, but it at least puts them on your radar and generates some buzz for your local roofing company.
Nothing establishes trust faster than personalization. Your roofing company website should display images of your roofing company. It doesn’t matter who takes the photos. It can be as simple as snapping some photos of your employees and trucks with your smartphone device. If you like, hire a professional photographer to follow your crew for the day.
You have a multitude of options to personalize your website. Your homepage deserves original photos most of all. Prospective customers want to know who they’re dealing with. Effective roofing marketing speaks directly to the consumer. Common stock photos won’t convey trust but limit website conversion rates instead.
Badges & Accolades
Personalized photos of your business create trust. Badges and accolades create further build that confidence in your brand’s reputation. If your business has ever received any type of certification, it probably comes with a digital badge for use on your website. This can be from national organizations like the Better Business Bureau or local ones like your regional Chamber of Commerce. Other ideas for badges include newspapers and news websites on which you’ve been featured. Have you ever been interviewed by a local reporter? If so, you can absolutely add an icon of the newspaper in an “As Seen On” section of your website.
Consider prestigious certifications like these below when adorning your website:
Images are great, but videos are even better. If you have video footage of some of your roofing jobs, perhaps before and after shots, they can really take your website to the next level. Video is the fastest-growing content asset in the world, and very few roofers feature them on their company websites. This represents a market inefficiency for roofing contractors to capitalize on simply by taking the time to produce videos.
This footage can be captured with a basic smartphone. No need for a professional videographer! The ideal strategy is to upload your video to YouTube, then embed the code from that video into your website’s HTML. This way, you have a chance to rank on both video search engine results and YouTube, while simultaneously enhancing the user-friendliness of your company website. Video content can even support higher rankings. Even audio-only podcasts, which can by syndicated through Apple or Spotify, can quickly increase brand appeal.
Most roofers understand the importance of Google Reviews, but did you know that showcasing testimonials on your homepage influence SEO results too? For one, reviews are user-generated content, which Google loves. Secondly, verifiable reviews showcased on your company’s homepage promotes an enhanced user experience, promoting visitor trust. Some plugins allow you to showcase reviews on your homepage. One of them is DataPins, which actually helps roofers generate more reviews on GBP and Facebook while showcasing the ones they already have directly on their website. A plugin like this offers numerous roofing SEO benefits because it combines user content, trust, and brand awareness.
In 2022, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that most visitors are accessing websites through a mobile device. With this knowledge, every roofer should ensure their site is mobile optimized. With the onset of Google’s mobile-first index update, they’ve made it clear that pages with mobile-appeal will be given priority on search results. There’s no shortage of factors that can enhance a mobile webpage, and the same is true of factors that can ruin them. Enhancements include responsive design, clean navigation, and clickable calls to action. Negative factors include viewport distortion, slow loading times, and image misalignment. As you might imagine, the attention span of mobile users is exceedingly short, and there’s little that can be done to retrieve it once it has passed.
Google Analytics Tracking
The best tool Google has to offer roofing companies is Google Analytics. It provides measurable results of your website’s performance and can produce reports to help improve weaknesses and capitalize on strengths. Perhaps the most important feature of Analytics is the Acquisition Report. This report tells webmasters how many visits their website is getting on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis, including a breakdown of where the clicks are coming from (i.e. organic, direct, referral, etc.) Although Analytics is somewhat limited in that they reveal very few of the exact search queries that lead to your clicks, simple comparative analysis can help you deduce exactly what is driving your traffic and instruct ways to take the next step moving forward in 2022. If you see sudden shifts in your traffic, either up or down, you’ll be able to diagnose issues and address website needs.
Browsers in 2022 will warn users when they are on a website that is not secure, meaning one that has Http:// instead of https://. If you are unfamiliar with SSL security, it is a security protocol that protects data transfers over the web. Sites that have it enabled are https:// addresses, which is exactly what you’ll want your site to display. Not only is SSL indicative of trust but it makes for a superior user journey. While roofers rarely sell products online (e-commerce) they still want to create the optics of strong security. Because it can influence a user’s perception of your site, SSL must be considered at the very least; an indirect roofing SEO ranking factor in 2022.
Local SEO for Roofers
Local roofers will rely heavily on Google Business Profile and Google Maps to help their business rank on local search results. The address listed on your homepage (something we discussed previously) should exactly match the one listed on your Google Business Profile listing which will, in turn, appear on Google Maps. The goal is to appear in the Local Map Pack which is a snippet of the top 3 GBP listings in a particular service area. Of course, you’ll also want to rank on traditional organic results for queries involving your target keywords and locations. Keep in mind that you should only target cities that you can actually service and that the closer your address is to the target area, the more likely you are to rank for the term, especially on Google Maps.
Some companies are large enough to where they require multi-location SEO. This is only true for roofers who have more than one legitimate business location with a verifiable address. Since Google Business Profile listings are verified through postcard confirmation, any kind of illegitimate address is prohibited. These include virtual offices, PO boxes, and anything that cannot be considered a place of business. Google Business Profile recently altered its requirements for businesses that operate out of a house. If your roofing business address is also your residence, GBP asks you do not include the address itself on the listing. Still, you’ll need to verify that address privately using the aforementioned postcard verification method.
Local Business Citations
Most roofing contractors have heard of directories like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor which are platforms for NAP citations. There are countless amounts of directories on which to cite your local roofing business. From niche directories like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor to more generalized platforms like Yelp and BBB. Some of these directories offer premium services which you should consider separate from the citation itself. The goal is to claim all of your free citations and to ensure the accuracy of the ones that already exist. Sometimes you’ll find that citations exist which were never manually created by you. This can be from data mining sources like Acxiom which pull your company info from public records and then sell it to the major data distributors. Tools like Whitespark and Moz Local can help you claim and correct citations.
In congruence with claiming business citations on local business directories, you’ll want to simultaneously ensure the consistency of each of them. Tools previously mentioned like Whitespark and Moz Local can help streamline that process, especially for tenured businesses that have thousands and thousands of citations. Accuracy is, of course, the most important factor, but consistency matters as well. Even if your address uses a suffix that varies in spelling, you want it to be identical on every citation. For this reason, choose a singular suffix spelling and stick with it for every citation.
Google Business Profile Optimization
Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a directory in of itself but it is also so much more than that. It is the central hub of your entire local SEO strategy. Not only should your GBP listing be claimed, verified, and accurate, but it should also be optimized for conversion. We spoke previously about website conversions, but GBP listings can also be a major source of leads. The best way to increase conversions is to optimize your listing with company photos, Google posts, and Q & A content. Furthermore, you want to include the Call Now button so that mobile users can click straight from their mobile device, and connect with you through a call.
Even roofers with one location often serve multiple cities within a radius. To reach those cities, you must create unique and informative city pages that are optimized for their own respective locations. We strongly discourage mass production of city or county pages, which is a tactic that is known as “spinning.” Spun content is written by software AI and makes readability robotic and spam-like. Some roofing contractors use the software anyway to mass-produce pages for every city, town, and even county within their general area. Search engines have smartened up to this pitiful concept and started to penalize websites that engage in it. You should still write city pages, but they should be unique and specific to the location that they are optimizing for, rather than a re-hashed duplication of another page.
On-Page SEO for Roofing
The optimization components most widely understood by the general public are methods known in totality as on-page SEO. They include the alteration of title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, URL slugs, as well as content writing. The SEO strategy created earlier in the process will be used most frequently with on-page optimization. You will take the keywords chosen in your research phase and implement them onto your web pages in a variety of formats. Most roofers who have some knowledge of digital marketing associate roofing SEO with on-page methods, and rightfully so. They are the most straightforward tasks and the ones that are most frequently discussed in the mainstream.
Roofing SEO takes time and patience but it also has a lasting influence. When you optimize a page for search, you are not just looking for short term gratification but also for long term equity. Pages that you create and optimize today could end up serving your business well for decades to come. As they grow older and gain tenure, they will also gain authority. The better your pages are optimized, the higher they will rank, and the more they will venture into other forms of roofing SEO including off-site, local, and technical SEO. Knowing this, it is important to be precise when performing on-page tasks.
The keywords included in your strategy will be deployed in a variety of ways during on-page optimization. From title tags to meta descriptions, and the body content in between, you should make proper use of keywords by placing them in the most opportunistic spots. The left-hand side of any of the elements mentioned is normally that spot. But be careful, you want to avoid redundancy and you want content to enhance the reading experience, not hinder it. So if your keyword is roof replacement in “city”, your title could be Roof Replacement in City, your H1 could be Roof Replacement Services, and your meta description could read; “Roof Replacement Services From [Company Name] Are Affordable, Reliable, and Easy to Schedule. Residents of [City, State] Can Call [###-###-####] To Schedule Their Services Today!” You now have the keyword in three on-page elements without any of them sounding spam-like or misleading. You should follow suit for H2 and H3 tags, as well as image alt text and the paragraph content on the page. One thing to remember at all times is; never stuff keywords. Only use the term within your paragraphs when it makes sense to the reader.
The Title Tag or SEO Title of a page is the one that appears on search results as the clickable portion of the result. You want keyword relevance of course, but you also want something that urges people to click. When a user clicks on a page it increases its click-through rate (CTR) and sends a signal to Google that people like what they see from your initial result. This can be a double-edged sword if you’re not careful. You want an appealing title tag, but also one that is representative of your actual website and services. You don’t want to mislead anybody, because they will just exit immediately if they feel like they’ve been swindled. For local roofers, you won’t need anything too over the top within a title tag. It might be something as simple as “Roofer in Atlanta GA | Schedule Your Roof Inspection Today.” Google Analytics will help you monitor the click-through rate, and you can adjust your title tag based on behavioral metrics. Moz can help you preview a title tag to ensure it’s within the character limit for optimal presentation.
The text underneath the title tag on a SERP result is known as the meta description. Depending on who you ask, the character limit is either 150-160 or 300. Google had temporarily changed the way they showcase certain meta descriptions but have since resorted back to their original methodology. A meta description should appeal to the search engine user in the same way the title does. It’s not quite as important because fewer people actually read it. Still, it helps to have one instance of the keyword, and an accurate depiction of what the user will find when they click through. You can even include your phone number towards the beginning of the meta description so that consumers have the option to call you before ever entering the site.
Headings are important for formatting purposes, but research shows that they also matter for search rankings on a more direct level. There are several types of header tags. You have your H1, your H2, and your H3. Some websites even have H4s and H5s depending on their style sheet. The header that matters most for on-page SEO is the H1. It is essentially considered a subtitle on a given web page. That’s why it’s ideal to have your keyword within the H1. But as we stated before, your H1 should never look spammy. The keyword must fit naturally within it and make sense within the context of the page. H2s and H3s are more important for formatting than anything else. But as you should know, formatting enhances the ease of use, which positively impacts search rankings. They also serve as a great way to categorize sections of a page.
The URL slug or the permalink is the section of a web address that appears on the right-hand side. So if your website is MyRoofingCompany.com and your page is created as a lower-level page underneath a parent page like Residential Roofing, your URL Slug would be MyRoofingCompany.com/residential/enter-url-slug. What you fill in as the URL slug should be topically relevant, concise, and if possible, include the keyword. An example of a good URL slug for residential roof repair is MyRoofingCompany.com/residential/roof-repair. You’ll notice how that reads better than an alternative like MyRoofingCompany.com/residential/residential-roof-repair. There’s less redundancy in the former example, and the latter is harder for search engines to crawl and also uglier to look at for your visitors. URL slugs are known also as permalinks because they are in fact permanent. If you end up not needing the page anymore you can implement what is known as a 301 redirect, which will auto-direct a user from that page to a newer update. Still, the permalink will remain intact.
Image Alt Text
A sometimes overlooked on-page optimization factor is image alt text. It is the description of an image on your web page. For those of you who don’t know, an image file should always be titled in lower case letters with dashes. If you upload an image of your roofing truck, a good file name would be company-name-truck.jpg … or something to that effect. Once the image is uploaded and embedded into your content, you should fill out its Alt Text. This is more or less a description of what the image is. So if it’s your truck, the Alt Text should be very similar to the title, something like; Company Name Truck. This is a small but effective task for on-page SEO.
Off-Site SEO for Roofing
If you’ve wondered why on-page SEO isn’t just called “SEO” it’s because there are other kinds of optimization that take place away from a website and its pages. These tasks are referred to as off-site SEO or sometimes off-page SEO. Regardless of which term you subscribe to, the concept is the same. Google evaluates signals from external sources to judge your web presence in totality. A clear example of this is inbound linking. In fact, inbound links were the original measure of a website’s value and remain an important ranking factor to this day.
Although link building was once easy to manipulate, that is no longer the case. Successful off-site optimization requires more work than it once did. For links to hold value, they must be relevant to the entity to which they link. A diet pills website that links to your roofing repair page will not do much to boost its value in the eyes of search engines. Links come in many forms, including from social media platforms, business listing directories, and other websites throughout the net. The goal for off-site SEO is to expand brand awareness and develop a web presence over time.
A company website is not the only representation of your roofing business online. With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, roofers can leverage free social platforms to expand brand awareness. Since these web entities exist exclusive from your main site, they are considered “off-site” and therefore; part of an off-site SEO strategy. Many times with social media, on and off-page methods can be merged. For instance, sharing an internal blog post on your LinkedIn feed contributes to both on and off-page elements. Moz also considers social signals to be a local ranking factor and so social media activity in of itself is likely to enhance your overall development.
There are so many ways to build inbound links to your website, some of them help and some of them hurt. Antiquated tactics such as buying links from blog comments or PBN’s are frowned upon by Google. While they won’t necessarily cause penalization in 2022, their zero-sum value contributes to a depletion of resources. Better ways to build links involve networking with other web entities or personalities, including marketing influencers. Blogger outreach is a way to pitch your website’s relevance for inclusion in a guest post on another domain. The more relevant the domain is to your roofing company, the more link juice will navigate towards it. Earning links naturally remains the safest and most effective strategy, and writing great content that ranks is the best way to achieve that goal.
Technical SEO for Contractors
Websites earn rankings not just from on-page optimization or off-site link building, but also from technical optimization. Technical SEO is executed behind the scenes on the back-end of a website. It involves the refinement of HTML & CSS coding as well as the implementation of microdata tags known as schema markup. Schema helps search engines parcel data and most appropriately rank your website based on its subject matter and relevancy. Technical optimization also involves issues like 301 redirection, XML sitemaps, and site speed optimization.
For roofers without knowledge of computer programming, technical optimization can be the most foreign. To the average eye, HTML and CSS looks like nothing more than gibberish. But Google views the code far differently than an internet user would. To Google, the technical aspects of a website are important when determining their inherent value. Most of all, they contribute to the process of driving relevant users to websites that will address their needs.
When a webpage is no longer valuable to visitors it should be redirected to a more relevant page. You don’t want to just outright delete a page is because it has already been indexed on search results. If you delete a page it can cause major problems for your website, frustrate would-be visitors, and hurt your roofing SEO efforts. With a 301 redirect, the URL destination will remain indexed but funnel the users who click through to a superior page without them even realizing what happened.
Every website needs an XML sitemap to encourage Google to index every page. Since not all pages will be internal links from the homepage, you still want them to be indexed on search engines. Sitemaps are particularly useful for websites that are larger in scale, as Google has a more difficult time crawling the number of pages present on sites like these. Like with other forms of technical optimization, the goal is to make Google’s crawling process as simple as possible.
Site Speed Optimization
Choosing a Roofing SEO Agency
For most roofing companies, incorporating SEO yourself is a tall task. You don’t have the time or resources to devote to everything covered in this guide. As a result, you will have to choose a good SEO company to implement these strategies on your behalf. You should consider a few things before selecting roofing SEO services for your company.
Does the SEO company have a proven track record of success? Many have case studies on their website demonstrating organic traffic improvements over a fixed period. Of course, you shouldn’t automatically trust these studies either. Still, the fact that they can showcase previous results is a green flag in 2022.
SEO service pricing is a big factor for roofers. After all, who wants to pay $2,000+ per month for SEO? The most honest agencies will charge around $1,500 per month for search engine optimization, as this is a good budget to fund your SEO campaign. Be careful, however, as some agencies lock you into a long-term contract.
You learned how reviews impact your roofing company and its SEO. The same is true for whichever agency you research on Google. Check the Google Reviews for your top 3 agency considerations and compare and contrast the feedback. Google Reviews are the most trustworthy source as they guard against fake reviews or spam reviews.
Last but not least is your comfort level with the SEO provider. Does your point of contact sound like a salesperson? Or do they sound like someone who genuinely understands roofing SEO and how it can apply to your online campaign? In addition, attentive SEO specialists should craft a unique plan for your company. Perhaps you offer a specialty service which they should represent on your company website.
So you’re a newb when it comes to marketing for roofers—big deal. The reality is that everyone has to start somewhere, and there’s no better time to start than now. Embarking on a new business venture can be both exciting & intimidating. There’s the lure of the unknown and the challenge that comes along. At Roofing Webmasters, this podcast wasn’t created to earn new clients (we have a line out the door) but instead to impart our knowledge of what it takes to become a successful roofing contractor in 2021.
No Money, No Problems
Nolen Walker, the founder of Roofing Webmasters, started from humble beginnings. Like those of you reading this post, he didn’t have the money to invest in big-time marketing right away. So instead, he spent his time mowing lawns & painting curbs to build enough cash to parlay into a long-term investment.
Planting your flag as a digital footprint, albeit a comparatively minuscule one, lays a foundation that you can build on many years later—Google factors in tenure when assigning trust to a particular brand or entity. Claiming a domain name now (even if it shows a dirt cheap website) is still a step in the right direction for prospective roofers. Here’s what you need:
It would help if you had a website and domain name ASAP. Although you can’t expect to succeed on Google organic with a template website, having any website at all is better than not having one. Why? Tenure matters in the eyes of Google. So while you won’t directly benefit from your website today, you will be setting the stage for future endeavors in terms of lead generation.
Remember, you have limited funds, and so you have to make the most of them. You can’t compare yourself to other roofers with massive budgets because that will only discourage you from trying. Even if it is a baby step, the first step can start a meaningful push to lead to sustainable success. Domains usually cost 9.99. Go for a roofing domain name that has a dot com extension.
Google My Business Listing
If you do nothing else with your web presence, make sure you at least claim & optimize your local Google listing. GMB listings account for both your Google My Business profile & Google Maps address. Every business owner in the world can do this free of charge if they have a legitimate business.
Google explains how to claim your business which is the simplest way to establish a web presence with no money. Make sure you add company photos to your profile as you take them. As a newb, you may not have many to start, but your GMB can be continuously improved over and again. First, maps addresses must be verified, which is most commonly done via postcard mail. Once verified, you can rank on Google Maps.
Google Reviews (And Other Reviews)
Once you’ve claimed & optimized your Google listing, you should pursue as many reviews as possible. Even if you have a dirt-cheap website, consumers can find appeal in a GMB listing with several positive reviews. If a prospect searches your brand name, they will see your GMB listing in the knowledge graph on the top right of search results.
Google is not the only platform on which you should generate reviews. You also want to disseminate them to business directories like Angie’s List, BBB, MapQuest, etc. But perhaps more importantly, you want to get them on Facebook, which serves as a social media platform as well as a top business directory.
Speaking of Facebook, social media platforms are free to market and present a powerful web entity for roofing newbs with no money. Sure, you can’t advertise on Facebook or Instagram without funds, but you can certainly market yourself on them. Facebook marketing is primarily about establishing a business page that will show up on Google search results.
With Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, you have a chance to generate some organic impressions on the platforms themselves. Unfortunately, Facebook no longer empowers brands to show up on organic feeds as a way to discourage the clickbait that has plagued the social network over the past decade or so. But you can still use it to your advantage, as a newb roofer with no $.
Transitioning to a Higher Level of Marketing
Once you transition from newb to moderately successful roofer, you should take your earnings and re-allocate them towards superior marketing. The first step will be contacting a professional web designer who can replace your old site with a newly customized one coded for SEO.
Since your domain will already have tenure at this point, you can leverage its age to hit the ground rounding with your newly designed website. Yes, that’s right, you keep the domain that you bought for 9.99 some years ago but now energize it with a superior design. Combining tenure with SEO creates a perfect storm of digital promotion that one can enjoy the benefits of for years and decades to come.
Roofing Webmasters Can Help
Remember, this post is not for people who already have a dominant online presence; it is just a reminder to those who want to reevaluate once they gain that position. Roofing Webmasters has been working with roofing contractors for years, and our data supports consistent excellence in roofer internet marketing. We attend to detail, review the latest algorithmic trends, and constantly look for advantages to put our clients over their competitors on Google organic rankings.