When people hear the words “Black-Hat” or “Gray-Hat,” they often picture old 90’s movies about spy escapades or illegal hacker groups. However, when it comes to the world of online search, most of these activities aren’t illegal but can get your website penalized by search engines. If you rely upon these techniques for day-to-day business, your company could be destined for failure.
Nolen and Jason discuss the difference between black, gray, and white-hat SEO in our latest podcast. Learn how to distinguish legitimate SEO experts from the fakes. If you’ve struggled in the past with ranking your website, or if a shady marketing company is advertising some sketchy SEO tactics, be sure to listen in closely.
Key Points to Listen For:
White-Hat techniques provide the best long-term results for your business.
Gray-Hat methods may work temporarily.
Black-Hat tactics could put your entire company at risk.
Business owners are responsible for their SEO practices, even if they don’t manage them.
Black-Hat, Gray-Hat, and White-Hat
“What the heck is going on with all these hats?!” That’s a question that many contractors instinctively blurt out whenever this topic pops up. Although the terms come from western film terminology, these hats represent the various levels of legitimacy in SEO (search engine optimization). So what does each one signify?
White-Hat – represent acceptable SEO business practices recommended by Google
Gray-Hat – techniques lying outside accepted practice, but not forbidden by Google
Black-Hat – tactics explicitly banned by Google, typically for their harmful nature against consumers
What’s Wrong With Black-Hat SEO?
In Western filmology, black hats were typically reserved for American outlaws who fought against the accepted code of conduct. They lived a high and romanticized life on the run. Sometimes they hid from the public eye. Sometimes they strut flamboyantly about in defiance of the law.
Black-hat SEO behaves similarly. Some who engage in these tactics mask themselves as legitimate businesses and hide from the public eye. Others publicly advertise their practices because they know they can’t be punished (yet). Look no further than the late 2000s, when Google struggled to curtail the ludicrous practice of buying inbound links. Back then, sites were judged predominantly by the number of other sites linking to them. The issue spiraled so hilariously out of control that your neighborhood roofing contractor would purchase hundreds of thousands of inbound links to keep up with the competition.
If you search Google’s policy on link schemes now, it won’t take much imagination to predict what happened next.
Google explicitly condemned this behavior for years and earnestly sought ways to prevent it. Finally, after years of warning businesses to stop these practices, the search engine had had enough. In 2012 and 2013, Google rolled out the Penguin algorithm update, and all hell broke loose for companies that relied on these black-hat SEO practices. Frontpage contenders dropped off the map overnight. Some went bankrupt, while others went through months of link disavowal projects and “Google, we’re sorry”‘s to find their way back to competing.
What Black-Hat SEO Looks Like
No, we’re not going to give you a how-to on gaming SEO! But it does pay to understand how it looks (and feels). Marketing companies dabbling in black-hat practices often cut down their costs and provide quick results for their clients. Legitimate, organic search tactics almost always take months to cultivate. Anyone offering and providing overnight results (especially for cheap) is probably into some shady stuff that could end up harming your business.
Watch out for talking about “loopholes” or “exploits,” and steer clear of anyone offering immediate results for your roofing SEO. Even if you’re not the one perpetrating these tactics, your business could end up getting delisted from Google My Business and disappearing from local search results. That could mean months of lost online revenue and trying to restore your online presence. You’ll undoubtedly wish you stuck with safer white-hat SEO! If you’re concerned about a particular online practice, your company currently engages in, consult Google’s Quality Guidelines.
Gray-Hat SEO – Shaky Foundations
Just because you won’t get in trouble for engaging in a particular behavior, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for your business. Gray-hat SEO involves activities that fall outside Google’s recommended business practices, yet the search engine doesn’t explicitly condemn them. Instead, as with black-hat SEO, gray-hat tactics try to take advantage of blind spots in Google’s search algorithm.
So what’s the problem? Since the activity isn’t illegal or even denounced by Google, many businesses actively (and unashamedly) engage in gray-hat SEO. These activities seem to work and provide enhanced rankings in local search. But, as our team at Roofing Webmasters (and any sensible online marketing company) will tell you, Google continually updates its algorithm to provide the best value for its user base. That includes consumers and businesses alike. As a result, the vast majority of gray-hat exploits are discovered and neutralized.
The End Result of Gray-Hat SEO
In the short term, these tactics offer temporary benefits for your business. However, any company that primarily focuses on bypassing Google’s established search practices is going to pay the price. You may not suffer the crushing consequences of black-hat SEO (like losing your business listing), but your rankings will almost inevitably plummet when the next algorithm update comes along. Furthermore, it could take months, even years, to recover.
Focusing on flimsy search techniques also distracts you from activities that would produce stable, long-term results for your business. As a result, all the months you could have spent establishing your brand with white-hat SEO fall by the wayside. That’s the true tragedy of gray-hat search tactics!
White-Hat SEO – Results You Can Trust
We finally come to the “good guy” in our western film metaphor. White-hat SEO incorporates tried and true practices that fall safely within Google’s search principles. Unlike its black and gray-hat counterparts, this category continually provides long-term benefits for roofing contractors.
So when it comes to SEO for roofers, what do white hat-tactics look like? If you’ve listened to any of our previous podcasts, you’ll likely remember our shortlist of crucial SEO elements.
Basic White-Hat SEO
Custom Website Design and Coding
Keyword Research and Page Optimization
Quality Content Development
Supporting Social Media Marketing
Reviews from Multiple Sources
It takes a wide range of activities to produce the type of traffic businesses crave when it comes to roofing SEO. As contractors feed time, money, and effort into their search marketing, they’ll consistently see a return on their investment. But, of course, that means doing the required research, planning, and abiding by the established rules of white-hat SEO.
SEO Tactics You Can Trust
While sleazy digital marketing companies are a dime a dozen, it can be hard to find that handful of dependable agencies you can trust. As you hunt for a marketing partner specializing in white-hat SEO, look for these traits: accountability, timely results, willingness to explain SEO in simple terms, experience, and well-roundedness. Any business that claims one facet of marketing will turn your business around probably isn’t worth your investment. However, a dependable company will never try to oversell its capabilities or promise guaranteed jaw-dropping results.
Hopefully, you’ll find this guide helpful in your search for long-term online marketing success. If your roofing business has struggled to get a foothold in local search, our team at Roofing Webmasters would love to partner with you! Our full-service online marketing team supports contractors all over the country. We’re proud to say our clients consistently earn higher rankings, more traffic, and better leads within their service area.
Having passed the infamous 20th of March, the spring season is here, and it is prime time for roofing companies to capture business leads. Punxsutawney Phil may not have been spot on with his early spring prediction, but the weather is starting to progress closer to warmth across the nation. With cold spells still interjecting themselves, this combination of hot and cold has a chance to create severe hail storms, something we’ll touch on more later. But spring, in general, is always going to present a major opportunity to roofing contractors. But how does one take advantage of the most suitable season to generate roofing leads and grow your business?
Who Has The Head Start?
The truth is that winning the race for spring roofing leads should start before the spring season. The companies that have already created a custom website optimized it for search and placed themselves on Google My Business will have a significant head start on those late to the party. Google and Facebook reviews of these businesses are also an essential factor determining who scoops up most of the leads this spring. The gap may already be large.
Making Up Ground
Not everyone had the foresight to optimize their website before spring, especially those new to the roofing industry or a specific location. Having an aged domain name will always be ideal for SEO purposes, and optimization takes time in general. Most new roofing campaigns are looking at a 6-month minimum for organic ranking. One way to close the gap in the meantime is to invest in PPC management through Google Ads. Buying clicks can get leads quickly.
Win The Marathon, If Not The Race
If PPC is out of your price range, the time to start gearing up for next spring (2020) is right now. While the idea of waiting this long may seem discouraging, it will pay off next year. Remember, while you might lose the SEO race this year, you can get a head start on the race next year. The reality is that the roofing business is more like an online marathon. If you consistently improve, you will end up winning in the end. So even if PPC is an option, you should still invest in SEO for next year right now.
Optimizing for Hail Storms
There are some roofers in the industry known as storm chasers. But the truth of the matter is that companies who are already optimized for hail storm roof damage in their service area are going to have a leg up on fly-by-nighters. The top roofing websites have an individual webpage for storm roof damage and their homepage and pages for other services. Over time, this page optimizes for the target keywords that heal inflicted homeowners’ search on Google.
Keeping it Local
Your business must have a presence on Google My Business and supporting reviews and a verified address to generate local leads. The goal for roofers is to show up on the Local Map Pack, a group of Maps listings selected by Google based on relevance, radius, and reviews. Roofers should try to generate as many reviews as possible and do so consistently. Google checks not only quantity but also recency. Google Ads can also appear on the Map Pack if adequately connected to your GMB account.
Speed Up With Roofing Webmasters
Are you tired of losing out on spring roofing leads every year? Roofing SEO Webmasters’ complete digital marketing package can solve your problems once and for all. As a digital marketing agency that provides custom website design, content marketing, Google Maps optimization, PPC, and SEO, there’s no aspect of the race that we can’t enhance. The best leads come from an investment in your own brand, which we empower our roofing clients. We build everything from the ground up with custom codebase, schema markup, and logo design.
There are many SEO scams online in today’s marketplace, and roofing companies can fall victim to their shadiness. On today’s podcast, Nolen and Jason of Roofing Webmasters discuss SEO scams for roofers and how to avoid lousy marketing companies like the plague. Investing marketing dollars wisely can make or break your roofing business, and choosing the wrong agency can ruin your company. Let’s take a look at some surefire scam signs.
Any roofing marketing agency that locks you into a long-term contract (6 months or more) should be considered a red flag. Roofing companies should only partner with agencies that offer month-to-month agreements so that they can keep them accountable. In addition, once you’re locked into payments, your agency can stop worrying about your website because they get paid either way.
Black Box Billing
One of the biggest scams in digital marketing is black box billing for PPC. If your agency handles your Google Ads, they should offer transparent billing through Google. You should know how much of your ad spend goes directly to your Google Ad campaigns and how much goes into your agency’s pockets. If they can’t provide detailed billing for your PPC campaigns, you have entered into a bad deal.
Choose Your Keywords
If an SEO agency asks you to choose from a list of keywords, run for the hills. While it might sound like a good idea at face value, the reality is that choosing keywords is a horrible SEO practice. A good SEO agency will optimize your website for every viable keyword in your niche rather than limiting it to select keywords. Worse yet, most of the listed keywords are easy to rank for and require very little expertise from the agency. As a result, they fool you into thinking they accomplished something great when most SEO companies could easily replicate the rankings.
Branding and Big Words
Any highfalutin marketing agency that tries to act superior by using vague terminology that makes them sound smarter is acting in bad faith. If they speak about branding from a conceptual standpoint, they’ve likely hooked you into a bad deal. The actual value of branding is lead generation. So the idea of branding from a theoretical perspective is a waste of time. Unless your agency can show you how their services lead to sales, they are just talking to sound smart.
General Marketing Agencies
Not every generalized marketing firm is terrible, but it certainly helps to choose an agency that focuses on roofing. If your agency handles everything from eCommerce to medical accounts, they may not have the expertise to handle roofing, or they may lose your account in a pile of higher-paying clients. If you choose a general SEO company, make sure they can provide examples of roofing campaigns they’ve helped succeed recently.
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 SEO guide for roofers, 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 Roofer SEO takes to start working
How to track, measure, and analyze SEO performance
How to use DataPins to increase organic traffic 25x
SEO is a Learning Process for Roofers
After completing this guide, you will better understand SEO for roofing companies, its purpose, and how to use it to generate high-quality roofing leads in 2023.
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 SEO for Roofers??
Roofer 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 SEO Important for Roofing Companies?
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 roofing company website in traditional organic results, they discover your roofing 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 conversion rate optimization process (more on that later).
SEO Strategy: The Planning Stage
Search 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., depend on the searcher’s location. Before starting their more extensive keyword research, every roofer should be aware of the top roofing keywords. 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 2023.
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 roofing 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, according to Moz, “roof repair Atlanta” has a search volume of 11-50 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. However, for your traditional on-page SEO (meta, title, headers, etc.), “roof repair Atlanta” will be the more valuable search term.
The most successful roofing websites use interior pages to describe more specific services their company offers. Just like your homepage, these internal pages should intentionally target keywords you want to rank for.
Let’s say your roofing 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.
The keyword for a roofing company in Louisville, KY, would look like “modified bitumen flat roof installation Louisville.” With such a long-tail keyword, you’d have a significant chance of 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.
Your main service pages are at the top of the URL hierarchy, 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…
Under those main pages would be more specific, lower-level 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 the last resort 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, 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 the 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 a 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 designs 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 roofing companies 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, checking your phone numbers on each page is a good habit to get into.
Ensure your NAP information is consistent across your off-site listings, 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. Your NAP data often accompany it. Strong calls to action provide a compelling incentive to your visitors, encouraging them to 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. They 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 broader 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.
Phone number links are best for on-site conversions, especially for mobile visitors who can click to call.
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 enhancing your company website’s user-friendliness.
Video content can even support higher rankings. Even audio-only podcasts, which can be 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 promote 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 SEO benefits for roofers because it combines user content, trust, and brand awareness.
In 2023, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that most visitors access websites through mobile devices. 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 2023.
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 2023 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 SEO ranking factor for roofers.
Local SEO for Roofing Companies
Local roofers rely heavily on Google Business Profile and 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 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 require multi-location SEO. This is only true for roofers with 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 not to 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 Angi’ 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 ensure the accuracy of the existing ones. Sometimes you’ll find that citations that were never manually created by you exist. This can be from data mining sources like Acxiom, which pulls your company info from public records and then sells it to 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 ensure their consistency simultaneously. Tools previously mentioned, like Whitespark and Moz Local, can help streamline that process, especially for tenured businesses with thousands and thousands of citations.
Accuracy is, of course, the most important factor, but consistency also matters. 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 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. Optimizing your listing with company photos, Google posts, and Q & A content is the best way to increase conversions.
Furthermore, you want to include the Call Now button so mobile users can click straight from their mobile devices and connect with you through a call.
Even roofers with one location often serve multiple cities within a radius. You must create unique and informative city pages optimized for their respective locations to reach those cities. We strongly discourage mass production of city or county pages, a tactic known as “spinning.”
Spun content is written by software AI and makes readability robotic and spam-like. Some roofing contractors use the software to mass-produce pages for every city, town, and county within their general area. You might use tools like ChatGPT or Jasper to create this content, but Google can detect it.
Search engines have smartened up to this pitiful concept and penalized websites that engage in it.
You should still write city pages, but they should be unique and specific to the location they are optimizing for rather than a re-hashed duplication of another page.
On-Page SEO for Roofing
The general public most widely understood optimization components are methods known in totality as on-page SEO. They include altering title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, URL slugs, and content writing. The SEO strategy created earlier in the process will frequently be used with on-page optimization.
You will take the keywords chosen in your research phase and implement them onto your web pages in various 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 strategy, 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 various ways during on-page optimization. From title tags to meta descriptions and the body content in between, you should use keywords properly by placing them in the most opportunistic spots.
The left-hand side of any of the elements mentioned is typically 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. A user clicks on a page increases its click-through rate (CTR) and signals 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 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.” 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 how they showcase certain meta descriptions but have resorted back to their original methodology.
A meta description should appeal to the search engine user like the title does. It’s not quite as crucial 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 at the beginning of the meta description so that consumers can call you before 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 page’s context. H2s and H3s are more important for formatting than anything else. But as you should know, formatting enhances the ease of use, positively impacting 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:
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:
You’ll notice how that reads better than an alternative like:
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 also known as permalinks because they are 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 lowercase 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: 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 other kinds of optimization 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 today.
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 of 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 exclusively 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 and 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 PBNs, are frowned upon by Google.
While they won’t necessarily cause penalization in 2023, 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 Roofing 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 its 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 outright delete a page 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 roofer 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 larger websites, 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
This is important for search engine optimization because users don’t want to wait more than 1 second for a page to load. If they’re forced to, they are likely to move on to the next result, which increases your bounce rate (the rate at which users exit your website immediately after entrance) and potentially decreases your ranking.
Choosing a Roofer 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 this guide covers. As a result, you will have to choose a good SEO company to implement these strategies on your behalf. Before selecting roofing SEO services for your company, you should consider a few things.
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 2023.
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 SEO for roofing contractors 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.
Many Roofing websites engaged in keyword stuffing in the early days of Google, a severely antiquated SEO content technique meant to boost search rankings. The stuffing tactic worked well initially since Google’s algorithm could not yet adequately process language through text. However, in 2021, Google’s algorithm is so far advanced that it can identify keyword stuffing instantly.
Google can enforce its keyword stuffing ban through its increasingly intelligent search algorithm. Nevertheless, the influence of roofing keywords is still significant, especially in title and header tags. However, ranking well on Google now requires modern keyword strategies, particularly synonyms and LSI keywords.
What is LSI?
LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing is an information retrieving methodology speculated to be utilized by Google’s algorithm. The method focuses on relationships and patterns between terms.
What is an LSI Keyword?
Regarding SEO, an LSI keyword relates to the primary term without replicating it. For example, it might be a synonym, or it might be a term that is closely associated with substantial groupings of data. Tools like LSI Graph track that data and produce lists of LSI keywords based on a primary word.
LSI Keywords & Roofing Web Content
Roofers might wonder why they should care about LSI keywords. If you rank #1 for your primary keywords, then you probably shouldn’t care. After all, the bottom line is what matters to most. But the reality is that most people reading this aren’t ranking #1, and probably not ranking #2, #3, or even #4. That’s why they are looking for tips to improve their SEO which will eventually increase lead generation.
LSI keywords can enhance your content and help you rank higher on Google search results. The result will be a more consistent lead acquisition and a more significant presence on organic search results. In addition, roofers who take their content seriously can make gains in ranking positions.
Unfortunately, as we noted, many roofing websites continue to exhibit low-quality content and engage in keyword stuffing. You can separate yourself from competitors by having more diversely written content with more logical language. Not only does this signal to Google that your content deserves special consideration, but it makes for a better reading experience for the user.
The Death of Keyword Stuffing
The emergence of LSI keywords renders keyword stuffing useless. While you still want one instance of the primary term in the body content and the title, header, and meta description, you don’t need to use it much in writing itself. Therefore, Google publically discourages the keyword stuffing tactic, and roofing companies should avoid it without hesitation.
You can use a primary term several times if warranted, but you should never approach even ten instances. Unnatural keyword insertions create a negative user experience. Not only can you lose rankings from this action in of itself, but you can further lose ranking based on users’ reactions. After all, they are Google’s clients, and how they behave on your website remains the most significant indicator of your site’s value.
Diverse, Cohesive, & Informative Content
LSI keywords indicate a more extensive effort from a website and its writers. It shows that content on your roofing website is diverse and cohesive, which is ultimately what Google, and most importantly, its users, want. Instead of a page that only sells the service, a page that informs the consumer why this service is right for them, how it relates to their current problem, and how they can rectify the situation efficiently holds far greater value.
We understand that roofing websites exist for the contractor to make sales, but Google’s duty is to its users, and users will always prefer the more engaging content. It would be one thing if none of your competitors were improving their content, but that is not the case. We’re seeing roofers that invest in their content writing ascending on search rankings, while those who remain stagnant in their old-school ways are losing ground.
Roofing Webmasters Can Help With LSI Keywords
Depending on local competition, poor keyword usage may prevent your website from ranking. Content is one piece of the SEO puzzle, but Google values it more than ever. Content works best when accompanied by custom web design, clean coding, local maps placemen.
Keep in mind also that Google’s algorithm continues to evolve as we speak here today. What worked ten years ago no longer works today. The key is to view marketing as a fluid process that roofing companies must adapt to continually. Of course, it helps to have a digital marketing company like Roofing Webmasters on your side to help you get there.
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