I’m going to preface this post by saying that SEO has become an extremely complex practice. MOZ details out their list of SEO factors and how they correlate in their detailed survey each year. Here are the 2015 results. Others say there are 200 factors that Google looks at.
So how is a remodeler (not an SEO expert) supposed to keep up with all of this? Honestly, you shouldn’t. It’s not the best use of your time. However, it’s important that you understand the basics and the three things that will put you on the right path when it comes to SEO.
And yes, it’s okay to hire someone to help you with this. Several months ago, I wrote about finding a reputable SEO company right here on the Remodeler’s Advantage Power Tips blog.
So, what do you really need to know when it comes to SEO? Well, first, let’s talk about why you would do SEO in the first place.
- SEO is NOT about ranking #1.
- SEO is NOT about tricking Google.
- SEO is about attracting more of the right type of prospects to your website by providing valuable information that they are looking for.
A Quick Overview of Google’s Goal
Google wants to return the most relevant search results to its searchers…and FAST. They want to find the very best, most helpful content and serve that up. That’s it.
So how can we use that and factor it into our SEO strategy? Here we go.
Step 1: Content
Google loves content. Content comes in many forms, but one of the most common ways of adding content to your website is through a blog. It’s been shown that the more often you blog, the more website traffic you’ll get.
In fact, HubSpot found that 82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly — which, by itself, is still an impressive result. (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2013)
We started blogging back in 2010 and produced one post each week. Today, we blog once per day, and we’ve seen our website traffic grow from 600 visitors per month to over 10,000 per month.
So, blogging and content are critical to attracting more website traffic.
Content can also come in the form of new website pages that talk about the services you provide. I actually detail out a sample site structure for remodelers in this quick guide here. Fundamentally, you should have a website page that talks about your kitchen remodeling service and a separate page that talks about your bathroom remodeling service. I’ll explain this further in step number two below.
You can also produce content in others ways by leveraging video, podcasts, webinars, checklists, guides, and e-books.
Step 2: Keywords
Once you have created some really great content for your website visitors, you need to optimize that content for a keyword. What does it take to optimize a page? The basic elements include putting your target keyword in the following places:
- Page Title
- Header on the Page (H1 tag)
- Content on the Page
- Meta Description
- Image File Name
- Alt Text for Your Image
Not sure what all these things are? See my article on the Remodeler’s Advantage Power Tips blog about the ABCs of SEO for Remodelers.
Keep in mind that keywords are used to help take what someone is searching for and match it with your content. You want the keyword you optimize your page for to be relevant to the website visitor. Your services page shouldn’t be targeting the word “services”. That’s too generic. “Remodeling Services in San Antonio, Texas” is a much more relevant keyword phrase to use.
3. Website Authority
This one is a little bit trickier. A long time ago, Google was trying to figure out how to rank the importance of websites, so it developed Page Rank. To cite Wikipedia:
PageRank is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank websites in their search engine results. PageRank is a way of measuring the importance of website pages.
According to Google: PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.”
Basically, Google had to figure out a way of figuring out which websites were important to the world. As an example, let’s say your website has ten other websites linking to it. Google looks at that and says “okay, your website is 10 links worth of importance”. If your competitor has 100 links pointing to it, then Google thinks it’s 100 links worth of importance and therefore will rank their content higher.
So if your website has more inbound links than your competitors, you’ll generally rank higher for the keywords you’re trying to target.
Google took this a lot further, and they started to “weight” the value of the links that were pointing to your website. So if those websites weren’t very strong, they didn’t put as much authority into those links.
Without getting too far into the weeds, the basic goal is to attract high-quality links from other websites. Quality links would be links that are connected to your industry regarding content and are also powerful websites.
Now you ask, “How can I attract more inbound links and make my website really strong?”
Well, there are several methods, but one of the best methods is creating really valuable content (see step 1 above). By creating blog articles that are helpful, useful and interesting, other websites will start linking back to your content and referencing it.
You can also reach out to trade partners, associations you are a part of and other partner companies and ask that they put a link back to your website on their partner page.
At the end of the day, SEO boils down to creating really amazing content, using the right keywords in the right places within your content and attracting lots of inbound links. If you do those three things, you’ll be ahead of 99% of your competition!