Does your website drive traffic and leads to your door?
It should. That's the whole point right? Your website is your virtual storefront, but it goes one step further than your actual storefront, and stays on the clock 24/7 to hand out information about you and your services to anyone looking for a solution to a construction problem.
Your website allows you to get in front of potential clients, opens up opportunities for new projects, and tells your visitors exactly what you're about, so when they do call, they already know they want what you've got.
But your website is no field of dreams. Just because you've built it... doesn't mean they will come. In order for your website to really do its job (bring you tons of quality leads) needs to be optimized.
SEO is the process of getting traffic from the "organic" (free) search results on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
With the right application of sound SEO practices, you can super-charge your website into a powerful lead-generating tool for your construction business. Here's what you need to know.
1. Be Relevant and the Search Engines Will Like You
Search engines like Google are trying to serve up the best possible results when someone uses them to search for a specific topic, also known as a keyword.
Google wants to make people happy by giving them exactly what they are searching for. So it sends out its robots to crawl through your website, looking to see if your webpages are relevant, popular, trustworthy, and fresh (meaning the info is not stale and old).
The #1 goal of the search engines is to return the right results, so that people will keep using them as their preferred search engine. So now that you know how the search engines have set up the playing field, let's get into the game.
2. Keep your site Organized
Want to be relevant to your audience's searches? Then you better be organized. Your website should have enough web pages so that each page has a clearly defined topic. There is never a benefit to cramming too much information onto a single web page. That makes it hard for search engines to figure out what that page is about, which means they won't want to serve that page up in a search result.
To stay relevant to what people may be searching for, keep your site full of well organized web pages and blog posts that cover a single topic at a time.
3. Don't Keyword Stuff
Maybe you want to be sure that anyone who searches for a plumber in Bakersfield will find your website. So you might be tempted to try and increase your relevancy to keywords like "Bakersfield plumber" by putting them all over your website's homepage. DON'T DO THAT.
"Stuffing" keywords excessively in a page to rank higher for that keyword will backfire. Search engines recognize that too many uses of a keyword is an attempt to game the system, and they will punish you for it. Write your web content for the human people who will read it. If you have done your job right, and have used your keywords naturally -- your pages will be relevant.
4. Make Awesome Content And People Will Link To It
When search engines are looking for results to serve up, they take all of the relevant web pages they have found and then use popularity (also known as quality) to put them in some sort of order on the search engine results page. One way they determine popularity is by the number of links that point back to your web page, blog post, or other relevant content.
A link from another website to your site is like a vote in the ultimate popularity contest.
When you offer a piece of content on your website (like a blog post) that other people find useful, helpful, educational, informative, or just all around amazingly awesome... they will link to it. When someone else shares your blog post on their Facebook or Twitter account because they loved it, you are getting more links.
5. Don't Try To Cheat When Link Building. Google Knows.
Links are an indication of trust, value, and authority from another website to yours; they mean you are offering something of value. So more links is better, right? Wrong.
Once again, fight the urge to outsmart the search engines. Because if you try to drum up as many links as possible to your webpages, you could be hurting your SEO efforts instead of helping them. Search engines know that a bunch of links from sites that have nothing to do with your industry don't indicate your authority on a subject. They indicate an attempt to be tricky. And search engines don't like to be tricked.
Link building -- you're doing it wrong:
- Linking to a site with the sole intention of getting a link back
- Buying or selling links
- Using automated services or programs that create links to your site
- Participating in a linking network
Link building -- you're doing it right:
- Creating content that people find valuable and want to share
- Promote your amazing content on social media where more people can see it
- Use links on your own website where, and when, they makes sense (when you mention a product, quote an expert, or want to send someone to another one of your webpages)
SEO is an important part of creating, maintaining, and updating your website. SEO done right can help catapult your website to the top of the search engine results, putting your business in front of potential new clients, and bringing you leads who are looking for exactly what you offer.
But ignoring SEO, or worse -- trying to get tricky and outsmart the search engines -- can have the opposite effect. Don't let neglected or tricky SEO tactics send your webpages to the back of the line. Keep your web pages relevant, and create great stuff that people are actually looking for online. And SEO will bring them right to your front door.