Roofing SEO is the best way to spark your marketing campaign in 2021. In today’s digital landscape, service promotion looks far different from it did back 20 years ago. Tech-savvy companies like Amazon, Apple, and others have taken full advantage of everything the internet has to offer to businesses and brands in 2021. Roofers have been less aggressive in pursuing modern tactics that help grow businesses both locally and nationally. Many contractors don’t like to compare themselves to national conglomerates, and for a good reason. Attempting to become Amazon.com is not realistic emulation for a local roofer. However, roofing companies can still utilize many of the same concepts and apply them to their marketing strategy. You might be surprised by how impactful the results can be. The number one digital opportunity for local roofing contractors is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It can help generate leads efficiently, quickly, and sustainably.
What is Roofing SEO?
Roofing SEO is the process of making your website (and other web properties) rank on search engines. Top rankings directly influence lead generation, sales, and revenue for roofing companies.
How Roofing Companies Benefit from SEO
If you run a roofing business in Denver, CO, your number one opportunity for lead generation is Google search. When residents search terms like “roofer in denver” on Google, they overwhelmingly choose one of the top-ranking results. On a Google search engine results page (SERP) there are multiple variations of results. There are Google Maps listings (The Local 3 Pack) and traditional organic results. Don’t forget about featured snippets and knowledge graphs. The more represented your company is on each of these variations, the better chance it has to receive clicks to its website or profile and to receive phone calls inquiring about your roofing services subsequently.
A click on your website, or in some cases, your Google My Business listing, does not automatically equate to a sales conversion. For this reason, SEO is a process enhanced by conversion rate optimization (CRO). Optimizing your web entities for conversion is an extension of SEO as a general principle. Examples of conversion rate optimization (CRO) include displaying an urgent call to action (CTA) and facilitating a convenient user experience. For roofers who frequently use PPC, they understand the importance of landing pages. Someone who clicks an ad won’t necessarily choose the service without a strong landing page. This same idea is accurate when drawing in traffic organically.
Before the internet’s emergence, most roofers got their leads through the Yellow Pages, word of mouth, and occasionally some door-to-door flyers. Fast forward to 2021, and the vast majority of leads come online. When would-be consumers come home to fliers, a typical reaction is shredding them into pieces and dumping them in the trash. The Yellow Pages? Those are burning up in a household fire pit. Word of mouth? Well, that has expanded online as well.
People still care about reputation, but their neighbor is no longer the go-to source. That’s because platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp provide verified reviews of businesses within a local community. If 20 verified Google users endorse your roofing services, you better believe it will have a direct influence over the amount of interest your company generates online. Word of mouth now travels at the speed of the nearest internet connection. And don’t think Google doesn’t notice. The overall reputation of a business heavily influences rankings. In short, reputation management is a factor in SEO.
Phase I: SEO Strategy
Every great SEO campaign starts with a well-researched and well-developed plan. Conversely, as-you-go optimization campaigns fail consistently. Before a roofing company website can rank, it must have a target keyword (or several of them). These keywords are targeted based on their relative search volume and opportunity. But keywords are not the only aspect of SEO preparation. As a roofing company, you must clearly define your services to research keywords appropriately. Service types and keywords will also instruct the basis of your site’s URL structure and hierarchy, both of which are incredibly influential in search ranking, primarily because of how Google bots crawl a webpage.
Several tools are available to assist in keyword research. Some of the most notable ones are MOZ, SEMRush, and UberSuggest. MOZ and SEMRush are highly intuitive tools that expand beyond simple keyword research UberSuggest is strictly a keyword tool but is also free of charge to use, which is not the case with the others.
If you run a roofing company in Baton Rouge, LA, the types of keywords you’ll want to target are “roofer baton rouge” “baton rouge roofer” and variations of that nature. The good news is that these keyword tools often suggest similar keywords and rank them based on volume and opportunity. Identifying the correct terms is not especially difficult if you understand what makes a keyword valuable in your industry.
Keyword research on a term like “roof repair” will yield national search volume, competition, etc. The difficulty many roofing contractors face is that their services are not on a national scale. Therefore, they service a defined local area, and the national competition is not indicative of what we’ll call “real competition.” So when studying general industry keywords, understand that competition level on a national scale will not mirror your service area. The main thing to analyze for national keywords is search volume. One can assume that if a service is in high demand across the nation, it will be similarly popular in your area. That is not 100% certain because of seasonal and climate disparities, which we’ll touch on later.
The actual value of keyword research is identifying local keywords with high opportunity. For local roofers, the opportunity has several prerequisites. For starters, profitable roofing keywords are transactional, meaning the intent of the keyword is for the searcher to find a paid service. In contrast, informational keywords are far less valuable to a roofing company. For example, a query for “how to fix a roof” will yield high volume. But it is not going to be searched by people ready to pay for your services. They want information about how to perform their services on their own. With this knowledge, you can eliminate traffic from users who will not lead to sales conversions and focus on those who might.
Many times keywords that rank fastest are those that are long tail. A long-tail keyword is typically either a combination of two or more keywords or an extended version of a single keyword with qualifiers added. Take, for example, the keyword “roof replacement.” If a qualifier is added, like in dallas, the long tail keyword would be “roof replacement in Dallas”. Sometimes keywords like these are popular enough to register a search volume. If so, you know immediately that your local service area is typing that keyword in regularly. But if no volume registers, it doesn’t necessarily mean no volume exists. The goal for long-tail keyword research is to narrow a focus while maintaining a distinct relevance.
URL Hierarchy and Structure
Part of an SEO strategy involves URL structuring. Google and its users prefer a logical and hierarchical URL structure that drills down from top-level categories to lower-level services. For example, a roofer who does residential and commercial jobs might have a top-level section for each type. Both would then drill down to their service pages. You might have a residential roof repair page and a commercial roof repair page. Google crawlers will never mistake the roof repair pages for one another since they are solid underneath parent categories. The same goes for users browsing the site. They will be well aware they are in either the residential or commercial section of the website, which manifests through search.
Videos & Images
Google’s most recent algorithm update prefers websites that are unique and original. Part of uniqueness and originality is visual content. In 2021, visual content most commonly exists in the form of images and videos. Photos have been part of SEO for a long time, but it is relatively recently that videos became an essential factor. Keep in mind, Google owns YouTube, as you’ll notice when performing a video search on Google. As you can see, there are multiple YouTube results. Producing videos of your roofing contractors on the job can be valuable from an internet marketing standpoint. These videos can be uploaded to YouTube and then embedded directly onto your website. YouTube videos embedded on your website create a 3-pronged effect where you get credit on Google, YouTube, and your website. Both images and videos should be unique to your company for optimal SEO.
Phase II: SEO Application
Planning SEO sets the foundation, but real progress comes in its application. Because SEO is such a wide-ranging methodology, roofers should break SEO into several categories and even subcategories to organize tasks. You can’t possibly perform all functions at once, so it makes more sense to set a schedule. Compartmentalizing certain facets of SEO is as important as research and development. You cannot, as a roofing company, expect to become an expert in search optimization overnight. But you can intelligently implement a process. By taking it gradually, the result will be much cleaner than a rushed job.
Applying SEO with a pre-developed strategy is far easier than it otherwise would be. Because of the complications that can arise when executing such a vast range of methods, tasks, and principles, a guideline of sorts can be like a road map that keeps the optimizer on task and schedule. In this roofing SEO guide for contractors, our goal is to create that roadmap and empower you to follow it to a year’s worth of roofing success online.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to SEO. Every detail is essential, but it impacts the other factors that are reliant upon it. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts regarding SEO marketing for roofing contractors. When done right, it can pay significant dividends for years to come.
Accolades & Badges
Did you once win local roofer of the year in a nearby news publication? If so, you should showcase the badge somewhere on your homepage. Accolades build trust in the consumer and therefore increase the conversion rate. We know that prospective customers compare roofers based on reviews and that same confidence they get from reviews they can get from verified badges of honor. Roofers can get awards and certifications from all different kinds of sources. Some can even display their features from newspaper publications, magazines, etc. The more you can establish credibility based on external sources, the better you’ll be.
Analytics & Tracking
To measure website performance, you must track activity via Google Analytics. With Analytics tracking, roofers can estimate the traffic coming to their website and the various sources and channels through which that traffic originates. Installing Google Analytics is not difficult and is free to use. The data produced from it is precious because it comes from the most authoritative source; Google itself. Think about the goal of your website, which is to generate leads through Google. There is no better way to understand how to improve rankings on Google than by analyzing the data produced by Google’s very own tracking device.
A website is the foundation of every roofer’s internet presence. Back in SEO’s infancy in the mid-2000s, a website was the only way of finding a roofing company online. Today in 2021, that is no longer the case. Now there’s Google My Business, Facebook, and many other business directories and social media networks, along with other web properties throughout the net. Despite these collective emergences, websites are still the central hub that cohesively connects all of them. Robust websites use a custom codebase and aesthetically pleasing visual display. They are also highly mobile-friendly and display correctly on every type of device. Template websites won’t be good enough in SEO.
Call To Action
What makes a website visitor call your office? A call to action. Once they like what they see on your website, the next step is to call your office. Roofing customers don’t want to read a novel about what your roofing company can do for them. What they want is an apparent and urgent reason to contact you. The best calls to action appear on a website’s homepage along with any other page that is frequently visited. Clickable phone numbers are a particularly compelling CTA because of the percentage of visitors that access websites via a mobile device. By simply clicking on the phone number, their smartphone will connect directly to your office line. The only thing left to do as a roofing contractor is to close the deal.
Because a roofing website is a central hub, contact information must be listed on the website’s footer, if not in other areas. The info must be accurate, consistent, and visible. Matching this contact information with other business directories like Google My Business is one of the most critical considerations in SEO. Since all other web properties link back to your website, the information regarding your contact must be uniform. You’ll learn more about the importance of listing uniformity when discussing NAP citations later in this guide. Suffice to say that during the design process, you must account for the contact information space.
Customer Feedback & Testimonials
Badges build trust, but nothing builds more trust than customer feedback and reviews. Consumers can find your reviews on 3rd party platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp, but a robust website will showcase these testimonials directly on the homepage. You can even invest in a tool from Contractor Webmasters called BrandREVU. This widget populates reviews from around the web (Google, Facebook, etc.) and publishes them directly on your website. It also has built-in technology that sends a text reminder to serviced clients along with direct links to your reviews page. The convenience this plugin presents can increase the frequency of feedback which, as you may know, helps establish authority in your local market.
We cannot overstress the importance of videos on websites, but multimedia extends even beyond videos. Other forms of multimedia include audio podcasts and interviews as well as interactive web elements. If you’ve never thought about starting a podcast, you should do so now. With so many distributors available online, a weekly or monthly podcast can spread your roofing company’s brand around the web. There’s Apple, BluBrry, Spotify, and Stitcher, to name a few. What will you talk about on a podcast? Your work. Talk about the last job you did. Talk about the different types of roofing materials, the pros and cons of each. You could easily do a monthly episode on roofing. Make sure you specify a topic for each month and name the episode.
Most users who access your roofing company website will do so on mobile devices. The number could be up over 50%, depending on which statistic you observe. When you think about the access consumers have to their smartphones and the WiFi internet connections, it’s no surprise that that number continues to increase. With that in mind, roofers must ensure their mobile website is fully optimized. It must appeal directly to the mobile user (most users) and be easy to navigate on a smartphone. Speed is also a significant factor for mobile websites. If a site takes more than 3 seconds to load, you can expect the mobile user to exit immediately, contributing to an increased bounce rate and decreased ranking.
Custom design is essential, but so is the customization of website elements. True customization goes beyond the design itself and extends to images, videos, badges of honor, etc. We spoke briefly about why unique photos are good for SEO. Let us make it even more evident. Have you ever seen roofing websites that use stock photos? If so, you’ve likely seen the worst of roofing websites. These stock photos are mass-produced and published on an excessive number of websites throughout the net. They evoke a sense of cheapness and, in some cases, downright comedy. Google can tell how users perceive these subpar images by their collective reactions to them in user behavior. Custom images, videos, and badges engage users longer for SEO.
Google Chrome warns any website visitor if the site they are currently browsing is not secure. These warnings strongly discourage the user from staying on the site and generally create a negative perception of your site and your company and brand. How do you prevent such an occurrence? With SSL security. SSL is a protocol that ensures your site is secure and gives visitors the comfort they covet when browsing. Sites with an address starting with https:// have this protocol installed while addresses starting with only http:// do not. Although it is not confirmed to be a direct SEO factor, users leaving your site can only hurt search ranking.
Because the roofing industry is so location-specific, you must tailor SEO to a defined service area, i.e., geographic location. As a company in business, you understand which zip codes you can reasonably service. These are the ones you should target online. Keep in mind that Google observes whichever city that houses your address. It is this city that Google will give you the most credit, particularly on Google Maps results like The Local 3 Pack. There are ways to also rank for other nearby cities, which we will discuss as this guide progresses. Focus first and foremost on dominating the general area where you serve as a roofing company in 2021. You can expand after that.
What about roofers who have offices in multiple cities? Ah yes, the multi-location roofing company. There are certainly contractors successful enough to own and operate a 2nd and possibly even a 3rd location. In cases like this, local SEO becomes a little more extensive, but the general concept remains the same. The difference is that each location will have its own Google My Business account and Maps listing. These individual properties can link to an internal page on your website. For example, roofingwebsite.com/locations/houston would be the URL for your Houston location, while roofingwebsite.com/locations/galveston would be the URL for your Galveston address. They each have their own set of NAP citations and so forth.
Although the Yellow Pages are dead in practice, their concept still exists, albeit in digital format. There is an online directly called the Yellow Pages. But there are so many more of them as well. The most well-known ones go far beyond the label of a citation. Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp, for example, are all platforms to cite your company’s name, address, and phone number. But there are also smaller niche directories throughout the web like HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List. You might see cases where a directory publishes your information without your input. In these cases, the platforms pulled your information from data mining resources like Acxiom, which compiled your business info from public records. If you notice a widespread inaccuracy, you can correct your information directly with the data miners, distributing the correct NAP to the various directories.
The presence of citations is significant in itself, but the cohesiveness of all combined influences local SEO. Claiming sources across the web can be a massive project. That’s why tools like Whitespark, MOZ Local, and Yext exist. Any inaccuracy can be a hindrance to your roofing company’s local SEO. Not only does it confuse Google about your contact information, but in worst-case scenarios, it can create an opportunity cost through lost leads. A phone number off by one digit, for instance, can lead to would-be phone calls not getting through to your office line. To think about it from a logical standpoint, what is more trustworthy? A roofer who has consistent NAP information or one that has multiple variations that confuse consumers?
Google My Business Optimization
Google My Business is the most important local business directory on the internet. Because it is a Google property, the information submitted on My Business is of the utmost importance. When users perform a branded search of your roofing company, part of the SERP will likely feature a preview of your Google My Business listing. If properly optimized, this will help build trust and authority in your web presence. You can optimize a GMB listing beyond accurate and consistent NAP information. Roofers can add original company photos, answer frequently asked questions, and even create and publish Google posts. My business is also connected with Google Maps, making it a critical aspect of your local SEO campaign as you pursue clicks.
Roofing companies often have a single business address within a city but still wish to serve surrounding areas within reasonable driving distance. Since Google attempts to match local users with local roofers, consumers closest to your address will be the ones most likely to find you on search, particularly in the Local 3 Pack. There are ways to expand your reach on search engines. One of those ways is location page optimization. You can create city pages that are unique and well-written and appeal to users in that specific area. One way to specialize a location page is by displaying reviews from customers of yours in the corresponding area.
Roofers with a general understanding of SEO most commonly associate it with on-page optimization tasks. From the editing of title tags, header tags, and meta descriptions to the production of SEO-friendly content, on-page tasks are widely recognized, even by novice SEOs. On-page optimization is also closely associated with keyword research.
The keywords identified during the process are then inserted within the tags and content on a given page. As SEO has progressed in terms of Google’s algorithm, the necessity for diverse (semantic) keywords has become more prevalent. Still, on-page factors remain vital to search ranking. For roofing companies without many connections, on-page SEO becomes the easiest way to increase search traffic.
If there’s a criticism of on-page SEO, it is that it takes time to implement. Changing a title or meta tag won’t pay immediate dividends for roofers. Depending on domain age, SEO can take from a few days to 6 months. For this reason, many roofing contractors pursue a short-term solution in the form of PPC advertising. PPC ads yield immediate clicks. The problem is that each click drains your budget, and traffic ends up costing a considerable amount of money to sustain. Once established, SEO can begin to provide more traffic for no cost per click. The ROI resulting from this achievement is disproportionately more significant than any other form of online marketing as of 2021. SEO works well.
On-page SEO often delves into detailed minutiae, and one prime example of this is image alt text. Most people think that something so small cannot possibly make a difference, but it does. Google scans images, and since they cannot read the context of the image from a visual standpoint, they rely on its alt text to define it. Optimizing images for web use involves:
- Renaming the file to lower case letters.
- Uploading the file onto your web server.
- Tagging it with appropriate alt text.
Let’s say your roofing company logo is the file. It should be called company-name-logo.jpg and then tagged with the alt text “Company Logo.” The same process would be used for all of your images, whether they are equipment, jobs, or anything related.
There are multiple kinds of headers in HTML. H1s are the essential heading from an SEO standpoint. Google pays close attention to H1s when defining a page’s relevance. H2s can also have some impact on how Google conceptualizes a topic. H3s and higher are more for formatting purposes. Still, because they help the user read your material in a more organized fashion, they can keep readers engaged longer and improve behavioral metrics that Google evaluates when ranking a page. Therefore, headers of any kind can have SEO influence, even if it is indirect in some cases. Make sure plenty of content exists beneath each header. Google does not want to see many headers stacked on top of each other, and neither do readers.
Keywords are a significant part of SEO, and placing them in the correct areas can determine where you rank on Google SERPs. The left-hand side of every on-page element (title, header, meta, image alt, etc.) should all have one instance of your primary keyword. Google crawlers read details from left to the right, making the first part the most important. Body content should also have at least one instance of a primary keyword. Google’s algorithm has evolved to weed out keyword stuffing, so don’t use the keyword more than 25 times. Instead, sprinkle in a collection of LSI keywords to add semantic relevance to the on-page content. Remember to place keywords naturally within page elements, so it does not compromise readability.
Aside from the title tag, SERP results also display what is known as a meta description. The text appears beneath the title tag or, as you know it; the blue link on the SERP. Descriptions should also contain one primary keyword while explaining the page. For roofing companies, the meta description can also include a call to action, such as a phone number. What you’ll learn is that consumers with roofing issues are generally looking for a way to contact your service company so that they can explain their problem and find out whether or not you can fix it. With this in mind, don’t mislead the user through an inaccurate description. If they end up clicking through to an irrelevant page, they will quickly exit and increase your site’s bounce rate.
If you’ve ever visited a webpage that is not a homepage, you’ve likely noticed an extension at the end of the web address. Take, for example, roofingcompany.com/roofing-services. The portion of the URL that says roofing-services is known as a permalink or URL slug. These permalinks are very important to SEO. The slug should contain your primary keyword and nothing else. That means no stop words like in, and, or anything similar. The shorter the permalink, the easier it is for Google to crawl the URL, and the more likely they are to categorize it appropriately. Make sure the permalink is highly relevant to the on-page content as well.
Semantic Keywords (LSI)
We told you that Google’s algorithm has evolved to discredit pages that stuff keywords within the content. In 2021, Google prefers to see a few primary keywords supplemented by semantically related terms known in the SEO industry as LSI keywords. You can find which LSI keywords are associated with your primary word or topic by visiting LSIGraph.com and performing a basic search. The related keywords are sometimes synonyms and other times terms closely associated from a topical relevance standpoint. Either way, Google and its users enjoy more robust content and provide a superior user experience. A page about roofing repairs, for example, should also mention leak detection, mold removal, etc., since they are relevant to one another.
A title tag or SEO title is the blue link you find on a Google search result. It is also the text that appears in the tab on your internet browser. Titles are tagged within the HTML to help Google define the page. Using the Yoast plugin on WordPress, roofers can add title tags without knowing HTML. A title should have a keyword within it but also have a sales pitch of sorts. The goal is to help Google define the page and give users a reason to click on it when they see it. An example of a roofing company SEO title would be Roofing in Detroit, MI | Request a Free Estimate Today!. You can use MOZ’s title tag preview tool to ensure your title will appear correctly once indexed by Google. You should keep titles under 60 characters.
Link building holds influence no matter what type of site you are building. Links establish your company as an authority on roofing and related topics. It is also one of the most important factors that Google uses to rank your website for local searches. But acquiring links can be difficult. It takes time, careful strategizing, and effort. But the good news is that there are many ways to build a quality link base that will help get more eyes on your website.
What is Link Building for Roofers?
Link building refers to the links you have on your website that lead to other websites or other areas of your website, and it also refers to links on other people’s websites that lead to your site. That second part is the tricky one. Putting links on your site as you see fit is simple enough, but getting other people to reference your site is a different story altogether.
Internal linking is a relatively simple concept and process. But for as simple as it is, some people still aren’t doing it correctly. So let’s get this out of the way first before we get into the more complex stuff.
You want to have a good amount of internal links (ones that lead to other pages of your website) because internal links also play a role in signaling Google to rank your site. But the links have to be relevant and enhance user experience and flow.
One of the most common mistakes that inexperienced web admins make is carelessly placing internal links. For example, one may establish a link to a contact page in some text that is not a call to action or has anything to do with getting in touch with the company.
Internal links should help guide your visitors to relevant pages that further drill down a concept or idea. If a searcher happens upon a blog on your site that deals with the different ways that gutters can become damaged, there should be an internal link somewhere in that blog that leads the reader to your gutter services page. You don’t want to send your visitors on a wild goose chase. Instead, you want to help them along the sales funnel with helpful and logical internal links.
Finally, look to industry leaders to see what they are doing right. Try searching for one of your target keywords. Click on the top sites that come up, copy the URL, and then use a backlink profile service (Moz has a great article about finding backlink sources yourself and free services you can use) to see where their links originate. Once you know where your top competitors are getting their links, you can start your campaign to get linked to those sources too.
Roofing SEO Services from Contractor Webmasters
Contractor Webmasters has a staff of 20 webmasters who are skilled in website design, SEO, and link building. We have hundreds of roofing clients throughout the nation and hope to add you to that group shortly. Whether you are a new roofer or possess decades of experience, we can help establish your web presence and create a sustainable lead generator that will serve your business well not only for years but for decades. The best part is that our services are highly affordable. No single person can perform all SEO tasks independently, which is why you need a team.