It can be a terrible feeling. You’ve logged into your Google My Business page only to find that your business has been suspended. There is no way to describe it.
The worst part of it is that, when facing a GMB suspension, you could be missing out on business. That is the scariest and most difficult thing to deal with, especially if you are one of the millions of small businesses that depend on every last penny to make it.
The good news is that you can get your listing back in many circumstances. It is important to know, however, that if you intentionally violated the guidelines, especially if it was done so blatantly, the chances of retrieving your listing is significantly lower.
Follow this guide to understand how to fix a suspended listing on Google and get your account reinstated in short order.
Why Did I Get a GMB Suspension?
Being handed a GMB suspension can definitely be frustrating. And the thing to realize is that you probably won’t be able to get a straight answer about how your listing transgressed Google’s algorithm. This is because, whenever you make changes, Google’s automatic tools review your changes.
This means that if you have had a GMB suspension handed down, your listing raised some kind of automated red flag. You might not even notice that you have done anything wrong until that ticket comes in the mail.
Generally speaking, there are two types of GMB suspension: a hard suspension and a soft suspension.
What is a “hard” GMB Suspension?
This is pretty bad news for business. When given a hard GMB suspension, your business is taken off of Google Maps even though you can still access your GMB dashboard. Google tends to give out a hard GMD suspension when it suspects that the listing is illegitimate for any number of reasons.
Getting hit with a hard GMD suspension can feel awful and even worse, it can have a major impact on your business. It also basically means no message, no reviews, no listing in Google Knowledge Graph, and no photos visible to searchers.
It isn’t the end of the world if you get a hard GMB suspension, but it can mean lost dollars as even those customers looking for your business can’t find you. Thankfully, Google allows you to access your dashboard so that you can figure out what the issue is.
What is a “soft” GMB Suspension?
A soft GMB suspension will leave the listing up on Google Maps, allowing customers to find it, but you won’t be able to make any edits to the listing while your listing is suspended. Not being able to update your listing can be a big deal, especially if the GMB suspension persists.
Your business can be suspended for quality issues or running a service area business but displaying a physical address. It can also be suspended if Google suspects that your business does not exist at that address or if your business has duplicate listings.
How to Get Your GMB Listing Reinstated
You may have a pretty good idea why your listing was suspended or you may have no clue. Typically, Google gives very little specifics about the suspension and merely cites quality issues as the reason for suspension. Your best bet is to review the GMB guidelines and notice if you’ve violated any of them.
To retrieve your listing you will want to fill out the Google My Business local business reinstatement requestand submitting it to Google. Because of the volume of reinstatement requests, Google can take weeks or even months to respond or take action. One trick to expedite the process is to contact GMB through their social channels.
If all else fails, find a phone number to speak to someone who might be able to get you the answers relating to your GMB suspension that you need.
As stated previously, it is imperative for you to track what happens from the time of your GMB suspension. Besides any changes, you’re going to want to note a few different things:
What things you changed before you were suspended
Any major changes you have made in recent weeks
Whether this is your first GMB suspension
What you do after the suspension is issued to try to fix the problem
And, perhaps most importantly, your listing’s map URL or dashboard URL
Depending on the type of suspension that you have been issued, you might have to take a snapshot of your dashboard URL in order to document this for the next steps in the process.
Make an Appeal
There are a number of ways that you can appeal your GMB suspension. You can fill out the form online, reach out to the support team through social channels, or use the helpline to speak to a person to help with the problem.
It is most likely that you will have to deal with someone through automated measures, so keep that in mind.
My Listing was Reinstated but My Reviews are Gone
Keeping track of the URL is important because you might have your GMB suspension lifted but find that all the reviews for your GMB listing are gone. That is nothing to sneeze at as your reviews can have a huge impact on your business.
Thankfully, this is what is known as a trending issue on the support forum, so it is one of the most common issues that Google sees. Be certain to take a snapshot of your reviews as well so that you can show Google support later on.
If All Else Fails
There may come a time when you have gone through the appeal process, are going through all the right channels, and your GMB suspension has not been lifted. So, what do you do next? How do you get your business back out there?
Starting from scratch is really the only other way. If you plan to do this, make certain that you download everything from your old listing. Photos, copy, everything needs to be grabbed. When you have done this, delete the old listing entirely and then create the new listing.
You might also want to invest in contractor SEO to ensure that your organic web presence remains active even despite a GMB suspension. When you rank keywords that your consumers search for, you can still pick up business on Google without a listing.
It is not the best solution to your issue, but it will get your business back onto GMB in shorter order so that you don’t continue to miss out on more business.
As a tree trimmer, you likely know how difficult it can be to attract customers and grow your business. There are so many ways to digitally market your business these days, but what do you do to make your business stand out from the rest of the pack?
There is Google My Business to help your cause. This is a powerful tool that can help your business become more relevant on the biggest search engine in the world. All you have to do is to register your business on Google My Business. Make sure that you include every ounce of relevant information about your business because this is how Google recognizes your viability and dependability as a business.
But not every company knows how to really make the most of that Google My Business service. There are so many companies that err when it comes to properly setting up the page and ensuring that it does all that it can when it comes to making your business more searchable through Google. Now that 60% of Americans use tablets and smartphones to search for local services and products, it is more important than ever to make your business visible.
What mistakes do businesses make with Google My Business?
Want to hear something insane? Approximately 80% of all searches take place on Google. This means a whole massive amount of people are available to potentially see your business. Even if you see a tiny fraction of those eyeballs, that still translates to a massive amount of people. That 80% equates to 3.5 billion searches per day. Let that sink in.
The kicker to that is that the vast majority of people don’t make it past the very first page of Google’s search results. The number of click-throughs from page one to page two is staggering for Google, meaning your business has to get onto the front page of relevant searches, or you are likely not being seen.
This is why Google Business is so important. While there are certainly other ways to get your business to show up on the first page of each Google search for that keyword in your location, Google My Business makes for an incredibly valuable tool that is easy to use and helps you do a number of things like:
Interact with both current and potential customers as well as manage your reputation online
Index, control, and display any pertinent information about your business
Gather insightful information regarding how your customers make it to your website
Curating customer videos, photos, and other content that is user-generated
Google My Business also has a profound impact on the way that local searches are performed and the SEO rankings for those local searches. What’s even more surprising is that a Google study showed that 50% of consumers that did a local search on their phones wound up visiting a store that same day. If that doesn’t show you the profound impact that Google My Business can bring to the table, I’m not sure what will.
How to properly use Google My Business
The first and most important step is to register your information through Google My Business. This includes things like the business name, the address, any pertinent phone numbers, and your website. After that, you will be required to verify your account. This is done by submitting a code that will be mailed to your business address via postcard.
Once your information is added, you can access the dashboard of your listing so that you may begin personalizing it. This is where many companies make a mistake. They get to claim their Google My Business account, add only the bare minimum when it comes to details, and then they call it a day.
To really make the most of it, you need to optimize your listing. Leveraging your Google My Business account can not only lead to additional tree trimmer leads but begin converting those leads into sales that can affect your bottom line in drastic ways.
Here are a couple of steps that you should be taking to optimize your Google My Business listing and make sure that you aren’t leaving any money on the table.
Make sure that all of your information is comprehensive, accurate, and up to date
We won’t get too much more into this because we touched on it before, but it cannot be overstated just how important this aspect is. Google will only prompt you for the basics; don’t stop there. Make sure that your category is selected and that you add relevant photos as well.
Do not skimp on the information because it will only hurt you in the long run.
Reviews are essential
This is not only important for your Google My Business account but for your lifeblood as a viable search option. Good reviews will help you generate sales because they establish the credibility of your business, and they help to establish brand trust with your audience.
These are two of the most valuable goals of any business out there and being able to achieve these are the difference between a successful business and one that fails. Consumers will generally look into reviews about a given company before they opt to use them. They trust these reviews like they would trust recommendations from a family member or friend. Just think about that.
Utilize Google My Business Messages
Being able to interact directly and instantly with your customers can push your business over the top. But just how are you going to talk to them? Despite having your information on your business page, most people don’t want to call you; they would prefer a text.
That is why having a mobile messaging system in place is so valuable. Giving customers an outlet to contact you without actually having to talk to you is highly valuable and makes your business more trustworthy. These are both essential traits to making your business an authority in the industry.
This post guide teaches you about local listings for contractors. They are an integral part of contractor SEO, especially on the local level.
Despite the vast depth of the internet – and how it can feel like a great big world out there – you can prepare your business to be listed so that your local audience can best find you. After all, you aren’t looking to advertise to everyone; you are looking to advertise to those you can provide service to.
Knowing where to list your website for those local searches is the key to not only establishing your business locally online but growing it as well. When you make it easier for your audience to find you, you stand a much better chance of growing your business and becoming an authority in the industry.
It is important to have your business information listed on your website first and foremost. Your website is often the very first thing that prospective clients will see before they ever make a decision on whether or not to use your business. If they cannot find a way to contact you, it does not matter if you have the greatest services in the world: your business will fail.
Try putting your information in the footer of each page. This way, no matter where your audience browses on your website, they will be able to find your information. Making it as easy as possible to find that information is the key to ensuring that they have the easiest path possible towards using your services.
After your own website, however, it is important that you get your contractor business listed on other pages. Online marketing can be a time-consuming thing, but properly listing your website can help you develop the leads that your business needs to continue growing.
Why business listings are essential to your business
There are a few different reasons that establishing listings on various business websites are essential to the health of your business.
The first and most important is due to the reviews that your customers leave. What you might not have realized is that these reviews play a key role in your SEO rankings. That alone would be reason enough to gather those reviews. But the reviews also play a role in establishing the credibility of your business in the eyes of your audience.
When customers look into a business, they are looking into the credibility and reliability of that business. Reviews are the quickest and most reliable way to determine these things. Prospective clients will look to these reviews and treat them with the trust that is reserved for recommendations from family and friends. That is how important these ratings and reviews are.
Lastly, it is important to establish your business on these listing pages simply for the number of eyeballs that each of them brings to the table. There are some, like Facebook which we will touch on later, that reach hundreds of millions of users each day. Even on the lower end of the spectrum, the business listing pages that reach a couple of million visitors each month are a substantial amount of eyes to potentially put onto your business.
Here are the business listing pages that you need to not only be aware of but where your business has to be listed. When you register with each of these websites, your business stands a much greater chance of being seen.
Google My Business
Since Google is the premier search engine in the world, it is important that you have an accurate business listing through their service. Every local business out there, contractors included, should verify their business through a Google My Business listing.
Registering your business through Google My Business is especially imperative because Google itself owns the service. It is the most popular search engine there is and a verified Google listing will get your business to the very front of local searches for your designated keywords as well as in Google Maps.
This will help to strongly bolster the SEO of your website and the content as well. Not only that, you can get reviews through your Google My Business listing as well. This helps your overall SEO ranking, boosting your visibility and bolstering the reputation of your business as a whole.
Those reviews are possibly the most important aspect of any business and its online presence. Google values those ratings heavily in their search ranking algorithm and making certain that your reviews are both visible and thorough can mean all the difference in the world.
You will notice a theme through these listings and that is the rating aspect. Ratings are the best way to develop trust with your audience. The vast majority of prospective clients out there will look to reviews of the business they are looking into. They take those recommendations and reviews to be nearly as trustworthy as a recommendation from a friend or family member.
Yelp is one of the largest review sites out there and controls a huge share of search engine user traffic for many different keywords. Not only that, Yelp receives in the neighborhood of 28-31 million visitors from search traffic each month. That is a staggering number and that number alone should be a reason to make sure you have a verified and updated Yelp listing.
From an SEO perspective, building these consistent business citations as well as building backlinks to your website from reputable exterior sites will help to establish the credibility of your website and will help increase your website’s overall search engine presence.
With a monthly traffic toll in the 4-5 million range, Angie’s List is worth the trouble of creating a listing just for that kind of traffic. That is a large number of eyeballs that could potentially be viewing your company and taking a look at your website.
Making certain that your contractor business is listed on Angie’s List will get you more exposure than just about any other avenue and will get you in front of a large audience that is looking for services in your industry, effectively narrowing down the search and putting relevant eyeballs on your service.
Like Yelp, you can gather reviews here as well. It can’t be stated enough that these reviews are absolutely essential to the growth of your business. When you can gather a litany of reviews from a number of different sources, you become all the more viable in the eyes of potential customers and your brand becomes far more trustworthy for simply being listed and rated on each of these pages.
Google Business also picks up listings from across the web, so these will add to your reputation and will help push your website to the top of the search rankings for relevant keywords in your location. That is a win-win-win across the board.
The more relevant websites that your business gets listed with – and the more of those that you can earn positive ratings from – will only bolster your business in the search rankings and will make your business not only more relevant but more trustworthy.
While Facebook has certainly taken some flack over recent months for how they share your private information, they still remain one of the most relevant places on the web to establish your business. With hundreds of millions of users that log into the website each day, that is a massive audience even when you parse it down into the relevant categories.
When you create a business page listing for your company, you provide an avenue to interact with current and potential customers, showcase reviews, pictures of what your business can offer, and so much more. Simply put it is one of the most effective ways of interacting with your audience while providing those ever-important reviews that drive your business.
Facebook is not specifically targeted at contractors, but it remains one of the most essential methods for contractors (or any business, really) to reach their audience and grow their business. Social media, in general, is great for building relationships with your audience, addressing any concerns that they may have, sharing any specials or discounts, and so much more.
Facebook is also one of the premier spots to build your reputation. Because of the ability to leave reviews and interact with clients, you can generate so much more in the way of discussion about your brand. That brand awareness can make all the difference in the world between a fledgling business and one that is thriving.
Creating a Facebook business page is essential and something that your business needs to do immediately if you have not already established one. It will be a major marketing tool in the digital world and will be a prominent key to building your business.
Back to the niche sites, the ones aimed specifically at the industry. Though HomeAdvisor is not nearly as large as some of the other sites around – it gets monthly traffic of around 2-3 million visitors – it is a very popular option and one that is growing as a viable place for listing your contractor business.
Because of its niche in the contractor business, HomeAdvisor has become one of the trusted places online for those looking to find a reputable contractor. This is a great place for generating high-quality leads that can eventually lead to conversions and those reviews that can make a business live or die.
Google Business listings also promote reviews left on HomeAdvisor, so your website could be getting a multitude of promotions in one shot. When you sign up through HomeAdvisor and get those valuable reviews, it strengthens your SEO rankings and makes you all the more trustworthy when it comes to your audience.
Trustworthiness is the name of the game and any way that you can build that trustworthiness is essential. This is just another trusted source for building your brand reputation and for developing that all-important trust with your audience that businesses clamor for.
This is a bit of a tricky one. Traditionally, Linkedin has been meant for developing contacts within specific industries and potentially finding employees for hire. But in recent years, Linkedin has been adding a litany of new features for businesses. Being able to create a free company page, similar to those on Google and Facebook, is a way to establish your business on the site.
Visitors will be able to follow your page and can even interact with the content that you have posted. This is great because you can post informative content that will help your SEO rankings and will allow followers of your page to interact and follow that content.
Posting daily updates for your company can attract those followers of your company page to interact with you and it can help to bolster your reputation. When you can develop a reputation as one of the leaders in the industry, you will become a reference for those seeking out services that are relevant to your business.
These business listing pages, as you can see, are powerful tools for building the credibility of your business and getting that business in front of millions of viewers each month. There are many different aspects of online marketing that you have to factor in and this is just one of them.
Establishing your business on these pages is just a portion of the process but it is an important one indeed. Becoming relevant and reputable on each of these pages is a massive step towards becoming a successful online marketer and making your business grow steadily.
Best of all, it only takes a few minutes to establish your pages on each. You can promote your listings on each of these pages through your website, encouraging visitors to check your listings on each page. This strengthens your business as an authority in the industry and it strengthens your brand as one to not only be recognized but one to be reckoned with.
Make certain that you establish your business with each of these listings as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more eyeballs that potentially miss your business. Don’t let them go unnoticed again.
Being a small business owner in the United States means you are in a crowded landscape of like-minded individuals and businesses that are also trying to get their names out into the consciousness of the public in an attempt to grow their business.
Because every industry is generally crowded with several businesses that are looking to gain more of a foothold within their industry, making sure that your business has all the necessary tools has never been more important. Gaining online recognition has also never been more important given that Google generates a whopping 63.5% of all search queries in the United States.
In such a competitive space, particularly among search engines, you might feel like your business is out in the cold and left with nothing to help. Fortunately for many small business owners out there, Google itself offers a tool that is fantastic for small businesses that are looking to manage their online presence.
This tool is called Google My Business, and it is an absolute must for any company, let alone those in the home security industry.
Google My Business
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a tool that is provided for free by Google that will allow business owners to put together something of a profile that ultimately displays things like their company name, the address the company is located at, what the hours of operation are, and a website link that gets displayed in the search results such as Local Finder, Google’s Local Map Pack, and the organic rankings’ system.
The first and most critical step for any sort of local SEO strategy is to make sure that you claim and then verify your business’s GMB or Google My Business listing. Then, when someone eventually searches for your business on Google, the information that was used in establishing your GMB is pulled and used to populate the search.
Where will the information about my business appear?
The aforementioned information from your Google My Business page will then show itself in three different places on Google when someone searches for your business or the type of business that your company operates in. The most common of these is in the sidebar, which is also known as the “knowledge panel” that appears when someone searches for a specific company name. For mobile, this would appear at the top of the search listings instead.
You will also see this information displayed in the local results. When you search for a city name, Google will display three relevant businesses that are closest to the geographical location that is used. If your business is one of those three, that information will be displayed at the top of the Google search.
Lastly, Google Maps is one of the places where your information can be displayed. When someone does a search through their desktop computer for the Google Maps tab of their search, it will display your business on the map itself.
It is essential and critical that you claim your business and list a very specific category on your Google My Business listing. This makes it easier for Google to know what search terms to match to your business and will make it more likely that your business will be displayed for the right search results.
Review your GMB for relevant information
As mentioned previously, Google My Business is dependent on the information that you input into your Google My Business profile. If you omit information or leave things blank, you will ultimately hurt your overall search rankings. Make sure that every available detail of your business is listed as accurately as it can. Google will try to determine things like your location as well as other relevant information.
Setting up your business listing is easy, and it is free. There is no reason whatsoever to not partake in this as it is just another way for consumers to find out about your business and Google will rank you higher in its relevant searches as well. This is quite literally a win-win for your business and one that you would be dumb to not take advantage of.
Your reviews are essential
Once you have set up your Google My Business page, you need to make sure that you pay close attention to the reviews that have been left for your business. It is essential that you have your customers leave reviews for your business for two very important reasons:
Google uses reviews as a ranking factor to determine where your business fits in the search results. The better your reviews, the higher your ranking, and the better your overall visibility will be in relevant searches.
A massive 88% of online consumers will trust those online reviews as much as if they had gotten a personal recommendation. Needless to say, the more reviews you have (and the more positive, the better), the better idea that potential customers will have of how your business is to work with and if you are dependable and trustworthy. Those last two things are absolutely essential when trying to grow your local business, home security industry, or otherwise.
According to some online sources, the online reviews left for your business are thought to account for 10% of how Google, as well as other search engines, will decide to rank your business in the relevant search results. Obviously, there are other factors that are involved, but that is a pretty sizable level of importance placed on those reviews.
Even if you get negative reviews, so long as they are not plentiful, those are manageable, and manage them you should. Hiding from negative reviews or fighting those who leave them does nothing for your company overall. Address these negative reviews, but be certain that you do so in a quick and professional manner.
When you work with those who have left negative reviews, it gives the impression that your company is willing to go above and beyond in the name of quality service and that you listen to your customers, in any event, to make sure that their experience is as smooth as possible.
Organizing your online presence is easy
It cannot be stated enough how important it is to have an online presence in this day and age regardless of where your company is or what services it offers. Having an online presence is the most important way to show prospective customers what your business is about and what they can expect when using your company.
With the Google My Business tool, you can optimize the way your home security company stacks up within the related search rankings. It is by no means a guarantee that your business will be seen above all others in your area, but it will mean that you are giving Google more reason to rank your business higher. This is why it is so important to list all the information that GMB asks for; the more information that you include, the better job it does when Google compiles its search rankings.
And when your business ranks higher in Google’s search rankings, that means more potential eyeballs will become exposed to your website and your business. This leads to more prospective customers, which eventually leads to conversions or sales.
Small businesses need to do whatever they can to stand out in a sea of competitors in whatever industry that they are in. Because there are so many similar options out there, it can be difficult to differentiate your business from the others in the industry.
With an emphasis on positive reviews, both on your own website and external ones, you can now dictate how relevant your website is in the eyes of Google. When you have Google pushing you to the top of the relevant search results, you should start to see an uptick in traffic and the number of eyes that are viewing your business. If you can maintain this with any regularity, this should lead to an eventual uptick in business as well.
Google My Business is one of those tools that you would be a fool to ignore. This is mostly because it is a tool designed to help get more attention to your website and your business through the search rankings. It’s also free, and adding any tool to your repertoire should be of the utmost importance. When Google tries to give you help to optimize your rankings, definitely take it.
Make sure that you sign your home security company up for a Google My Business account today. The benefits that your company will experience in the long run are innumerable, and it is just another tool that will aid your business as you attempt to grow it within your community.
Your Google My Business listing is just the start, though. Grow trust with your audience and give them all the information they will ever need, and you will notice that more and more customers are calling upon your business.
Roofing SEO is the best way to spark your marketing campaign in 2022. 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 2022. 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 2022, 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 2022, 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 2022, 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 https:// 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 2022. 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 2022. 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 2022, 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.
Think of your web presence as a multi-dimensional business asset. Google values businesses that attend to every aspect of their digital footprint in favor of those who narrow their focus on a singular task or concept. Contractors will sometimes inquire as to why they lost their Maps placement on Google, after having been ranking in the Map Pack for so many years. The most likely culprit of this precipitous drop is a lack of marketing channel diversity. It’s one of the reasons we discourage clients from investing in standalone services such as website design, pay per click, or even lead generation. The most profitable contracting businesses have their hands on all of these things, and allocate resources to account for each. Every contractor reading this should diversify their marketing channels. If you are looking for web design only, you will be disappointed with the results. Everything online works together, and a lack of cohesion between design, optimization, Google maps, and other entities, makes for a porous online presence and one that will more than likely fail to produce desirable results.
A healthy web presence has traffic from multiple channels but it’s not only because everything works in concert, it’s also to protect contractors from a sudden shift in a particular channel’s value and production level. For example, PPC was once an inexpensive item for advertisers, but as the fees began to increase, the affordability worsened, and contractors were unable to sustain their ROI. If PPC was their only marketing channel, it became a massive blow to their institution. Perhaps even forcing them into bankruptcy. Another example of this is a contractor paying for a lead generation service who then sells its rights to another company, who subsequently crates a spike in lead prices. If this was the basis of your contracting business, you’ve lost everything overnight. Meanwhile, competitors who had diversified with SEO, Google Maps, and Social Media advertising came out clean as a whistle, and in some cases, directly benefit from your lack of foresight. If this sounds familiar, there’s a way to start a new marketing campaign that will prevent it from ever happening again. Contractors should diversify with:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO will be the foundation of your contracting businesses’ web presence. In contrast to many of the other items on this list, SEO is seldom considered a standalone service. This is particularly true when it’s coming from a reputable company. Still, business owners often view SEO as a waste of money, and prefer to focus on quick-money-grab’s like PPC. We noted in the introduction why attaching your entire business to a single item like pay per click is a poor idea. But with a strong foundation of search engine optimization, PPC, and other items like it, can become much more productive while not accounting for too great a percentage of your traffic.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
We discourage pay per click as a standalone item, but when used in concert with other techniques, we encourage it. In diversifying your marketing channels, PPC from Google Ads can be a valuable one. With parameters allowing advertisers to set constraints on budget, targeting, and things of that nature, a properly managed PPC campaign can yield a substantial ROI. The difference is that it is not the only source of traffic, and in fact, should not be. The Ad platform once known as AdWords can’t be the only source of traffic, but it can be a source.
Google Maps & My Business Optimization
Local SEO is a big deal, but did you know that Google Maps & Google My Business are the foundation of geographical SEO? To diversify marketing channels, having a well-optimized GMB profile and a verified Maps listing are non-negotiables. We strongly discourage the use of any single method for traffic generation, but if you were absolutely forced to choose one, it would be Google My Business / Maps optimization. With that said, it works even better when combined with other forms of marketing, particularly a strong foundation of organic SEO with a well-designed custom website for your contracting services, whether it be roofing, HVAC, etc.
Some marketing platforms empower contractors to pay only for leads. Often times these services provide shared leads, which forces businesses to fight against one another for the same customer lead. Since these leads are being funneled through channels that are not owned by the exclusive brand, there exists a lack a necessary control over them. Leads are obviously imperative to contractors. Without them, none of the rest matters. But it’s important to understand that the rest is there to ensure that exclusive leads are in fact generated. SEO, PPC, Google Maps, and Social Media can all generate leads with sufficient strategic input.
Have you ever had an Ad agency attempt to sell you on a Facebook Ads package that involved no other form of marketing? If so, run for the hills. While Facebook and other social platforms like Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, & Twitter, all hold value, both through organic marketing and especially paid advertising, they cannot reach their fullest potential as a singular entity. Instead, social outreach should be an extension of a rock solid foundation that is rooted in the highest quality SEO and is supplemented with PPC, Google Maps, Lead Generation, and other marketing ventures. For organic social conversions, consider integrating YouTube videos within your website HTML, and vice versa with blog posts on your social feeds.
Digital Synergy & Its Influence
Google favors brands no doubt. But what does Google consider a brand, especially in the realm of local contractors? For one, a company or individual who established a presence on a myriad of marketing platforms are more likely to be considered brandable from Google’s perspective. None only is brand diversity appealing to consumers and helps them recall your logo, but the inbound linking power of multiple incoming domains URLs is a strong signal to search engine crawlers. One thing is for certain, at least some of your competitors have more diverse marketing campaigns than you at the start of 2019. This can be the year you close the gap and root yourself in a strong and sustainable online presence. Contractor Webmasters can help you get there.