SEO for Home Builders: How to get a slot in Local Pack?
Location for a home builder is key to your business. You need to be able to attract the right kind of clients – ones who are looking for custom built homes in the areas you service. This is where SEO for home builders comes in.
You could be the best custom home builder on the planet, but in the digital age, word of mouth can only get you so far.
With a strong digital presence and home builder SEO strategy, you’ll be able to draw local clients to you who are looking for exactly the kind of service you offer.
Location, location, location
46% of all internet searches are for local information. If you’re a home builder who doesn’t utilize this, you’ll be losing potential customers to your competitors that do.
SEO is an incredibly useful tool, because it allows you to streamline the kind of customers that are actually keen to engage with your home builder business. Keyword planning will allow you to use customer intent to draw the clients you need to your website.
Through the use of SEO, local keyword use and website optimisation, you can very efficiently target customers who want a custom built home in the areas you work with – saving you time in active lead chasing.
What is the Local Pack?
For maximum client conversion when it comes to local browsers, the ultimate goal is securing a slot in the Local Pack.
Whenever someone searches online with a geographically worded search phrase, Google responds by showing them the top local businesses that can best answer their request.
It judges which websites will provide the best service based on algorithms, which are designed to assess the content and quality of a webpage and corresponding website.
These top local results make up what is called the Local Pack. This essentially appears as a block of localized information that users can browse through and quickly assess which business is going to answer their needs best, in the area they require.
The top three results are shown first, with users having to click further to see more suggestions. This ‘top three’ block is also known as the Local 3 pack – securing a spot here is like the golden trifecta of SEO.
How can I use home builder SEO to get a Local Pack slot?
To put your own business in the running for securing a local pack position, you need to make sure you optimize your website in a way that these algorithms will rank highly.
This is where a well-crafted home builder SEO strategy comes in. You need to essentially prove to Google that your business can provide the best answer / service to whatever your potential customers are searching for.
Put simply, you have to make sure your website represents your business in the best way possible, and answers the intent of your customers’ search queries in the best way possible.
Step 1: Use local keywords
Due to the location based nature of your service, locally phrased keywords are going to be the most important tool in your toolbox when implementing your home builder SEO strategy.
It’s also going to be your best method when it comes to securing a slot in the elusive Google Local Pack.
Keyword planning for home builder SEO
Google Keyword Planner allows you to see the amount of search results related to each keyword you might choose to utilize.
As a home builder, the easiest and most effective way to segregate these for SEO will be based on location.
For example, say you want to devote a page to custom home building in the North Shore, Auckland. Keyword research will allow you to see all relevant search terms related to this phrase and the number of searches for each phrase. From there you can select which keywords you will target.
Keyword research for home building in each area will give you results that might look something like this:
1. “Custom built home North Shore,” 5,000 search results.
2. “Home builder North Shore, Auckland,” 2,000 search results.
3. “North Shore building company for custom homes,” 1,000 search results.
If you choose the highest ranking keyword for each area you want to target, you’re going to face a lot of competition. For better chances, you may choose instead to target the second or third ranking keyword.
You can also choose one primary keyword to target in your page, and include a few more secondary keywords throughout the content to show Google that your website can answer further related search phrases.
Local keywords are going to be essential SEO-wise for your home builder website, so it’s really important you use a well thought out strategy, and research and implement it correctly.
Step 2: Optimize your business / website to the max
Using the right keywords and SEO content is going to be a crucial step in getting you closer to a Local Pack slot.
However, if your website and business is not up to scratch, no amount of strategic keyword planning is going to convince Google’s algorithms you deserve one of the highest rankings available.
Keywords are only part of the method needed for high Google rankings; you’ve also got to make sure you:
1. Have a fast, easy to use and screen responsive website design
Your website design must be attractive, fast loading, brand representative, and user friendly. Google algorithms assess your page loading times, as well as how much customers engage with your website.
· Avoid a high bounce rate
If you have what Google refers to as a high ‘bounce rate,’ this means you have a high rate of visitors viewing one page on your website and leaving without engaging any further with your site.
A high ‘bounce rate’ will be penalized by Google with lower rankings, as this is used to determine whether or not customers are finding your website interesting and useful.
In order to make sure you have a higher percentage of viewers engaging with your website, you need to make sure the site is engaging, eye-catching and user friendly. Browsers should be able to easily find what they are looking for, so that you don’t lose potential customers. Professional web design services can help you achieve this.
· Make sure your site caters to mobile devices
Roughly half of the Internet is now accessed on mobile devices, so it’s absolutely necessary that all aspects of your site should be screen responsive. If your site is desktop responsive only, you will risk isolating and losing any customer using mobile devices – potentially half of your browsers!
2. Use (and optimise) high quality photos of your previous projects as a portfolio
As a home builder your website is going to be your strongest visual portfolio. Use professional, high quality photos of the projects you are most proud of.
Optimise these home builder photos for SEO with locally worded keywords for maximum results.
For example, take that custom home you just built in (insert area). With some keyword research and SEO, you’ll create visibility for other people searching for the kind of home you’ve built in the same area.
The idea is to make sure you have as much chance as possible of having your home building work, website or photos show up whenever someone searches online for similar home building services.
Optimising your photos will strengthen your ranking and also give you access to customers browsing for home building inspiration on Google images too.
Make sure you use your SEO keyword in your photo titles / captions and alt-tags, so that they appear when people are searching for custom-built homes in this area.
3. Have all contact details listed, relevant and up to date
A browser looking for local information could be looking for the phone number, email address, or website of a home builder that can create homes in their desired area.
If your contact details are not updated, listed and shown in the right places, you immediately lose a potential client. This can happen within a few seconds of them typing their search query and picking up the phone, or sending an email.
Always answer customer requests promptly, and make sure you list your current contact info on every platform possible – website contact page, social media, and Google business listing.
4. Garner as many positive reviews as possible
Search for any locally based business (e.g. ‘pizza near me’) and take a quick look at the top 3 results Google shows you. You’ll notice the businesses showing usually have a pretty high overall rating – which is composed of the sum of all their Google reviews.
Garnering as many positive reviews as possible is going to give you a much better shot at getting a Local Pack slot. If you are receiving a decent amount of generally good reviews, Google will start to evaluate you as one of the top reviewed home builders in the area – worthy enough to be listed in the top three.
Executing your home builder SEO strategy
When used correctly, SEO can be your most powerful business tool. As a home builder, you’ve got location on your side – this is something you should definitely be targeting with local keywords.
By making your business and website the best it can be, and optimizing your site cleverly using strategic, home builder SEO, you’ll be well on your way to improving your ranking and even scoring a Local Pack slot.
From there, you’ll find your leads come to you easily. It does take a reasonable amount of work and hours to get to that point though, and you’ll want to make sure you keep your SEO maintained and updated regularly moving forward.
Using a professional SEO agency will allow you to focus on what you do best – custom home building. It takes a lot of research, planning and work to reach a Local Pack ranking, and it’s best to ask the advice from professionals who have experience in getting there. Find out more about how we can help you improve your SEO ranking, to the point where you can achieve Local Pack status for your home builder business.