While digital marketing has been influential in the growth of thousands of online companies from Facebook to Amazon, local businesses have adopted it at a much slower pace. However, search engine optimization (SEO) has quickly become the go-to method for local businesses like roofers to bring in new customers. The reason why digital marketing has boomed so rapidly is that more than ever, people are going online to look for their solutions and businesses rather than flicking through the yellow pages. If you have any belief that the internet is here to stay, you need to invest in digital marketing to ensure that you can continue to grow your business as more of our life begins to revolve around the internet. Search engine optimization should be at the core of this strategy because Google and Bing represent a huge percentage of all internet traffic and by optimizing for them, you can bring more potential customers to your roofing business by utilizing Roofing SEO.
What is Roofing SEO?
Roofing SEO is the process of optimizing your roofing website and other factors so that you appear higher up in the search engine results pages for relevant queries.
Why You Need Roofing SEO
Let’s take the example of a roofer in Los Angeles; they’d benefit hugely by ranking number one in Google for the phrase “roofer in Los Angeles” because the people who search that phrase are looking for roofing services in Los Angeles. Ranking higher in Google will translate to more people coming to your website, meaning more leads and therefore more sales.
As long as you can turn leads into customers, which we know you can because you’re already serving your customer base, generating more leads will translate to higher profits each year. SEO is all about increasing your brand awareness for specific phrases so that the people who are in your area and looking for roofing services see your business rather than your competitors.
Instead of your business intruding on people through advertisement, SEO is an inbound marketing strategy where your potential customers are looking for your business, making selling your services that much easier.
Define Your Roofing SEO Strategy and Keywords
Most SEO strategies are defined by the keywords that you target. Your website is only going to appear in the Google results pages for terms that are closely related to the content on your web pages, which is why it’s important to decide up front what keywords you want to target and therefore what content is needed.
As with any marketing strategy, the audience that you target is going to play a significant role in dictating the success of the campaign. After all, if you target customers of the wrong demographic, income level and location, you might get leads that you don’t even want for example poorer customers living far away from you.
Instead, your goal should be to target customers with the right level of income to pay for your services and to whom you can easily drive whenever necessary. By narrowing down your audience, we can begin to formulate a list of potential keywords that we want to target and appear in the search engine results pages for.
One example of a terrible keyword for a roofer who works with middle and upper-income families would be “cheap roofers” because you’re attracting customers who are driven by price. However, if your roofing company does have the lowest prices in your area, then that keyword might be fantastic. Your business strategy and target market play a large role in deciding which keywords to use.
Once you have decided on the target audience you want to go after, you can begin to work on ranking you for keywords that potential customers are likely to search. By doing this, you can focus all of our resources on keywords which your ideal customer will use, not those which lower quality leads might type in instead.
If you notice in the first example we used earlier; the keyword was localized. All this means is that there is a phrase in the search term which gives Google, Bing or Yahoo some insight into the location of the searcher. These keywords could include:
- Best roofing company in Los Angeles
- Roofers in Hollywood
- Roofing service in 90038
- Roofers in WH, LA
These keywords are going to be the bread and butter of your SEO strategy for three reasons:
Firstly, they are longer phrases which are going to have lower competition. Fewer websites are trying to rank for these terms, and therefore we can appear in the search engine results pages quicker and easier. The advantage of this is that you can see a return on your investment sooner and start to bring in more customers.
Secondly, the quality of your leads from more specific queries like these is going to be higher than in general terms. You might think that you want to rank for “best roofer” but the large majority of those searchers aren’t going to be near you, and therefore you’ll get thousands of junk leads and since it’s much more broad there will be stiffer competition which in the end will waste your time and money.
Finally, because your business is located in the area that the searcher is looking, Google is more likely to give your website and your Google Business Listing more visibility. This increased visibility in the results pages means more traffic to your website, increased leads and more jobs and profit for your business.
General Roofing Keywords
The first type of keyword that you should target is a very general type which will include the most common terms that searchers will use like roofing, roofer, roofing service and roofing contractors along with a location specifier. Mix it up by using the location phrase at either the front or the end of the phrase, to create two different keywords which people might use.
By targeting these phrases, you are going to try and rank for the highest volume local terms available. However, with that large volume typically there is more competition too. Which is why you should also target a variety of other phrases which might be searched less frequently but for which you can rank for far sooner.
These general roofing keywords will typically be in the following format, “roofing in San Diego” or “San Diego roofers” which are phrases which you could imagine people typing naturally. By ranking for these, you can bring targeted traffic to your site. These people have already proven to you that they are interested in your services because they are searching these types of results and therefore you’ll see a great conversion rate from traffic to customers.
Specific Roofing Service Keywords
The second type of keyword that you should target is service specific. These are for customers who search for the specific services that you offer, rather than just looking for a roofing company in general. One example of this could be people searching for “shingle replacement in Houston” or “gutter repair in Dallas” which many roofing companies offer.
What’s great about these keywords is that it’s a step beyond a general keyword because the customer has taken the effort to look into the problem and decipher what service they need. These customers are even more eager to hire a roofer and therefore tend to convert at very high rates from leads into clients.
It’s often possible to target both a specific service keyword and a more general phrase on the same page by creating a piece of content about gutter repair for example and using phrases referring to roofing as well. Using these keywords also gives you far more control over the types of customers that you bring in. You might decide for example that you don’t care too much about gutter repair clients because the profit is low, but you want as many roof replacement jobs as you can get your hands on.
With this information, you can prioritize the types of service keywords that you target so that you can utilize your resources most efficiently to bring in the right clients for your business. Depending on what services you offer, and which are the most profitable we can create an SEO roofing strategy that optimizes your output for the monthly budget.
Specific Roofing Structure Keywords
Depending on the types of customers that you serve you might also want to structure your targeted keywords so that they more accurately represent what you’re selling. Perhaps the easiest example of this would be between roofers that serve commercial clients and those that do residential roofing jobs.
As a commercial/industrial roofer, you might wish to target keywords like “commercial roof repair in NYC” because more general keywords will typically be used by residential customers. However, even if you offer services to individuals and families, it can be worthwhile to target keywords like “residential gutter repair in San Jose” because some people might use these more specific types of queries.
Tools for Keyword Research
By including a wide range of keywords through these three different categories, you can end up with a powerful strategy that cast a wide but also specific net to ensure that you bring in as much traffic as possible but from the right people.
Coming up with these types of keywords isn’t overly complicated, but rather quickly you’re going to run out of ideas. This is why it’s useful to use tools like Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, and Longtail Pro, all of which allow you to find keywords that are regularly searched for in your industry. Often, you’ll find a goldmine of keywords that you would never have thought of, and this can double your potential reach, bringing in far more leads and profit each month for your business.
Many of these tools have a monthly fee associated with them, but they are necessary if you want to find the right keywords to target. For this reason, many people choose to go with an agency that knows what to look for and has years of experience doing keyword research and already have access to these powerful tools.
Finding these keywords isn’t the only step. You also need to figure out how competitive they are so that you have an idea of whether you can realistically rank for them, what you’ll need to do to get to the number one spot and how long it might take. Without a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs, SEMRush or Moz this is impossible because backlinks are a key component of SEO and therefore you need to research your competitor’s backlinks to evaluate the competitiveness of certain keywords.
Although keyword research is a far cry away from the entirety of an SEO strategy, it’s arguably the most important stage. With the wrong keywords, it doesn’t matter how well your site is optimized or what backlinks you acquire; you’ll never bring in the right type of traffic that converts into the types of customers that you want.
For this reason, it’s often worth paying for an agency to handle your SEO strategy, rather than investing your own money to buy the tools only to make a critical mistake. Part of what you’re paying for with an agency is their effort and hours of work, but you also get the years of experience and knowledge that can keep you on the right path and prevent you from hitting road bumps.
Optimize Your Roofing Website for Conversions
As a roofer, you live and die by your leads funnel. While there is some repeat business from clients, it might be years before they return to you and therefore you need to ensure that you constantly have a fresh supply of leads coming into your business. Therefore, it’s imperative that you optimize your website to rank in Google and bring in more traffic that is already interested in the services that you offers.
Once we’ve established which keywords you want to target it’s important to ensure that your website is optimized for ranking, both for those keywords and in general. Google and other search engines use a variety of signals to estimate how trustworthy a site is and without these features, you’ll find it hard to rank for any competitive keywords.
These features are consent among the most legitimate websites in the world, and therefore Google can use them with relative certainty to dictate where websites rank. For this reason, part of your on-page SEO strategy should include optimizing your website and external website features like your business listings to ensure that everything is optimal for generating more leads and increasing revenue.
Make Sure Your Roofing Web Design is Up to Date
When you land on a website, you make a quick decision about whether you’re going to stay or go looking for an alternative, before you even begin to read the content or see what the company offers. This decision is made on the aesthetic, feel and operation of the site. Similarly, in real life, you look at the outside of a restaurant and associate that appearance with the quality and safety of the food.
If a restaurant doesn’t look legitimate or a website looks shoddy, you’re going to look for an alternative, and your potential customers are the same. It’s highly unlikely that a web design from years ago is cutting it, most likely you need to do a re-design to keep up to date and ensure the audience of your legitimacy and quality.
It’s not only that, but Google also uses this user data to influence the rankings. They can track Google Chrome users to see if they click back from a website and how quickly. Over time this higher bounce rate and lower time on page can have a drastic impact on your rankings, especially if these statistics are considerably different to the industry average.
For this reason, before you even begin to optimize the content on your pages or your reviews, you should ensure that you have a high-quality website that reflects your services. This can boost your rankings, but just as importantly it can also increase your conversion rate and bring in more revenue for you each month. A good example of a roofing company site with an up to date web design is Valentine Roof as seen below:
Make Your Location and Phone Number Visible from the Homepage
Typically, only substandard and shady websites hide their location and phone number, which is why many SEO’s believe that Google uses this as a ranking factor. However, more importantly, you want to ensure that potential customers can easily find out where your business is located and how they can get in contact with you.
By hiding or obscuring this information you’re making it more challenging for a customer to give you their money and therefore you are hurting yourself by reducing your conversion rate. Instead, include your phone number on the homepage and ensure that they can find your location in less than one click. As you can see below, Bell Roofing makes their location and phone number clearly visible to visitors and potential customers on their website, not only making it easier for their potential customers to call them, but for a good user experience as well.
Add a Free Call to Action to the Top of Your Roofing Website
When it comes to an expensive task like a roof repair or installation, people are reluctant to pull the trigger and hire a company. To help customers to overcome this reluctance you can offer them something for free so that you can get the ball rolling and reduce the risk to them.
For a roofing company, one way to do this is to offer a free consultation and in-person quote, which makes your business seem more professional but also allows you to get face time with the customer so that you can sell to them.
Have a Picture of the Team or Owner on the Homepage and Other Pages
Perhaps one of the most obvious signs of a cowboy or fly-by-night roofer is that they have an obscure brand that isn’t associated with an individual. This allows them to move on with little discourse easily, but your goal is the opposite. To reassure potential clients, you should ensure that you have friendly photos of yourself and your team all over the website, to remind them that there are real people behind that site that are willing to help them with their problems.
Add Your Roofing Certifications to Your Site
If you’ve ever been certified through a board, had your business listed on the Better Business Bureau or been featured in a newspaper, you can include that on your website. This adds social proofing which is a phenomenon that suggests that we are more likely to purchase from a company which other legitimate organizations have worked with before.
Show Photos and Videos of Your Roofing Work
The main differentiator between roofers other than cost is the quality of their work and therefore to sell to people you must include samples of jobs that you’ve worked on before. Photos are fantastic, but videos are even better because they give the viewer a more detailed perspective. This can help the customer to become more comfortable, causing them to call you and eventually hand over their credit card.
Put Your Reviews on Your Roofing Website
If you’ve got any positive reviews from previous customers either through email, phone conversation or a review site like Google Reviews or Yelp, include them on your site. For people that come directly to your website rather than finding you on a review site, it’s important for them to see the past experiences of your customers. This can massively increase your conversion rate, bringing in more leads to your business from your new SEO traffic.
Optimize Your Roofing Website for Mobile
In this day and age, the majority of website visitors are often browsing on a mobile device rather than a desktop computer. For this reason, you need to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices if you want to allow them to read your page and get in contact with you..
After all, Google wants to show their users the best results, and if a large percentage of their users are on mobile devices, they don’t want to rank sites which cannot be viewed well on those devices. As a result, sites which aren’t mobile-optimized can be heavily penalized by the Google algorithm and see lower rankings as a result. To check if your website’s mobile, you may actually use Google’s mobile friendly test tool.
Install Google Analytics and the Google Search Console
Now that you’re getting more traffic from Google it’s important for you to collect as much data as possible about that traffic so that you can optimize your website and spot opportunities for you to increase your rankings. To do this, you’ll need to install Google Analytics for data tracking and Google Search Console to see which keywords searchers are using to get to your website.
Ensure that Your Roofing Website is Secure
Security is imperative, not least because you usually have a legal responsibility to keep your customers data safe from prying eyes. However, on a more practical note, Google Chrome and other web browsers are beginning to show warning signs on websites that don’t have SSL enabled. As of July 2018, Google Chrome marks non-https sites as not secure.
SSL is a form of website security that ensures that data transfer is secure, and this is particularly important if you’re collecting payments online or accepting email addresses. Installing SSL can also help you to rank higher in Google, as well as increase your conversion rate.
Local Roofing SEO
As a roofer, all of your customers need to be within driving distance, which is why local SEO is critical. You don’t particularly care about ranking for terms which aren’t searched in your local area and therefore all resources should be focused on ranking locally.
Add Your Roofing Business to the Top Local Listings and Roofing Directories
In any city or even small town, there are typically local listing and directories where businesses are listed. By adding your business to these you can increase your brand awareness and attract more customers, but you are also building a citation which is a positive ranking signal and can improve your search engine rankings.
Google also looks at the relevancy of the pages which are linking to your site and uses this as a signal for which keywords you should be ranked for. As a result, it’s worthwhile to be listed in industry-specific directories like Owens Corning and Angie’s List because it can have a positive impact on your rankings.
Using tools such as Bright Local can expedite the process, instead of having to individually add and update each listing yourself.
Ensure You Have a Consistent NAP
NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone number, which are the three most important pieces of information related to your business. This information is listed across the internet, from your site to Facebook and directories and Google uses this to influence your rankings and local business listings. However, having different NAP information across the internet can confuse search engine crawlers, therefore it’s imperative that you ensure your listings are consistent.
Using the free tools such as MOZ Local’s listing checker will allow you to see how complete and in-complete your listings are, as well any inconsistencies or duplicates you may have with your listings.
Optimize Your Google My Business
As a local business one of the most important digital marketing components will be your appearance on Google Maps and the Google My Business listings in search results. In this listing, you want to give as much information as possible not only to rank in the top 3 of the local map pack to gain more exposure as seen below but also give potential customers a reason to call you with a compelling listing.
To do this, you should start by adding pictures and videos to your listing, which help to separate you from the competition. You’ll also want to add extra call-to-actions like the “Call Now” button which allows people to get in contact with you for a free estimate easily.
Finally, Google also uses the number and rating of your Google reviews to influence your appearance in these sections, and therefore you should encourage customers to review your business favorably on Google.
Local Link Building
Link building is incredibly important for improving your rankings, we’ll cover why after, but it’s not just the quantity of links that matter. Getting backlinks from local businesses and organizations tells Google that you’re well recognized in your community and therefore makes them more likely to rank your site higher for individuals who are searching in your town or city.
To get backlinks from local websites, you can participate in local events like food collections or donations, partner with local schools, provide free services to a family in need in your area of getting featured on the news.
On-Page SEO for Roofers
SEO can be roughly broken down into two sections, on-page and off-page. On-page SEO is the optimization of factors on your website itself like the keyword usage, content quality and use of images or videos.
Use Keywords Throughout Your Roofing Website
Although Google is getting smarter and can rank you for phrases that never appear on the page, it’s always wise to guide them in the right direction. The three most powerful places to include your keywords are in the header tags because search engines give it the most weight as it tells them what a page or section is about.
Optimize Your Roofing Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Each page should have a unique title tag and meta description, but it’s not enough for them to exist they should also be optimized for the keywords that you want to rank for. You can do this by ensuring that they are used in both and possible with some variations.
Add Location Pages
If you serve multiple locations, which you probably do, it’s often wise to create multiple different location pages. The advantage of this is that you can give the reader more detailed information about what you provide in each locale and it also gives you more opportunities to rank for local keywords.
Make Roofing Service Pages
For each of the services that you offer it’s wise to create a separate page for the same reason, it gives you more opportunities to rank for individual service keywords that people are searching for. You can also optimize these services pages for a location for example by having a roof repair page and using location phrases like “roof repair in Los Angeles” to rank for those keywords.
Optimize Your Site Navigation
Making it difficult for people to navigate your website also makes it more challenging for the spiders to crawl your site and index your pages. As well as ensuring that you have simple navigation with a detailed menu, you should also reduce broken links, remove 404 errors and create a logical internal linking strategy.
Use Roofing Schema Markup
Google and other search engines have gone far beyond only displaying the title of your page and an excerpt in the results pages, they often now show more detailed information. Schema markup is a specific set of codes or instructions which the Google spider looks for and then includes in the search results.
This can include your opening hours, location, mobile phone number or star rating. These factors can drastically increase your click through rate and therefore bring more people to your website.
For help on knowing which schema mark-up to add to your roofing website you may reference Schema.org for their roofing schema.
Optimize Your Alt Text
Pictures are an important part of every site, alternative text or alt text is read to understand what the image is. However, alt text is also used as a ranking factor and therefore for each of your images should have their alt text completed. It’s worth including keywords where possible to increase your chance of ranking for different phrases.
An added benefit of doing this is that when people use your images on their website, they’ll often use this alt text and therefore if you can include a link in the alt text to one of your pages it can help you to passively generate backlinks.
Have Unique Content
If there is one thing that Google hates, it’s duplicate content. Not only does it not help their users, but it also wastes their resources. One way to create unique content is to create a blog, which many businesses do because it allows them to rank for a much broader set of keywords, but it also creates opportunities for backlinks. While people rarely link to service pages, they’re far more likely to link to a blog post on your site.
Off-Page SEO for Roofers
After optimizing your website, you’ll need to start considering the off-site factors that Google uses to rank pages. The most important are backlinks and social media, both of which are used as trust and ranking signals to decide which pages should rank above others with similar content.
A link from one website to a page on a different website is called a backlink primarily treated as a vote of confidence and the more votes of confidence your pages get, the better. However, a vote of confidence from Forbes is worth far more than one from your local church. But there’s also an extra level of nuance because while a link from Forbes is valuable if your site is about business and money if your website is about knitting, it might be a bigger vote of confidence to get a link from a local wool company than Forbes.
To put it simply, the relevancy, quality, and quality of the links to your pages matter. Google uses these signals and more to evaluate the authoritativeness of your site and therefore decide where and how you should rank.
Create engaging content
One way to earn backlinks to your site from relevant sources is to create content that is useful to others and therefore which deserves to be shared on social media and linked to by other sites.
E-mail roofing influencers and bloggers
It’s not enough to create content and send it out into the ether; you sometimes need to get your hands dirty and put it in front of people’s faces by sending them an email about it. By doing this, you can often convince them to link to it from their website or share it on their social media, especially if your content is fantastic.
There are blogger outreach services such as Gotch SEO that will not only contact bloggers, but they will create the content where your back-link will be located as well!
Guest post on other websites in the industry
Even after creating amazing content and doing email outreach, you might be struggling to earn backlinks. In which case you can send the same quality of content to other websites in your industry and ask them to publish it on their site, but with a link back to yours. These partnerships benefit both companies and can be done with roofing businesses in different cities or states.
One easy way to find blogs that allow for guest posting is to sign up to Guest Post Trackr as they have a directory of high authority niche blogs in which you can easily reach out to them at a click of a button and submit a guest blog post to their site.
Whether social media signals like retweets and likes have an impact on your rankings directly is often debated, but what’s for sure is that social media can be beneficial for SEO. By connecting with your fans, building up an audience and sharing content, you can increase the chance of people linking to you and expand your network of influencers.
Facebook SEO for Roofers
For a local business like a roofer, the main advantage of Facebook is the advertising platform which allows you to run ads for specific demographics. You can use this to bring visitors to our website where you can educate them about your services and sell to them, but you could also do the same for bloggers or influencers to convince them to link to your content.
Instagram SEO for Roofers
Instagram is all about photo and video, which makes it the perfect platform for sharing the results of your work. By leaving a link in your bio and listing your Instagram account as a business rather than a personal account, you can create a link to your site which can drive traffic and encourage influencers to link to you.
YouTube SEO for Roofers
The beauty of YouTube is that it makes tutorials and guides incredibly simple to follow, especially in a visual industry like roofing. Although it might seem counter-intuitive to teach people to fix their roofing problems, these people are highly unlikely to be in your area and even if they are they are already looking for DIY solutions and therefore won’t pay for your services.
However, YouTube allows you to insert a link in your video description to your website, and people are likely to link to your site and the video which can drive SEO and other marketing benefits for your business.
Search engines are here to stay, and if you want to compete in your local industry, you need to ensure that your business comes up when people search for a roofer in your area. SEO can ensure that, which is why it’s the most important investment that you’ll make this year.
Keep in mind; there is a right and a wrong way to do SEO. In the industry this is often referred to as Black and White Hat SEO which is the manner in which a business decides how to execute their SEO strategy. While Black Hat SEO can be effective, it breaks the rules and is therefore often penalized, and your results can disappear overnight.
White hat SEO on the other hand, which we practice here at Better Bistro Media, plays by the rules and therefore can last for decades, ensuring that you get value for your money. By building links from relevant and legitimate sites, creating quality content and boosting your social media presence, we can improve your rankings and drive more leads to your business.
Being a premiere Georgia SEO Agency, at Better Bistro Media we are experts in SEO for roofers and are confident that we can deliver excellent rankings for your business, regardless of where you are located. Using our detailed process, we can identify the right keywords, ensure that your website is optimized and create links for your business to spread brand awareness and increase your rankings simultaneously. Get in touch with us today and find out how we can get your more jobs this year.