Local SEO for Home Builders

Local SEO for Home Builders

Table of Contents

Introduction

Local SEO for home builders is a subject I have spent a lot of time researching for my clients.

You have a website but you are not getting the enquiries that you are expecting.

Does that sound familiar?

I have looked at lots of websites in the construction industry and the missing link is almost always the lack of local SEO.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is widely recognised as one of the most essential elements of any home builder’s online activities. However, the importance of specific local SEO is often overlooked completely.

I have done some research into how many people search on Google for home builders and the numbers are not massive. However, don’t let that put you off. The people who are searching online are looking to spend significantly to develop a new housing estate or row of luxury homes. So local SEO will win enough new business to warrant the investment.

As with any SEO strategy ‘local SEO’ can’t be a one-off activity – I wish it was 😉

What is local SEO?

SEO is all about increasing the visibility of a website in the search engines such as Google and Bing.

Local SEO is, in many ways, similar to SEO generally; in fact, many of the tactics required for good local SEO, as I will discuss in more detail soon, are taken directly from more standard methods.

However, the goal of local SEO is different: rather than seeking to appeal to a general audience, local SEO is explicitly tailored to target individuals living in a specific geographical region.

That sounds perfect for home builders doesn’t it.

How does local SEO differ from standard SEO?

As mentioned briefly above, in many ways, local SEO techniques are similar to techniques used in standard SEO.

However, there is a crucial difference:

With standard SEO, all techniques are used to attract customers to a website from anywhere.

Local SEO, on the other hand, is most useful for attracting customers in the location that your business is based or perhaps customers situated in a geographic area you are targeting.

For example, an ecommerce store that sells plumbing parts to anywhere in the world will primarily use standard SEO strategies.  An actual plumbing business with a bricks and mortar trade store or retail outlet wants people to come in to their showroom, and is therefore better served by local SEO.

It is generally easier to target and get more enquiries locally than to aim at a wider geographic region. Both can be done but the advice is to start local first.

Why is local SEO important for home builders?

Home builders, by the very nature of their business, have a very narrow field of potential customers; i.e. individual buyers who wish to purchase a property in a specific part of the country or property development companies looking at constructing commercial buildings in a specific city.

As a result, local SEO is particularly crucial for home builders. While ecommerce stores can work on SEO with the goal of attracting customers from any region, home builders are very reliant on finding customers who are looking to purchase within a specific geographic region.

I have clients in the construction industry and although they do provide products and services across the country the very size and weight of building materials or finished products like roof trusses means it is easier to work closer to base.

For a house builder in Oxford, England, there is relatively little point in investing in SEO that captures the attention of house buyers looking for a property in Boston, Massachusetts.

By focusing on local SEO, home builders can be confident that their SEO efforts are actually capable of producing results and leads they can be confident of converting.

What are the best local SEO techniques for home builders?

If you are familiar with standard SEO, then many of the techniques used for local SEO purposes will be familiar.

Link building and onsite SEO are vitally important to local SEO, with a particular focus on local keywords. For example, rather than optimising for a keyword such as “riverside apartments”, you could look to optimise for “apartments close to the River Trent”.

Although these 2 keyword phrases are similar the second of course has the local element added.

Blogger outreach can also be beneficial, particularly if you can find blogs written by those in a similar area to your business.

Onsite blog posts also have a significant role to play in local SEO. Wherever possible, seek to create blog posts that are relevant to a specific area – for example, major music festivals being held in the area, or important local news stories. You could also write blog posts relating to your company’s history in the area, or host testimonials from local customers – anything that helps to cement the focus of your business in one, specific geographical region.

In addition to the above, local SEO also requires a specific focus on two areas that are less commonly seen in standard SEO: local citations and voice search.

What are local citations?

If you head over to Google. and search for “home building companies”, you’d be able to see that the results at the top of the page differ from a standard Google search engine results page. Rather than simple links, you’d see small ‘cards’ of information, primarily including a business name, address, phone number, and – in some cases – website addresses.

Google my Business Example

 

 

 

 

 

 

These “cards” are created using Google My Business, a tool for local citations; a tool designed to allow businesses to ensure all information provided to people in local search results is up-to-date and relevant.

There are other places where you can list your business and get more local citations. Business directories are an important source for local citations and a business directory that is just for your target village, town or city if even better.

Building and maintaining these citations can be a time-consuming process, but a process that is very much worth engaging with if you wish to build your online presence.

I say that it is time consuming but on the other hand citation building doesn’t need any complicated technical skills. Geotagging images would help but is not a requirement.

Why is optimising for voice search important for local SEO?

Do you talk to your speakers?

Do you talk to your phones?

Do you talk to your TV?

I do!

Voice search is becoming more common and is now an important consideration for all aspects of SEO – but particularly for those seeking to increase their local SEO marketing activities.

Statistics have shown that voice searches are overwhelmingly local in basis:

  • Mobile voice searches are three times as likely to be local in nature than text-based searches.
  • 76% of home speaker users conduct local voice searches once a week, with 46% of users performing searches for local information every day.

As a result, home builders aiming to improve their local SEO efforts cannot afford to overlook the possibilities offered by voice search.

If you type in your keyboard for something you want to find in Google people tend to write shorter phrases compared to what you say to your devices when searching for the same thing.

For example, I would type “home builder oxford” on the keyboard. But using voice search I will say more – “who are the best home builders in Oxford?”, for example.

While this long tail type of keyword phrase works in standard SEO, research shows it is more prevalent in voice searches. I think most people talk faster than they can type so that makes sense.

This is why including a FAQ-style page on your website or blog is very important (this is high up on my to do list, honestly). The inherent nature of FAQs naturally lends itself to long-tail keywords more commonly used by voice searchers.

In conclusion

I know that is quite a lot to consider but as a local home builder looking to engage with more prospects I would suggest you tackle the easier tactics first or ask for some specialist help.

If you are interested I have some more articles about marketing for the construction industry on this website.

 

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