Local SEO Guide for Home Inspectors

/Local SEO Guide for Home Inspectors
Local SEO Guide for Home Inspectors 2017-11-12T10:14:30+00:00

If you are a home inspector, you know how tough it can be to draw in new customers. One of the biggest challenges is that when someone needs a home inspection, he will likely run a simple Google search and then call the first few companies on the list. To attract more customers, then, you must find a way into that crucial top spot.

We will walk you through our proven 5-step process to boost your company to the top of the heap. But before we do that, let’s discuss why local SEO is crucial for home inspectors.

3 Reasons Home Inspectors Should Invest in Local SEO

The Yellow Pages Have Been Replaced by Google:

Not long ago, attracting new customers was as simple as placing an ad in the Yellow Pages and waiting for the phone to ring. Today, however, a whopping 97% of people search online to find local businesses, and Google is by far the market leader.

Free Traffic:

Although it has changed dramatically, advertising remains a hefty expense for most businesses. Improving your Google rankings gives you a constant stream of free traffic that you can convert to paying customers.

Speedy Results:

On average, national and international businesses must wait 6 months to a year to see much of a difference in their Google rankings. You have a sizeable advantage as a home inspector, as you are competing only with home inspectors in your area, not those located halfway across the country. And many of your competitors are not taking advantage of local SEO. You could easily jump to the first page of Google local results within just 30 days!

Step 1: Prepare Your Keywords

The first step is to prepare an initial list of keywords that reflect your services. For example, you might list “home inspection”, “foundation inspection”, and “roof inspection”. When you have a fairly complete list, set up a free account in Google AdWords.

You do not need to develop or fund an ad campaign. The AdWords account simply gives you access to the Google Keyword Planner. You can input your keywords into the tool to find out how much traffic they produce. The tool will also suggest additional related keywords.

With this information, you are ready to finalize your keyword list. All keywords fall into 1 of 2 loose categories:

  • Buying Intent: Buying intent keywords mean that the prospect is imminently ready to make a purchasing decision. For example, someone searching for “wind mitigation inspection St. Augustine” likely knows exactly what he needs and is looking for the right professional to do the job.

    Your local SEO campaign should focus primarily on buying intent keywords, since they drive the most rapid conversions. Include them on your homepage, and design service pages around them.

  • Research Intent: Research intent keywords mean that the prospect is “just browsing.” She might need a home inspection in the future, but is not ready to make a commitment. For example, someone searching for “what is a home inspection” might have heard that a home inspection is needed when buying a house, but has no idea why.

    These keywords should be of lower priority, as they do not drive quick conversions. However, they can be extremely useful in FAQs and blog posts, which introduce your company to prospects who might use your services in the future.

Step 2: Optimize Your Keywords

Now that your list of keywords is finalized, you can optimize for them in 2 places—your Google My Business page and your website. Here’s how:

Google My Business

Your Google My Business page is a sort of mini-website that appears in the “Map” section of Google local business results. It increases your overall web presence, and provides prospects with a brief overview of your company. It can also drive a quick boost to your Google rankings, as it is much easier for a Google My Business page than a website to rank highly.

Make sure that all sections of your Google My Business page are fully and accurately completed:

  • Verification: The first step is to claim your page and submit it for Google’s verification procedure. You are ready to move on when you see a checkmark and the word “Verified” beside your company name.
  • NAP: Your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) should be accurate and identical across the internet. Highlight the fact that you have a local business by selecting a local phone number instead of an 800 number.
  • Categories: Google requires category listings to reflect services instead of results. Besides Home Inspector, you might choose Commercial Real Estate Inspector and Asbestos Testing Service, if you offer those services. Try to list 3 to 5 categories.
  • Description: Your description is a short introduction to your home inspection company that ends with a call to action. It should be 100 to 200 words long, and formatted similarly to: {Name of Company} offers quality {home and commercial real estate inspection services, or similar} in {Your City}. {Provide some information about your company and/or why customers choose you.} Call {Phone Number} today for 10% off your inspection!
  • Hours: Update your hours of operation, and make sure they are consistent across the internet. If your inspection hours differ from your office hours, note that information in a separate paragraph.
  • Images: Images can boost customer engagement, so add a few photos of your team in action (with permission!). Make sure your images have a sharp focus, are sized between 10KB and 5MB, and have a minimum resolution of 720px x 720px. We also recommend replacing the generic Google My Business background image with a branded image.

Website Optimization

Start with your homepage and service pages, also known as your “core” pages, and optimize them for your buying intent keywords. Later, you can optimize your “content” pages, or your FAQs and blog posts, for your research intent keywords. Here’s how to optimize:

  • Homepage: The most important element of your homepage, the title tag is like the chapter title of a book. It should be 50 to 65 characters in length. Try this format: Home Inspector in {Your City} | {Name of Your Company}.

    Next is your meta description, a 100 to 150-character overview of your main services that ends with a call to action. This format is a great choice: {Name of Company} offers top-quality {home and wind mitigation inspections, or similar} in {Your City}. Call {Phone Number} today for 10% off your inspection!

    Your H1, or visible headline, must contain your primary category. It should be both descriptive and concise, and follow a format such as: {Home Inspector} in {City, State}.

    The last element is your page copy, a well-written and edited 500 to 1000-word summary of your company. Provide some background, briefly describe your primary services, and close with a strong call to action.

  • Service Pages: Each of your main services needs its own service page, tightly focused on a buying intent keyword. Optimize these pages as you did your homepage.

Step 3: Compile Citations and Links

Now that the basics of your local SEO campaign are in place, you are ready to compile citations and links, both of which will improve your reach and boost your Google rankings.

  • Citations: A citation is an online directory listing of your business NAP (name, address, and phone number). You can select general national directories such as Facebook and yellowpages.com, general local directories such as your town’s Chamber of Commerce website, and even industry-specific directories for home inspectors.

    Although many citations are free, some directories provide only paid listings. Before you commit, check out Google Analytics to see if the site is driving traffic and conversions.

  • Links: High Google rankings demand inbound links from high-quality, authoritative websites. Build relationships both face to face and online with companies whose services complement yours, such as real estate agents, and then ask to trade web links. You can see where your competitors’ links come from with a tool such as the Moz Open Site Explorer.

Step 4: Procure Reviews

Online reviews play a twofold role in local SEO: they show Google that yours is a legitimate business, and they convince prospects to try your services. All review sites can be valuable, but for the fastest rankings boost, focus on Google My Business reviews. Send an email with a link to your satisfied customers, and ask them directly to write a review. If you make this a habit, you will soon have a constant flow of reviews.

Step 5: Track Your Results

Tracking your results will show you how your local SEO campaign is working, and help you to identify which areas still need fine-tuning. A tremendous amount of data is available, but you should focus on these 3 core metrics:

  • Rankings: Google search results are customized to the user’s past browsing history, so to learn a page’s true rankings, you must use a tool. A good place to start is the free Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). Your webmaster can install it for you. Check your ranking data at least once or twice per month.

    To more deeply analyze your rankings, switch to a paid tool. We like the one provided by RankRanger.com. It lets you track your Google My Business page as well as your webpages, and provides automatically updated information from across all of your SEO campaigns.

  • Traffic: The best way to track your website visitors, known as traffic, is with Google Analytics. You can see your overall traffic, learn what percentage of your traffic comes through Google search, and discover which page draws the most traffic. Check your reports once per month, with an eye out for any long-term trends.
  • Conversions: A conversion is a specific action that you want your website visitors to perform. For a home inspector, this might be scheduling a discounted inspection. Google Analytics lets you track both phone and web conversions, and see which pages have the lowest and highest conversion rates.

Let’s Go!

Now you understand how a comprehensive local SEO campaign can drive prospects to your home inspection company. Work through the steps in order, and finish one before starting the next. Here is a quick reminder of the 5 steps:

  1.    Keyword research
  2.    Keyword optimization
  3.    Citations and Links
  4.    Reviews
  5.    Tracking

Want Help with SEO?

At Main Street ROI, we specialize in helping home inspectors attract more local customers through Google. If you’d like help with your SEO, contact us for a free quote.

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