Category Archives for "SEO"

7 Amazing Roofing SEO Strategies
May 28

7 Amazing Roofing SEO Strategies

By Mauricio Cardenal | SEO

7 Amazing Roofing SEO Strategies

It’s the goal of every business, no matter the industry: How to get the coveted top spot in search engine results. There are many factors that determine how results are listed in a search engine, but one of the most important to understand – particularly for roofers – is local SEO. What follows are a few roofing SEO strategies and tips to help boost your company’s ranking in search engines.

First, what exactly IS local SEO?

Local SEO (search engine optimization) allows businesses to promote their products and services to local customers at the exact time they’re looking for them. Every day millions of customers use search engines to find the local businesses that will provide the best products and services. By ranking highly on these local searches, customers can more easily find you and do business.

So how do you rank higher in local search results? Try some of these tips:

Choose the right location-specific keywords

Location keywords used throughout your website and social media content are essential to good SEO. Think of your customer – a homeowner who’s concerned about the condition of their roof for example. What words would they use in a search engine to find a local roofer? Make a list of all the words and phrases that come to mind, such as:

• Roofing contractors [your city] • Roofers [your city] • [Your city] roof repair

Be sure to do this for all the services you offer, such as gutter replacement, window installation, etc.

Implement your keywords throughout your roofing website and social media.

Now that you have a roofing SEO keyword list, you need to incorporate them throughout your website and social media content. By using these keywords often in your content, a customer typing those keywords into a search engine is far more likely to find your business in the results.

A caveat: Don’t just stuff keywords into your content at random places. Ensure that they make sense and that the rest of the content supports the keywords.

Add your location-specific keywords to your page titles and metadata

A good and often overlooked practice for boosting SEO is to include your location-specific keywords and phrases into your website’s title and metadata.

While not weighted quite as strong as it was in the past, search engines still look to these areas for keywords when ranking. Ensure that you do this for all the pages on your site, including blog posts.

Use a consistent name, address, and phone number.

Local roofing SEO best practices state that your office address and phone number should be added to the footer of your website.

Equally important here is that anywhere your address and phone number are displayed, they should be consistent in format throughout.

This helps Google better understand that you’re from a specific location and will help it to present your site to customers searching for businesses in that location.

Create a Google My Business account

Google My Business is a great way to boost your ranking within Google search. By listing your business information here, customers can find you even more easily, as it makes you visible on other Google services, such as Google Maps. As with your website, make sure your business information (address, phone, etc.) are consistent with those listed on your site.

Create separate web pages for office locations

If your roofing business has more than one office location, then you should create separate web pages for each, so that you can adapt the local keywords to reflect that specific location, allowing customers in those areas to more easily find you.

Create links from other sites back to your own

When multiple sites link back to your site, it helps increase your ranking in Google search. These are known as “backlinks.” Like metadata keywords, backlinks aren’t valued quite as much as they once were by search engines, but they still represent an effective tool for boosting your ranking.

Try using local business listing sites, or guest posting on blogs to help create a network of backlinks and boost your visibility.

These are just a few strategies for boosting your roofing business’ local visibility. In the end, the key is to make it as easy as possible for customers to find and do business with you. Local roofing SEO is a powerful tool for doing just that.

5 Local SEO Strategies That Will Help Your Website Rank
Mar 10

5 Local SEO Strategies That Will Help Your Website Rank

By Mauricio Cardenal | SEO

5 Local SEO Strategies That Will Help You Rank

Did you know that 80% of online searches are conducted by local people looking for local businesses?

75% of people who find local, helpful information in search results are more likely to buy the product/service from their local business

According to Roofing Contractor Magazine over 90% of roofing work begins with an internet search.

The importance of ranking your website on the search engines is growing every year as more and more people turn to the internet to make buying decisions.

Before you begin any local SEO campaign you have to understand what are the most important factors in ranking a website in the local search results.

Moz releases a list every year of the most important factors in ranking a website for local search results.

Moz Local Ranking Factors

5 Local SEO Strategies That Will Help Your Website Rank

As you can see the three most important factors are link signals, on page signals, and my business signals.

The following 5 strategies will help your website rank locally and takes into account these local search ranking factors.

  1. Google My Business

Google My Business is Google’s online directory. It has replaced the yellow pages as the biggest and most important directory in the world.

Google crawls the internet for every local business and creates a listing. A lot of contractors are not even aware that they have a listing.

The first step you should do is if you have a listing is to claim and verify that you are the owner. If you don’t have a listing then you should create one. It’s free.

There are a lot of articles that explain this in detail but I would follow Google’s instructions.

Once you’ve claimed and verified your listing the next step would be to complete as much information on your listing as you can. Here are some instructions from Search Engine Land that will help you with this:

  • Add a long, unique description that’s formatted correctly and includes links.
  • Choose the correct categories for your business. (Roofing contractor)
  • Upload as many photos as possible.
  • Add a local phone number to your listing.
  • Add your business address that’s consistent with that on your website and local directories.
  • Upload a high-resolution profile image and cover photo.
  • Add your opening times/days (if relevant).
  • Get real reviews from customers

NAP (Name Address Phone Number)

The next step, which ties into Google My Business and other directories, is to make sure that the name of your business, your address, and the phone number are all correct and are seen on every page of your website.

The best place to add this information is in the footer of your website.

The reason that this information has to be accurate is that you’ll use this information to submit to the different directories across the web.

2. Local Reviews

Local reviews play a big factor in getting rankings. There are many different review websites but the three that I would focus on are Google, Facebook, and Yelp with Google being the most important.

Getting reviews from your customers is not easy. It takes time and dedication. The first thing I would do is target the low hanging fruit by asking previous customers if they can review your business.

Next, I would create a standard operating procedure in which I would make every salesperson in my organization ask for reviews from customers.

The more positive reviews you get the better your rankings will be.

Local reviews also will help you make more sales. Over 88% of consumers trust online reviews. It helps establishes your credibility and your capability.

3. Local Link Building

Link building is the most important factor in achieving search engine rankings. However, unlike most SEO campaigns, getting links from local websites is more important than just regular links.

Here are a few ways to get local links

  • Release a press release in the local newspapers
  • Contact local businesses for sponsorships and ask them to link to you once you’ve done an event
  • Line up interviews with local publications, radio, etc…
  • Write guest posts for local websites. If you can’t find any then just do a regular guest posting.

4. Citations

A lot of contractors ignore local business citations. This is a mistake. A great way to get ranked is to make sure that your website is listed in different online directories.

Online directories like Yelp, Merchant’s Circle, and CitySearch are all important.

You should also use online directory aggregators like Infogroup, Neustar (aka Localeze), Acxiom and Factual

Make sure that your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is consistent across all these directories.

5. On Page SEO

Your website plays a big factor in search engine rankings. You have to optimize your website for SEO

What does this mean?

It means that your website needs to have certain things in place for it to be optimized for search engines.

Brian Dean from Backlinko provides a useful infographic on the 16 most important factors in On-Page SEO.

Check this out:

https://backlinko.com/on-page-seo

If you are using a WordPress website I would recommend that you download the Yoast SEO plugin.

This plugin will help make your website much more SEO friendly.

To give you an idea of what your website should have you should read this:

5 Local SEO Strategies That Will Help Your Website Rank

Conclusion

Local search results are one of the best ways to get more roofing leads for your business. It takes time and effort to get this working for you but the benefits are enormous.

The importance of ranking in the search engines will only increase as more and more people turn to the internet to make buying decisions.

Whichever roofing company owns the front page of Google will be dominating their market.

The Complete Guide To Getting More Online Reviews For Roofers
Jul 10

The Complete Guide To Getting More Online Reviews For Roofers

By Mauricio Cardenal | SEO

According to Roofing Contractor Magazine between and 80-90% of roofing work begins with an online search. If you are not online it’s like you don’t exist.

One of the biggest factors in getting more work is that your online reputation is solid. We live in a different world now with consumers having an incredible amount of choice and power.

A dissatisfied customer can leave a negative review that can hurt your reputation online and cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Do you think I am exaggerating?

Think again.

Imagine this scenario.

You have a Google listing that you rarely use. In fact, you don’t even know that it existed. A disgruntled customer leaves you a negative review. Your business now has a 1-star review out of 5 stars.

How many opportunities do you think this will cost you?

One of the first things a person does after talking with a business is to search your business online. If you are bidding on a large commercial job who do you think they will give the contract to?

A roofing business that has 20 5-star reviews or a business that only has 1 single negative review?

People rely on online reviews when making buying decisions. 90% claim that reading a positive review online influenced their buying decision. Over 85% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.

Now get this, one Harvard Business School study found that “a restaurant that boosts its Yelp score by one full star can see revenues increase 5 to 9 percent.” 

I know this study was for restaurants but believe, me a single negative review can have a big impact in your business if you don’t have positive reviews to offset the negative ones.

As a local business owner it’s your responsibility to ensure that your online reputation is solid. In the rest of this article, I am going to go over the top 4 business directories that you should focus on getting reviews. 

The Complete Guide To Getting More Online Reviews For Roofers

Google My Business

Google My business is the most important directory. Every business should have a listing. This used to be called Google Places. The best thing about Google My Business is that Google provides your business a centralized dashboard in which you can see all aspects of your Google business accounts.

There are a few steps you need to take. First, you need to find your listing. You can do that by going to Google My Business and searching for your business.

If it’s there then you have to claim your listing. If you can’t find your listing then you have to create your listing. Once you’ve created/claimed your listing you should verify your listing. You can verify your listing on Google by phone, postcard, or email.

Google provides insructions with a video below:

Once you’ve verified your listing you need to complete your listing.

Here are the instructions for this:

  • Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) are in the correct format. You can read more on how to do this here.
  • Include as many images as possible. Showcase your work. Drone images are the best.
  • Make sure your hours of operation are correct
  • Make sure your business category is correct. As a roofing business select roofing contractor

How To Get More Google Reviews

Google reviews are the most important because everyone sees them. They also affect your rankings with Google. However, there are difficulties in getting reviews with Google. First, they have to have a Google account, then they have to find your account and finally they have to leave you a review.

Wouldn’t it be easier if this process had a SOP? (standard operating procedure)

The guys at Local Visibility created a 1-page Google Review handout that you can give to all your customers. Check it out below:

The Complete Guide To Getting More Online Reviews For Roofers

This one-page handout provides clear instructions to your customers on how they can write you a review on Google. In fact, you can write a similar handout with all the other directories if you are up to it.

I would have my employees hand out these instructions to every customer so they have a physical copy. I would also have my employees email this handout to every customer so they have a digital copy too.

Rank Positive Reviews as Helpful

Another strategy you can do on Google is to rank positive reviews as the most helpful. Anyone can do this. Go to your review page and respond to every review either positive or negative and rank the positive ones as the most helpful. This will give you a shortcut for getting more positive reviews.

The Complete Guide To Getting More Online Reviews For Roofers

 

Yelp

Yelp is unique in the directory space in that they have strict guidelines on what a business can do to generate more online reviews. They want their reviews to be as organic as possible.

One of the rules is:

  1. Send bulk emails, surveys, or other mass messaging, whether commercial in nature or not; engage in keyword spamming, or otherwise attempt to manipulate the Site’s search results or any third party website;

Why is Yelp important?

According to a study in 2011, Michael Luca, a Harvard professor, found that a one-star increase in a Yelp rating led to a corresponding 5-9 percent jump in revenue. Even if you don’t believe the results of the study here are some additional numbers that can convince you:

Yelp is the second biggest directory online in the world. Here are some stats that show you how big Yelp is:

  • 145 million unique visitors per month
  • 2.8 million businesses with a claimed listing
  • 121 million reviews on Yelp

Another thing to keep in mind is that the average Yelp user has a higher income level. So, if you want to target the more affluent prospect Yelp might be a good place to go.

The Income level of Yelp Users

The Complete Guide To Getting More Online Reviews For Roofers

The Type Of Businesses That Are On Yelp

As a roofer, you better believe that a lot of your prospects will be looking your Yelp page and seeing if you have any reviews. Home and local services are the 3rd most type of business that is reviewed. If you are not getting Yelp reviews your competitors definitely are!

The Complete Guide To Getting More Online Reviews For Roofers

According to this article here are 7 ways that can help you get more Yelp reviews without violating its policies:

  1. Give customers a ‘heads-up.’ Instead of saying “Write a review about our business on Yelp,” instead say, “Check us out on Yelp.” The first is a solicitation while the latter is a “heads up” — an FYI that raises awareness. The difference may be slight, but it’s worth noting.
  2. Place a Yelp badge on your website. Yelp offers several badges that you can put on your site, which link to your business profile. Just copy and paste the HTML code associated with each badge into the site. Review averages and counts update automatically as new reviews come in.
  3. Put a ‘Find us on Yelp’ sign in your place of business. You can make your own using Yelps brand assets or request one by via this form.
  4. Add a link to your business listing in your email signature. Companies often overlook the marketing value of an email signature, but it’s a subtle way to encourage Yelp reviews. Include the words mentioned in the first point: “Check us out on Yelp.”
  5. Share your ‘People Love Us on Yelp’ recipient status. “People Love Us on Yelp” is a program that provides a sticker and a letter of commendation from Yelp’s founders to companies that qualify based on their history and rating. Stickers are mailed twice per year to all qualifying businesses.
  6. Share reviews on Facebook and Twitter. You can share Yelp reviews on social networks like Facebook and Twitter by logging into your business owner account and clicking the “Reviews” tab. It may be advantageous to include one or two negative reviews, so long as you add a comment citing your efforts to satisfy the customer. Fans and followers may become skeptical if they just see positive reviews
  7. Use reviews in marketing materials. While Yelp discourages asking for reviews, it doesn’t mind you sharing those you’ve received in marketing materials. There are some guidelines, however:
    • Don’t take it out of context (e.g., don’t expect a positive quote from a negative review);
    • Stay faithful to the reviewer (e.g., no word substitutions or deletions);
    • Only use Yelp’s recommended reviews (i.e., do not use reviews that aren’t currently recommended);
    • Get permission from the reviewer and provide attribution;
    • Attribute Yelp as the source using the logo guidelines above.

Facebook

Facebook business pages have become a behemoth and are necessary for your roofing business. Every roofing business should have a Facebook page.  They are free to create. You can use this link to create a Facebook page in a few minutes.

Some mindblowing stats on Facebook

  • Facebook recently passed the 2 billion user mark.
  • Here are some stats on Facebook pages:
  • There are over 65 million businesses that have a Facebook page
  • Over 1 billion users visit Facebook pages every month
  • 41% of small businesses have a Facebook business page

Verify your listing

You can verify your Facebook page by having Facebook call you. Here are the instructions on verifying your Facebook page.

How To Get More Facebook Reviews

First, you have to make sure that your review tab is visible and active. Facebook does not have this feature turned on for you. You have to turn it on yourself.

Click settings and scroll to the review section and make sure this is turned on:

The Complete Guide To Getting More Online Reviews For Roofers

Once you’ve turned on this feature you can start soliciting reviews on your Facebook page. Since the user base of Facebook has reached over 2 billion users, chances are pretty high that your customer has a Facebook profile which it makes easier than other directories to get reviews.

Respond to every review

By responding to every review even it’s a negative review this will get you more reviews.

Bing Places for Business

If you have already done the work with Google why not Bing? It’s easy. You can do this in 3 steps.

  1. Create your listing
  2. Complete your listing profile
  3. Verify your listing

One thing to keep in mind is like the other directories the information your listing has the more impact it will have on your bottom line. Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) are correct. Your hours of operation, images of your business etc.

How To Get More Reviews

  1. Make it part of your business process: You should get every employee to ask your customers for reviews. If you are having trouble getting your employees to do this you can offer incentives to your employees and provide them bonuses to whoever gets the most reviews.
  2. Attach every invoice with a call to action: The call to action should ask the customer to leave a review on your listing
  3. Follow Up: If the customer didn’t get a chance to review the first time your employee asked them you should wait 3 or 4 days and follow up with an email asking for a review. You don’t need to be pushy just say something simple like “Hey it was great working with you last week. I really enjoyed working on your roof. Anyways, did you ever get a chance to review us?” Then send them a link to your review page.
  4. Email Marketing: You can send emails to your database and ask them to review your work. The best strategy for this would be sending helpful content in the beginning of the email and then adding a PS to your email at the bottom asking them to review your business listing. You can also provide incentives to your customers and ask them to review your listing. You can give gift cards and other cheap items.
  5. Place review badges on your site: A lot of directories have review badges that you can place on your site. This article has a list of directories that allow you to place badges on their sites
  6. Respond to every review (even the negative ones): It’s inevitable that you will get a couple of negative reviews. I know a couple of clients of mine have had negative reviews from people they didn’t even work with. And, it’s difficult removing these reviews. You should respond to every negative review and try to provide an explanation of what happened. This will show people that you care what your customers think. You should respond to every positive review as this will increase the engagement of your listing.
  7. Wait a while and follow up again: If you didn’t get a review the second time you asked you can send a reminder email a few weeks asking for a review. You don’t have to be pushy but simple 1 or 2 sentence email should suffice.

Conclusion

I can’t overstate the importance of online reviews for your roofing business. It’s what separates the roofers who dominate their market vs. those that just get by.

Make it a priority to focus on getting more reviews from the big 3 which are Google, Yelp, and Facebook. You should also not ignore Bing.

If you only have to focus on one of I would make Google Reviews the main focus. It’s the most important and it applies to both commercial and residential roofing contractors.

A commercial property owner will likely not check your Yelp listing but they will definitely check your reviews on Google. What do you guys think?

Have you used reviews for your business?

How To Get 80% Of Your SEO Done With These 3 Things
Jun 27

How To Get 80% Of Your SEO Done With These 3 Things

By Mauricio Cardenal | SEO

SEO can be a complicated beast, but it doesn’t have to be!

There is an old mathematical principle that appears in business, sports, politics, and science that can make your life easier with SEO and have a big impact on your rankings.

It’s called the 80/20 rule or Pareto’s principle. When applying this principle you can beat your competitors and do half the work!

I know it’s a big claim but bear with me as I explain it…

The Pareto principle as defined by Wikipedia states:

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity)[1] states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes

It’s amazing how often this law appears across all aspects of life. From business to dating, to politics, you always seem to find the minority dominate the majority and SEO is no different!

There are many things that can affect your website rankings. Moz recently published its annual Local Search Ranking Factor reports for 2017.

In the report, there are over 200 ranking factors that affect your rankings. From online reviews to keywords, and backlinks, this can get complicated for a newbie.

However, with the 80/20 rule, you can make SEO a lot simpler if you follow these three strategies.

  1. Claim your business on Google My Business
  2. Make sure your local NAP citations are correct
  3. Solicit online reviews from your customers

Claim Your Business on Google My Business

One of the biggest factors in getting ranked on Google is claiming your business on Google.  Here are the steps you should take in claiming or adding your business to Google My business.

  1. Navigate to Google My Business
  2. You’ll need to create a Gmail account to access GMB. If you already have one use your Gmail account to log in.
  3. Look for your business name in the search box
    How To Get 80% Of Your SEO Done With These 3 Things
  4. If you can’t find your listing make sure to create one.
  5. Once you’ve found your business it’s time verify your business.
  6. You can do this in several ways. You can verify by a postcard, verify your listing by phone, or by email.

Once you’ve verified your listing on Google My Business you’ll have control of your location, hours of operation, and the category of your business.

When choosing a category for your business you should make sure you choose one category that describes what you are and not what you do.

If you are roofing business you should choose roofing contractor as the category.

Make sure the NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) are correct in Google My Business

One of the biggest factors in negative rankings is mismanaged NAP citations. According to InsideLocal, it accounts for 41% of the total ranking issues

How To Get 80% Of Your SEO Done With These 3 Things

Some additional tips that will help you set up NAP correctly:

  • Make your NAP a text file and not an image so Google can crawl it
  • Make sure your the name of the business is full and correct
  • Your email address should have your business domain and not a generic name like Gmail
  • Make sure your phone number is not an 800 number
  • Your business description should describe what it is and not what it does. For example, pizza shop vs. we serve pizza

How To Get 80% Of Your SEO Done With These 3 Things

Once you’ve made sure that your NAP is correct on Google My Business it’s time to do the same across all the major directories.

There are over 50 online directories that you can focus on. I would start with the top 15 and go through the same process for each. Claiming/creating your listing, verifying your listing, and then making sure your NAP is correct across the board.

One last thing that will guide you with providing your business accurate NAP information is if you use the designated schema markup that was created for local businesses. This will help search engines easily identify the information of your business.

Schema markup simply means the way the data is structured online. For local businesses, things that your listings and websites should have include address, phone number, logo, etc..

Here is a code that Matthew Barby wrote that you can use on your website that will help you get the proper information for a local business:

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/LocalBusiness">
<p itemprop="name">COMPANY NAME</p>
<p itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress">
<p itemprop="streetAddress">ADDRESS LINE 1</p>
<p itemprop="addressLocality">CITY</p>,
<p itemprop="addressRegion">REGION</p>
<p itemprop="postalCode">POSTCODE/ZIP</p.
<p itemprop="telephone">PHONE NUMBER</p>
<meta itemprop="latitude" content="LATITUDE" />
<meta itemprop="longitude" content="LONGITUDE" />
</div

The only thing you need to do is change the bold information to match your local business.

Solicit Online Customer Reviews

Over 90% of customers say that buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Your ability to generate online reviews can make or break your business.

Soliciting customer reviews can be tough. The best strategy I have seen from companies that do this well is to make soliciting customer reviews a part of their business process.

Having customer reviews is critically important for roofing businesses. A few negative reviews can hurt your reputation and cost you some work.

Online reviewers can serve as your brand ambassador. Endorsing your skills, expertise, and reputation can be a boom for people when deciding who to choose for working on their roof.

Here are some general tips that will help you get more reviews:

  • Send email blasts soliciting reviews from your database
  • Attach a review flyer to your customer’s invoices
  • Make it easy for customers to review your business. Send them links to your Yelp, Google, and Yahoo listings
  • Don’t offer incentives to customers for reviews. This is against most terms of service for review sites.
  • Offer discounts on your services
  • Make a page on your website that provides specific information on how a person can submit a review of your business.

Conclusion

There are a million things you can do to help with your SEO rankings. Moz put out a list of least 200 factors that affect your website ranking with Google.

If you remember Pareto’s principle aka the 80/20 rule with SEO you can make a big impact on your rankings and ultimately your business.

If you do these three things 80% of the work would be done with your SEO.

If you want more information on Local SEO then I suggest check out these articles from Neil Patel and Matthew Barby