6 SEO Mistakes Home Builders Can Identify and Avoid
Search engine optimization - SEO - is a huge part of successful content marketing. It’s the way you get people to come to your website after they search for something through Google or another search engine.
It’s an idea that’s easy to understand, but incredibly hard to master.
In fact, we see people making HUGE mistakes with their SEO on a regular basis. It's these very mistakes that are costing them site visitors... and eventual sales.
Your home builder business will be better off after you've read our list of SEO mistakes below and know what to avoid!
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Targeting the Wrong Keywords
What kinds of search terms are your customers using? These are the phrases that you need to be targeting in your SEO, but the best terms to use aren’t always the first thing that you think about.
For instance, we’re guessing that some of the phrases that first come to mind are things like “home builders”, “buy a home”, or “new home prices”. And sure, people are searching for those things.
But those aren’t the keywords that you should be targeting. First of all, those are very broad keywords, and you’re going to have to put a lot of effort into getting your pages to rank for those words. You’ll also be spending a lot of money on those keywords if you’re paying for search ads.
Even if you did get your website to rank for those search terms, though, you won’t necessarily be getting site traffic that’s going to convert to sales. Someone searching for “home builders” might be looking for builders in Quebec or even Houston, Texas.
They’re obviously not going to buy from you if you only build in Edmonton. And someone typing “buy a home” into the search engine might not be looking for a brand-new home. They could be perfectly happy with a resale home.
Instead, you need to be more specific in your targeting. You’re not targeting “home buyers”. You’re targeting “new home buyers in Edmonton”. This is the idea of local search!
Details on Local Search
For the most part, you're going to be focusing on a particular city/region. This means local search, which is done a little differently than global search is.
Ensure your SEO strategy includes city-specific keywords, both in your page title and meta descriptions. And make sure to have an address and phone number on your site pages, which could be in the footer for example.
To dive deep into local SEO check out this guide from Brian Dean, one of our favourite SEO experts.
Weak on the Links
If you’re in sales, you know it’s important to make connections with your customers, but we’re not talking about those kinds of connections right now.
We’re talking about the links you have within your site.
See, Google pays attention to how many links point to your site. When you have a lot of links pointing to your site - like when people are sharing an article from your blog - then Google gives your site more authority, and your site will show up higher in the search rankings. The words that are hyperlinked give Google an understanding of what your site is about.
Links that come from other sites are called backlinks, and these are considered external links. You want these links to be two things:
- from authoritative sites
- relevant to the content it's linked to
Note: do NOT buy links. This looks extremely spammy to search engines and will work against you. You can work with someone in your industry - i.e.: the lender you use for your new home build mortgages - and ask for links that way. This would be an authoritative and relevant link!
Even the internal links - when you link to other pages on your site from within your site - can help Google learn more about your site and find the pages on your site.
Additionally, this internal linking helps to keep customers on your site longer... and eventually, that leads to them trusting you more. Just make sure the internal link structure of your site makes sense for your visitors.
Yes, you want to focus on SEO, but you also want to remember that ultimately, it’s the customers who matter. In the early days of search engines, people could easily have a site rank for a particular keyword by using “keyword stuffing.” This is the practice of putting as many keywords into an article as possible. It ends up sounding horrible:
“If you’re looking to buy a new home in Edmonton, you’ve found the best homebuilder in Edmonton. We pride ourselves on building new homes in Edmonton because we’re always focused on Edmonton new home sales. Just check out our Edmonton home builder reviews. You’ll soon see that we can build you an Edmonton custom home.”
While Google has fortunately caught on to “tricks” like this, there are still people out there who think this is the best practice. Even if it did get their site to rank, though, don’t you think customers are turned off when they see wording like that?
Your site should focus on a keyword phrase, but it shouldn’t be repeating that phrase over and over. It needs to be naturally worded. Something people want to read. Something people will find helpful.
Forgetting the Hidden SEO
SEO is more than the words you find on your blog post or landing page. There are also some behind-the-scenes things that you need to do to improve your chances of ranking in Google.
These are things like adding tags to your blog posts, creating internal and external links, and including a meta description for your post.
The on-page stuff is important, and it's what will take your SEO to the next level. Once you start incorporating this into your strategy, you will see improvements.
Set It and Forget It
Let's say you've just finished running a solid SEO campaign. Good keyword research, content updated, traffic went up - yay!
Now you're good, right?
SEO is not a one-time thing.
Just because you've had success with your last SEO campaign doesn't mean your rankings are going to hold forever. You could be sitting on page 1 for "edmonton home builder" right now, but don't think for a second that your competition isn't looking to knock you off that spot. After all, isn't that what you did?
SEO is a long-term strategy. It takes both time and continual attention to keep your results where you want them. But this actually works out in your favour! As you continue to invest in your SEO program you'll see the benefits:
- increase in site traffic
- site ranking boosts
- stronger online presence
All of this means more site visitors -> more leads -> better conversion rates = more homes sold!
Mobile Versus Desktop
We know, you get it. You need to ensure your website is optimized for mobile viewing.
Just because your builder site looks good on a phone doesn't mean it's optimized for it.
Take a look at your site structure - are you still running two versions? One for desktop and one for mobile? With how Google has shifted to mobile-first indexing, this does NOT work in your favour.
There's good news though! Now, you only need to have one version of your site, as long as it's designed and set up to look good on multiple devices, AKA responsive design.
You can definitely take care of your own search engine optimization, but why not let the experts take care of it for you? At Marketing Ninjas, we have a proven strategy for increasing sales leads that’s tailored to your business’ unique needs. Schedule a meeting with us to discuss your options today.