SEO in the homebuilding industry requires a mix of local, on-page, off-page, and technical organic search skills to maximize your ranking potential.
The right balance of these skills and tactics for your organization depends on your:
- Targeting (regional vs. national).
- Type of business (custom or track builders).
- Availability of resources to do the job.
- And growth targets.
While the factors above help you customize and tailor your SEO strategy to your unique needs, you need a solid foundation to build on (see what I did there?).
Here are four areas home construction marketers need to know about to help your home construction business find success.
1. Required Onsite Content Areas for Home Builders
Your site is going to have sections dedicated to leads and customers.
Here are five areas where your site needs to invest the most for SEO success:
Floor plan or house plan pages
The most popular sections of builders’ sites are usually their floor plan pages.
Most of your website investment should go into making these pages full of images, specs, localized pricing/features, virtual walkthroughs, FAQs, and video content featuring the designer or the architect of the house.
These pages should also be optimized for mobile devices, as they may not be able to easily see detailed images as well as you could on a desktop or tablet.
Community or sales office pages
For homebuilders, your community or sales office pages are your gateways to showing up in local search.
These pages must contain the name, address and telephone number of the community.
Additionally, for plot builders, each community page should contain information about living in the area and a gallery of your homes (with rich localized text descriptions).
Even better if you can include a map with nearby attractions, restaurants, grocery stores, and watering holes.
For custom builders or on your lot, these location pages should also contain localized information about:
- The building process.
- All necessary permits.
- Video testimonials from satisfied customers in this region.
- A gallery of houses built in the area.
- Frequently Asked Questions (with FAQ scheme implemented on the page).
Featured Product Pages
Builders work with a variety of suppliers and contractors throughout the construction process.
These suppliers have an impact on your buyer’s decision because there is an association between the quality of the suppliers’ material and the buyer’s perception of the brand.
Home builders who have clear product information on their website can use this to their advantage to ensure that the buyer feels confident because they are using top of the line products.
These pages help from both an SEO and a sales process perspective.
For custom home builders, buyers need to understand the long, multi-phase process of building homes.
You should consider creating a timeline infographic, guide, videos, or article series that outlines this.
Most of this content is usually documented internally, but builders who can make it public (even if somewhat abbreviated) will help educate and qualify buyers during the sales process.
Homebuilders are going to struggle from an SEO perspective without a section of their website devoted to new educational content for the homebuyer.
For plot or spec builders, this content should focus on the existing home financing and selection process.
For custom home builders, this needs to address a wider range of topics, including:
- Find land.
- Preparing your land.
- Work with the builder.
- Inspection of the house before moving in.
- And much more.
2. SERP Features for Home Builders
The high involvement and lengthy home buying process creates multiple opportunities to show up for multiple SERP features.
The first steps for homebuilders to improve their local SEO presence should involve optimizing and verifying their Google Business Profile(s).
This should be done at the local office or branch level, and you will need to create a profile for each location (sales office or community).
After optimizing your GBP, you should now focus on generating 5-star reviews through a review creation program, which will further help you increase in the local SERPs.
Body of knowledge
Each of your communities (for plot builders) or sales offices (for builders on your land) can come with an individualized knowledge pack.
The Knowledge Pack is packed with location information (provided by your Google Business Profile), user-generated Q&As, reviews (from Google and third parties), related social profiles, and more.
The highly visual nature of new homes creates opportunities for builders to appear in image packs.
Image packs typically contain images from the builder’s website as well as reshared images from home building aggregators, YouTube, and local publications.
Along with high-quality photography, homebuilders need to invest in content distribution and PR strategy to spread their visual creative assets across all channels.
People also ask
There are dozens of Frequently Asked Questions your team members have answered for prospects and clients regarding the process of buying and building a home.
If you have a help desk, a lot of this information can be pulled from there.
Either way, your website may appear frequently in the People Also Ask (PAA) SERP feature using FAQs on your site.
Moreover, by FAQ schema implementationyou provide a signal to search engines and give your site the best chance of getting the PAA SERP feature.
The FAQ schema is relatively simple to set up depending on your CMS.
3. Off-Page SEO Opportunities
Homebuilders typically have plenty of bonding opportunities at their fingertips, as they are well-connected with vendors, partners, and organizations in the community.
Here are two off-page opportunities to invest in.
Homebuilders maintain relationships with suppliers, business partners, vendors, contractors, realtors, customers, media and people in the community.
The volume of these relationships scales even more broadly when looking at national or regional homebuilders who are in multiple locations.
Homebuilder marketers should create a list in their CRM of potential link building opportunities and ensure there is a process to get a backlink from every website you have a relationship with. .
Revise the building
Generating positive reviews on third-party sites or Google is one of the most effective off-page SEO opportunities for your team.
As you complete projects with buyers, you need to have an automated awareness system to encourage (happy or high Net Promoter Score) to customers to leave opinions on Google, Houzz, New Home Source and other sites which gather the opinions of the manufacturers.
If you use your CRM to its full extent, you need to keep track of customers who have left you 5-star reviews so you can work with them in the future to build case studies, rely on them for referral calls customer or possibly resell to them in the future.
In addition to an automated review request system, you also need to engage your sales team to encourage review creation.
Online reviews are worth their weight in gold, and you should reward your sales team (with money) if they were the ones who got the customer to leave their review online.
Many review sites prohibit encouraging your customers to leave reviews, but there are several creative ways to make it easier for them.
4. Common SEO mistakes to avoid
The list of common SEO mistakes is long. Here are two that builders should avoid:
Larger home builders have more sophisticated CMS functionality that allows for greater customization and localization of content.
While this can be helpful from a UX perspective, you need to balance this with Google’s ability to crawl your site.
If you hide specific content from users in certain places and Google has no way to crawl that hidden content, you risk not having that content indexed in Google.
Content deprecation issues
The other major mistake that is more common among Tract builders is the excessive amount of content that needs to be outdated and redirected when all houses in a community are exhausted.
New communities have the propensity to generate inbound links to new communities, from local news and other sources when announced to the public.
301 redirecting to a relevant category or city page will give you the best opportunity to retain the accumulated link equity at the URL.
Alternatively, you can update the page and let the visitor know that the community is sold out, but they should check out the provided list of nearby communities.
As you can see, there are a variety of skills and resources homebuilders need to stand out in local and organic search.
As the competition in this space continues to grow, builders who have a strong local and national SEO presence, a system for generating 5-star reviews on local channels – and most importantly, an enthusiastic fanbase of satisfied customers – will see the most success in the SERPs.
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