Roofing SEO Guide (How to Rank Online in 2020)
Roofing SEO is the best method to rank online in 2020. But before you consider this guide to be another pie in the sky write-up, consider the fact that 95% of successful roofing companies generate some form of traffic through search engines like Google. Unlike some guides you read on this subject, we aren’t going to recommend spending lots of money on internet marketing services. Instead, we highly recommend affordable roofing SEO options in order to allocate resources to other important areas of your campaign. In fact, some roofing companies can afford to do SEO on their own, without the help of a 3rd party marketing service. We created this cool guide for roofing contractors looking to rank on Google in 2020.
What is SEO for Roofers?
SEO for roofers is a method of optimizing online content with the deliberate goal of ranking on search engines. In its most basic terms, SEO is the process of ranking online. For roofing companies, in particular, the two most important places to rank are on organic page one and the local map pack. For contractors with limited online experience, both terms might sound foreign. However, once you realize that both of these sections of the search engine generate lots of clicks from relevant customers, you begin to understand the alluring benefit of roofing SEO.
Step 1: Creating a Google My Business Listing
The fastest way to rank on Google is through a Google My Business listing. Unlike website pages, GMB listings can rank immediately. This is especially true if your company operates in a service area with low competition. For example, roofers within a suburb on the outskirts of a major city have a great chance to appear on the Local Map Pack quickly. Your chances increase even more if your company name has a reference to the city or geographic area. Aside from the name, other factors that contribute to local ranking include proximity, relevance, and prominence. Before we dive into those factors, let’s go over how you create and claim your listing on Google.
- Go to https://www.google.com/business/
- Sign in to your Google account, or create one
- Enter your business address
- Choose if you want your address displayed as a map marker or a service area business (SAB)
*Note: Most roofers are listed as SAB’s because they serve clients away from their office or home address
- Select roofing contractor as your business category
- Enter your contact information
- Choose postcard verification
- Wait for the postcard to arrive and enter verification code
Your business proximity refers to how close it is to the individual searching online. This means where you show up on the Map Pack will vary based on the searcher’s current location. If you registered your company as a SAB on Google My Business, the address you entered (though hidden publically) will still be used by Google to determine proximity. Google’s focus on proximity can be frustrating for roofers who are located within low-population areas. You should consider this factor when choosing a business address.
Relevance goes back to something mentioned earlier in the guide: your business name. For example, if you are Joe’s Dallas Roofing Company, you have a greater chance of ranking in the map pack for the keyword term: dallas roofing company. Why? Google’s local algorithm is based heavily on relevance. A company located within a specific area, that also has the city name within its brand name, is considered highly relevant. Other factors that contribute to relevance include your business category, description, and URL.
Prominence is the one local ranking factor that roofers can directly contribute to. The best way to build prominence is through reviews. While you should never incentivize customers for leaving a review, you should remind them through text and email, as well as in person. Another consideration for prominence is the strength of your website URL. We will dive deeper into websites later in this guide, but the stronger the website, the more prominent your GMB listing will be.
Step 2: Developing & Launching a Website
As recently as a decade ago, developing a website required roofers to invest in a professional web designer. In 2020, that is no longer the case. There are lots of easy ways a roofer can launch a website using services like Squarespace, Duda, Weebly, and WordPress. You will still have to pay for a domain name, and a hosting account, if you don’t already have them. At Serpmatic, we recommend using either WordPress or Duda to build out your roofing website. Either option is simple, but with WordPress, you will have to choose a pre-made theme to make the design process beginner-friendly. Once designed, launching your website can be completed with one-click.
Choosing a Domain Name
Having an existing domain name certainly helps but it’s not required. Domains that have existed for years hold more weight than brand-new domains. Why? Because over time they’ve accumulated natural links that help strengthen the website’s SEO. If you are choosing a new domain name, we recommend going with your company name and if possible, a reference to your location. We prefer .com over .net or .org, but domain extensions are not as important as they once were. Try to keep your domain name as short as possible to avoid long URLs that confuse Google crawlers.
Choosing a Hosting Company
It’s important that you purchase a hosting account for your domain name and website. Most hosting companies also allow you to register a domain which empowers roofers to complete two important tasks through a single provider. If you decide to purchase a domain name separately from your hosting account you will need to point the domain to your hosting account (which is a bit of a technical process for beginners). We recommend going with Siteground for both your hosting and domain. Quality hosting ensures your site is both fast and secure, which are both essential to SEO.
Choosing a Content Management System
We spoke about platforms like WordPress, Duda, and others which are Content Management Systems (CMS). A CMS is just a fancy word for a web app that allows roofers to create pages, posts, and other content on their website. WordPress is nice because it allows users to streamline the SEO process with plugins like Yoast and RankMath while Duda is very intriguing because of its drag and drop design innovation. You really can’t go wrong if you choose either of these CMS options in 2020.
Step 3: Structuring Your Website & Adding Content
Once your website is set up, it’s time to add a URL structure and add content. Your URLs and content are the foundation of your SEO. For roofers, the website structure is going to be very straightforward. You should create an Excel or Google Sheet to map out your pages. You need your homepage which will target your primary keyword (i.e. dallas roofing company). After that, you need the main service page along with 5-10 subpages for specific services like storm damage repair, shingle repair, tile repair, etc. If you serve multiple zip codes, you’ll also want an areas served page along with subpages for each city that you serve. Finally, you need a contact us page and about us page. Then you can order or write the content.
Roofing Website Pages
Your pages are meant to target specific keywords and convert relevant traffic into roofing leads. For example, if your tile roof repair page targets the keyword tile roof repair dallas tx, your goal is to attract homeowners who need tile roof repair in Dallas. These pages don’t need to be too long as far as word count. They simply need to demonstrate the service you offer and explain why your company is effective in this area. A great way to appeal to visitors is with social proof. This can include badges, awards, and reviews about a specific service you performed. Unique photos also help.
Roofing Blog Posts
Blog posts are a great way to build linkable assets for your roofing website. While some websites will link directly to your homepage as a vote of confidence, they are unlikely to link to specific service pages like storm damage roof repair. They might, however, link to blog posts that dive deeper into the possible causes of storm damage and what to look out for after repairs. Blog posts should be longer than pages as far as word count. A healthy blog post can be anywhere from 600-2,000 words and should include more details about specific topics like storm damage roofing.
Content is about more than just text, especially in 2020. Every recent study shows that videos are one of the most effective forms of content, both for SEO and conversions. Think about it, an entertaining video will encourage users to stay on your page for a longer period of time (increasing its dwell time metric) and also increase their chances of becoming a customer. The best way to post videos on your site is to create a YouTube channel, upload the videos, and then embed them within your pages and posts. This is a simple process on both WordPress and Duda.
Step 4: Conducting On-Page SEO
Writing content aimlessly is not effective for SEO. The same is true of structuring website URLs without attending to on-page optimization. To rank well on Google, you need to refine each page and post with the proper title tags, meta descriptions, alt image text, internal links, and keyword placement. You might think of these tasks as menial, but they are often what separates one local roofing website, from another. Every roofer should follow an on-page SEO checklist for roofers, for each and every page and post on the website. You can use WordPress plugins like Yoast and RankMath to ensure your title tags and meta descriptions are the right length and abide by Google’s preferred character limit.
Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
A good title tag is between 50-60 characters. Plugins will help you track titles on each page. Meta descriptions should be 150-160 characters and can also be tracked with plugins. Both on-page SEO essential should include your target keyword as well as your secondary keyword. Make sure you don’t stuff the keywords into the title or description. The term should read naturally to the user and should not be used more than once in each area (in most cases.) For local roofers, it makes sense to include your phone number within the description.
Keyword Placement & Image Alt Text
Understanding when and where to place your keywords is critical for on-page SEO. You want to avoid keyword stuffing but also want Google to register the primary keyword in every notable area. For the body content, your keywords should be present about 1-3 times. We talked about the title and meta description. Your H1s and H2s should also have once instance each of the primary term. Finally, your image alt text should have the keyword within it. Another pro tip for SEO is to use the keyword with your image file name. Somethin like patio-roof-repair.jpg.
When SEO professionals talk about links, they usually talk about external inbound links from 3rd party websites. While these links are a valuable part of off-page SEO, they don’t contribute to on-page SEO. Another type of link does, however, which brings us to internal links. While we can’t fully control who links to us from other websites, we can control how we link to our pages within our own website. The goal is to facilitate Google’s crawlers to find each of our pages in a relevant place. This method also helps users seamlessly navigate your roofing website and convert them into leads.
Step 5: Performing Off-Page SEO
Anyone who says links don’t matter is a liar. We spoke some about internal linking but external links are also important. For local roofers, inbound external links are part of off-page SEO. While off-page SEO cannot always be directly influenced, it can be directly tracked with link building analysis tools like Majestic and Ahrefs. The best way for local roofers to manually build links is through NAP citations. You can use a listings service like Whitespark to get your company information listed in data aggregators which are then picked up by various directories. You can also register your roofing company with individual niche directories like HomeAdvisor and Roofer’s Guild.
It’s easy to register your roofing company with various listings through services like Whitespark https://newzpharmacy.com/. You simply enter your company name, address, URL, and phone number, along with other relevant information, and allow the service to register your company with directories. Most directories provide what are known as Nofollow links These links theoretically pass less juice than a link that is editorialized, but in the context of local SEO, it counts just the same. Sites like HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, and Roofer’s Guild all pass valuable Nofollow links to your roofing website.
3rd Party Websites
You should never pay for links in order to avoid Google penalty but you should seek out links from existing connections. For example, if you sponsor a local little league team, ask them to link to your website from their own. The same is true of local chambers of commerce, other contractors who can vouge for your credibility and even local government websites. Each link you get from these 3rd parties should represent a vote of confidence to Google and help your website rank. Be sure to mention to your network that the rel=sponsored link attribute is recommended by Google.
Reviews & Reputation
Links are not the only aspect of off-page SEO. Another factor is reputation. We spoke about Google My Business reviews contributing to prominence, and the same is true of other review platforms. Whether it is Yelp, HomeAdvisor, or Facebook, reviews and reputation matters for local roofers. It’s not difficult to understand why it matters in general, but as it pertains specifically to SEO, some people get confused. Every user-generated review on any platform serves as branded signaling to Google. When they notice real people engaging with your brand online, it influences your ranking indirectly.
Conclusion: Why Should Roofers Listen to Serpmatic?
Whether or not you listen to Sermpatic about SEO for roofers is a personal choice. We are not asking you to listen to us. We created this guide for roofers who want to learn more about search engine optimization and how they can rank effective on Google and Google Maps. SEO is one of the most beneficial methods for lead generation in 2020 and it would be a disservice for us not to help local contractors achieve success. Lots of SEO methods can be performed by novices without spending a dime. While you may decide to hire an SEO company to take your online presence to the next level, this guide was created with DIY roofing marketers in mind. SEO can be overwhelming but this guide should help you get started today.