Question: How can I get search engines to recommend my site over the sites of other home builders and designers?
Answer: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the one of the most important tools home builders can use to draw potential business to their online platforms.
Whenever a potential customer types a search query into Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engines, these search engines use a special algorithm to decide which results will come up in what order. The ultimate goal of a home designer trying to generate more web traffic is to leverage SEO techniques to have a link to your website page show up as high as possible on the list.
There are three general aspects of SEO to consider:
- Technical SEO
- Keyword Targets
- Local Targeting
If you pay close attention to all three of these strategies, you will have a good chance of having your home building business rise in the ranks of every search.
Technical SEO Strategies
Technical SEO strategies involve the way your website is designed. Some of the aspects that go into design are:
- Text and Readability
- Images and Media
The layout of your web page has more impact on search ratings than you think. You'll want to make sure you have a well-organized flow, with headers separating subsections.
You'll also want to make sure that the larger headers on your page are relevant to the topic and contain keywords that indicate the subject matter in that section. You may think that including quotes, statements and information that catches the readers' eye in larger text is impressive, but search engine algorithms are looking at headers for keywords relevant to search engine queries. We'll talk about keywords later, but from a technical standpoint, your headers and information displayed in larger fonts should be concise and relevant to your home building business.
You'll also want to carefully proofread the content on your web page. Search engine A.I. is growing smarter with every upgrade, and they'll evaluate your content for readability. If your page is cluttered with incomprehensible phrases or covered in large blocks of bulk text, your rating may be lowered.
Finally, make sure to appropriately scale and label pictures and other media on your site. Giant pictures and unlabeled media could hurt your search ranking. If you're sharing home designs you created, utilizing Portfolio Home Plans' virtual storefront is a great way to reduce clutter and improve SEO visibility.
You'll also want to insert certain key words and phrases into the content of your web page, and you'll want to do this as naturally as possible.
When a computer user is searching for home plans, they'll more than likely type a phrase related to home design and building into a search engine. You'll want to predict which phrases will be searched the most an include those on your website.
It's important to be careful here. Simply placing a random list of key phrases on your site could lead to a decrease in your SEO placement. If you simply include phrases in an unreadable string, the search engine algorithm could simply ignore your website altogether.
An effective keyword strategy involves guessing the phrases your potential customers will search for and include them naturally in the text and in the headers on your page. Grammatically correct key phrases and using key words in headers will go a long way to improving your search rankings. If you're unsure of what key phrases are the most effective, it may be valuable to employ website analytic software such as Google Analytics to learn how customers are finding your site.
PHP's online marketplace is full of home designs and plans, and incorporating it into your web design increases your chance of keyword success as Google, Bing and other search engines scan your site for potential matches.
Local SEO Strategies
Employing a localized SEO strategy is a must. More and more customers are looking to support local businesses and home buyers are no exception.
There are a few great ways you can improve your SEO visibility to generate revenue from clients in your geographic area:
- Google My Business
- Google Maps and Apple Maps Listings
- Current Contact Information on your Website
Having a Google My Business listing is a must from many different angles, but for home builders it can be a great tool to help local clients find your business. Many more potential customers are doing research on their smart phones. Due to GPS, many of search engines are able to prioritize searches based on a geographic area. Keeping your business address current improves the chances that these clients will find your business rather than a local competitor in the field.
The same is true for Google Maps and Apple Maps. It's relatively easy to register your business address with these map services. This will make your geographic location readily accessible and visible on both of the major map services. Just imagine a potential customer asking Siri for home designs, and a picture of the map with your physical location, website address and contact information instantly pops up. Failing to register with these services could lead to a potential loss of revenue.
Finally, make sure your address and contact information is included on your web page. As a search engine scans your page it will come across these details and could recommend your site to customers who are searching for home builders in your town.
About Portfolio Home Plans
Portfolio Home Plans is an online storefront that lets home designers display and sell their home plans on thousands of websites. It also gives home builders and Realtors complete control over sale of plans directly from their own website. Rather than sending clients to a third-party architect, builders can show their customers potential designs and earn a portion of the commission on all plans sold from their website, regardless of whether they personally build the plans or not.