If you’re in the construction business, chances are that up to now you may have relied heavily on word of mouth, traditional marketing or networking events to drive sales, leads and enquiries.
The fact of the matter is that consumers, now more than ever, will expect to find your business online. Whether it’s to contact you, submit an enquiry or purchase your building supplies online, both B2B and B2C construction companies can benefit from having an online presence.
In this guide, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty, exact SEO steps that you’ll need to follow in order to grow your construction business online. But first, we need to explain what SEO is, and why it’s so important for your business in 2022 and beyond.
P.S. Check out our SEO Fundamentals for Construction Webinar!
‘Construction SEO’ is the process of optimising your construction website for search engines, in order to rank higher for your target keywords and generate clicks through to your website. It’s an important part of any construction digital marketing campaign which, more often than not, drives the most relevant leads. While it does take some upfront investment in time and resources, the ongoing benefit of SEO is what makes it truly appealing.
You see, once your website is ranking for your target keywords, you’ll be able to generate relevant visitors to your site who are actively searching for your products and services – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
So without further ado, here’s our step by step guide to get your construction website ranking and generating more business through Google Search.
The first step in any successful SEO campaign is to identify the exact keywords and phrases that your target audience is currently searching for in Google. The best way to start is to create a spreadsheet and start listing down all of your core services and/or products. Jott down any words or phrases that you yourself would know to search if you were looking for these products or services.
If you’re involved in the construction industry it means that you’ll be able to extract terminology and phrases that a keyword tool may not find. If you know a way in which your customers reference a product or service, make a note of it. Next, we’re going to investigate these keywords to see if they have any search volume (the number of times they get searched in Google per month).
Once you’ve got your list of keywords ready, we’re going to take these and use an SEO tool such as SEMrush, Ahrefs or Ubersuggest to see whether they actually get searched often in your country. Personally, I prefer to use Ahrefs but you can use any SEO tool you like. Simply copy your keywords from your spreadsheet and paste them into the ‘keyword explorer’ to search multiple keywords at once, you can then export this data as a CSV file for later use.
Once you’ve exported the list of keywords from your own knowledge, it’s time to start exploring keywords that you might not have thought of yet. We can do this in two ways:
1. By finding a competitor in your industry who is ranking high for your main keywords and then exporting the keywords that they rank for
2. By entering ‘seed’ keywords into your SEO tool of choice and narrowing down the results by including or excluding results based on keywords
To find the keywords your competitor is ranking for, it’s as simple as copying and pasting their URL into the domain explorer tool. You can quickly see their best-performing pages and keywords, in order to replicate their successes and avoid under-performing pages to keep your SEO campaign lean and efficient.
Simply export their list of keywords and you’ll have some extremely insightful data that can inform your construction SEO strategy moving forward.
You can also enter a general keyword for your industry such as ‘scaffolding’ and navigate your way towards the ‘also matching’ section of the keyword research within Ahrefs. This will show you any keywords that include the word ‘scaffolding’.
There will likely be tens of thousands of keywords, sometimes even more, so we’ll need to narrow these down a little using filters to ‘include’ or ‘exclude’ certain keywords. This can be done either in Ahrefs itself or within a spreadsheet, once you’ve exported them as a CSV file.
Now that we’ve got an extensive list of keywords that are relevant to your business, we can begin the process of assigning certain keywords to certain pages. This process is called ‘keyword mapping’ and can be a pretty laborious task – so if you’re not familiar with the process make sure to grab yourself a brew and settle in for a few hours of concentrated work!
Essentially, you’ll want to go through all of the main pages on your site (homepage, service page, product page etc.) and select a handful of keywords from your list that best describe each page. Pay close attention to the intent behind each search. For example, ‘buy scaffolding poles’ would be much better suited to a product page or category page, as opposed to a blog post on your site.
With your newly formed list of keywords mapped to each of the important pages on your site, we can now start to optimise these pages for these keywords. Usually, this involves going through your content and making sure you have covered the topic of each of the keywords you are targeting. It’s not just as simple as copying and pasting the keywords into the copy itself, those days of SEO are long gone. Instead, you need to find ways of incorporating that topic into your content with sub-sections and sub-headings.
For example, a category page targeting ‘buy scaffolding’ may also target ‘cheap scaffolding’. However, if there is no mention of your products being cheap, how is Google to know that they are cheap? Some may argue that Google could extract the prices from your page and compare them to competitors but this may be a little far fetched. You’d be better describing your page exactly as it is through written content so that there is no doubt in Google’s mind that your scaffolding page should also rank for ‘cheap scaffolding’.
The best way to target this is in the meta title and main heading of the page, you can also include it within sub-headings and the body content too although these carry less weight in the ranking algorithm.
From your initial keyword research, you should now find that there are dozens (or even thousands) of untapped keywords which haven’t yet been targeted on any of the pages on your site.
There will be some keywords in there that aren’t relevant as you don’t sell those products, or perhaps you’re not going after certain target customers. However, there should be a sufficient amount of keywords to start generating some new content ideas.
As with the keyword mapping process, you can now make your way through the untapped keywords and start grouping them into clusters. These clusters can be targeted within the same pages to rank for more long-tail keywords and associated phrases. Typically, blog posts are the ideal place to target informational, FAQ-style queries where you can answer the question of the searcher, whilst also featuring your products and services within the post itself.
You might be asking yourself – why would I want to spend all this time writing blog posts? I want to sell products and services!
Well, there are two main benefits:
Just as Google can begin to consider your website an ‘authority’ on a subject as a result of covering all the closely-related topics within your industry, Google also likes to see that other authoritative websites are mentioning yours.
This ‘mention’ is also known as a backlink, and they’re the backbone of the entire worldwide web. Essentially, the more high-quality websites you have linking to you, the more Google begins to trust your website and the higher your rankings will be as a result.
Don’t be fooled by ‘cheap backlink services’ though, there are many places you can go to buy backlinks at incredibly low prices – but these will do more harm than good for your site.
Instead, we prefer to use Digital PR to build links naturally on authoritative websites.
These are the 5 most important steps you can take right now to start ranking your construction website. Although, SEO is an ongoing process that requires continual updates and improvements so if you’re looking for help with this we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch today to see how we can help grow your construction business online.
Sign up now and get our free monthly email. It’s filled with our favourite pieces of the news from the industry, SEO, PPC, Social Media and more. And, don’t forget - it’s free, so why haven’t you signed up already?