Important Message: Are you serious about gaining business through search engine optimization? Read this article in its entirety, take notes, and comment/contact us privately about questions.
Do this: Google “Home Inspection Melbourne FL”. Honor Services, the company I work for as a home inspector, is first on the google map. You may notice we rank 3rd in the general search results underneath Yelp and Home Advisor due to the massive investment/reliance into their web presence.
UPDATE: I checked again, and now we rank above HomeAdvisor. Just fyi 😉
But how how did we manage to appear #1 on the map and rank next Home Advisor?
I wish the answer was simple, but I am going to outline EVERYTHING we have done to rank our website #1. Hope you enjoy.
Step 1 – Business Foundations
The first step in creating a fantastic online presence is to create a fantastic real-world presence!
We can separate this into three categories: services, branding, and customer service. These are the items that a customer sees; obviously, to carry out your business you need to have professional accounting, good management skills, and so much more. However, for this post I want to focus on these three.
All services have to be professional and top tier. Ultimately, you need to know what you are doing and be able to convey the value you offer.
Honor Services did this by completing team-based inspections in order to offer more efficient inspections to buyers/realtors. Furthermore, our inspection reports are known to be thorough, are reviewed twice before they are sent, and are just all around the most professional.
Utilizing tools like Inspection Support Network tremendously helps in this sector. If you are unsure about how your ISN is being utilized, the master of the tool, Michelle Shishilla can gladly assist!
Is your business name, logo, and presence rememberable? If you know the answer to the question “what is your brand?” and be able to convey it properly, you are halfway there to a good brand. However, it has to be able to be understood and it should be unique.
Honor Services naturally has great branding in the name of the company, but the during the inspection process, the employees of Honor are held to higher standards to carry out that honorable service. The employees always go above and beyond to protect the client and their investment.
Customer service is everything to retain clientele and is key in order to receive google reviews, get mentions on social media, and basically improve your online presence.
Honor completes customer service through their excellent office staff that listens intently to realtors and clients all day. This leads to less confusion, raving clients, and mentions online.
Step 2 – Web Design
Without professional, modern web design, you cannot expect to have beneficial search engine optimization. John Shishilla, the owner of our company, knew the online space was changing rapidly. He invested company money into building a new website to exhibit that professional, modern design.
Built to convert
Your website should be built around converting prospects. If you do not have an ease of booking on your website on every page, that’s a problem you should address. Nobody should have to search on how to book a service with you.
In 2018, 85% of organic searchers that found Honor Services through Google’s engine, were utilizing a mobile device. It is beginning to be rare that people are on desktops because people tend to always be on the go.
The web design that John invested in would be mobile friendly for reasons explained above. If your website is not mobile friendly, Google will rank you less, period.
As I am sure you have heard, blogging is an important aspect of search engine optimization, but let’s talk about it anyway.
Blogging is a chance for Honor to showcase its expertise and convert readers into buying in. Basically, you write about what your “searchers” are looking for, your articles have a chance to pop in Google’s search which then the user clicks on. This is called organic reach, which is what SEO is about, not paying to reach users.
Step 3 – Search Engine Optimization
If you do not have the above mentioned, do not bother in the SEO arena. In my personal belief, you would be throwing your money down the drain. Frankly, if you cannot make happy clients, do not have a nice website, and great unique identifiers to your business, the SEO efforts can be ineffective.
- Do not leave any box incomplete.
- Be sure all phone numbers, email addresses, websites, and office addresses are accurate.
- Do not try to create false listings, post a private residence address as an office space, purchase backlinks, etc. Keep it truthful.
I would like to especially mention, on mobile devices, office location and service areas are more utilized in Google’s algorithm. If a searcher’s location is being tracked, you may not have a chance (or have a better chance) of appearing in their results no matter the amount of SEO invested. The reason being is because Google is trying to find the best, closest option in their area. This is where pay per click (PPC) advertising (Google Adwords) can be used if you service an area that is far from your office location.
Practically the easiest way to boost your SEO. Get Blipp Reviews and never have to worry about this section again. Honor Services began using this service and has not looked back. The return on investment is extraordinary.
Increasing Our Social Media Presence
Before I rant about this media being misused, let’s make a few points. Your page should look professional and it should be complete (all accurate information provided), but let’s dive a little deeper into a few steps to get started:
- Request realtors/clients to like your page, and like realtors’ business pages back.
- Post quality and engaging content. Engage in other posts.
- Post often, offer sales, but do not oversell.
Social media is social. It is a place for business, however, a user must understand social media has to be engaging rather than boring sales tactics. In other words, do not post boring blogs with out any engaging words about it, do not sell yourself every time you post, and most importantly BE PERSONAL ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Social media is a great tool to reach an audience who is angry at home builders, wanting to learn information about their home, giving tips to realtors, but ultimately it is about having fun! There is a good balance a company needs between professional, conveying a brand message, but having outstanding, humorous content.
Honor Services began taking their social media more seriously during web design upgrades. Social media is apart of your online footprint, people share, engage, and talk about your company in private groups. I cannot tell you how many times I have personally completed a home inspection for a buyer where they discussed how dominate our company is on home owner groups for a particular neighborhood/community.
Post often, post scary finds, funny selfies, great testimonials, and show off your company.
Website Updates & Upgrades
As a business owner, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you ignored web upgrades and updates. Google knows if you are active on your site, but not only that, your customers should be able to look through every part of your business online with a description of each service.
I began creating content (I still am, and have a lot of items I want to revise) on Honor Services. The more you add, the more chance you are going to appear on a Google search. Additionally, if you have auxiliary services, your clients should be able to read an article or two about their importance!
As a member of Generation Z, if a website appears unprofessional and outdated to me, I flat out leave it immediately. And guess what, my generation is graduating college in search of their first home.
This may be harder to understand, but websites now must have a security certificate to appear safe. To know if you have this, check your URL on your company’s website. There should a be lock icon to the left of the domain if it is secure.
Contact your host if you do not have this. They usually are available for purchase, or can be free depending on the host.
WolfPack Advising offers this free with their website hosting and every web design purchase.
Google wants fast websites for mobile search purposes. The faster your site, the better you rank. However, it is not as important as some other factors, but there are other considerations spoken about below:
This is the more trickier sections of SEO. As a web designer, you can have a beautifully functioning website, but it can cost you web speed. There are ways to code around these issues, however, this means the following:
- Knowing how to web code in the most prominent languages.
- Paying a web coder to do this. It is very expensive.
- Waiting for a web coder to complete this. It can take awhile.
- And sometimes forgetting about having WordPress as a platform. This makes web management much, much, more difficult.
My personal opinion from Honor Services’ experience and my knowledge of SEO, is this section will matter less as 5G technology arrives, and as of right now, it is worth the sacrifice of having a WordPress platform, a beautiful design, and less expense. Just be sure your web designer does not go crazy with the design as to make your website too slow. There’s always a good balance!
This is the most important factor to appear in regular Google searches! This is separate from the map that shows when a user searches “home inspectors near me” for instance, try it yourself to see what I am talking about.
This section can also mean your SEO demise! Due to its importance, companies can pay for backlinks which is absolutely against Google’s policies. Backlinks are links to another website when you are trying to show them as an authority. It’s exactly like how I linked to Blipp Reviews above!
Due to its ease in just typing a regular blog, you may begin to realize how backlinks can be misused or paid for. Google knows this and goes out of their way to make sure offenders get properly penalized. Not to mention, if you do it, I will go out of my way to report you. It’s unfair to those who truly put in the work to deserve a backlink.
You may be asking “how do I find my backlinks?” Well, there are websites that can do the search for you, or the Google console can tell you. SEO professionals like myself can give you an answer.
How do you get backlinks?
This is supposed to be hard, but here are a few ways you can get backlinks:
- Post blogs often.
- Reach out to local businesses, churches, in order to receive a backlink from their website. Keep in mind, backlinks are about showing authority. Your local church, business, or buddy who has a plumbing business should not just link to your website. The professional way to complete this is to have them write a blog expressing your authority. If you are confused, look at what I said about Blipp Reviews above!
- Reach out to WolfPack Advising. There are ways we can work together in order to shine a light on what makes your home inspection company an authority. I would love the opportunity to share your expertise on WolfPack’s platform.
Keywords is what helped Honor Services the most in search engine optimization in my opinion. To expand on what keywording is, it is finding out what your audience is searching for, then putting those on your website! Simple!
It can get a little harder than that, but if I am a home inspector in Las Vegas, I may use the words: “Home Inspector Las Vegas” on my website.
Pro Tip: If you use the keywords: “home inspector near me”, I will report you to Google, cheater. 🙂
Other Search Engine Optimization Tools
There are other tools you can use if you know about web design and SEO. These are:
- Website Caching
- CDN’s – Content Delivery Networks
- Web Hosting
- Checking all NAP’s
- Looking at competitors
- Online Resources
So that does it. Everything our company focused on to appear number one in our area! If you have questions, contact us or comment below! We are always happy to help on any section of business you may be struggling in!