This article is a continuation of our master series on SEO Content & Copywriting. Be sure to read Part 1 of our SEO Copywriting tips before continuing with this article.
#11 — Optimize Page SEO Titles
An SEO Page Title is the link title displayed on the search engine results pages when your article ranks for a certain home repair & renovation search query. Each and every page and post on your website has the ability to have a custom SEO Page Title, and it’s important to create one that both makes your search engine listing enticing to click, and filled with relevant keywords.
Yoast SEO recommends using a tactic called “keyword front-loading,” which calls for using your keywords near the start of your Page Title. For instance, instead of writing an article titled “Tips to Find the Best Contractor for Flooring,” rearrange it to get your keywords in early: “Best Flooring Contractors and Tips to Finding One.”
Quick Tip: Try using Impact‘s blog title generator to get ideas and solid SEO Page Title structures for your home services blog articles.
#12 — Use Meta Descriptions to Sell Your Article
Just below the SEO Page Title lives the Meta Description, on search engine results pages. Search Engine Journal has found that Google does not use Mete Descriptions as a ranking factor, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important in your SEO content journey.
Having well-written meta descriptions—that sell your article to searchers—is vital to optimizing your click rate. It helps to think of your meta description as a short sales pitch that provides some reinforcing value as it pertains to the Page Title. You only have about 300 characters to tell them why your content is better than the others, so make it count!
Remember the APP introduction method we discussed earlier? Try creating a condensed version of your intro to use as your Meta Description. For instance, a strong meta description for an article detailing a roof replacement (e.g., “What is a Roof Replacement? And 5 Things to Know Before”) could go something like this:
“Hearing news that you need a roof replacement is never fun. Here are 5 vital things to know before starting your roof replacement, including tips on pricing and finding the best roofing for the job.”
#13 — Optimize Page URLs
A study by Backlink found shorter URLs tend to rank higher on Google. Most CMS platforms, including WordPress, allow you to build a custom or dynamic URL (also called a “slug” or “permalink”). To optimize your URL, try to keep it short, readable to humans, and include your most vital seed keywords.
To keep your URL short, eliminate “stop words” (i.e. conjunctions or prepositions) such as “and,” “as,” “for,” and others. For example, if you are using content marketing to grow your electrician contracting business and write an article titled, “EV Charger Installation: What To Know” you can simply use a slug such as “/ev-charger-installation-basics.”
While “front-loading” your titles is recommended, the same benefits may not apply to URL slugs. Former head of the web spam team at Google, Matt Cutts, has confirmed that keywords in your URL does help, but not to obsess over the order in which they are sorted.
#14 — Improve Page Loading Speed
Loading speed is a factor in both SEO and user-experience (UX)—faster speeds have proven higher search engine rankings and better ‘time on site.’ Just a one second delay in your loading speed reduces page views by 11% and conversion events by 7%.
Use GTMetrix and Google Lighthouse to test your page loading speed. These free tools provide immediate, actionable feedback as to what technical factors are slowing your site down. If your site speed is lagging, we recommend getting in touch with a website loading speed specialist—there are people that specifically specialize in this, because it is that important.
These reports provide separate scores for loading your website on Desktop vs. Mobile devices. Given the prevalence of mobile search traffic in the modern era, it’s important to optimize your loading speed for all device types.
When uploading images to your blog content, always compress or optimize the images prior to upload—or use one of many available an image optimizing plug-ins for WordPress. This will help reduce the payload so home services buyers can visit and read your construction marketing blog without long delays in page rendering.
#15 — Analyze & Improve Old Content
One of my favorite ways to improve my content’s SEO is to improve some of my top-performing articles that just need a refresh. By doing basic upkeep on some of your most winningest articles, you can add value, make your content more topical, add mentions of new products and strategies in the home renovation & repair space, and more! Typically, we start re-optimizing older content as soon as we see an organic search competitor’s article is gaining ground on our’s or if we see our’s has not achieved the rankings we hoped for.
You can use Google Search Console (GSC) and Bing Webmaster Tools to find out which pages are getting the most page views through organic search queries, and see which search queries are bringing readers to your site. These tools should be hooked up as soon as you launch your site so you can gather quantitive sooner, and optimize are your target audiences’ searching, buying, and vetting preferences like a pro!
#16 — Install & Configure the Yoast SEO Plug-in
The Yoast SEO WordPress plug-in is an essential plugin for any contractor or home construction building a Content SEO plan. It provides an intuitive interface to add SEO Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, OG Data, and more. Once the plugin is installed on your WordPress website, you will see a new Yoast SEO settings section near the bottom of each page and post type.
The Yoast SEO plugin also does one very important thing for your website’s indexing—it creates an XML Sitemap that search engines will use to interpret the site’s navigation in order to properly crawl your site’s pages and content. This XML Sitemap should be submitted to Google Search Console (GSC) and Bing Webmaster tools when a new page or post is published/updated.
#17 — Measure & Improve Keyword Density
The formula for “Keyword Density” is the number of times your focus keyword was used within your optimized content, divided by the given article’s word count. Yoast recommends you aim for a keyword density between 0.5-2.5%. Surpassing a keyword density of 5% could start to look like “keyword spamming” or “keyword-stuffing” in the eyes of search engines.
Once you complete the initial draft of a new article, measure the keyword density using Yoast’s SEO Analysis tab near the bottom of the post. Yoast will provide you with the keyword density and let you know if it is within their optimal range. If your website is not on WordPress CMS, try SmallSEOTools‘ free keyword tool to measure and improve keyword density for your SEO Content strategy.
#18 — Use Simple Language
It’s easy to get too technical when speaking to leads and clients, when you know your industry so well. When you write about those technical aspects of your trade, do your best to make the content digestible to someone who really knows nothing about the topic of home renovation & repair—because if they are searching for info, they probably don’t have much knowledge in your area of expertise!
When writing for the home owner seeking a contractor, try to focus on the benefits, outcomes, advantages, etc. as opposed to the “in-the-weeds” information—unless you are familiar enough with your target audience that you know they want very detailed information.
Improving the readability of your content has the potential to increase page views, boost your SEO content ROI, and even bring more clients. After writing a piece of content, plug it into the readable.io text readability tool to find your piece’s readability score. The goal is to aim for a score below a 9th-grade reading level.
#19 — Add Social Sharing Buttons
Make your content easy to share! If your article is well-written and valuable to someone, they could share it within a group of like-minded folks on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and other platforms—which directly impacts SEO. The former head of web spam at Google, Matt Cutts, has admitted that social sharing data is a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithms.
Creating social sharing buttons is easy—just install a WordPress plugin such as AddToAny Share Buttons that allows your readers to share your home repair & renovation content while on-site, via their own social profiles. The Click to Tweet plug-in is another very simple plug-in that gives readers a simple way to Tweet small text snippets of your articles.
#20 — Fix Broken Links
A broken link is when there is a link within your content that send the user to a page URL that no longer exists—whether it’s a link on your site or an external site—and they are met with a 404 page. When a search engine crawler analyzes your content and comes across a broken link on the page, the crawler will stop at that dead link and all of the remaining content of that page is not analyzed or considered in your content’s SEO factors.
For instance, if you’ve written a 2,000-word article and a bot encounters a crawl error just 100 words into the article, you wasted time writing 1,900 words that aren’t helping your organic SEO. Luckily, there are tools to automatically detect broken links on your site to avoid this very issue. Below we go over checking for both internal and external broken links:
Finding broken internal links
- Login to Google Search Console (GSC)
- Go to Crawl > Crawl Errors and click the Not Found tab
- A list of crawl errors will populate; click on a link and check the broken link
- Edit the link to a valid URL or add a 301 redirect (using the WordPress Redirection plugin or similar)
Finding broken external links
- Install the Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin
- Configure the plugin to notify you of broken links directly in the WordPress dashboard or by email—whichever you prefer
- Fix any broken external link by changing to a valid URL or removing the link altogether
We hope these SEO Content tips will help you build a thriving home renovation & repair blog! Once you have your strategy down, be sure to check out our article, Contractors & Home Services Digital Marketing Guide for a comprehensive list of ways to build a winning contractor marketing strategy.