Getting eyes on your published content can be an uphill battle—much less, getting it to help your contracting & home construction business generate business! If you consistently practice proven SEO Copywriting tactics, you can attract much more organic search traffic, capture more highly-qualified leads, and drastically reduce your cost per acquisition.
What is SEO Copywriting?
SEO copywriting is the process of optimizing your contractor website content to boost your search engine rankings for queries relevant to your service offerings. With time, a well-planned and consistently executed content content writing schedule paired with intentional optimization of that content can vastly improve your website traffic and lead-generation efforts.
In this article, you’ll learn SEO copywriting tips, ranging from content structuring, to SEO keyword usage, and building metadata into your posts. Before we jump in, it is important to live by these five SEO copywriting rules.
- User-experience always comes before technical SEO—never sacrifice content quality for “hacky” technically SEO practices (e.g., keyword-stuffing)
- Publish website content that helps your user as they navigate their buying journey in the construction, contracting, and home services industry.
- Use your most valuable focus keywords within your content—but don’t overdo it!
- When revamping content, add more value, not just more words.
- SEO takes time, so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t building meaningful rankings until 4-5 months into your content campaigns.
With that, here are the first ten of twenty total SEO copywriting and optimization tips to improve organic reach within your contractor & construction marketing plan.
#1 — The “APP” Method
The “APP” method is a blogging introduction strategy that stands for Agree, Promise, Preview. It is a tested, structural method to start your blog posts to improve the reader engagement level. For instance, if you are a general contractor writing content about the process of remodeling a kitchen, you could start your article something like this:
- Agree: “Your kitchen is a place where your family members spend a lot of time, and it’s important that it provides a space that your family can use effectively—it is important that it is remodeled with this in mind.”
- Promise: “In this article, we break down all of the steps you should take to start planning your kitchen remodel for the best outcome, and we include some cost-savings tips.”
- Preview: “We will cover how to handle demolition and tear-out on your own, getting a professional inspection (and what to look out for), and give a detailed order of events for installing flooring, appliances, cabinets, windows and more!”
At Sitebeam, we employ the “APP” method for each and every informational article we write. This helps us jumpstart the writing process, lay the groundwork for the article, and keep a consistent voice regardless of author.
#2 — Use Focus Keywords (Early)
Each home renovation and construction article you write should include a series of focus keywords that represent the most related and highly searched queries around the article’s topic. To find keywords for a given article, use Neil Patel’s free keyword research tool Ubersuggest. The goal is to add the keywords that have a relatively high search volume and represent the goals or intent of the homeowner looking for a contractor or home services providers.
When you have found your top focus keywords, work them into the first 100 words of the given article. This tells search crawlers what your content is about early into their crawling process. We like these keywords to come early because search engine crawlers will discount any content that comes after they encounter a broken internal or external link within your article—so consider this more of a catch-safe SEO copywriting tactic. You don’t have control over if an external link goes down, so having those seed keywords come near the top of your article will help bots understand topic and intent right out of the gate!
#3 — Add More Value to Content
Notice, we said “add more value” and not “add more words.” When writing articles, try to get past the “fluff” and delivery practical, useful information to your audience. In the home services and construction space, your buyers are typically searching for a solution to a problem (e.g., “what to do when basement floods”), preventative maintenance (e.g., “how to clear blocked gutters”), and renovations (e.g., “can I demo my own bathroom?”). Where your home services expertise overlaps with your audience’s common search queries, publish an article delivery valuable content on how that reader should handle/hire for their repair or renovation.
Quick Tip: Backlinko’s Brian Dean (the king of Content SEO Strategy) analyzed 1MM+ Google search results and found first page results average about 1,900 words per article.
#4 — Optimize for Google RankBrain
Google RankBrain is a Google Search algorithm update that uses machine-learning to deliver appropriate results for unprecedented search queries. It (magically) quantifies the quality of a piece of content and its user-experience to determine its rank for one of those brand new queries. The machine-learning aspect started once a user clicks a link. Here are the basics of its functionality:
RankBrain measures the time the user stays on that page, after clicking to it from the search results. If they do not immediately click the “back” button or “bounce,” RankBrain deems that page to have appropriate content relative to the query that the search query. If the user does go back to the search results after clicking into the page, RankBrain basically does the opposite and moves that page down a bit in the search results for similar queries.
To optimize for RankBrain, we need to improve click rate and time-on-page for those search queries that share your content’s intent. The main way to do this is to write quality, targeted content, so those looking for detailed answers to specific home repair questions can find your contractor website/blog and consume your well-written content. There are several other improvements that you can make that we will touch on throughout this article.
#5 — Find & Use LSI Keywords
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are phrases or words with contextual relation to your focus keywords. LSI keywords help search engine crawlers further understand your content’s subject matter. The utility of LSI keywords are best explained through example:
Let’s say you are a roofing contractor marketing yourself through a blog article about “different types of shingles” where you discuss the differences, benefits, uses, etc. for the various shingle types homeowners can choose from for the roof replacement job. When Google’s search crawlers first see your article title, they may not immediately know if you are referring to roofing shingles or the virus that causes a rash on the skin, also called “Shingles.” By using plenty of LSI keywords such as, “roof,” “asphalt,” “fascia,” “drip edge,” etc., Google will be able to better understand the subject matter of your article has to do with roofing and not skin rashes!
LSI keywords often take care of themselves as you simply write your article, but by researching more LSI keywords to include in your article (naturally), you can improve your article’s SEO potential.
A highly overlooked long-tail keyword tool is Google Search. When you start typing into Google, the search bar will provide a predictive (or autocomplete) suggestion based on popular search queries. Once you execute a search, there will commonly be a list of popular, related search queries—use these!
#6 — Add Images and Video Within Content
Adding multimedia such as images and video to your home services articles can help your can help your blog build an audience and keep people on your site for longer. Relevant images and video can even help your content rank higher for media search, which (according to Search Engine Journal) is a largely underrated Google Search method.
Not sure what to display or present in your multimedia? Here are a few ideas:
- Include images of past home renovation of repair projects that are relevant to the associated content
- Add images or video of issues you encounter on the job that other homeowners should be aware of.
- Create infographics to illustrate a process or service that you commonly provide as home contractor. For instance, create a 10-step graphic on how to handle demolition, selection, and installation of new kitchen cabinetry.
- Create video to show how your technicians handle a certain type of job (e.g., insulating a basement wall)
From a user-experience standpoint, multimedia also helps break up text-heavy content. As a general guideline for how many visuals you should add, HubSpot recommends putting a visual every 350 words.
#7 — Optimize Images with Alternative Text (aka Alt Tags)
Every image on your site should have a alternative text for both SEO and accessibility. Search engines have no way of knowing what is going on in your images unless you tell them—alt tags are your way of doing that.
We recommend using relevant SEO keywords in your image alt tags. An HVAC contractor in Mesa, AZ uploading an image depicting a new high-efficiency air conditioning unit installation might add alt text along the lines of “High-efficiency air conditioning installation Arizona HVAC contractors.” This text uses keywords for their products, services, and location for Local SEO.
To add alt text on a WordPress website, do the following:
- Login to your WordPress Admin area
- Go to the “Media” tab, upload an image
- On the right, add your tag within the Alternative Text field
#8 — Include Outbound Links to Authority Websites
Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Adding links to content that has relational significance to your home services article—on websites that also have a high Domain Authority (DA)—helps Google in its mission to provide more useful information to people around the world. When you are looking for a reference to back up a claim in your content, it is best to find an authority site in your industry niche & geographic location, such as:
- Home renovation & repair news/magazine websites
- Contractor association websites
- Non-competing home services websites
- Construction-focused educational websites (.edu domains)
- Government agency websites (.gov domains)
- Other relevant content with strong “authority”
Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) are estimates of how well a domain or page, respectively, ranks on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). To quickly find a domain’s authority score, use Moz’s Free Domain Authority Checker or install their Google Chrome extension: Moz SEO toolbar. The goal is to link to sites and pages with a higher authority score.
Quick Tip: Brain Dean from Backlinko aims for 2-4 outbound links every 1,000 words.
#9 — Add Internal Links
Internal linking is the practice of adding links within your content, to other pieces of your content. This can help increase the chances visitors will visit more pages on your site, and also passes “link juice” to content.
If you want more eyes on an articles, pass it some link juice by adding links to it from your own pages with the highest organic search volume and traffic. When you add these links, the text within the link can help search engines better understand the context and content of that link. For instance, if you are linking to your own blog article about chimney masonry work, instead of using the text “click here” within the link, use “click here to read more about chimney & fireplace masonry repair.”
#10 — Format & Style Your Articles
The format, design and styling of your blog article page can be the ultimate determiner as to whether or not a readers sticks around (and visits other pages, submits your lead form, etc.). By avoiding dense sections of purely text, your article will appear more approachable and easier to scan for buyers of home services.
When writing, keep in your mind that your customers are commonly looking for simple answers and actionable recommendations as to how to handle their home repair or renovation. Some tips to let the most valuable portions of your article shine include:
- Use header tags throughout the page. Crawlers analyze header tags within your pages and articles to understand the topic and context. Search engines will more heavily factor the text within header elements than content embedded in body tags—so it helps to use keywords within titles, but avoid “keyword stuffing!”
- Use lists to make your copy “punchier.” Lists are a great way to provide sequential or list-style information, as opposed to using a series of commas.
- Optimize body type for legibility. Often forgotten-about stylistic elements like like kerning (letter-spacing), line-spacing, size, contrast, etc. all effect copy legibility. Here are 10 Typography Tricks To Make Your Set Much More Readable.
Thanks for tuning into our first of two articles providing simple and actionable SEO Copywriting tips to generate more traffic and boost organic search rankings for your home services & repair content marketing campaign. Part 2 of this series was release and can be found here!