To maximize your ranking potential, SEO in the homebuilding industry requires a combination of local, on-page, off-page, and technical organic search skills.
The appropriate balance of these skills and tactics for your organization is determined by:
- Specifying (regional vs. national).
- Type of business (custom vs. tract builders).
- The availability of resources to complete the work.
- As well as growth objectives.
While the factors listed above will assist you in personalizing and tailoring your SEO strategy to your specific needs, you will need a solid foundation to build on (see what I did there?).
Here are four areas that homebuilding marketers should be aware of to help your residential construction company succeed in search.
1. Required On-Site Content Areas For Homebuilders
Prospects and customers will have their sections on your website.
Here are the five areas in which your website should invest the most to achieve SEO success:
Floorplan Or Home Plan Pages
Floorplan pages are typically the most popular sections of a builder’s website.
The majority of your website investment should go toward creating these pages, which should include imagery, specifications, localized pricing/features, virtual walkthroughs, FAQs, and video-based content featuring the home designer or architect.
These pages should also be optimized for mobile devices as they may not be able to easily see detailed imagery as well as you could on a desktop or tablet.
Community Or Sales Office Pages
Your community or sales office location pages are your entry points into showing up in the local search for homebuilders.
These pages should include information about the community’s name, address, and phone number.
Furthermore, for tract builders, each community page should include information about what it’s like to live in the area as well as a gallery of your homes (with rich localized text descriptions).
It would be even better if you could include a map with nearby attractions, restaurants, grocery stores, and drinking establishments.
These location pages should also include localized information about: For custom or on-your-lot builders, these location pages should include localized information about:
- The construction procedure.
- Any permits that are required.
- Video testimonials from satisfied customers in that area.
- A collection of homes built in the surrounding area.
- Commonly Asked Questions (with FAQ schema implemented on the page).
Featured Product Pages
Throughout the construction process, builders collaborate with a variety of vendors and contractors.
These vendors have an impact on your buyer’s decision because the quality of the vendors’ material is linked to the buyer’s perception of the brand.
Homebuilders with clear product information on their website can use this to their advantage, ensuring that the buyer feels confident because they are using premium products.
These pages are beneficial from both an SEO and a sales process standpoint.
Buyers need to understand the lengthy, multi-phase process of homebuilding for custom homebuilders.
Consider creating a timeline infographic, guide, videos, or a series of articles to explain this.
The majority of this content is usually documented internally, but builders who can make it public (even if it’s somewhat condensed) will help educate and qualify buyers during the sales process.
Without a section of their website devoted to fresh, educational content for home buyers, homebuilders will struggle in terms of SEO.
This content should focus on the financing and selection process of existing homes for tract or spec builders.
This should cover a broader range of topics for custom home builders, such as:
- Obtaining land.
- You’re preparing your land.
- Collaboration with the builder.
- Before moving in, the house must be inspected.
- And a lot more.
2. SERP Features For Homebuilders
The high involvement and lengthy home-buying process create numerous opportunities for various SERP features to appear.
The first step in improving a homebuilder’s local SEO presence should be to optimize and verify their Google Business Profile (s).
This should be done at the local office or branch level, and each (sales office or community) location should have its profile.
After optimizing your GBP, you should now concentrate on generating 5-star reviews through a review-building program, which will help you rise in the local SERPs even further.
Each of your communities (for tract builders) or sales offices (for on-your-lot builders) can bring a customized knowledge pack.
The knowledge pack is jam-packed with location data (provided by your Google Business Profile), user-generated Q&As, reviews (from Google and third-party sources), associated social profiles, and more.
Because new homes are highly visual, builders have opportunities to appear in image packs.
Image packs are typically made up of images from the builder’s website as well as images reshared from home building aggregators, YouTube, and local publications.
In addition to high-quality photography, homebuilders must invest in content distribution and a public relations strategy to disseminate their visual creative assets across channels.
People Also Ask
There are dozens of frequently asked questions about the home buying and building process that your team members have answered for prospects and customers.
A lot of this information can be gleaned from your help desk.
In any case, by using FAQs on your website, you can increase the frequency with which your website appears in the People Also Ask (PAA) SERP feature.
Furthermore, by implementing the FAQ schema, you send a signal to search engines and give your site the best chance of obtaining the PAA SERP feature.
Depending on your CMS, the FAQ schema is relatively simple to implement.
3. Off-Page SEO Opportunities
Because they are well connected with vendors, partners, and organizations in the community, homebuilders typically have a lot of low-hanging link building opportunities.
Here are two off-page investment opportunities.
Suppliers, trade partners, vendors, contractors, realtors, customers, the media, and members of the community all have relationships with homebuilders.
When looking at national or regional homebuilders with multiple locations, the volume of these relationships expands even further.
Marketers for homebuilders should create a list of potential link building opportunities in their CRM and ensure that there is a process in place to obtain a backlink from every website with which they have a relationship.
Positive reviews on third-party sites or Google are among the most effective off-page SEO opportunities for your team.
As projects are completed with buyers, you should have an automated system in place to encourage (satisfied or high Net Promoter Score) customers to leave reviews on Google, Houzz, New Home Source, and other sites that aggregate builder reviews.
If you are fully utilizing your CRM, you should be keeping track of the customers who left 5-star reviews so that you can work with them in the future to build out case studies, rely on them for customer reference calls, or potentially sell to them again.
In addition to an automated review request system, you should incentivize your sales team to encourage review creation.
Online reviews are priceless, and you should reward your sales team (with cash) if they are the ones who pushed the customer to leave an online review.
Many review sites forbid you from incentivizing your customers to leave reviews, but there are a few inventive ways to make it easy for them.
4. Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid
The list of common SEO mistakes is long. Here are two that builders should avoid:
More sophisticated CMS functionality allows for more personalization and localization of content in larger homebuilders.
Though this can be beneficial from a UX standpoint, you must balance it with Google’s ability to crawl your site.
If you hide specific content from users in specific locations and Google does not have a way to crawl this hidden content, you risk not having that content indexed in Google.
Content Deprecation Issues
The other major mistake that Tract builders make is having too much content that needs to be deprecated and redirected when all of the homes in a community are sold out.
When new communities are announced to the public, they have a proclivity to generate inbound links to new communities from local news and other sources.
A 301 redirection to a relevant category or city page will give you the best chance of retaining the link equity that has been built up at the URL.
Alternately, you can update the page and let the visitor know the community is sold out but that they should look at the provided list of nearby communities.
As you can see, homebuilders require a wide range of skill sets and resources to stand out in local and organic searches.
Builders with a strong local and national SEO presence, a system for generating 5-star reviews across local channels – and, most importantly, a raving fan base of happy customers – will see the most success in the SERPs as competition in this space grows.