What Does On-Page SEO Mean Anyway?

on-page SEOGood on-page SEO is critical for helping your potential clients find you online, but to do it well, you need to know what you should be aiming for in the first place. Understanding how on-page SEO works will help you decide where to invest your efforts.

How On-Page SEO Helps You

On-page search engine optimization, or on-page SEO, refers to changes you can make directly to a webpage to improve its search engine ranking. It includes factors such as proper use of keywords, correct formatting, and well-written code.

This is in contrast to off-page SEO, which covers backlinks, social signals, and other factors not on your own website. On-page improvements come first because it’s hard to get off-site attention to a mediocre page.

In the construction field, clients demand expertise and are often looking for specialized skills. The in-depth, easy-to-understand content you develop as part of your SEO strategy helps you show your visitors you have what they want.

Proven-Effective Techniques

There are dozens of on-page factors you could optimize, but some give you a bigger payback than others.

Quality content – Aim to provide truly valuable content that helps your potential clients plan their construction project. Write in a professional yet conversational style that isn’t weighed down with jargon. Include original images and videos of your building projects with descriptive ALT tags and file names. Link out to other relevant pages on your site as well as to other high-quality websites.

Optimized URLs – Choose a URL that clearly describe the page’s content, such as yoursite.com/efficient-warehouse-features, not yoursite.com/articles/local/john3

Good formatting – Use clear headlines and short paragraphs, break up text into lists when possible, use bold text judiciously, and choose descriptive link anchor text instead of “click here.”

Fast loading times – A sluggish site will drag down your search engine rankings. Use a quality web hosting package, optimize your images, and fix any broken links. Pay special attention to optimizing the images in your project portfolio. Clean code helps, too, so talk with your designer.

 

 

How to Attract Construction Clients Using Facebook

attract clients through social mediaAs the largest social media platform out there, Facebook is a goldmine of potential construction clients. By sharing valuable information, spending time with your target market, and honing your advertising skills, you can attract more of those clients to your firm.

Become a Valuable Resource

To stand out in your would-be clients’ cluttered Facebook timelines, it helps to offer something that’s both eye-catching and genuinely valuable. Providing useful guidance also establishes you as a knowledgeable professional who can be trusted with high-value construction projects. Create striking before and after photos of your building projects, short tour videos, infographics with surprising data, Q&As, and anything else that helps your ideal clients reach their goals. Showcasing related businesses doing good work for your target audience can also get you some attention.

Put Yourself Out There

Interacting with people in your target audience and the pages where they’re likely to spend time helps put you on the radar of more potential clients. So if you offer medical facilities construction, look for pages run by hospital administrators and pages that offer guidance on hospital management.
Spend some time making thoughtful comments on their posts, answering questions, and asking your own questions. Even if the page owner never acknowledges your input, there’s a good chance some of their followers will.

Invest in Ads

Managed wisely, Facebook ads can give you a better ROI than nearly any other form of online marketing. To pull in interested leads, create a specific, valuable, audience-targeted offer. That could be a free whitepaper, a 15-minute strategy session by phone or even an invitation to a local discussion panel you’re hosting. Take advantage of Facebook’s targeting options to find your audience. If you do home upgrades, you might use the life events targeting option to find people are moving to a new house. Track conversions, such as invitations to bid, not just likes. Split test your ads so you can keep refining them.

4 Steps to the Perfect Customer Persona

customer personaEven if you understand the value of getting to know your target customers, fleshing out detailed customer personas isn’t always easy. Following a clear-cut process helps you turn your data into insightful customer profiles.

  1. Gather existing data – Start learning about your ideal clients by collecting data on your existing clients and leads. Look for trends in demographics, behavior, and interests. Maybe your home remodeling clients are typically older suburbanites with grown children or your industrial plant clients are often middle-aged men who are into fitness. For macro trends affecting your client base, construction market research reports are a good place to look.
  2. Ask around – Develop a survey for your current and former clients, but don’t limit your questions to their construction-related concerns. Questions about their family status, life goals, hobbies, and media preferences can give you valuable insight. Just try to keep the survey length under 10 minutes. With your best clients, conduct more in-depth surveys individually, either by phone or email. Then survey your employees to find out if they’ve noticed any trends.
  3. Spot the trends – Review your data for overarching trends you can use to segment your clients into broad groups. These will form the basis of your customer personas. Between three to five is enough. If you offer several types of services, such as home renovation, manufacturing facility construction, and retail construction, create a generalized customer profile for each. If you’re highly specialized, create more narrowly defined customer personas, such as one for your textile manufacturing facilities clients and another for printing facilities clients.
  4. Build your personas – Give each customer persona a name and create a profile that includes their demographic data, such as age, sex, occupation, and income level. Then add information about their motivations and interests, such as their job responsibilities, and their career and personal goals and challenges. Finally, fill in details about their personal habits and beliefs. It’s these details that bring your customer personas to life, giving you a clearer picture of how to connect with your ideal clients.

How SEO Has Changed… and How You Can Benefit

SEO - Search Engine OptimizationSearch engine optimization has changed a lot in just the last 10 years, and if your construction company hasn’t kept up, you’re losing business. Stay ahead of the curve, though, and you’ll win the clients your competition is leaving behind.

Content Quality Matters More

In the past, posting short, computer-generated articles stuffed with keywords was often enough to get you ranked for moderately competitive search terms. Now, search engine algorithms place a much higher emphasis on in-depth, media-rich content that offers real benefits.

As a professional with comprehensive knowledge in your field, this is your chance to shine. If you specialize in higher education facilities construction, chances are you have enough expertise to create a long-form blog post on upgrading multipurpose buildings complete with photos and videos from your own projects and even an infographic. Then you can write related supporting pages to further boost that blog post’s SEO. Less accomplished construction companies just can’t compete with that.

Mobile Optimization is Now a Must

With mobile devices now nearly ubiquitous, it’s essential your site is not merely mobile compatible, but fully mobile optimized. Just spending a little time testing and updating your website’s mobile version can put you ahead of your competition. It should be as good as the desktop version in both appearance and functionality. Make sure your images re-size correctly, videos play smoothly, navigation is clear, and Javascript functions all work. Pay particular attention to your project portfolio.

Voice Search is Worth Your Attention

Not long ago, voice search was largely unknown. Now, some 20 percent of queries on Google are voice searches. Staying ahead of the curve here will help you pull in those voice-searching clients your competitors aren’t optimizing for. To SEO your content for voice search, use natural, conversational sentences and include location-related words. Sentences such as “ABC Construction builds conference hotels in the Denver area” will help your site appear for people asking “Who builds hotels in my area?”

Is Linkbuilding Dead?

linkbuildingLinkbuilding has been an important part of website promotion since the inception of the Internet. As old-school as it might sound, though, with the right approach, it’s just as useful now as it was years ago.

Links Get You Found

The links pointing to your site are still a major ranking factor in most search engine’s algorithms, but the way those algorithms treat links is constantly evolving. A decade ago, you could buy links on any site, no matter how low quality, and those links counted in your favor.

Since Google’s 2012 Penguin update, though, only links on high quality websites help you. So while spammers might consider linkbuilding dead, real businesses can still benefit. The more quality link your site gets, the higher it will rank and the more potential clients will find you when they search.

The links you get should come from well designed, construction-related websites that host truly valuable content. If you specialize in shopping center construction, a link from a commercial property developers’ website will help you, but one from a women’s fashion directory won’t. If you do guest posting, aim for high-ranking, topic-focused blogs, not those that accept articles on anything from anyone.

Building Links Builds Relationships

The method of using a robot to spam your link to every comment section and directory out there is definitely dead. To build valuable links nowadays, you’ll need to invest time in reaching out to other business owners, bloggers, and influencers.

As you do, you’ll not only pick up links to your site, but you’ll also start building long-term relationships with professionals who can further promote your work. If you convince the owner of a blog for hospitality property developers to link to your in-depth post on wellness hotels, they might later decide to quote you or even interview you on the topic. From there, you might collaborate on content or even develop a referral agreement.

A/B Testing is Essential for a Successful Facebook Ads Campaign

a-b testingFacebook ads might be a relatively cheap way to reach your ideal construction clients, but running a campaign is still an investment of time and money. By A/B testing your ads, you’ll get clear data showing you which ads are worth investing more in and which are best deleted.

Running Ads That Meet Your Goals

A/B testing, or split testing, lets you compare the performance of two different versions of an ad. In order to compare, though, you need to decide exactly what kind of performance you’re looking for. What makes an ad the “best” isn’t always the number of click-throughs it gets. Your most-clicked ad might not actually be meeting your business goals.

If you’re running a brand awareness campaign to let your target audience know you’re the most experienced restaurant construction specialist in the area, your goal might be to get as many shares as possible. For an email list building campaign, however, the ad that brings the most sign-ups is the winner, even if it doesn’t get the most clicks overall.

Collecting Valuable Data

A/B testing works best when only one variable of your two Facebook ads is different. This way you’ll know exactly what caused one to outperform the other. You might find the ad with a picture of a finished building gets more clicks than one showing a project in progress. So if you’re comparing two different photos or a photo versus a video, use the same text. If you compare two texts, use the same images.

To collect data on your ads, you’ll need URLs you can tell apart in your reports. Google Analytics UTM tracking parameters allow for advanced tracking, but a link shortener such as bit.ly or tinyurl.com will work for basic tracking.

Testing both ads equally keeps your data accurate. Run one ad for at least three days, then hide it and run the alternate version at the same amount of time on the same days.

Using Twitter Cards the RIGHT Way for Lead Generation

attract leadsTwitter might not be the most popular social media platform, but with more than 300 million users, it still holds a lot of potential for connecting you with new construction clients. By enabling Twitter Cards, you’ll have more space to show your followers you have what they’re looking for.

Make Your Tweets Intriguing

While Twitter Cards let you include a lot more information than the standard 280-character tweet, the default Twitter Card shows only a “View summary” link at the bottom. Because that might be all that shows when your blog readers post or re-tweet your content, your tweets should offer strong motivation to click that link. Just announcing the services you offer won’t cut it.

If your goal is to bring in leads, enabling Twitter Cards on your free lead generation content is a good way to do it. When you share the link, include a compelling comment in the tweet text section.

It might be a clear benefit such as “Save $5000 on your home renovation” or something more curiosity-piquing such as “We were surprised to discover this.” Then use the card’s description section to outline the main benefits your lead magnet offers.

Choose Eye-Catching Images

Images grab attention and express ideas quickly, so they’re great for attracting readers back to your website. The clickable images on Twitter Cards are even more effective.

To get the most out of your images and videos, skip the ordinary pictures of completed buildings and try close-ups of striking architectural elements, quick video tours, highlights compilations, timelapse videos of projects or visually powerful graphics. If you do renovations, use dramatic before and after pictures.

Choose images with a 2:1 ratio and a size of at least 300 to 157 pixels. Use the Twitter Card Validator to make sure your card isn’t grabbing your logo or headshot instead of the image you want. Finally, include a text description both for the search engines and for the visually impaired.

Why Title Quality Can Make or Break Your Blog Success

The first impression your would-be readers get of your blog posts comes from your titles. Settle for bland, ambiguous titles and you’ll struggle to grow your readership. Invest some time into crafting descriptive, attention-grabbing ones, though, and you can win readers who turn into loyal clients.

The Right Kind of Attention

When reading online, people tend to scan, so you only have around three to five seconds to catch your readers’ attention before they’re off to something else. To stop readers in their tracks, a blog post title must convey the topic of the post quickly and clearly.

As a title, “Eco-friendly Home Features” is so vague a reader can’t really tell if the post is relevant to their interests. “Construction Features for a More Energy-Efficient Home,” however, stands out from the crowd by stating exactly what readers stand to gain.

Blandly descriptive blog titles aren’t enough, though. Your titles also need to spark interest. While you can do that by stirring a controversy or offering entertainment, it’s often easiest to promise a benefit. “Trends in Commercial Office Construction” might sound like a nice read, but “Emerging Office Building Trends Tenants are Paying Top Dollar For” is a lot more compelling.

A Wider Audience

Intriguing titles gain more traction on social media, letting you reach whole new audiences. Your target prospects are more likely to share an appealing title than one their followers will scan right over. The same thing goes for blog posts your readers share by email. A boring title is likely to be ignored, but if the title sparks the recipient’s interest, they’ll click no matter who sent it.

Good titles also make it easier for your potential clients to find your blog in the search engines. This isn’t so much about choosing popular keywords as it is about being specific. You’ll have a much better chance of ranking well for a narrowly defined term such as “energy-efficient roofing options” than for a broad term such as “eco-friendly homes.”

Using Emotional Advertising to Attract New Business

emotional advertisingWhen your potential clients are looking for a construction company, facts and data aren’t the only things they consider. How they feel about your company also matters. By appealing to emotion, you can create an immediate connection with new prospects that makes them easier to convert to clients.

Build Positive Associations

Shock and anger might grab our attention in the short term, but ultimately we’re more drawn to things that make us feel good. Showing your prospects the benefits of doing business with you is more likely to win them over than trying to scare them with horror stories about your competition.

If you build hospitals, you can associate your work with feelings of vitality, serenity, and hope. In your advertising, show how your family-friendly public areas evoke a sense of calm or how your flexible design approach allows for future technological advances that give new hope to both patients and staff.

If you specialize in commercial office buildings, aim to inspire feelings of satisfaction and excitement. Talk about how companies love to rent your buildings because their employees are happier and more efficient there.

Reflect Your Audience’s Values

To really connect with your prospects on an emotional level, you need a clear understanding of their values and beliefs. The emotions you evoke in your ads and how you choose to evoke them tell your prospects whether you really “get” them or not.

If you’re targeting start-up owners in need of their first office building and you know they want to be seen as bold and visionary, you might focus your ads on the pride they’ll feel bringing clients to the innovative office your firm built. If you work with property developers primarily interested in financial independence, it makes sense to talk about the satisfaction they’ll get owning an office building high-paying, long-term tenants love.

By appealing to emotions your prospects want to feel, your ads seem less like ads and more like messages from a like-minded group your prospects will be happy to connect with.

Can Vlogging Help Your Construction Business Grow?

vlogIf writing blog posts sounds like a chore, vlogging can give you a more efficient and enjoyable way to get the word out about your construction company. Vlogging, or video blogging, helps you build a stronger connection with your target audience while also reaching new potential clients.

Build Relationships That Attract Warm Leads

The sense of familiarity video fosters is even stronger when those videos come on a consistent schedule. Unlike sporadic videos, a vlog offers continuity that encourages your viewers to keep coming back. You can share ongoing updates on a current building project, develop a series on solutions for common problems or do regular Q&A sessions. You’ll be building relationships as you educate your viewers about the benefits of working with your company.

Before long, they’ll feel like they know you. When they’re ready to start their project, your company will be first on their list because they already see you as someone they’ll enjoy working with and, more importantly, as a trustworthy expert.

Reach a Wider Audience

Because videos are so much easier to digest than blog posts, people love to share them. Better yet, the people they share with are more likely to actually watch a quick video than to read through an entire blog post.

Create a video series on how your company builds distinctive, energy-efficient apartment buildings renters love, and chances are some of your viewers will pass the link on to other residential property developers they know. Not only will you reach new prospects this way, but you’ll also have the benefit of coming recommended by a trusted colleague.

Your videos will let that potential client see your work in action and get a sense of who you are as a person, making them far more likely to remember you than if they’d read a blog post. This is particularly true in construction where video can demonstrate your abilities more clearly and persuasively than words.