How to Identify Website Optimization Opportunities and Act on Them

website optimization opportunitiesWith some small SEO improvements, your website could be bringing you even more construction clients than it is now. Taking a closer look at how your site performs will help you spot opportunities for improvement and decide which ones are worth your time.

Audit Your Site

The easiest way to zero in on areas that need improvement is by running your site through one of the many free or paid website SEO auditing tools online. Google’s URL Inspection Tool can show you coding errors that could prevent your site from ranking well or even from being indexed at all. Use Google’s Pagespeed Insights to make sure the main components on your most important pages, such as your home page, portfolio, and email sign-up pages, load within three seconds.

Check that your content is organized logically and focuses on the right keywords. If you’re targeting commercial remodeling clients, but your content doesn’t include many of the phrases those clients might search for, you have a problem. To get an idea of your Google ranking, sign out of your Google account and search for targeted phrases you hope to rank for.

Prioritize Your Improvements

Some improvements, such as correcting major coding issues, might require help from a website designer, but there’s still a lot you can do on your own. If you find your content isn’t well SEOd, you might want to re-write some of it. In particular, optimize your titles and subheadings. “Tips for Adding Storage to Your Office Building” is better than a clever, but vague title. Organize your content into SEO-friendly “silos” or categories and subcategories. For example, your blog posts about upgrading office building storage, meeting rooms, lighting, and so on can all be linked to from the main category of office building remodeling.

If the images in your project gallery load slowly, compressing them into smaller files can help speed things up. Also consider using a content delivery network (CDN), such as CloudFlare, for faster content delivery.

4 Benefits of Using a Website Heat Map

website engagementA website heat map is one of the most effective tools for using your visitors’ actions to better understand what they’re looking for in a construction firm. By presenting data in a simple, visual way, heat maps show you what’s attracting your would-be clients.

  1. Learn what grabs their attention – Mouse-movement heat maps, also called hover or attention maps, tell you about what catches your visitors’ eye when they first arrive. If they go back and forth between two links, you might need to reword those links for clarity. If they tend to wander around the page, consider a redesign to help them find what they want fast before they give up.
  2. See where their true interests lie – Click maps shows you where your visitors ultimately decide to go, helping you better understand their goals. If far more visitors click your “renovations” link than your “new construction” link, maybe it’s worth re-targeting your site for renovations clients. If you want visitors to check out your portfolio first, but they tend to head for your community involvement links, you’ll know to make your portfolio link more prominent.
  3. Assess their attention spans – With a scroll map, you can see how far visitors scroll down different webpages. If they’re scrolling to the end of your blog posts on budgeting residential property development projects, but barely reading any of your industry news posts, that tells you about their interests. If they’re not making it past a few paragraphs on any page, why? Do you need more engaging introductions, better formatting, catchier subtitles or more images?
  4. Target your most valuable audience – Heat maps show you which behavior patterns convert best so you can optimize your site for visitors who fit that profile. Maybe the visitors who click over to your blog first and read several posts to the end are the ones who typically become clients. On the other hand, maybe it’s the ones who spend a little time on your portfolio, then head straight for your contact page.

3 SEO Myths to Ditch Today

SEO factsImproving your website’s search engine rankings takes focused, on-going effort, so the last thing you should do is waste your energy following misguided beliefs. Get clear on today’s common SEO myths and you can get on with what actually matters.

Myth 1. Keywords Aren’t Important

Over-using keywords is definitely a thing of the past, but keywords still affect your ranking. Nowadays, placement and context matter more than frequency. In a blog post about luxury multi-family housing, use variations of that term in your title tag, one or two headers, article body, and one link’s anchor text, but also include related terms such as “in-unit amenities” and “shared spaces.” Most likely, those terms will show up naturally as you write. Take time for keyword research, too. It helps you spot topics your audience wants to learn about.

Myth 2. Link-building is Dead

It’s true submitting your articles and links to general directories won’t help much, but backlinks from high-quality websites are as valuable as ever. If you specialize in office building construction, links from authoritative sites on commercial property investment, facilities managements, and related topics tell the search engines you’re an authority in your field.

To get backlinks like this, reach out to website owners in non-competing businesses that share your audience. If you create a useful resource, such as a free video course, drop a line to website owners letting them know you have something that might benefit their readers. Ask the owners of popular blogs if they accept guest posts.

Myth 3. Social Media Won’t Help Your SEO

Search engines pay little attention to backlinks from social media, but social media can help you get backlinks that do matter. Posting your work and interacting with your ideal prospects gets you in front of a wider audience. There’s a good chance some of those readers will find your work valuable enough to link to from their own sites, and it’s those links that boost your search engine ranking.

 

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 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.

Website Redesign or Refresh? …When to Go All in

website redesignIf your website isn’t representing your construction company well or pulling in leads effectively, it’s time to change things up. While there are situations in which a simple update is enough, other times you’ll get better results from a full redesign.

When a Redesign is Worth it

A complete website redesign involves updating both the look of the site and its underlying information architecture. You’ll get a site that’s more attractive to your target audience and easier for them to understand and use.

If you started as a small home renovation company, but you’ve been expanding into multifamily housing, a redesign can help you better target your new ideal clients.

Consider a complete redesign if your site shows any of these symptoms:

  • It looks outdated – Design trends are constantly changing and a website that looks five years out of date can give your visitors the impression your whole company is behind the times.
  • It’s not easy to use – If your site is confusing and difficult to navigate, isn’t usable on mobile devices or takes more than two seconds to load, it’s turning away potential prospects and should be reworked.
  • It’s not working for you – A site that isn’t coordinated with your current business goals, ranks poorly in the search engines or fails to bring new leads is a good candidate for a redesign.

When to Stick with an Update

If your site works correctly on both desktop and mobile and fits with your current business goals, consider a basic design refresh. Maybe you’ve changed your visual branding and need the colors, fonts, and images on your site updated to reflect that.

Maybe you could use a new functionality or two. For example, you might add a feed that displays photos of your construction work your clients have posted on Facebook or Instagram using your company’s hashtag. To gather more leads, you might have some of your best content “gated” to require readers to supply an email address for access.

3 Tips To Attract New Construction Business Through Your Website

attract visitors to websiteActively hunting down new leads is all part of running a construction firm, but getting warm leads to come to you on their own will make your job a lot easier. By fine-tuning your website to attract new construction business, you can grow your firm without adding to your marketing workload.

  1. Direct Your Traffic – Design your site to guide visitors toward giving you their contact information. Make it easy for them to find essential information, such as your services, portfolio, and the market sectors you specialize in. For each page, consider what your visitor will want to know next and make sure that information and your contact information are easy to find. If you’re using a lead magnet, such as a white paper or helpful checklist, to attract new construction business, highlight that content on your homepage, in your sidebar, and at the end of your blog posts.
  2. Offer Live Chat – Live chat isn’t just for retail websites. Given all the complexities involved in planning a construction project, your visitors are bound to have questions. If they can’t get answers fast, they might just take the easy route of clicking over to your competitor’s site rather than calling you to ask. With a live chat window, your visitor can get their question answered quickly and you’ll have the valuable opportunity to engage them in a conversation and set up a phone meeting.
  3. Introduce Yourself Through Video – Especially if you target business people, such as property developers, some of your visitors will be short on time and not in the mood to read through a bunch of text. A short introductory video helps you reel them in and hold their attention while you give them an overview of what you do and how you stand out from the competition. Video also gives your visitor a chance to hear and see you “in person,” which helps break the ice and encourage them to give you a call.

 

SEO In 2018 – What You Need To Know

SEO in 2018With search engine algorithms and consumers’ search habits continuously evolving, staying on top of the trends is essential for making sure your would-be clients can find you online. For construction companies, answering questions is still among the most effective SEO strategies, but the methods have changed.

Optimize for SERP Features

Snagging the first position in the search engine results is no longer enough to get your firm’s name noticed. These days, Google’s SERP features such as featured snippets (often called “answer boxes”), local packs, and knowledge panels can grab a searcher’s attention before that searcher even sees your listing. Optimizing your site especially for these features is one of the most effective SEO strategies you can invest your time in.

For instance, to show up in more featured snippets, research the questions your audience asks and answer them in your website content. If hotel construction is your specialty and your target clients frequently ask about sustainable construction, your content might provide answers such as “Sustainable hotel construction is…” and “The benefits of sustainable hotel construction are…”

Then use a website analytics tool that provides information on how well your site is performing for these features.

Get Ready for Voice Search

A full 20 percent of Google searches are now voice search, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, so this isn’t something you can afford to ignore.

To help your potential clients find you, use more conversational language in your content. Here again, question phrases such as “How do I…” and “Who can…” tend to dominate. While your target client might type “multi-family residential construction Denver” on their laptop, they’re more likely to ask their PDA, “Which construction firms build multi-family homes in Denver?”

Just as importantly, almost of quarter of voice searches are for local information. You can get found for more of these by mentioning the cities and neighborhoods where you build, as well as landmarks and well-known public buildings and businesses in these areas.

To learn more effective SEO strategies for bringing in construction leads, contact us at Construction Monitor.

5 Signs It’s Time For A Website Overhaul

website overhaulYour website is the face of your company and should present you as a modern construction firm that’s easy to work with. If your site is dated, slow, confusing or just not getting results, it’s probably time for a website upgrade.

  1. Your site isn’t mobile responsive – Your prospects are busy professionals who do a lot of their business on the go from their smartphones. To reach those prospects, you need a version of your site that looks sharp and is easy to navigate on mobile devices.
  2. Your site is hard to navigate – If your site has grown over the years with no design updates, chances are it’s become complex enough for your visitors to get lost. Confused visitors are likely to click away. Up-to-date navigation helps your visitors quickly find what they want, such as your contact form or relevant sections of your work portfolio.
  3. Your site loads slowly – If your site takes more than three seconds to load, it’s probably turning visitors away. With today’s high internet speeds, fast-loading sites have become the norm. A delay can make your visitor assume your site is down and click away. With a website upgrade, you’ll get cleaner code, optimized images, and other improvements that speed things up.
  4. Your bounce rate is high – Your “bounce rate” is the percentage of visitors who leave after looking at just one page. You can find it using an analytics program such as Google Analytics or Piwik. For a website offering a service, a rate of around 10 to 30 percent is reasonable. Adding useful, engaging content can bring down your bounce rate.
  5. Your design is outdated – Just like fashion, website design trends change with time. If your site looks like it hasn’t been touched in 10 years, your prospects are liable to wonder what else you haven’t been keeping current on. A re-design will give you a fresh, modern site that you shows your firm keeps up with the times.

For more ideas on how a website upgrade can help you win over more clients, contact us at Construction Monitor.