What Home Remodeling Contractors Should Know About SEO and Local SEO

by | Apr 4, 2024


Carl Willis discusses the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and local SEO for home remodeling contractors. Jason Crabtree, the Director of SEO for a remodeling marketing team, explains the difference between traditional SEO and local SEO, emphasizing the significance of showing up well in both. Traditional SEO focuses on website content and links, while local SEO emphasizes factors like proximity to the city center, reviews, and engagement. Crabtree advises businesses to focus on the map listing for local search visibility and stresses the importance of relevant content, reviews, consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) listings, and active social media presence. He also mentions the role of AI in SEO research and suggests best practices for businesses, including acquiring new reviews regularly and optimizing website performance.


(00:00) hey welcome to the digital remodeler podcast today joining me is Jason Crabtree director of search engine optimization for remodeling marketing team Jason is great to have you today thanks Kyle glad to be here I’m excited excellent so our topic today is we’re going to look at SEO and local SEO and in years past people would just say I want you to do SEO and what they meant was I want to be visible on the search engines but the world of search has changed drastically and so we’re going to really dive in today to
(00:38) the difference between those two things things you need to be considering things you need to be paying attention to and really the work that needs to be done to show up well in regular SEO and local SEO so Jason I’ll let you take it from here sure so that was a great intro and and um it’s uh we could probably do this interview again in six months and the formula will change the good thing about SEO is it never gets boring um so when we say uh search results Pages typically we’re talking about Google but know that Yahoo and Bing and
(01:18) ask tons of other search engines uh they all have search results they’re all trying to display the the results that the consumer was looking for and they just have similar but different ways going about getting that information so what do you want to what do you want to talk about first like how to do it or what yeah let’s let’s actually kind of back up and maybe look at it from a 30 000 foot view because I I think what most people think search they just think Google like this big generic broad stroke paintbrush what what really when
(01:54) we talk about a Google search what are the different types of searches that we actually could be talking about within the Google environment so a good question there’s uh um different segments of a search engine the results page and sometimes they show a map most of the time they do but sometimes they double so we’ve got the paid ads at the top um we’ve got the uh the map below that and then the organic section below that and when you talk SEO um you’re typically talking about the uh the map and the the organic section
(02:34) local SEO primarily being the map okay excellent now do those two things work simultaneously in conjunction so if I’m if I’m ranking uh number one on the map am I also going to rank number one on the the organic side um most of the time no um but it’s it can happen but it’s it’s not very common so usually um the the uh the sites that are ranking in the organic section um that’s where you’re going to see your big directory sites like Angie’s List or or yes I mean Yelp or uh um you know another another directory
(03:18) yellowpages.com things like that tend to show up in the organic section but not in the map so when you’re when you’re ranking in the organic section you’re going against some bigger players versus ranking in the map here you’re going against pretty much everybody local okay excellent so so at what place you know should a business owner be thinking about you know what what’s their priority should they be focused on the map should they be focused on that traditional organic ranking what what’s really where
(03:55) should their focus be um most of the time it’s going to be the map uh depends on the business if you’re an e-commerce business that does uh does business Nationwide then you’re pretty much just focused on the organic section um but if you’re a local business that wants to uh connect with local consumers you’re probably going to spend most of your time focused on the map okay excellent and so let’s talk about just from a a you know search engine optimization standpoint what are some of
(04:29) the variables that are different between the two what are what are things that we’re going to do on a local search optimization process that’s going to be different from what we would do on that National optimization process so with the with the uh I’ll start with the national because that’s kind of kind of the the more traditional way that people thought about search engine optimization but the uh the organic National section um tends to be driven by your content on your website and the links that point to
(05:08) your website so everybody can build a website that says this is who we are this is what we do Google wants to confirm that so they’re going to look and see does anybody else think this is who you are and what you do are there any links from other sites that are pointing to your website are there any mentions of your business elsewhere that uh that talk about your website so those are the kind of the the things that really drive the organic section content and links when you get into the map excuse me when
(05:40) you get into the map you uh you start to see some some different uh uh like proximity to the city center really matters the map is the map right if I’m in Denver I’m not likely going to show up in a New Jersey search and the map so the the proximity to the city center is a factor um they do look at your uh traditional SEO like the on-page content and the links um but they’re also looking at your reviews they’re looking at your engagement um are are people leaving reviews how frequently and drilling down there’s
(06:21) some some even little tips and tricks that you can do to optimize reviews then there’s other things like um are you uploading photos and videos are you giving consumers something that will help them make a decision that’s that’s what Google’s looking for so so if I’m hearing you correctly the traditional search deals more with the website but the local search is actually going to deal more with that Map listing so as a business owner you have to be thinking about both am I hearing that correctly
(06:53) that’s right yep and there will be some variations uh of keywords where they just won’t show a map for uh for insurance for example um life insurance doesn’t tend to show a map so that’s one of your keywords and you’re an insurance guy um you probably want to make sure that you’re targeting organic for for that keyword okay excellent yeah see that’s is a I think a little bit of a mental shift for a lot of business owners because they’re always thinking about their website my website my website my
(07:27) website but really uh in local search uh you’re seeing more of that that Map listing that that Google business profile uh starting to take the lead would you agree with that a lot and and if uh consumers are looking on a smartphone that’s pretty much what’s above the fold you know you have to scroll down to see any organic it’s the map’s going to dominate that search result page okay so along those lines you know voice search is a a big thing happening today too now is that based off of the website is that based off of
(08:02) that local search how does that which one is most important to get a good you know uh uh rankings on those voice searches for the most part um it’s going to be based on the map so if um if you’re if you’re using a Google smart speaker to do your search they’re going to serve up the results that are in that top three the three pack of the map if you’re using Alexa they’re going to use a directory and a map but it’s just uh they’re they’re pulling from a different Source but it’s all map based
(08:38) okay excellent so you you brought up an interesting uh Dynamic that the the map rankings oftentimes are really based on on distance from City Center so so what happens if you’re not so lucky to be in the center of the city how do you how do you make that work you’ve got to appear to be relevant to that location so relevance is a thing that used to matter a whole lot with SEO now it’s more about Authority but in this case you want to be relevant to that City Center so some of the things you can do is publish
(09:14) photos that are taken at the city center so that metadata on the back end in pripset latitude longitude into the photo so Google index is that it’s part of your business profile and it is taken at this part of the map so that’s one way to do it another way would be to get reviews that mention uh the city if you’re in a neighboring community you want to rank next door get reviews that mention that City great excellent so you know for years and years and years what we’ve heard is content is King you just need to have a
(09:53) lot of content does that still hold true and and if if so you know what does that look like in today’s world it’s it’s still true um but having content for the sake of having content is is a thing of the past it needs to be relevant content so I’ll use my example of photos again if I’m in uh Wichita and I published a whole bunch of photos of my vacation to Las Vegas it’s not going to help me rank in Wichita it needs to be local themed content does that make sense that makes sense yeah so
(10:35) a couple of other you know those traditional SEO type questions you know used to be uh you know having the right metadata you know do I have the right meta description and The Meta keywords and The Meta title and and H1 tags and ALT text and all those things are those things still important uh meta keywords no almost nobody uses that anymore in website design meta description still matters a little um but you’re limited by characters so you’re not going to jam a bunch of content into your meta description so it
(11:11) helps but out of 200 variables it’s just one small piece of the puzzle excellent and then let’s talk just for for a minute about uh back to the the Google Maps side of uh you know the rankings uh what if you’re a business where you have multiple locations how how should that business owner address uh their local search whereas they may just have one website uh but they’ve got multiple locations is there an easy way for them to get visibility you know in both of those um so yeah you got one website for all
(11:49) of your locations you need an individual um name address phone number so every location needs to have its own phone number needs to have its own uh specific address and the business name is pretty much going to be the same but you want to make sure that you set up pages on your website for each of those locations so if you’ve got a location in Clearwater and one in St Petersburg one in Tampa you want a page on your website for each one of those locations that will help you rank excellent excellent and then you know
(12:26) are there are there any pieces from the the Google business profile uh that can be interconnected with the website uh to to really help that business rank on on both of those fronts um in your yeah absolutely so in your Google business profile you obviously are going to have a link to your website you can have an additional link to the appointment page and then you can do posts in Google um and we our best practices we do one post a week um but we mentioned certain keywords that we want to rank for we mentioned geographies when
(13:13) appropriate um and then all of those have a learn more button that links back to the website yeah excellent and you mentioned keywords so keywords are obviously still important yes typically um you know when somebody does a search they’re they’re going to search using those keywords you want to make sure that you’re an authority on those keywords excellent so let’s let’s dive into that just a little further when you when you say you want to make sure you’re an authority on those keywords
(13:42) how would you go without doing that what are some ways you can show that you’re an authority um one way on your website so a lot of the a lot of the uh I’m going to answer your question by telling you what people do wrong but a lot of times on websites we see people um just have a bullet list of all the services that they offer so when I said earlier um being relevant in isn’t as important as being an authority um that’s what I was talking about you don’t want just a bulleted list you want
(14:15) to expand on a topic and make sure that you’re showing everybody your knowledge on that on that particular topic slash keyword excellent excellent and then it’s still a best practice is is long tail keywords short tail keywords what’s what are we better to go for the long tail keywords majority of the searches are four words or longer that’s just a general search engine data point but four words or longer tends to be the the typical search okay excellent and then of course everybody’s talking about AI so how does
(14:52) AI affect local search and traditional search what’s the the biggest changes you’re seeing right now from a consumer standpoint it’s not not changing things too much from a from a an optimization standpoint um we and a lot of other uh agencies are are using AI to um to do the research we don’t we don’t let AI write our content but we will do the research with AI so you want to make sure that you’ve got authentic content it’s not like scraped from some other website and then you publish it on yours
(15:30) you can get penalized for duplicate content there so let the AI do the research and then have the writers write around that it speeds things up a lot and it gives you ideas that you may not have thought of as a writer yeah excellent and then just you kind of to bring this all back around full circle if you were to give just you know your your top best practices right now for a local business to rank well what are maybe the top three things they should be doing week after week a steady focus on getting new reviews
(16:05) getting reviews from consumers um that mention their services and their geography and consumers can also um upload a photo it’s kind of like an online check-in as you know with social media um you wanna you want to make sure that that you’re getting our best practice and our advice to consumers or to businesses is to try to get one new review every two weeks that’s the goal doesn’t always happen um sometimes you get three sometimes you get none but uh shoot for for one every two weeks um and then make sure that their reviews
(16:49) that are um that are mentioning the things that you want to rank for so customer is happy please mention the service um and then other things that you should do um active posts be active with your social media they’re looking for social signals not only are you telling us that you’re the greatest but consumers are sharing um your content must be valuable so stay active on social media um keep getting links to your site make sure that your name address phone number is consistent in all of your directories
(17:28) and citations um and keep getting new uh citations every chance you get to yeah excellent and and just uh for clarification because uh some of the people watching may not understand what a citation is is that is that when the traffic you know officer pulls you over and and hand you the slip or what’s actually a citation so it’s just a mention of your business um on a web page somewhere so as we know Google bot Bing bot they all crawl and index all the pages the more times they can find you mentioned um the more of an authority they view
(18:05) you as yeah excellent so just wrapping up any any final thoughts you have for for those that are listening today just as we’ve kind of given them this General overview of of local versus traditional search what that looks like yeah I think um website content and website uh uh performance is become a bigger piece of the puzzle so you want to make sure that your pages load quickly you want to make sure that consumers can find what they’re looking for at the top of the page without having to scroll down little things like that that improve the
(18:45) user experience are becoming a bigger and bigger piece of the puzzle so your website plus all of your local engagement I think those are the biggest things that that matter right now excellent well fantastic Jason thanks for uh jumping on today glad to have you here on the podcast and Jason’s going to be a regular contributor to the podcast in the days ahead so be listening uh for future episodes thank you

Skip to content