These roofing company sites made it to the first position of the map’s “7-Pack”, the Winner’s Circle of a local search return page on Google, where a favored 7 get free placement below the ads of the paying customers that lead the page.
The search was “roofing companies in [city, state abbreviation]” and the winners are
- White Castle Roofing for the Omaha, NE, search
- Mr. Roofer & Remodeling of Atlanta for the Atlanta, GA, search
- Triple P Roofing for the Shreveport, LA, search
- Four Seasons Roof & Remodel Services for the Everett, WA, search
- Liberty Roofing of Utah for the Provo, UT, search
A round of applause, please.
How’d they do it? Let’s see what we can learn, based on the insights of search engine optimization (SEO) experts as to how Google operates.
1. Get Yourself a Google+ Page
A must have—nobody gets into the 7-pack without a page on Google’s own version of Yelp and Facebook. Here’s a good example: White Castle Roofing put some serious effort into building out its Google+ page with videos, photos, posts and reviews. White Castle had the highest average reviews rating among the 7 featured by Google, which may have boosted its chances, too.
2. Tend Your Listings on Directory Sites
Google the names of these top-ranked roofing companies and you’ll see a pile of directory/review sites where they are listed: BBB.com, Yelp.com, Superpages.com, Houzz.com, Kudzu.com, as well as roofing manufacturer directories of qualified installers (like this GAF page for Mr. Roofer of Atlanta). You should also see consistent business names, addresses and phone numbers across the sites for each company. That’s how search engines like it, reputable sites confirming the facts about your business. So update and standardize your listings on directories.
3. Mind the Little Details on Your Website
Your website developer ought to know all about the “ranking factors” that experts believe Google checks to grade your site, including the many technical details of how your site is structured and performs. The website of Triple P Roofing downloads very fast (in 641 milliseconds, according to Pingdom.com) and it has a simple structure that’s easy for search engine robots to navigate (see the red bar: “About: “Locations”, “Services”, etc.). It effectively uses a “title tag” (see it at the top of your web browser) –“Triple P Roofing, LLC/ Shreveport/Bossier City/ Hot Springs/ Roofing Contractors/ Roof Repair/ Insurance Restoration”—that lists important keywords to help Google easily peg the site for location and services.
4. Create Some Valuable Content on Your Site
Google assesses the quality and freshness of the material on your site. That argues for a regularly updated blog—White Castle publishes an active blog with genuinely interesting posts, for instance about the company using drones or giving away a free roof to a needy person. Triple P’s Roofing 101 articles themselves rank for some search terms (like “roof insurance claim Shreveport LA”).
In general, your site should be engaging enough to make visitors stick around and give it some time. That’s because your “bounce rate”, the number of visitors who take one look at your site and head right back to Google, may count against you. For instance, Four Seasons Roof & Remodel Services invested in a fun, photo-realistic home page with lots of little details to look at and click.
5. Be Mobile Friendly
When it comes to searches done on mobile phones, Google has been very vocal that it will favor the sites that look good on a mobile screen. At a minimum, that means shrink to fit the screen (instead of running off it) but ideally means adjust itself to present an easy to view, made for mobile appearance. Try it out with the Liberty Roofing of Utah site, viewed on a desktop computer and mobile phone. Learn more about getting friendly with mobile.
We looked at roofing company websites to make our points here, but these tips aren’t really just for roofers. They will certainly be of help to any category of local service business.