Capitalizing on Local Search
This article is a continuation of Forthea’s deep dive into home builder website marketing. We previously covered what defines the best home builder websites. The Forthea team will explore some tips and tricks in SEO for home builders. Specifically, this content speaks to the importance of local search in new home advertising.
Recently, a study from web analytics giant ComScore suggested that almost half of all online searches are local. Think about the billions of searches each year and how many of those have local intent. Local searches offer opportunities for builders investing in new home advertising to break out of the 10 blue links shown in the screen capture below.
Note a few differences above in a local search for “Houston custom home builders”. The map and pins shown above are unique elements of the search results. We are delighted that one of our custom home builder clients is a positive example here. Let’s take a look at what you need to do to capitalize on local search for new home advertising.
1. Make sure your website appears clean to users and search engines
When engaging in new home advertising, there are a number of essential tasks to perform. For instance, the foundation and construction of your labor must be sound. If a real estate broker walks into your home and sees crooked walls and can’t open doors, there won’t be many follow up visitors. By the same token, if your website is poorly coded and does not make effective use of internal site links, Google won’t be inclined to rank your site very highly. The ability to be crawled and indexed is a crucial first step for website marketing. The next point looks specifically at local search.
2. One consistent business address must be clearly published site-wide
When optimizing for local search, your first step is to get listed in Google, Bing and Yahoo’s local map listings and build local citations. Make sure you use your physical address and primary contact information consistently across the internet. Search engines extract your address information and compare it to data found in other local listings. If a Houston home builder publishes an 800 toll free number on their website, a 713 area code office number on their business card, and an 832 area code cell phone number on a Facebook page, how can search engines or buyers know which is accurate? Consistency of address and contact information will help build trust of the information and ensure thatsearch engines attribute the data and popularity of the address to your website and home builder content.
3. Be active on social networks
Above we briefly mentioned the idea of having social media pages as points of contact, or “touch points” with new home buyers. An active social media presence is crucial to an often overlooked element of local search – your customers.
Connecting with local business leaders and consumer influencers holds the potential to build trust and rapport with home buyers in your area. Perhaps the most prominent benefits are the ability to encourage existing customers to evangelize your brand and to generate new prospects from a large and diverse user base.