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SEO Checklist for Home Builder Marketing: Part 1

4 min read

 

In this first article, you’ll learn four crucial SEO checklist techniques for a successful builder site.

 

Consistently ranking on the first page on the search engine results page (SERP) is not easy. It takes time, accountability and effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Even though being visible and gaining traffic to your builder site is perceived as a constant challenge, there are some easy techniques in this SEO checklist which anyone can follow to increase their success.

 

In this part one, let me share with you the first steps of an SEO checklist specific to home builders:

 

1. Make your website mobile compatible

 

The world is quickly turning away from traditional desktop computers and relying on their smart phones and tablets to find products and services online. In fact, Google is now taking into account page speed for all mobile-friendly sites as a ranking factor in the SERP. It’s not just a ranking factor, ‘websites that are mobile-friendly’ is number 2 on the list of top 10 Google Ranking Factors of 2019. This is not something you can ignore.

 

So, if your site has large file sizes, big galleries or other uncompressed files, then you need to reevaluate your content.

 

Here are some proven techniques to help speed up your site for mobile users:

 

  • Resize or compress all images on your site by using jpeg and save for web file format.
  • Add alt text to all images and videos. The definition of an alt text is a clear and simple description of what the picture or media file represents. An example alt text for an elevation of a home would be “front view of a home in the suburbs of the city.”
  • Remove all unnecessary elements which drain your page loading time such as redirects and java script tags or parsing.
  • Remember: the less complex your mobile site is, the quicker the load time will be. So, keep it simple across the board for optimal speed and usability.

 

2. Implement website security using HTTPS

 

It’s only been about 5 years since Google confirmed that secured websites with HTTPS are a ranking factor. People caught on to this trend and now more than half of all websites are using HTTPS as a form of their security. Another fact you should know is that a secured site using HTTPS is actually the number 1 factor of the top 10 Google Ranking Factors of 2019.

 

You should consider implementing the HTTPS encryption as an extension of your website protocol for not only Google’s influence, but also for your own protection.

 

Here’s a brief step by step guide on how to have a more secure site:

 

  • Determine if your site has HTTPS by testing it using SSL Checker, Jit Bit or
  • If your website does not have HTTPS, contact your website hosting providers and ask about their services to provide HTTPS security immediately to your site.
  • If your hosting provider does not have this service, reach out for a third-party company to help with this transition to a safer and more secure hosting platform.

 

3. Backlinks: Remove any the toxic links and gain higher authority ones

 

If you’re new to SEO, then you need to know about backlinks. Backlinks are what tells Google and other search engines that your content is connected to other website content found on the Internet. In fact, quality backlinks land in the top 10 Google Ranking Factors of 2019. Backlinks are from quality third-party sites are integral to your SEO success.

 

It’s imperative to understand that not everything online is quality. In other words, it’s important to only gain backlinks from trusted sites, because backlinks from lower quality sites will reduce your domain authority.

 

Here’s how to prioritize quality backlinking:

 

  • Run your website through a tool like SEMrush or Link Explorer to determine the quality of each of your backlinks.
  • Unlink the toxic backlinks altogether or replace them with more trusted sources.
  • Disavow all “bad” backlinking in the Google Search Console.
  • Continue to grow your quality backlinks by campaigning, syndication or other effective methods.
  • Gain relevant backlinks to your website by linking your content to your social media.
  • Consider hiring an SEO agency to assist you.

 

4. Take care of all broken links to your site

 

We have all ran across information we found on the Internet that is no longer available. For instance, this is when a 404 error page pops up instead of the desired material you were looking for. These 404 pages are broken links and can damage your website’s user experience, increase your bounce rates and hurt the relevance of the search inquiry.

 

Now that you know there could be broken links associated with your builder site, here’s how to remove them:

 

  • Use a free tool such as Broken Link Checker or Google Analytics to locate which links may be broken.
  • Generate a report and track your improvements as you fix these. The last thing you want is to get started with this process and forget which links are broken or have been fixed as you work on your site.
  • Redirect each one of your broken links in your content management system (CMS) to be 301 Moved Permanently. This will resolve the problem.
  • Remember: if you don’t have any time to analyze your website to this extent, a third-party marketing or web development firm will be more than happy to assist you in making improvements for a higher quality website. Be sure to properly vet such a resource to ensure they are highly experienced and trusted in your field.

 

These initial SEO steps are only part one of a lengthier SEO checklist. I plan on covering more items on the checklist in part two of this series. Before I dive into part two, do you have any specific questions on checklist items 1-4? Comment your questions below. I would be happy to clarify any questions or concerns you have.

 

For more articles like this one, check out the following for techniques on improving your builder site:

 

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About Terry Zelen

Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications

Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.

He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.