Home Inspection SEO Service: Do you Really Need It?

SEO

Home Inspection SEO services, in the recent past, have got some bad reputation. Immediate page-1 rankings & ROI are some of the promises that often fail to manage the expectations of the inspectors.

If you’re thinking about SEO for your HI business, this article will (hopefully!) dispel some myths, wrong perceptions you might have about SEO and also look to give you some genuine insight on how it works.

At the end of this article, you should be in a better position to make a decision if you have the temperament, time and budget to work towards making your website a lead magnet through SEO.

Also, some other questions we’d look to address through this blog are: 

  • Is SEO worth investing money on? 
  • Can SEO get me quality leads? 
  • Is SEO better than other forms of marketing? 
  • When does one break even with SEO effort? 
  • Should I choose SEO or paid ads?

What is Home Inspection SEO Service?

SEO is about getting relevant traffic (for information and service) to your website and looking to convert passive readers into potential leads. The SEO strategy usually revolves around content.

What do I mean by content? 

It can be the blogs you publish, the service pages you write, the infographics or the images you upload. There are other aspects to SEO as well – like, website performance, off-page work, etc. – which we will look at in detail later. 

But in a nutshell, to learn about SEO for home inspection business, you need to know that content is going to play the most important role. 

How does content help in getting leads?

Here’s a look at general/ideal buyer journey when they’re looking for a service/product using a search engine, like Google:

  1. They type in the search query
  2. Google show the most relevant result on top
  3. Users click on one of the pages, visits and consumes the content
  4. Depending on the stage of buying, they might just consume the content and leave – or
  5. Fill out a form on/Call your from the website
  6. Doing multiple follow ups depending on what type of content they consumed
  7. Closing the deal

As I mentioned, this is somewhat of an ideal scenario and rarely plays out this way. But it gives you an idea of the power of SEO and its possibilities.

As you can see, there are quite a few things that need to go right, for this to happen. Like, ranking on the top positions of the first page, ability to track buyer intent, ranking for the right search terms, having lead capture forms on the right pages, etc.

That leads us to the question – what does SEO include and how can you achieve this cycle?

Home Inspection SEO Service: What does it include

We divide into two broad categories – on page SEO and off-page SEO

On-page B2B SEO services

Put simply, on-page SEO is about all of the tweaks we do ON the website to ensure it’s optimized for search engines. That can include creating and optimizing content to rank for the right search terms, optimizing website performance, and ensuring your pages have good conversion points.

Ranking for the right search terms

This is the core of all B2B SEO services – what/how to write content keeping in mind the search intent. The three parameters that decide what content to write are

  1. Search Volume
  2. Difficulty
  3. Search Intent

The first step in writing new content is doing KW research. The idea is to identify topics that you’d have a realistic chance of ranking for on the first page, given the authority of our website, and the competition and search volume for it.

For example, a new website will not be able to rank for a KW that has high competition as the top places are taken by those have built a lot of authority around that search term. Google sees authority in the form of website traffic, time spent on that page, no. of other relevant websites sending links to this one, etc.

So, the idea is to go after KWs we can possibly rank for while ensuring they have enough search volume.

KW research for B2B SEO

On-page technical SEO

OK, you’ve written a blog based on KW research and packed it with a lot of value. What next? We have to make sure it’s easy for search engines to understand it as well. 

While Google has confirmed there are over 200 ranking factors, some of the key on-page factors include the H Tags, Title Tags. 

H Tags in HTML indicate the different headers on a page, with the most-important one being H1 and going till H6. Think of H tags as sign posts that let search engines know what content to expect.  The Title tag indicates the topic and is usually optimized for a particular KW that the page needs to rank for.

Also read: SEO Myths Debunked by Google’s John Mueller

Off-page SEO services

Search engines also rely on signals outside of the website to determine if a content is a fit for the search results. For example, one main ranking factor is the no. of relevant backlinks to the website. 

When someone mentions your website (by providing a link on their website), it counts as a backlink. An easy way to remember is to think of it as a link sending traffic back to your website or as a ‘vote’ that someone gives in favor of your website.

More the no. of votes, greater the likelihood of search engines improving your rankings for relevant KWs. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that higher ranks are directly related to the no. of relevant backlinks.

And…it’s not only about backlinks. 

Another example of an off-page tactic is effective use of social channels. Being active in communities related to your domain, leveraging your personal profiles, PR can all help with building authority.

Both on-page and off-page tactics are crucial to SEO success.

Let’s Talk SEO ROI

Any marketing effort needs to measure ROI. And, with SEO this gets tricky. I’ll try to capture SEO ROI in the form of some question and answers:

Can one expect immediate positive ROI from SEO Service?

Yes and No. If the website is a well-established one with a lot of authority (read backlinks and ranking content pieces), SEO ROI can be scaled quicker. If it’s a relatively new website or a one with negligible traffic or authority, then it’s going to take longer.

Goals need to be set depending on starting point – usually it takes a few months to start seeing the positive effects of SEO on a website. For the initial months, I’d recommend, you should follow these KPIs: 

  • increasing rankings for targeted KWs 
  • doing technical audits and fixing on-page elements 
  • starting to acquire backlinks, and 
  • creating new content.

How can I know if the SEO strategy is working for my home inspection business?

Ideally, if you don’t see any positive movement by the end of the third month then there’s a problem. Keep a track of all KWs you want to rank for and monitor their movement daily/weekly.

Once you hit the first page, you should start seeing traffic come through. 

The next step would be to assign a dollar value to every lead that comes through (depending on what stage of the buyer journey they’re in). 

Over a period of time, as the number of leads increase, you should start seeing cost per lead come down significantly. 

Summary: 

  1. Your initial KPIs should not be leads
  2. SEO is long-term play but periodic performance checks are need to ensure it’s on the right track
  3. Ideally, you should start seeing positive KW movement within a few months

What other factors affect ROI?

SEO is only about the first half of the cycle – the generation of a lead. They key to converting a potential lead into a deal is acting swiftly. I cannot stress this enough.

When someone fills out a form on your website, you’d want to reach out to them ASAP because they’re also filling out forms on your competitor’s sites. 

The first one to reach out usually has a big advantage. Also, multiple follow ups might be required depending on your sales cycle. 

Remember that not all will want to fill out a form. You should always periodically reach out to those who have engaged with you on the website, or may be downloaded a resource. It’s easier to convert a lead that knows your brand (or a ‘warm’ lead) as opposed to a cold one.

When SEO can fail 

SEO failure does not happen overnight. Also, before going down the SEO route, you will need to think if you’re ready to invest the necessary time/effort/money into this. 

You will also need to define success and failure to the SEO specialist and review performance periodically.  The key is to come to an understanding and align on outcome expectations.

As a business owner, you need not be hands on any SEO activity but paying special attention to these will help decide better:

  1. KW research approach taken by the SEO specialist 
  2. Periodic improvement in rankings, website performance and traffic

Local SEO or targeting national-level KWs?

Another thing to keep in mind or to ask your SEO person is if they’re going to go after local KWs to rank for or the national-level ones.

Home inspection services only involved Local SEO. If you’re a multi-inspector firm with presence across the country, then it makes sense to take the national SEO approach.

Think from the shoes of a consumer. Would you want to hire an inspector from across the country or the one with a good reputation who lives next street?

You will need to determine the best approach depending on the goal.

  • Where do you want your customers from?
  • Do you want to first consolidate your authority locally before venturing to other states?

On the other side, national-level KWs are those that have a higher difficulty to rank for but target audience from across the country. Take these KWs for example:

Detroit home inspector – local

Virtual CFO services near me – local

software development company – national

The first two KWs are service + location, meaning local ones, while the third is more broad and targets a much bigger audience.

But keep in mind that these broad KWs can still trigger a local map pack in the search result. A map pack appears above the organic search result and lists out the top companies near your area providing that service.

KW research and SERP

Also read: ‘Business Doesn’t Exist’ Option Added to Business Redressal Complaint Form

Questions to Ask Your SEO Service Provider

If you’re in the process of getting an SEO specialist or an agency, here are some questions you might want to ask them before signing up:

  1. Have you worked with other organizations from the same industry? What is the KW research approach?
  2. Given the industry and state of the website, when do you think we can start tracking leads?
  3. What’s the general Keyword Difficulty for KWs related to our domain?
  4. Do you think we can support our initial SEO efforts with an ad campaign?
  5. Will you be doing an SEO audit before starting any on-page activities?
  6. Do you provide traffic or lead projections?
  7. What are the initial set of metrics we will need to keep track of?
  8. What off-page SEO work will you be doing?
  9. What are the three biggest problems you see with the website now?
  10. What other services do they offer apart from SEO, like newsletters, web design?

Final thoughts

Investing in SEO should be done with the intention of positioning your brand as an authority in your industry. The leads that come through SEO are the favorable byproducts of the process. 

When you build authority through content, backlinks – the leads come through automatically. 

Data suggests there’s plenty of opportunity to tap into SEO strategy in 2022. 

A recent SEMrush report mentioned that 78% of businesses that saw success in content marketing had a documented content marketing strategy. And, over 47% companies are planning to grow their content team in 2022. 

I’ll leave you with some final thoughts about B2B SEO which I hope will help you decide if you need an SEO specialist:

  • Long-term play with SEO can yield amazing results not just in the form of leads but will position your brand as a thought leader and an authority. 
  • The KPI to track SEO performance for the first few months should be overall growth in rankings/ traffic and not leads
  • Once enough momentum is built, then it’s matter of sustaining the rankings/traffic and lead flow
  • Look for opportunities to integrate elements of online marketing in your offline strategy. For example, you may ask your clients to fill out a Google Review when the engagement goes beyond a certain amount of time. This really helps with SEO.
  • SEO is simple to understand but difficult to implement
  • SEO can provide high quality leads, is directly related to the quality of content
  • The sooner you start, the better it is. Think of compound interest and how the returns are function of time

I do hope this blog on B2B SEO will help you decide better. If you liked the perspectives I shared or had any questions, please leave a comment below. You can learn more about our home inspection SEO services here.

Cheers!

Sriram

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