Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short, is the process we use in online marketing to make a website show up better in Google and other search engines. SEO for roofers is something you’ve probably considered after listening to a pitch at a conference, right? Or you might have heard all sorts of stories from other roofing company owners you know getting hundreds of leads a month from Google. If you’re still a bit skeptical though, I wrote this article to help you out. When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, you’ll be able to spot a bullshitter a mile away once you’re done reading.
I’ve personally managed campaigns generating 200+ quality roof replacement leads per month, so I’m telling you right now it is possible to get insane results. When done right, SEO can be the most powerful tool in your arsenal. Just be careful though. There’s absolutely all sorts of shady people making false promises in the SEO world. If they were roofers, many would have a pellet gun behind the seat of their truck next to their drone and a giant stack of insurance paperwork…
You know what I mean and it gives good roofers everywhere a bad name, just like those shitty $29.99 ‘SEO services’ that make the sales process harder for us. If you can relate, I’ll buy you a beer and we can audit your website for free one day. For now though let us separate fact from fiction in the article below.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to either do roofing SEO right for yourself or help you avoid those shady marketers when you do decide to outsource.
SEO For Roofing Companies A Complete Guide
Your Questions Answered – Click the links below to navigate this article:
- What is Roofing SEO
- How Long Will it Take?
- Generating Leads from SEO
- The Pros and Cons of Roofing SEO
- Digital Marketing for Roofing Companies
- The Case for Hiring an Agency
- Modern SEO Tactics for Local Roofers
- The Right Tools and Processes
- Advanced Roofing SEO Strategies
- Beyond SEO – Converting More Clicks to Customers
Results Driven Roofing SEO For Your Website by Atomic
If you’re reading this and you’d like a free audit of your existing local roofing company website, reach out and schedule a consultation now. If you need a new website, we build them with SEO in mind from the beginning.
What is Roofing SEO?
Roofing SEO is a process similar to what we do for many other companies in the home services industry. It shares commonalities to other SEO niches in the sense that we build pages on a website to target customers looking for the services we provide. There’s a few key points that set roofing apart from other businesses from both an SEO and a business standpoint:
- Roofing is a high-value industry for SEO since closed business can bring tens of thousands of dollars in revenue
- Therefore, it’s also a very highly competitive space that requires the best SEO skills to compete
- Roofing leads are generally local, so your Google Maps ranking adds an extra dimension to the campaign
People in your area are certainly using Google to do their research when that ‘Oh Shit!’ moment happens and they’re scrambling to find an empty bucket to catch water before it hits the living room floor. Roofing SEO is simply the process you use to make sure those people find you and call your roofing company for a quote.
How Long Will it Take?
At this point, answering every single SEO question someone asks with the words ‘it depends‘ is both the right answer 99.9% of the time and also a tired cliche in the SEO community. The truth is no one knows how long it will take to get your first roofing lead from SEO. If you’re going the DIY route, there will be a lot of trial and error. You’ll find yourself spending money and realizing after the fact that there was a cheaper or free way to get the exact same outcome. Trust me, I know! After 5+ years in the SEO industry, I’ve wasted quite a bit learning what works and what doesn’t. That’s the real value of hiring an experienced SEO person. You’ll see faster results than you would otherwise.
It can go faster than this and often does. I just want to make sure you understand this isn’t a magic bullet. SEO is a long-term investment for any roofing company. It’s like your IRA or 401K. Paid search, door knocking, inbound marketing and referrals provide you with a paycheck today. Start those first and reinvest the profits into SEO for future gains.
A great way to get a general idea of your timeline is to audit your local competitors and see how good their SEO game is. The absolute best tool for high level audits is going to be AHREFS. It’s a premium SEO tool that comes with a monthly fee, but they usually offer free trials and that’s probably all you need for a one-time competitor analysis. I’ve never worked with these roofing contractors at all. I just picked a random city as an example for you below:
Generating Leads From Roofing SEO
The very first thing you’ll need is the best roofing business site you can possibly design. Your website is crucial to the whole process. The content and images shown there helps sell to prospects as they consider your roofing business, and compare your website against other roofing contractors. Get this right and they may like your content so much that they don’t even want to shop around anymore.
Roofing Contractor SEO Leads Are Yours Alone
And that’s the real power of SEO for roofing…While paid services often sell a single lead to multiple roofers in your area, these are yours to work alone. They reached out to you directly, making your odds of closing the deal much higher.
The Pros and Cons of SEO for Roofing
- Exclusive connections to local leads
- Long-term access to search engine traffic
- No need to pay Google for search traffic
- Requires upfront investment
- An SEO Campaign takes months or even years to produce the ROI you want
- Shady assholes selling SEO services that don’t work as advertised 🤬
Digital Marketing for Roofing Companies
SEO is just a part of the overall marketing landscape. As I already pointed out, new roofers with limited budgets should stick to other digital marketing options like paid search first. Those with a larger budget and existing customer base can jump right into SEO.
Just be careful to plan your strategy thoroughly, no matter where you start. Digital marketing in general and SEO in particular can turn into a money pit fast if you’re not careful. You’re best off starting with your business goals and using those to shape strategy. Let’s take a look at that below.
Defining Your Goals, Key Performance Indicators, and Timelines
Sit down with your team and list out your business goals for the next 6, 12 and 24 months. This is how you determine where to start off in online marketing. Ask questions like:
- How many leads do we want?
- What’s our goal for closing those leads?
- When do we expect an ROI from our efforts?
- How much can we afford to invest in advertising?
- Is it critical to the business to hit certain ROI milestones?
- What areas around town do we want to work in?
- Is our target audience residential or commercial?
- Do we want residential repair work or not?
- Can we offer free inspections?
- What’s our total cost per sale and average value per customer?
These questions will help you decide on the best way to get started marketing your roofing company. If you do not have a website already, that’s the very first step. You need to ensure people can find you online, even if your primary lead source is door knocking.
If budgets permit, you can immediately jump into SEO, paid search, paid social, remarketing, and email/LinkedIn outreach. For the roofing business that’s just starting out, it may be best to stick to paid search and outreach. However, the problem you’re going to run into is that it’s almost impossible to be good, let alone great, at all of these marketing skills at once.
When it comes to online roofing marketing strategies, everything changes on a 6-12 month time-frame. What worked in paid search last year is banned due to privacy concerns today. Staying ahead of all this in every discipline can overwhelm even the best internal marketing manager your company can hire. This makes a strong case for having an entire team of digital experts at your disposal.
The Case for Hiring an Agency to Manage Roofing SEO
Copper flashing, slate, cedar and solar are some of those specialty skills that set the best roofing companies apart. In each case, your team needs specialty training and tools to do the job right. With digital marketing, the same applies. Many people working in digital want to be good at everything, but there’s a good reason few actually pull it off! And when you’re looking to hire an internal marketing manager, those few are the people able to command salaries you don’t even want to consider. They’re going to be working for Fortune 500 brands and there’s always the chance someone like that will start their own agency. For a very small fraction of the cost of salary and benefits for even a mid-level marketer, you can hire an entire team with people that are complete badasses in their respective disciplines. With an agency like Atomic, you take advantage of collective knowledge and a team that’s had the unique opportunity to look at data from multiple roofing SEO campaigns over years of time.
Click on the image above to learn more about how we can help you make your business become what you’ve always dreamed it could be.
If you’re still considering your options, here’s 3 more points to consider:
Nail Pops and Negative SEO – Keeping Your Website Safe
Just like a low-budget ‘roof-over’ can have a homeowner spending way more than they should to get the job done right the first time, workmanship and quality is equally important for your roofing SEO campaign.
While negative SEO – competitors intentionally pointing bad SEO work to your website – is increasingly rare, it’s one of the many risks you face as a local roofing business. A quality SEO manager will use tracking tools to keep an eye out for these risks.
If you hire someone to do SEO work for you and they don’t understand important things like backlink ratios and the proper use of on-page ranking signals, it can be just as bad for me to go behind them and fix it as it would be for you to correct a fly-by-night storm-chaser’s shitty work. Keep your website safe by working with an agency that has access to multiple premium SEO tools. It’s crucial to have the full picture of what’s going on with your website traffic 24/7.
Don’t Be Tempted to Consider Discount SEO Company Services
It’s not uncommon for a roofer to do a deep dive into their own SEO in the slow season. Many will discover link re-sellers and discount SEO services that some SEO agencies mark up and resell. The problem with these services is that they’re designed to be used by an expert at roofing SEO and can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
In general, buying links is against Google’s guidelines, so you run the risk of either a manual penalty where a Google employee inspects your site and flags it as spam, or an ‘algorithmic penalty’ that’s triggered by automation. Either way, here’s the results:
The storm chasers of Digital Media…
While those companies that sell SEO services to agencies aren’t all bad, there’s another business model you really need to be on the lookout for. They’re the advertising industry’s version of two guys in a truck with no license driving into your market after a big storm.
When you get that random email pitch from a supposed marketing expert offering cheap results in broken English, just hit delete and move on. It’s not worth the risk of Google devaluing your site and it’s most likely not even a real person emailing you.
Modern Search Engine Optimization Tactics for Local Roofers
Chances are, you already have everything you need to study what’s working for the other roofing contractors in your area. A simple Google search with the right keywords is the best place to start. Type ‘roofing <CITY> <STATE> into Google and find every local company that’s ranking better than you in the search results.
See how many words are on each page and then do the math to find the average word-count on all the content that’s beating your page. It’s really that simple, but keep in mind that the total words of content on a page is only one of hundreds of different factors needed to get your business ranking better. Next up, let us look at some tools you’ll need to build the perfect roofing website.
Getting Started With the Right Processes and Tools
Search Engine Optimization is all about building a better website than your competition. Now that you know how to figure out content for your page, you’ll want to plan your site structure. Start by building a site map that shows all the pages of content you’ll need. GlooMaps has a free website planning tool that can help you out.
Basically, if you offer a product or service then it needs its own page on your site. The same goes for each city in your area that your roofing company commonly works in. To make your site authority with Google better, you’ll want a Company or About themed page, Contact, Terms of Service, and a blog full of content where you frequently post various topics related to roofing.
Choosing Keywords and Tracking Results
Once you’ve built your sitemap, it’s time to research keywords for those pages. Find all the keywords related to your page content with the most traffic in Google and optimize for those. Since Google no longer shares organic traffic data freely, you’ll probably need to pay for a premium marketing tool like SEMrush or AHREFS. Another option is to run some paid search to test traffic, but Google is even limiting us here and does not share as much data with us as they did years ago.
Build the Perfect Roofing Website
This is the stage in your campaign where you need to take that competitor research to the next level. Beyond just keywords, you’ll need to look at all the different HTML tags on your competitor’s web pages. Years ago, we went off of best practices here and just assumed you needed a single H1 tag, 3-4 instances of the H2 tag, and an image ALT tag for every photo you use.
If I’ve lost you already with too much jargon, let’s break it down further into action steps. Every site on the web is built with code. In most cases, you can simply right click anywhere on the page to view the source code and therefore, each tag on a competitors page. Start with your title tag since it’s the most important, followed by your H1 tag. I’ll show you using the Atomic homepage as an example below:
You’ll see I’ve highlighted the first H1 tag on my homepage in the image below. To do the same for the title tag, just search <title
You can use the same tactic and within a few clicks you’ll know the exact totals on each page that’s ranking higher than your site.
Kick-Ass Huh? You’re Welcome 👍
Why On-Page SEO and Content is Crucial for Driving Results
After you compile all those averages for your competitors and read their content to get an idea of the words and phrases you’ll need to rank, you’re well on your way to mastering on-page SEO. Years ago, on-page took a back seat to building backlinks. Today, it’s possibly the most important thing we can do to increase results. When you get your ranking signals correct on your website, it can even help your local search visibility in Google Maps! To reach the top of the maps though, you’ll need to optimize the most important business listing on the web. Your Google My Business listing, or GMB for short, is second only to your website in its ability to generate organic clicks.
Optimizing your Google My Business
I have to stress this point again – This is the second most important web property you own next to your website! A properly optimized Google My Business profile can deliver amazing results for any local roofer that takes the time to check off all the boxes. The problem is GMB lead generation is way more complicated than it was a few years ago.
Google’s been adding so many great resources in the GMB dashboard that you just about need a PHD in local search to keep up. This guide by BrightLocal is a good place to start. Trust us though, you’ll need to read more and do a very deep dive to understand all the different angles to get clicks and phone calls from your GMB listing. I could write a book on the subject, but for now I’ll crack open another beer and move on to the off-page stuff you can do to boost website ranking. Let’s start with the very first links you want to build – Citations:
This roofer got 557 phone calls in a recent quarter from their GMB listing. Pretty damn good for the slow season around the holidays!
Using Citations to Boost Your GMB
Citations are as old as the internet. From the very first days of the web, companies like YellowPages started to get into the online directory listings game. Today there are hundreds of online business directories that allow you to list your business for free. The internet is completely full of opportunities to promote your brand by simply getting you business information listed everywhere.
There’s a shit-ton of strategy that goes into citations though. First, you probably want to write at least 30-40 unique business descriptions that are about 300-500 words in length. You want each website you list your business on to have 100% unique copy. The more copy you write, the better this will work. From there, you want to have a central document to store all these descriptions and your NAP data. NAP stands for Name – Address – Phone number. That’s the second key strategy piece to citations.
I’ll keep this section short and simple because we need to move on to other backlinks. If your business information like the address or contact phone number is listed wrong on any of these sites, it can hurt your ranking. Now on to other link opportunities:
What Are Backlinks? Why Do All Roofers Need Them?
Links pointing to your website are treated like votes in a popularity contest by modern search engines. The more links your web page has from quality websites, the higher you rank. That’s speaking very generally though and a roofing website with thousands of links from sites promoting pharmaceuticals might not rank so well against a site with links from websites like GAF, CertainTeed and IKO. We’ll get more into links below in the Advanced Roofing SEO strategy section.
Advanced SEO For Your Roofing Business
Once you get the basics out of the way, it’s time to assess how you rank against the competition. If you’ve done everything up to this point, it may be a good time to pause for a week and see how your keywords perform. You’ll get insights into which web pages need the most work as you begin the steps below.
Leveraging Local Lead Generation Services Smartly
Many roofing contractors take advantage of lead generation services like Yelp and HomeAdvisor. Services that offer pay per lead options allow you to make the phone ring almost instantly. Before you go all-in on this strategy though, you might want to read the fine print on the sales page. The leads you get often aren’t all yours and may be sent to multiple roofing contractors to work.
If you’re not one of the first roofing companies that call them, you may find the homeowner is actually already working with someone else or is completely tired of getting phone calls from other roofers. However, you can make these services a part of your ranking strategy without paying too much for leads. Most of these platforms offer an entry-level pricing model that gets you better exposure – and therefore more backlinks – on their site.
Pro Tip: If you see a site like HomeAdvisor constantly ranking high in the SERP for your keyword + city, this is the paid service you should probably put a small budget into for better positioning on their site. Links from higher ranking sites typically help more.
How Savvy Roofers Use Manufacturer Links and Badges
Roofing manufacturers often have at least some brand recognition in the mind of an average homeowner. Many of us outside the roofing world are familiar with CertainTeed, GAF, Owens-Corning and others. If you’re certified by a manufacturer, it’s important to show that badge prominently on your website. You can also link to your contractors profile on their website for added trust with Google.
Location Pages and Roofing SEO
Once you get your main web pages built out it might be a good idea to look around your main city to find all the nearby suburbs you’d like to work in. Usually it’s easier to rank a web page in Google for an area with a smaller population, so you can pickup some easy wins simply by publishing a quality location page targeting something like Roofing Company + Suburb. If it’s a neighborhood you don’t mind spending the gas and windshield time to service, it needs a location page on your website.
Blogging With a Goal – Avoid a Boring Roofing Website!
Once your roofing website is optimized to this point, you need to start planning a blogging calendar. Blogging is important for many reasons, one of which is to increase overall website traffic. Do everything you can to increase organic users visiting your site, especially from people who reside in or around your local city. Google can see where most people are geographically, so getting traffic to your website from local people should be a top priority. Traffic is quickly becoming one of the top ranking factors, and it’s usually easy to rank a blog post for interesting things going on around your city. Try looking for upcoming events and write a quick post about them in your blog. You can share these posts on Facebook and other social media channels for added local brand awareness. You can also write roundup style posts about local bars, breweries and restaurants. No one says your blog has to be 100% about roofing, and it shouldn’t be if you want the best chance of ranking for more roofing terms in your local city. Keep at least 40% of your blog content related to the local area for the best results. You can also try ranking nationally for an informational roofing keyword, and the traffic will help your overall site rank better for your local terms. Blogging is something you should be doing at least monthly from now on.
Beyond SEO – Making Your Traffic Convert Better
Once you start seeing consistent traffic in Google Analytics, it’s probably a good time to start gathering data on how well your traffic converts. If you want to get the most out of your site traffic, you need to make sure those clicks are converting to clients at the highest rate possible. That’s where CRO or Conversion Rate Optimization comes in handy.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
It’s really as simple as it sounds. If you have 100 users going to your website in a given week and 5 fill out a contact form or call, then you have a 5% conversion rate. That’s good but getting to 10% would be great, right? With CRO, you might be able to increase overall leads from the traffic you already have.
A simple but effective strategy is to use heat-mapping and design analysis to get more SEO leads. A heat map shows you where people are clicking or tapping on a web page. With these insights you can help make decisions like:
- Should our call now button be larger?
- Would a different color stand out better against the background?
- Are people clicking on an image thinking it’s a link?
- Should we add a link from that image to the contact page?
Making things easier for your website visitors is an important strategy that’s just as important as ranking your roofing website. An optimized design will get the clicks going to the right resources on your website. Meaning, people can find the call now button, the free estimate image or the contact us link when they’re looking to reach out.
The Importance of Social Media for Roofers – How to ensure your clicks convert
There’s a few other ways you can get the most out of your organic traffic and one of them is to be active on social media. Simply being active on Facebook and Instagram can be beneficial for converting those homeowners that do their due diligence before calling a roofer. If they’re checking out several competitors online, chances are good the brand with an active Facebook page will get the phone call. If you haven’t posted to Facebook in a while, definitely add some content at least once a week.
SEO for Roofers by The Atomic Agency
If you read this far and you’re thinking ‘Oh shit that’s a lot to keep up with!’ don’t sweat it! You can always hire a marketing company that knows the ins and outs digital marketing. At Atomic, we offer full service marketing for roofing companies. Here’s just a few of our services:
- Roofing SEO Services
- Roofing Web Design
- Facebook Ads
- Email Marketing
- Conversion Rate Optimization
Reach out for a free consultation and evaluation of your company’s existing web presence.