Construction keywords Vs industry terms – Search Engine Basics. We’ve all fallen into that trap once or twice: you rely on industry terms that most people outside the contracting industry won’t understand to impress your new potential clients. When you’re setting up a website or blog, it may be tempting to toss a few of those industry terms in as well to bring errant web browsers to your page. While it may work on the human customers that you work with, there is one thing that it won’t work on: Google.
Search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, can be an intimidating concept. How many keywords are too many? What keywords should you use? Will these keywords help or hinder my search engine ranking?
We’ve gathered the answers to all of these questions and more to help you make the most informed content decisions possible.
What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the technique that site owners and content generators use to help a website obtain the highest search engine ranking possible for a specific word or phrase. That ranking determines which page your site ends up on when a user searches for a specific keyword.
How often do you go to the second or third page of your Google search results when you’re looking for something? If you’re like most average users, the answer is ‘not very often.’ That is why search engine rankings are so important; if you’re not on that first page of search results, chances are you are not going to be found organically.
So what does this have to do with contracting keywords and website content? SEO algorithms are based on keywords that Google users commonly search for.
Skip the Industry Terms
An average client is not going to understand terms like air space, balustrade, or caisson, and that is not what they’re going to be typing into Google when they’re hunting for a contractor to build a patio in their backyard or redesign their kitchen or bath.
Instead, these potential clients are going to be looking for keywords like “country style kitchen remodeling ideas ” or “kitchen remodeling contractors from Philadelphia” or even “engineered wood deck construction (enter city name here).”
The average client doesn’t think in the same terms that you do when it comes to contracting, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It only becomes a problem if your website or blog content focuses exclusively on those industry terms.
So How Do You Pick Your Keywords?
Picking keywords may seem like the easiest thing in the world. You just pick a few random words or phrases, toss them onto your website or blog and hope for the best. Unfortunately, if you value your search engine ranking, it doesn’t work like that.
A few important things to remember when choosing keywords are:
- Remember your target audience. You’re not, generally, going to be trying to attract other people who are in the contracting industry. Instead, consider what people who are looking for contractors are going to be searching for.
- Make a list! Don’t try to make yourself remember all of those fantastic keyword or phrase ideas. Write them down before they escape from your head.
- Use different keywords for each page. Don’t stuff the same keywords into every page of your website or blog. Google’s algorithms will see all of your pages as the same page and that can potentially damage your search engine ranking. And while we’re on the subject of stuffing….
- Don’t stuff. The idea isn’t to get the phrase “kitchen remodel” onto your website as many times as possible. Add your keyword or phrase two or three times, and make sure it fits smoothly into the content. It shouldn’t sound forced, and it shouldn’t sound like you’re just stuffing the word or phrase in wherever it might fit.
- Be creative, but not too creative. Unique keywords are great, but if they’re too unique they’re not going to attract any hits.
It all comes down to trial and error. Unless you’re very lucky or you spend the money for professional SEO optimization, you will probably not find the best keywords for your site on the first try. That’s where keyword tracking and analytics come in.
One of the best ways to determine what keywords you need to have on your site to optimize your search engine ranking is to utilize one of the many free keyword and rank checkers that are available on the internet.
Serps.com/tools/rank_checker and authoritylabs.com are two that are easy to use and readily available. These sites allow you to check your website’s search engine ranking based on a keyword or group of keywords. For a contracting business, you need to be most concerned about local searches. The Serps site also allows you to enter a city or zip code so you can target your surrounding area.
Google Analytics also provides a fantastic variety of keyword tracking and SEO tools, but they are significantly harder to learn to use. If you’re not outsourcing your SEO keyword optimization, it definitely pays to have at least one person on your team become familiar with Google Analytics for SEO.
Google AdWords is also an invaluable tool because it comes with a keyword planner. It can suggest potential keywords for your website, predict search volume for those keywords, and even provide a cost projection if you’re planning on running a paid campaign for those chosen keywords.
When it comes right down to it, your keyword vs. industry term debate can be summed up in one acronym: K.I.S.S – Keep it Simple, Sir. Simple keywords are always going to be more valuable than complicated industry terms when it comes to search engine rankings.
If you have the opportunity and the budget to do so, it may benefit you greatly to hire a professional to optimize your keywords and SEO. If not, spend the time to learn how to utilize Google Analytics for SEO and Google AdWords, since both can be used to your advantage.
Finally, don’t get discouraged. Picking keywords and writing content around those words is not an exact science, and it may take you some time to find the best ones for your website or blog. You can always save those fancy industry terms for your client consultations.