According to the authority website IBISWorld:
Let that last statistic sink in for a minute: over 108,000 roofing industry businesses are in operation in the United States - right now.
That statistic has enormous implications for SEO because it highlights the fact that if you are the owner/operator of a roofing business you face stiff competition no matter where you are located.
Want proof? Just Google a search like "roofers near me" or "roofers in [town or city name]" and see how many results are returned. Mostly likely there will be pages and pages of them.
So the fundamental issue when it comes to SEO for roofers is this: with so much competition in the online space, how are you going to gain the edge? The larger the volume of "noise" the harder it becomes to get your message "heard."
One helpful way of thinking about SEO as applied specifically to the needs of roofing contractors is to ask the right questions - and get the right answers to those questions. Let's touch on a few of the more important ones.
"How Do I Get My Site Ranked Better?"
Believe it or not, this is an example of the wrong kind of question. Most site owners start here when they think about SEO. Their site is not really getting seen so they focus on "ranking tactics."
Starting with this focus causes site owners to embrace the latest SEO gimmick - such as the overuse of certain keywords, or purchasing a pre-aged or exact-match domain name.
The focus here is all wrong because you are thinking about technology instead of humans.
A far better question is:
"What types of sites do search engines want to send people to?"
That is the crux of the matter - because the whole purpose of a search engine (like Google or Bing) is to help humans find what they are looking for online.
So what types of sites DO search engines want to send humans to?
In a nutshell, they want to send searchers to sites that they will find useful and helpful for the search that they are currently doing.
Search engines want people to be happy with the results of their searching experience, so that when they click on a listing in the SERP's:
Effective SEO for roofers and other service professionals begins with structuring your site experience - what your site looks like, how it functions and the information you provide there - for humans.
Because when your site becomes valuable for people it will become valuable to search engines - and those are the sites that get ranked.
"What Type of SEO Environment do You Want to Focus On?"
Oh? You didn't know there was more than one type of SEO? Let us give you a quick rundown. Oftentimes you'll see several elements play out together on the same screen real estate:
"What Type of Searcher is Your Main Focus?"
Again, you may not have realized that not all searchers are the same: they are not a monolithic entity. People are different and their needs in the moment are different - so their interests and goals are different:
Some searchers are still in the research and comparison stage. SEO for roofers strategies would, for example, target people researching different types of roofing materials, trying to decide if they want asphalt shingles, or wood, ceramic, aluminum, tin or something else.
We could also put in this category those looking to do a cost comparison, either across different types of roofing (wood vs. asphalt for example) or pricing within a type of material (i.e., the lowest cost of metal roofs).
Other searchers are those who are ready to buy - or who need to buy. Some will have carefully researched and narrowed their interests to a couple of providers near them. Usually at this point they want to talk pricing and get estimates. These are the negotiators and tire kickers.
Others are ready to buy because they are currently experiencing an emergency - storm damage, a chronically leaky roof due to age, house flippers who need some sort of quick damage control.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. First of all, it's OK to be interested in snagging more than one type of customer. So set up your site to cater to the needs of the careful researcher - but don't forget those who have an immediate need.
Secondly, all of this feeds directly, of course, into the type of content that you have on your site. Remember what we said earlier: search engines want humans to have happy search outcomes, so make sure that you are providing information on your roofing website that customers will actually find valuable. Give them what they are looking for!
"Are You Looking to Coordinate SEO and SMM?"
SEO of course stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO for roofers is just a special application SEO to the specific needs of the roofing contracting industry. But what is SMM? SMM stands for Social Media Marketing. And they are not the same:
SMM is a type of marketing applied to gaining traction on one or more social media platforms. The overall goal of SMM is to increase the "buzz" about your business by increasing the positive conversations that people are having about you, when they are talking to their own connections. Not everyone who sees a SM post about your company (assuming it is favorable) may not be interested in getting a new roof right now, but some may be. SEO on the other hand targets searchers with a current interest in services you provide - a big difference.
SMM is also very labor-intensive. Why? Because you have to keep the interactions fresh and timely. You can't just post on social a few times and then disappear. Once you have established a solid presence on a social media channel you have to be there constantly.
On the other hand, SEO is more refined in its targeting - you don't necessarily need to do a daily or weekly check-in. The information is available to searchers when they need it, even in the future. Meaning people not interested now won't be targeted by SEO (whereas they might see a social media post) but you will pop up on their radar the moment they turn to the web to search for roofers in your area.
"Are You Focused on Short-Term or Long-Term ROI?"
Its only good business - and human nature - to want to see a good return on your SEO investments. But most people get their focus wrong.
Short-Term ROI is not wrong. The quicker the improvement in your calls and inquiries, estimate visits the quicker the improvement in your revenue.
And if you are currently in the midst of a business crunch, short-term ROI should be your focus, because at the present you are in survival mode.
Perhaps surprisingly, we prefer not to use SEO as a short-term solution for any business. We know that there are SEO companies who love the business owner in the midst of trouble who is looking for a quick-fix. They are in a vulnerable state and easy prey for those looking to do a quick cash-grab.
But repeat, SEO and short-term ROI don't usually go together. That's why we offer PPC Management as one of our services, in addition to SEO, as if you have the funds your PPC ad can be visible within hours. If you are in a difficult place and need a quick-fix PPC is a better option than SEO.
Long-Term ROI should be the proper focus of roofer SEO (or any SEO for that matter).
Don't believe the hucksters - Ethical SEO tactics take some time to take hold, and moving the visibility needle can require several months at a minimum, or it can take even longer if the competition is intense in your local market.
So you should think about your ROI timetable before you start making choices. We actually turn away business opportunities to provide SEO when we believe it is not the best strategy for a business. In these cases, PPC can generate immediate visibility to jumpstart your cash flow. Once you are in a more stable place, you can start thinking about SEO.
Here's a bit of additional help: even if money is real tight and for now you must go the route of PPC (give us a call and we can manage that for you BTW) - there are still some improvements that you can make to your website experience that don't have to cost you a thing. And although (obviously) servicing our paying clients is our main priority, we are not too busy to schedule a brief call with you to do a little brainstorming on some no-cost/very low-cost fixes that you can make.
"I Think SEO is the Best Option for Me - What Happens Next?"
If you have read this far - thank you! That shows a real interest in what we've had to say. After due consideration, if you think SEO is a priority for your roofing business, here's what you can do to get started:
We'll pledge to help you all we can - but you have to take the initiative and contact us first. You can call, write, schedule a booking call or even signup for free dashboard access. Whichever option you choose, we are excited about the opportunity to work with you. Welcome to the Posirank experience!