This is required reading for all home inspectors that have a web presence and pay attention to their online marketing.
I talk to home inspectors everyday. We often talk about digital marketing. There might not be a more misunderstood topic than SEO and online marketing. Here is why:
Google's search algorithm has evolved dramatically in the past 5 years.
The "tactics" and "schemes" to trick their algorithm no longer work. They haven't worked since 2012. We know this because Google publicly announces their major algorithm updates and what they are meant to combat, like unnatural links and keyword stuffing. They've rolled out dozens of major updates since 2011 that specifically prevent "one-trick ponies" and gaming the system.
I have ran hundreds of tests myself when I did this as my day job. I still do. I also closely follow the most respectable SEO practitioners in the industry who test and watch search results daily. No one activity in isolation will work anymore. You have to view marketing and SEO holistically.
Plain and simple: Adding certain keywords, locations or simply "doing SEO" on your site one-time doesn't work anymore. Google has evolved their search algorithm to look at a multitude of signals to determine relevancy and authority.
I get it. We all want to believe that digital marketing is a problem that can be solved quickly, cheaply, and definitively. We don’t want to hear that it’s an ongoing investment that’s much more difficult and costly than it was years ago. So people continue to hang on to that belief blindly without adapting.
Think about it. Is it in Google's best interest to make it easy to get to the top of search results and get clicks and more business? If any new home inspector can just slap some keywords on a page and shoot to the top, what kind of quality would we be getting as search users?
Google needs to be able to trust that they're showing the highest quality home inspection businesses. Then users are happy, keep searching, and they can keep selling ads.
Just like most things in life that are worth having, it takes hard work and consistency to reap the benefits of high rankings.
Having the actual keywords on your site still matter, they just won't make a huge difference on their own. Factors like quality links pointing to your site and consistent content have shown to be strong ranking signals.
Moz did the largest survey and study on this over a year ago. Here are the results:
I think everyone can agree that more people are searching for home inspectors online than ever before. Being there will only become more important in the future. Make sure you're not the last home inspector in your area to do something about it.