Written by Dominic Maricic
President of Home Inspector Pro Inspection Software & Website Hosting
Anyone can get themselves listed on the top of the search engines. Just come up with something that no one else is competing for. For example, put the phrase "3 legged home inspector" all over your website and you'll come up first in an extremely short time for the search "3 legged home inspector." The problem is, who is going to search for that?
The goal of optimizing your website is not just to be at the top of the search rankings, but to be at the top for phrases that people will REALLY type into a search engine. This is an important distinction that many of the website optimization companies that call you forget to mention. What phrases you should target is not always an easy question to answer. Are people going to search for 'Home Inspector in California' or 'Home Inspector in Burbank'? If you think about this, it's pretty easy to guess people aren't searching for 'Home Inspector in California' because everyone realizes that the state spreads across thousands of square miles, thousands of cities, and millions of people.
Lots of inspectors optimize their site with county names, others don't include any locations on their website. If you were looking for a local pizza place would you type into Google 'Pizza in San Bernardino County' or would you type in 'Pizza in Rancho Cucamonga' (Rancho Cucamonga is a city within San Bernardino County with over 130,000 people). If no one ever types in the county name, then it's worthless on your site in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You need to think long and hard about how people in your area refer to where they live. A county name is only going to be used in very rural areas. Once you realize that you need to target particular cities, you have the hard task of picking only 5 to be your main target. Since most inspectors inspect in dozens of cities, this isn't an easy task. Don't make the mistake of targetting them all anyways and spreading yourself to thin.
Now the trick is optimizing your site with these phrases so that your site will top the search engines. Do NOT stick 500 city names into your keywords, description and page title. Search engines look at the percentage of the search term to its occurance on your page. If you type in 500 cities and someone searches for one of them, your percentage is 1/500 or .002%. Not very efficient. You need to pick the top 5 cities you service, probably the 5 largest and use them the most. This way your sites main content, the page title and description have a 20% occurance rate. If you only work in one city (maybe your a Los Angeles home inspector), you're set as you have a 100% occurance. Higher percentage = better match = higher rankings. On individual pages within your sites content you can go ahead and list the other cities you inspect in.
Optimize your site for these 5 cities. Include them in all parts of your site. For example, on your client testimonials page, list the city you did the inspection in. In your photo galleries, list the location you took the photo at. If you write a blog about an interesting inspection, make sure to note where the inspection occured.
To discuss this article and your website post any questions on the TIE Forum at http://www.creia.org or email me at Dominic@HomeInspectorPro.com
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