Search engines are important because homeowners and landlords use Google, Yahoo and Bing to locate your services and products on the web.
Search engines generate revenue primarily through paid advertising. The Pay Per Click model is an auction-based model, in which advertisers pay every time a user clicks on their ad.
Web searchers are free to use any of the many available search engines on the web, provided that they help them accomplish their goals. As you can understand, search engines have a great responsibility to provide the best possible results in order to keep the searchers satisfied. The more accurate the answers presented in the SERPs (search engine results pages) by a search engine, the more likely it is for a web user to return to it again.
The importance of good search experience
Given the importance of a good search experience, search engines invest a tremendous amount of time, energy and funds to improve the relevance of the results provided to the users. Because search engines depend so much on a successful search experience, they tend to conduct extensive studies to identify how users respond to the search results and how they are compared to those provided by other search engines.
Furthermore, each search engine employs a team of experts that their primarily goal is to find and eliminate irrelevant results from the SERPs (web spam team). For any contractor practicing SEO as a way of marketing his business online, understanding how to apply safe SEO practices is absolutely essential to avoid any surprises! When trying to appear more relevant than other web sites by using manipulative methods carries a high risk and it can result in penalties for any web site that employ such practices.
What sort of information are homeowners looking for?
When homeowners go online to conduct search for home improvement related queries they have a goal in mind, which is usually to obtain information relevant to their enquiry. A key element to a successful SEO campaign for home improvement professionals is to understand first the behavior of their target market, which are usually homeowners and landlords.
Every property owner has different informational needs. Their search needs depend on what problems are they trying to solve. They might be looking for general advice on how to extend their property, fix their bathroom tub, repair their roof or insulate their windows. Others might be trying to locate local tradesmen to help them with their home improvement project by typing in search phrases such electricians in Birmingham or remodeling company in Brighton. In each case, these goals start with a simple search.
Once you have understand how your prospects search online and use search engines, you can more effectively target those users. And even though search engines have evolved over the years, the way web users conduct a search has not changed significantly but remains largely unchanged. The following steps comprise most search processes:
- Experience the need for an answer, solution or a piece of information. For example a homeowner might be looking for a web site’s specific section (navigational query), to buy a product or service (transactional query) or to learn something (Information query). The search journey starts by typing in the Google search box a few words that together make what we call a search phrase.
- Formulate that need in a sting of words or phrases (the query). Most house owners when they go to Google, they usually type on average no more than three words.
- Execute the query, evaluate the results and refine the query. After a user types in a query in the search box and hits enter, the next step is to check to find out whether or not he got what he was expecting. If not, then the user modifies his query until the results are satisfactory.
The three types of searches
To understand how to get your pages to rank on the top for different search queries, you need to understand what the search engine want to display for such queries. Once you have understood that and you have built your pages with these elements, aiming always to satisfy both users and search engines by serving them the best possible content (text, images, video, maps, apps etc.), you will have a lot more chances of being in good terms with Google.
For the search engines there are usually three types of queries:
Navigational: Navigational searches are performed with the intent of finding a web site or even a specific section of a web site, when the user does not remember the URL. For example when a user types in Google “homeadviceguide cost guides”, he is trying to access the “cost guides” section of the web site and expect from Google to serve him with a snippet that leads straight to this section.
Opportunities: Take the user away from the original destination to view additional information, as a way to increase traffic to the web site.
Average value: The value is not generally very high, as these questions are more informational in their nature, however, if you have a strong brand, these type of queries many times help generate direct enquiries as searchers might come to your web site either for being satisfied from their previous experience or because your company has been recommended by a happy customer.
Informational: Informational searches are primarily non-transactional-oriented and involve a huge range of queries. Ranking for informational search terms is very important for any contractor’s web site as it can help generate more traffic for your web site.
Opportunities: Increase brand awareness; generate more traffic for your web site; establish you as an authority in the industry; receive attention from researchers; attract inbound links; potentially lead to conversions or sign ups.
Average value: Middling. Informational queries are not in general transactional in value unless they are product or service related.
Transactional: Transactional searches do not necessarily involve a credit card. When it comes to the home improvement industry, the search queries are mostly about locating a business or a professional either requesting free information about the cost of a project.
Opportunities: Generate leads and enquiries
Average value: Very high
Why are keyword phrases important?
The use of keywords or keyphrases can help homeowners find what they are looking for. Modern search engines are really good at helping web users find what they are looking for. By understanding how your prospects are searching for your products and services in Google, will help you increase your home improvement’s company visibility online, which will eventually lead to more jobs.
The Market Share of Search Engines
Google is the dominant search engine in the United Kingdom. In many European countries and in China (Baidu is the leading search engine) and Russia (Yandex) Google might not be the most popular search engine but any contractor in the UK, should focus heavily in Google as it is currently the most popular one. The graph bellow demonstrates the market share for each search engine in the UK.
|UK Search Engine||Nov 2015 desktop share (%)||Oct 2015 desktop share (%)||Change|