If you’ve started developing any kind of digital marketing strategy, keyword research probably isn’t a new term for you. The term is pretty self-explanatory—it’s conducting research to see what keywords will be most effective for your company to increase search engine rankings and conversions. But how many of us actually do the keyword research? As a home building professional, you already have a busy schedule, and wading through lists of keywords probably sounds like the last thing you want to do. Though keyword research can be a bit of a hassle upfront, the payoff from just a few hours of research can be massive.

When you know what your target audience is looking for, it’s very easy to serve that up to them on a silver platter of engaging content. You simply have to write content and develop ad campaigns that center around those keywords. The key though, is doing the research. A lot of us are guilty of just assuming that what we think consumers are looking for is what they’re actually searching. But as a home builder, there are likely a lot of industry specific terms that you use every day that the typical consumer doesn’t know, and isn’t going to search for.

That’s what makes research so important. A little bit of research can show you a wealth of terms that are easy to rank for, and that will get more eyes on your site. But if you’re still not convinced about the benefits of keyword research, here are six specific reasons why keyword research can immensely improve your home building marketing strategy:

Attract an audience that cares

One of the biggest benefits of keyword research is your ability to target an audience that genuinely cares about what you have to say. When you research keywords, you’re looking for words and phrases that consumers are searching regularly, which means when your website pops up for one of those searches, that consumer is already interested in what you have to say. There’s no convincing, and it’s much easier to get them to stay on your page, because you’re providing information about exactly what they were looking for in the first place.

This is one reason why blogging around those keywords you researched is a great thing to do—it gives that target audience content they care about and want to engage with, which keeps them coming back for more.

Increased conversion rates

Keyword research does a lot more than get people to your website. It makes sure the right people are coming to your site. And when you have the right people coming to your site, who legitimately need your home building services, that means more conversions. More conversions mean more money and a bump in ROI. The more strategically you implement keyword research into your website and marketing content, the more qualified traffic you’re going to get.

Consumer behavior insight

The obvious benefits of keyword research have to do with your ability to draw in qualified leads. But what is perhaps a more subtle benefit of keyword research is that it gives you insight into consumer behaviors and trends. When you’re working to see what your target audience is searching for, it’s easier to see what types of content they like, what they’re likely to click on, what’s important to them, and what sorts of content are popular in that target group. With all of this information, it’s a lot easier to stay ahead of consumer trends, and make sure you’re keeping relevant to that target audience.

Organize your time

Keyword research helps you identify what areas of your marketing strategy are improving your bottom line, and what areas of your company consumers are most interested in. Are you getting more conversions from people searching “best homebuilder Grand Rapids” or do you see better results from “how to design your dream home in GR?” When you know which keywords are working the best for your company, you can develop more content that functions alongside those words, because you know they work. This means you’re spending less time developing content you hope will work, and more time creating content that’s guaranteed to get you those conversions.

Spend money wisely

Along the same lines, when you know which keywords are more effective for your homebuilding company, you can save money on your PPC campaign. Paid ads can be cheap, but only if you’re bidding strategically. If you’re bidding on expensive short-tail keywords, like “custom homebuilder,” or “new home” you’ll be paying a lot of money for words that probably won’t get you the traffic you want.  By conducting a bit of keyword research, it’s easier to see what longer-tail keywords draw in the most conversions.

For example, “Grand Rapids custom home builder,” and “custom built Grand Haven lakehouse” will cost less per click, and might have a lower search volume, but the people who click on those likes are more likely to convert. After a bit of keyword research, you’re better able to pool more of your PPC budget to those less expensive words guaranteed to get you a better conversion rate. When you go into your paid ad campaigns armed with some solid keyword research, you’re sure to bump your PPC ROI.

Better organic ranking

The final benefit of strategic keyword research comes in those all-important Google search rankings. You’ve always wanted first page results, right? Well, keyword research is just one of the ways to get your website up there. When you implement those strategic keywords into your website, Google’s search bots will recognize them and categorize your website accordingly. The more relevant keywords you have, the better your organic search ranking is going to be. For homebuilders, it’s most important to make sure you have appropriate local keywords incorporated into your website. Keywords like “West MI Homebuilder,” “custom home builder Grand Rapids,” and “Lake Michigan custom homes” indicate to Google both what you do, and where you are. When your site makes that clear, you’ll begin to rank better in those local search rankings, which gets more eyes on your homebuilding website overall.

Check out these three tools:

If you want to implement more keyword research into your home building company’s marketing strategy, but aren’t quite sure how, check out these three free tools that make it pretty easy:

Google Keyword Planner

Google is kind of the main authority when it comes to SEO, so it’s no surprise that their keyword tool is at the top of our list. Super handy for anyone working with a PPC budget, or even if you’re just getting into keyword research, Google Keyword Planner is very user friendly, and easily links to your gmail or Google+ business profile. It’s a free Adwords tool that makes planning your paid ad campaigns a breeze.

SERPs.com

If you’re looking for a few more research options for free, SERPs has just about everything you can imagine. Their free tools allow you to drill down on results based on location or domain, and even suggests possible keyword alternatives if you get stuck. This is a great one for developing a content strategy because you can see the top 250 search results for any keyword you select, and you can save your research to your desktop in case you want to return to it later.

Keywordtool.io

This is another great free tool, but know that if you want in depth statistics, like search volume or CPC, you’ll have to upgrade the Pro version. Even if you don’t upgrade though, Keyword Tool lets you research keywords on all of the big four search engines, and generates results for both short tail and long tail keywords: which isn’t as common as you’d think. For basic level keyword research, this can be a very convenient free tool.

Now that it’s clear why thorough keyword research is so important, it’s time to get working! Implement those keywords into your website, and you’ll start to see an increase in qualified organic and directed traffic in no time. And if you’re looking for more ways to improve your home building website’s SEO, check out this handy SEO checklist specifically for home service professionals. In it, you’ll find all the steps to getting your site on that first page of Google search results:
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