Maintaining a construction industry blog and how SEO can improve your reach
Should you be going to these lengths to drive SEO as a construction SME?!
As an SME construction business, you may not have considered the value of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You may not fully understand it. You have a website, right? Is that not enough? Well… only if potential clients can find it!
With digital leading the way for the big players’ marketing efforts, how can SMEs follow suit and put themselves out there with limited resources?
I’m going to be writing a series of blogs to enable you and your construction company to get the most from social media, blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to connect, engage and educate your audience, drive traffic to your website and promote your business.
First up; blogging! Why should you do it? What’s the value? How will people see it?
Including a step-by-step guide to help you plan, optimise and write your construction blog. With that sort of help, who needs marketers (please don’t tell my boss)?!
How to blog in Construction, Engineering and Architecture
“My clients won’t read blogs.”
SAY WHAT! Won’t they?! Don’t they? How do you know? Have you ever asked them? Have you ever posted one?
How many times have you Googled for information, expertise and/or guidance? How many times have you searched online for a product or service?
Point proved. I shall take a bow.
The majority of your prospects and customers search the web for information. Do you want them to find a competitor… or you? Silly question.
So to increase your company’s exposure, you need to get information (aka ‘content’) on the web. You have the expertise in your profession: share it! Show you know your stuff and provide that value for your audience.
Blogging is just one of the ways to do that. It’s cheap, it’s all in your head and with a bit of guidance and practice, it’ll be a breeze!
What’s the business case for content?
Your marketing needs to help you meet your business goals, objectives and targets. Blogging can actually contribute to all of the afore-mentioned and can be the most effective tool in your marketing toolbox (yes, pun intended).
An increase in the amount of QUALITY content you produce improves the likelihood of you appearing in search engine results pages which, in turn, enables more people to see your content, visit your website, increase and improve your company’s brand recognition and reputation, and ultimately lead to more conversions to a customer. It’s a no brainer!
Greg Jarboe, Author, President and Co-Founder of SEO PRA, hits the nail on the head when he says that quality content marketing is “creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
According to marketing platform HubSpot, companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website. More links = higher rankings, higher rankings = more visitors, more visitors = more traffic and if your website then does a good job at changing these visitors to customers (via its content, how it looks, user experience, customer journey, calls to action – we’ll do another blog on this stuff later), then it means an increase in lead generation. Blogs v no blogs can lead to a much higher percentage of leads for your sales team to convert. 67% according to Hubspot!
So how do you blog?
The AEC industry is full of questions! Most Googled (other search engines are available) phrases often begin with ‘What’ and ‘How’. For example…
- What is the best way to…?
- How do I…?
- How can we…?
- How do we…?
Whether you are an MEP contractor, tradesman or multi-disciplined company there will be a myriad of questions out there that you have the knowledge to answer! Take the lead as a resource for your prospective customers by providing guidance and advice on solving issues and problems. Start with ‘How to’ or ‘Did you know…’
Which leads nicely onto…
Do you claim to be experts? Are you the best at what you do? Prove it.
This could be installation, this could be technical, this could be innovative. What places you at the forefront of what you do?
Prove that you have the expertise by writing content and putting it on the web for your audience. Help them to choose you or your products, the technically minded, the forward thinkers, the want to be improvers (I know, that’s not a real word).
Support with data and research, get industry opinions, show how the innovative things you do are pathing the way in the industry. Show your…
Prove that you are the leaders in what you do.
What makes you the leaders? Are you constantly innovating? Do you move with the times? Are you ahead of the times? Do you manage your projects digitally using construction project management software? Do you have all your documents and drawings hosted digitally? Perhaps you are using robotics? It could be that your materials are sustainable and you are keeping up with new government-led initiatives by being ‘green’? Perhaps you are paperless in your business operations and project management like us here at BuilderStorm?
Lead the way in innovation, design and guidance for your industry, trade or area of expertise.
Another way of demonstrating this leadership is to demonstrate you know what is going on in the industry and have an…
Voice your opinion on upcoming legislation, regulations and initiatives, government policy or industry body guidelines.
How can you inform your audience or industry of changes that may affect their day to day work? BIM and what it really means, Project 13, compliance of staff and materials and installation post-Grenfell (Dame Judith Hackett Report on Grenfell). Tell them how you plan to adhere to legislation (hey, we can help you with BIM Level 2), sort the compliance of your staff via training tracking, track document control, utilise digital forms and workflows, track quality and so much more.
So in summary…
Choose a topic, create content, set keyword goals so you can track organic ranking if you are able.
All the while, bear in mind that Google values and rates your content on certain criteria. Gone are the days of picking keywords and cramming them in. The Google Panda algorithm update in 2011 (which consisted of 24+ updates over 6 years!) ranks your content based on:
- Do they trust the information presented? Is it accurate and authoritative?
- Expert or enthusiast in the industry that knows the topic (rather than content that is outsourced and shallow). Show your expertise.
- Originality (content, reporting, research, analysis). Nothing is new, really. But try.
- Give both sides of a story (e.g we tried that… it didn’t work so we tried this).
- Well edited.
Most importantly, keep readers engaged and direct them to further blogs and information where you can.
To help you to set out (yes, another construction pun – my bad) your blog and optimise it to be found in the search engines, we’ve created a guide for you!
If you are interested in further tips in managing your marketing, managing your projects, or to keep up with our latest developments, follow us on Twitter, watch for the next blog on LinkedIn, like us on Facebook, or get in touch with us here.
Hope to see you there soon!