Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a powerful marketing channel for any industry.
But SEO can be especially powerful for industries where the buying cycle tends to be longer and more complex, like with new home construction.
That’s because in cases like this, SEO provides so many additional opportunities throughout the buying cycle to put your brand in front of prospects – opportunities that most of your competitors will overlook.
Obviously, you would want to rank for home builder-related terms, like “Tampa custom home builder,” for example. But that conventional thinking where many builders stop.
And it’s a huge mistake.
You don’t want to just get in front of people who are looking for a home builder right now.
No, effective SEO in this industry means getting in front of people conducting research that will eventually lead up to the purchase of a custom home.
Prior to searching for the obvious terms, prospective customers will search for a wide variety of other tangential topics. So if you’re proactive in your SEO efforts, you’ll have an opportunity to reach them long before most of your competitors will.
Along the way, you will build brand awareness, authority, and trust – all of which are essential in helping you to close more sales.
How do you think beyond the obvious topics and use SEO to reach these people earlier in the buying process?
It’s a simple matter of creating valuable content that answers the questions prospective customers will research leading up to the purchase of a new custom home.
The key is to create this content in the context of having a custom home built, so rather than simply writing about, for example, the mortgage process, you might write about the process of obtaining a mortgage specifically for new home construction.
This article will outline several relevant topics that may come up prior to when a searcher would generally start searching for home builders and work our way backward.
Obviously, not all people will follow this exact path or be interested in all of these topics, but this will be a roadmap that can give you a serious advantage over competitors.
Creating the Content
Write It Yourself
Obviously, you can write this content yourself, which means it will turn out exactly the way you want it, but it also means that it will require a lot more work from you.
Publish Guest Posts
You can also publish guest posts from other contributors.
You may have to invest some time establishing relationships with these people, or if your website already receives decent traffic and/or has other impressive metrics, they may come to you rather than you having to chase them down.
Interview Third-Party Experts
You can interview the experts on these topics since they aren’t your competitors, and then use that information to produce lots of valuable content with far less effort.
Ultimately, I recommend that you utilize all three methods because that will help to build a well-rounded library of content that will appeal to a wider range of visitors.
Some Additional Benefits
Interviews and guest posts offer a few additional advantages over writing this content yourself:
- You become associated with the leaders in other related industries.
- Interviewees/guest authors will often share and link to their content on your website.
- Industry publications, bloggers, and other media outlets may share and/or link to your interviews/guest posts because of who they are about/from.
Content on these type of tangential topics, whether in the form of articles you write yourself, interviews, and/or guest posts, will generally earn links more easily.
It can be quite difficult to earn links from other home builders, but earning links from relevant businesses that aren’t in direct competition with you is generally a lot easier.
Tangential SEO Topics for Home Builders
Now, onto the topics home builders can use to reach customers earlier in the buying process.
Having recently moved myself, I can tell you with absolute clarity that the process sucks in every way imaginable. I’m confident in saying that most people share my sentiment, however, they still need to do it if they’re going to move to a new home.
Moving into a custom built home can present some unique challenges that you typically won’t encounter when moving into an existing home.
For example, a buyer might close on the sale of their existing home before the construction of their new home is complete. This can leave the buying in a bind as he now needs a place to temporarily store all of his belongings since the builder typically won’t let them move anything into the new house until after closing.
Believe it or not, there is a lot you can write about moving. Some moving-related topics might include:
- Planning and preparation for a move.
- Safe and efficient packing tips.
- Deciding whether to move yourself or hire professionals.
- How to choose the best mover for your situation.
- Common moving mistakes.
- How to move large or unusual belongings.
The vast majority of home buyers will require financing, and most of them are not experts on the mortgage process.
In fact, financing for new home construction is often much more complex than the typical mortgage.
This offers a tremendous opportunity to educate prospective customers, while earning trust and exposure far earlier in the buying process than your competitors.
When writing content related to financing a home, you have an incredibly broad range of financial topics you could cover, including:
- Explaining the mortgage process
- Mortgage terminology
- How credit scoring works
- Credit repair tips
- Mortgage trends
- First-time homebuyer programs
- Budgeting tips
- Types of mortgages
- Documentation typically needed
Local Resources / Amenities
One of the biggest factors in a home buyer’s decision to purchase a custom home are the local resources and amenities available to them.
For example, if you’re a parent, you probably know firsthand how critical the right school is in making a decision to buy a home. While you might think this wouldn’t be an issue for home builders since they can build in the school district a home buyer wants, that’s not always the case because some can only build within certain communities.
Even in cases where a home builder can build anywhere, the home buyer still needs to find an empty lot in an area that has the resources and amenities they need or want.
There are a wide variety of topics you can produce about local resources and amenities, most of which change relatively often, including:
- Public transportation
- Outdoor activities
- Sports teams / stadiums / arenas
Selling Their Existing Home
With the exception of first-time home buyers, most people intending to buy a custom home will need to sell their previous home as part of the transaction. This gives home builders an opportunity to produce a plenty of valuable content helping them to do exactly that.
When writing real estate-related content, there are a lot of topics you could cover, regardless of whether a home buyer plans to sell their own home or hire a Realtor, including:
- Real estate terminology
- Home staging tips / common mistakes
- Local real estate trends
- How to choose the best Realtor for your situation
- FSBO (For Sale by Owner) tips
- Real estate negotiation tactics
- Real estate myths
- How to decide whether to hire a Realtor or sell your home yourself
- Home improvement projects that can increase resale price
As the price of equipment used to generate alternative energy has plummeted in recent years, it’s become far more common in residential construction. Especially considering that it can often be rolled into the new mortgage, and in most cases, homeowners receive a tax deduction for their investment in this equipment.
There is a lot you can write about alternative energy in residential construction. The technology in this niche changes rapidly.
Potential topics might include:
- Types of equipment to generate alternative energy.
- How to determine which equipment is best for your needs.
- Product reviews.
- How to choose the right contractor to install your equipment.
- Tax deductions for alternative energy.
- How to improve energy efficiency.
Home Improvement Projects
This might seem counterintuitive, but many people who end up buying a custom home start off by first researching home improvement projects. It’s only after they realize that what they envisioned will require too much work, isn’t financially feasible, or that the projects won’t deliver the end result they’re looking for, that they change plans and begin looking for a home builder to start from scratch.
Writing content on home improvement projects can take a number of different directions, but since most home builders serve a specific geographic range, you should focus on the type of projects that make the most sense in the builder’s area. Some topics may include:
- Which home improvement projects have the most impact on resale price.
- Home improvement tutorials.
- Common home improvement mistakes.
- How to decide whether to DIY or hire a general contractor.
- Home improvement trends.
- How to hire the best general contractor.
Home builders who want to achieve success in their SEO campaigns need to think beyond the obvious, by producing content to rank for topics that will come up long before someone starts looking specifically for you. This gives you an opportunity to create brand recognition so that when they do begin looking for a home builder, your company is the one they think of and trust.