A dealer of replacement windows asked me a common question when we spoke a few weeks ago.
“I don’t understand it,” he said. “My Web site ranks #2 in Google’s natural search rankings. But I’m still not getting any leads from my listing. What’s going on?”
I answered his question with a question: “Exactly what keyword do you rank #2 for?”
And he replied,
“REPLACEMENT WINDOWS SMALLTOWN, ILLINOIS”
I responded that that was great…but that he shouldn’t expect many leads from that listing. Which was exactly the case.
He looked mystified again. A high ranking means lots of clicks, and lots of clicks means lots of leads. Right?
Both his question and his misconception are common among home improvement companies. It’s fine when you get your Web site to rank high for very specific terms like the one above. Unfortunately, the reality is that very, very few homeowners search on such specific phrases like the one above.
Fact is, the majority of Internet searches homeowners run are for what I call “broad keywords”. Even homeowners in a small town in Illinois are much more likely to type in just “WINDOWS” than they are their hometown or their zip code.
So, the term “REPLACEMENT WINDOWS SMALLTOWN, ILLINOIS” will get my friend some clicks to his Web site. However, it will get him only a fraction of the clicks his Web site would get if he ranked high for a term like “WINDOWS”.
But how small of a fraction? 1000:1? 10,000:1? 100,000:1? I don’t know exactly, but it’s big.
What to do? My advice is that home improvement companies should expand the list of keywords that their Web sites rank for. Here’s how.
First, expand the number of search engine keywords and phrases through which homeowners in your local area can find your Web site. If you’re trying to rank for “REPLACEMENT WINDOWS SMALLTOWN, ILLINOIS” you should also pursue high rankings for terms like:
“WINDOWS SMALLTOWN, ILLINOIS”
“REPLACEMENT WINDOWS ILLINOIS”
“DOUBLE HUNG WINDOWS ILLINOIS
“BAY WINDOWS SMALLTOWN ILLINOIS”
See the variations? While each search term individually will attract only a small amount of traffic to your Web site, together their traffic can add up. And you can do this all without a lot of extra work.
Second, expand the cities and towns that you want to rank for. Let’s take my hometown of Tewksbury, Massachusetts. It’s a nice suburb north of Boston with about 35,000 residents. So while it would be easy for me to create a Web site that ranks high on the search engines for terms like:
“TEWKSBURY REPLACEMENT WINDOWS”
and all of the different iterations, it would be smart to rank for all of the cities and towns within a half hour drive. That opens up lots of new terms like:
“WINDOWS LOWELL, MA”
“WINDOWS BILLERICA, MA”
“WINDOWS ANDOVER, MA”
“WINDOWS HAVERHILL, MA”
“REPLACEMENT WINDOWS, WILMINGTON, MA”
You should find it relatively easy to secure high rankings on the search engines for local terms like these. As before, you won’t generate a lot of Web traffic from any one term…but taken together, you will.
Start this week to put in place a strong local keyword strategy for your Web Site. It’ll pay dividends for years to come.