Restoration SEO Case Study: From no website to position 1 in 6 months

How we dominated the top search results starting from scratch - With no gimmicks

 Disaster restoration companies invest in SEO to drive revenue. You want the phone to ring day in and day out.

Better rankings mean more traffic. More traffic equals more sales. More sales means growth. 

Growth means you'll be able to expand your team, invest in more equipment, maybe even take a vacation from working 24/7!

By following the framework below you'll be able to grow the way you want.

We're going to share the exact process we used to rank a disaster restoration company for the top keywords in their area.

A company that started with absolutely no online presence. Now 6 months later, the company ranks for the top keywords in their area.

Disaster Restoration Case Study Rankings

1) Your Disaster Restoration Company Needs An Online Presence

This should probably go without saying, but unfortunately we have to say it. Your company needs a website. It needs an online presence.

Is having a website really that important?

If your company is still operating without a website you are operating at a significant disadvantage. And if you're going to grow your team, or get that new truckmount, you cannot operate at a disadvantage.

You've got to move to the 21st century. No one is flipping through the yellowpages. No one is asking the operator to patch them through to a restoration company.

They're asking Google. They're searching online.

As much as it pains us to dedicate an entire section to the importance of having a website, there are so many companies out there without one.

Step one in the disaster restoration SEO framework starts exactly where you'd expect. Make sure you have a website. 

If you don't have a website, what can you do?

Pay someone $750 on a freelance platform like Upwork or Fiverr.

Build one yourself if you have to.

Just get online, as soon as possible.

2) Conduct Keyword Research

The next step in the process is where you start formulating your strategy.

Why do keyword research?

You want to start keyword research to identify what people are searching for and how much value those keywords have to your restoration business. 

This is a critical step. You absolutely cannot skip this piece of the process. It will inform every other step of the process.

As you go through your keyword research ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does this keyword have search volume?
  2. Does this keyword use language the average customer uses?
  3. Is this keyword local or broad?
  4. What is the intent of this keyword?
  5. Does it truly apply to your business?

Your objective is to find a small group  of keywords that you can target (20-50).

We'll deep dive into this in an additional page.

3) Competitive Analysis

Now that you have a solid list of keywords, its time to spy on the competitors. The quickest and easiest way to do this is pay a visit to our friend Google.

How to do competitive analysis (the easy way):

Go to and search for one of your keywords that you identified in step two.

Let's take "Miami water damage company" as an example.

Take a look at the results that show up in the first page of the search. Ignore the ads for the time being. Ignore the map as well.

Right now, we care about the 10 organic listings on the page.

Miami Water Damage Ads

Who are the top companies in the search results? Make a list, keep it handy.

Now take a look at what kind of page is ranking. Is it a homepage? A location page? A blog post? Etc.

This will help you decide what type of page you'll use to rank your own website.

Miami Water Damage SERP

What's the takeaway here?

The take away is that you don't try to rank a page type that Google isn't already showing. In this case, you don't see any blog posts in the search results. So don't create a blog post to target this keyword.

And don't expect that an existing blog post will rank for this keyword if you "just do SEO better". Take what Google gives you, model that information.

There are dozens of other items that you want to look at when you conduct your competitor analysis, such as how many words are used on the page.

We can't include all of those items here but we'll cover that in detail at another time.

4) Content Creation

In 1996, Bill Gates said "content is king." He was right then, and he is right now. In fact, as more and more websites try to overtake one another, the content gets longer and deeper.

What is considered "good content?"

Most pieces of content that rank #1 in Google have well over 2,000 words. They include elements like video, audio, pictures, infographics, etc.

Thankfully in the water damage or fire damage space, most top results are somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 words. Same with mold.

How do you create good content?

The takeaway here is that you want to create the best, more informational piece of content possible to serve your customers.

If someone just had a house fire in your area, what information do they need to know right away?

To be safe, to protect their assets, to know which company can help, etc. Help them in the best way possible.

Make sure that your page is also unique to you and unique to your area. SEO expert Greg Gifford offers this piece of advice.

If another company can replace their name on your page and it still makes sense, it's not good enough.

-Greg Gifford.

Greg couldn't be more correct.

Your page needs to have information that is specific to your company and your relationship to the area. Where are you located in the city? Are you close to any landmarks? How long have you operated in the area?

Think about all of those items and create killer content that is unmatched by your competitors.

5) On-Page Optimization

What is on-page optimization?

On-page optimization is the optimization of all of the individual pieces of your page. These include things like images, headings, page titles, URLs, and keyword density.

These items help inform Google what your website is about. It also helps users quickly and easily navigate through your website. It just makes the website easier to understand all around.

If these items are not optimized, it does the opposite. It confuses Google. That's never good.

It makes your website hard to navigate for users. It makes it hard for them to digest your content. It's poor user experience. That's also bad.

How can you do on-page optimization?

Remember that list of 10 competitors that you made earlier? Take a look at their pages.

What are their page titles saying? What are their headings saying? What about their URL? How is the page structured? 

These are all on-page items that you must optimize.

Let's look at another example.

This time it's for the search "Seattle Fire Damage."

The Title of their page is "Fire Damage Restoration including Smoke and Soot Cleanup Seattle, WA | SERVPRO of Central Seattle". Other examples of on-page optimization are below.

Seattle Fire Damage On Page Optimization

Nailing the op-page optimization for your restoration company can do wonders for your search results.

It is absolutely something you can do yourself, if you have the time to learn the elements and learn how to change them on your website.

6) Google My Business Optimization

Google My Business is the cornerstone of local SEO. It's important to understand that the local (maps) results and organic results use a different algorithm. If you choose to skip your Google My Business optimization, you'll never rank well in the maps, no matter how good your website is.

We'll dive into Google My Business for restoration companies in great detail in another piece, but here are some key things you must nail.

The basics of Google My Business:

Make sure that your Google My Business is verified. Google will mail you a postcard with a code that you'll use to verify that business.

If you do not verify your business, your map rankings will suffer.

Make sure that your category is correct.

Again, check out what the competitors are doing. 

Seattle Google My Business

Within Google My Business you'll also have the option to add additional categories.

Make sure your basic info is correct:

From there, make sure all of your location information is correct. Your address, phone number, opening hours, services, etc.

Most disaster restoration companies will list their business as 24 hours. That makes a lot of sense.

If a customer needs water damage help at 1am and Google says your business is 9-5, are you going to get that call? No way.

Other important GMB sections:

Google also brought back the option to add a business description. Make sure you fill that out. Use it as a chance to sell your services. No keyword stuffing.

Photos are a must. Make sure that your Google My Business is full of photos for every category available. 

The biggest piece of advice we can give is this: Fill out every field that applies to your restoration business. Do it right, do it well. Google will reward you.

Disaster Restoration GMB Performance

Some Results From Our Disaster Restoration Case Study

If a company with no website can rank at the top in less than 6 months, you can too!

What did we find from our restoration SEO case study?

  • Page 1 Results were achieved about 3 months after the website creation
  • It only took about 10 links to rank in the top 3
  • "Fire damage restoration +city" and "water damage restoration + city" are the top searches
  • 75% of searches are being done on desktop
  • "Mold removal" is searched more than "mold remediation"
  • Maps is ripe for the picking - So many people are missing opportunities
  • The Google Maps listing is viewed far more than the website

We hope you take this framework, implement it, and absolutely crush your competition. Be sure to check out this page if you're specifically looking for water damage SEO tips.

Don't have the time to do this yourself? Schedule a call and we'll develop a custom strategy specifically for you!