If you offer water damage services to your customers and are looking for a way to get more of those calls, implementing our 10 water damage SEO tips will definitely move the needle.
We're about to share real, actionable tips. Tips that we use to serve our clients. We're sharing them with the world because at the end of the day, we're here as a resource.
We want to help water restoration companies grow through organic search.
Take a few minutes to read this content and then do something about it.
Learning and reading only gets you so far. Only action will move the needle.
We hope that this helps your company grow, makes your life more enjoyable, and offers you more freedom.
1) Optimizing Your Website's Image Alt Text
Let's quickly dive into what image alt text is, how is positively impacts your SEO, and how you can quickly add it to your images.
What's alt text?
Alt text is an HTML piece of your website that allows search engines to quickly understand what your image is about and how it relates to the content of your page. It's primary, and original purpose is to be an accessibility feature. It allows a description to be given to those who are unable to see the image. Search engines were able to adopt this feature for their own purposes.
How does it impact SEO?
At the end of the day, Google wants its users to have a good user experience. That goes for any and all users. They'll certainly reward websites who are providing a positive experience to the visually impaired. If you have alt text on your images the search engines will be able to understand the content quickly and easily, thus allowing them to index it more accurately.
Having proper alt text will certainly help your SEO efforts. You wouldn't believe how many people skip this step.
How should you use the alt text field of your images?
First of all, this shouldn't be an opportunity to "keyword stuff." Again, the alt text should accurately describe what the image is in relation to the rest of the page's content.
Let's look at a real life example of an actual water damage company. This image is found on the company's residential mold growth page. The page briefly touches on some basic mold information and then gives customers a way to get in touch.
What would be a good example of alt text for this image?
You could use something like: "Mold growing on bedroom wall."
Remember, the purpose of alt text is to describe the image in relation to the content of the page. The actual alt text this company used is "black mold growth."
This page is supposed to to be about residential mold growth. That alt text makes no mention of this being residential. It doesn't mention where the mold is growing. It's too general, and not good enough.
How do you actually add alt text?
Alt text can easily be updated in your website's "CMS" or Content Management System. Each one will be a little bit different but there is plenty of documentation to help you out. Just do a quick Google Search. To save you some time here are links to how-to articles for the most popular content management systems.
It's pretty quick and easy to do. As an example, here's what is looks like on WordPress.
Not too hard, right?
By taking advantage of this quick and simple feature you'll be leveraging an SEO ranking signal that many are overlooking.
2) Image File Naming
This is another image related SEO tip that you can use alongside the alt text tip. By combining both of these tactics your images will be twice as optimized as the other guy.
This tip is a little more controversial. Google has never come out and said that this helps SEO, however many SEO experts across various industries have seen this tactic have a positive impact.
All that you have to do is use your target keyword in the naming of your image. Again, don't keyword stuff. Try to use it naturally in relation to the content of the image.
The search engines are able to read file names so this is another way to tell them what the image is about.
Again, let's look at a live example of a company that appears for "water damage company". In their services section they list out water damage and have an image to go along with it.
The name of this image is "ba 8-400x284.jpg."
That means absolutely nothing. It does nothing for their SEO. A missed opportunity.
They could have named this "water damage restoration" or "residential water damage cleanup". Literally anything else.
By simply naming your files appropriately when you save them to your computer you can positively impact your SEO.
Such an easy water damage SEO tip don't you think?
4) Content Length
Content length is a less geeky topic to discuss but it has a massive SEO impact. We'll dive more into the "why" when we get to point number 10.
What's content length?
When we talk about content length all we're talking about it the number of words on your page. This has proven to have a correlation to good SEO results.
In fact, an SEO company called serpIQ studied over 20,000 keywords and found that longer content tends to perform better. Here's a chart of what they found.
Most pieces of content that rank #1 in Google have well over 2,000 words.
How long should your content be?
This is very dependent on the industry that you're looking at. The reality is that most water damage companies, and restoration companies in general do not have very long pieces of content. So it's a little less competitive.
If you want to give yourself a little bit better chance of ranking at the top of the search results, add a bit more content to each of your pages.
How can you find the number of words on your website?
This is pretty easy to do. We'll show you a few different ways.
- Use wordcounter.net - This is about as easy as it gets. You simply put in your website's url and it does the work for you.
- For multiple urls, use SearchBloom - If you'd like to check multiple pages at once, or spy on your competitors, this awesome tool makes it super easy. Drop in a list of urls and you're good to go.
- To quickly find word counts in Google Search, use Keyword Surfer's chrome extension - This is our favorite method because for any search, we can see exactly how many words are on each website in the results. In this case, "water removal alabama", we can quickly see that the first results has 1,770 words.
5) Page Loading Speed
This is another one that is a little more straightforward. If your water damage website loads quickly you'll be giving users a very good experience. Remember how much Google loves a good user experience.
Does page loading speed really matter?
Now if you do some reading you'll probably come across a lot of studies that show that there is no correlation between page speed and the top 10 rankings.
That is most likely because the majority of the websites on the first page have done tremendous work to ensure page speed is fast in the first place. So don't let that trick you into believing it isn't important.
If people click on your website and then leave because it takes to long to load, that is a very bad signal to Google. They don't want to see that. If your website is somewhere in the 3-4 second range you're probably going to be okay. If you want to excel, target 3 seconds or less.
How can you speed up your website?
These tools will give you a score, tell you how fast your page is loading, give you suggestions on how to improve.
6) Content Recency
Google and other search engines love to show people fresh content.
Because new content is likely to be up to date, accurate, and relevant. Just think how much things have changed in the past 12 months. Again, it provides a good experience to users. Nobody likes out of date content.
Here's what this means and more importantly, what is does not mean.
This doesn't mean that you need to be publishing a blog article every single day. Honestly, that isn't a sustainable strategy in this industry. You also don't need to be publishing every week. It doesn't even mean that you need a blog.
It means that you need to make sure you spruce up your content every now and then.
What are some things you can update?
- Is the information on your website still relevant?
- Have practices or procedures been updated?
- Do you use new equipment?
- Have you grown your team?
- Has anyone left from the team that's still on the website?
- Have you been recognized in the community?
- Have you won any awards?
- Are you a preferred vendor on any other company's list?
You get the idea. There's almost an endless list of things that you could update on your site.
As Google sees that you maintain your site and keep it up to date, you'll likely be ranked over companies with stagnant content.
7) Domain Age
How long your website has been around does have a bearing on your SEO performance. In fact, it's a big factor in Google's SEO rankings. Just how important is domain age?
What is domain age?
It's important for us to make a small distinction here. Domain age IS NOT how long YOU have owned that particular domain. Domain age IS a reference to how long ago the domain first came into existence.
What does it mean for you?
This is a good news/bad news story when it comes to the water restoration industry. If you are an established business with a website that has been around for years and years, it's going to be exponentially more difficult for a new site to overtake you in search if you're doing everything else right.
That doesn't mean it can't be done. It just makes it more difficult.
What if you have a new business or a new website?
If you're a new business with a new website, you get the bad news piece of this story. You're going to have to try that much harder and invest that much more into SEO.
You have to overcome the handicap of a newer site. In the beginning, ranking well will be difficult. It's going to take 6-12 months to get solid traction.
If you are a newer business, it could benefit you to buy a domain that has already been around as opposed to getting a brand new one. There's much more to that story, and it deserves an entire write-up on its own.
You need to get a good understanding of the domain's history. Does it have links? Has it been spammed? Has it been flagged for anything negative? If you can find a solid existing domain that looks clean, it's going to be a good choice for you.
As is the case for our next water damage seo tip, this one is 100% about trust. It gives Google a good idea whether to trust you or not.
Think about a real life example:
When it comes to your business who do you tend to trust more? Let's say you have a high-profile client whose bathroom just flooded in their million dollar home.
You have a guy whose been working with you for 5 years and who you've been able to watch perform.
Then you have Jimmy, who just got out of college and has been working with you for 3 months. Whose going out to service your high-profile client?
It sure won't be Jimmy. Poor poor Jimmy. He just hasn't proven himself yet.
So you get the idea, if you have an older site, you have a trust advantage in the eyes of the search engines.
8) Domain Registration Length
This is another one that is a little more controversial but when you stop and think about it, it makes alot of sense.
What is domain registration length?
Whenever someone builds a website they need to purchase a domain. The domain is what comes along with the .com. In our case restoration-rocket.com is the domain.
Where do you find your domain registration length?
When you buy the domain you get to decide how long you want to register it for. Typically, the default is 12 months. Most domain registrars allow up to 10 years.
This registration length is a possible ranking factor to the search engines.
Why do search engines care about domain registration length?
Google wants to promote businesses that plan to be around awhile. They are probably more trustworthy.
A lot of bad actors will buy domains, knowing that they won't be using them in a year's time.
It's a trust signal. Again, let's use an illustration:
Imagine leasing an office and the landlord asking you, "Well, how long would you like to be here?" One year is probably not the answer they're looking for. They want the confidence of knowing you're there to stay.
So ask yourself, "How long do I want my company to be in business?" "How long do I want to have this website?"
If the answer is longer than a year, go ahead and register your domain for longer than a year.
9) Keyword Density
Everyone knows that keywords are important to SEO. It's one of the most basic principles.
What exactly is a keyword?
Well, a keyword is is whatever you're searching for. It could be short, like the phrase"water damage" or it could be something longer like "does insurance cover water damage?".
The longer the keyword is, the more specific it tends to be.
If you want to rank for something in search results, you probably need to use that keyword in your content.
Keyword density is one of the most misunderstood topics. And that's because :
- We know we have to use the keyword
- Search engines don't tell us exactly how often to use a keyword
- We could be penalized by search engines for overusing it (keyword stuffing)
So what is anyone supposed to do?
You can follow a basic guideline.
If you use a keyword density of between 1% and 2% you'll be just fine. Not sure how to calculate your keyword density?
How do you calculate keyword density?
Just take your total number of words on a page and divide it by the number of times you use your keyword. So if you have a 500 word page and you use your keyword 5 times, you have a 10% keyword density.
The keyword stuffing problem:
You can see how quickly keyword stuffing can become an issue. In a 500 word piece of content, using a keyword more than 5 times would be unnatural. It would be obvious that you're trying to game the system and rank for a particular phrase.
You probably don't need to grab a calculator and start doing the math for each page of your website.
Use your keyword naturally within the content of your water damage page and you'll be golden.
10) Content Depth
Earlier we talked about content length and how longer pages tend to rank higher than shorter pages. We said that we would explain why that is.
Why content depth is important:
The reason longer content tends to rank better is because it typically covers the topic in more depth. It is typically more thorough and more helpful to the reader. People find longer content more helpful, as long as it isn't a page full of gibberish.
As we've said many times already, Google wants to provide users with the answers to their questions. And the additional questions they'll have after their first question is answered.
What does in-depth content look like?
An in depth, comprehensive page on water damage would cover things like.
- What are the most common causes of water damage
- What does water damage look like
- How to prevent water damage
- How to avoid water damage in your home
- Does water damage cause mold
- Do I have to replace my carpet if my home floods
- Does insurance cover water damage.
You get the idea. As a user, would you rather visit 7 different pages to get those answers? Or would you rather visit one very comprehensive page that covers all these questions plus more you hadn't even thought of yet? Chances are, you'd like the more comprehensive page.
How in-depth content provides good user experience:
A more in depth page also means that people will stay on the page longer. The amount of time that someone spends on your page is a ranking factor.
When Google sees that people spend more time on your site than other similar sites, you'll get the benefit of that.
How can you create an in depth piece of content?
You don't just have to write a really long page. You can incorporate other elements that help people understand the topic better.
Videos, images, infographics, audio, animations, and other elements all help people understand topics in more depth, and from different perspectives. They have to spend time digesting all the elements, thus increasing your dwell time.
Wrapping Up Our Water Damage SEO Tips
Taking advantage of these 10 SEO tips will help catapult your water damage website to the top of search results. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to us. The worst thing that you can do it read this information and then do nothing about it.
Leverage these tips yourself or reach out to us to take care of it for you. With Restoration Rocket, you'll rocket your restoration company to the top!
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