How to Compete When You're Small

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How to Compete When You’re Small

By Roumen Todorov

The Internet levels the playing field for small businesses- enabling you to compete with the “big boys.” Today, a good Internet presence is a must for getting more calls from paying clients.

Internet exposure through an optimized website, as well as a place on the grid of Google Maps, will make your business visible to hundreds (or thousands) of users, and you will get more calls from paying clients. Because online searching is key for the success of most businesses today, the focus on “Google” and other search engines is not just a novelty any longer but a requirement.

Keyword Targeting
Big brands often choose not to target specific keywords or are unable to use them for several reasons. The SEO (search engine optimization) keyword universe is limitless, and while the large companies are restricted to using specific ones by rule, a small business can take advantage of it. For example, a large home inspection franchise/company would definitely target keywords like “home inspection.” As a small company can attract a more specific audience with long-tail keywords such as “home inspection Las Vegas NV” or “new home inspection Las Vegas.”

Broad or “short tail” keywords are one or two words such as “home inspector” and refer to more commonly used shorter and generic terms people search for and which target a broad audience. Long tail keywords are keyword phrases that are typically made up of three to five words such as “home inspectors in Las Vegas NV,” which are longer and target a more specific audience. Long tail keywords aren’t as popular but are more targeted to specific searches and come with less competition; therefore they are more affordable.

Brand Authority & Specific Niches
A large, national home inspection franchise or brand will focus on history and the quality of their services. Your local home inspection company can focus on blog content such as “How to Prepare for a Home Inspection,” “Why Test for Radon,” “How to Prepare Your Home for Winter,” etc. Give your future clients valuable advice and not just sales tricks. Get the attention of those who are shopping for an inspector by showing them suitable content instead of just how great your service is.

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Quality Content
Finally, all of the above should be integrated into your website content. While large franchises/companies need to be organic in their content, as they cannot possibly cover everything that they do in small articles, you can invest 10 times more effort in a single piece of content. Set keywords that are extremely important for your business and create that quality content, giving valuable information and options and building the trust of readers.

I will walk you step by step through a proven process to move your company to the top of the list:

Select Your Keywords
First, put together a list of keywords that reflect your services. You might try keywords such as “local home inspection company,” “commercial property inspection companies,” “home inspection services,” and “certified home inspector.”

When you have a decent list, set up a free Google AdWords account. Small business owners can use the invaluable Google Keyword Tool to help them select the best keywords for their given industries. This allows you to type in your selected keywords to find out how much traffic they get. It also suggests related keywords that may not have occurred to you.

Optimize Your Keywords

When your keyword list is finalized, it is time to optimize them on your Google My Business page and your website:

Google My Business
Your Google My Business Page appears in the “Map” section of Google’s local listings. It boosts your online presence and gives prospective clients a short description of your services. It is much easier to increase your rankings faster with a Google My Business page than with a website.

Make sure that all of these components are complete and accurate:

  • Verification: You must first create or claim your business page and submit it to Google for verification. Your verification is confirmed when you see a checkmark and the word “Verified” next to your business name.
  • NAP: Your business name, address and phone number must be accurate and consistent in all listings. Let Google know that your business is a local by including a local phone number instead of an 800 number.
  • Categories: Google My Business categories should focus on services. Along with “home inspection company,” list any additional services your company provides, such as “mold sampling” and “septic inspection.” Try to select three to five categories.
  • Description: This is a brief overview of your business that should end with a call to action.
  • Hours: Make sure that your business hours are correct and consistent on all of your Internet listings.
  • Images: Add photos of your office, staff, your team at work etc., because this can dramatically increase customer engagement.

Website Optimization
Begin with your homepage and service pages because these are the most important. Optimize them for your buying intent keywords. Later, you can optimize your blog posts and other content pages for research intent keywords. Here is what to focus on:

  • Homepage: The title tag is the single most important element on your homepage. It should be between 50 and 65 characters long, and formatted similarly to: Home Inspector in {Your City} | {Name of Your Company}.
  • The next element is the meta description, which lists your primary services and should end with a call to action. It must be between 100 and 150 characters in length: {Name of Company} offers affordable {residential and commercial property inspection services} in {Your City}. Call {Phone Number} today for a free estimate!
  • Make sure the visible headline is concisely descriptive and contains your primary category. This format works well: {Home Inspection Company} in {City, State}.
  • The last major element is your page copy, a 500 to 1,000-word descriptive section that provides some background information about your company. You should briefly describe your services, and end with a strong call to action. Make sure to use your primary keyword throughout the page in a natural way.
  • Service Pages: Create a separate page for each of your services. Optimize each service page in exactly the same way as the homepage, making sure to substitute the relevant keyword.

Although SEO fundamentals and tactics may change, the goal of the search engine has always been the same – providing searchers with the information they’re after in an easy and quick way.


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About the Author
Roumen Todorov is Co-Founder & COO of 411 Locals. He can be reached at: Phone: (702)-417-0208

Note: The Summer 2018 issue of Working RE Inspector mailed to over 20,000 home inspectors nationwide. OREP Insureds enjoy guaranteed delivery of each print magazine and many more benefits.



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