One of my favorite aspects of my job is SEO. As a content-focused SEO professional, I particularly enjoy working with keywords. I apply the same method to conduct keyword research for all my clients. My marketing agency exclusively serves clients in the AEC industry, which includes architecture, engineering, and construction. We have a substantial client base of home improvement and renovation companies. Today, I’ll share the exact method I use to identify SEO keywords for these clients.
In this article we will cover:
- Making a KW+Local matrix
- Doing keyword research in SEMrush
- Grouping by topical clusters
- Creating a content plan
- SEO keywords you can use if you don’t want to do this
- SEO for home improvement
Making a KW+local matrix
Firstly, I begin by creating a Keyword + Local matrix. What exactly is that, you might ask? It’s a concept I developed that has proven to be significantly helpful. Here’s what it looks like:
I start by listing all the services your company provides. For instance, a home improvement company might specialize in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Then, I consider modifiers that people might use when searching for these services. For instance, ‘renovation’ and ‘remodel’ are two different terms often used interchangeably in searches. Finally, I note down the state, county, and cities your company serves. Not everyone uses terms like ‘home renovation in Columbus’ in their search, but some do, so it’s crucial to account for those as well.
Doing keyword research in SEMrush
Once I’ve filled out my Keyword + Local matrix, I use SEMrush to conduct keyword research. This process involves testing all possible combinations from the matrix on SEMrush. For example, I might take ‘residential’ from the service column and ‘renovation’ from the modifiers column, then ‘residential’ from the service column and ‘remodel’ from the modifiers column. I go through all these combinations and add them to my SEMrush list.
Grouping by topical clusters
Next, I export all these terms to the keyword tracking section for that specific client in SEMrush. This allows me to see what keywords they are currently ranking for and those they aren’t. Then, I cluster all these terms by topic. I apply tags in SEMrush to sort by type (for example, kitchen vs bathroom). This step is crucial because search engines prefer websites that demonstrate expertise in a particular topic. By grouping all bathroom-related terms together, we can create a focused content plan on bathrooms. This might involve writing five blog articles and creating a dedicated service landing page for bathroom renovations. With substantial content about bathrooms, we increase our chances of ranking for the most desired terms, such as ‘[location] bathroom renovation’.
Creating a content plan
I’m now going to create a comprehensive content plan. This plan includes the keywords to be used on the main website pages, such as the homepage and services pages, as well as a 12-month blog strategy. Considering that most of my clients are starting from scratch with SEO and their sites aren’t optimized, we typically target the low-hanging fruit first. These terms may have lower search volumes, but they’re easier to rank for. Hence, we start with these easier terms to establish some credibility with Google before targeting the bigger, more competitive terms.
The main website pages are straightforward. They usually follow the format ‘[service area][service]’, such as ‘Home Renovations in Columbus’. The blog strategy is where we can exercise creativity. We’ll write in clusters, aiming to create content that helps us rank for the major terms we want to win for the homepage and services pages.
Assuming our priority term is ‘Home Renovations [area]’, we’ll write 10 different articles all centered around home renovations but covering varying aspects, such as ‘How to Renovate a House While Living in It’ and ‘Ohio Home Improvement & Renovation Grants’. Over time, we’ll post these articles and ensure we link back to the main page we want to rank for, which is ‘Home Renovations [area]’.
SEO keywords for home improvement that you can use
If you’re looking for a list of keywords to test, we’ll provide some here. However, keep in mind that while there are commonalities in how people search, the search volume (how many times a term is searched per month) and difficulty (how hard it is to rank for a term) will vary by location. Therefore, it’s always best to conduct actual keyword research to avoid shooting in the dark. But if that’s not possible, here are some good bets for keywords to use on your homepage, service page, etc.
Interestingly, for a client where I’m tracking 338 residential renovation keywords, 62% of those keywords use ‘home’ or ‘house’ rather than more specific terms like ‘kitchen’ and ‘bathroom’. Only 16% are kitchen-related and 7% are bathroom-related. Many people who want to renovate their kitchen realize they need a home remodeling company, so that’s how they search, even if they specifically want their kitchen remodeled. That’s why I prefer the homepage to be something like ‘home renovations’, with specific services pages for ‘kitchen’ and ‘bathroom’ where you can use those specific terms.
For your homepage, you might try:
- Home Renovations [your local city]
- Home Remodeling [your local city]
For your service pages, consider:
- Kitchen Renovations [your local city]
- Bathroom Renovations [your local city]
Some people may put the city before the service when they search, like ‘[your local city] kitchen renovations’, and others might use alternate terms like remodeling, improvement, makeover, etc. This is why actual keyword research is beneficial. However, it’s better to make an educated guess using terms like the ones above, rather than writing generic content like ‘We provide great service’, which gives Google no context about what you do.
SEO for home improvement
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out our guide on advertising for home improvement businesses, where we cover our lead generation formula. Additionally, don’t miss our extensive guide on SEO for home improvement, detailing our unique strategy for these businesses. If you’re in need of a marketing agency for your SEO needs, contact us for a complimentary consultation. We specialize in the AEC industry (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) with a wealth of experience with clients in home renovation and remodeling. We have the expertise to deliver outstanding results for you.