How to Rank Higher On Google for Roofing Contractors

It’s 2024 and you’re here because you feel its time for your business to be rank higher on google maps. Ranking on google, is not rocket science, however, due to their being over 240+  factors that Google looks at to determine which business deserves to be one of the top companies, and since they keep their algorithm a complete secret (after all, it is a Formula that prints $ 40 billion+ a year for them!)  we are left with an entire industry of guessing, making things up, and doing a whole lot of activity for not a lot of results. The people that know how to rank on Google, coincidentally are the people that have been testing the most methods per year. Simply put, to find out the most up-to-date information on what Google is really rewarding, you have to try strategies and keep track of what is working and what is not. Best to do it across multiple markets so you see more easily the effect. 

In this post, I’m going to try to do my best to give an overview of ranking in google tailored for roofing and home improvement contractors that is working in 2024.

Lets start by outlining the rules of the game. If we take a search like “roofing austin tx” There’s only four ways we can get a customer from Google:

They are either going to come from the following:

  • Google Guaranteed 
  • Google Ads
  • Google Maps
  • Google Organic

The bottom two are unpaid and the first two are paid. For most markets, we prioritize them according to the return on investment whether that be effort or dollars spent on advertising, and as of right now based on 57 roofing contractors that we are working with spread across 15 states, the order of importance goes like this:

  1. Google Maps (The Most Important)
  2. Google Guaranteed (Second Most Important)
  3. Google Organic (Third Most Important)
  4. Google Ads (Fourth and Last)



Below is a snapshot of our Call Rail Account –  a tool we use to record phone calls generated for contractors we are working with:



roofing phone call leads in call rail

Why Google Maps is #1 Priority:
As of April 28, 2024, within the last 30 days we generated 4356 phone calls across all contractors….More than half of the calls come directly from the maps. It’s the single biggest driver of leads from Google for us.

Google Guaranteed is 2nd in Priority:
Google Guaranteed –  although they changed their algorithm and the number of leads have gone down dramatically compared to how many leads roofers used to be able to get from Google guaranteed when it first came out in 2018 and 2019, it is still a very high quality lead at a very reasonable price. So we like to max out as many leads as we can get from Google guaranteed before moving on to other sources. 

Third Priority:
Organic listings (Under Google Maps) have become the new page 2, it does not get nearly as much people as it used to, however if you are able to come in position 1-3 organically for keywords that have search volume, it still brings an amount of visitors per month which turn into leads that justifies resources going towards it. 

Last Resort:
Google Ads, Normal Google ads has become very expensive, the expense has gone to the point where an average phone call that is qualified is between $300 – $500 per call in many roofing markets. This makes Google ads, in the traditional sense almost unusable. Only companies that are able to charge very high for their services can make it work out, and by very high I mean pretty much at least double what most roofers are charging in your market for the same product.


how to rank higher on google maps


Unfortunately we will have to start with the basics. Otherwise we risk getting into how to tune the engine when we don’t have tires on. Fortunately though, I will cover them as briefly as possible so that we can move on to the things that we as an agency find that actually matters in 2024.

Importance of Service Name In Business Name

If you are a search engine that aggregates all the information in the world for every industry you can possibly think of and all you get is maybe 2 words to do so, such as “roofing austin” Each word in that phrase, means a lot! Google has to analyze, which companies Are claiming to be a contender to show up for this keyword and between those companies, Which ones are actually serious about this “roofing” service? So then, when you line up as a contender and you show that it is serious enough to us to have it in the business name,  it’s basically like we have it plastered on our forehead that this is what we specialize in and hence they made it where it carries a lot of weight in the rankings.  

 

You can put the service in your header one title, you can put it on the homepage of the website, you can put it in the Google my business description, but nowhere will it have the same weighted effect as having it in the name of the business. Which is why, most of the time in big competitive cities, especially in a cities over 500,000 population, almost all the time the companies that are ranking in the top three positions will have Roofing in their name and you will mostly never see companies like “ABC Construction” or “USA Home Improvement”  taking that spot. Now, If you are reading this and feeling down that your company does not have roofing in the name, there are ways around it but for the sake of this article we will carry on. 


Citations


Next you have to have around 20-30 citations. A citation is another platform which lists the name of your company, address, phone number and often website.  Examples of popular citations are: BBB, Homeadvisor, Thumbtack, Etc.

Google wants verify that this business is listed in Google my business and establish that it is in fact this business, under this name, with this phone number, actually available at this location, is also listed across several other sources in the web, allowing Google to feel comfortable showing your business to it’s users. (This is called Trust, it is different from Power in SEO).

A good rule of thumb to find out which citations your business should be listed in, is simply search in major cities such as Dallas texas, New york, Phoenix arizona, Los Angeles california, basically the biggest cities in the United States and look at the roofing contractors that are at the very top, then if you search their company name you will find that they are listed in many directories out there such as homeadvisor, yelp, BBB, thumbtack, Porch, Angi, etc.

Now, you may notice that I am pointing out our industries favorite sellers of leads, the reason why I am using them as an example is because no matter how bad their quality of the service is, in Google’s eyes they look at Authority by the number of people that are going to that business and relevancy it has to Roofing and construction space, and in that angle, these directories are high up on that list in terms of authority. So I’m not advocating for them where you should buy their services, it just means that if we are able to get listed on some of these platforms with no cost or little cost where we are just getting listed as a business but don’t want to purchase the leads, then it can make sense to establish trust for your Google Profile. 

how to set up google business profile

This section is not going to be an extensive step by step regarding how to set up the Google profile because quite honestly it is very simple and there’s a lot of guides out there on how to set up a Google profile. However, I’m going to point out some of the main things that we want to make sure that we don’t miss:

  1. Phone number has to be local, again one of those basic things but if you use a 1-800 number you will lose out on the locality factor of the phone number
  2. If possible you should show your address as opposed to not showing it, this is not a deal breaker but if you show your address it is easier to rank in Google. Period. People can fight me on this but again it’s based on data we have across 15 different markets and we see it over and over again. It’s not that Google does not like businesses ran out of homes, over 50% of the roofers we work with, run their business out of a home. if you are running the business out of an office though, definitely show your address, even if you have to go through the trouble of re-verifying the business listing, it is worth the trouble.


That’s it, as long as the Google listing has the service in the name “roofing” and then the address is showing, you’re already off to a much better start than you think. Remember, its not the number of activities you do, its the few things that hold the most importance that if done well will outperform everything else.

You can fill out rest of the profile which is very basic such as putting up a description, pictures, services we provide, we don’t have to get cute in any of this, we don’t have to stuff it with keywords, we don’t have to do none of that stuff, we have already tested it and the number of keywords you put in the description and services in the Google my business listing, it has little to almost no effect.

How to Make a Great Roofing Website


The title here should more importantly be how to track a great roofing website. Many of the websites we check out, they look okay aesthetically good, because they were designed by people who just cared about what the website looks like but not paid much attention or was not part of their job to really figure out what it’s going to take for the website to actually get homeowners to come to it and then turn into phone calls.

 

Making something look good and making something perform is are very different things, especially when it comes to SEO. Once again, I’m not going to go into an extensive step-by-step about how to make a great roofing website in this section, but I will provide an overview of the things we don’t want to miss:

  1. The website should be very easy to make phone calls through, simply walk over to your neighbor, pull up your website and then ask them to call, see if they can find the button where it is right away or not, if they don’t find it within like a second, it’s an issue. The button or phone number to call should be visible and easily found. On cell phones, a simple hack is to have a scrollable footer where the phone call button is always available no matter where the person goes on the page, this way they don’t have to scroll all the way back up to make a phone call.
    example roofing website
  2. Most people do not scroll, especially on the computer, when somebody comes on to the website, they should have all the reason to make that phone call without needing to scroll. We can do this by the following:
  • Have a great main picture, extra points if it’s easy to tell that the picture was taken from a local area. Example: Your team in the background with company shirts, trucks Etc Anything that can make your company look established if you’re a bigger company. 
  • Any accolades we have such as BBB A+, GAF, Certainteed, (Some kind of award or certification from your the shingle  manufacturer) and even Homeadvisor A+ etc, any and every reason to establish that we are a credible company that has accolades to speak about the service we provide is going to be important to simply list out.
    accolades for a roofer's website
  • If they were to scroll one time, we should have a section that lists out all the reasons why they should give us a shot and what makes us different than other contractors, consider this the hail mary and they are about to leave our page, so we want to be straight to the point and get their attention before we lose them
  • Load speed – Make sure we are scoring 90+ in mobile in Google Page Speed Insights Tool and at least a B+ in GT Metrix. Then simply load your phone on your cell phone, on an Android device, and on a tablet, if it looks good in all of those, nothing getting cut off, you’re able to easily make phone calls and fill out the forms with as little clicking and thinking as possible , we are off to a good start.

    That’s it for the design, let’s talk about a few steps on the SEO and optimization. Again, not an extensive list but important things that many Miss:


    • Every area that we service, should have its individual page with unique content listed on the website. This is simple, this is a strategy that’s been around for more than half a decade and it’s still has some benefits which is why it makes a spot on this short list
      service areas for local websites
    • Every type of roofing we do and that is remotely available in our area that we can provide as a service, it should have its own separate page and listed on the menu. This is not for homeowners to read, this is so Google can crawl what this website is about. So far from just these two bullet points, there’s a list of all the areas that we are located around the area where we say we are, and it has a list of pages about the service we provide. 
      roofing service list
    • The homepage of the website, title and header 1 tag should have “roofing city” so with our previous example of austin, we can go with “roofing austin” It is preferable to make the title and the header exactly the same, again people can fight me on this but it works and it keeps it simple. People will also want to really fight me regarding a blanket approach and putting “roofing city” as opposed to their complicated 30 step way to figure out what is the way homeowners are searching, when in reality if you have been working in this market for any meaningful amount of time, you would understand by now that it’s not the homeowners that are complicated, the homeowners are actually pretty predictable across the board, in most markets they are just searching “roofing city” roofing contractor city” roofers near me” best roofer”  and they search in this manner over and over again….it is Agencies in the marketing industry, that makes this process extremely complicated because we cannot accept the fact that we are not doing well enough job in the other parts of the campaign where it really matters, so we must justify doing more activity when it comes to things like keywords. But not to fret! we will discuss the complicated part, its coming and has a place for it, and whenever possible, don’t over complicate the simple parts.

Rest of the website is very basic optimization, good onpage seo, good content written that’s just not blasted with ai but actually written based on local market we service will suffice. 

 

The result is, when you search for roofing in the cities/towns/ neighborhoods nearby your service radius, you want to make sure that you can start showing up for several of those cities  organically as you can see below using something like Serpfox seo rank tracking tool:
seo rank tracking

If done right, these kind of results can be expected within 60-90 days of setting up the website. Onpage SEO and content indexes pretty quickly in Google and these are not the type of activities that take many months to show results, these early rankings is an indication that the website is getting recognized and love from Google, and we are in the right direction.

Off Page SEO and Backlinks for Roofing Contractors

Time for the fun stuff. Now that we have spent a couple thousand words on explaining a basic overview of how we want things to be set up, we can start getting into the things that actually make the competitive advantage. You see, if you look at any large city where there are thousands of homeowners looking for roofers and the city has a population is over half a million people, it does not logically make sense to think that a company simply gets to be one top 3 roofers just simply because they have a good looking website, or because they are listed on yelp, or because they have a well written description on their Google profile, when you think about it it becomes clear that those things can’t be the end all be all. Those are the basic things and that’s why we covered it first, and it’s what we want to rule out in our market and get done first to make sure and see how far it gets us….if you have the above outline done even decently well, you should be amongst the top 30-50 companies, even in competitive markets.

Now, That may not sound great because most homeowners are not going to go past 29 roofing companies and then find your company on the 30th position, but the point is not getting calls yet, it is to recognize that we can make significant progress just from doing the basics very well.

Then, now – Once you have these things done, what is the single biggest lever which we can pull that will give us the most return on time money and resources? The answer is backlinks. 

You see, a lot of the activities in the basic section is a one-time thing, once you set up your header tag  on the website, it is done, once you put a title, it is done, once you put the description on your Google profile, it is done. 

 

One can wonder…”what else is there? I got my website, got great reviews, got my profile and everything set up….why am I no where to be found….why isn’t my phone ringing?”

It is now, after the basics,  we can start doing what actually gives us a competitive edge: Backlinks.

In recent years backlinks have become even more important because with the whole wave of AI allowing people to mass produce blogs, pictures, and videos – Google Is very keen on weeding out 99.99% of the production and only listening to the .001% that matters….and that is what others say about you.

So what are backlinks and what kind of backlinks are we talking about?

 

You can simply think of backlinks as votes.  Google understands that it is very difficult to fake authority – meaning,  if you’re business is published on other Roofing businesses that are adjacent to the service, and those businesses have a lot of authority, then their Authority pushes your Authority up.

 

Basically, if your business is published on a few websites I will use as example: https://www.roofingcontractor.com/ https://roofingmagazine.com/ https://www.rooferscoffeeshop.com/
It’s a strong indication that your company is doing something right because businesses that are in the same space which has been around for a long time and has thousands of homeowners reading their website,  you happen to be spoken of highly in those same places.

Most agencies nowadays when they think of backlinks, either they are just building your basic citations we covered above or they  or just buying some package from fiverr for a low fee  which does absolutely nothing. It has to be coming from credible sources, which are relevant in our industry, they have to have their own profile of good backlinks for themselves, and lots of people have to be really going to the website and using it on a regular basis, only when you get published on those websites, do you as a roofing company get credibility to rank higher.
 

So How Do We Go About Building Roofing Backlinks?

 

Competitor Links

Easiest place to start is simply take the roofing contractor that is ranking #1 in Google Maps for the most competitive city which is basically the biggest city by population in your service radius and put them in Ahrefs Backlink Checker. Go to backlinks and configure it to show one backlink per domain – And simply start making a list of sites that are trustworthy, have good traffic, and has a decent domain authority. You will want to make sure that they are real entities without any kind of bad link profile but for the sake of this article, as long as they have those three things we should be good to go.

 

It’s not quantity, it is quality. That statement stands couple years ago and it stands much more strongly today than ever before because in a world where anybody can generate thousands of articles in a single day from thin air, getting spoken of by quality places is what makes us stand out. Just like if you are recommended by your neighbor versus being recommended by the president of the United states, it’s probably going to hold more weight if it’s the president.

 

Once you have combed through all the prominent places that the top ranking company in the area has gotten their name listed on which is responsible for giving them the authority that they have, you can repeat this process with the top three companies, and then the top 10 companies. 

 

See, why complicate? Google has already rewarded those companies with showing up in the top positions because of the places they are mentioned in, so instead of complicating it, you can start off by just matching what they all have done to at least bridge the gap between you and them because there’s going to be other things which we are not going to be able to bridge the gap such as how long the website has been around, age of the domain, so we definitely want to at least match them when it comes to things we can control.

 

Once that is done, then we go on to the next step which is much more scalable. Not easy, but simple. 

 

We are going to make a list of companies that are adjacent to home improvement in your state. These are not your competitors, these are companies that are in the same space, for example Home Depot, The Home Mag, etc – but There are mom and pop versions of these locally in your state that lets a lot of  homeowners know what is going on in the world of Home Improvement around them,  every single one that has a decent online presence with real traffic and people going to their website, is going to be good enough for us to reach out and negotiate a one-time price to get your company  listed on their website. Remember, we are not looking for the most powerful high domain authority  backlinks from these websites, simply them being local and relevant our service  to makes them highly valuable and almost no roofer is going to be listed on their platforms because nobody wants to do this type of work. 

 

Done properly, you will end up having backlinks from local businesses and blogs, and magazines that are not only unique, but also relevant to the roofing industry, this meets all the criterias that Google loves and will play a critical role, if I had to put it in a percentage – over half the battle will be won from just this process. 

 

At this point you might be wondering how many of these platforms will I need to be listed in?The answer to that is obviously going to depend from market to market, but simply by looking at the top three companies that are already ranking, once you dissect down how many unique niche relevant links they have, and find out which company out of those 3 has the most good quality links, we should shoot for at least that number. The reason being is again, we are already starting after them so there are going to be a few things that they have over us which we can’t control such as age, so to really bridge the gap and show Google that we are also one of the top roofing companies in the area, we have to match everything they have done, in both quality and quantity and then exceed that and only then, expect results that most companies don’t have.

 

SEO is not rocket science, but with over 240+ factors that Google looks at, It creates an environment for a whole lot of guesswork, I hope this has helped you narrow down hundreds of things that people are shouting every day and bring that list down to just a few things where if done well, it will outperform almost everything else.