Home Inspection Websites – Whenever I am doing keyword research, I find that the phrases “home inspection websites” or “home inspector websites” are among the most prominent keywords. Why is that? Well, I imagine it is because a new home inspector is trying to find example websites to base his off of or trying to find someone who specializes in home inspection websites.
On the other hand, an experienced home inspector could be realizing that the market is changing and that “Millennials” are quickly becoming the primary housing market driver. The average Millennial want you to have a website, have it be user-friendly, mobile friendly, make their coffee for them in the morning (joking of course), etc.
So what makes a good home inspection website? If you were to ask home inspectors, for instance on the InterNACHI Message Board, you would get a lot of opinions. Many say content is king – add as much information as possible, others say a simple home inspection website is better so people can use it easily, and others say it is all about flash and style. So which is it?
In my opinion, the consumer (not us as home inspectors) determines what our sites should be like. Then, we need to now couple that with how search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo want our site to be like. we make and maintain multiple websites for home inspectors in the US and Canada, and here are some basic suggestions from the websites that we see perform the best
Home Inspection Websites: Style and Flash
A lot of home inspectors I know say that it’s all about the style of your website. While there is some truth to that, don’t get too into it. Here are three mistakes that many home inspectors make with their websites in this regard:
- You look like you are trying too hard – People want a home inspector who is confident, knowledgeable, and old-fashioned. If you make your site look really awesome with a ton of moving parts, people tend to move on. A good looking home inspection website, without looking like you are insecure or a franchise is your best option.
- Too much going on – You have a video, moving pictures, slideshows, fireworks, spinning wheels, and just about everything else on your homepage… but it takes them too long to figure out that you are even a home inspector. You have only a couple of seconds in the first few lines that you are 1: a home inspector, 2: that you service their area, and 3: that you are awesome. Convey that first, then add all the other stuff later on in the website.
- You put too much of yourself in the website – Yes, you need a picture of yourself on your website (unless you look too young, too old, or like a serial killer), but no one wants to see a picture of you on your fishing trip. Do you like hunting? Great! But no one wants to see a picture of you in your camo hunting. people have very strong personal views, and even the slightest thing they don’t like will turn them off. So keep your pictures and wording both truthful and neutral. Also, get a professional photo done… I know, it feels weird going to JC Penny and saying “I would like some glamour shots done”, but it is worth it.
Home Inspection Websites: Content
“Content is king on a home inspection website”. I hear that all the time. Again, there is truth to that, but here are two sides of the coin to balance that out:
- Your website is not an encyclopedia. Just because one client 5 years ago said “wow, I loved all the information on your site!” doesn’t mean that everyone does. Get to the point with your info. Also, for SEO purposes, never ever cut and paste material from other websites, as search engines do NOT like that. Make it all original. After all, you are a home inspector, and a home inspector should be able to write about most things that we inspect. Also, watch what is called “keyword ratios”. If you have page after page of electrical information, Google will think your site is about electrical stuff, and not home inspections. Make sure your highest keyword ratios are “home”, “inspection”, inspector”, and the cities you serve. It is a bit more complicated than that, but that is a start.
- So you want to keep it simple? Many do, but simple is not always best when it comes to content. Many home inspectors come to me asking for SEO help, but they only have 200 words on their website. If search engines don’t have enough info, they ignore you.
Home Inspection Websites: Ease of Use
Make your site easy to use. Do you have a “schedule” button? Make it prominent on the home page. Make sure your phone number is high on each page and not just in your footer. you lose clients if they have to search for your contact info.
Clearly label your menu. There are few things more aggravating on a home inspection website than trying to figure out how to get around or what page you are even on. Have a clear, simple menu. Studies show that the average consumer tends to like a top menu over a side menu. remember, it is the consumer’s preference that matters, not ours.
Also, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Google made it very clear that this is important to them. Many consumers use their phone and tablet to search the internet, and will quickly leave a site if it is not mobile friendly. Use this Google Mobile-Friendly Tool to see if your website meets their parameters.
Also, consider adding online scheduling to your website. Online scheduling used to be a commodity, but now it is expected to be there by consumers (especially Millenials). There are many services out there that you can use. Inspector Toolbelt even has a free online scheduler that you can use.
Home Inspection Websites: Blogging
Sorry folks, but blogging is here to stay. Search engines want constantly new and original content on your website. What makes a good home inspection blog? Try using the 80/20 rule – 80% good information, 20% advertising yourself. It is important that you don’t transpose those numbers. A home inspector recently said that you should blog about EVERYTHING, because traffic to your website is traffic, right? Well, imagine this: You start blogging about trees. You start off fine, like how they affect the structure, etc. But then you notice that a LOT of people are visiting your site on those blogs (Yeah!). But all Google sees is that people who like trees find your website. How does that help you? You have a bottom line – convert visitors into clients.
Have great info on your blog, but make sure people know about you and your company. Going back to the whole content thing, watch your keyword ratios. blog about the things that matter to people in the 2 week period that they even think about a home inspector. Blog about appraisals, home inspection contingencies, whatever it happens to be (on a side note, never paint yourself as an expert in any of these things, just present information).