By Samuel Greenberg
Table of Contents
If you’ve spent any time at all looking into digital marketing for your flooring business, you’ve probably come across the term “SEO” about a million times. But what exactly is SEO? What makes it so important? And most importantly, how can you use it to drive leads to your flooring store?
I’m Samuel Greenberg, SEO and Content Marketing specialist. Below, I’m going to answer all of those questions (plus a heck of a lot more) as I explain everything you need to know about SEO for your flooring business. Let’s jump right in!
First of All: What is SEO?
Simply put, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Essentially, it’s the art and science of optimizing your digital content—we’re talking web pages, blog posts, etc.—so that they rank higher on search engines like Google.
Of course, since Google is the #1 search engine in the world (followed by YouTube, with Bing as a distant 5th) Google is pretty much all we focus on when it comes to SEO.
Why Is SEO Important for Flooring Dealers?
Think of it this way. If someone searches your flooring store’s name on Google, you want your website to be the #1 result. That’s just common sense.
But you also want your website to be the #1 search result for search terms related to your flooring store. We’re talking search terms like “flooring stores near me”, “flooring in my area”, “best vinyl plank floor brands” or even “vinyl plank in [city]”.
Consumers who search for terms like those are already high-quality leads, and you want all of them buying from your business—not skipping off to the depressing box store down the road.
Translation: an SEO-optimized web presence gives your flooring store an infinite source of high-quality leads, virtually forever, at zero recurring cost.
How Does Google Rank Search Results?
Good question! Obviously, if you want to optimize your web presence, you need to know what to optimize it for.
Unfortunately, that can be easier said than done. Google uses over 200 metrics to determine where a website will rank in its SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for a given search term. Luckily, there are two things you can always count on when it comes to SEO.
#1. The Google algorithm thinks like a person.
#2. Good content ranks higher.
Let’s break that down a bit.
What do I mean when I say that the Google algorithm “thinks like a person”? Well, answer me this. If you had to choose which result was more relevant to a search for “flooring store in Sarasota”:
- A webpage that includes the words “flooring” and “Sarasota”, or
- Or a webpage that doesn’t include those words?
Exactly. You’d choose the option with content and wording that’s relevant to the user’s search. Translation: Google thinks about what’s relevant and what isn’t the same way you and I do.
Similarly, if someone searched for “best vinyl plank flooring Dalton Georgia”, which webpage would be more relevant:
- A site with well-written original content about selling vinyl plank in the Dalton area, or
- A website with a short, generic blurb about vinyl plank?
The first one, obviously! And that’s what I mean by “good content ranks higher”.
How to Optimize Your Flooring Site: Best Practices
Now that we understand what SEO is and how it works, let’s talk about some best practices that you can use to make your site rank higher on Google (and rake in those leads).
#1: Optimize for Specific Keyword Searches
Remember what I mentioned earlier about Google thinking like a person? This is where it comes into play.
If you want your site to rank for searches that include terms like:
- Your specific city or location
- The types of flooring you sell
- The specific services you offer
Then you need to tell Google to rank your site for those terms. How? By including those keywords on your site, front-and-center, in multiple locations! If you don’t tell Google what your store does, where it’s located, and what it sells, who will?
Key takeaway: you need to tell Google what keywords you want to rank for.
#2: Create Meaningful Blog Content
So where exactly do you put those keywords and ideas on your website? Aside from the normal places—your page headers, your homepage, etc.—there’s one location that’s always a safe bet: your blog!
Simply put, if you want your site to rank highly in Google’s search results, you need to create optimized blog content. And that content also has to be helpful and original.
Why does it have to be helpful and original? Because like I said before, good content ranks higher! So if you write a one-paragraph blog that’s stuffed with keywords but has no actual value to readers, Google’s not gonna like it.
Key takeaway: you need a blog, it needs to be good, and you need to create content regularly. As we say in the industry, “content is king”.
#3: Provide an Excellent User Experience
This one is relatively straightforward, but it’s worth discussing anyway. If you have an excellent site—clean, well-built, with an easy-to-use product catalog—users are going to spend more time on your pages.
And the more time users spend on your pages, the better your user experience metrics (time on site, number of pages visited, etc.). And the better your user experience metrics, the higher Google is going to rank your site for any given search.
Because again, Google loves good content. And bonus: the better your digital user experience, the higher the chance that your RSA makes an in-person sale.
Key takeaway: an easy-to-use, high-quality website is key for good SEO.
#4: Harness the Power of Google My Business
When you search for a location-specific term—“flooring in Sarasota”, for example—the first thing Google displays below its paid ads are local results.
Local results consist of business profiles pinned to a map, complete with star ratings, pictures, and contact information. You’ve probably seen these a million times—but did you know that you can control your local results listing?
Actually, if you’re a flooring dealer and you didn’t know that… well, I’m not here to judge.
The point is, you can control your listing with a platform called Google My Business. On GMB, you can add pictures, adjust your hours, respond to reviews, and much more. Since this is the first thing potential leads will see when they search for flooring in their area, your GMB profile needs to be fantastic.
After all, a first impression is a lasting one. So respond to reviews; add photos; update your hours of operation; make your business pop. Unsurprisingly, businesses with fully-filled-out, optimized GMB profiles get more leads. It’s not rocket science, y’all.
Key takeaway: local businesses need fantastic local listings. If your GMB profile is empty, you’re leaving money on the table.
#5: Optimize for Mobile Use
Did you know that well over 50% of all web traffic occurs via mobile devices?
If you thought desktops and laptops were king, think again. These days, it’s all about mobile phones—and that means your website needs to be optimized for mobile use. If your site:
- Is hard to navigate on a small screen
- Doesn’t feature responsive design (i.e. a design that rearranges itself depending on the type of device it’s viewed on)
- Is slow on mobile networks
Then you’re going to have people leaving your site immediately. And that’s not just bad for lead generation and making sales—it’s also bad for SEO, since your page experience metrics go down (see tip #3).
Key takeaway: your site needs to be mobile-friendly.
#6: Stay Ahead of the Curve
On the subject of mobile useability: this year, Google is switching to something called mobile-first indexing. I’ll spare you the technical-SEO-speak, but the point is, optimizing your site for mobile use is going to become even more important in 2021.
What’s even more important to note, though, is that this is just one of the dozens—if not hundreds—of changes Google is making to its algorithm every single year. Google is always fiddling with its technology, so SEO best practices are always changing.
That means you need to stay ahead of the curve if you want to maintain a dominant web presence. Because even if you don’t, you can be sure that your box store competitors will.
Key takeaway: when it comes to SEO, you need to stay ahead of the curve if you want to stay ahead of your competition.
#7: Hire an Expert
As an SEO specialist, I’ll be the first to admit that, yes, I am biased on this one.
But seriously—SEO best practices change often, and they can change dramatically. SEO optimization and content creation need to be done with an experienced (and soft) touch to avoid over-optimizing. Reputation management via Google My Business is time-consuming. Mobile optimization needs to be done by an expert engineer.
Blah, blah, blah.
The point is, it’s almost never worth it for a flooring dealer to try and do their own SEO. It is, in my humble opinion, much more trouble than it’s worth—and it never turns out as well as it would have if they’d just hired an expert in the first place.
Take some advice from the great Ron Swanson, and focus on doing what you do best: selling more flooring and being a fixture in your local business community.
I hope this guide to SEO for flooring dealers has been helpful! I know this was a lot of information, so if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out—you can get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best and happy SEOing!