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I’ve taken a look at hundreds if not thousands of websites for home service companies. Some look awesome, with great photos and navigation (even on a mobile device), while some look like they were built after the company received 50 free hours of AOL on a floppy disk. But website design isn’t what I’m writing about; that’s well-covered here.
These websites often feature various accreditations that companies either earn or pay for—and one of the most common is from the Better Business Bureau, or the BBB.
Companies seek accreditation from the BBB to build trust with potential customers. Straight from the BBB’s homepage:
“BBB helps people find and recommend businesses, brands and charities they can trust.”
I could go pretty deep in making arguments for and against pursuing a BBB accreditation, but I want to focus on one question – does a BBB accreditation improve your SEO? And the conclusive and definitive answer that my research has led me to: yeah, maybe a little.
Is Paying for the BBB Accreditation Worth It?
What Does It Take to Rank?
Google considers two things when ranking websites—relevance and authority. It’s easy for Google to determine relevancy by crawling your on-page content, but how exactly does it know if you’re an authority or not?
So from a pure SEO perspective, the BBB can provide a bump simply because it’s a good link. The more good links that lead back to your website, the better your rankings will be.
A Local SEO Boost
A BBB accreditation is also a good NAP citation. NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number and is critical for businesses wishing to rank well in the local organic search results, because search engines like Google take the data into account when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches:
Despite the potential backlink and local SEO boost, in the grand scheme of things, a BBB accreditation offers a pretty minor – if even noticeable – bump in SEO.
But there’s another benefit.
Your BBB listing can rank well for a brand-name searches, which can establish additional trust at a glance if your ratings are good.
There are arguments out there about whether the BBB is trying to help build trust, or just trying to make money like everyone else; accreditation requires an approval process and a couple hundred bucks a year. So is that worth the time, effort, and money? I would say it depends on your business and what stage of growth you’re in (check out our proven process to see where something like this would fit in with a good overall online marketing strategy).
Sadly, on the trustability scale from used car salesman to firefighter, many home service providers rank pretty low. Many HVAC, plumbing, repairmen, etc. will take the auto mechanic’s mantra and replace your headlight fluid. That’s where the BBB is going to have its biggest impact on your business: a good avenue for satisfied customers to tell others about their experience. If you think of your business the way that a potential customer might, a positive rating from the BBB might just convert a few more leads into sales. That also converts that couple hundred bucks on a BBB accreditation into great ROI.
My conclusion? For a home service company, a link from the BBB will provide a minimal SEO bump, but could work wonders for building trust, so it’s well worth the cost. It probably won’t make or break your business (after all, there’s other free review websites out there), but the more good things there are to say about your company, the better.
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About The Author: Ethan is a Business Development Associate in Blue Corona's Maryland office. Outside of the office, you’ll find him golfing, at concerts, or a baseball game - if he’s not parked on the couch watching TV and movies.
View more blogs by Ethan Batson