How Home Service Contractors Can Win More Leads Using Pain Point SEO

Relying on traditional SEO tools to identify high-volume keywords may attract lots of organic visitors. But does that traffic convert?

If someone needs financing options for an AC installation, for example, you couldn’t win them over if your web page doesn’t address that specific pain point.

When you listen to customers to understand their pain points, you’ll create content that resonates with them and book more service requests.

This article breaks down everything you need to know about the SEO strategy that’s anchored around customer pain points — pain point SEO. 

You’ll learn what it is, why it matters, and how to create a successful pain point SEO strategy. 

What is Pain Point SEO?

Pain Point SEO is a marketing strategy that involves 

  • Finding problems your clients have
  • Uncovering the keywords most relevant to those problems 
  • Creating content around these keywords to address those pain points 
  • And capturing high-intent customers from search engines

While traditional SEO prioritizes high-volume keywords to drive organic traffic to your site, pain point SEO uses high-intent keywords to attract leads. 

Traditional vs Pain Point Seo Infographic

Done right, you increase your chances of converting these leads to customers. 

Why should you invest in pain point SEO

Pain point SEO helps home service brands attract more high-intent leads than any other type of SEO strategy.

That’s because the people who have these pain points that lead to searches are already aware of the problems they have, and are actively looking for a solution. 

Grow Convert Funnel

It’s the difference between capturing generic traffic and engaging with a targeted audience ready to take action. 

Traditional SEO may bring in visitors seeking general information, but pain point SEO ensures your brand can show up for people looking for specific solutions to the relevant challenges you solve. 

How to create a pain point SEO strategy

Step 1: Find out common issues that frustrate your clients 

Knowing the common issues customers face helps you 

  • Identify real frustrations ideal clients have 
  • Turn these pain points into SEO content ideas
  • Create content that directly speaks to their frustrations

This way, when people search for terms related to their pain points, your content has a higher chance of appearing in search results.

Say your content is among the top three Google search results. 

Searchers are 3x more likely to click to read your blog post. And if your answers help them solve the problem, they’ll hire your business instead of others.

How to identify common issues that frustrate your clients

1. Survey your existing clients 

Existing clients are proven high-quality leads.

You can count on what they have to say to uncover the pain points other high-quality leads you’re trying to attract (or convert) face. 

This way, you create content to address real problems actual buyers have.

Use survey tools like Google Forms or Typeform to collect both open and close-ended feedback.

Web Survey Graphic

Say you want to learn about specific air conditioning issues clients have. 

You could ask, “How often do you encounter issues with your air conditioning system?” and include options like “Rarely / Occasionally / Frequently”

This close-ended question helps you measure the frequency of the issues.

This way, you can decide the pain points to prioritize and create content around.

But if you want to get more specific insights, ask a follow-up question like, “Could you describe the top 3 biggest/most common issues and how they make you feel?”

Both questions give you a complete picture of the customer’s problem, so you can identify common issues and why it’s that way. 

Pro Tip
Ask customers about the times they’ve tried to solve an issue on their own and why. 

Knowing the reasons behind DIY attempts lets you identify areas where customers 

  • Lack knowledge
  • Need more information
  • Are unaware that you offer such services
  • Lack confidence in your ability to solve the problem on their behalf

2. Look through customer reviews and testimonials 

Customer reviews on platforms like your Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Angi offer insights into the actual problems that your customers are facing.

Check these review platforms to see what customers are saying about you and competitor brands in your area.

For example, this customer had a money pain point and was likely searching for financing options.

Quickfix Google Review

In this case, optimizing your page to show financing options or payment plans like we did with Quick Fix Air helps you show up more, and convert more leads.

Customer Pain Point

To find these kinds of pain points in reviews, sort the reviews to show:

  • Highest Rating (reviews that show what businesses did exceptionally well)
  • Lowest Rating (reviews that show frustrations clients have)

You can manually copy and paste these reviews into a spreadsheet so you can look over and identify recurring themes. 

Alternatively, use Google Takeout to export your customer reviews.

Scroll down until you find Google Business and make sure the box is checked (Uncheck other boxes so only your Google Business data gets exported.)

Google Takeout Export Data

The files export in JSON format; to convert them to Excel, follow the steps here.

Use text analysis tools like Word Art or MonkeyLearn to visualize the most frequently mentioned words. 

The larger the word, the more frequently it appears in the reviews.

Once you identify them, copy and paste common issues into another document.

Pro Tip
Not all negative reviews are worth your time.   

To identify these reviews, evaluate the reviewer’s history.

For example, on Google, you can click on the reviewer’s name to see how often they leave reviews and the specific wordings they use. 

If they consistently leave negative reviews for various businesses without providing constructive feedback, their credibility may be questionable. 

So you shouldn’t prioritize theirs over other constructive feedback. 

Constructive feedback provides explicit details on the problem and how they feel, while unfounded complaints are mostly vague and emotionally charged. 

3. Monitor social media platforms for home services-related complaints 

If you don’t have customers yet, we recommend this method for you.

Listening to what your target audience is saying online helps you uncover real issues they are facing. 

Use tools like Sprout Social to find out topics your audiences post or comments on social media. 

After creating a trial account, navigate to “Listening” and click on “Query Builder.” 

The tool helps you identify conversations based on terms that relate to your services, industry, audience interests, and ongoing conversations.

Sprout Social

Scroll down to “Craft New Query” to start adding keywords you want to track. 

Sprout Social Query

Also, select one or more of your connected sources (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…) to listen to. 

You can also exclude certain search terms like promotional keywords to get the most relevant conversations. 

Then filter based on your country and specific region to uncover issues within your service area.

Sprout Social Topic Preview Preview

Once everything is customized to your taste, click “Topic Preview” to get a detailed breakdown of the topic’s performance. 

Sprout Social Query Topic Data

Also, check Quora and Reddit for relevant conversations around your business. 

On Google, type a general query like “HVAC issues Quora” or something more specific like “indoor air quality issues Quora.”

The search reveals different conversations people are having around the topic.

Customer Pain Points On Quora

Click to read each conversation to identify common pain points your audience is having. 

Generating a list of keywords lets you align your content with the specific terms and phrases your target audience is likely to use when they search for solutions to their pain points.

1. Compile a list of identified pain points

Based on your research, make a list of the pain points you’ve identified on a spreadsheet.

These should be issues related to heating, ventilation, air conditioning, maintenance, repairs, energy efficiency, and more.

2. Extract keywords from your pain points with keyword research tools

Use tools like SEMrush, or Ahrefs to dig deeper into these pain points.

Say a recurring customer pain point was “poor indoor air quality,” and you are using SEMrush for the research.

Type each pain point verbatim into the keyword research tool into SEMrush’s keyword magic tool, then click “Search.”

Sem Rush Keyword Magic Tool Pain Point

The tool will generate a list of keyword ideas related to your main keyword. 

Look for relevant keywords and create a keyword list on your spreadsheet. 

Smrush Keyword Search List

You could also sort the list using “Related” to find long-tail keywords, head terms, and questions your ideal customers are searching for. 

Smrush Keyword Search List Related

Use filters to narrow down results based on criteria such as search volume, keyword difficulty, intent, CPC (cost-per-click), and more.

Smrush Keyword Search List Filtering

Filtering helps you decide which keywords to prioritize. 

Pro Tip
Don’t overlook long-tail keywords.   

They may have a lower search volume, but they’re easier to rank for and attract those who have a higher potential of hiring your services. 

Once you have these keywords, export them to your spreadsheet and group them into topic clusters. 

These clusters help you organize your content for search engines and users. 

This way, search engines can tell your content is comprehensive and authoritative on the subject. And it increases your chances of searchers finding and clicking your content. 

Plus, visitors can easily find the information they need (and other related info) to solve the specific problem themselves (or likely hire you to do it for them).

Step 3: Map the intent of the search to each stage of the buyer’s journey 

Buyers Journey Map

Search intent varies based on where people are in the buyer’s journey.

Mapping intent lets you provide the most helpful content at each stage. 

When you offer the right content at the right time, you give prospects a reason to trust and choose you when they’re ready to convert. 

How to map search intent to each stage of the buyer’s journey

First, be clear on the stages of the buyer journey to focus on. 

For pain point SEO, the different stages are:

  • Consideration: prospects looking for possible solutions to their problem
  • Decision: prospects are looking to hire a contractor right away

Next, group the identified keywords into categories based on their intent. 

These keywords typically fall into three main categories:

  • Location and emergency keywords: the searcher needs to hire someone, often ASAP 
  • Jobs-to-be-done keywords: the searcher needs to solve a problem themselves
  • Alternatives keywords: show your audience is looking for alternative solutions

Location and emergency keywords, such as “24/7 HVAC emergency service near me” or “urgent AC system fix,” fall under the decision stage. People using these queries need help ASAP. 

Jobs-to-be-done keywords like “Reduce energy bills” or “Smart thermostat installation” fall under the consideration stage. 

Even though these queries have an informational intent, searchers are either looking to fix the problems themselves or hire someone to do it for them. 

Alternatives keywords, such as “Smart thermostat options” and “DIY air conditioning alternatives,” fall under the consideration and decision stage. 

(The customer journey is not always linear. People often move back and forth between stages based on their needs.)

Pro Tip
Use a spreadsheet with different color codes to identify the keywords that fall into different stages of the buyer journey. 

For example, consider using red for location and emergency keywords, green for jobs-to-be-done keywords, and yellow for alternatives keywords.

This will help your team distinguish between topic ideas and create content with the right intent in mind. 

Step 4: Choose the type(s) of content to create based on keyword intent

People looking for ‘cheap air conditioning alternatives’ have different needs than those already searching for ‘HVAC companies near me.

A blog post that breaks down different options and why they are cheaper will help searchers who are searching for alternatives. 

But for searchers looking for HVAC companies near them, your Google My Business profile needs to have critical details about your business such as 

  • Contact details
  • Services you offer 
  • Customer reviews 

Different intent, different content, but the same goal (leads and conversions).

How to choose the type(s) of content to create

Match the types of content to the specific needs of your audience at each stage of their journey.

For alternative keywords, create in-depth guides and case studies to help people evaluate different options.

For location and emergency keywords,  

  • Create dedicated pages on your website for each service area, providing detailed information about the areas you serve
  • Ensure your GMB profile is fully optimized with accurate business information, including location, contact details, and business hours
  • Create guides on what to do in case of common emergencies. Include DIY troubleshooting tips and advice on when to hire professionals

For jobs-to-be-done keywords, create in-depth guides that show readers how to solve a problem themselves. 

This way, you build trust with them and establish yourself as an authority they can rely on when they decide to hire professional help.

Pro Tip
Use a variety of content formats to cater to different preferences.    

Say your audience may prefer using social media to find DIY tips. 

In this case, repurpose your blog content into bite-sized videos for Instagram, carousels for LinkedIn or Pinterest, or tweets for Twitter. 

Much like we do on our social handles. In this Facebook post, for example, we’ve repurposed a part of our Facebook Ads examples post. 

Repurpose Content

Diversifying your content increases the likelihood of reaching and engaging a broader audience.

Need help building trust with potential customers online?

Step 5: Develop a calendar to determine when and how often you’ll publish content

A content calendar helps you maintain a consistent schedule in terms of:

  • Publishing 
  • Updating
  • Repurposing 

With a content calendar, you can align your topics with seasonal trends, ensuring that your content is timely and resonates with your audience.

How to create a content calendar

Use a spreadsheet or a project management tool like ClickUp or Monday to create your content calendar template. 

If you’re using a spreadsheet, include columns for content titles, formats, target keywords, publication dates, and assigned team members.

Assign responsibilities for content creation, editing, and promotion. Clearly outline who is responsible for each piece of content and the associated tasks.

Determine your publishing frequency. 

Whether you publish content daily, weekly, or monthly, consistency is key. Set specific dates for each piece of content on your calendar.

Step 6: Choose the right metrics to measure and track your progress

The right metrics let you measure the ROI of your pain point SEO efforts.

They are specific, measurable data points you can use to see how well (or not) your strategy is performing.

This way, you can identify what to keep doing, stop doing, or improve on. 

How to choose the right metrics to measure

Determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) that directly relate to the goal you want to achieve.

Key Performance Indicators Relationship

For example, if your main goal is to make lead generation a priority, focus on KPIs like:

  • Form submissions
  • Phone calls
  • Service requests
  • Estimate requests

Overall, the pain point SEO metrics to measure are: 

  • Clicks from local searches (Click-through rate or CTR)
  • Number of leads generated
  • Conversion rate
  • Engagement rate

These metrics reflect the quality of leads and engagements rather than just quantity, and they are likely to generate more service requests.

Step 7: Allocate a budget for executing your strategy 

A budget helps you to prioritize and allocate more resources to high-ROI marketing campaigns.

How to allocate your budget

Allocate a portion of the budget for hiring specialists and tools for

  • Content creation
  • Technical SEO
  • Link building
  • Advanced monitoring and analytics tools
  • Social media promotion
  • Competitor analysis
  • Website design (optional)

For example, say your annual marketing budget is $40,000, here’s a mock budget allocation to inspire yours:

Marketing Budget Pie Chart

These figures are only a starting point and should be adjusted based on your business’s needs and available resources. 

Pro Tip
Regularly assess the performance of your strategy with your marketing team or Marketing Agency.    

If you observe one channel is falling short of expectations, review what’s affecting its performance and make the necessary adjustments. 

Use pain point SEO to generate qualified leads

The best way to get customers to consider and choose your brand is to show them you understand their pain points.   

When you identify and target long-tail keywords that align with their needs, you increase your chances of generating more service requests. 

So prioritize producing content around pain point keywords first before moving into general keywords that only drive traffic with less conversion potential. 

And ensure your content truly fulfills search intent to make it truly resonate with your readers, and stay on top of the search ranking pages.

Want to improve get more qualified leads and increase conversions?

FAQs about Pain Point SEO

How is Pain Point SEO different from traditional SEO?

Traditional SEO prioritizes high-volume keywords to drive organic traffic to your site. On the other hand, pain point SEO uses high-intent keywords to attract leads.

Where do the best pain point SEO ideas come from?

The best pain point SEO ideas come 
– Surveying your existing clients
– Looking through customer reviews on Google, Yelp, and Angi
– Monitoring social media platforms for industry-related complaints
– Analyzing customer service interactions
– Using keyword research tools

What tools make it really easy to identify pain point SEO keywords once you have an idea?

Tools that help you identify pain point SEO keywords once you have an idea are:
– SpyFu
– Ahrefs
– SEMrush
– LSI Graph
– Ubersuggest
– Google Trends
– AnswerThePublic
– Keywords Everywhere
– Google keyword planner
– Google People Also Ask
– Google related searches 
– Moz Keyword Explorer

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