Using Houzz for Interior Design SEO & Marketing

Betty Houzz Result

“Houzz, in particular, presents an excellent model for how a high degree of user engagement can result in premium local search results.”
Search Engine Watch

Houzz has become an integral part of any Interior Designer’s marketing campaign largely because of its dominance in search engine results. In a Google search for an “Interior Designer in New York”, Houzz came up in the top two spots:

Article updated Spring 2019:

Houzz Best Designer

This is a mixed blessing for Interior Designers. On the one hand, if you are already at the top of your SEO game you might find that Houzz has taken your top position and bumped you down a notch. And, this definitely results in traffic going to Houzz instead of to you. In the case of New York City, there are 11,379 profiles for interior designers within the default 50 miles. Ouch! That is a lot of competition.

The good news is that if you haven’t yet developed your SEO, which can take years to get to the top of your local search results, you can instead optimize your Houzz profile and have a quicker path to visibility, traffic, and leads.

Houzz Optimization

Once you see the value of Houzz, you’ll want to create a professional profile, upload your project images, and begin participating in the optimization of your profile.

As with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Houzz uses secret algorithms to determine the order of their search results.

After careful analysis (I applied my SEO knowledge to examining Houzz results), here are some of the important factors in their secret algorithm:

  • Having your photos that added in other people’s Ideabooks (see below)
  • The reviews that you receive- quantity, regularity and quality (you’ll need mainly 5-stars)
  • Having lots of followers
  • Adding a significant amount of projects and photos to your profile
  • Responding to questions from others (discussion participation)
  • Responding to all messages to you in a timely fashion
  • Sharing at least 3 Ideabooks with others
  • Reviewing other Houzzers

Those are just 8 of the 25 rating factors that we track and optimize for.

What Really Matters

When I did a Houzz search for Interior Designers in San Francisco the results (here) show the #1 position belongs to Niche Interiors. This top placement should keep their design studio very busy. How did they get there? With algorithms, it is all about the numbers. Here are some of their numbers (last updated Spring 2019):

  • 58 5-star reviews
  • 59 projects consisting of 472 images
  • 1756 discussion comments
  • 2848 Facebook likes, and 2090 Tweets on their profile page
  • 15 Houzz awards, 5 Houzz Badges, 3 Affiliations

These, and other numbers, are why they are #1 in San Francisco.

Some of Houzz’ system can be gamed. Other elements, like having 23,003 people add your image to their Ideabooks cannot- although it can certainly be encouraged through marketing efforts.

Not everyone searches by major metropolitan area, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t compete in those searches. There are always suburb/town searches that have less competition and thus are easier to succeed in.

So you have now seen Houzz through the eyes of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultant and Certified Houzz Marketing Consultant (Yes, I went through a certification program and exam as offered by Houzz).

As with search engine results positions, top Houzz placements leads to more eyes on your work, more calls coming your way, and more projects to engage with. If done well, you’ll be turning away clients for a lack of time.

Houzz Effects Your Website’s SEO

Houzz does not give what we call followed links, which means that the link on your Houzz profile that points to your website does NOT help your website’s SEO. Most social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, provide no-follow links that do not help your SEO directly. Houzz is now the same.

However, Google is always trying to find new ways to determine how to deliver quality search results, and thus a powerful Houzz profile, which can be partially determined by the Page Authority, MozRank, and MozTrust (see below), can help Google understand the connectedness between your firm/name and your major keywords, and thus could help you indirectly in search.

To understand this better I turned to one of my SEO tools and fed into it three different Houzz interior designer profile pages- the top San Francisco profile for Niche Interiors, the top profile in NYC for Betty Wasserman, and one for a less active profile.

Here are the results:
Houzz Seo Results
What this tells us is that your success on Houzz yields a higher SEO score for your Houzz profile page. (This is not for your website though).

Niche Interiors’ Houzz profile has a very strong SEO score of 58/100. Betty Wasserman has an also strong 52/100. Yet, the third example, a less optimized profile, has just 42/100- not enough to help her in organic search.

Surely this inquiry will help DIY marketers with their Houzz efforts, and it will help SEO pros who are unfamiliar with the home services industry to see what needs to be done to help their clients.

What I left out is the recipe for my “secret sauce,” our proprietary strategies to get our clients to the top of Houzz directory results. To be effective, we apply these proprietary practices to our clients’ Houzz profiles on a daily basis from our designated Houzz optimization team at our marketing agency Client Expander.

Want to learn more about Houzz?

Want a clear and impartial picture on whether it makes sense for you to invest in Houzz marketing? As an independent Certified Houzz Marketing Consultant, I don’t push Pro+ advertising like “Houzz reps” do.

I’ll provide you with the honest answers you need to assess how your business can leverage the success of Houzz’ $4 billion platform, so that you can have clear plans and expectations. Schedule a Houzz marketing call here.

Other marketing questions or needs? Schedule a consultation with me to discuss your situation, here: book a consultation with Ken.

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