How It Works: The Houzz Find Professionals Directory

The Houzz Find Professionals directory helps make thousands of connections between professionals and potential clients and customers every day; it’s one of the primary ways Houzz drives high-quality, organic connections for pros with new clients.

Creating a free professional profile on Houzz automatically lists your business in the Houzz directory, which homeowners can find on both the Houzz site and on the award-winning Houzz mobile app.

Here’s the lowdown on how we promote the directory, encouraging our 40 million monthly unique users to find and connect with the right pros for their projects, and what’s behind the algorithm that highlights local pros and their work.

How do homeowners find the Houzz directory?

The Houzz Find Professionals directory is featured prominently in the main navigation at the top of every page on Houzz. Mousing over Find Professionals displays some of the most popular professional categories on Houzz. Homeowners can easily click on these links or on the main Find a Pro link to reach the directory pages.

Relevant articles in the Houzz Stories section also link to the directory and the type of pro featured in the story. For example, the story How to Work With a Kitchen Designer has a link at the end of the story to Find a Kitchen Designer, which links directly to the Kitchen & Bath Designer category in the pro directory.

You’ll notice that Houzz automatically detects where the homeowners are located and shows them pros in their local areas. However, homeowners can easily enter a specific ZIP code or city and state to change the search area.

Houzz also has a global search box at the top of every page. When homeowners enter a term, such as “designer,” “green building” or “painting,” they are asked if they want to search for that term specifically within the Find Professionals directory.

The Houzz Find Professionals directory also ranks highly in web search results, e.g. on Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines, displaying local professionals in the category and area of the search.

How does searching the directory work?

The directory defaults to a 50-mile radius around the ZIP code associated with a searcher’s IP address. On every directory page, however, Houzz provides multiple search options. People can search for pros by ZIP code, city, and pro category, and can make the search radius from 10 to 50 miles. They can also search by business name.

What’s the difference between organic and paid directory listings?

Organic listings are driven by four R’s. These are relevance, recency and robustness of professional profiles, as well as the responsiveness of that professional to legitimate project inquiries. These four elements are correlated with making quality connections between pros and homeowners and are rewarded by our algorithm.

Want to make the most of the four R’s? Here are some things you can do to strengthen your profile:

– Write a complete business description that differentiates your business from its peers so that homeowners can learn a little about your philosophy, specialties or passions.

– Include complete contact information, including phone, address and website, so that homeowners can reach your business in multiple ways.

– Add a profile photo of the business owner or team to create a personal connection, or a business logo for credibility.

– Request reviews from past clients. More reviews add credibility. Ideally, reviews should be added on an ongoing basis to include recent clients.

– Upload completed projects that show the quality and type of work done. Projects should also be added regularly so that recent work is available to prospective clients.

– Use quality photography. Both the resolution and quality of composition and staging are factors. Professional photography tends to perform best on Houzz, and the more a pro’s photos are saved by the community, the stronger his or her organic listing.

– Educate homeowners. Taking a moment to stay up to date and answer or comment on the questions that are posted on your project photos benefits your ranking in the directory.

– Share project cost and location. Entering the estimated cost and location of projects feeds the relevance factor. The algorithm takes this into consideration for directory ranking to ensure that homeowners are prominently seeing pros who work in their area, along with the number of projects the pros have completed there.

– Be responsive, it matters when it comes to winning projects. To increase the conversion rate for pros from inquiry to job, and to provide a great experience and keep homeowners coming back to Houzz to find pros, the algorithm rewards pros who promptly respond to messages from prospective clients.

Every professional or company may have one free organic business listing in a single category and single location. The directory ranking is always relative to the other profiles in a pro’s area or category. Where a pro ranks depends not only on that business’ own profile activity, but also on the activity of other pros who are also working hard to enhance their profiles.

Paid listings are part of the Houzz Pro+ local advertising program. Pro+ delivers guaranteed exposure and directory placement in a particular target geographic area or areas and for a specific pro category or categories.

Paid listings are always marked as “Sponsored” in the directory, as are all paid advertisements on Houzz. Paid directory listings include a headline description just below the business name, providing additional information about the professional.

Pros can target their directory exposure locally or use the program to reach different parts of the country. Often designers and architects will use the program to reach specific affluent areas of the country or to support business expansion to new markets.

Pros can also advertise in relevant adjacent categories. For example, a general contractor who does frequent kitchen and bath projects may also choose to advertise in the Kitchen & Bath contractor category.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of your listing and your directory ranking are a function of the robustness and ongoing management of your presence on Houzz.

The benefit? When a pro’s profile is up to date, it functions as a 24/7 marketing assistant for each business, providing a wealth of information to prospective clients on-demand. Strong profiles drive more connections with potential clients and customers, and also reinforce a company’s brand. Want help? The Houzz team loves to help pros get the most out of their presence on our platform. If you have any questions, please reach out!

#forpros #lizahausman

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