Actionable Online Marketing Starter Guide for Contractors

Contractors need leads, period. It's a highly competitive market for lead generation these days, especially for contractors. So, are you getting the amount of leads you need to grow your business? Are you getting the amount of phone calls you need?

There's no doubt that local home owners are looking for your services online. No matter where you're located, hundreds, if not thousands of targeted searches are happening every month, for your services.

If only there was a way for you to reach the people that wanted and needed your services. Fortunately, there is a way to put your website to work 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, to bring you leads and ultimately sales.

We have some key marketing strategies for contractors that we have implemented in some our of our client consulting campaigns that work like a charm.

You First Need to Know Where to Start

With so many options on the table, it can be difficult knowing where to start and what options to employ. Even though new options are always developing, we like to keep things focused and simple but also highly effective.

Our go-to online marketing services for contractors are as follows:

  • SEO (search engine optimization)
  • PPC (Pay Per Click)
  • SMM (social media marketing)
  • Video Marketing
  • Web Design

When you're just starting out, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed. It's best to start at the ground level and work your way up.

That means getting a website for your contracting business.

Did you know that 63% of consumers will use a companies website to learn about that business and decide if they'll engage that business? If you don't have a website, you're already starting behind your competitors.

Things to be aware of as you build your website:

Speed: Load times and page speed must be fast. Slow load times crush your conversion rates.

Functionality: Be sure to optimize your titles and descriptions, images, and json-ld schema data.

Mobile Responsive: Consumers are using their mobile devices to find your services. Your site needs to re-size to their devices screen size so they don't click off immediately because of a poor experience.

HTTPS: Be sure to install an SSL certificate as Google will eventually send up red flags when a user lands on your site, deterring them. Google likes HTTPS websites.

Something that just about everyone over looks is UX or user experience. You want your visitors to stay on your site and have an optimal experience. Meaning they find what they are looking for in an efficient manner. Build your site around the things your target audience is looking for such as reviews, photos, videos, key FAQ's etc...

The next step after you build your site is to engage in SEO to start increasing your overall web presence.

Optimizing your website is necessary to put your services in front of the correct audience in your local service area. You need good SEO to accomplish this vital part of your marketing.

SEO helps your business to:

  • Set the correct service offerings and areas
  • Reach the maximum amount of targeted customers
  • Increase inbound leads
  • Increase quality of leads

Google is constantly updating their search algorithms, literally on a daily basis. What works today may not work tomorrow which means you need to stay on top of those changes and adjust accordingly.

Online marketing takes time and patience. Don't expect to reach your maximum search goals in a couple of months. If you're in a competitive market, it can take 12 months or more to get there.

If you want to be found in Google search engine, you need solid SEO practices that fall in line with Google's algorithms so that you can show up either with or ahead of your main competitors.

PPC - If you want results "NOW", use Pay Per click Advertising

We often will supplement SEO campaigns with PPC campaigns. The downside of PPC is that is can get real expensive, real fast. If you have the budget for it, it can be a good initial investment into your online marketing efforts.

PPC ads are typically listed above maps results so they are seen first by the user. The reason for such great visibility is the advertising model, IE..paid advertising.

Just because you pay doesn't mean you automatically get listed on the 1st page for your targeted keyword. You have to bid against other competitors for each keyword. You're also competing in areas such as quality scores, relevance etc...

The Coveted Google 3 Pack

The 3 pack is the 3 listings right below the map. These are considered local listing since they are based largely on proximity of the searcher.

Again, you need to properly optimize your website in order have a chance to show up in the 3 pack.

Here's a few way you can improve your chances of getting listed in the 3 pack.

1. Set up your GMB (google my business) page
2. Optimize your GMB and your website
3. Work on building up good reviews

Your on-page SEO should include optimization of heading tags, title and description tags, proper schema markup. Your off-page optimization should, at a minimum, include, creating 3rd part business listings with your company info.

It's always good to start with the following platforms.

  • BBB
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Yellowpages
  • Houzz
  • Homeadvisor

It's important that you keep all of your company info the same across all platforms. It's also important that you wait until your GMB listing is verified by Google so you can pull your company name, address, and phone number the exact same way that Google has it written.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way follow up with potential customers who've not followed through with a purchase. It's also good to stay in touch with those who are customers for whatever updates you might have.

Email marketing is great for helping to increase sales because it help you to:

  • Stay engaged with customers
  • Advertise new offers
  • Foster awareness of your brand

Perhaps the greatest thing about email marketing is the ease at which you can send out communications. If you've set up a good email collection funnel, it's as simple as composing your message and hitting send.

Get Social

Social media is perfect for supporting your marketing efforts. It's absolutely perfect for spreading around your great before and after photos and videos as well as reveiws.

Popular platforms you can use include:

  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • GMB

Social media is great to reinforce your message and takes time to build up an audience in your local area. You've got to be consistent and whatever you share must add value to your customer and your brand.

Being active on social media is perfect to support what's happening in your business. The more engaged your audience is, and the more they click through to your website, the better your chances are to rank high in the search engines.

Video marketing is huge

Having engaging video on your website is going to help you convert visitors into customers by as much as 100% to websites without video.

Putting marketing dollars into video is a smart move because it helps to:

  • Keep the visitor on your page longer
  • Speak your brand in ways that text can't
  • Sell why you're better than the competition

Video is quite effective for sales. Just by strategically putting video on your target landing page can dramatically increase your conversions. You don't need a high end video production to be effective. Often, just a good smartphone is capable of shooting a high quality video that can be shared on your website.

Here's a few video marketing tips for contractors

  • Keep your video's to the point
  • Share the video's where your customers are looking. Could be on landing pages, blog posts, YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion etc...

Video can also funnel valuable link juice and add relevancy to your website to help with organic rankings. Video communications your message in ways that written content cannot. It's highly engaging and works well.

Track and Analyze your data

Without knowing how your marketing campaign is performing, you're really at a disadvantage. You need to know your ROI and how you stack up against your competitors.

It's great to achieve top rankings in the search engines. But, that doesn't necessarily mean you're successful. You need to make sure that the rankings are translating into leads and ultimately sales.

Measure Revenue and Sales

Revenue is the bottom line, not search rankings. So, is your revenue increasing as a result of your rankings? Measure to find out. One thing you can do is to track your leads.

Lead Tracking

In the contractors scenario, a lead qualifies as someone who click to call or fills out a form. What you'll look at is how many leads you're getting from the amount of traffic you're getting. This is your conversion rate. Generally speaking a contractor conversion rate is good between 3%-5% which is industry standard.

If you find that you're falling short in your conversion rate, it may be time to start thinking about optimizing your site to better convert the existing traffic. This is conversion rate optimization.

Call Tracking

It's important to keep tabs on the number of phone calls you're getting and where they're coming from. Call tracking helps you to:

Track quality, source, new business, existing business.

Why are analytics so important?

If you're not tracking your efforts, you're throwing mud at the wall and seeing what sticks. Tracking allows you to make informed decisions to get the most out of your online marketing campaigns.

Here's the truth about DIY marketing

Honestly, you're running a business that takes up just about all of your time. Most owners don't have the time it takes to learn and implement effective online marketing strategies. That's why we're here. Bright Speed Media can put your lead generation in to motion and implement the strategies in this guide so you can focus on your customers. If you own a business in the Cleveland area give us a call at 440-903-8327 for a free consultation and price quote.

We're located at 7555 Woodlake Drive, Walton Hills Ohio 44146.