You may be the best contractor in your area, but if your target audience doesn’t know about you or can’t find you online, you’ll be losing business to your competitors. Luckily, by applying the following contractor marketing tips, you’ll stand out in the marketplace.
Whether you are an HVAC specialist, a landscaper, a home improvement company, or any kind of general contractor, these marketing tips will get you noticed and found online.
Let’s jump right into it!
Tip #1: Claim your Google My Business account.
It’s more important than ever to get on the 1st page of Google search results as 92% of searchers will pick businesses at the top of local search results.
When people search for local businesses like yours, Google shows a “3-pack” of the most relevant results and a map view to help customers find your business.
The first step towards appearing in these local results on the first page is to create your Google My Business Profile.
At the end of the day, if you want to reach more local leads, claim and optimize your Google Business Profile to appear in more local searches.
Once you have your profile set up you should…
Tip #2: Prioritize google reviews and customer testimonials.
Next time someone is impressed by your work, ask them to leave a review on your Google Business page or to write you a short testimonial via email.
Customers naturally trust each other more than they trust marketing material.
Think of it as an extension of word-of-mouth. This works the same way that someone might share their experience getting their new patio built with friends and family.
To make the testimonial even more convincing you can snap some before and after photos of your work and pair them with your client’s comments on your website.
Looking to get more Google reviews from your customers? Check out these 8 tips to generate more (and better) Google reviews for your business.
Tip #3: Turn your previous customers into brand advocates.
Along a similar vein, your previous customers can become some of your best supporters.
If they enjoyed your work you can let them know that you can offer them a bonus if they refer a new customer. Both groups could get a discounted low cost service like a lawn touch-up or a quick power wash.
If you’re just getting started you can even reach out to previous happy customers and ask them to leave a Google review to get your ratings started.
A business with dozens of reviews is easier to trust than a business with just a few. As you grow your online presence and start ranking higher you can then start getting free leads from online searches.
Speaking of ranking on Google you will want to…
Tip #4: Get your contracting company to rank as Google’s local pick.
You can have leads generated while you sleep by improving your ranking on Google.
Through recent updates Google changed the local business results to display a “3-pack” of local businesses followed by directories like Yelp or Yellow Pages that rank top businesses in the area.
As a result, there are two main ways to rank as Google’s local pick:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO is the optimization of your content, website, and online footprint to rank higher on search engines like Google.
You can get started with SEO basics to understand how to rank on Google yourself. This is a cost effective option that will generate sustainable traffic over the medium-to-long term.
For local ranking you want to ensure that your phone number, address, and name are consistent across your online presence as Google places significant weight on having this information correct.
In addition, you can work with your local chamber of commerce, community bulletins, or other local organizations to link to your website as this will also signal to Google that you are a trustworthy and relevant local website.
This local presence combined with a responsive website for mobile can have you rank ahead of larger companies for local results.
If you find that your SEO is too time consuming, you can partner with a company like Intrigue to manage your SEO and boost your local ranking instead.
2. Sponsored Directory Listings.
If you scroll down past the local “3-pack” you will find the search results to be full of directories that list the top local businesses in your city.
As you scroll through these results you will notice that many of the directories have sponsored listings.
This can be a quick way to get more traffic and leads to your website in the short-to-medium term by working with the top 1-3 directory results and having your website be sponsored in the results.
Tip #5: Leverage email marketing for new and existing customers.
For website visitors that ask for a quote or reach out with questions you can ask for their email.
Very few potential prospects will be looking to buy today but they might be able to buy in the foreseeable future. An email campaign allows you to remain top-of-mind and nurture your relationships.
For Partridge Fine Landscapes email marketing meant they were able to continue their messaging through a marketing campaign, turning leads into sales.
They saw an average Open Rate of 59% and a Click-Through-Rate was 5.5%, nearly 3 times the industry averages for home and garden businesses (20.5% and 2.2%, respectively). This meant that they had an engaged audience that was interested in their services.
Combined with other digital marketing services, this enabled the business to replace their main sales person (of over 40 years) and grow revenue by 8%. You can learn more about how Partridge Fine Landscapes was able to do it here.
Overall, email remains one of the best marketing channels — you “own” the audience and control the content.
As a bonus, nearly everyone checks their email daily and is much more likely to interact with their emails than with a social media notification.
Tip #6: Try traditional marketing methods.
There are a few tried and true traditional contractor marketing methods that can still pay dividends for your business. You can try one of the 5 methods below to expand your brand awareness and generate more leads:
- Direct mail: Contrary to popular belief, direct mail is not dead. A 2019 USPS study found that millennials are more likely than Gen X and Baby Boomers to take action based on marketing mail. In fact, 67% said they “frequently and occasionally use marketing mail as a prompt to go online.”
- Community involvement: Getting involved in your community is a great way to give back and have people develop a positive brand association making them more likely to engage with your company.
- Networking events: Your local chamber of commerce or business association can allow you to form business partnerships and find potential commercial clients.
Tip #7: Turn your work into social media content.
Your existing work can turn into amazing digital content for your social media accounts. There are several ways you can turn your work into buzzworthy social media content.
- Take before and after photos of your work
- Share client testimonials after working with you
- With permission, feature customer reactions to having their problem solved
- Provide updates on your team and share their stories and experiences
- Show what it looks like on the job — people trust brands more where they can put a face to the name
At the end of the day it comes down to being genuine and showing how you can solve your customers’ problems.
Tip #8: Pay per click (PPC) advertising.
If you’re looking for quick results and have a marketing budget, PPC could be the right solution for you.
There are three primary benefits when compared to SEO.
- PPC is fast. You can start a campaign today.
- It allows for granular targeting. You can segment by demographic, geography, etc.
- PPC lets you test quickly. Set up a campaign, run A/B tests, and quickly figure out what works.
You can hit the ground running by sending the right audience to a landing page to quickly generate leads.
However, as with many forms of paid advertising it takes money to make money. PPC will be more expensive than SEO.
Effective marketing strategies can use a combination of paid ads and SEO to lower cost and still drive valuable traffic to your website.
To find out if this could be the right fit for your business, contact the Intrigue team here.
Tip #9: Optimize your website for speed and SEO.
A lower cost to PPC is SEO. You may not see results immediately but optimizing your website and content for SEO can help you generate free organic leads.
In order to leverage SEO you will need to research what keywords are relevant to your business, how much search traffic they have, and if they are easy to rank for.
Let’s take the example of the keyword “masonry contractor”. Using the free SEMrush trial you can see that there is high search volume with a low-medium difficulty to rank your content for this keyword.
After completing your research you can then create content in the form of 1-2 blog posts to rank for this keyword and capture the search traffic on your website.
In addition, you would want to reach out to other relevant websites in the space and pitch them to link to your new article in order to boost its position in the rankings.
As you can see, it can take a fair bit of work to begin ranking for this content but it definitely is worth it! There are two main benefits to all this SEO work:
1. Sustainable organic traffic.
This is what is looks like if you can succeed with SEO:
Your entire team can take a holiday and the traffic to your site will continue. Contrast this with paid ads where when you stop running the ads, the traffic stops flowing.
2. SEO can be cheaper in the long term.
Content creation, website optimization, and research all take time. SEO results slowly scale up but can result in exponential growth if done correctly.
You can get started for free by doing two things:
- Asking your existing clients or previous clients to add a link to your website on one of their pages. This helps Google trust your site and rank your content higher.
- Starting to publish regular content on your website for various relevant keywords to start ranking on Google and getting more traffic.
In that instance both items take time and effort but cost less than running paid ad campaigns.
There It Is!
Applying these 9 contractor marketing tips will have you well on your way to landing more clients and growing your business.
Whether you are a seasoned pro or just getting started, expert marketing could be the solution you are looking for to generate new and qualified leads.
If you are interested in learning more about how to achieve these results for your business, contact Intrigue today.