The 4 Pillars of Effective Local Marketing Strategies for Home Service Companies
When it comes to growing a home service business, you need a steady flow of inbound leads to keep your schedules full and your teams busy. Every hour your people are on the clock, but not on the job is an hour that’s coming out of your pocket.
You’ve probably been doing okay so far with getting new leads via referrals from your current customers. While word-of-mouth leads are fantastic and you want to turn your existing customers into your biggest fans, it will only take you so far, and relying on it will stunt your growth. Referral leads are far too inconsistent and you have too little control over them to make them a reliable way to grow your customer base.
How do you get consistent leads for your home service business? If you want to generate serious growth for your company and go from being an owner/operator to just the owner, you need to implement an effective local marketing strategy.
You might not be sure how to build a local marketing strategy, but I’m going to cover the foundation for every local strategy we build for our clients here at Hearth Marketing. Read on to learn more about how to position your home service business for success.
What is the Goal of Local Marketing Strategies?
Starting any marketing initiative without clearly identifying your goal is a recipe for failure. Knowing exactly what “success” looks like will help you build a campaign that achieves your specific goal.
Naturally, the overall goal of any marketing strategy is to earn new clients, but how are you going to get them? What do you need to do? Where do you need to advertise? How do you need to position your company?
If your local search strategy achieves these three things, getting new clients will take care of itself.
- Maximize your visibility in search: Your ideal customer can’t do business with you if they can’t find you online. ~40% of people only look at one contractor before making a decision. That needs to be you.
- Show that you’re the authority in your industry: Your potential clients have a problem that needs to be fixed. They want the best solution to their problem so they don’t have to deal with it anymore.
- Quickly instill trust with your new prospects: Your clients are inviting you into their homes. They need to be able to trust that you’re an established, reputable business so they feel safe doing business with you.
Who is this local marketing strategy for?
While every business has its own unique goals, effective local marketing strategies are going to look very similar on a fundamental level. The only parts that change from company to company are the fine details, i.e. your targeted keywords, service area, products/services, etc. The broad overall strategy is the same, however.
We’re going to cover the exact strategy that we put into place for all of our home service clients to help them dominate the local search results. It’s industry agnostic so it doesn’t matter if you’re a roofer, pool builder, landscaper, or any other type of contractor or home service business. Your business will benefit from putting this strategy into practice.
4 Most Essential Parts of Local Inbound Marketing Strategies
You might still be thinking that you need a strategy that’s built specifically for roof builders/landscapers/etc. At Hearth Marketing, we’ve created the local marketing playbook that’s proven to consistently generate more traffic, leads, and phone calls in our 12 years of operation. And one thing that we’ve learned is that every single local marketing strategy that drives results is going to incorporate these four tactics.
1. Get approved to run Google Local Service Ads
When a pipe bursts, the power’s out, or a tree falls in the front yard, people don’t have time to do their due diligence. They aren’t able to dig through the search results to find a contractor that’s in their area, knows what they’re doing, and has the reviews to back it up. Google helps searchers find a quick solution to their problems by promoting trusted local professionals in the Local Service Ads section.
Users will see listings for 2-3 businesses that operate in their area and they can get in touch with them right away. Homeowners can trust the listed contractors since not just anyone can advertise there. Businesses have to earn their spot here.
Companies have to apply to the program, go through a background check process, and be approved so Google will guarantee their work, hence the Google Guaranteed badge. This is an enormous trust builder since Google will reimburse the client for the work (up to $2,000) if they aren’t satisfied with the contractor’s service.
While these listings are an invaluable resource for customers, they can also be wildly lucrative for home service businesses.
The ads’ placement at the top of the page is prime real estate that maximizes your company’s visibility in the search results. You’ll be one of the first things that customers see when they look for your services online.
This high level of visibility coupled with the Google Guarantee and having your positive reviews placed front and center makes Local Service Ads the perfect local marketing strategy. It should come as no surprise that many businesses book most of their new clients and generate the most revenue from leads that came from their Local Service Ads.
2. Run Google ad campaigns that target local geographic
Google gives you a ridiculous amount of control over your paid ad campaigns if you’re familiar with their ad platform. Knowing your way around the platform and which settings in Google Ads you need to focus on will make the difference between generating leads and burning money.
Home service businesses can improve their PPC conversion rates by focusing their paid marketing campaigns on just the people in their service area with the location targeting settings in Google Ads.
There’s no reason for your ads to be seen by anyone that doesn’t live in your service area. That’s just a literal waste of money. By clearly setting the boundaries of your focus area, your ads will only be seen by people that you can serve.
When it comes to narrowing your location targeting, there are a few options available to you.
Local targeting options in Google Ads
Changing your campaign’s location targeting is very simple too. Just follow the steps below to narrow your PPC targeting to only the areas you want to focus on.
Targeting specific geographics in Google Ads
- Go to a campaign in Google Ads
- Click on Settings in the left navigation bar
- Scroll down to the Locations accordion on your settings page
- Click on Enter another location
- Enter your desired target into the text box
- Click Target when you find the right location
Running local PPC campaigns is also a great way to maintain your brand awareness in your service area. Google Ads campaigns have been proven to raise a company’s brand presence by up to 80% among its target audience. If you’re having trouble generating qualified leads or staying on your customers’ minds, a local Google Ads campaign might be exactly what you need.
3. Update and optimize your Google Business Profile
This tool has gone by a lot of names and has been through many iterations over the years. You might know it better as Google Places, Google+ Local, or Google My Business, but no matter what name it goes by, it’s still your company’s local map listing.
Your Google Business Profile is the backbone of every local marketing tactic you could run. Google Ads, Local Service Ads, and local organic traffic all depend on the information in your map listing to designate your service area.
Be sure to completely fill out your listing. Google pulls all of the information you provide into a structured snippet that tells your potential customers everything they need to know about your business. At the very least, you need to include your company name, phone number, address, hours of operation, and a few pictures.
Keeping your listing up to date will help your company show up in the local map pack when people search for services in their area like “plumbers near me” or “plumbers in (your city)”. Showing up in the local 3 pack can give your company a major visibility boost since it takes up a lot of visual real estate above the organic search results.
4. Rank at the top of the local search results
Ranking in the top 3 spots of Google is an absolute game-changer when it comes to growing your home service business. There are thousands of searches happening every day by people that are looking for your services online.
Showing up at the top of the search results means that potential customers will see your company before your competitors. This will earn you a steady flow of passive traffic, leads, and phone calls that you don’t have to pay for. This creates a reliable inbound lead pipeline that raises your bottom line by increasing the average number of jobs booked every month.
The main driver behind this is that people trust websites that are at the top of the search results. Even though they know absolutely nothing about local SEO, they still know that the websites that rank highly are trustworthy companies.
Incorporating a local SEO strategy will help you attract highly qualified traffic that turns into lifelong customers.
If you’re looking to reach more customers, generate more qualified leads, and grow your home service company, you need an effective local marketing strategy that includes these four marketing tactics. Don’t forget that some is better than none. Having one or two of these strategies in place will bring in more business than doing absolutely nothing.