When a homeowner needs to hire a contractor for their home improvement project, they aren't flipping open the phone book or looking for ads in the newspaper. These traditional forms of advertising don't move the needle anymore and won't earn you many new customers.
Homeowners are heading to search engines like Google and Bing to find a contractor which makes your online presence the most valuable and cost-effective channel to book new jobs. Taking steps to improve your visibility online by implementing a marketing strategy for contractors will allow your business to reach your target customers when they need you the most.
Our digital marketing experts have spent thousands of hours implementing innovative marketing ideas for contractors. We've built a proven framework for driving more traffic, leads, and phone calls from this experience to help contractors like you book more jobs.
Keep reading to learn more about these online marketing tips for contractors.
Drive more leads with these online marketing tips for contractors
Finding the right marketing tactic to grow your contracting business can be incredibly challenging. Follow these tips to learn how to market a contracting company and start booking more appointments!
#1: Invest in your online presence
Customers are moving away from traditional forms of advertising and going online to find a contractor for their home improvement projects. They're doing their research online and getting their recommendations from online reviews and testimonials rather than from a friend or family member.
Most of these people only look at one or two businesses before deciding who to hire, and 67% didn't have a company in mind when they started their search.
You need to be one of the first companies they see when they do their research if you want to earn their business. Otherwise, they may never know that you exist.
Reaching these customers means implementing a multi-channel local marketing strategy. Focusing on specific marketing initiatives will improve your visibility across all marketing channels and create reliable streams of qualified traffic and leads that turn into booked jobs.
#2: Claim & setup your Google Business Profile
If you haven't already claimed your Google Business Profile, this should be at the top of your to-do list. Google has created many tools to help local businesses get more visibility than national brands for local searches, and your Google business listing is one of the most impactful.
Creating a Google Business Profile is the same as adding your company to Google Maps. Creating, claiming, building out, and verifying your profile will show your listing in the local 3-pack for local searches.
This business listing has all of the most valuable information about your business in one place. Keeping this information up to date and accurate is an easy way to attract new potential customers to your business.
Up-to-date Google Business Profiles: (source)
- Are 2.7x more likely to be viewed as reputable businesses
- Get 7x more clicks than businesses without a profile
- Is 70% more likely to have a customer visit their location
- Is 50% more likely for visits to result in purchases
Local search queries with "near me" in them have increased by over 200% in the last few years. Getting your Google Business Profile squared away will help you capitalize on similar searches like "roofing contractors near me" or "plumbers near me" to attract more prospects to your business.
You can fill out every field or just a few. However, we strongly recommend that you enter your business name, address, phone number, service area, and category at the bare minimum. You can always come back later to fill out the rest of the fields.
#3: Get positive reviews from your customers
Your customers want to hire a contractor that knows what they're doing. There's no better way to build your credibility and showcase your expertise than by having a stunning Google rating. They'll be comfortable doing business with you after seeing that you have a proven track record of doing great work for your previous customers.
There are a few great ways to earn positive reviews from your customers, but building an automated workflow is one of the most cost-effective ways. Your automation will automatically reach out to your customers after completing the job. Provided that your teams did a good job, you should see a steady flow of glowing reviews hitting your company profiles.
#4: Take before & after pictures of your work
Your potential clients want to know that you'll do a great job for them before hiring you. Having a portfolio filled with before and after photos from your previous customers is a powerful way to reassure them that you know what you're doing and promote your business.
Sometimes it can be difficult for people to picture what their home will look like once it's finished. Showing your customers these photos can help paint a better picture of how the final product will look.
These photos can also be a great source of inspiration. Clients can come up with new ideas based on the work you've already done, or they might want you to do the same thing to their home.
The simplest way to get these photos is to train your teams and put a process in place. Have them snap a few shots from a couple of different angles at the beginning, end, and between the major stages of the build process.
Also, don't forget to get permission from your customers first. Some people don't want to have photos of their homes taken, so be sure to ask first. If possible, get them to sign a waiver so that you have proof of their approval just in case you need it months or even years later.
#5: Maximize brand awareness in your service area
Brand awareness is one of the major hurdles every contractor needs to overcome when they're starting to build their business.
The ultimate goal is to make your company a household name in your service area. You want your company to be the first thing that comes to mind when your potential customers think about your services. You want to be the roofing company in your area, the pool builder in your area, and so on.
This level of awareness will make potential customers naturally gravitate towards you and your company while steering away from the competition. You'll consistently have new prospects entering your funnel to become lifelong customers.
Taking a multi-channel approach with a local marketing strategy will create multiple touch points that always keep your brand in your customers' minds. A handful of ways to improve your brand awareness are:
- Creating a memorable brand
- Saturating the search results page with organic and paid marketing tactics
- Wrapping your trucks and vans with the same branding
- Targeting specific neighborhoods with door hangars & direct mail
For example, where I live in North Texas, Sandler Pools is one of the top pool builders in town for the last 20 years. Are there others? Definitely, but I always see Sandler trucks and vans when I'm driving around town.
When I'm ready to have a pool installed in the backyard, who do you think is getting my business? Sandler Pools. And why is that? Their investment in brand awareness has cemented their company as the local pool builder in my area.
#6: Use custom audiences in your Google Ads campaigns
Running a successful Google Ads campaign is all about showing the right person the right ad at the right time. This will help you create a consistent stream of qualified leads and phone calls that turn into booked jobs.
The more focused you can be with your targeting to align your ads with your audience can be the difference between finding a person looking for more information and someone ready to book an appointment right now.
Google Ads has built-in audience targeting so advertisers can build custom audiences that drill down and only advertise to a specific type of person, their ideal customer. These custom audiences can target people based on their purchase intent, personal interests, demographic data, or find users similar to your existing customers or website visitors.
Layering a custom audience on top of a Google Ads campaign will improve your targeting, resulting in higher engagement rates and lower CPAs and CACs.
#7: Connect with your audience on social media
Part of earning new customers is about building and nurturing relationships. Connecting with your target audience on social media is a great way to create that personal connection and earn their trust by providing value with tailored content.
This content can be anything from posting photos, videos, testimonials, case studies, or links to pages on your site. The important thing is to tailor your messaging to your audience and the types of content they like engaging with on social media.
You can find your customers on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. However, you want to make sure you target the platform that your audience spends the most time on.
For instance, if you're targeting Millennial or Gen Z first-time home buyers, the last place you want to target is Facebook. These users are spread across Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. You'll see higher engagement and throughput by marketing where your audience spends their time.
Social media also gives people a way to directly communicate with you if they don't have time to call. They can just send your team a message when it's convenient for them and get a response while they go about their day.
#8: Run Local Service Ads on Google
Local Service Ads (LSAs) are a powerful way to instantly build trust with your prospects and turn them into booked appointments. The reason for this is that not every contractor can run LSAs. Google requires that every business undergo a thorough screening and verification process before they are approved to run Local Service Ads.
Those that make it through the process get the Google Guaranteed badge added to their LSA listings. This verification badge means that if your customers aren't happy with your work, they can get reimbursed up to a certain amount by Google.
This guarantee lets potential customers have peace of mind knowing that your business passed the vetting process and is legitimate and trustworthy.
And they'll see it at the top of the search results every time they look for your services online. Contractor Local Service Ads show above regular Google Ads listings, the local map pack, the organic search results, and any other search feature that Google finds relevant to the query.
This priority placement maximizes your company's visibility so your ideal customers can find you when they need you the most.
Start booking more jobs with digital marketing for contractors
Online marketing for contractors is more important than ever. The industry is growing at a rapid pace and we're seeing more and more players enter the space to claim their piece of the pie. By investing the time and capital in an internet marketing strategy, you can earn more clients and cement your company as the go-to solar company in your area.
If you aren't sure where to start, Hearth Marketing can help. Our team of experts can build an internet marketing strategy for solar companies that drives results. We've generated over 1,389,310 qualified leads for our clients and we can do the same for you. You can rest easy knowing that your solar company is in good hands.