Lead Generation for Contractors: A Guide to Grow Your Business in 2024

The only guide you need to generate more high-value leads that turn into booked projects for your contractor business in 2024.

lead generation for contractors guide
Table of Contents

    Running a successful home contractor or home service business means tons to do and long hours. You’re always short on time and when it comes down to picking between posting on social media, writing an article for your blog, or ordering parts or materials for a job, we both know which one you’re going to choose.

    Nearly 62% of contractors say the most challenging part of running their business is generating leads and landing new projects. (source) And they aren’t sitting on their hands either! Contractors spend hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars every year trying to generate more business and sales.

    Which makes you wonder, why are they still struggling to get more projects on the books?

    contractor marketing channel study

    The reason why so many contractors and self-described contractor marketing experts struggle to drive new business is they’re deploying outdated strategies that focus on the wrong channels. (source)

    The graphic above is all the proof you need. Out of all those channels, only one can reliably drive high-quality leads for your home service business. The rest are just unpredictable, expensive, or flat out don’t work anymore.

    Where most contractors think leads come from

    If anyone knows the power of marketing and advertising their businesses, it’s local contractors.

    Without a truly effective local marketing strategy, your clients won’t be able to find you and they won’t know you even exist. And that goes for companies that are just getting started and those who’ve been operating for a while.

    There are tons of free resources out there that can teach you how to get more traffic, drive more leads, and promise to 10x your business in less than 12 months. The issue isn’t the strategy because the local marketing playbook is the playbook. (We know, we wrote it!) It comes down to execution – getting the work done and doing it the right way.

    Most contractors run into three roadblocks:

    1. Not having the time or in-house team to market your business
    2. Wasting time on channels that don’t produce results
    3. Hiring an agency that doesn’t know your industry or overpromises and underdelivers

    Let’s check out why you shouldn’t use these dated channels.

    Local Television

    There’s a reason why cord-cutting is a thing, only 48% of households still watch cable TV (source). Practically everyone has switched from cable to streaming their shows on Netflix, Hulu, or Prime Video.

    plumber TV commercial example

    The days of putting together a quick 30-second commercial and buying air time on the local TV station are over. And, even advertising on streaming services or YouTube can be tricky since viewers can just skip your ad and forget they saw it 5 seconds later. Plus, 79% of people pull out their phones during commercial breaks (source) so how many people are actually seeing your ad?

    It might be tempting to advertise on these channels because of how many people you could see your ad, but seeing your ad isn’t reaching your clients. And, there are three more reasons you shouldn’t.

    1. They’re easily ignored
    2. They can be expensive
    3. They don’t work

    These ads are only good for one thing and one thing only – driving awareness. You aren’t going to get people to stop watching their favorite YouTube content creator or leave the show they’re binge-watching on Netflix to click through to your website. It just isn’t going to happen.

    The best you can hope for is that they remember you weeks, or months, from now when they need your services – and there’s no guarantee they will.

    Pro Finder Websites (Angi, HomeAdvisor, etc.)

    I know them, you know them, everyone knows them, and that’s why they get a lot of traffic from homeowners who need to find a contractor near them. They’re usually the first place new contractors go to find clients because it’s a quick and easy way to get their business listed and drum up some leads.

    contractor finder website search screen

    But that’s also the problem, it’s quick and easy. Meaning, that anyone and everyone can do it. You aren’t competing with one or two companies in Google Ads. You’re going against every single contractor in your service area.

    The core problem with these platforms is that you aren’t getting dedicated leads. Any leads that hit your inbox are shared between you and a handful of other contractors (source) or every single contractor in your category.

    Those leads aren’t specifically interested in you. They’re just looking for an electrician or a plumber or a roofer to fix their problem and don’t really care who does it. Those are low-quality leads where being the fastest and cheapest wins, and that isn’t the way to run a sustainable or profitable business.

    It also doesn’t help that they double dip on the fees. Sure, your profile is free, but if you want to get leads, you not only have to pay for a Pro subscription and for each lead that’s being shared with who knows how many other contractors.

    And don’t take my word for it. There are plenty of Reddit threads (source, source) and articles that give a full breakdown of using websites like Angi for lead generation.

    Where high-quality contractor leads actually come from

    Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What do you do when you have a problem and need to find a solution? You Google it. And that makes the search engine results pages (SERPs) an absolute goldmine for driving new business.

    There are thousands of searches for “plumber near me”, “roof hail damage”, “AC isn’t blowing”, “tree blown over by storm”, and hundreds of other issues that homeowners face all the time. If they want to talk to a contractor right then and there, they might also search for “fence replacement estimate near me”, “roof inspection in Dallas”, “HVAC servicing near me”, or something along those lines for your industry.

    This makes Google one of the best sources for high-quality leads because people are actively looking for a contractor to help fix their problems.

    You probably know this and have already invested in marketing on these channels yourself or hired a contractor marketing agency to do it for you but didn’t see the results you wanted. (We hear that a lot!)

    Most contractors are right where you are right now. You know where you should be to get the traffic and leads you need to grow your business, but aren’t able to make it happen.

    roofer search results sections

    Where can your website show up in the SERP:

    There are a lot of different places to show up in Google’s search results, and most companies struggle with their marketing efforts since they only focus on one at a time, two at most.

    Let’s break down all the places your company could be seen…

    • Local service ads (paid)
    • Google Ads (paid)
    • Local map pack listings (organic & paid)
    • Featured snippets (organic)
    • Search results (organic)

    If you want a reliable stream of high-quality inbound leads, you need to show up in every section so no matter where people look, there you are!

    This is the key to generating more contractor leads from search engines in 2024, which is why we built our local marketing playbook to help you saturate the search results.

    Get more high-value leads that turn into booked projects

    Saturating the search results sounds like a great plan, but how do we make it happen? How can your company actually show up everywhere? We’ve built a proven strategy to help contractors win the digital battlefield and boost their visibility throughout the SERPs.

    Let’s dive right in.

    #1: Paid search

    The best place for you to start is paid advertising and more specifically, paid search on Google Ads. Many agencies will start with SEO, but that takes time to build up and we want to start driving results as quickly as possible. Don’t get me wrong. SEO is a powerful tool to grow your business, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

    We want to get you results fast, and that’s exactly what Google Ads does. We can spin up a fresh paid search campaign in a day and start getting leads and phone calls in a few hours. Not days, weeks, or months – hours.

    You can target the services that matter most to your business so when a potential client looks for them online, you’re the first contractor they see.

    plumber search results example

    But more importantly, running Google Ads campaigns gives you real-world performance data on which keywords actually generate revenue. We can see which keywords drove the best leads at the lowest cost to maximize your return on ad spend (ROAS).

    On the flip side, we can also see which keywords are too expensive or drive low-quality leads. We use those insights to negate them with a negative keyword so your ads won’t show for them anymore, preventing a lot of wasted ad spend.

    The PPC process we recommend using includes:

    • Discovery phase: Learn about your goals, services to target, your service area, and your ideal client to build a solid foundation for your PPC strategy.
    • Competitive analysis: See what your competitors are doing, how they’re doing it, what’s working, and what probably isn’t to give your campaigns shape.
    • Market demand analysis: Analyze local service demand and learn about demographic data, household income, interests, and more to focus your targeting.
    • Keyword research: Learn about local search demand, average cost per click, competition level, and align them to your strategy to identify the best keywords to test.
    • Ad copywriting: Write hyper-relevant and high-converting ad copy that entices searchers to click through to your landing pages.
    • Landing page design: Creating custom landing pages with built-in conversion rate optimization where we direct your traffic and convert visitors into qualified leads.
    • Creating your Google Ads campaigns: Building out your campaigns, configuring audience targeting, optimizing for local searches, and use the relevant settings.
    • Conversion tracking & attribution: Build conversion actions that track your leads generated and attribute them to the correct channel and campaign.
    • A/B testing & experimentation: Testing different ad copy variations, landing page images, campaign types, targeting settings, offers, etc. to see what drives high-quality leads.
    • Lean into winners: Pausing what doesn’t work to get the most out of your budget and maximize your ROAS.
    • Using first-party data: Building custom audience segments, tracking offline conversions, and performance data to teach Google Ads’ how to target the clients that matter most to your business.

    We’ve deployed and fine-tuned this strategy for all our clients over the last decade with countless rounds of testing. We built a PPC strategy for contractors that helps you get the high-value leads you need to fill your schedule with new projects.

    Read more: Complete guide to PPC advertising for contractors (Coming soon!)

    #2: Local service ads (LSAs)

    LSAs are like Google’s paid search ads, but on steroids. These ad slots show up above the normal Google Ads results and have important info about your home service business that includes:

    • Business name
    • Star rating & number of reviews
    • How long you’ve been in business
    • Your service area
    • Hours of operation
    • Phone number
    • Built-in appointment scheduler

    These ads give potential clients a quick snapshot of your business so they can quickly decide which contractor they want to call.

    plumber LSA example

    This advertising channel is simple to manage but has a lengthy approval process to qualify for the Google Guaranteed badge. That badge tells searchers that you’re a professional and reputable business. This also gives your clients a service guarantee by Google that protects them if something goes wrong.

    These prominent ads also get the most visibility when someone searches for contractor services online. Their high visibility and quick conversion path can be an absolute game changer in your contractor lead generation strategy.

    We help your home service company show up in this section by:

    • Helping you navigate through the background check & approval process.
    • Configuring your targeting settings, i.e. job types, bidding strategy, profile optimization, etc.
    • Setting up call tracking to properly attribute calls from local service ads.
    • Monitoring performance, ROAS, and making adjustments to fuel growth.

    Once approved, LSAs can be a serious source of high-quality leads for your business. These leads are also more likely to turn into booked projects which means more sales and revenue.

    #3: Paid social advertising

    People spend a ton of their time everyday on social media. With each platform having millions to billions of users, your target audience is absolutely out there waiting to find you.

    There is no better way to target and reach your ideal client than with social media advertising campaigns. You can market to them anytime, everywhere, but how do you go about reaching them? By building custom audience segments and lookalike audiences.

    Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit have hands down the best audience targeting options. Advertisers can target people based on their interests, platform behavior, and demographic data. Our team has tons of experience building custom audiences that directly reflect the clients that matter most to your business.

    roofer facebook ad example

    Knowing who will see your ad lets our team create meticulously targeted ad copy & creative. These curated ads speaks directly to your ideal client with a highly relevant, enticing ad that grabs their attention.

    Getting them to click through to your website can be a little tricky though. They’re most likely scrolling through their feed, watching a video, or making a post. Leaving the platform is a big ask.

    We’ve developed multiple tactics to get them to take action and show interest in your company. We can build campaigns that to build trust and credibility so when we ask them to convert, it’s a no-brainer!

    Read more: Ultimate guide to social media advertising for contractors (Coming soon!)

    #4: Local SEO

    Google actually has two search algorithms. One for traditional searches like “buy running shoes online” and one for local searches like “best roofer in Dallas”.

    What works for the traditional algorithm doesn’t work for the local one. And this is the primary reason why most SEO agencies struggle to drive results for local contractors. They don’t know what levers to pull and what ranking signals to optimize for to rank for local searches.

    To dominate local SEO for roofers, you need to show in the local map pack and the local search results. The amazing part about this is this you don’t have to pay to play. Both are organic search channels and all it takes is a little bit of elbow grease to make it happen.

    Creating & optimizing your Google Business Profile

    To get the ball rolling, you need to build your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing.

    • Fill out your profile as much as possible so Google has more information to provide to potential customers.
    • Include important information like your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, website URL, etc.
    • Pick your business category, aka what type of contractor you are. (Roofing contractor, HVAC contractor, fence contractor, etc.)
    • Add relevant photos of your office, before / after pictures of previous projects, your trucks and team members, etc.
    • Build automated campaigns to earn more positive reviews from satisfied clients to improve your reputation and boost your credibility.
    • Create product & service cards that teach potential clients more about the products you use and services you provide.
    • Create limited time offers to provide an additional incentive for potential clients to reach out to your team.

    Now, you don’t have to do everything above all at the same time, and you definitely shouldn’t. Regularly adding images, offers, updates, etc. to your GBP listing shows Google that you’re an active business. Google wants to show reputable, active businesses in their search results. And this helps send those ranking signals and make it more likely that you’ll rank higher in the search results.

    The work doesn’t end there though since that was just the first step.

    Read more: Ultimate guide to local SEO for contractors (Coming soon!)

    #5: Traditional SEO

    Where local SEO helps you rank for local searches, traditional SEO builds a strong foundation for sustainable, long-term organic growth.

    There are certain signals that Google wants to see on your website. Our team takes steps to optimize those signals so Google will want to rank you higher in the search results.

    Some of the areas we focus on and optimize during this phase include:

    • Technical SEO audit & optimization (site speed, site crawlability, URL structure, sitemap optimization, structured data, and more).
    • Sitemap optimization (ensuring Google can quickly and easily crawl & index your website so it can rank).
    • Optimizing important pages to rank higher in search for the right keywords (homepage, service pages, location pages, etc.)
    • Boosting your on-page ranking signals (improving SEO tags, adding content on thin pages, streamlining internal link structure, etc.)
    • Link building: sourcing high quality backlinks to boost your site’s authority and help you rank higher.
    • Site content audit: clear out pages with duplicate & thin content, consolidating similar content, noindexing pages that don’t get traffic, etc.

    We prioritize the most important signals, and low hanging fruit, to start getting results as quickly as possible. It takes time for Google to crawl your website and figure out where to rank you in the search results. The faster we get started, the faster we can start the clock.

    Read more: Prove guide to SEO for contractors (Coming soon!)

    #6: Content marketing

    Content marketing is another free marketing channel that can help you rank in multiple sections of the SERP. When done correctly, it can earn you spots in the search results, “people also ask” section, and the featured snippets.

    winterize hvac blog article example

    Ranking isn’t easy though. You can’t just write a 500 word blog article and expect to rank #1 tomorrow. You’ll need to find untapped growth opportunities or make content that’s 10x better than the competition.

    How to find content marketing topics for contractors:

    • Targeting the winning keywords from your roofing PPC campaigns.
    • Talking to your sales team to learn about the questions your clients ask the most.
    • Doing a competitive gap analysis to see what the competition is, or isn’t, doing.
    • Doing in-depth keyword research with an SEO tool like semrush or ahrefs.

    Make sure that your target keyword is in the page & SEO titles, subheadings, body copy, and image alt tags. This aligns all of your on-page ranking signals to the target keyword so Google knows what the content is about.

    Here’s how we get your content to rank in the SERP:

    • Use FAQ sections educate clients on common questions and rank in search for those questions.
    • Writing relevant and informative articles for full funnel targeting (top, middle, & bottom of funnel).
    • Write optimized image alt tags to help your images rank in Google Images for key search terms.
    • Structure content show in the “People Also Ask” section and the featured snippet.
    • Repurpose and distribute content to social media platforms to maximize your reach & visibility.
    winterize hvac system featured snippet example

    Most people think of blog articles when content marketing is brought up, but there’s so much more to it.

    Content marketing for roofers doesn’t stop at writing the content. We also focus on distribution, reach, and visibility of each content piece too. And we do that by reusing and repurposing the content we’ve created to maximize its impact. Our team can reshape a single piece of content into 10+ different pieces that can be shared across social media.

    Where else do you post that content?

    • Twitter chain
    • Facebook / Twitter / Threads / LinkedIn post
    • Facebook story / Instagram reel
    • Google Business Profile post
    • Question for your GBP’s Q&A section
    • Script for a YouTube video
    • Video cut into YouTube shorts
    • Topic for a Facebook/Twitch/Instagram livestream
    • LinkedIn / Instagram image carousel
    • Basis for an infographic
    • Content for an email autoresponder campaign
    • Reddit post & comments
    • Email update to your subscribers

    We always hear about how contractors don’t have time to invest in content marketing, and we fully agree. You have too much going on to dedicate the time and effort it takes to create stellar content. Part of it, however, is that most agencies, businesses, and contractors try to make unique content for each platform. That’s a mistake.

    Repurposing and distributing your content across your various marketing channels will get you the biggest bang for your buck. That 10, 20, or 30 hours you invested to write an article is now 10+ different pieces of content. Do that enough times and you’ll have relevant and engaging content being published every day.

    It’s about working smarter, not harder.

    Like the trades, marketing is best left to the professionals

    Between scheduling projects, ordering materials, restocking your trucks, trying to staff your company, and managing your team, you’ve got enough on your plate. You don’t have time to learn how to market your contracting business too. And it isn’t something you can master overnight either.

    Let us handle your marketing for you so you can skip the learning curve and focus on doing what you do best. Our team can build multiple lead generation channels that consistently drive high value leads for your business. Your sales team won’t have to deal with tire kickers and price shoppers either.

    Potential clients are out there waiting to find you, but every day you aren’t ranking in the SERP, is another day your competitors win their business. Get in touch with our team to start saturating the search results today.