Tag Archives: Digital Marketing

7 Things Contractors “Don’t Get” About Digital Marketing

Contractor Digital Marketing Blog Banner

Digital marketing… it’s everywhere. But then why don’t contractors understand what they actually need it for?

The problem is with the companies promoting and selling marketing services. They use deceptive language and half-truths so that the actual service remains vague, and the contractor cannot possibly assess if it works.

As a result, there are many things about digital marketing, that contractors “don’t get” … but through no fault of their own.

So Contractor Webmasters is here to speak clearly and without an agenda.

Why do Contractors Need Digital Marketing?

Marketing your business is the way that you reach your audience. Without those marketing capabilities, you can have the greatest service or product possible, but it won’t matter because no one will know about it.

There are multiple methods that fall under digital marketing. One avenue might work for one business but be a massive letdown for another. Still, there are some simple truths to the digital marketing process that many business owners out there simply don’t get.

Instead of working and developing their tactics, they simply don’t “get” these methods and instead let their business suffer along the way. There are seven things in specific that any business out there can take advantage of to improve their overall digital marketing efforts and give their business a better chance at reaching their target audience.

Here are 7 things some contractors “don’t get” about digital marketing:

1) They don’t “get” having a website

There are some old-school business owners out there that think that technology is a burden and that using old-school methods is the only way to go. They feel particularly strong when it comes to having a website in that they think that they don’t need one.

The simple fact of the matter, however, is that any business needs to have a website. This is because 85% of consumers prefer to make a purchase from a store rather than online, but they tend to want to know more about that business before they visit the store.

Your website as a business sets the tone for and gives that always valuable first impression to potential clients and customers. Having a website is the first step towards presenting your business well, but you have to make sure that your website says what you want it to.

This is true in both the content that you produce and the design that you implement.  Without a website, you basically do not have the ability to make a first impression unless that consumer is willing to seek out reviews on your business or visit you in person (which they likely will not do).

One mistake that many contractors make is in doing their own web design. While this might save you some money in the short term, a design that does not look professional will cost you money in the long term. Hire a professional web designer to design your website to ensure that you present your website in a professional and informative manner as possible.

2) They think they can ignore digital marketing altogether

There was once a time when the phone book was the preeminent way to find a business. That has changed while remaining basically the same. This is due to search engines that allow you to find a business and its website based on relevant keywords as well as location.

If you ignore digital marketing altogether, your business misses out on those super valuable location-based local searches. Say a user looks for a contractor in their zip code; the search engine will then pull up the most relevant results based on the location and the keywords used.

When your business ignores this, all of that potential business gets missed and goes out the window. This can be resolved in a super-easy way. Setting up a Google My Business page is the easiest and most efficient way to do this. It gathers all the pertinent information about your business and puts that into your search rankings so that your business can appear when those local searches are performed.

When this happens, your business stands to benefit greatly. Don’t ignore your digital marketing as it can have a great benefit on the bottom line of your business.

3) They try to do it themselves

We kind of touched on it previously above, but there is a sentiment among some business owners that they need to do everything themselves. That is understandable in some ways: it comes down to a matter of pride in wanting to do everything yourself, and it can come down to cost.

But the fact of the matter is that you are going to need help in most areas of your business, the digital marketing aspect included. This does not necessarily mean delegating, but it certainly is part of it. Think about referring to case studies to see what digital marketing agencies are doing so that you can try to copy some of their more successful methods.

Money for most small businesses is likely tight and not something that can be thrown around on a whim, but investing in the right help can not only help you focus on the strengths that you can bring to the table but can also help bring your business up a level and grow it in ways that you had only imagined.

4) They fail to Identify a target audience

If you are a small business owner, there are a couple of truths. One of them –one of the most important ones – is to know what your target audience is. This might sound like one of those cliché terms, but this is one of the essential aspects that far too many business owners ignore.

Why is this so important? Shouldn’t your business be trying to appeal to everyone out there? While there is some truth to wanting to grow your business to everyone, that just is not feasible even for the biggest businesses on Earth.

For this reason, it is important to identify just who your business is trying to reach and work to make that your focus. This is because your target audience is your core, the group of customers that are most likely to use your business and keep it alive and growing.

When you lose focus of your target audience, your message becomes blurred and unclear and your audience might lose focus on just what it is you offer. When you can hone in on that audience, your business can focus on specific services and being the best that you can in those services.

5) They don’t have a strategy 

Believe it or not, there are many business owners out there who go into their business and just kind of wing it, assuming that their services or products will sell themselves. The fact of the matter is that even the greatest products or services need a marketing strategy.

Having a strategy – meaning that you set goals, strategize who you are targeting and why – means you can be as prepared as possible for what lay ahead. The last thing you need as a business owner is to have a problem come up and you have no idea how to address it.

With the right strategy, you won’t be 100% prepared but you will be as prepared as possible and it will likely get you out of a jam or two while keeping your focus on the ultimate goal ahead.

6) They underestimate the value of mobile

There is certainly a section of people out there, business owners included, that think that smartphones are the worst invention of all time. Those opinions aside, there is no ignoring the fact that the number of users who do their web surfing on their phones exclusively has been on a steady rise.

Having said that, it should go without saying that you simply cannot ignore mobile and hope to be successful. People, in general, have no patience when it comes to looking for a service or product and if they can’t access your website on their phone, you will likely lose out on that business.

Making certain that your website is optimized for mobile is no longer a key; it is essential. This should be at the forefront of any business owner’s mind when they create a digital footprint, and it would not come as a surprise if traditional desktop and laptop surfing continued on a downward trend.

7) They fall for “SEO is dead” chatter

This is a combination of the old-school small business owner as well as the myth that SEO is dead. Granted, Google has made a lot of changes to their search ranking algorithm, but Contractor SEO is anything but dead. There is still a litany of ways that you can set your business up for success through search engine optimization.

Because of the sheer number of searches that happen each day, Google has to work to optimize those searches to make them relevant not only by keyword but by location as well. This allows Google to produce the most relevant and informative search results when users perform their location-based searches.

When you ignore SEO for your online business, you drastically reduce the chances of users being able to find your business through search engines. This will have a massive impact on the overall traffic that visits your website and, in the long run, your bottom line.

There are plenty of other digital marketing methods that too many business owners ignore that could drastically improve their number of leads and their bottom line as well. Turn these weaknesses into strengths and your business should see a drastic leap forward in terms of leads as well as sales.

Start Generating Leads for Your Contractor Business

17 Contractor Advertising Ideas To Consider in 2022

Contractor Advertising Ideas (Blog Cover)

This might sound like the most obvious thing in the world, but generating leads and converting those leads into sales is the most essential portion of your business. Those leads, which then turn into sales, are how you generate revenue for your business. That’s why contractor advertising ideas are so critical.

Reaching your audience and generating those leads is where it gets a little less obvious. What might work for one business or industry might not work for your business. It is important to find the marketing methods that work best for your business so that you can gradually grow things to the point that you see steady growth.

If you don’t feel like your business is growing – and there has been a recent study that less than half of businesses that are in the construction and contracting industries are actually showing growth – then you need to take charge of your marketing campaign and grow the number of leads for contractors that you develop.

The key is to find those marketing ideas that can benefit your business specifically and develop the kind of leads that will eventually lead to sales. Here are 17 contractor advertising ideas for contractors to consider going into 2023.

1) Make your website efficient and mobile-friendly

Your contractor website is perhaps the most essential tool in your arsenal. This is the very first impression that your prospective customers will see about your website and it needs to set the tone. Most of all, it needs to be efficient and fast and it HAS to be mobile-friendly.

Over 60% of consumers will use a company’s website as a way to both find and engage with the business, and 30% of consumers won’t even consider a business that doesn’t have a website. More importantly, some things have to be there on your website if you want your audience to consider you for their needs.

It has to be fast since the average customer expects a web page to have loaded in three seconds or fewer. It has to be functional, meaning it has to have optimized images and tags. And most importantly, it has to be mobile-friendly. Of all the U.S. online traffic, 57% of that traffic comes from tablets and smartphones.

Your website is a huge weapon or can be a hindrance to your business. Make it the first impression that you want to project.

2) Your SEO is just as important

Just because you have a website doesn’t mean that it will generate the leads that you need. What you need to do is to make sure that your contractor SEO and local SEO tools are as good as they can and should be. After all, people need to be able to find your services as easily as possible, and if you have bad SEO, that can be a struggle.

When you optimize your SEO, you can help your company to define the target area for your services, reach a larger audience that could become potential customers, drive your leads to specific services thanks to targeted keyword strategies, and you can improve the quality of the leads that you get from those individuals who are finding your company online.

Optimize your SEO rankings so that you can appear higher on search engine rankings and be seen by more prospective customers than ever before.

contractor advertising

Local SEO allows contractors to appear on Google’s Local Map 3-Pack via a Google Business Profile.

3) Pay-per-click delivers results

What is a pay-per-click ad? Essentially, these PPC ads allow contractors to be found on the first page of a Google search immediately. If you are looking to get fast results, it is a great way to get control over your company’s relevance and visibility online.

Essentially, you can see ads for your company each time that a user searches through Google, they will see your company. And even better, you only pay for those advertisements when they click on them. That is a win-win. You get the visibility that your company needs, and you only have to pay for it when those ads actually get clicked.

This is a great way to keep your company relevant to local searches and will increase the probability of those searchers clicking on your ad to find out more about your company.

4) Rank in Google’s local pack

What you might not have realized is that when you search for a service with “local intent,” an image of a map will appear below the PPC ad that shows a couple of different company listings. You can support your digital marketing effort by ensuring that your heading tags are optimized.

Another thing to do is to make sure that you are using listings or local directories. Things like Superpages, HomeAdvisor, eLocal, Yellowpages, BBB, Yelp, and so many more directories make it so that customers can find you and that they can find out a variety of things about you.

When you rank in the Google local pack, you increase the odds of being seen when a local search takes place and increases the odds of turning a potential lead into a sale. This is an incredibly useful tool to grow your business’s presence in your community.

5) Leverage email marketing

This makes sense to anyone who is familiar with the fact that our world is almost entirely technology-based. But what you might not realize is that you can leverage your email marketing campaign to build those leads that you need to develop sales that are imperative to your company.

Email marketing allows you to keep in touch with and nurture those unclosed prospects. Not only that, an email marketing campaign is a great way to follow up with repeat customers because repeat customers are an essential portion of any business.

Your email marketing campaign can help you generate more sales by allowing you to advertise any specials that you might have going on, push coupons, and share exclusive rebates; it allows you to improve your brand awareness and helps you keep in touch with your prospective customers.

Simply put your email marketing campaign is a fantastic way to stay in touch with repeat customers and to stay in the consciousness of potential customers. Best of all, you can tweak your email campaign as you want and dictate how often you push these emails out.

6) Social Media supports it all

Social media is all about engaging with your audience and existing customers. Best of all, there are so many different social media avenues to explore. It used to be that Facebook was the only game in town; now, it is just one of many.

Still, using the big three (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) is almost essential in digital marketing these days. You need to be able to interact with your audience as well as potential customers. Most of all, social media is an excellent avenue to promote specials, sales, coupons, and anything else that you want your customer base to be aware of.

Social media isn’t meant to produce overnight results but can result in consistent and steady differences in your overall marketing and ability to turn leads into sales. Get those profiles created so that you can begin that all-important interaction as soon as possible and grow your online presence.

7) Video marketing is growing

One thing that separates good digital marketers from average ones is the implementation of videos into their marketing campaigns. Videos are the best way to build authority for a website, and you can actually have a 2.1% higher conversion rate than your competitors if you use video.

Simply put, video marketing can help you to establish your brand and the personality you want to display, increase your overall online engagement, and convey the differences between yourself and your competitors. It also helps keep the attention of your visitors in a world where attention spans are shorter than ever.

Incredibly, having a video on your landing page can actually increase your conversion rates by a whopping 80%. It’s hard to ask for better conversion rates than the ones provided by videos, and they are essential for your website marketing.

8) Implement analytics and tracking

All of these are great ideas to implement, but what good are they if you can’t track the results? There would be no way for you to know what is working and when without proper analytics and tracking in place. You would simply be floating in the dark without knowing what your business is doing.

With the right tracking and analytics, you can see specifically where you are having the most success converting leads into sales and where you need the most help. This allows you to push what’s working and tweak what isn’t. That kind of information is invaluable to a company in any industry.

Make sure that your website has a quality tracking and analytics package so that you can see the differences and make the adjustments that you need to keep your business growing steadily where others might stifle and falter without those tools.

9) Make past clients feel special

While you definitely want to work to develop leads for new customers, one thing that you absolutely cannot do is forget about the customers that have come to appreciate your services. Repeat customers are one of the most important aspects of any business, and making sure that those customers continue to use your services should be one of your priorities.

For this reason, you should take the necessary steps to make your current client base feel special and important. And really, it doesn’t take much at all to do this. You can make them feel appreciated by making special offers or by creating email marketing campaigns specifically for that audience.

Most of all, follow up with those previous clients. See how their services worked for them in the months since they were rendered, and you will make them feel like they are truly important to your business.

10) Facebook demographics

One of the cool tools that Facebook offers is that they have specific demographics that allow you as a business to refine your marketing aim. Perhaps your company wants to appeal to homeowners and families that are in their late 30s or early 40s.

With Facebook demographics, you can target your ads to those markets specifically, putting your marketing dollars to a very specific use. Marketing can be expensive when you try to aim it at everyone instead of focusing on the markets that you know will serve you best.

11) Direct Mail is still important

What you might not realize is that direct mail is not dead. It is one of the only guaranteed vehicles to deliver your message that there is. The key here is to stay within your service area; this way, you aren’t wasting money on areas that you might not cover, and you can ensure that the people in those areas are aware of your business.

It has actually been proven that direct mail marketing results in more conversions than email marketing simply because those pieces of marketing wind up directly in the hands of prospective customers as opposed to emails that could be ignored or wind up in junk mail folders.

12) Yard signs

Another great way to advertise your business is to leave signs in customers’ yards where jobs have been successfully completed. Obviously, make sure that you check with the customer first before just sticking a sign in their yard, but if they are okay with it, this is a fantastic way for neighbors in that community to see that your business performed a task for that neighbor and that it was done so satisfactorily that they are letting you advertise on their lawn.

This is a simple, relatively cheap, and effective way to grow your business in that community. It is a word-of-mouth campaign of sorts, though the proverbial mouth is more a sign than anything else.

13) Host a seminar

This can alternatively be accomplished with something of a DIY blog on your website, but the difference here is that you can interact with customers on a face-to-face basis. Hosting a seminar will give these customers a bit of free DIY knowledge and will put them right in front of you so that you can show them what your business is all about.

Any chance that you can get face-to-face with a lead or prospective customer is an excellent opportunity that you may not have had otherwise. Make the most of this opportunity and develop a bit of brand trust by hosting a seminar.

14) Make strategic partnerships

Obviously, making partnerships within your industry is not the best idea because you are competing with those companies for the same revenue dollars. But what could be beneficial is to partner up with a business in your community that might also benefit from working with you?

For contractors, it might be a great idea to pair with a local hardware store. The idea is that if customers use your service, they get a discount on their purchases at the hardware store. Conversely, the store could run a special that encourages customers to utilize your business.

If possible, you might also want to consider sharing helpful information between businesses in the community. This will be difficult with any competitors within your industry, but what might be highly beneficial is to get together with other business owners in your area and discuss the things that have worked for each of them. This can give your business and others like yours an idea of how to better appeal to those within the surrounding communities.

Businesses that are able to help one another share the tools that have resulted in success and can help other businesses in the area find the growth that they have been looking for. Not all businesses will be willing to share information like that, but it can be beneficial to all those who do decide to share information.

The right partnership can mean mutual benefit for each and can be something that gives an extra boost to each side of the partnership.

15) Volunteer within the community

One of the most important things about developing brand recognition is building trust between your company and prospective customers that may not have used your services before. A great way to do this is to partake in a community project or to volunteer.

When you do this, you attach your business’s name to positive press, and that is always a good thing for developing a brand.

16) Have an active blog

This goes back to making your website work for you as an essential tool in developing and converting leads. When you have a blog on your website that has helpful and informative topics, you make prospective customers feel like they are getting something for free and give them a reason to come back to your website.

The more that you can get those prospective leads to visit your website, the more likely you are to develop those leads and turn them into sales that will boost your revenue.

17) Use DataPins

DataPins is a Local SEO and Social Proof software that allows contractors to prove their work in service areas and service types. Many contractors struggle to rank in nearby cities even though they perform lots of jobs in those areas. DataPins produce geo-coordinates within schema markup to prove to Google and users that you really work in a specific area. As a result, you can rank and convert more customers online.

DataPins also automates the reputation management process for contractors by sending automated review requests through email and text. For those unaware, reputation management is a form of advertising in 2022. When prospects read favorable reviews about your business on Google and Yelp, they are more likely to invest in your services.

Posted: | Updated: Jul 22, 2022 | Categories: Advertising

Starting a Second Contractor Website

Summary: As a contractor, one website may not be enough. Nolen of Contractor Webmasters explains the options for creating a second company website and how to best go about optimizing it for conversions across the board.
Posted: | Updated: Feb 1, 2019 | Categories: Episode

Should Contractors Hire In-House Marketing?

In 2019, there’s no shortage of individuals calling themselves marketing “experts.” And why not? With access to a wealth of free information, it’s easier than ever before to understand the basics of digital promotion along with the terminology that surrounds it. Furthermore, marketing degrees are now more focused on the digital aspect of advertising than what was prevalent before the internet’s great emergence. So education in both formal and informal instances, is available, and individuals have taken advantage. But what do contractors need to know?

The quandary for many contractors is whether or not to hire what is known as an in-house marketer. These positions are employed directly by your company and essentially place the onus of your promotion a single individual. There’s appealing aspects to going this route, but there can also be a significant number of downsides that are often left unconsidered. Additionally, there’s a tendency for contractors to “upgrade” their marketing department by hiring someone in-house, when that may not be much of an upgrade at all. Here’s what to know:

Strength in Numbers

Criticism of the in-house marketer model is not necessarily an indictment on the individual themselves (although it could be). Any single individual expected to run a successful digital marketing campaign is being set up for failure. Even the greatest marketing employee at national firms cannot handle the frequency and diversity of tasks that are required for success. Having a team of marketers (Agency, Company, Firm, etc.) is most advantageous to contractors. Because let’s face it, web design experts can fix an HTML or CSS error, but a PPC or SEO specialist is less apt to handle such issues. Of course, some experts have a diverse set of skills that cover a range of specialties, but sometimes resumes are misleading, and marketers who are really that skilled are going to be working for massive salaries for major companies. Still, with an agency model, you can cover the range of talents with a team of experts, rather than one person. Some things to consider moving forward:

  • One person cannot handle a digital marketing campaign in its entirety
  • Teams of experts generally have more diverse skill sets than a single person
  • For marketing wizards (elite of elite) who can handle everything, the salary is outrages

A Range of Skill Sets

As we mentioned, a single person shouldn’t be expected to know everything about every subject that influences online marketing success. Designers are often coming from a programming background with education to support it, and a knowledge of HTML, CSS, schema code and much more. That same person is unlikely to know how to craft ideal content for your website, which should gravitate towards user experience and readability. Skill sets like these are not necessarily compatible, but you need both of them to succeed online. Other skills include social media strategy, link building, public relations, branding, graphic design, pay per click management, along with several other specialties. There are outlier cases where an individual but might hold expertise in several or even all of these areas, but they are likely working for NASA right now and good luck out bidding them. The more realistic approach is to focus on a multi-faceted marketing approach. Here’s what to remember about skill sets:

  • Digital marketing requires everything from web design & SEO, to content writing & PPC
  • The skills most commonly associated with design seldom translate to content marketing
  • Outlier cases are rare, and are usually reserved for individuals out of any reasonable price range

Managing a Team

So what if you as a contractor hired multiple marketing employees? What if you have enough funds coming in now that you can afford to do so? These are questions that are most commonly raised to discredit the strength in numbers argument. If a contracting company can get the numbers, don’t they automatically get the strength? No, and here’s why. You as a contractor, don’t know how to manage marketers. Sure, you know how to manage contractors, whether you are in the roofing, plumbing, HVAC, or any other industry, you know how to hold your employees accountable. But one thing you don’t have experience with is marketing. So how can you hold web designers responsible for schema code microdata when you don’t know how to verify it? How can you measure an SEO specialist’s performance through Google Analytics when they are the ones setting up the account? You cannot. And that’s why contractors, even those of them successful enough to hire a team, should invest their resources in a marketing company that can hold their own team of experts responsible, which is usually the more affordable option. Here’s why marketing management matters:

  • Contractors might be able to afford multiple marketing employees, but would be unable to manage them
  • Managing contractors is probably second nature to you, but marketers are another realm
  • Agencies or firms not only have full teams of marketers, but also those to keep them accountable

In House Marketing Experts Podcast Card

Investing Your Resources

Aside from the mechanical downsides of hiring an in-house marketer, the financial implications are less than ideal. We noted that in-house marketing is often seen as an upgrade and something contractors can invest in after “graduating” from an agency who brought them some much needed online success. More expensive marketing is not always better for your company. There’s an idea that contractors who are having great success with lead generation should “think rich” and therefore go for the top-level perks. The problem with this line of thinking is that it doesn’t align with marketing success. You can get a better team of marketers doing more work for less money. That becomes simple mathematics and if recognized, can save contractors a lot of resources to allocate to other areas. In fact, investing more money in a marketing agency is more prudent than going entirely in-house. Our goal is not to be self-serving and urge you to hire our team of Webmasters, it is to help you make the most informed decision possible in 2019. Here’s what to know:

  • Marketing agencies are generally more affordable than in-house marketing experts
  • Contractors can receive more work on their online presence for less money
  • In-house marketing is often seen as a higher tier, but that is seldom actualized in practice