Did you know that 97 percent of consumers look for information about local companies online more than anywhere else?
Online searches make it simple for customers to research contractors before reaching out to them for quotes. They can read client reviews, check out multiple contractor websites, and connect with contractors through social media.
According to Google, website users conduct more than 1.7 million online searches for independent contractors every single month. This likely comes as no surprise. It’s almost a reflex for most of us to turn to the internet when we need to solve any number of problems.
If your online presence isn’t generating enough contractor leads — potential new clients — it’s time to up your online marketing game.
If this seems a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. We’ll show you how to get maximum return with minimal investment of your time and resources. You can rebuild your online presence one step at a time:
- Update your website
- Update your information on listing sites
- Content marketing for contractors
- Paid advertising options for driving in leads
- Put your contact list to work with email marketing
Ready to find more leads and get expert home services and construction marketing advice, all in one place?
How do general contractors get leads? Ideas you can start using today
Digital marketing for contractors is a must. It helps to generate more leads than offline efforts can alone. If you’re new to online marketing, it can be difficult to know where to start. But, when in doubt, it’s always good to start with the basics.
1. Update your website
If you haven’t created a website for contractor lead generation, this should be your first step. A Facebook or Instagram presence is important, but a website gives your brand more credibility.
It’s easier than ever to create a professional website. You can quickly and easily set up your site with Constant Contact’s Website Builder.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or polishing your existing website, spend some time evaluating it from the customer’s perspective. Start with this checklist:
- Is it clear what the page is about?
- Is it easy to connect with you?
- Do all the links work?
- How does the site look and work on smartphone screens?
- Is your site capturing email addresses?
Once your site is in tip-top condition, make sure it’s optimized for search engines. Your goal should be to show up at the top of Google search engine results pages. Google evaluates your website on several key factors when assigning a rank:
- Keyword usage — be sure to research keywords related to your niche
- Quality content, including a blog
- Social media connections
- Routine updates
- Mobile-responsive functionality
2. Update your information on listing sites
Before the rise of the internet, people found local businesses by looking through their phone books. Today, the internet serves as the biggest “phone book” ever.
With just a few taps or clicks, customers can pull up a long list of contractors across several popular business directory platforms. This is why it’s crucial to maintain your online business listings. Start with these platforms:
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free platform that connects searchers with local businesses on Google. The search engine ranks these listings in a similar way to how it ranks websites. To reach the top of local search results, check for these elements:
- Complete, accurate contact and location information
- Updated business hours
- Interaction with Google reviews
First, verify the accuracy of the information listed on Yelp for your business. Then make sure you’re listed in the right service category. If you aren’t, it will be much harder for customers to find you.
Yelp is most known for its user-generated review system. Be sure to read through any reviews you receive and respond to each of them. This will help your listing rise to the top of the Yelp search results.
Make sure you have a Facebook business page and not just a personal profile page. Facebook business pages allow you to list details about your business, collect reviews, and interact with your followers with your business identity.
Thumbtack and Angie’s List
These sites feature independent contractors and home-service businesses. People who use these directories respond best to detailed listings with positive reviews. Verify the accuracy of the information here and supply details about your offerings and your commitment to client satisfaction.
Consistency is key
As you update your information across the listing sites, be consistent. The information you share should be exactly the same on each site — right down to punctuation! Check to make sure everything is spelled and typed the same way on every listing.
To make this process go faster, create a “cheat sheet” document in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or other word-processing tools where you can copy and paste listing information. This will help to ensure your listings stay consistent.
3. Content marketing for contractors
Creating quality content for your blog and social network feeds allows you to showcase your talents in a new way. As a contractor, you can use content marketing to demonstrate your dedication to helping people solve their renovation and repair problems.
For example, you could create a step-by-step guide that shows people how to patch a hole in drywall. No, they won’t need to hire you if you show them how to fix their own issue, but you’ll be building trust and credibility — traits people value when they need to invest in contractor services.
4. Paid advertising options for driving in leads
Contractors tend to invest in paid digital advertising across three channels: Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
Google Ads allow you to “jump the line” in search engine rank, pushing your website and Google My Business listing to the top of the page when users search for keywords related to your business. This makes it much more likely that the right customers will find you.
Facebook and Instagram offer paid ads that display in the margins of the page or directly in users’ feeds. When someone clicks through, they’ll be directed to your Facebook business page or website.
5. Put your contact list to work with email marketing
With email marketing, you can reach out to existing clients, touch base with leads, and generate new leads, all from a central location. Constant Contact’s online marketing platform makes it easy to create email marketing campaigns that you can direct to specific customer segments using intuitive, attractive templates.
With email reporting, you can see who opens your emails and which customers click through to your website or social media networks. You can use this valuable information to enhance all your digital marketing efforts.
Start attracting new leads with digital marketing today
More than ever, customers turn to the internet to find home and business service providers, including general contractors. Updating your web presence and dedicating resources to online marketing will help you compete in today’s market.
Now you’re ready to supercharge your online presence! A great place to start is the Constant Contact home services marketing guide, The Download. This handy reference will walk you through the steps for creating an effective, lead-generating marketing campaign.