While the goal in marketing is to convert leads to customers, you still have to attract enough of the right leads to witness your offering to begin with. The challenge in contractor digital marketing is how to get on the first page of the Search Engine Page Results (SERP) for the keywords that represent the services you provide and that have a high-enough search volume to justify the efforts.
This is position ranking.
With most things in life — and a basic tenet in economics — we’re dealing with trying to optimize your results with limited resources. Unlike the big marketplace providers (think: Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor and Houzz) with what seems like unlimited marketing spend, most contractors have to be mindful of how much they spend and on what.
With that in mind it’s important that a strategy be developed that optimizes resources and maximizes performance. There are basically 3 ways to get on the first page of a Google SERP. We will call these your Traffic Generation Tools (TGT):
- Google Search Ads (Google Ad Manager)
- Local Search Results (Google My Business)
- Organic Search Results (SEO Optimization)
Creating a plan for lead-generation
It’s important that your plan includes each of these elements based on your current budget and lead generation needs. Each should also be complementary and work within a holistic framework.
Here is a five-step planning process to get you started:
Determine what local markets you want to source leads.
Depending on your market this could be cities, towns, zip codes, neighborhoods, or development areas. Because money is limited, keep it to a list of no more than 6 to start. Prioritize the list, ranking the locations from best to good.
Generate a list of keywords that represent the services you provide.
Focus on the segments that are your highest margin business, the kind of jobs you want and are profitable. Make sure your keywords are transactional, meaning the search is for the service not the act, use Kitchen Remodeler not Kitchen Remodeling. Next match those keywords with your locations, Kitchen Remodeler Truckee CA. Do this for each keyword and location. Keep a list with and without locations, Should end up with a pretty extensive list.
Hint: There are several digital marketing tools out there that can help you with this, KWFinder, Ubersuggest, and Moz offer free keyword research tools. They will help you determine which keywords are popular in your market and have the highest search volumes.
Now that you have your locations and service keywords, let’s find out how you are currently ranking for those keywords.
The same set of digital marketing tools listed above can provide reporting and analysis. They can also provide you with a list of keywords you are currently ranking for to compare them to those on the new keyword list. If you are ranking well both locally and organically, keep it going by looking for ways to optimize your local listing and improve your domain authority. If you are ranking well for some and not all, or not ranking at all, let’s go to step four.
It’s time to build your strategy!
The most efficient way to start is by determining how many of your targeted markets can be reached using Local Search. This means that anyone searching within 20-30 miles you can hit with this tool. For those not in this range you need to decide on which ones you want to reach with Ads or Organically.
Ads can be a short-term tool hitting high priority markets while you build up your organic producing assets. So, an example strategy could look like the following:
For the first 6-9 months
Tactic Priority Location 1 Local Search Priority Location 2 Google Ads Priority Location 3 Local Search Priority Location 4 Google Ads Priority Location 5 Local Search Priority Location 6 Google Ads
After 9 months
Tactic Priority Location 1 Local Search Priority Location 2 Google Ads/Organic Priority Location 3 Local Search Priority Location 4 Organic Priority Location 5 Local Search Priority Location 6 Organic
Simultaneously continue to work on your site’s content to enrich it with the set of keywords you need to capture local and organic traffic
Measure the results.
Track your progress using Google Analytics. Make adjustments in reasonable intervals. Review the keywords. Expand or contract markets. Factor in seasonality in your ad spending, use off-cycles to improve content. The key is that position ranking is dynamic and will need monitoring and adjusting.
If you stay on this path of continuous improvement, you will see more traffic and more importantly, targeted leads converting to great customers.
If you would like expert assistance in building your lead-generation toolbox, get in touch with us and we’ll help you find the right approach for your business.