In the old days, companies had to rely on the marketing power of newspaper ads, billboards, and TV commercials with annoying jingles that get stuck in your head. Times have changed, and so has marketing, and the biggest change is the power of the internet. This should come as no surprise. Anyone with a smartphone– which is to say, everyone– spends much their time online every day, in some form. The habit of pulling out your phone or tablet to look up the answer to a question feels as natural as turning on a water faucet or flipping a light switch. The digital world has merged with the world we live in now, which means that now, more than ever, your contractor business needs to have a presence online.
The internet is everything. According to SEO tribunal, 97% of people learn more about a local business online than anywhere else. That means your business needs to be visible on the web and easy to access at all times. If a potential customer can’t find your business by searching for it in Google, you are missing the potential for making money. Period.
So what does it take to have a digital presence?
Here are the four basics, or four foundations, for building a digital marketing strategy for contractors, construction businesses, or any business that wants to get more online traffic and more quality leads.
#1- A GREAT WEBSITE
A strong digital presence begins with a great webpage. When a customer searches for your business name or trade, you want them to land on a beautiful, perfectly-optimized site that will impress and sell them on your service. So what makes a good website?
1. It’s fast
Speed matters. If you are not savvy in the mysterious ways of the internet, you may think all webpages are equally “fast” and only the speed on your internet connection affects how quickly a website loads. That’s not true. Web developers work tirelessly to make their pages load as fast and possible, and for good reason. Potential customers get annoyed when a website won’t load quickly and they often bounce off it and try a different page. The search engine on Google knows this, too. Fast pages rank higher on the search engine than slower ones, even marginally slower, which is why the geniuses at Amazon and Facebook work tirelessly to make their massively popular sites load a few seconds faster.
While your company’s page may not rival Amazon, you need to take speed into consideration. Customer like fast pages, and Google does, too.
2. It’s clear
People browsing the internet tend to be impatient. If they have to figure out what a website is trying to say or how to navigate the different pages on the set, it’s a major turnoff, and they may leave. Everything on your page needs to be clear, clean, and intuitive. One way to guarantee this is to follow the same standards that many other websites have adopted: top menus, bottom bars, big pictures with clickable links, and other common formats. That’s why it pays to have a web developer who knows these standards.
3. Mobile 1st
Back in the day, searching the internet for information required the ritual of sitting down at the desktop computer in your office, opening your web browser (possibly with dial up, depending on how long ago it was), and doing a careful and mindful word search. Those days are long gone. As a digital marketing company, the data we’ve collected from the searches for our clients have suggested that about 80% of searches have come from mobile devices. That may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many websites are still not optimized for mobile. If you want more customers for your contractor business, you need to have a mobile-first webpage.
The first thing your customer will think when they land your webpage is whether the site seems professional or not. Shockingly, many webpages for business, especially contractor businesses, look like they were made in the ’90s and never changed. The ugly wallpaper backgrounds, the pixelated images of drab office buildings, the gaudy, colorful text in comic sans ms font: all of this suggests that this business is uncool and outdated. If your customer finds your page and finds a sleek, modern page with professional-looking images, they will think: “Wow, this business must be really successful. They must be one of the biggest companies in the business!” And that’s what you want.
This next part might be confusing if you’re not the most technologically literate. Websites need to be secure, and they become secure is through an SSL certificate. SSL, or more often TLS, is a protocol for encrypting internet data and is considered essential to protect the security of those attempting to reach your site. This may sound confusing, but if you’ve ever tried to visit an unsecured site (without an SSL certificate) you may have seen a warning page popup telling you to leave the site because it isn’t secure. You don’t want this happening on your webpage, which is why you need to make sure you encrypt. As far back as 2014, Google has stated that website without an SSL certificate will not rank at the top of web searches, so it is crucial for your site to be secure.
#2- LOCAL Search engine optimization
The term ‘Search Engine Optimization’ means that your webpage is designed to be easy to find in an internet search. Ideally you want your webpage to show up as high as possible in the search results, and although this may seem like a daunting task, being optimized for a local search will help you do that.
Google understands that location is an essential element in searching for a business. Which makes sense. After all, if you live in Missouri and you search for ‘plumber’ and a company in New York City pops up, it will be useless to you. The algorithms on Google are designed to solve this problem by directing customers to businesses close to where they live, but this only works if the business websites have been designed to capture searches in their area. This is what we mean by Local Search Engine Optimization. Here’s how you do it:
1. Google My Business [GMB]
If you’ve ever searched for the name of a business, like “Starbucks,” you’ve probably seen Google My Business at work. This is the neatly-organized tab with information about a business, like the name, address, phone number, hours of service, and a link to the business’s webpage. If you are a local webpage, you need to have a Google My Business presence with as much information as possible, otherwise you’ll be at a severe disadvantage. If you want more information on how to setup your own Google My Business, check out our other video specifically on the topic.
ii. Directory Citations
iii. Tons of 5 Star Reviews on Google
#3- PAY-PER-CLICK ADVERTISING [PPC]
For Commercial Queries, Paid Clicks Outnumber Organic Clicks By Nearly 2 to 1
paid ads receive 65% of all clicks.
#4- VIDEO MARKETING
i. people love video
ii. makes you look awesome
iii. can be used on social and website
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