Contracting has long been a word-of-mouth business. Do an excellent job for a client, and they recommend you to someone who needs your services.
Times have changed. While word-of-mouth still matters, attracting new contracting business has quickly and primarily moved online.
If you’re feeling a little behind the curve when it comes to marketing your business digitally, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. This article reveals nine ideas that will transform you into a leader in contractor marketing.
1. Update Your Website
When was the last time you updated your website? The answer might be “never.” And if you’re not sure, it’s probably not recent enough.
Your website is central to all your digital marketing strategies and tactics. It’s what almost everything points to. You must have a top-tier website providing the information prospective customers need to become leads.
Here are some features a great contractor website should include:
It must present your brand (colors, logo, imagery, and messaging) in a way that differentiates you from competitors.
Make it easy to navigate and find critical information.
Include compelling customer stories prospects will relate to.
Provide testimonials from happy clients (they’re a new virtual form of old-school, real-world customer recommendations).
Clear and easy-to-act-on calls-to-action (CTAs), including ways to request information, make an appointment, and become a lead.
Bottom line: Your website is the foundation of your digital marketing strategies and campaigns—your home base. You wouldn’t build anything on a weak foundation. The same should be true of your marketing.
2. Optimize Your Website for Search
What good is a great website if no one visits it?
You must optimize your website for search engines, especially Google. When people search for the contracting work you do in your area, your business must rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs). If you’re not among the top results, your business may as well not exist. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help.
SEO is a series of on- and off-site tactics that help Google understand what your website — and business — are about so it can recommend them to the right searchers. Once you build your site, take steps to optimize it. Leverage the information in our complete helpful guide to get started. [LINK TO NEW GUIDE.]
Some of the most crucial aspects of SEO include the following:
Use the keywords you want your business to be known for on the correct website pages.
If you’re a regional business, incorporate the name of the region you serve into your keywords so you can get found by people in your area. For instance, use “lawyer in Tampa” rather than “lawyer.” If you specialize in something, also add it to your primary keywords, for example, “divorce lawyer in Tampa.”
Improve your site’s speed and how it performs overall.
Develop and deliver content people in your target audience will find valuable.
Once you get your website looking great and communicating the right things, your next priority should be to ensure it’s optimized for search.
3. Claim and Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing
When people search online for local businesses, Google puts together a list of companies in the area that could meet their needs. The results appear in a box known as the local SEO 3-Pack. It’s a list of the three businesses that best meet the user’s search based on what they queried and how close they are to the business's physical location.
The information for the 3-Pack is pulled from your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). You must claim your profile, populate it with information about your organization, and keep it current. If you don’t claim it or fail to complete it, another business could steal it, shut it down, or populate it with incorrect or harmful information.
Check out our complete guide to getting your Google Business Profile right and managing it correctly. The better your profile is, the more new customers you’re likely to attract.
Find out the most common GBP mistakes and how to avoid them.
4. Manage Your Construction Business Reviews
When you claim your Google Business Profile, customers can provide ratings and reviews. Many social platforms offer similar functionality. You must encourage pleased clients to rate your business and leave reviews. Contracting work is a significant and rare purchase for most people and businesses, and virtual word of mouth from online ratings and reviews will help build trust in your business.
Make sure you respond to all reviews, both positive and negative. This demonstrates that you care about your clients. Plus, it can publicly allow you to resolve client service issues. No contracting business is perfect. However, by responding to reviews, it shows that you’re ready to remedy your errors and make things right.
5. Get New Contracting Clients with Pay-per-Click (PPC) Advertising
If you want to obtain new, high-value construction leads, invest in PPC advertising in Google Ads, social media, and local online publications. PPC is a sound contractor marketing tactic because it allows you to reach people interested in your building services, making them more likely to convert and turn into clients.
In Google Ads, select keywords and queries that searchers use when looking for your services. In social, target people interested in remodeling and home improvement. When seeking local ad opportunities, look for websites and blogs focused on home repair, decorating, and real estate.
Monitor ad performance over time to ensure your campaigns are paying off. Put more money and energy into the channels that perform best and test-in new options to see if you can lower costs while improving results. PPC puts contractors front and center in places where people seek their services.
Tip: If you have a limit to what you can afford to pay for each click, set it when you create your campaigns. It will help keep costs in check.
6. Stay Connected in Social Media
Hiring a contractor often takes time. And many contractors depend on repeat business. This is why it’s critical to encourage prospects to follow you on social media. Regularly share helpful contracting information with them and samples of your recent work. It will help demonstrate your expertise as a contractor and keep you top of mind when it’s time to hire.
7. Leverage Email Marketing
Similar to social media, a regular email containing helpful information to the people in your client base will keep you front and center with those considering your services. Email marketing is relatively low-cost and takes little time. Plus, you may be able to leverage some of the content and assets you develop for social media.
Tip: Make sure you alert people that you plan to use their email for marketing purposes and get their permission to do so. A high unsubscribe rate could get you booted from your email platform. Also, don’t make the common error of purchasing email lists. It often results in dangerously high unsubscribes and too many emails sent to people who don’t need contracting services now.
8. Leverage Marketing Automation
Contractors are busy people, and their schedules are often uncertain. That’s why it makes sense to leverage automation tools like Hubspot, Mailchimp, and Buffer. They allow you to schedule emails and social posts, monitor results, and handle other tedious tasks automatically. A relatively small software investment could pay off in time saved on implementing and managing marketing campaigns. Plus, it will bring order and regularity to your promotional efforts, likely improving results.
Tip: If you have a customer relationship management (CRM) system, it may include some marketing automation functionality, or you can add it. For some contractors, combining CRM with marketing automation makes sense. In many cases, it saves money and delivers a better client experience.
9. Monitor Your Metrics
Much like contracting, marketing is as much a science as an art. It’s great to create attractive campaigns that represent your brand well. However, they must also drive business.
You must commit to watching the numbers like those in Google Analytics, Google Ads, social media, and marketing platforms. Link them to your bottom-line business results. Figure out which of your efforts are generating positive results for your contracting business and which are wasting time and money. Over time you’ll be able to get better results for less money and effort.
Contractor Marketing: The Final Word
Depending on word-of-mouth alone to generate new business isn’t enough anymore for most contractors. The world has moved into the digital age when it comes to seeking contracting help. Leverage the proven tactics in this article to get the word out about your business and attract clients who are looking for the services you offer.