April 9, 2018 | Sarah Danks
Do Contractors Need Paid Search Marketing?
Whether it’s a home improvement job, building a new house from scratch, or constructing an entire housing development, contractors rely on the majority of their business being generated by word of mouth. We understand that it’s a very important method of acquiring good clients…
…but it shouldn’t be your only option.
In order to win business, you have to submit bids. In order to be able to submit bids, you need to have leads to send them to.
If you want leads — prospective builders, whether residential or commercial — to come to you, they need to be able to find you anywhere, anytime they’re looking for your services.
So, you need to be online. Even if they hear about you from someone else, they’ll more than likely want to Google you and check out your online presence before calling.
More importantly, you need to make sure you’re able to found — and seen — amongst all the other contractors bidding for the very same job.
Generating Quality Leads
As with any construction project, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach in marketing. That said, there are four key pillars on which we like to focus when building out your online strategy:
- Web design
- Pay-per-click (PPC)
- Local search
When you hire us to take care of your search marketing, we become business partners. But don’t worry, we’ll do the heavy lifting on this end so you can focus on what you do best: construction.
Not only are you good at what you do, you know which jobs are the most lucrative for your business. With that in mind, we gear our PPC marketing efforts on your behalf towards netting you the leads that you want to get.
Your online presence needs to:
- Tell potential clients where you’re located
- Give a summary of your past experience and strengths
- Make it easy for sub-contractors to contact you
The Internet is where people go to find information — whether they’re in need of a general contractor or just want to check them out after being handed a business card.
A high-performing web presence is a must — it will work for you 24/7, reinforce your word-of-mouth marketing, and make it easy for people to contact you.
But a well-organized PPC campaign can do all of that, and more: it’ll reach potential clients at the exact moment they’re actively looking for your services, with a specific message to sell them on what you can do for them.
PPC Marketing Crash Course
Here’s what pay-per-click marketing is in a nutshell: you pay when someone clicks your ad.
In a bit more detail, pay-per-click goes something like this: you set a monthly budget, you choose keywords, write ads, and then send visitors to a specific page about the service(s) written about in your ads. Simple, right?
But in practice, it’s much more complicated. There are many behind-the-scenes details that all come together to target your ideal prospects and persuade them to take action.
And it all begins with keywords. If the studs in the walls of a house provide the support, then consider that the job of good keywords.
Building the Right Keyword List
Specific keywords and phrases can target individuals who are looking for different things. Some people are ready to build right now; others are gathering research for farther down the road.
It’s our job to bridge the gap between the keywords that are standard for your industry and services and meld them into what people are actively searching for at their time of need.
As it pertains to the construction business, geography can play a very specific role in your marketing endeavors. PPC’s sole purpose is to get qualified leads to contact you, so we hone in on geographically relevant keywords with intent to hire.
We also create ad copy that ties in with keywords, your messaging, and calls-to-action.
Writing Effective Ad Copy
When writing text ads for PPC accounts, we base the wording off of several factors:
- Business consultation with the client (are there any offers or special rates; geographic location, etc.),
- Searcher intent (we use different verbiage for visitors who’re ready to hire now vs. those gathering information for later), and
- Your experience (knowing what kind of phrasing has worked for you in the past; how you differ from the competition, etc.).
The keywords we’re bidding on need to lead to well-written ads, and those of course bring searchers to where we’ll convert your traffic: landing pages.
Creating Customized Landing Pages
We always recommend our clients use custom-built landing pages for their PPC programs. Why?
To put it in perspective: would you sell every single person a pre-fab, 2-bedroom, 1.5-bath home in the suburbs? Of course not. Because each person’s — and family’s — needs are different when it comes to housing. It’s the same with PPC landing pages.
A landing page is where you lead your traffic with the sole purpose of getting them to contact you — and in order to do that most effectively, you need to customize the messaging, headlines, and even the imagery to be specific to what they’re looking for.
This is why we never recommend sending paid traffic to any old page on a website; those pages are built to bring traffic in via search engine optimization, not convert PPC traffic.
Converting Pay-per-click Traffic
Again, the point of all this marketing is to get leads. And in order to get leads coming in, your landing page visitors have to contact you. With construction type traffic, we offer two conversion actions:
- Phone calls
- Online forms
Sometimes online visitors want to hear a friendly voice over the phone; other times they prefer to fill out a form and set up a time to talk in the future.
To that end, we make it easy for visitors to do either — there are some marketers who say you should only offer ONE form of converting (i.e., either a phone number or a form), but we’ve found these types of visitors like to have a choice.
We’ll set you up with a special tracking phone number so we know exactly which calls came from the PPC campaign.
The online forms we use are created to capture the pertinent information you deem necessary (keep it simple at this stage; no need to ask for everything and the kitchen sink).
These forms are also trackable; they generate a confirmation page to each visitor that fills them out so we have exact records of who converted and when.
Ongoing Campaign Management
It’s not enough just to do all the things we’ve mentioned; the pay-per-click campaign won’t run itself after setup. But, you can feel confident leaving that to us. You shouldn’t have to worry about the behind-the-scenes work it takes to keep the program running smoothly and efficiently.
We want all our clients to be involved in their online marketing, and at least be able to check in whenever they want. To that end, each of our clients receives their own PPC dashboard where they can log in to see all their information.
All paid search data gets pumped into one dashboard, which makes everything easy to see and understand:
Once data starts coming in, we assess how everything’s working, and we can make adjustments to improve performance. We’re continually working to refine the process — after all, our goal is to get the highest conversion rate for you.
When we win, you win.
Acquire Quality Leads with PPC
The key to our success as an online marketing company is harnessing our greatest skills. We do this by creating partnerships with our clients. We wouldn’t be able to deliver the results we do without their insight into their construction business.
When using PPC, we’re able to track every penny of our clients’ investment. We can’t hammer this home strongly enough: if your goal is generating high-quality, consistent leads, then pay-per-click marketing is the best digital marketing medium to use.
We work hard to help our contractors and subcontractors — and all of our other professional services clients, too — acquire quality online leads by focusing on a few core elements in each pay-per-click strategy:
- build a solid account from the ground up
- design high-converting landing pages
- provide ongoing, analytical management
PPC is a marketing channel that allows us to make adjustments quickly, which results in positive returns for our clients — and that’s important for your business’s bottom line.
Want to learn more about our online marketing services and how they can help your construction business? Give us a call.