Digital marketing is a great way for contractors to reach new customers, increase awareness about their company, and build brand recognition. It can also help contractors generate more leads and increase sales.
We should use digital marketing because it can help us grow our business by increasing the visibility of our company on the internet and generating leads. It can also help us generate sales by reaching potential customers where they are most active online.
Contractors are always looking for new and innovative ways to get their business out there. Contractors are being pressured to invest in digital marketing more than ever. According to Blue Corona, 97% of consumers now go online to find and research local products and services. It is essential for contractors to make the switch from traditional marketing to digital marketing.
A great agency can handle steps 1-15 for you and take marketing off your plate entirely. ORB Solutions handles these next 15 steps for our customers so they can focus on providing world class service for their customers.
If you have made it here, chances are you care about growing your business. While this is very obviously a shameless plug, we care about helping contractors grow, that’s why we started ORB in the first place. Not every customer is right for our services but chances are, we can help point you in the right direction. If you need some help in getting to the next level, book a call with us today.
Working your way to the TOP takes time. To Start off, Orb recommends you:
You want to avoid positioning and starting your marketing against your strongest competitors. Chances are you are familiar with the target customer profiles and urban density in your local market, the easiest way to rank quicker and drive more traffic is catering to the largest audience where competition is weakest.
Look to establish a presence where no competitor has over 50+ Google Reviews within 3-5 mile radius. This will give you the best chance of winning the attention of the most prospects quickly.
Try to remove your personal bias towards your competitors during this exercise. Regardless of craftsmanship or your knowledge of their industry, does their web presence impress you? How many reviews do they have? What does their website look like? Try to identify which one of your competitors you would call from brand and web presence alone if you were looking for the service you currently or intend to offer. In the absence of referrals or preexisting bias, this is how prospects will find and weigh you against your competitors. The ultimate goal of this exercise is to identify the strongest competition in your market and avoid them until you can achieve scale and build a more compelling offering.
One way that local search and SEO differs is that the name of your business in local listings and 3-pack rankings are looked at by Google with much greater scrutiny. You want to pick a name that uses the keywords of the primary Google Business Profile Category (GMB category) you are trying to be found for. We will discuss Google Business Profiles in depth later but you can find a comprehensive list of categories here. One thing many local businesses don’t know is that the name of your business effects your ability to be found for a primary search category. To oversimplify, if everything else is equal, Chad’s “Roofing” has a better chance of ranking higher in Google for searches related to roofing than does Chad’s “Contracting Services.”
If you have an existing business name that you operate under that doesn’t utilize keywords, simply file an additional DBA with your existing name and keywords appended or nested within your existing name. If I was the holder of ORB Solutions LLC, I would simply file a DBA as ORB Roofing Solutions or ORB Solutions Roofing Services, enabling me to create a valid alias in Google’s eyes to conduct business. This step is essential as competitors or vengeful customers can flag your business causing Google to initiate a manual review. If your are found in violation of Google’s guidelines, your business profile can be suspended or removed indefinitely at their discretion which will entirely unravel all of your hard work in getting your business ranked.
Based on the results of your research, it’s important to pick the most advantageous physical location for your marketing campaign possible.
Google’s guidelines on GMB listings are still not entirely clear and are sometimes quite difficult for small business owners to comply with.
It can be difficult to find a great location in the confines of this criteria. Some good ideas would be to:
There are a couple important points to note from this excerpt:
The point of contact is the first person that a customer will speak to when they are looking for a company or service. They are often the first step in determining whether or not the customer will buy from a company.
A phone number is an essential part of any business, it helps customers contact companies and services. It is important to have one so that customers can find you easily and quickly.
The process is how they will work with you to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
Google Business Profiles, previously known as Google My Business, are the lifeblood of any local SEO campaign and claiming them and setting them up correctly is the single most important step in ensuring your business is appearing and ranking correctly. Ensuring you rank highly in the local “Map Pack” starts with ensuring you have a properly optimized GMB page.
First you need to see if your Google My Business/Google Business Profile has been set up. You can do this by conducting a search based on your company’s name. If nothing appears, you can also try searching “Your Business Name <Your City>”. If nothing appears still it’s likely your business is unlisted in Google.
When you find your listing, you will see a place that says “Claim This Business,” “Own This Business?” or “Manage This Business.” Click on it to start the claiming and verification process. Ensure that you enter your name exactly as you list it on your storefront or branding material. If you followed the directions in S
Google needs to verify a few things before you can start managing organizational accounts. You’ll be asked for information about your identity and about who you want to manage.
The most common method Google will provide to verify a listing is through a postcard in the mail. Google will mail you a postcard with a code on it. You will need to log back into the Google Business Profile account and enter the code in your GMB dashboard and you will have full access to your listing.
The alternative option is phone verification but it is only possible if your GMB listing has already been verified and has a phone number already listed. Google will call that number and give you a code from their automated voice system to enter in the GMB dashboard.
You’re not finished just yet! Completing your Google Business Profile will ensure you fully optimize your discoverability.
Filling out each of these crucial profile manager settings will help Google guide potential customers to the right place… and makes their (Google’s) algorithm happy.
Come prepared. Every successful contractor shows-off accordingly:
As a contracting professional, the following steps can become cumbersome to learn and handle all on your own. If you want to save yourself the hassle, it would behoove you to hire an Agency or a Freelancer to take care of step 7. While on the surface, it may be easy to create a good and visually appealing website, it requires a large investment of time to create a truly great and well optimized website. If it was easy, marketing companies would be out of business by now and everyone would just build their own websites. Do not be mistaken or misled, building great websites is a long and arduous process.
Can I recommend ORB Solutions?
Before you begin to build your website, you will need to select and purchase your domain name.
The first step in purchasing your domain is to check to see if it is available. There are a number of free domain availability checkers available with a simple google search. If your not sure where to start, you could take a look at the checker on Name.com
There are plenty of reputable vendors to purchase your domain from. Typically as long as you select a reputable vendor, you can opt for whatever special sale or promo is currently available. A few I have used in the past include:
The above are great, reputable, and well known options for maintaing your domain name.
Shorter domains are better for domain SEO. They are more easily readable, easier to share, and project an authoritative; professional image, all qualities that can help your domain rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
You’ll usually want a domain name that is three words or less. Longer domain names can work as well, but keep in mind that shorter, ones are ideal, They are easier to type, easier to remember, and easier to include on physical media like signs, business cards, and truck wraps.
Avoid hyphens or words that are difficult to spell. A webpage like traverse-city-roofing.com may be an exact match and check all your other boxes for a great domain, but people won’t remember to input the hyphens from a glance if they see your website on a billboard, or poster, or your truck driving down the road.
Additionally, you want to avoid double letters even if you have to misspell a name to do so. Rooferright.com is more difficult for potential customers to find and rememeber than Rooferight.com.
In other words, pick a user-friendly domain name. Memorable domain names help increase organic (SEO) traffic and direct traffic.
There are many different domain name extensions today, from the originals .com, .net and .org to niche extensions like .pizza, .photography, and even .blog!
Don’t get sucked in. Always opt for a .com domain. It’s easier this way. Coming from a company that cleverly uses orb.solutions for a company named ORB Solutions, I can’t tell you the number of times people have miskeyed our domain as orbsolutions.com, or orb.solutions.com. Especially for the older less tech-savvy crowd, keying in .com is just second nature.
Purchase a Managed WordPress Hosting Plan. The quality of your hosting service will effect your site load speed. If you pick a cheap shared service, you have no idea who else might be on your shared plan and when their traffic will spike. There is nothing more frustrating than when you find something interesting on Google and the website takes 30 seconds to load. The speed of your site matters! Research shows people will often leave if your site doesn’t load in 3 seconds. We highly reccomend…
Your website needs to be up-to-date and interesting in order to attract new customers and keep them coming back for more. And that’s not all – they also need to be mobile-friendly, because more than half of internet users use smartphones or tablets as their primary way to access web pages nowadays.
I highly recommend building your website on the WordPress ecosystem. According to WPBegginer.com, “WordPress is the world’s most popular site builder. It powers more than 43% of all websites on the internet.” While the primary reason to use WordPress is ease of use. some other reasons we always opt for WordPress are:
There are a myriad of great online resources that can help you get started. Here are a few just for reference:
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. SEO is an important part of digital marketing because search engines are one of the most common ways for people to find information.
Keyword strategy is a crucial factor for your website’s SEO optimization. This article will help you to identify keywords for your content to have a clear and concise title and meta description tags on all pages of your website. It should contain the keywords that you want your site to rank for so that when people search, they will find you first.
Analytics is an important tool for any website, it helps us provides information on the performance and offers insights into how you can improve it. Google Analytics is the most popular tool for understanding website traffic. It’s free and can be used to track a variety of data such as sessions, page views, engagement metrics and more.
Contrary to widely held beliefs, modern business websites are never fully finished and are CONSTANTLY making updates.
Now that you have your website established, the next step will be to claim and update your social media profiles across the internet. Even if you don’t plan to use them immediately it is important to claim them ASAP when your name and website become established. Just like your credit score, age of web history can play a part in your ability to be found in organic searches. Its also important to claim your name just so somebody else like a competitor or disgruntled customer doesn’t do it on your behalf.
When selecting your usernames, try to match your domain name as closely as possible. If your domain is johnsroofingohio.com, make you handle and usernames @johnsroofingohio. Use the domain name for single word fields such as your Instagram handle or Twitter username and your business name for multi word fields like your Youtube Channel Name or LinkedIn business name.
When filling out your company info try to be as consistent as possible with your name, address, phone number, and website address.
Facebook is a social media platform that has over 2 billion monthly active users. Create a Facebook business page and start posting updates with links to your website or blog content consistently.
Youtube is the most popular video platform with over a billion users and over 300 million hours of video uploaded every day. It is also the second largest search engine after Google. This is used by contractors who want to stand out from their competition.
LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform for professionals. It has a wide range of features that can be used to promote your business and services, find potential employees, and get recommendations from other professionals in your field.
Linkedin is among the most popular platforms for B2B social media marketing so it could become a very important piece in your content marketing strategy down the road if you aim to incorporate a large mix of commercial business.
TikTok has become a popular app for brands, celebrities, and other influencers to interact with their followers and promote their content. TikTok marketing is an effective way for contractors to create brand awareness through short videos that can be easily shared on social media.
The main goal of Pinterest marketing is to create a brand presence on the platform and drive traffic to the company’s website. You can target specific groups, so you can gain followers who are likely to be interested in what you have to say or sell.
While Pintrest is not a popular place to advertise for the Trades, it is fundamentally rooted in visual appeal and social proof.
While Twitter isn’t the ideal place for Contractors to focus their time, sometimes it pays to be different. It’s possible for businesses to use Twitter as a marketing tool by creating accounts and following other businesses in order to stay up-to-date on their latest news, promotions, etc.
It is important to ensure you use the same information across the internet including name, address, and phone number (NAP) as well as homepage web address.
The name of the game in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is pandering to Google. One of the things Google leans on heavily is aggregating information from other sites on the internet. A dramatic oversimplification of one important element of SEO is authority (or search favorability) by consensus, sites with high authority for a topic create authority for other sites by linking to them, thus creating a reference and sharing some of that authority. There are 100s of other factors but this concept is one that is important to remember. For example, everything else equal, if the highest roofing authority sites for roofing related terminology like the NRCA or GAF link to your website and not your competitors, Google will give your site preference over your competitors. We will cover this later in Step 13
Some of the highest authority sites are those that aggregate information, also referred to as directories, aggregators, or citations. Think Yelp or Yellow Pages Online. Google looks for links on these aggregators to determine whether or not your site has authority over your competitors. However, context and relevancy are important. One of the things Googles algorithm checks in these directories is for the presence of NAP Consistency. NAP is an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone. Google views businesses as legitimate when the information, especially the NAP and nature of the business, are consistent amongst all directories.
If you want to check if your NAP and other business information is consistent across directory listings you have a few different options.
You could manually perform a Google Search for your business and check to see if your information is listed on other directory sites and how it shows up. If you see any errors or inconsistencies on major directories you can go in and correct them.
Additionally, there are some great free tools for citation checking, most of them just require you to register an account. One of our personal favorites at ORB is MOZ Local.
If you have never updated or listed your directories before and you don’t have the knowledge or expertise, We highly recommend you outsource this to a professional. The process can be highly manual without a tool and each directory is different in terms of where you need to submit and update information.
Many marketing agencies and SEO firms will try to sell listings management as part of their ongoing monthly SEO package. However, we have found that most of the time, if updates are made to all directories simultaneously, ongoing management is an unnecessary expense and your better off paying a one-time fee to an SEO specialist and having them check and update all the directories at once. ORB also offers a top notch directory listing service that includes highly specialized listings and backlinks for a nominal 1-time fee if you aren’t sure where to go.
If money is tight or you are committed to going the manual route, try to focus on the most important citations to tackle first include:
What are people saying about you?… because potential prospects know…
This is where you really start…
Reviews on platforms like Google, Facebook and Yelp impact where you rank in search. They also create social proof, a sort of safety in numbers effect, where prospects will look at businesses with more reviews favorably. For example, many of your prospective customers will find your business online using Google, and one of the most important ranking factors Google uses is the quantity and quality of customer reviews. Reviews:
Utilizing Social Media can be a huge boon for your business. When starting out, pick the platforms you want to create content for. I recommend starting with your personal blog and Facebook. If you aren’t utilizing a website with built in blogging capabilities like WordPress, I suggest utilizing a free 3rd party site like Medium.
Ensure when you create your content, you mention where you are located and doing business. Without getting into technobabble about SEO, if you are just getting started or interested in SEO, you don’t want to try to make content to compete on a national scale, chances are you don’t have the time or resources to compete on this scale. Ensure you are mentioning your locality. “Check out This Project we did in ” or Curious on how to maintain your home in .
Although it may feel unnatural at first, being overly specific is important in SEO and content creation because it helps your content become discoverable.
Realize that content creation takes time and effort but just like anything in life, it becomes easier with repetitions and practice. Snap photos at every job, talk with customers, document the questions that you are frequently asked, all of these can be used as content ideas and inspiration. MOST IMPORTANTLY, don’t worry about how many likes, interactions, or views your content is getting. We as people are wired for immediate gratification. You won’t become an overnight success creating content. Content creation is really hard
The best way to create videos for YouTube is with a script and storyboard. The script should include all of the information that you want to convey in your video, as well as any important keywords or phrases to use in order to optimize your video for search engines and YouTube’s algorithm. The storyboard should include shots of what will be shown in each scene of your video, including closeups on faces or objects if needed. With so many videos on YouTube, it can be difficult for your videos to stand out and get noticed. So, try to create engaging content by combining text with visuals.
Utilizing technology is no longer an “up-and-coming” customer strategy. It’s already here…
There are two types of backlinks: inbound and outbound. Inbound links are links that point to your website from other sites, while outbound links are links on your site itself. The more backlinks, the higher ranking it has on search engine results pages (SERPs). However, inbound links are ultimately the more important factor for ranking well. That’s because having inbound links means that other websites are passing their website’s authority (PageRank) onto your website.
The first step to earn inbound backlinks is to identify the keywords that you would like to rank for. You will need to have a list of at least 5-10 keywords that you would like your website to be found for.
Once you have your list of keywords, it is time to start generating content. You should create at least one piece of content per day, such as blogs and/or social media posts. This will give you the opportunity to rank for multiple keywords and also diversify your content on the site.
Finally, this will give you an opportunity to show off your skills and expertise in a particular field or industry. Other industries will now trust your relevant resources and backlink your content on their websites. Once these links are built up, this will lead to more traffic coming into your site and eventually more people contacting you about contracting services.
There’s a lot going on in this field right now, with new technologies emerging all the time. It’s important for contractors to keep up with changes in technology so they don’t fall behind and lose their competitive edge. The key is to find the tools that work for you, and then make sure that you are using them in a way that is going to help you succeed.
Matterport is a 3D capture technology company that creates immersive, high-quality 3D models of indoor spaces. The camera has a number of features that make it an attractive option for businesses who need to provide an interactive virtual tour for their customers:
Project Map IT is a software/app that enables companies to create dynamic portfolios, collect and display customer reviews, and increase sales.
CompanyCam is a web-based software that can be used to create and share presentations, infographics, and other visual content. This service can be also be used to monitor and record employee’s activity at work, including the time they spend on different tasks, the time they spend in each location and the duration of any breaks.
Hover is a 3D modeling and rendering tool. It also has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to use for both beginners and professionals. It’s perfect for creating digital art, architecture, product design, or any other project that requires 3D modeling.
If you master the first 14 steps in this guide, chances are your business will thrive. If you are happy with your results and you have tapped out your organic reach in your locality, it’s likely time for you to expand! This can be tricky and you should definitely consider HIRING A MARKETING PARTNER LIKE ORB Solutions. By repeating the initial steps and creating segmented location pages on your website to push traffic, you aren’t just constrained to the local reach of your home office, you can expand your operation into adjacent cities and markets. Step 1: Performing Competive Benchmarking and Step 3 Finding an Optimal Physical Location can be repeated in conjunction with Steps 5 and 6 to claim multiple Google Business Profiles.
Our 15 step guide largely focuses on SEO and what we call Earned and Owned media. However, paid advertising when used in conjunction with the first 15 steps can give you the extra juice you need to conquer the competition or deliver results fast!
The beautiful thing about Digital Advertising is that you can ramp your spend up or down depending on the amount of work you need to fill your schedule. According to the US Small Business Administration:
Put a different way, whatever is left over from creating your website, paying for your marketing staff/agency partners, and your website should be allocated to your advertising spend. Your marketing budget should also change depending on the size of your market, the competitiveness of your market, and your goals for growth. We at ORB recommend the following:
Facebook Ads – Display and Video that link to call number or landing page
Google Search – Make sure you end up on top when people in your area are looking for your services
Google Guaranteed – Leads backed by Google, Similar to Homeadvisor where you pay per lead – Information Page From Google
Take a breather and come back to digest more when you’re ready.