Maximizing Digital Marketing for Construction Related Businesses
If there is one group of companies that lives and dies on maximizing their digital marketing dollars, it is those who fall within the construction, renovation, remodeling and home services industries. Regardless of the size of your business, there are small factors that make all the difference in success and failure.
Back in 2005, I was hired as the Marketing Manager for a large Home Improvement company based in Atlanta. The struggle to feed the pipeline with consistent and solid opportunities was real. At that time, we started to dabble in the internet. Radio was huge. We went to local events, hired cold callers and canvassers. We would go all in on newspaper ads and cross our fingers, although we nailed it down to a predictable science.
In just 3 years, myself and a talented sales team were able to increase the company revenue by 60%. That's no small jump, if I do say so myself.
Why mention this? It's because 13 years later, we see that the challenge for construction related companies has remained the same. The approach to solving them, however, has changed quite a bit. We live in a time where if you aren't digitally successful, you are dead in the water. I have seen the evolution from traditional to web and Design ME Marketing has helped many companies leverage the power of the internet to surpass competition and increase revenue.
"We live in a time where if you aren't digitally successful, you are dead in the water."
If you see opportunity to improve your stature online, perhaps these 5 questions will help to identify areas that require your focus.
1) Is Your Website an Accurate Representation of Your Quality?
You can be at the top of your industry in overall commitment to quality and craftsmanship but an antiquated or aesthetically substandard website makes that all disappear. Your website should be an asset to your sales department. This is true photographically and in site content.
Leverage the benefits multimedia via great pictures throughout the site and in a gallery. Use video, where possible, including your testimonials. Some companies even create pages around individual highlighted projects.
Whether you are dealing with the beauty of outdoor landscape design or something as normal as gutters and leaders, the company with the best visual presentation almost always wins the lead.
2) Is Your Website Set Up for Conversion?
Even if your website possesses that "Wow" factor, visitors need to convert opportunities. This is done through site structure and the strategic placement of Call to Action (CTA). Buttons, pop ups, request a quote forms and the like go a long way to lead generation.
Tip: Don't be afraid to tell your visitor EXACTLY what to do!
"Get a Quote" and "Complete this Form" or "Schedule an Appointment" are among many statements you should be using. Sounds obvious, but we come across so many companies wanting more leads yet their site is set up in a way that offers very little opportunity to take the next step and connect.
Also Landing Pages are a great way to drive targeted traffic geared specifically toward booking an appointment. Consider having several of these as a destination for active paid ads.
3) Are you visible in the right places?
Just having a website and waiting is a bit like setting up a billboard in the desert and hoping someone finds it. How are you leveraging all of the platforms available to you? This includes local directories, review sites, lead providers, the various Social Media platforms, paid ad space and of course the organic areas on top of search engines.
Contractors are notoriously bad at using Social Media. (sorry!) In fact only 45.1% claim to use it at all according to Randall Reilly.
If you only want to pick 2 social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram are about as necessary as breathing air. Paid ads on those platforms can be very lucrative. Make sure you have experience putting them together or consult a professional to formulate a plan. This also goes for Google Adwords. Managing a digestible cost per lead is very important. A professional that has an invested interest in your long term success and maintaining a business relationship is key.
Lastly, yet possibly most important. Where are you ranking for organic keywords? A company that does not have an SEO strategy is destined to pay a premium cost per lead all the days of their existence. Organic leads are the highest quality and although it takes time, end up being your most cost effective. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
4) Do your current efforts match your short AND long term goals?
Many times, frustration with online results stems from embarking on efforts that do not address immediate needs. Accompany that by communication that is less than clear from your digital agency and it is a recipe for a broken relationship and a sour taste for all things web marketing.
For example, if it is imperative that you generate leads tomorrow, an SEO only approach is not for you. If you invest in PPC ads but your website stinks at converting.... throw your money down a well instead. The best approach, where possible, is a multi-pronged approach that addresses both long term growth and short term success by assessing the many factors that lead to an effective web presence.
Want to secure more (insert project) jobs as soon as possible but also want to outrank your competitors? These goals require at least 2 different timeframes and efforts. For this instance, a dual strategy of organic and paid ads may be a consideration.
Avoid providers just looking for the monthly retainer. Make sure you are with a digital marketing firm that is going to take the following steps before ever even taking a dime out of your marketing budget.
- Get a clear understanding of your business and your goals
- Prepare a game plan for execution, not just sell you services
- Set clear expectations on results and benchmarks for success
- Meet regularly to discuss the progress and make adjustments (this means you make time too)
Save yourself frustration and invest with a company that values a long term partnership based upon a mutually agreed upon standard of success.
How do you track success accurately?
No visibility into the effectiveness of your marketing spend is a dangerous place to be. Less than 30% of small businesses use Web site analytics or other ways to gage success. 18% of small businesses admit to not tracking anything. There are 729,345 construction companies in the United States. (StatisticBrain)
If you can't answer any one of these questions, there is cause for concern.
Where are your leads coming from?
What is your cost per lead from the web?
What's the close ratio for web leads?
How many organic hits are you getting monthly?
Are there trends in any area of traffic that would warrant attention?
Which keywords (if any) are you ranked for in the top 30?
How many backlinks have you created in the last 30 days?
What is the most visit page on your site and what is the top keyword that you are found for?
A dedicated digital company should be providing routine reporting and setting aside time to address progress and gain feedback on your perception of the results. Tools such as goals in analytics, call tracking and recording are just a few things that can help you determine success.
Look to examine the entire roadmap from traffic source to visit to onsite behavior and conversion percentages. The right partner and reporting will go a long way to identify any roadblocks in the journey from stranger to customer.
As stated earlier, set clear benchmarks and be realistic as to how they line-up with your goals. Ultimately, Some stats are best checked weekly while others may require monthly and quarterly consideration. Nevertheless, we recommend weekly review and a deep dive into the numbers on a monthly basis with your digital marketing agency.
If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your business! - Marcus Lemonis
Maximize the web presence of your construction based business with these ideas. The concepts are similar to other
industries but, as I know very well, success in construction is dependent upon yesterday's reputation, impressing prospects today, and a solid lineup of new projects tomorrow.
If we can ever help advance your company initiatives online, the Design ME team is here for you!
Jason Koch D'Ambrosio