If you browse popular local home service business Facebook groups, you’ll see that business owners and employees ask their peers all kinds of questions. Discussion topics range from the best brands and products to buy to outrageous stories from home projects. It’s a treasure trove of valuable information and kick-back-and-relax entertainment.
One of the topics that gets brought up fairly regularly is marketing. People want to know how fellow companies market their businesses, what works, what doesn’t, how much to spend, etc. Here are a few examples of what has been posted:
Are you among the local home service providers who have questions about marketing and advertising? Are you wondering how to maximize your marketing budget to keep the calls coming in from people who need your services? If so, you’ve come to the right place!
As a marketing agency with 20+ years of experience and a lengthy customer list that includes many home service businesses, we know how to successfully market within the sector. We’ve been doing it for years.
Today, we at Adventure Marketing Solutions want to share insight with you about the subject we know best: marketing!
This guide focuses specifically on digital marketing, which is so essential right now. You’ll learn about the areas of digital marketing that can deliver the biggest impact for your spend:
- Local SEO
- Google Business Profile
Best of all, you can take what you learn and apply it at your business in the way that makes the most sense for you.
Make Your Website a Sales Tool
You may be surprised to learn that 97% of users primarily learn about local companies online. That means someone looking for a home service business is most likely to first learn about your company via either your Google Business Profile (which we’ll get to later) or your website.
Something we stress to our customers is don’t have a website just to have a website. The aim shouldn’t be to just have one to check a box. Your website isn’t just an online business listing. When properly designed and optimized, a website can be a sales tool that constantly generates new leads and repeat customers.
And if you have competitors in your immediate area, the quality and performance of each website can make the difference in which company a person chooses. Consider these statistics:
- 89% of consumers switched to a competitor’s website as a result of bad user experience
- 83% of customers consider a seamless website experience on all devices to be very important
- 48% of people said that web design was the number 1 way they determine the credibility of a business
So, how do you maximize engagement on your website and make it a true sales tool? We summarize three key considerations below.
Website User Experience
Is your site visually appealing? Does it enable the site visitor to quickly determine what makes your business a good option? Having a good website user experience is critical because visitors will quickly form opinions of your company based on the site. If it’s good, they’ll stick around and explore. But if it’s bad, they’ll bounce quickly.
Here are a few things you can do to offer the best possible user experience:
- Put key information at the top of the site (unique selling propositions, contact info/forms, relevant content, etc.)
- Use obvious calls to action to get visitors to take the next step
- Make the design attractive but simple. Don’t overwhelm visitors with too much “noise”
- Highlight what makes you unique (unique selling propositions, testimonials, awards, etc.)
The technical side of your website isn’t as exciting as the design, but it’s no less important. Visitors simply won’t stick around on a site that doesn’t work as well as they expect. If it’s slow or has glitches, they’ll be gone in a hurry.
To keep your website functioning at peak performance, ensure the following:
- The site is mobile-friendly. It should function well regardless of which device it’s accessed on
- The site loads quickly. There are many online tools you can use to test your site speed
- All links work and direct to the correct destinations
- No coding errors exist
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
We’ll get into greater detail about local SEO in a moment, but as it relates directly to the website for your home service business, there are a couple of technical things to do to help your site get found. The first is to register your site with top search engines like Google and Bing. Submitting your site through the respective search engine’s webmaster tools signals to them that you have information you want to share with searchers.
Something else you can do is optimize meta tags, which are snippets of text embedded within web page code. Meta tags help search engines more easily identify what kind of content is contained within the website and specific web pages. To optimize, make sure you use keywords related to your business and industry within the title tags, meta descriptions and heading tags of your site.
For more in-depth information about making your website a sales tool, check out this article.
Strengthen Your Local SEO Efforts
If your website is designed and optimized as well as possible, great! The next step is to get potential customers to find your website. This is accomplished through SEO, which is the process of making a website more easily located by search engines.
93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, which demonstrates how important it is for your home service company to appear near the top of the search engine result page (SERP). When someone uses a search phrase like “HVAC company near me” or “Plumber in [city, state],” for example, you want your company, not your competitors, to catch their eye.
It ultimately makes a difference in sales. Surveys have found that 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases and 28% of local searches result in a purchase within 24 hours!
Now, let’s look at three key areas to focus on to strengthen your SEO efforts.
Keywords refer to the words and phrases that are meaningful and relevant to people who are seeking information about a particular topic. Keywords are not just for Google, but of course, they are essential for SEO.
To optimize for SEO, your website content should be user-friendly, easy to read and contain a good quantity of not just one or two primary keywords but also several keyword variations.
To identify the kinds of keywords you should target, perform a keyword analysis to learn:
- Keywords & phrases currently associated with your site
- Keywords your active buyers are searching
- Volume of monthly searches
- Competition to rank
For additional information on keywords, read our article.
On-page SEO refers to the tactics applied to your web pages to influence their search engine ranking. The goal is to make it easier for search engines to determine what the web page is about so it can more efficiently provide search results to users.
On-page SEO is the tactic that you have the greatest control over because it’s all done within your website. The primary actions are to:
- Create relevant website content. To learn how, click here
- Optimize meta tags
- Utilize SEO-friendly URL structures
- Include image alt text with applicable keywords
For additional information about on-page SEO, read our article.
Off-page SEO refers to tactics applied away from your website to influence its search engine ranking. The goal is to accumulate as many backlinks from websites with high domain authority as possible. This is a signal to search engines that your website is a reliable source of quality information.
Off-page SEO is more out of your hands because it’s dependent on external sources linking to your website. Here are some tips for building your links:
- Create high-quality content that people will want to link to
- Generate shares of content on social media
- Reach out to others in the industry who will link to your content from their site
For additional information about off-page SEO, read our article.
Utilize Your Google Business Profile
The first two topics covered in this guide focused on strengthening your website and SEO to drive web traffic. Those are critical steps in having a strong digital marketing presence. However, there is one other tool you cannot afford to ignore: Google Business Profile.
Previously known as Google My Business (GMB), Google Business Profile is the listing for your business that appears on Google’s search engine result page. It is designed to share all sorts of information about the business including:
- Maps listing
- Business category
- Contact information
- Business information
- Content posts
Why is it important to claim, optimize and regularly update your Google Business Profile? Because Google has it set up to share so much about a business that many searchers don’t even need to visit a business’s website to get the information they need in order to decide whether or not they want to purchase from them.
In 2020, 65% of Google searches were “no-click searches,” which are searches where the user leaves the result page without clicking any links. That’s up from 50% in 2019. If this trend continues, it could be argued that Google Business Profile will become even more important than your website (some have already begun to take this opinion).
Here are some tips to maximize Google Business Profile:
- If you haven’t already, claim your business. Click here to learn how
- Fill out your profile completely
- Keep the details of your profile up to date
- Solicit reviews from your customers
- Respond to the reviews you receive, especially any that are negative
- Create Google Posts regularly
For additional information about Google Business Profile, read our article.
Ready to Pump Up Your Home Service Business’s Digital Marketing Presence?
For local home service businesses wanting to get the most bang for their marketing buck, digital is the way to go. Whether your business is new and you’re marketing it for the first time or it’s long-established and you want to make sure your digital marketing efforts keep you ahead of your competitors, we hope the insight we shared in this guide makes a difference for you.
If you have any questions or want to learn even more, call us at 815.431.1000 or submit this form to contact us.
Too busy to manage your marketing on your own? You’re not the only one! It comes as no surprise to us that many home service business owners have a full plate and need to devote their time and energy to day-to-day business operations and put marketing on the backburner. That’s why we decided to offer this marketing service.
It consists of digital marketing packages specifically designed to generate leads and increase sales. With multiple packages from which to choose, you can find the perfect fit to help you achieve your goals. To learn more about it and get started today, click here.