Homeowners are constantly needing home improvements, repairs, and upgrades to their properties. While some homeowners are taking the DIY approach to home improvements, many of them would rather hire a professional to do the job for them. Plus, some home improvement jobs, like electrical and plumbing projects, require specific skills and expertise to do correctly and safely. There are some large-scale renovations that would be nearly impossible to tackle, or incredibly time-consuming, even for avid DIYers.
That’s where you come in. As a home improvement professional, you know that there is work out there, but a lot of competition. This is especially true for trades, repair and renovation service providers like your company. You want to make sure that homeowners that need your service can find you, and that they find you before they find your competitors.
The first place they’re going to look at is the internet. Nearly every single consumer does research online before calling a business. Phone books and newspaper directories are nearly obsolete. You must have an online presence. How are you competing with other companies when potential customers turn to the web for home improvement services?
Online marketing is essential to your company’s success. If customers can’t find you, you’ll never get the business. That’s why you must put some effort and investment in making sure they do. You can spend as little or as much money as you want on your online marketing, but it will be money well spent either way. Gone are the days of expensive newspaper and television advertising. If you want to be seen, you must make sure you’re seen online.
We’ve put together 5 tips to help you grow your business online.
1. Build a user-friendly website
It’s surprising how many trades and home improvement companies still don’t have a website at all, let alone a well-designed one. You must have a website, even if it is a simple one. If a customer can’t find your website, because you don’t have one or because it’s not coming up in search engine results, they’ll move on to a business they can find.
How your website looks matters too. Simply having a list of services you provide won’t cut it in today’s digital age. Customers need to see a professional, well-build web design that provides them with the accurate information they need. If your website is dated, poorly designed and/or amateur looking, a consumer will move on. A bad website will deter customers, just like a deteriorated or disorganized storefront would.
Users want to feel informed after looking at your website and ready to make a purchasing decision. That means you need to provide them with clear and concise information that is easy for them to access. A list of services and poorly formatted cell-phone images will not help them do that. Invest in a simple web design, use some bright professional images (even stock images are better than unprofessional photos), and make sure you includes easy-to-find pages that best highlight what you do.
It must be visually appealing and have clear navigation so web visitors can easily find the information they’re looking for. You should have clear and concise copy, written with search engine optimization in mind and plenty of CTAs (call to action) throughout the site. Then make it simple and obvious how they can contact you to get started. The easier it is for them to contact you, the more informed leads you’ll get just from the website alone.
2. Invest in search engine optimization so people can find your website
Good search engine optimization (SEO) makes your website and other online listings easy to find using simple search terms. For example, if someone is searching for the ‘best plumbers in Winnipeg’ you want your company to appear in the first few search results. So how do you do that?
You can spend a lot of money with an SEO company, and while that can be effective, there are some cost-friendly things you can do to help your company boost its rankings. All SEO is helping Google find your website when those terms are searched, so you can be ranked above your competitors. Here’s how you can help make that happen organically:
Simple SEO Tips:
Google My Business: Sign up for a free Google My Business listing. When people search for your business name, your listing will appear on the right sidebar of their search results screen. Other search engines like Bing offer a similar free listing.
Use keywords: Do a simple keyword analysis and research using Google’s free keyword planner tool. This will give an idea of how people are searching for businesses like yours online. This is something that will help with future pay-per-click advertising as well, which will be discussed further in this article.
SEO-rich content: Rewrite your web content to include some keywords and phrases. Make sure it still flows well and is easy to read. If you’re doing this yourself, invest in a tool like Grammarly to check your spelling, punctuation and grammar. If you’re not confident in your own ability, pay for a copywriter to develop professional content for your site. Poorly written web copy will certainly turn away interested web users.
Use proper titles and headings: Make sure your content has proper page titles, headings, and sub-headings to make the content easier to digest for both the reader and search engines. This contributes to how your pages will appear on search results. The clearer they are, the better.
Have a clear navigation menu: Adjust your navigation so you have internal links throughout your website. Make sure the important pages you want to highlight are easy to find.
Use social media: Be active on social media and post content frequently. Sometimes a search engine will bring up your social media posts in their search results. You can also run social media ads to assist with this.
Create online listings: Create some listings for your business on other sites. Examples would be your social media sites, Yelp and RenovationFind.
Invest in SEO services: If it’s in the budget, paying for professional SEO services could be worth the investment. They can provide more tips on how to make your well-designed website more searchable online.
3. Invest in Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Sites like Google, Bing and social media channels offer pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to help businesses grow their presence and get more leads online. While you may use some strong keywords and phrases, paying for those keywords through a company like Google will ensure your company ranks first every time. This is especially true for highly competitive keywords, especially if your competitors are using PPC.
Platforms like Google Ads can be used by anyone familiar with a computer and the internet. You can search for keywords and phrases, then start paid advertising campaigns that link to a relevant page on your site. You’ve seen those paid ads come up on search results before, right there on the top of the results. Then when someone clicks on them, you get billed for it. You can spend as little or as much as you want by capping your ad budget, but it’s an effective way to get people to your website.
If you’re not sure how to get started, consider hiring a professional Google Ads consultant. Many marketing agencies and freelancers offer this service. It can help you set up Google Ads that will bring the most results for your unique business and specific keywords. All the data and analytics can be confusing for some, so if you want to do this properly and you’re not sure how enlisting the help of a professional will help you achieve better results.
4. Consider using content marketing to build your brand
Blog content marketing
Websites that are constantly producing new content typically do better with SEO. You can add a blog to your website and publish articles related to your business. For example, handyman services can provide how-to articles, maintenance tips and before and after articles of jobs they’ve completed. You can provide helpful advice and inspiration for future projects.
This gives web users more reason to visit your website. They come for the helpful information you provide and then they might decide to browse your website while they’re there. Better yet, they might contact you to provide the service they’re researching. If they’re not ready to call you, they will remember your company when they are. While you’re developing and publishing content, you are constantly giving search engines more content to provide in search results. Plus, you’re creating an online brand while you’re at it.
If you start a blog, share your content online by posting it on your social media pages. Tagging organizations and other companies in your blog posts on social media channels can help you drum up more interest and engagement.
Email marketing can be part of your content marketing strategy. If you have an email contact list that is compliant with the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), you can send email marketing campaigns using the content you’ve created. CASL requires every contact on your list to express consent to receive marketing messages through digital means. You can collect contacts through an email signup form to your website. This allows users to opt-in to receive your company news and other home renovation or trades related information on a regular basis.
Email campaigns can provide users with links back to your website to read more content. That will create more informed leads, which is what you need to grow your business. That, combined with your social media and PPC efforts, will give your business a well-rounded and engaging presence online.
Plus, email marketing is effective in keeping prior customers engaged with your business. They might not need your services now, but if they’re getting news from you every few months, you’ll remain on the top of their minds. Over time, it will show them that you’re an expert in your field and help strengthen your brand. Then when they need your service, you’ll be the first company they call.
5. Develop an online reputation that people trust
It doesn’t matter how well you do the four things listed above. If you have rotten reviews and are not a company that people can trust, they won’t connect with your business. The most important thing you can do is make sure your home improvement company is a company that people can trust. A bad reputation will lose deals and lose online interest very quickly.
Did you know that consumers will often look at 10 sources of information before they hire a home renovation or home improvement company? What are they looking for? They’re looking for certifications and proof of trustworthiness and quality work. This is more important to them than the bottom of the barrel pricing. What kind of certification does your company have?
Build trust with certifications. RenovationFind can help.
RenovationFind offers a certification process that reviews 7 criteria that are important to homeowners when searching for a home improvement company to hire. These criteria include thorough legal background checks, credit background checks, looking for a proper business license and insurance, WCB coverage and monitoring customer complaints and Better Business Bureau memberships. Using a third-party organization, companies are vetted based on these criteria, and then continually monitored to ensure they’re keeping up to standard. Learn how it works.
Using this screening process, RenovationFind creates ratings for every company listed on the site. For example, a company that has a BBB membership will receive a higher rating than a company that doesn’t. However, every company listed on the site has passed the screening process and is RenovationFind Certified. That tells homeowners that they are vetted and trustworthy, which for most consumers, is the most important thing. Especially since renovations can be a substantial financial investment. No one wants to get ripped off, and unfortunately in the home renovation industry, people are getting ripped off by bad contractors all the time.
When homeowners see this kind of certification, they know that they are researching a company that they can trust. They won’t have to worry about shoddy workmanship, unfair billing or being left with work unfinished by a fly-by-night contractor. They know the company has been tried and tested by other consumers, that the experience was positive, and that they can be trusted with their hard-earn renovation dollars.
Spending time and money on a well-designed website, search engine optimization, content marketing and pay-per-click advertising will help you grow your business online. Building a brand and reputation your current and potential customers can trust will turn that online presence into lucrative leads for your company.
Trustworthy home improvement companies on RenovationFind.com
When a homeowner finds a company on RenovationFind.com they can consider it a personal, unbiased and truthful personal recommendation from us to them. This is good for business.