Internet Marketing Methods to Grow Your Home Improvement Business

Last month 22,200 people searched online for “Home Improvement contractors New York” and 33,100 people searched for “Contractors New York” indicating a strong demand for home improvement related services. The fact is another Contractor in your local area is ending up with this business. Most Contractors entered into the profession thinking that they would open up a business and the business would generate from word of mouth and referrals. This may be true for a select few Home Improvement businesses, but it is more likely that if you want to compete, you need to market your services.

Traditionally, Contractors are not marketers! But if you do what I recommend in this article, you can not only stay competitive, but you can also potentially blow away your competition. According to the Wall Street Journal, only 4% of Contractors market their business, and most are NOT doing it effectively. The key to Home Improvement marketing is to acquire, retain, and re-market. If you do all 3, you will have a steady stream (or even a flood) of leads coming into your Home Improvement business.

The best way to grow your Home Improvement business is by using Internet marketing. Forget TV ads, expensive Radio, or Newspaper advertising. We know very few Contractors for whom these marketing mediums have actually ever worked for. In fact, their lack of accountability, measurability, and limited geo targeting capabilities will leave you wondering where your investment went. You need to be where your prospects and clients are, which is online searching for the products and services they need.

Marketing Methods:

Conversion Focused Web Design

To effectively market on the internet, you need a conversion focused web site. What you DO NOT need is a website that collects dust. Think about it, just about every home improvement business has a website of some kind. Most are poorly conceived by graphic designers or stock templates, and were implemented with no strategy, no calls to action, and are basically just like brochures. A brochure is not going to cut it as we move forward into a more competitive marketing space on the internet. Most of your competition has a brochure, but to convert traffic into prospects and then into customers, you need a much stronger pull to get the prospect to want to do business with you.

An internet marketing consultant can help design and organize your site to move you beyond a simple brochure to a highly productive lead generation machine. Also, an effective web solution should put you in control of your site and content. Make sure your site is built with a Content Management System (CMS) that will allow you or your control staff to make simple edits without having to hire your designer at $100+/hr for each little web change needed.

Organic Search Marketing

Organic or Natural Search Marketing is similar in concept to Pay Per Click, but for organic search marketing results you do NOT have to pay per click. It is a much longer and slower process, but it is where 80% of your prospects are going to find you. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a process by which your site is engineered to show up for certain keywords in the search engines. Organic search results can lead to a consistent stream of leads for your practice, but patience and time working on your site (and off of your site) is required to take advantage of this strategy. Make sure if you outsource your SEO work, you deal with someone who understands your business, will not spam the search engines, and is someone you can trust with your message and reputation. One wrong move here could leave you black listed by Google and the other major search engines.

A solid SEO strategy is rooted in delivering good quality keyword rich content to your site. Writing content for the web is a lot different than writing content for a brochure or off line marketing collateral. Make sure you work with an SEO team that understands the complexities of search engine optimization, can create a realistic plan, understands your business, and can measure the results.

Pay Per Click Marketing

Thousands of potential customers are searching online every day for Home Improvement contractors and related services in your local area. With the right message and a conversion focused Pay Per Click marketing campaign, you can get immediate leads and new clients into your practice. Pay Per Click marketing delivers ads in the search engines to prospects that are not only local to your business, but looking for exactly what you are offering at the exact time they want it! It is highly targeted, and a highly measurable marketing technique unlike anything else in existence.

The problem is Pay Per Click marketing, or PPC, is extremely competitive and you really need someone who knows what they are doing to make it successful. If you are going to invest in PPC, you need to make sure you track conversions (emails, phone calls, web forms, downloads, etc.). Without tracking this data, you will not know how effective the campaign really is. Also, PPC marketing needs to be constantly monitored and optimized every day to avoid stagnant and lack luster results. If you do this, you will not only compete in your market, you will dominate.

Landing Pages

Internet marketing for Home Improvement business is competitive, and if not done correctly, you can squander your marketing dollars pretty quickly. Developing a custom landing page is a technique to develop a small 1 or 2 page website focused around a very specific service (Plumbing, Roofing, Kitchen Remodeling, etc.), and developed around a strong call to action.

By utilizing a focused page to send targeted traffic to, you are properly aligning what someone is searching for in the search engines with the exact result they are expecting to see when they click on the pay per click ad or organic search result. Conversion rates can increase 100% or more using a landing page strategy. Landing pages tend to work best when used in conjunction with a Pay Per Click marketing campaign. When it comes down to it, effective marketing is all about doing it better than your competition. Landing pages, when used correctly, can dramatically accelerate your lead generation efforts and squeeze more out of your Pay Per Click budget.

Social Media

Social media sites are where your prospects and customers are spending a lot of their time. So how come most contractors are not utilizing this marketing strategy? It is most likely due to a lack of time and lack of knowledge on how to use Social Media to your advantage. Get on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and at least start engaging with your prospects and customers. Post relevant articles and quick tips on troubleshooting your AC unit, or post excellent bathroom tips for remodeling and renovating your bathroom. You can realistically post whatever you want to talk about that helps present you as an expert. Social Media is all about engagement. Also, Social Media can help your organic search results, build your email marketing database, drive more traffic to your website, and help with reputation management.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great strategy to use for retention and re-marketing, and a way to present yourself as an industry expert. You need to stay in front of your existing customers and potential prospects every month. The average prospect needs 6-7 touches from a business before they actually do business with them. Mailing out letters is not the answer and it is very expensive. Email marketing is quick, measurable, and extremely effective. Keep your customers engaged and aware of all the services you have to offer and any new exciting breakthroughs in the field of home improvement.

When developing an email marketing strategy, you need to plan it out carefully and make sure every campaign is created with a strong offer or call to action. Don’t be too pushy or overburden people by sending out more than one email campaign per month. Email marketing is a key piece to the internet marketing puzzle and can help maximize all of your marketing efforts.

If you are a Home Improvement contractor, I encourage you to implement all of these proven marketing strategies into your business today. The longer you wait, the more your competition will gain a larger share of the market (and their friends, family, co workers, etc.). All of these strategies need to be worked on and improved upon over time, so do not think that what worked today will always work tomorrow. Create a clear strategy to maximize your internet marketing investment and set realistic expectations. With the right plan and execution, internet marketing will not feel like you are taking a risk by spending your money on it, and hoping for something in return. Internet marketing is a tried and true investment that will deliver consistent returns for your business.

Bradley Eisner is a Certified Internet Marketing Consultant (IMC) with WSI and has a passion for helping Home Improvement professionals market their businesses more effectively using the internet.

Home Improvement Service – How to Secure the Best Deal

In the recent past, home improvement service has been quite on the rise with many people coming up to start selling home improvement products as well as these services. This has turned out to be a very lucrative business with good returns. If you happen to be looking out for a good and cheap provider of home improvement service, there are several sites which you can look at in the internet. Once you get to the search engine of your choice, you cannot miss to see all the organizations and companies offering home improvement service. Similarly, you can also get this information from advertisements and the press.

Any business owner who runs a home improvement service should also run a store to sell home products. This is irrespective of whether you are offering your services online or offline. A person who sells construction supplies should make sure that he or she achieves great sales turnover by observing the following rules. You should first check out for construction companies which will buy from you. You must treat them kindly so that they become your regular customers. The other group of people to check out for is the construction workers who do the actual work at the site. Thirdly, the most important group is the homeowners who require most home improvement service.

However, any improvement service provider should conduct a research to verify all the potential customers. A good example of home improvement service is offering advice on home restructuring and remodeling designs. To ensure that you give quality services, you have to narrow down to a specific group of customers. Put all your focus on individuals who want to sell their houses, the ones who are looking for good houses to buy, and those ones who want an expert to remodel their homes. These are very potential customers who can help you earn more than you expect.

After you have identified what improvement service you ought to be looking for, you should now proceed to determine how much you should pay for the service. If your desktop has a leads generator, then it will be quite simple for you to access the best home improvement service provider. This will save you a lot of time and the amount that you would have paid a professional to do the work for you. With such programs installed on your computer, you are assured of quick results with a single click of your mouse. For a faster research, make sure you know the keyword phrase, e.g. remodeling, home improvement, construction repair and others.

Use of related keywords helps you to see all the entire posts on the internet. It is upon you to determine whether the sales leads are worthy or not. After you get the best, you can send the provider an email before logging out of the program. At the end of the entire program, you should have secured yourself a good and cheap deal. Take some time and learn all these tricks through the internet.

How To Get More Leads From Your Home Improvement Website

How to get more leads from your home improvement website

Everyone wants leads – but you know it is an amazing thing – lots of companies build websites, even spend some money on Pay Per Click Advertising (such as Google Adwords) and perhaps even pay to be listed is some directories and then wonder why they don’t get leads, or don’t get as many leads as they would hope to.

To add to their disappointment – they will often have spent significant sums on the website and employed some “talented” web site designers. The challenge is that while a lot of these web designers can build you nice looking websites (with all the bells and all the whistles) – many don’t know how to build a web site that converts visitors to leads.

Sometimes home improvement companies even write of the Internet as “not working” – failing to realise that they actually control their websites destiny and the fact the site is not producing leads is that Nine times out of Ten – they don’t make it easy for their website visitor to give them a lead.

As an Internet Marketing Consultant I am often asked to review websites – and come up with some ideas for improving the conversion ratios (usually – visitor to leads ratio). I don’t really think the following could be considered a “trade secret” – but perhaps it is, as so many website designers are still building home improvement websites with this “built in fault”

To increase your leads – Make It Easy For Your Visitors To Contact You.

Often a website will have a “contact us” button tucked away in some far corner that is not easy to find.

Please, put your contact details on each page – and also ideally – strategically within the website copy.

Better still – change “Contact Us” web form to a “Free Brochure” or “Free Info” or “Free Information Pack” and you will see a significant increase in sales leads (as much as 50 – 100% increase sometimes)

You should also have clearly – and in large type have your phone number at the top of each page.

You should have both a form to fill in and your contact phone number showing.

Far too often salespeople and sales managers worry about the tyre kickers and the brochure hunters – and try to qualify their leads too much. The point of most contractor based, supply and install home improvement websites is not to sell a product but to sell visitors on the company and encourage them to request more information. (produce a lead)

I spoke to a sales manager the other day who complained how bad business was and the economy was all wrong blah, blah…..

A little later we are talking about web leads and he declares he only wants leads of his websites from people who want to have one of his sales people out for a quotation. (hence why his website only had a request a quote link)

Clearly he had not considered that some people may wish to make a “softer approach” first – to find out more about his company before asking a sales person to quote.

Sad for him, sad for his sales people and sad for his company

Please don’t make this mistake.

Of course the above can be applied to just about all types of websites, not just home improvement websites.