contractor working and planning marketing

Contractors: Your Customers are Online – And You Should Be Too

contractor working and planning marketing

 

If you own a contracting company but haven’t prioritized establishing an online presence and digital marketing strategy, you’re selling yourself way short. Having been in the digital marketing industry for more than 12 years, I can assure you that all businesses need a solid online presence – yes, even general contractors, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, builders, renovators and roofers. In this climate, the only way to reach the next level with your contracting business is through digital marketing. This has been the case for several years now, but many contractors continue to eschew online marketing – and many don’t even have a solid online presence.

 

Why Digital Marketing is Crucial for Contractors

Consider this: As of 2019, only 45 percent of the estimated 830,000 construction companies that exist in the U.S. are growing. Sure, some may be happy to rest on their laurels, relying on traditional marketing methods like word of mouth and mailers. Those that wish to rise to the next level, however, need to understand that their competitors are increasingly investing more time, money and effort into digital marketing. From establishing a professional, up-to-date website with informative and useful content to relying on SEO to obtain top Google rankings, construction companies and other contractors that put real effort into digital marketing overwhelmingly outshine their competition and soar to new heights of success.

 

Digital Marketing for Contractors Matters – Yes, Even for B2B Firms

In my experience, contractors that provide services directly to consumers are far more likely to grasp the importance of digital marketing than those that offer B2B services. All too often, I hear owners of B2B firms say things like, “Phil, online marketing doesn’t matter if you’re selling services to other businesses.” Perhaps that was the case a few years ago, but times have changed. Consider this: 71 percent of commercial buyers start their research by searching Google for what they’re after. Among B2B contractors that have turned to digital marketing, 57 percent say that SEO generates more leads for them than any other type of marketing effort. If you’re not already prioritizing digital marketing, then, how can you hope to truly compete?

 

How Can Digital Marketing Help Your Contracting Business? Let Me Count the Ways

At this point, you may be a bit on the fence about the benefits of digital marketing for contractors. After all, as the owner and CEO of Coastline Marketing Group, I have a vested interest in convincing you to give me your business – especially if you are located in a California Central Coast community like Monterey Bay, Hollister, Santa Cruz, Morgan Gill or Gilroy. That’s not what this blog is about, though. I am here to show you that in today’s competitive world, the only way to get ahead as an electrician, plumber or other type of contractor is by putting real effort into online marketing.

 

Here are seven great reasons to invest time and effort into digital marketing for your contracting business:

  1. Improve Customer Service – Most contractors are SMBs, so they struggle to juggle customer service while providing the services that actually pay the bills. By establishing, maintaining and frequently updating a website and social media pages, a general contractor can provide information to prospective and existing customers without having to pick up the phone. Through FAQs, videos, webinars and other online content, you can provide information to people who would otherwise have to call you for it and save yourself a lot of time and effort in terms of customer care.
  2. Cultivate an Authoritative and Professional Image – Given that 97 percent of consumers go online to find and research products and services, failing to have a professional and engaging online presence is a major misstep for contractors. If someone needs plumbing services in Monterey Bay, for example, and your company doesn’t appear in local Google searches, people not only won’t become aware of its existence – they will seriously question just how competent and professional your firm is.
  3. Be Available on a 24/7/365 Basis – As any SMB contractor knows, a key aspect of generating new leads and keeping existing customers happy is being available to them. If you are only available during regular business hours, you’re certain to miss out on lots of potential business. With an effective online presence and digital marketing for contractors, you can be available to prospects and existing customers 24 hours per day, seven days per week and 365 days per year. In essence, your company will be “open” three to four times longer than it otherwise would be – and you can imagine how significant that can be for your bottom line.
  4. The Internet Was Made for Business – Although some may argue that the internet is primarily there to entertain us, myself and many other digital marketing experts posit that it was really created for business. From the start, companies flocked online to extend their reach and increase their fortunes. In 2018, nine out of 10 American adults used the internet. A whopping 90 percent of people go online to research their home building and renovation needs – and 53 percent of them begin with online searches on major search engines like Google. Through SEO and other digital marketing practices, you can help your company rise to the top of local search results – and then you will see precisely why the internet is designed for business.
  5. Increase Responsiveness – At the risk of sounding redundant, I want to reemphasize the fact that having a solid online presence, including social media pages and an information-packed website, can dramatically increase your responsiveness to customers. Whether they are prospective customers or existing ones, providing avenues through which they can learn more about your company and get the answers that they need goes a long way toward improving your bottom line. Compared with hiring a slew of customer service reps, digital marketing is extremely reliable, affordable and effective.
  6. Cut Costs – Through a well-designed website for your contracting business, you can even cut costs in many ways, making digital marketing more affordable and effective still. By simply providing sales videos, for example, you can avoid having to hire sales reps or having to go out and pound the pavement yourself, so to speak. Many contractors, including landscapers, builders and roofers, even provide online billing services. Their customers can create online accounts through their websites and then view and pay invoices and even request quotes. The manpower that would be needed to provide those services at a higher volume would be considerable, but your website could handle much of it for you for a far lower price.
  7. Getting Started is More Affordable Than You Think – As an SMB owner, you are acutely aware of every penny that you spend to market your business. Not surprisingly, many contractors are reluctant to get started with digital marketing because they assume that the initial costs will be far too great for them to manage. In reality, though, digital marketing can be tailored to suit any business and any budget. You can get a new website off the ground for far cheaper than you probably think, and outsourcing things like SEO, social media marketing and the like is far more affordable than many traditional forms of marketing.

 

Statistics Show the Importance of Digital Marketing for Contractors

In the sections below, I highlight key statistics regarding various aspects of why digital marketing is so crucial for contractors – whether they are B2Cs or B2Bs:

 

Why Having a Quality Online Presence is Crucial

If you think that having a quality website and online presence only really matters to companies that sell goods online, I’ve compiled some eye-opening statistics that suggest otherwise. Indeed, things like SEO for home improvement contractors can make a significant difference for everyone from electricians to roofers. According to Google Ads there are:

  • more than 1.7 million searches per month for contractors;
  • more than 4.2 million searches per month for home builders and design-build companies;
  • more than 2.8 million searches per month for plumbers;
  • and more than 1.2 million searches per month for roofing services.

Additionally, 80 percent of internet users own smartphones, so having a mobile-friendly online presence is equally important – especially considering that 82 percent of smartphone users use search engines to find local businesses.

 

Why Having a High Ranking on Google Matters

The stats also show that when it comes to drawing in relevant traffic, achieving a high ranking for crucial keywords on Google is a must. More than 5.5 billion searches are performed on Google every day. Having a number-one position on the Google search engine results pages, or SERPs, for your desired keywords can increase desktop click-through rates by about 34 percent and mobile click-through rates by about 31 percent. On top of that, 86 percent of users look up the locations of local businesses on Google Maps, so Google advertising for home improvement contractors is a sure-fire way to attract more business.

 

How Website Design for Home Improvement Companies Can Help

Think of your business website as a type of sales rep that is out there 24/7 promoting your company. Now imagine hiring a human sales rep who looks disheveled and is unable to speak articulately. That’s what you have if your business site isn’t up to par in terms of functionality and user experience. Considering that 92 percent of people look at websites when researching local businesses, yours needs to be as professional and user friendly as possible – and these additional statistics back that up:

  • 63 percent of users mostly rely on a contractor’s website to find and engage with them
  • 30 percent of users won’t even consider a business without a website
  • When a page loads, users form an opinion about the business within 0.05 seconds
  • 75 percent of users judge the authority and credentials of a business based on the design of its website

 

Content is Still King – Even for Contractors

For a long time now, quality content has been one of top characteristics that Google “looks at” when calculating rankings. Therefore, content marketing for home improvement companies is essential. Did you know, for example, that adding a blog to your site can increase its odds of ranking by 43 percent? Surveys have also shown that 70 percent of users feel closer to a company after viewing or reading its custom content, and 82 percent have a positive impression of a business after reading unique, engaging and informative content on its website.

 

Online Reviews: A Crucial Component to Any Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Contractors

When it comes to online reviews, slapping a few customer testimonials onto a website won’t cut it anymore. After all, 85 percent of users don’t trust online reviews that are more than three months old, and 40 percent only look at ones that were posted within the last few weeks. When doing research for goods and services online, a whopping 95 percent of users read online business reviews. The right digital marketing strategy can help you to cultivate more consistent and effective reviews that drive business your way.

 

Don’t Forget Social Media

Finally, statistics demonstrate the importance of social media marketing for home improvement contractors. Through social media, roofers, builders and other contractors can engage in real, human interaction with prospective and existing customers, which helps to build trust and to increase the odds of generating effective leads. Incredibly, only 1 percent of contractors report using social media on a regular basis, so there’s fertile ground for companies that put some effort into doing so. Also, 90 percent of companies that engage in social media marketing state that those efforts have increased online exposure for their business, and 75 percent say those efforts have helped to increase traffic to their sites.

Have I convinced you yet? If so, how do you envision your digital marketing strategy taking shape? If not, why? I’d love to start a conversation with you regarding digital marketing for contractors and why it’s so crucial!

If you’re looking for more digital marketing ideas for home improvement contractors, we can help! Coastline Marketing Group can answer your questions about Google Ads, Website Design, Paid Advertising, Social Advertising, and more. Learn more about our digital marketing for contractors here