Contractor websites document for marketing and design services.
Times are good for construction contractors these days. Home values are up -- particularly in affluent communities -- and homeowners are taking on debt to finance the home improvements they've always wanted. Many contractors have waiting lists because they can't handle the influx of business the industry is experiencing.
The housing market is cyclical, though. If you've been in business for a while, you've probably been through some difficult times already. How did you get through them? Did you take out a loan to increase your advertising budget? Did you make ends meet by accepting jobs that you wouldn't normally do? There is a better way.
Contractor websites and Online marketing is one of the most effective ways to create brand recognition for your business. A well thought out online marketing strategy can even generate leads for your construction company while you're doing other things for the business. Most importantly, online marketing is extremely cost-effective compared to virtually all other forms of advertising.
The only problem with marketing your business online is that success won't happen overnight. It takes time to build up a significant volume of content and attract the high-quality links that will give your website first page search engine rankings. The time to begin your campaign is now -- when you have the money to spare and don't need to generate leads immediately.
Benefits of Investing In Your Online Marketing Now
How would you like your website to generate qualified leads for you while you focus on other aspects of your business? A website can be a powerful promotional tool, but it'll take time before you begin to see the benefit of having an online presence.
Content Marketing is the tactic that website owners use to turbocharge their website traffic and increase brand awareness and authority. Is content marketing a new term for you? In a nutshell, content marketing is the technique of giving valuable information away for free with the hope of earning greater returns later. We'll explain the technique further when we describe your online marketing plan in greater detail.
Better Communication With Customers
Have you ever wished that you could get more feedback from your customers and gain a better understanding of how your business can improve? More than ever, customers skip the phone -- and even email -- when they want to give feedback. Instead, they go to a business's Yelp, Facebook, Google+ or Houzz page.
Social media services such as Facebook and Twitter aren't just great ways to gain followers eager to hear about your new services and promotions. They're also excellent for collecting customer feedback. By getting involved on social media and responding to customers' questions and reviews, you'll let your customers know that communication and problem resolution are among your business's top priorities.
Are you aware that your business may already have profiles on business directories such as Yelp or Houzz? Your customers may be leaving reviews of your business on these directories every day -- and if you don't take an active role in managing your business's directory listings, a negative review could seriously harm your business.
A comprehensive online marketing campaign involves far more than simply creating a website -- it also involves taking control of every public forum in which customers can discuss your company. On Yelp, for example, a business's owner has the ability to respond to negative reviews and make sure that users hear both sides of the story. If you don't verify your ownership of the business, though, you'll never get the opportunity to manage your public reputation.
Taking control of your business's directory pages also gives you the ability to solicit positive reviews from happy customers. When business is slow, though, it can be difficult to keep the positive reviews flowing. The time to solicit positive reviews is now -- when you have plenty of business.
Setting Your Company Up For The Future
If you're the only contractor in your market, you can establish an online presence simply by creating a website and letting your potential customers know that you exist. Chances are, though, that you have some competition. In fact, your competitors may already have websites with good search engine rankings. You're going to need to do better than them -- and that means creating content and doing proper search engine optimization. How can you know what type of content you should create? Planning website content is one of the core principles of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.
People look for content online by visiting search engines such as Google and typing keyword phrases. If your business is in Los Angeles, for example, the most important keyword phrase for your business might be "Remodeling Contractor in Los Angeles." If your website ranks well for that keyword phrase, you'll probably get a lot of leads from the traffic your website receives. In a competitive market, though, ranking well for certain keyword phrases can be difficult and take time.
We return now to the subject of content marketing. What are some of the specialized tasks that you've performed during your time as a building contractor? Could you share information about topics such as basement remodeling, mold remediation or replacing outdated electrical systems? By writing articles explaining how to perform some of these tasks, you're increasing the amount of content on your website and giving search engines additional keywords to consider when ranking your website on search results pages. Adding high-quality content to your website will greatly benefit your business in the future -- but your articles may not generate traffic right away.
A link from one website to another is a very valuable currency on the Internet. If many different pages have the same keyword focus, how does Google decide the order in which to rank them? Google has a complex algorithm that it doesn't reveal to the public. One thing we do know, though, is that a website's ranking improves as it collects more high-quality inbound links. A link confers confidence from one website to another -- and if a website has many inbound links from authoritative websites, Google assumes that its content is trustworthy and increases its ranking.
How can you increase the number of inbound links pointing to your business's website? As a general rule, no one links to a business's "About Us" page. Website owners link to valuable information that they believe will interest their readers. So, content marketing isn't just about giving search engines more text to index -- it's also the ideal way to encourage linking. When you publish an informative article, seek out influential bloggers and website owners. Tell them about your article and ask them to link to it. Over time, your articles will begin to rank higher on Google's results pages. Eventually, the collective link strength will improve the rankings of your overall website, as well.
An online marketing campaign begins with a great website. At Contractor Gorilla, building great websites for contractors is our specialty. We'll set up a website with the professional image that you want to portray -- and we'll configure it so it sends leads to you in real time. If you don't have a healthy online marketing campaign yet, now is the time to get started.