Whether you’re still in the planning phase of starting a business, trying to understand what it will take, or you’ve already launched a business and are striving for more leads to stay afloat or scale, this article holds relevance for all scenarios.
At Nover Marketing, we specialize in the construction and contractor industry. We have a significant client base comprising home/kitchen remodelers and design/build renovation firms. Our experience has shown that there’s a consistent pattern in how home improvement businesses secure leads. While competition levels may vary across markets, there are always steady factors that attract leads. In this article, we’ll cut to the chase – here are the top advertising strategies you should be implementing to generate leads.
In this article we will cover:
- The best way to advertise your business
- Why PPC combined with SEO works
- How to activate a PPC strategy
- How to activate an SEO strategy
- How to activate a Local SEO strategy
- Home improvement marketing agency
Best way to advertise your home improvement business
There’s a plethora of advertising avenues available: social media, paid advertising on Google, blogging (SEO), radio advertising, and more. It can be overwhelming. While all these methods can indeed enhance your market presence, they’re not all equally effective when your immediate objective is generating leads. For instance, social media is an excellent platform for engaging potential prospects and promoting your brand, but it may not reach those actively seeking your home improvement services at that moment.
If you’re primarily seeking leads, you should concentrate most of your efforts on bottom-of-the-funnel advertising channels. What does this jargon mean? Bottom-of-the-funnel refers to consumers who are actively searching for your services. They’re ready to hire a home improvement company for a specific job they need done soon.
Three key activities should be your focus if you want to attract these individuals: search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and local SEO. I’ll delve into each of these in detail in the following sections, but first, I want to explain why this combination of advertising tactics is the winning strategy.
Why PPC combined with SEO works
When people need a home improvement contractor and they don’t already know one, their first instinct is often to search for one on Google. There are three ways you can show up at the top of Google’s search results:
- Paid listings – this is PPC (Pay-Per-Click).
- Organic listings – this is SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
- Google Maps, which displays local businesses – this is Local SEO.
Both SEO and PPC will cost you money. The primary difference is that SEO is a long-term strategy you pay for upfront and reap the benefits later, while PPC is a short-term strategy that requires continuous payment for ongoing benefits.
In an ideal world, if you weren’t in urgent need of leads, I’d advise focusing on SEO. Pay upfront to create content and start ranking on Google’s first page. That way, you make a one-time payment for a blog post, and it continues to generate leads with minimal upkeep. As time goes on and you keep getting leads from that blog post, your return-on-investment keeps increasing, making it a cost-effective long-term strategy.
However, we don’t always have the luxury of waiting for leads – sometimes we need them immediately. That’s where PPC comes in. While you’re waiting for your SEO content to rank organically, you pay for visibility when people search for “home improvement contractors”. You pay every time someone clicks on your ad, so it will keep costing you money as long as you continue with it. However, it ensures that leads keep coming in while you wait for your SEO strategy to take effect.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this combined PPC and SEO strategy. It’s what I recommend to all my home renovation clients, and if they’re not willing to adopt it, I honestly question whether they’re the right fit as clients because their chances of success without it are significantly lower.
Home improvement PPC
With PPC (Pay-Per-Click), you pay to appear at the top of Google when people search for specific things. For instance, a potential client might search for “kitchen renovation company” on Google. You can tell Google, “if someone searches for ‘kitchen renovation company,’ I want to pay to appear at the top of the search results.” Since other companies may also be bidding for the same keyword, Google will place you in an auction. If you win the auction, your listing will appear with a “sponsored” tag next to it, and you only pay the bid price if someone clicks on your ad. This is why it’s called cost-per-click.
You can set up a Google Ads account yourself, and Google offers a fairly intuitive DIY experience. However, I recommend hiring an agency to handle this for you. While Google provides a good system to guide you, having an expert manage your campaign will ensure your budget is spent more efficiently.
If you choose to do it yourself, here are some best practices to help you avoid wasting money:
- Group similar terms together. For example, create one ad group for “kitchen renovations” and another for “bathroom renovations”. This way, the ad copy can be specific to what the person is searching for.
- Create specific landing pages on your website for each ad group. So, when someone searches for “bathroom renovation”, they’re directed to a page that showcases the bathroom renovations you’ve completed.
- Use a tool like Clickcease to prevent spam and competitor clicks. It’s easy to waste money on PPC, so any reputable agency should provide these spam protection services when managing your ads.
SEO for home improvement
Okay, now let’s discuss my favorite subject: SEO! It’s mind-boggling that you can write a stellar blog post (like the one you’re reading now), rank #1 on Google, attract people to your business, and convert them into clients. Unfortunately, blogging has been given a bad rep by companies burned by “marketers” who produce subpar blogs that don’t rank. But when done correctly, blogging yields impressive results. Below, I’ll explain how to approach this effectively. While I plan to write a more in-depth post later, here’s a high-level view of how to master SEO:
- Conduct keyword research to understand what people are searching for.
- Organize these keywords by their average monthly search volume (the number of people searching for it per month) and difficulty (how challenging it will be to rank for that term). Start with low-difficulty keywords to give yourself a fighting chance.
- Based on these keywords, create a content plan focused on a specific topical cluster. For instance, your topical cluster for two months might be “kitchen renovations”. So, for two months, you’d write blog posts (based on keyword research) each focusing on a different aspect of kitchen renovation. For example, people might be searching for “shotgun kitchen layouts,” “cost of a kitchen remodel,” and “trending styles for kitchen makeovers.” Consistent high-quality content on the same topic positions you as an expert in Google’s eyes, making it easier to rank for terms like “Columbus Kitchen Renovation.”
There are other components to good SEO, such as acquiring backlinks (when another site links to yours), but I’ve found that the focus should be on creating original, high-quality content. Release that into the world, and the rest will follow. So, without delving too deep into all the SEO possibilities, remember this: do your keyword research and produce excellent content that genuinely helps people, and you’ll strike gold.
Local SEO for home improvement
Local SEO aims to increase your visibility on Google when people search for services in your area. It is closely linked with regular SEO, so proper SEO practices should naturally incorporate local SEO. Here are some specific local-SEO strategies you should implement:
- Local keywords: If you’re already optimizing for SEO, you should be doing this. Ensure your website content, such as your main page headers (also known as H1s), includes your location. For instance, “Columbus, Ohio Kitchen Renovation.”
- Google Business: First, if you haven’t created a Google Business profile, do so. Fill it out as completely as possible with your address, business description, services, and more. Then, I recommend using the “post” or “update” feature to regularly share updates, similar to other social media channels. Also, solicit reviews from customers. Positive reviews significantly influence local map rankings. Just remember not to ask all your friends to review you on the same day – Google may see that as inauthentic. Additionally, take the time to respond to these reviews.
- Local business schema markup: This is essentially invisible code on your website that communicates to Google that you’re a local business offering certain services. I’ll try to write a blog post about this soon, providing a code you can simply copy and paste. Check back soon.
- Local backlinks: It’s important to have reputable, local websites link back to your site. Reach out to organizations like your local chamber of commerce to see if they can feature your business on their website. Note that many chambers of commerce charge a membership fee for this service, typically a few hundred dollars per year.”
Look, I’m not saying other strategies don’t work. Encouraging your customers to refer you is an excellent way to generate leads. Some people even have luck posting in Facebook or Nextdoor communities, or buying leads from services like Angie’s List. But if you’re seeking my professional advice on how to obtain the highest quality leads at the most optimal cost, this is it.
Home improvement marketing agency
If you enjoyed our article and would like assistance in marketing your home improvement business, please get in touch with us to schedule a complimentary consultation. As a full-service digital marketing agency, we exclusively cater to the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry. With numerous home improvement and remodeling clients under our belt, we’re confident in our ability to serve you effectively.