Using online marketing used to be as easy as buying a few ads and getting yourself found in the organic results for a handful of terms.
What happened that killed those techniques?
The internet has gotten way more competitive and now the old way….
...just doesn’t work like it used to.
This shouldn't be a huge surprise.
Remember when people actually used phone books and read newspapers?
Ads placed in the phone book and in the paper actually worked, and companies made money from these dinosaurs.
The Internet is the fastest growing marketing vehicle we’ve ever seen, and it changes in something akin to dog years. A year in Internet marketing is like 7 years of traditional marketing.
So if you want to cash in on the success of the Internet, you have to be prepared. You have to make rapid changes and stay current with the newest marketing techniques.
Here are a few online marketing techniques that the most profitable contractors are now using in their marketing strategies
These techniques increase ROI and capture market share:
Online marketing is helped by Conversion Rate Optimization - This is how the best online marketers are converting more site visitors to more leads, more jobs and more revenue for contractors. The process requires deep analysis of real data, developing hypotheses as to why that data is what it is and creating and implementing solutions to improve the conversion rate over time. This is an ongoing process as the data changes when the specialist makes changes to the site. A true conversion rate optimization specialist is prepared to question every hypothesis to validate the actual impact it has on the success of the site. They deal with only factual data with no personal bias.
There is an entire area of study dedicated to this field. Many of the top SEOs are employing these experts to help with the success of marketing and search engine optimization. If you want to hire one of these well-educated and certified specialists be prepared to pay minimally $80,000 in salary. If 80k plus benefits isn’t available, hire a digital marketing agency or SEO company to do this for you. Ask plenty of questions to be sure that they really know what they are doing and that they are actually certified. It’s a good idea to ask for proof of the certification.
Customer Value Optimization
This is how really adept online marketing experts and SEO’s help you get the most out of every potential customer. A funnel is created that “funnels” site visitors through the customer journey to the conversion that you want. First determine what you want a site visitor to do. Do you want them to pick up the phone and call you? Would you rather they fill out a form so that they become a lead? Do you want them to buy something directly on your site? Or drive them into your physical location, or maybe sign up for email specials? Each of these is a different type of conversion. You may want a mix of several types of conversions. So the goal is to move people to convert the way you want them to.
A good customer value optimization funnel will bring cold traffic to your website. Cold traffic is simply people that don’t know about you yet. Then move that traffic through the evaluation stage and then on to the conversion stage. Most marketers don’t think this far into the process. They think that they can get someone to the site and then magically they will convert - this is old school thinking. Conversion is no accident. It takes a serious strategy, great techniques, goals for each step and metrics to measure the success of those steps.
Here are a few good ways for contractors to drive cold traffic to their sites:
- Search engine optimization
- Social media
A good online marketer will create content that provides answers to the questions that the site visitor has. Remember that the site visitor is trying to solve a problem. People often ask the search engine a question so your content needs to show how you are the solution to the problem.
Tip - this doesn’t mean that your content should talk about you and how great you are. It should only talk about how you will solve the problem for the visitor. Some of you are saying, “my visitors aren't trying to solve a problem.” You are not thinking like a good online marketer. Even the person shopping online for shoes is trying to solve a problem. For contractors the problem is typically pretty obvious. The searcher has a roof leak or a plumbing leak, maybe they have discovered mold and need it removed. Trust me, it’s always there and understanding it and using it in your online marketing strategy will make you far more successful generating more leads, more jobs and more revenue.
A Tip To Help Convert More Visitors To Revenue - Give Them Something Very Valuable For Free
That’s right, for free. This will come back to you many times over. Contractors can provide a free checklist that will help eliminate cost overruns. Cost overruns are a huge fear that people have. You can even offer a guide to fix a roof leak, plumbing leak etc. They aren't going to do the repair but it will help you build trust with that person. If you watch the series Billions, the main character Bobby Axelrod said "a lot of guys watch Bruce Lee movies but it doesn't mean that can do karate". This probably applies to what you do too.
This might sound a little strange but offering this kind of information will position you as an expert in their eyes and raise the trust factor. Raising the trust factor in online marketing is critical to success. A warning, if you make this fluffy, or a sales piece, you will lose them immediately. This is a helpful piece of info only. It’s so enticing that they will be willing to trade their email address to download this information. This gives you another way of enticing them to do business with you.
The Internet has created an atmosphere of competition and people often research heavily before converting. This is why it’s so critical to “touch” prospects more often than ever before and this brings us to the next big change in online marketing techniques.
If You Want To Hire Someone Certified In Customer Value Optimization, Be Prepared To Open Your Wallet
A good CVO certified specialist is going to demand a salary of 100k or more plus benefits. Just like with a conversion rate optimization specialist, if this big salary is not in the budget, hire an agency, like ours. (I know, this is a shameless plug for our business).
- Remarketing and Retargeting - This is the way that we reach back to people that have reached your website but not converted yet. It’s also how we bring people that have done business with you back to do more business with you.
Have you noticed that once you visit certain websites, it seems like you see ads for that company and the product or service that you looked at on that site everywhere you go online? That’s no accident. It’s called remarketing on Google and retargeting on Facebook. This technique can increase your conversion rate up to 8 times that of a company that doesn’t use this valuable technique.
These are 3 of the online marketing techniques that the best marketers use to increase revenue and improve the return on their marketing budget. If you aren’t using these techniques it’s time for a change or you won’t be very successful at getting more leads, more jobs and more profit.
Some of your competitors are already using these techniques and you can bet that many more will when they learn about them and how to use them successfully.
If you don’t have the time or expertise to implement these techniques, hire an agency. Any really good SEO service or digital marketing agency should be capable of handling these techniques and more.
Are you using an SEO firm or digital marketing agency currently?
Are they working with you on incorporating these techniques into your website and online strategy? If not, it’s time to change to a more well educated and experienced firm. Search engine optimization firms and digital marketing agencies need to stay current with the changes in online marketing techniques. If your contracting business is not staying current, you’re missing many opportunities to grow your business and revenue.
There are SEO services that may tell you that their job is to get you found in the organic rankings. I’m here to tell you that those days are over. An SEO worth his salt will not only get you found but also utilize advanced online marketing techniques to convert visitors to leads, jobs and profit.
It’s also a good idea to use an SEO that is well versed in paid advertising. Paid ads have a place in any online marketing strategy. Even if a smaller percentage of Internet searchers choose ads over organic results to visit, not using the ads leaves money on the table.
Here's an article from Forbes that adds a nice perspective on the subject.
The reason I think our agency should handle your SEO, ads, online strategy and marketing is so that there’s no conflict between companies. If you use different companies for different aspects of your online marketing, conflicts will arise and you will likely be stuck in the middle.
In today’s world, one company should be capable of handling your search engine optimization, social media, web design, content marketing, paid ads, conversion rate optimization, data analysis, content creation, blogging, online strategy, SEO audits, PPC audits and conversion audits. And this company should have certified specialists in each of these areas on staff. This enables you, the business owner to have one company totally responsible for, and accountable to you, for your online success.