Online local marketing has changed a lot in just a few short years. Today, four out of five people use search to find local information—but they’re not sitting at their desks. Instead, they are on their phones: 68% of U.S. adults have a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011, and mobile search has now surpassed desktop search.
What does this mean for the roofing contractor? Collectively, these searches provide a view into customer interest and intent in a given location. Google is paying attention to this shift, offering search for “near me now” businesses and for micro “I want to buy” moments. This requires your entire web presence to work together as an orchestrated symphony so your customers can find you right when they need you.
Because local digital marketing changes so quickly, it is difficult to stay on top of the latest trends and strategies that are proven to work. Here are seven ways you can help your roofing business stand out:
1. Only post information online you want potential customers to see
Everything you do online—even if it’s posting a Facebook status on your personal page—becomes part of your business’s overall web presence. If a person were to search your name or business, what would come up in the results? Are there pages out there you don’t want to be associated with?
Always keep a close eye on your web presence to see if your business is putting its best foot forward. Do a detailed Google search on your business to see what pops up, and remember: any time you post something, a potential customer may see it.
2. Continually update your website
It’s a big undertaking to a.) build and launch a website and b.) keep it up to date so it continues to serve the needs of your customers. Websites are not a one-and-done thing; you need to continually update your website with fresh content that speaks directly to your customers. The more valuable content you produce, the better your company will rank in a Google search.
3. Monitor search engine results
Consumers use several online channels for research before they decide to buy. According to the Consumer Barometer Survey by Google, the top four online sources consumers turn to are brand websites, search engines, video sites, and social media. Naturally, this means each of those channels must include accurate information about your business. Is your business’s address, phone number, hours of operation, contact details, and website URL correct? One Yelp page with the wrong set of details could cost you a small fortune in lost sales.
4. Focus on visual marketing
One of the reasons websites are so important to digital marketing is because people are very visual creatures, especially when it comes to projects involving the home. A photo gallery of your projects is considered searchable content, so any photo used to showcase your work can also boost your business’s search engine results.
Some places to consider posting project photos (in addition to your website) include:
- Houzz: This addictive home design site allows consumers to save photos for inspiration, and it connects them with professionals who can help them turn their project ideas into a reality.
- Pinterest: This visual discovery tool allows you to post, save, and share “pins,” or photos, to a virtual board. Any project photo you post can link back to your website.
- Instagram: This mobile photo-sharing app will get photos of your projects into the hands of followers—a great way to build brand awareness.
You should get photo releases from your customers to use photos of their homes.
5. Mention your location when posting content
Posting relevant and valuable content to your social media channels and website blog is a great way to increase traffic to your site. When the content you produce also includes community keywords—like the city you do business in, links to other local businesses, or points of interest in your area—then you’ll have a much greater chance of ranking high in local search results.
6. Use new technology to stand out
New technology is constantly emerging, and it can be used to your advantage. For example, you could use video captured by a GoPro camera or virtual reality to show customers what goes into a high-quality roofing installation, how weather affects your roof, or the difference in roofing materials.
7. Try PPC ads to take advantage of weather-related events
Pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising can be used to reach consumers when they really need your services, like after a hailstorm, major snowstorm, high winds, etc., sweeps through your area.
Overall, the best thing you can do when considering these local marketing tips is to consistently chip away at them over time. Try to incorporate one of the above tips every month and then set a reminder to check in. The results will help draw customers right to you and your roofing services.
–Chris Marentis, Surefire Social