If you're attempting to grow your contracting business this year and haven't fully tapped into Internet marketing, you stand to win big.
How do I know? Do a Google search for keywords that associate inbound with a general contractor business - nada. Since there isn't much going on, and you jump in, you stand to demolish your competition. Does that sound good?
How Can Embracing Inbound Marketing Strategies Grow Your Business?
Many general contractors' websites just sort of sit there, they haven't paid much attention to it, they've neglected SEO, they've been doing nothing or very little with social media, and their marketing spend is directed more toward conventional media.
Before the Internet came into full swing, that is, roughly before the year 2000, conventional marketing and advertising ruled. It was perfectly normal, for example, to budget heavily for Yellow Pages advertising. Today, when the phone book arrives in the mail, it immediately gets tossed in the recycling bin. Marketing tactics have changed.
Consider these stats:
- 86% skip TV ads
- 91% unsubscribe from email
- 200 million are on the Do Not Call list
- 44% of direct mail is never opened
The old marketing playbook is broken. In today's world, in order to attract customers, marketers have to provide them with something they will love. The first and greatest step in marketing for a general contractor, will be reforming your website from a stale brochure to a lead generating machine. That one task will transform the way you do marketing - and the ROI you get from it.
Inbound marketing can be reduced to a simple formula: Website traffic = more leads. More leads = more conversions. It's not rocket science. But it does require work.
Using SEO Tools to Optimize Your Website
There is neither magic nor mystique about SEO. SEO is:
- Optimizing your website through finding, using, and tracking effective keywords.
- Tracking inbound links.
- Creating individual website pages which have great keywords and awesome content.
- Keeping content fresh, e.g, creating a blog or blogging regularly, and posting on social media.
You need to use effective tools (software) to know what to do and how the results are stacking up. We use Hubspot's marketing management software and Google's Keyword Planner. Both Hubspot and Google also have tracking features. We think Hubspot's solution is far more robust. You have to pay for it, but it tracks virtually everything. Google is free.
Want to start, do it yourself, and pay nothing? Check out Google's help file: How to build the best keyword list. Hint: Don't try to compete with keywords that have a high degree of competition. You'll find it hard to rank well. Instead, find keywords that have lower traffic but are easier to rank for. I wrote about another important hint - using the long-tail - in this blog post: How Professional Services Businesses Can Get Found in Google Searches
Using Landing Pages to Generate Leads
A landing page is a special web page that allows you to:
- Capture a visitor's information, such as an email address, through a lead form.
- Share detail about a free offer
- Direct them to another page where you thank them for their interest in your offer.
Before the visitor can download your offer, they must fill out your lead capture form. They’re giving away their contact information for your free offer. Good trade, right? It’s important to build a unique landing page for each of the offers you create because you’re targeting that specific audience.
You can create landing pages that allow your potential customers to download your content offers (ebooks, webinars, whitepapers, etc.), or to sign up for offers such as the free consultation above, a free inspection, or just about anything else that yields value to the customer. When you target an audience and offer them something of value, you’ll convert a higher percentage of your visitors into leads.
Your overall goal is to capture your potential customer's interest in something you have to offer, and then use this opportunity to entice them farther down the marketing funnel where they eventually buy.
Key take-a-ways from this blog post:
- Inbound marketing is a gold mine for general contractors who want to get more leads.
- Conventional marketing is becoming ineffective.
- Your first step: Change your website from a brochure to a lead generating machine.
- Use SEO keyword tools to optimize your website
- Create content that will attract visitors.
- Engage your leads with free offers.
- Capture leads using landing pages with lead capture forms.