6 mistakes in online marketing for remodelers

Effectively capturing digital leads takes a solid plan

October 05, 2011
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The Web can be a great source of leads – but also an expensive way to make mistakes.

Here are six common mistakes companies make when trying to drive leads through their websites:

1. Relying on a “Contact Us” page

It needs to be as easy as possible for clients to contact you. While a “Contact Us” page is an obvious necessity on any site (although all too frequently overlooked or hidden), contractors should be trying to gather customers’ data on every page, says Jesse Cory, CEO of Ohm Creative Group, a company that works with home improvement companies on online marketing.

The idea is to offer a number of ways to entice potential clients to give permission to contact them. Successful tactics include offering free estimates, a free guide to remodeling or a chance to win free siding or windows through a sweepstakes.

The sweepstakes strategy works well for WindowPro, a window and siding company that works in Michigan and Ohio. The company runs four sweepstakes a year for about $10,000 worth of free product (which has to be installed by the company).

2. Not being ready

If a company’s going to run a big promotion, like a sweepstakes, it has to be ready to handle the leads. A good promotional effort can quickly overwhelm a sales staff. Everyone needs to be trained and prepared to follow up on those leads.

“Call centers are a main drop off point,” Cory says. “You can drive leads, but the rest of your business has to be set up to handle those leads.”

3. Counting on SEO

Google alone isn’t going to be enough to drive traffic to a website. While important, remodelers also need to be reaching out to potential clients through other sources, like e-newsletters, social media and in-person marketing.

“Google changes their SEO algorithms so often, you’re just chasing your tail to a certain extent,” Cory says.

4. Hiring the wrong designers

Just because someone can design a good site doesn’t mean they can design the right site for a home improvement company. Find out if the company you’re thinking about hiring has experience designing sites that drive leads.

“The common mistake is that they don’t have somebody make their website that specializes in conversion,” Cory says. “They end up with a beautiful website, but it’s not built around conversion.”

5. Not being aggressive enough

While many contractors worry about annoying potential clients, the truth is they need to be constantly asking for those clients’ information when they come to the company’s site. Many of the most annoying tactics work well.

“We used to do the video guy that walked across the screen,” Cory says. “People hated that, but it directly engaged somebody and got them to fill out a form.”

6. Letting a site get stagnant

The more new information you put on your site, the more time people will spend there. One successful strategy is creating articles that aren’t promotional, but informational. For example, WindowPro posts useful articles on tax credits and energy efficiency that help establish them as an expert source on windows, not just somebody who’s trying to sell something.

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