Photo: sitthiphong | stock.adobe.com
Search marketing is in constant flux with ever emerging trends. Many remodelers use digital marketing for lead generation, including search optimizing via their websites, buying paid traffic from Google or Microsoft, paying for ads on neighborhood-oriented sites and using third-party lead generators.
Here are four common questions to help you better understand digital marketing possibilities.
Am I losing market share from missed leads?
No business ever captures all the leads, but it’s critical to be sure you’re not missing the most profitable opportunities.
A common viewpoint is that marketing expenses should be minimized and budgets capped based on last year’s spending or industry criteria. That’s a mistake.
RELATED: Beyond the SEO
To navigate past this constraint, look beyond simple benchmarks. Consider your lead generation budget or average cost per lead. Calculate your marketing cost per net sale. If this cost is less than your gross profit per sale, you’re missing profitable leads and must find new ways to capture opportunities, such as trial-and-error experiments, direct digital advertising or partnering with a trusted lead provider.
Should I pay to advertise on Google or Microsoft?
Remodelers are often concerned about paying $5 or $15 per click from customers who can easily find their website or phone number. However, buying branded search traffic directly can protect your brand and market share. First-page search results on desktops are limited to about nine listings, with even fewer on mobile. Of those, about half are paid ads that display in top positions. If you don’t advertise your own brand terms, competitors will, and their ads could cause you to lose customers. Paid ads also can increase organic click-through rates. The best defense is to advertise your own brand terms.
Use part of your budget to buy ads directly from Google or Microsoft – or both – for branded search terms, like “Tri-State Remodeling.” Complement your branded efforts by leaning on outside providers to maximize exposure to prospects who don’t know you.
How can my business effectively choose its own search words?
Providers like Google and Microsoft can select search terms for you, but are they optimizing for your interests or theirs? Obvious terms are likely to be expensive, but are they worth it? Other niche terms might be interesting and less expensive.
RELATED: Using Smart Campaigns
Segmentation is the main strategy we use to ensure digital ads are profitable and scalable. Organize your universe of potential customers into like-minded prospects, such as high intent (urgent) versus low intent (patient), remodelers versus fixers, kitchen versus bathroom, indoor versus outdoor and baby boomers versus millennials.
There are countless different ways to segment; execution becomes the challenge. To be cost-efficient, tailor ad messages to each segment (ie. “walk-in tub remodels” for aging in place baby boomers), and back it up with landing pages paying off against those same messages. If you choose to segment on your own, careful select targets and keywords to start with, then expand after the results pinpoint what’s working.
Can I advertise on digital channels without getting low-intent leads?
Low-intent leads aren’t bad; they just take longer to close. It’s important to nurture and budget accordingly for these homeowners.
Ask your lead provider to flag prospects based on their urgency and ask if they charge less for low-intent leads. And systematically screen for urgency through your call center or response automation.
For nurturing low-intent leads, use your CRM system or marketing automation to stay in touch with early-stage prospects. This conditions them to buy from you. Automated communications can be delivered through email, calls, texts, or retargeted advertising.
Gregg Hicks is a longtime marketer of home improvement services. He is a new business leader for Modernize Home Services and has 20 years of experience across web analytics, SEO, social, SEM and affiliate marketing. His role as a spokesperson is to explain the value of thoughtful matchmaking between homeowners and home improvement professionals that forges positive and productive connections between the parties.