How to Grow Your Remodeling Business Online
Updated January 10, 2019
With easy access to Pinterest, Houzz, HGTV, YouTube, and other home improvement platforms, your prospective home remodeling clients are more informed (and opinionated) than ever. As a remodeling professional, you need an online marketing strategy that provides homeowners with the information they need to ultimately choose your business for their remodeling needs.
It used to be that word of mouth and a couple of local ads kept your phone ringing all year 'round. If you didn't have a friend, neighbor, or relative that could help you out, you turned to the yellow pages or asked around for a referral.
Now, it seems like everyone is a DIY'er (or thinks they are.) The market is more saturated with licensed builders and supply chain stores that offer discounted installation services. And you're no longer just competing against contractors in your general area, you are now competing with contractors up to 60 miles outside of your community.
So how do you, an experienced, licensed contractor, get visibility and become the trusted resource for home remodeling in your community?
You become fluent in digital marketing.
Here are some relatively easy things you can do to help get the visibility and trust you need to grow your business online:
Turn Your Website into an Information Machine
When people decide it's time for a little home improvement, whether they think they can do it themselves or not, the first place they usually turn to is the internet. They get ideas from websites like Pinterest, HGTV, The Spruce, or Houzz. They stream how-to videos from recognized authorities on YouTube. They ask their peers for recommendations for contractors on social media like Facebook and Twitter.
But the first step usually starts by consulting a search engine like Google.
When a person goes online and types a phrase like, 'galley kitchen ideas' into a search engine, like Google, the search engine delivers pages upon pages of search results. The results start with images and sponsored product ads; followed a section of common questions, then websites and blog articles that talk about galley kitchens and kitchens.
Searching for something like 'kitchen remodeler near me' will deliver results focused on contractors in proximity to the searcher. There will be Google My Business listings, map listings, and paid ads, followed by a bunch of contractor websites and so on.
The primary difference between the searches was the intent. The first search was looking for ideas (research mode.) The second looking for someone to do the work (purchasing mode.)
How do you get search engines to recognize your business as a trusted resource and deliver you to the top of search results? It starts with a professional-looking, responsive website and of course, relevant content.
What is "Relevant" Content for a Remodeling Website?
Your website should have optimized content that supports both search intents. Ideally, relevant content for remodeling contractors includes original gallery pictures, how-to blogs and videos, and individual service pages that have enough information to satisfy both search engines and visitors looking for a trusted resource for kitchen remodeling, bath remodeling, basement refinishing, home improvement, additions, and the like. Once you decide what content your pages will have, be sure to add some basic optimization.
Ways to Optimize Your Page Content Include:
- Add an H1 (primary headline) and a couple of H2's (secondary headlines) that not only make your content skimmable, but also use keywords and geo targets that help search engines index your pages.
- Use long-tail keywords and keyword phrases in your content. We rarely use one word in our searches. The more content you can write that includes variations of what people might be searching for (and supporting content) the easier it will be for search engines to match your content with a search query. Do not confuse this tactic with "keyword stuffing." It's more like, 'If you're looking for galley kitchen storage ideas, ABC Remodeling has custom cupboards for every space.'
- Name your pictures. Be sure to include keywords in the name. ie: galley kitchen in Royal Oak
- Add in some deep links- or clickable words that take the reader to another page on your website to learn more about the subject.
Include These 2 Important Pages:
Your website should include an About page with pictures of you and your crew, your certifications, builder's license, a brief history, and a list of your services. It should also include warranties, testimonials, and photos of your work.
Your contact page should have robust content as well. Too often home remodelers simply include a lead form and contact information. Remember the "near me" search! In addition to including geo terms (city, county, metro area, etc) in your service page content, your contact page is a great opportunity to reinforce where you are and the areas you work in.
The Most Important Thing About Writing Content is...to Write It!
Whether you are writing content for a blog or a service page (like Kitchen Remodeling), what you write about is almost more important to how well it is written. Be genuine, be informational, and be persuasive. You're not getting graded, you're getting customers.
The more tailored and thoughtful your content is, content that answers your prospective client's pain points, the more likely it is that Google will find your website relevant - which will land your business in front of the eyes of an audience looking for the services you provide.
We are visual people. When it comes to remodeling websites and on-page content, we'd rather watch a how-to video than read instructions, we'd rather look at your portfolio than read about the work you do, and we don't want to spend a lot of time deciding whether or not we should work with you.
Words on the page will help search engines drive the traffic to pages on your website. Include pictures, videos, and other visual content to keep them engaged.
When it comes to showcasing your remodeling projects, using well-lit, well-framed photos of your best work will get you the best bang for your buck.
Show 'before and after' shots, the progression of a job, photos that show how clean you keep the job site, and include photos of your crew in action. These types of photos go a long way in building trust to anyone visiting your website.
People do business with people. Your website should be an open book about you, your crew, your projects, and your satisfied customers.
In the home remodeling world, homeowners are inviting you into their homes to drastically improve their lives.
And just as images help build trust and showcase your skills, customer testimonials reinforce that you are a great company to work with- greatly improving trust and eliminating the emotional barriers that prevent people from taking action.
But don't limit your website by simply having a page with a long list of testimonials. Use testimonials throughout your website to support your content. Showcase the project of one of the reviewers. It doesn't matter how you feature testimonials as long as they stand out on the page.
No Testimonials? Ouch!
Google is now using social proof as one of its trust factors. That means, if you're not asking your clients to leave you a review on Google My Business, you need to start now. Learn more about Google Reviews.
Do Paid Advertising
Think paid digital advertising is too expensive? If you're doing it yourself, you're probably right!
Google makes paid search advertising or PPC sound like a quick and easy option for small business owners to target ideal customers and reach them 24/7.
Well, sort of.
At the very least, you need to have a little more than a basic understanding of digital marketing and your customers; you need to understand Google's bidding process, and you need a lot of time to manage your ad spend and monitor the results.
You need to understand that your goal to pay less per click is in direct conflict with Google's goal to make money through paid advertising.
However, for most remodeling companies, partnering with a digital marketing company that specializes in paid search makes a dramatic impact on sales.
You can run ads that promote a single service to target a specific set of homeowners, like those searching for a kitchen remodeling company or bathroom remodeling company, or a general ad for a home renovation company.
Here Are Some of Our Favorite Key Features with Google Paid Search:
- (Almost) Instant Visibility- Your remodeling company will appear at the top of search results- even if you are a new business.
- Highly Targeted- Reach the exact customer you are looking for by demographics, service needed, zip code, and more
- No Physical Location Needed- Reach customers outside of your local metro area (nearly impossible with SEO alone). Ideal for home-based businesses and those who offer services beyond the local metro area
- Measurable Results- See what's working and what's not in real-time. Make changes on the fly and decrease your costs per click with data
- Flexible- Too much business? Dial back the campaign or pause it. Too slow for comfort? Juice it up a bit, expand your radius, or create multiple campaigns to reach a bigger pool of customers.
What About Google Local Services Ads for Remodelers?
Google Local Services ads appear in a row a the top of search results when people search for remodeling services in your area. A typical Services Ad includes your business name, Google reviews star rating and link to reviews, your city, phone number, and hours.
With a Local Services ad your business will also be included on a full list of remodelers in your area with some added features of click to call or email.
One thing. Google Local Services ads require you to go through a verification and approval process including certain insurance, license, and background checks. Meaning getting your ad up and running will take a bit of time.
Is it worth it? Sure is! Once approved, you'll receive a Google guarantee badge for your listing and your website. This will give you instant credibility with potential customers, ensuring if the customer is not completely satisfied, Google will cover the invoice.
Stable Foundation for Online Success
If you're reading this article, you probably understand that without a professional-looking website and some kind of SEO strategy, you have very little chance to show up in search results for the services you offer. It's even more likely that even though you may be the most qualified contractor for home improvement in your local market, without a digital marketing partner, you're losing sales to your competition.
If you have the time and desire to build your own website, there are plenty of DIY website builders for remodeling companies. However, to show up in search results; to attract, engage, and convert website visitors into leads; and to ensure your website maintains a solid foothold in your market amidst all the Google algorithm changes, you might be further ahead to work with a professional.
High Level Marketing is a website design and SEO company that understands your industry, your audience, and your goals. We have the experience to get your remodeling business ranked, even in a saturated local market.