The Shift: How To Market Online As Search Dwindles in Value

by Corey Philip
September 22, 2018

In my last post, I outlined how consumers in need of a service provider are taking their search away from Google.  Let’s dive right into how to market as this change swings in harder.

Focus less on organic search result listings.  

With organic search results getting moved to the blind spot and users using other mediums to find a contractor, don’t bank on organic search results, or get excited over the thought of them.  They take a long time to ‘achieve’, and are decreasing in value. I still encourage everyone to publish content consistently if you have time, with the intent of getting more organic traffic but don’t wait or expect it to come.  Even if no search traffic finds the content, it will be crucial to your paid marketing efforts.

Organic search result takes a long time to ‘achieve’, and are decreasing in value.

Be prepared to pay for search traffic.

You can’t bank on free search traffic.  If you want to be at the top, consistently, you will need to pay.  If you’re not already in pay-per-click marketing, start experimenting with a small budget, and if you are looking to improve your landing pages.  

I believe most trades will find value in pay-per-click traffic for years to come.  Search engines will not become obsolete.

Get your presence where your customers are.  

Consider where your customers going.  What is their demographic and what sites do they use.  Facebook and Nextdoor bring a large audience for most service providers, but some may have an interest in other platforms.  Kitchen remodelers targeting women would probably want to look into Pinterest. Home automation, smart home, and home security providers might catch momentum with the younger demographic on Instagram.

Direct users Back To Your Website.

Use profiles online to drive users back to your website and your content.  In your profiles reference ‘more information’ or specific content that is available on your website.  Make your website the hub and take users off of the directories they use to find you.

Have a powerful webpage to capture leads.

A professional website that is conversion optimized is key to the online marketing success of ANY business, including a home service or contracting business.  A powerful website can make a killer first impression and not only have a significantly positive impact on how many leads you capture but also how much you can charge for your services!

Harness the power of re-marketing.  

If a Facebook user recommends your business to a friend and the friend makes their way over to your website to check you out,  you need to stay in front of them. Follow them around the web. Go where they go. Capture their attention and hold on to it!  This is remarketing.  As it gets harder to get users to your website, it is more important to take advantage of the traffic you get.

If you purchase leads from HomeAdvisor; get those leads into a remarketing funnel so they know exactly who you are and have content-based interaction with them.  This will substantially differentiate yourself from the other joe schmoe aimlessly chasing leads.

Open a direct line of communication earlier.

Traditionally in contractor marketing, the open line of communication comes has been with an estimate request.  At this point, the individual is further down the marketing funnel. One better option is to motivate the individual to open a line of communication earlier in the funnel, during the awareness and interest phases by requesting something else, generally a piece of content (lead magnet).  From there the conversation can be guided towards an estimate request.  This is tricky and many amateur marketers flop at turning these weak leads into fruitful prospects but its not only possible but very lucrative once implemented. (cough  cough Facebook marketing bots).

Start marketing at top of funnel using Facebook.

Facebook_FunnelI love Facebook ads — that’s no secret.  I use them to grow my own business. The trick is to capture users early on in the awareness phase.  This can be done by distributing your content to users on Facebook as an alternative to waiting on Google SEO to do it for you!  From there, based on their interactions and expressions of interest, funnel them down and call them to action to request an estimate or provide them some opt-in content (lead magnet) and open a dialogue.

Build reviews!  Build reviews!

Capture customer reviews online, on Google and any other 3rd party platform.  Do not pass up the opportunity to get a positive review left anywhere online from a happy customer.  I suggest using one of the many automated programs online which email and test clients to identify who is satisfied and guide them to leaving a positive review while directing the unhappy customers into a private portal for constructive feedback.

About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

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