Tag: <span>Surefire Local</span>

Ways to Build a Strong Digital Marketing Strategy

By Steve Eastlack, Surefire Local.

Ever wonder why so many businesses struggle with their online marketing? If you think you’re one of those companies implementing tactic after tactic but not quite seeing the results you expected, then you’ve come to the right place. The reason many companies fall short of achieving excellent results from their online marketing is because they lack a clear, smart digital marketing plan. That’s it, plain and simple.

In our recent webinar, ‘LIVE Q&A: Building a Winning Digital Marketing Strategy’, we answered some of the common questions business owners have when it comes to planning and establishing their digital marketing strategy. Below are some of the key takeaways from the webinar:

Learn how to diversify.

Running your business on referrals? Consider this as an accomplishment in itself because it speaks to your brand. However, you don’t want to run your business on a single channel. The solution? You need to diversify. Start by investing in Google Advertising. It is the channel where your ad dollars are best spent on, especially in the first stages of your business growth. It’s the only channel where people are proactively searching for you and the services you provide. Once you start, you’ll find it’s easy to use, easy to learn, and easy to see if it makes sense with regards to your business growth and lead generation.

In addition, don’t forget to invest in a comprehensive, mobile-responsive website. Make use of a content strategy, using blogs, videos and other types of content, to lure leads in and turn them to actual customers.

Identify the platforms that will work for your business.

To know which platforms are best for your business, you need to determine your goals, identify your target locations and know your audience. Some of the platforms you can use depending on your objectives are:

  • Websites
  • Local Search
  • Lead Generation
  • Ratings and Reviews
  • Directory Listings
  • Google Ads/Facebook Advertising
  • Content
  • Social Media
  • Rising Trends and Platforms

Note that not everything might work for your business. Be sure to consult your trusted digital marketing expert to identify the right solutions for your marketing efforts.

Reach out for help.

Contrary to what some people might think, creating a foolproof digital marketing strategy isn’t a simple task. Much like a home improvement project, it requires careful planning, in-depth research and active cooperation with a specialist. Assuming you’ve recently hired an expert to help you with your digital marketing, it pays to know you’ve hired the right team for the job. Here are some of the questions you should ask to your digital marketing partner:

  • How am I doing based on the key metrics we’ve established?
  • How many leads am I getting and how is that progressing?
  • Can you show me the processes you implement to make sure I’m meeting my goals?

By this time, you should already be prepared to build a winning digital marketing strategy for your business. You have the knowledge you need, the assets, and a rough structure in mind.

Source: Surefire Local

5 Google My Business tools that contractors should be using

By Surefire Local.

Google My Business has quickly become one of the most powerful tools for a home improvement business. It allows you to easily manage and improve your business’ online presence, helping you attract the right kind of clients across the entire Google ecosystem including Google Search and Maps.

Google My Business Tools for Home Improvement Contractors

1. Google Posts: This feature allows you to create and publish content directly on Google. These Posts show up in the area below your Google My Business listing, also known as your Knowledge Panel. Google Posts allow for FREE views while helping to boost your content, promotions and events. To get the most of your post, make sure to include a picture, message, link, and button type.

2. Services: You can use this tool to highlight what you’re offering to clients, allowing you to add a whole menu of the services that you provide within your Google My Business listing in search results. This is a mobile-only feature (for now at least) and lets you categorize services and add descriptions. This offers a great way to draw the attention of homeowners looking for a particular service provider quickly.

3. Messages: This mobile-exclusive feature offers a new way to engage homeowners you want to interact with your business via mobile text. It comes with a customizable opening message and Google even measures and reports how quickly you respond. A fast response to your mobile audience can help make them interact more with your business.

4. Appointment Link: Make it easy for your prospective clients to reach your business with this handy tool. Setting it up is a piece of cake–just edit the URLs section of your Google My Business Listing and add the link to the correct field.

5. Video: Help homeowners get a clearer idea on how you do business with this new feature. Upload videos about your business to help generate leads. You’ll want to take the videos you upload seriously–they are more memorable than text content and can help increase conversions by up to 80%.

Source: Surefire Local

Why Voice Search is Making Waves in Contractor Marketing

By Surefire Local.

A key component of your success is to make sure your local marketing is on point.

In today’s day and age, most of your customers are finding you from Google. They turn to their trusted search engine and type in “(service type) contractor in (name of town)” and choose the one that jumps out to them. But now, with the popularity of Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri and all of the other virtual assistants, the name of the game is changing. Why? Because people don’t speak the same way that they type into Google’s search bar, so all of the keyword targeting you have done with your digital marketing may no longer be as effective.

Here’s a closer look at why it is imperative that you consider voice search when crafting your local marketing strategy, as well as actionable tips you can take today to help your home service business get found.

Why It Is Important to Include Voice Search in Your Contractor Marketing

While there are some people that still actually use Google’s search bar, the shift to using voice search is quickly becoming mainstream. From smart home devices, such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home, to the Siri and Cortana found on every smartphone, many people no longer take the time to type their questions. Instead, they ask them. But the words being spoken are very different than the keywords you have been using in your digital marketing for years.

For example, if someone wants to find a home improvement contractor, they will ask, “Siri, who is a good home contractor near me?” as opposed to typing in “home contractor in Los Angeles.” They could also ask questions like, “Who can I call to fix my roof?” or “Is there someone close by that can repair gutters?”

So the secret to success in today’s ask-rather-than-type world is to figure out what questions people are asking and then altering your digital marketing strategy accordingly. This is especially true being a local business. The homeowners around you are asking for your services, and you want to be the company that Siri, Alexa, or Google recommends.

How to Improve Your Voice Search Local Marketing

Now that you understand why tweaking your digital marketing strategy with voice search in mind is so important, let’s take a look at actionable steps you can put into place to capitalize on this new technology:
First, the voice search algorithms aren’t messing around when recommending home contractors. Not only do you need to target the right keywords, you need to have a strong social media presence and reputation in addition to a fast-loading webpage to make the cut. Apple and Amazon want users to trust their smart devices, so their algorithm won’t recommend you unless it knows you are dependable.
Similarly, you should make sure your site has an SSL certificate. By upgrading the security on your site, you give Alexa, Google and Siri the confidence they need to suggest you.

Next, tweak your keyword strategy to target the way people naturally talk. What would you say if you were going to hire someone in your industry? Hint: “Near Me” is a very commonly used term that should be included when possible. While the smart assistants might be able to figure out who you are with basic long-tail keywords, if you can target the exact phrase the user says, you will see more success.
While you want to stay natural, you also want to keep it simple. Most people aren’t going to recite a long question to Alexa—they are using it for convenience, so the question is going to be short.

Additionally, you want to keep the content on your page less than 2,000 words. Since people are usually on the move when using voice search, the algorithms naturally look for the shorter articles to recommend.

A key component of your success is to make sure your local marketing is on point. You need the homeowners around you to find you, which means you need to show up in any type of inquiry they make. By altering your digital marketing strategy to specifically target voice search, you can be sure that you can be found.

Source: Surefire Local

4 Tips to Increase Engagement on Facebook

Getting engagement on Facebook can be a challenge for contractors.

Oftentimes when it comes to home projects, people aren’t proactive. They’re reactive, meaning that they think about protecting their gutters, repairing their roofs, replacing their siding or windows only after a disaster has occurred. It’s not always top of mind.  People tend to use Facebook more for checking in with their family and friends, and less so searching for a local home pro.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean getting engagement and building a following of loyal evangelists on social media is impossible. There are a few tricks available to home services contractors that are effective.

1) Share educational content. Sharing 1/3 company-related content and 2/3 engaging content strikes a good balance. At Surefire Local, we encourage all of our clients to always share educational content. You want viewers to come away with learning something no matter what you share. If your business publishes great blog content and on a consistent basis, you can create custom images with key takeaways, tips, quotes, etc. from that content which you can post along with a link to the individual blog post.

2) Share photos and videos. Whenever possible, learn towards sharing photos or videos over text updates. We’ve seen video perform the best of the four types of posts you can share (link, text, photo, video). For home services contractors, a great source of video content that is easy to produce (using only a smartphone) is completed projects. Showcasing your previous work is the best way to convince someone who’s on the fence about your company to trust you. Similarly, you can turn multiple photos from the same project or a few projects of the same job into a slideshow movie and add a fun jingle.

3) Look at Facebook Insights. I highly recommend looking at Facebook Insights on your business page’s settings. Here you’ll find the exact times when your audience is most active. Each audience is unique. While you may hear 3 PM Eastern on Wednesdays is the best time to share content on Facebook if your audience is most active at 8 PM Eastern, why not schedule your posts to publish then and increase your chances of having your content viewed organically in the newsfeed?

4) Utilize Facebook Advertising with specific targeting. My final tip would be to utilize Facebook Ads. You can see great results on a relatively small budget too. We have many clients spending $300 a month on promoting their content with great success. You’re able to target people specifically within your service radius by zip code and people with specific characteristics such as being interested in home improvement, own a home, home value, income, etc.) The more targeted you can be with your audience and ad copy, the better results you’ll see.

If you would like to see more engagement and take your social media presence one step further, I recommend downloading this eBook: Making Social Media Work for Your Local Business (it’s free!)

This article first appeared on Surefire Local’s blog and the full post can be viewed here.