Plan Before You Advertise Your Contracting Business Online

Just having a web presence today doesn’t ensure growth for your business. You need to market your product or service online for two reasons; your competition is online, and more importantly, so are your customers. The way people go about their daily lives has changed dramatically with due to search engines and social media.

For example, ask anyone under the age of 45 when was the last time they used their Yellow Pages for something other than a plant stand, door wedge, or booster seat and I bet they would be hard pressed to answer you, most are go online first to start their research, but ask anyone 45+ and they will tell you they use the Yellow Pages…a lot, and they have the highest spending power of any demographic out there!

So why are contractors advertising online?

Because Google get’s 300 million searches every MONTH and no matter what else you do to advertise your contracting business, you just can’t ignore the numbers. Now ask yourself, where did people go for answers before Google? Places like the Yellow Pages I imagine.

The effects of advertising online

The direct effect of advertising your business online should be an immediate bump in sales, or at least leads. But do it right, and you may have landed yourself a client for life for the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

How?

Online advertising attracts targeted prospects who are actively seeking your product or service. Once they land on your doorstep, you have to convert them, and that means a quality landing page and/or website. You see, advertising online is no different from traditional advertising outlets, when people come into your establishment and look around, what they are actually doing is deciding if they should do business with you.

Well, the same buying process takes place once someone lands on your virtual doorstep; your website, and if it looks like shit, you’re screwed. Yes, advertising online will boost your business, but only if you use targeted campaigns with a clear goal. This means you have to start thinking about the result and then work your way back. In other words, what is the goal of the campaign; lead generation, mailing list subscriptions or sales?

But how does this develop a customer for life? Simple. If you provide the user with a solid experience and they move through the sales funnel and come out the other end having had an enjoyable experience…well, you can count on that person to sing your song for a long time. Screw it up however, and they can kill you just as fast!

What to do next…

Analyze your existing advertising and decide what if anything could work online. You’re your best converting material; headlines, taglines, ad copy, whatever you can use, then take a hard look at your website. Is it ready for the traffic you are about to send to it from a full-throated advertising campaign online? If not, then before you spend dime one on advertising, spend a few bucks fixing up your website, it will convert better over the long run for both leads and jobs booked.

Now is the time

Many contractors have embraced online advertising and the numbers through the first half of 2010 show another double-digit year for in both growth and dollars spent online. Are you online yet, your customers are, and your competitors too!