What happens if Google turns off the switch to the organic traffic they send you? Do you have a plan to replace those prospects? You better, because it happens everyday to companies just like yours! Read what happens to good companies when Google changes their secret sauce then watch the video.
I hear from contractors all the time AFTER they have shelled out serious coin to some SEO company promising page 1 of Google. Now, there are a hundred ways to get to the 1st page of Google, some legit and some not so much. But to STAY there requires time and effort, but mostly time. If someone guarantees that you will appear on the first page of Google you need to come back here and play them this video!
Matt Cutts works for the Search Quality group in Google, specializing in search engine optimization issues. He is well known in the SEO community for enforcing the Google Webmaster Guidelines and cracking down on link spam.Cutts also advises the public on how to get better website visibility in Google.
In other words, Matt Cutts is a rockstar in SEO world!
Many business leaders and successful people have adopted a common phrase, “Hope is not a strategy”, well no shit! However, many construction contractors are still relying on nothing but hope, prayer and a little luck with their construction marketing strategy. They are hoping that their latest radio ad or television spot will pull in some new leads. Or they hope that the 1,000 postcards mailed out last week will produce a response. Don’t fall victim to this type of mentality.
Instead of relying on hope, develop your strategy
Think of a marketing plan as a new building. You have to first test and prepare the site. Then you build a strong, stable foundation. Next comes the framework and roof of the building. Finally, the interior is completed.
In marketing for contractors, the testing and preparing phase is finding out which services people are looking for. Then you need to build a foundation of communicating with customers across multiple platforms. A website, blog posts, Facebook account, YouTube videos, Flickr photos and Twitter messages are some examples of different ways to reaching prospective clients.
After making the initial contact the work doesn’t stop. You have to continually stay in touch with people. Sending out alerts about new promotions, or helpful tips, or even a quick question about how to improve service are different ways to keep in touch with people and stay in their mind until the day comes that they either need your services directly, or can recommend you to someone else.
In the end, just as it takes time to build a new office or home, it takes time for your marketing efforts to pay off. Consistent and prompt communication, focused on a particular segment, will yield better results than simple “hope.”
Photo Credit: Anil Jadhav
Of all the technological advances to come along in the last couple of years, YouTube ranks as one of the most important. In fact, YouTube has become the number 2 search engine behind their parent search engine Google. Think about it, the ability for anyone to upload a video has taken the world by storm. Instead of putting up one more video of a cat playing the piano, let’s talk about a way YouTube can be used in your contractor marketing plan.
Contractors field questions all the time about the best way to fix or repair something. Whether it’s plumbing, electrical, carpentry or any other field, most people think they can do as good a job as the expert with just a few “insider” tips. But a lot of the time people will step away from the project and call a professional if they could actually see what’s involved BEFORE they get started. This is where YouTube can be helpful.
Think about the different projects that people always talk about and pick one as your project video. Make a short video that shows a portion of identifying the problem, getting the right parts or materials, preparing the job site, and actually completing the work. The description can elaborate that although the video was condensed to 6 or 7 minutes all of the steps involved actually took 4 hours to complete, or whatever the time frame turns out to be. This could be an excellent way to show expertise in an area and drive sales to your doorstep. So get on YouTube and see what other contractors are doing and see how you too can drum up new business by showing people how hard your job really is!
- YouTube is making money? (tech.fortune.cnn.com)
- AOL Sign Web Search, Mobile Search and YouTube Deal with Google (crenk.com)
The early adopters of social media gained a first-mover advantage that many contractors are finding difficult to overcome today. That doesn’t mean you don’t start, it just means that most of you are going to have to work your asses off to make a difference.
How can you gain a foothold in social media today?
The days of casting wide nets to gain traction in social media circles are over. To win you need to focus like a laser on your target. To do that you need to take some specific steps that will help you navigate the social media pool and keep you and your contracting company from wading too far into the deep end too early.
Becoming an engaged advertiser online
1. Make sure any advertising you do offline has an online component built into it.
2. To stick with the swimming analogies, dip your toe in the water first and see what your competition is doing online, steal their strengths and capitalize on their weaknesses.
3. Make sure your campaign is “social media focused”- In other words, make sure your offline ads direct people to follow you on Twitter or fan you up on Facebook.
4. Be careful here, but you can promote your offline campaigns through social circles online, just don’t come off as a spammer or you’re screwed.
5. Get a Twitter account and a Facebook page…that is all.
6. Since social media typically doesn’t have a solid ROI attached to it, set goals that reflect your presence in the market; how many twitter followers you develop, fans on Facebook, etc. Many people will tell you the number of friends or subscribers don’t matter. Well they do, because each Twitter follower or Facebook fan has the potential to be one of the following 3 things; an advocate for your brand, a client, or a critic, but they will never be all 3 at the same time!
7. Track – Make sure you know how people are finding you online; Google places, Twitter, wherever people are coming from you want to make sure to spend more time there.
8. Reach out to the people who can influence your brand in your space. But be careful, this one too can hurt your brand both online and off.
9. Keep going-making a difference online means working hard, just like you do during the day. Just because the leads are not falling through the door doesn’t mean you are not making an impact.
10. In complete contradiction to number 6, numbers don’t matter. Even if you only have one follower, you have an audience that deserves your attention, or just get out of the way and let your competition take care of them!