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No matter how great you think your contracting business is, if you don’t have the right online presence your leads and sales will suffer.
It’s a fact, and one that’s been proven many times over the past 10 years. The old-school way of doing business is either dying or already dead in most industries, which means a huge shift in thinking about how you acquire and keep new customers.
You’re not alone if you feel like the online marketing world is advancing at break-neck speed; 76% of people think marketing has changed more since 2014 than it did over the previous 50 years.
As of 2019, there were about 830,000 construction companies in the United States. The majority of them are experiencing the same struggle: crafting a successful online marketing strategy for contractors. In fact, according to a recent study by ServiceTitan, only 45% of businesses in the contracting and construction industries are growing
My goal is to provide you with contractor digital marketing statistics specific to your industry, as well as takeaways you can carry back to your marketing team or boardroom for implementation in your next digital marketing plan.
Don’t have an internal team? Don’t worry, we can help.
Your Audience Is Online—and Your Contracting Business Needs to Be as Well
Yes, your audience is online, even if you’re a B2B construction or contracting company. In 2018 roughly nine in ten American adults use the internet—including 96% of 30–49 year-olds and 80% of 50–64 year-olds. What this means for you is a necessity to shift your digital marketing strategy to be focused on your online real estate.
- Modern consumers spend 8.8 hours a day, on average, engaging with digital content
- 90% of buyers now turn to the internet to solve all their home building needs, from finding out how to get a mortgage to managing a new design-build project. In fact, 53% of buyers start their search online, frequently on a search engine.
- According to Google Ads, there are more than 1.2 million online searches for roofing services each month
- According to Google Ads, there are more than 4.2 million online searches for home builders and design-build firms each month
- According to Google Ads, there are more than 2.8 million online searches for plumbers each month
- According to Google Ads, there are more than 660,000 online searches for remodelers each month
- According to Google Ads, there are more than 1.7 million online searches for contractors each month
- 40% of people only consider one local contractor before making a decision
- When searching for a local contractor, 56% are looking for info on prices
- 40% of people look at online directories to do research on a contractor before making a decision
- 80% of internet users own a smartphone
- At any given time, 84% of Americans are shopping for something
- 81% of shoppers conduct research online before buying.
- Studies show that between 70-80% of people research a company online BEFORE visiting a small business or making a purchase with them.
- 97% of consumers go online to find a local business or local services.
- 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps
- 82% of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local business
Word of Mouth Reviews Still Play an Important Role
Just because your audience has moved online doesn’t mean word-of-mouth isn’t relevant anymore. In fact, with the ease and availability of online forums and review sites, it’s more important than ever.
- 28% of SMBs say word of mouth is the most effective way to attract new customers, and 20% say SEO is.
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. (Search Engine Land)
- Personalized recommendations can increase conversion rates by up to 5.5 times.
- Customers acquired through word-of-mouth (such as influencer marketing) are retained at a 37% higher rate than those acquired through other means. (Deloitte)
- Reading or writing social media reviews and comments will influence the shopping behavior of 67% of consumers. (PwC)
- 95% of consumers read online business reviews
- 85% of consumers don’t trust reviews more than three months old
- 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews
Customer Service As a Contractor Marketing Channel
- 60% of American customers say they’ll consider switching companies following two to three instances of poor service.
- About 50% of loyal customers have left a company for a competitor who was able to stay more relevant and better satisfy their needs
- 75% of online customers expect a response to an online inquiry or chat/message within five minutes
- Chatbots has a 73% customer satisfaction rate, and can save up to 30% in customer support costs
- According to a study by Google, 61% of mobile users call a business when they’re in the purchase phase of the buying cycle.
Your Website is Your Most Important Contractor Marketing Asset
Not only do you need a website, but it also needs to be polished. We have a saying at Blue Corona,
“Your website is your online sales representative.”
It’s true. Point-blank, people are doing a lot less face-to-face communication and turning to the web. Having an “okay” website is like having an employee that goes on sales calls in flip-flops and drinks a bottle of scotch a day.
- 63% of consumers primarily use a contracting company’s website to find and engage with them.
- 50% of consumers would be deterred from using a local business if contact information was out of date on their website
- 92% of consumers look at a company’s website when choosing a service provider or product
- 30% of consumers won’t consider a business without a website.
- 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site. (Bright Local)
- Once your page loads, users form an opinion in .05 seconds.
- 47% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- After three seconds, 53% of mobile consumers will click the “back” button.
- 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load.
- 59% of marketers say inbound produces the highest quality leads for their sales team. (HubSpot)
- 53% of mobile website visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. For every one second delay in site load time, conversions fall by 12%. (Google, 2018)
- 57% of all U.S. online traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets. (BrightEdge, 2018)
- 84% of users would abandon a purchase if data was sent over an insecure connection.
- 82% of people won’t browse unsecured websites.
- As of 2019, 94% of Google search results are HTTPS.
- 75% of consumers have admitted to judging a company’s credibility based on their website design.
- A single bad experience on a website makes users 88% less likely to visit the website again.
Any Online Marketing Strategy for Contractors Needs to Include Analytics and Reporting
Where are your leads coming from? If you have a vague idea or just sort of shrug and go with your gut, we need to sit down and have a heart-to-heart. Without the right website tracking, call tracking, and analytics, you might as well throw your marketing dollars out the window.
Take our tracking. We install tools on your website to help us see where leads are coming in, how people are behaving on your website, and how people are calling you. We even have a service where we listen to and tag every single one of your phone calls.
With that information, you can literally see how your business is doing from a hard-data perspective.
- Fewer than 30% of small businesses use Web site analytics, call tracking, or coupon codes, and 18% of small businesses admit to not tracking anything.
- Businesses that calculate ROI are more likely to have an effective marketing strategy—up to 72%.
Having Content on Your Contractor Website Isn’t Enough—It Needs to Be Optimized for SEO
SEO for contractors is an absolute must. With SEO, your website content will rank higher and reach more relevant people. Since a gross majority of people won’t even click past the second search page, SEO is your only hope of getting those clicks.
- Content marketing leaders experience 8X more site traffic than non-leaders. (Content Marketing Institute)
- 52% of all online website traffic comes from mobile devices
- While content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, it generates more than three times as many leads.
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. (Search Engine Journal)
- 3 in 4 smartphone owners turn to mobile search first to address their immediate needs. (Google, 2018)
- 87% of consumers searching on a smartphone use a search engine at least once a day.
- 61% of marketers list improving SEO and search engine rankings as their top goal. (HubSpot, 2017)
- Adding a blog to your digital marketing strategy can increase your website’s chances of ranking by 434%
- At least 23% of clicks on Google go to images
- 82% of customers have a more positive outlook on a company after reading custom content, and 70% of customers feel closer to a company after reading or watching their content
- 60% of consumers won’t purchase from a brand with poorly written content. Not only that, but compelling copy draws 7.8 times more site traffic and produces brand recall which brings higher engagement rates
Yes, Contractors Need a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Yes, you do actually need a social media strategy. When I say social media, I mean ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIA. If you target commercial clients, LinkedIn might be your spot. If you’re more into residential, you may have better luck on Facebook.
I will tell you that out of the 100+ construction and contractor social media accounts I’ve managed, the ones that are honest, genuine, and human perform the best.
When I say “human” I mean share photos of projects. Share helpful articles. Write your posts like an actual human speaks. Engage with your community.
Yes, you’ll probably have to use Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads to build that community, but there are SEO and customer service benefits to social, so keep at it.
- Almost 90% of marketers say their social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business, and 75% say they’ve increased traffic. (Vendasta)
- 32% of small businesses invest in social media marketing.
- 1% of contractors report social media usage. (Randall Reilly)
- Four out of five LinkedIn members drive business decisions, and LinkedIn’s audience has 2x the buying power of the average web audience
B2B Contractor Marketing Has Also Shifted Online
Not only are your residential customers online, but your commercial ones are also as well. In years past, choosing a commercial contractor was a crap-shoot based on face-to-face meetings and heavy pitches. Nowadays, the get-to-know-you phase is largely online. A customer can research a potential commercial contractor extremely thoroughly—from their website to their online reviews and social presence—without ever picking up the phone. If your online presence isn’t enough to convince them, I’ll bet you there are hundreds of other contractors lining up with an optimized one.
- Content creation ranked the highest as a contributing factor to B2B marketing success with 89%, with strategy in 2nd at 72%.
- B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost 3X more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month. (HubSpot)
- 52% of B2B marketers said blogs were the most critical tactic for success in 2017.
- 47% of B2B buyers consume 3-5 pieces of content prior to engaging with a salesperson.
- 57% of B2B marketers stated that SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative. (HubSpot)
- Mobile drives 50% of B2B searches.
- 80% of B2B buyers are using mobile at work, and more than 60% report that mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase.
- The average B2B buyer makes 12 online searches before they contact a potential vendor. (Google, 2018)
Google Is a Contractor’s Best Friend, Especially for Remodeling and Construction SEO
Chances are, you’re a local company, and local companies need to cozy up to Google. Why? It’s the top search engine in the world. In order for your contractor marketing strategy to really take off, you have to include some form of SEO, both for generic keywords and geo-targeted keywords.
- Over 5.5 billion Google searches are made every day.
- Google is the world’s most visited website, followed by YouTube and Facebook. Chinese search engine Baidu is the world’s fourth most visited website.
- Being in the first position in Google will result in a click-through rate of 34.36% for desktop computers and a click-through rate of 31.35% for mobile devices.
- 86% of U.S. viewers say they regularly turn to YouTube to learn something new.
- You can increase conversion rates up to 80% when you put videos on your web pages.
- 75% of people say paid ads make it easier to find the online information they’re looking for, and 63% of online searchers say they click on paid ads.
- 64% of consumers have used Google My Business to find contact details for local businesses.
For Online Contractor Digital Marketing Strategy and Execution, Trust Blue Corona
There’s a reason digital marketing companies exist. PLEASE put your online marketing strategy in the hand of a professional. If you’ve got a kinda-web-savvy person at your company, it’s not good enough.
I’ll put it this way: Trying to create and execute your own online marketing strategy is like trusting an avid DIYer to install roofing on a house. Sure, he may get the job done, but I guarantee that when it rains there’s going to be plenty of leaks.
So trust the experts.
Resources on Contractor Marketing:
- How to Get More Commercial Contracting Leads Online
- Your Basic Internet Marketing Guide for Contractors
- The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Plumbing Company in 2019
- Website Design for Contractors
- Are Pay-Per-Lead Sites Worth It for Contractors?
- Best Way to Get HVAC Leads
- 17 Website Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Contractors
- How to Advertise Your Business on Nextdoor
- 10 Ways Contractors Can Improve Google Rankings
Resources on Remodeling Marketing
- 6 Foolproof Ways to Get More Remodeling Leads
- Content Marketing for Remodelers
- 5 Changes to Your Home Remodeling Website That Will Increase Leads
- Remodeler Video Marketing
- Best Facebook Ads for Remodelers
- Remodeling Contractor’s Guide to Pinterest Ads
Resources on Construction Marketing
About The Author: Betsy is Blue Corona's Digital Content Manager. When she’s not directing Blue Corona's corporate digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring with her wife, diving into the latest marketing trends, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
View more blogs by Betsy McLeod