It’s the final countdown! Thanks for checking out the last post in this blog series on how to approach online marketing for your need-based home service business. It’s been awhile, so let’s recap. In Part 1, I wrote about how to select and evaluate your Web marketing partner (whether it’s an online marketing company or an in-house employee) and why this is such a crucial first step in getting more leads and sales from the Web. In Part 2, I taught you how to set appropriate expectations and goals for your online marketing campaign.
If you’ve made it to this point, you probably feel like you’re eight minutes into a Pink Floyd song and what’s-his-face has yet to sing a damn word. All that buildup was necessary, my friends, because now that you have some tangible, specific, and measurable goals, I’m going to tell you what your home service business needs to do in order to crush those goals like Bobby Flay in an Iron Chef battle (does that guy ever lose?!).
In order to succeed online, you must establish and promote your home service company as THE authority in your industry.
What Does it Mean to Be an Authority?
In order to rank on the search engines—and consequently get more traffic, leads, and sales from the Web—you need two things: relevancy and authority. Relevance is somewhat straightforward and easy to accomplish; you need to create website content that is related to the home services you provide. Unfortunately, you’re not the only HVAC, plumbing, restoration, etc. company out there.
In order to outrank your competitors, you’re going to need the search engines as well as your potential customers to view you as an authority in the industry you serve and in the areas you service.
What Does it Take to Be an Authority?
Great, Sharable Content
Right now, we’re in the midst of a content marketing revolution. The most successful small business owners and marketers recognize that creating, optimizing, and promoting compelling Web content is by far, and without question, the most cost-effective form of advertising available today. Savvy small companies—from B2B software manufacturers to your average local flooring, HVAC, plumbing, or roofing contractor—are cranking out and publishing content at an explosive rate.
The future of marketing involves creating content (blogs, social media updates, videos, FAQs, E-books, press releases, e-mail newsletters, etc.) that is genuinely valuable to your prospects—allowing them to make better decisions and establishing you as THE authority in your industry in the process.
When you write useful and relevant content, you might also find that people will share that content and you’ll get more links to your website. In turn, this helps the search engines view you as an authority and will improve your rankings in the search results.
Maximize Your Online Real Estate
Where do your potential customers spend their time online? That’s where you need to market your business. At the highest level, Web marketing success is a real estate game. Your goal should be to cost-effectively build, develop, and maintain as much real estate as you need to establish yourself as the authority in your industry.
At a minimum, your virtual real estate empire must (eventually) include an optimized primary website with hundreds (yes, hundreds) of relevant Web pages; mentions, listings, and content on additional websites (some of which may be owned by you); and an authoritative overall online presence which will almost certainly include completed (and active) social media profiles.
Once you do this, you’ll probably find that your website and your overall online presence act as a new salesrep for your company.
Maximizing Your Search Engine Real Estate
Related to maximizing your online real estate is the idea of maximizing your search engine real estate. By maximizing your search engine real estate, you increase the chance that someone will click on your listing and not on your competitors.
When you perform a search for a home service like “air conditioner repair” on Google, you’re likely to see three different types of listings:
Recent Google crackdowns have prohibited a single domain from having multiple organic listings on the first page of search results (though I still see this happening from time to time), so the only way to maximize your first page search engine real estate (aka to have more than one listing on the first page of search results) is to also invest in pay per click advertising and local search engine optimization (local SEO).
I have to give my coworker Tyler Yost credit for this one. A while back, Tyler recommended that I read Robert Cialdini’s book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” In the book, Cialdini writes about the “weapons of influence” and how sales people and marketers use them to get you to buy their products and services. Not surprisingly, one of the weapons of influence is authority—what this entire blog post is about.
Another, which I think helps build on that authority, is social proof. If someone else has already taken the risk to try your product or service—and they have good things to say about it—we are more willing to try that product or service ourselves.
On the Web, this social proof comes in the form of testimonials—written testimonials, video testimonials, case studies, Yelp reviews, etc. At Blue Corona, one of our core values as a business is “make every client a case study.” By operating your business this way, you’re more likely to get good reviews. Good reviews on sites like Yelp and Google+ can help to increase your rankings in local search, and these ultimately help increase your authority by providing strong social proof for your products and services.
…And I’m Spent
You’ve reached the end! And if you’ve made it through all three parts of this blog series, I guarantee you are better equipped to market your home service business online. Whether you’re looking for a new Web marketing partner, need help setting goals for your online marketing campaign and overall strategy, or want to get started establishing your home service company as THE authority in your industry, Blue Corona can help.
At Blue Corona, we service all industries, but we specialize in online marketing for home service companies. We have a proven pay per click setup and management system specifically designed for contractors, and our SEO specialists have extensive experience helping contractors get more qualified traffic and convert more visitors into leads and sales.
When you’re ready to get started, give us a call or enter your website into the box below to find out whether your home service company’s website could benefit from our online marketing services:
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About The Author: Lexie serves as Blue Corona's Content Marketing Manager. She's also the author of our soon-to-be famous, and someday to be written white paper, "Horse Hat SEO: Giddy-Up Your Google Rankings."
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“The overall Web traffic increase to our site has been remarkable. The increased traffic to our site has paid for itself and then some. It is worth the investment and will continue to pay dividends. ”