Contractor Marketing Terms 101 - Learning Marketing Lingo
Footbridge Media is fortunate enough to work with contractors of various experience levels and business sizes. That means some of the contractors we work with are experts in their industry but don't necessarily have much pre-existing knowledge of online marketing.
That's where Sam - our Onboarding Manager - really gets a chance to help educate customers about the basics of online marketing. She is our new clients' first point of contact and has a wealth of contractor marketing information.
Recently, Sam and Chris sat down to chat about "Contractor Marketing Terms 101," - covering some core online marketing terms that sometimes throw contractors for a loop.
"The Local Pack" - The Importance Of Ranking Well Locally
So Sam, one of the terms that we hear a lot when people are talking about the search engine results page is local pack. What is a local pack, and why should contractors care about that?
A local pack is also known as a map pack. So whenever you Google "pressure washer near me" or "heating repair near me," - it's going to be those top three businesses there.
That's usually a goal for many business owners to be in the top three spots. That pack usually consists of local business listings that appear in local intent searches, such as "[service] near me."
The local map pack - they get a lot of good results and good visibility in the top three.
Yes, absolutely. I'll ask our new contractors what their goals are working with us. They want to be #1 on the map pack, and they want to be #1 organically on the page. So, it's something that we do provide the tools for you to achieve there. But there are a lot of variables that can go into the map pack.
A few factors are…
- What are your Google reviews looking like versus your competitors
- What's the search that your audience is actually searching
- And then, of course, the distance between them compared to your location as well.
"Citations" - Spreading Your Business Around The Web
There's a lot that goes into that - what we in the industry call "off-site optimization." And that's another one that throws people for a loop - usually "off-site SEO" and "citations" specifically.
That's all part of helping folks do well in the map pack. What is a citation, and is that something that contractors need to worry about?
Citations are just a business listing. It's where we make reference on web pages for your name, address, and phone number - which is also known as the acronym NAP (name, address, and phone number).
So, we do have a whole department here that's dedicated to citations and Google Business Profiles. We make it a priority to ensure that your website citations are up on relevant and reputable sites. So when people search, you have multiple citation listings popping up.
Those business listings - those are places online where their name, address, and phone number are. That's popular places like Yelp. Sometimes, it's also places that perhaps contractors have never heard about. Do they need to worry about getting connections or getting access to any of these places? Or is that something that Footbridge Media takes care of?
No, Footbridge Media takes care of most of that. We are partnered with Yext, which is a huge citations directory listing service.
Once we get your Google Business Profile verified and your map is sorted out (and your name, address, and phone number sorted out), we will add you to Yext. It would then populate into a lot of reputable places. If you wanted to get to more specific places like BBB or your local Chamber of Commerce, that would be something you would have to take upon yourself to do so.
"Backlinks" - Creating Links To Your Website
One of the buzzwords that we hear a lot is "backlinks" and how important they are for SEO. What is a backlink, and is that something a customer needs to care about?
So, backlinks - it's pretty self-explanatory. It's a link that goes back to your website. So, for example, whenever you're on your website and if you have a Facebook icon, you click on that icon, and it goes to your Facebook page. You want to make sure you have a link on your Facebook profile that reverts back to your website.
So it's just very helpful for your users to navigate from going to your website to navigating off your website and that backlink to navigate them back to your website because we want the traffic to be there and stay there.
"Keywords" - Finding The Right Terms For Your Business And Location
Another thing that contractors talk about a lot is keywords. A lot of folks are worried about keywords. Now, our contractors are pros in their industry - so they have a lot of knowledge. They have in-depth knowledge about the type of work that they do, sometimes very specific scientific information, like when it comes to HVACs.
How do clients figure out what keywords they need to rank for? What's the process for walking a new customer through identifying their keywords?
As you said, we have a lot of contractors. And they're the experts in their industry. You have HVAC specialists, electricians, plumbers; the list goes on. So, we make sure that we create primary (or "seed") keywords so that your audience can search and find you. You know a lot of industry terms, and we try to meet halfway for your audience to search and find you.
So, for example, we all know what pressure washing is. People who have a pressure washing company know the difference between pressure washing and soft washing. But the search term "pressure washing" is going to always trump the search term "soft washing." So, we make sure that the main keyphrase is going to be pressure washing so that your website will appear.
Another example is for HVAC companies. People will usually search "heating repair" or "AC repair" over "HVAC contractor" - because they want to look for the intent. They're looking for primary search words rather than something of a more industry standard.
So, do contractors have to worry about that? Do contractors have to give you a list of keywords that they want to rank for?
No, it's actually one of my personal duties. Whenever the information packet is submitted, you'll list your services, and I'll actually go through and see what regional keywords are in your area.
We look at what you provide, see what audiences are searching for, and make sure that the website performs for that appropriate keyword.
"Domain Registrar" - Obtaining (And Retaining) Your Domain Name
To start things off in the website process, one of the things that contractors have to do with - especially if it's a brand new website or if they're transferring information over to us - they need to get their domain name.
For some, it's companies doing this for the first time. A lot of folks don't realize you don't just outright purchase a domain. You're basically leasing or renting your domain name. What is a domain registrar?
So, a domain registrar is basically where you buy your domain. You will hear a lot of different domain registrars - one that's really good and reputable that we actually use as well as GoDaddy. Other places are Wild West Domains, BlueHost, Hostinger, and the list goes on.
It's very important that you understand who your domain registrar is and make sure you know your correct login information for that. That way, if you do want to switch over your website, you have that information on hand.
And do contractors have to worry too much about the tech details about hosting or anything like that? When it comes to buying a domain registrar, what's the information that's important for them to know?
It's pretty straightforward. You just need your login information for that. Or I will provide you with a step-by-step process of delegating access to us.
But I will look and research your domain to see if anything's connected, like emails, and I'll communicate with our support team here to make sure that those emails stay up seamlessly through the site launch.
Your Contractor Marketing Questions Could Be Answered Next!
If you have any marketing questions or specific terms you're having a hard time with, let us know by reaching out to your marketing consultant or using our contact form for more marketing help.
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About Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan has over a decade of contractor marketing experience with Footbridge Media. With a background in web design, print design, content creation, and online marketing, Chris is focused on providing quality marketing and business solutions in the construction and service industries - helping small business owners to more efficiently manage their company and grow their operations.