Why No One Indicator Can Ensure Your Contractor Marketing Success

Why No One Indicator Can Ensure Your Contractor Marketing Success
Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan March 21, 2018

As a contractor marketing company focused on your marketing success, we get some of the same questions on a regular basis. Lots of those trend around how quickly a contractor can get results with Program X, Y, or Z.

Marketing services are both a science and an art. Systematic tactics must be paired with a keen eye and improv skills. For that reason, there isn't one single tool or program that will absolutely, 100% of the time, work for every single contractor. It depends on your business, your company, and your target audience.

Let's go over a few reasons why you cannot rely on just one method of lead generation for your business, and how to fix your marketing plans if you are stuck.

Ranking #1 is Contextual

The number one spot on Google used to be a thing. Back in the day, if you did a search for "remodeling contractor" in New York City or San Francisco – you used to get the same result.

Now, if you do a search for "pizza" where you are, and I do a search for "pizza" where I am in Pensacola, Florida – we'll each get different results because of the differences in our physical location.

And even if you come down to Florida on vacation and check in with your online marketing team – we can each search for "pizza" on our mobile devices while standing next to each other... and we'll still likely get different results because of the previous search activity.

In the world of SEO and online marketing, people are still fixated on trying to reach the #1 spot for all things. While, with enough time and effort, it is possible to consistently perform near the top of the SERP, there is no way to guarantee that #1 on your machine in your office will be the same as your phone's search or the customer down the street.

Local Map Ranking is Being Encroached Upon

Products like Google Local Services are shaking up the local optimization game. While the map section hasn't gone away yet, there is a fear that Local Map ranking for specific industries (home services, home improvement, and the like) may no longer be enough. And that is a scary preposition to companies who have been playing by the rules and building an honest, strong map presence.

Even then, we are seeing more and more that Local Map Listing positioning is just as contextual as organic search engine results in the ten links. Darren Shaw of Whitespark did his own testing in 2017 and in his sample searches he noted that of the three primary local factors in Google Listing ranking – Relevance, Distance, Prominence – that the distance/proximity of the searcher to the listing address is the top factor in determining listing rank.

That means if a potential searcher is looking for a service at work or at home, they will get two different results.

Lead Counts Don't Matter as Much as Conversions

Whether we are talking about organic SEO or PPC, there is a big emphasis by many clients on driving up lead counts. While do you have to have a steady flow of leads, it is also important to consider your business and its ability to process a lead and convert that lead to a buying customer.

I've seen clients getting hundreds of phone calls a month as indicated by Google Analytics and Insights – who are concerned about low lead counts.

What is your closing rate? It may be a matter of how timely your communication is from lead info submission to reply. It may be the way you answer your phones or reply to emails. It may be that the members of staff who are tasked to deal with those communication jobs aren't "people people".

You can get 100 leads a day, but if you can only convert 1 of those into a paying client – those other 99 leads may have been sell-able with the right customer service and sales touch.

Changing Social Media Landscape

Social media prowess used to far more easily attained. While paid ads have always been around for the major platforms, with the right content and influencers, organic social media success and high engagement numbers were a distinct possibility.

In 2016, Facebook announced an update to prioritize friend and family activity in the News feed over Facebook Page content. In 2018, social media shares have dropped. Per Susan Moeller of Buzzsumo, median shares have fallen from 8 in 2015 to just 4 in 2017.

It is now becoming common practice to "pay twice" for your social media presence. Paying once for social media exposure to gain more followers and then paying again for your content to show up in the news feeds of those same followers. It's like when you're in an airport and a bottle of water costs $4.00.

Aside from creating incredibly high quality content (usually at a higher cost!) you really don't have any options if you want to play in the game.

Email Open Rates + Mail Platforms Are Changing

According to Epsilon, a marketing company with an emphasis on email marketing services for national brands – click-through rates on email have slowly been dropping for the last few years.

Changes in specific mail platforms – like Google's Gmail / Inbox sorting "Marketing" type content into a separate folder – have also made email marketing a little more difficult to pull off in the last few years.

The Takeaway – A Well Rounded Marketing Plan is the Best Way to Steadily Grow Your Business

The purpose of this all isn't to scare you into stopping your online marketing efforts. In fact, I hope to inspire the opposite. All this confirms that there is no one single marketing method that a business can rely upon to always, 100% of the time, without fail, work for them. Is there a way to fix that?

Yes – Diversify your marketing. Try out a variety of possibilities to find different ways to get in front of your customers. Experiment with direct mail services or try out email marketing. Expand your current marketing plan online and offline to find the combination that works best for you, your business, and your customers.

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