How to think about your Digital Marketing Strategy
Home services businesses are seeing explosive growth. Covid had a major impact on how consumers value and care for their homes. With consumers primarily working from home and building their lives around the home, this means that demand for services such as painters, remodelers, cleaning services, and more hit record levels.
As business owners and marketers, we want to meet our customers where they are. Connecting in key moments and during life events such as selling a home, starting a renovation project, helping parents downsize, or fixing an urgent repair. Customers turn to home services providers for convenient, reliable, and high-quality service.
Selecting the marketing tactics that will give your brand the greatest exposure and consistent flow of cost-effective leads is important. In this post, we explore the top 10 considerations when building a digital remarketing strategy for a home services business.
Top 10 Considerations for Building your Digital Marketing Strategy
1. Make it Easy to Book
Home services businesses typically rely on appointment booking online, or by phone. If you are spending marketing dollars to drive customers to book online, it makes sense to have a simple frictionless booking experience that works across all devices and builds trust with the customer each step of the way. It’s common to find broken calendars and calendars with no appointment slots available online. Make sure you regularly test and validate the performance of your booking engine to ensure that your customers can book the next available time.
2. Manage the Metrics that Matter
Home services businesses rely on a consistent flow of quality leads to operate successfully. Meeting lead goals is important to allow the business to scale, hire teams to execute the work, and provide an exceptional level of service for each customer. Managing KPIs that are focused on your business goals will make it easier for you to plan and drive the business forward. Knowing the average value of a job and how that relates to the cost to acquire a customer is the first step.
Setting a target Cost per Lead (CPL) and ensuring a Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) goal that is not so high that it prohibits growth is key. There are many other factors to consider, so it is worthwhile doing the due diligence to understand the metrics that will make your business successful when you are spending on advertising. At Ollo Metrics, we use a funnel calculator to determine how much our clients should pay per click and how much they need to budget in order to hit their goals.
Over time as you gather more information on your best customers, you can focus on increasing the value of the services for these customers and finding more customers who resemble your best customers. Similarly, you will identify the leads that should be untargeted. These customers may find your services overpriced, might be out of your service area, or require a larger effort to service. Finding ways to exclude these targets from your advertising will save a lot of money both on the marketing and operations side over time.
3. Adjust Your Advertising Budget Based on Capacity
Home services companies often struggle to have the optimal volume of work for their teams to service. At times they may be fully booked and have no room to add customers, while other times bookings are slow and teams are waiting for work. This is a constant area of optimization to ensure that capacity is at the right level.
In planning a marketing strategy, it is essential to consider capacity in order to distribute the marketing budget in the most effective way. You want to avoid spending dollars to send traffic to your website if you have no availability or don’t have staff to answer the phone. Dialing up and down advertising programs such as Google Ads can be really effective to help manage capacity and make adjustments quickly.
Seasonal budget planning is an excellent strategy for home services businesses. Summer months are usually peak times for consumers to do home-related projects and it is very likely that capacity will be maxed. Your marketing dollars may work harder offseason when competitors are lying low. Take time to test marketing budgets and don’t be afraid to pay more offseason to acquire customers. Use Google Trends and Google Keyword Planning tools to guide the strategy.
4. Increase Your Search Visibility with Ads
Home services businesses need a well-thought-out search strategy to compete online. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you are moving today and suddenly need help to clean, dispose of junk or repair something, what will you do? In those moments, people use their mobile phone to Google a service that can help them. These are the moments where you win online, being the company that can solve this customer’s problem today.
To optimize your search opportunity, it is critical to maximize your search real estate – Google Ads, Bing Ads, Google My Business (now Google Business Profile), and if it is available for your industry, Google Local Services Ads.
Showing up consistently is the key to driving more business. You can no longer expect that customers will find your website organically in the search results without significant effort. In the home services space, it is pay-to-play. Ensure that you have sufficient budget to show ads on the searches that represent your business and never miss an opportunity to acquire customers.
5. Build Brand Awareness Online
Home services brands can benefit from low-cost digital advertising. This helps to generate awareness and gets people interested in what your company is offering.
People need to repeatedly see and hear advertising to actually notice it. So don’t shy back from driving a high volume of impressions and high frequency (7 or more) to connect with your target customers. Get in front of more people fast with video ads and images. With so many people using their phones for social media, entertainment, and all kinds of research and planning, getting in front of people with a well-timed, interesting, or helpful message can help people to become familiar with your brand and know that you are located in their area.
Regardless of the medium, you choose to deliver ads – Facebook, Google Display Network, Programmatic Advertising platforms, etc., the key thing is to cast a wide net and open your brand up to being exposed to a high number of people often to generate interest and demand. Then, after gathering data, you can narrow in on your top audiences for driving leads.
6. Connect Call Center Data with Google
As a home services business, your call center data is a wealth of knowledge for optimizing your digital performance.
You will learn how to optimize website content and refine keyword targeting by listening to your customer conversations. It’s a great idea to spend time listening to customer calls so that you can better understand the customer journey and hear potential objections that people may have for doing business with you.
Having a process in place to feed customer information back to Google can also really refine the quality of leads you receive. If you have the means to integrate your CRM with Google and share customer data such as job status, revenue, etc., this data can be used as signals to help drive higher value leads over time.
If you don’t have a CRM yet and your budget is still relatively small, call tracking is a great first step allowing you to qualify the leads you are generating and even connect calls to revenue.
7. Answer Customer Questions in Your Website Content
Another secret to growing your organic reach as a home services business is to answer common customer questions online in your blog posts and FAQ page.
New and potential customers are searching for answers and solutions every day related to their homes. Being the business that creates content which answers those questions will help you gain exposure and increase the organic traffic to your website.
It is possible to land the top spot on Google with a featured snippet if you create content that answers a relevant question for an informational query. Think beyond the immediate sale to provide extra help and support to a customer and this will help your brand to stand out.
See an example of a featured snippet for a moving company. They know that people who are moving have questions about moving with their pets; a great way to answer a customer question and highlight your service offering.
Take time to build out lots of useful content on your site to highlight each of the services you offer in as much detail as possible. Use the call center data to create Frequently Asked Questions from customers that help drive conversion.
8. Drive Online Reviews Consistently
As a home services brand your reputation online is critical. Customers are inviting your team into their homes, so they need to be assured that your business is trustworthy.
You cannot have enough 5-star reviews. Make a consistent effort to request a review from every customer and build up your review rating and count. Customers are prepared to pay more for home services from reputable providers.
It’s also a great idea to integrate your reviews into your website and keep your content refreshed regularly. Reviews are an important SEO ranking factor and can also be a great source of keyword-rich content about your business.
9. Leverage Seasonal Changes
How do you stand out from your competitors in the home services space? We talked about your review rating, this is one very important piece. Additionally, it is important to be seasonally in tune with your customer and know when to reach out to them through email or digital campaigns.
Whether it’s Back to School or Preparing for Holidays, there are many seasonal moments that will trigger the home services customer to consider your service. Getting in front of your customer in a timely manner with a relevant offer is one way to outsmart the competition.
Maybe you do a direct mail drop, send a promotional email, or run programmatic ads. Either way, you anticipate your customer’s needs and get ahead of the competition. If you want to be creative, you can also make up your own seasonal event to stand out from the competition and capture business while others aren’t actively in the market.
10. Don’t Forget Local Marketplace Websites
Finally, in your local market, you will likely have local marketplace websites which feature services providers like yourself. It’s worth exploring the effectiveness of these platforms. Some are time-consuming to manage but depending on your service area, may make really good sense for your business.
Creating a Nextdoor or Homestars profile could be a great source of targeted leads for you once you have all the other fundamentals in place. These sites allow businesses to run local deals and engage with the community. They also provide you with a backlink to your site which is good for improving your authority score with search engines.
Plan now for a strong start in the new year and ensure you are developing a digital marketing strategy that will take your home services business to the next level. Remember these 10 Home Services Digital Marketing Tips:
Ollo Metrics has digital marketing specialists with experience in the home services industry.
Read through our case studies or Book a 30-min Discovery Call with an Ollo Metrics Expert to learn how you can get started with digital marketing for your home services business.
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