These days, the internet is changing the world faster than many people ever could have imagined. That includes the home service marketing world. Whereas marketing in the home service industry was once limited to print ads and a billboard if you had the money, there are now countless ways for companies to market their services.
And, thanks to the internet and advances in technology, those ways are changing rapidly.
When I started marketing in the home service industry five years ago, the landscape looked very little like what it does today. I’ve had to learn a lot during that time to not only keep up but to stay ahead.
Here are the things that I’ve noticed that have changed in home service marketing in the last fives years.
Google Reviews Are in Maps
I’m a big believer in collecting as many good reviews online as possible and spreading your brand around the internet as much as you can.
So, imagine my delight when I found out that Google was going to start including reviews in Maps.
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Since our company already gets several reviews, it was almost like free advertising when Google started putting our reviews towards the top of the organic search results under the Maps.
Now, we show up pretty close to the top on several searches related to our niche.
Adwords Has Click to Call Functionality
If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that many people go with the easiest option. It doesn’t matter what it is in their life. Whether it’s the restaurant that they happen to be passing or the doctor’s office that happens to be located close to them, they’ll go with whatever is easiest. That includes calling companies. Now that people can just click an ad on their phone to make a phone call to a business, they’re much more likely to actually make the call.
Ads Can Now be Target to Pay Per Conversion
One of the biggest problems that people have had throughout marketing history is that they were paying for ads that didn’t really work. If they put an ad out in a newspaper, the didn’t know how many calls were coming from there or how much they were paying per lead.
Now, ads are highly targeted and specific.
With PPC ads, you can now pay per conversion so that you know you’re getting your money’s worth.
Tracking Lead Sources is Now Easier
Finding the source of leads has always been a little bit of a headache.
Now, that’s all changed.
If I want to track the source of every single lead that comes into our company, I can do that.
I can actually have a different phone number on every single advertising source that I have, and I track the phone calls from each different source to know which ads are working and which ads aren’t working. Regardless of whether you are running upside down billboard ads for an HVAC & electrical contractor on the side of a highway or print ads in community newsletter for a pressure cleaning service, it is a synch to know your ROI.
Search Engine Optimization Has Died
There once was a time, 5 years ago, that getting to the top of Google was just a little trickery.
Since then, Google has came a long way. You (or anyone you hire) can’t hack your way to the top. Getting to the top of Google is more lucrative then every, but it require consistence, and persistence over time. This is good for those of us looking to build a brand that adds value and will stand the test of time.
You Can Track Phone Calls to Keywords
According to the data, around 43% of all search-related conversions happen over the phone. With that high of a percentage, it’s important that advertisers are able to track the keywords that triggered those phone calls.
Now, with keyword tracking software, you can do exactly that.
Marketers can now track which keyword triggered the phone call, and you can even track the duration, the conversion rates based on duration, the content of the call, the geographical location, the device used, and several other helpful metrics.
With a tool like this, you can better measure your paid search ROI, better manage your calls from PPC, track specific campaigns and keywords, and better optimize your campaigns based on the data that you get from your phone calls.
5 years ago Nextdoor.com wasn’t a thing. In 2017, it’s a thing that is going to be big for home service businesses.
I know that I already love it.
For those who haven’t heard of it, Nextdoor is kind of like Facebook but only for specific neighborhoods. People can get on the platform, talk what’s going on in the neighborhood (think safety, events, etc.), and make recommendations.
So, when someone in a neighborhood is looking to have work done on their patio, they can now get on Nextdoor to ask their neighbors for recommendations. This leads to a lot of repeat business in certain neighborhoods as long as your level of service is referral worthy.
Facebook Has Become More Targeted
This starts with how much our perception about data collection has changed over the years. Whereas people were once hesitant to provide something as simple as their birthday or email address, they’re now expected to provide it for just about every service they want to use on the internet.
And that isn’t all.
Beyond the information that you provide to Facebook to signup, the company is continuously collecting all types of data on its users. They track the posts that users like, the videos that they watch, the pages that they visit, and more to get a better idea of who you are and what you like or don’t like.
All of that has made marketer’s lives much more easy.
In the past, it was difficult to target specific groups of people. However, Facebook has made it so that marketers can get in front of the exact audience that they want to see their ad.
You can now break down your audience by everything from age group to income bracket to location to interests. This helps you narrow down niche audiences more effectively than you ever could have in the past.
Preparing for the Future
With all of these changes over the last five years, it’s safe to say that you can expect digital marketing in the home service industry to change just as much, if not more, in the next five years.
Thus, it’s important for you to stay up to date. While many are resistant to change, particularly as large forces like Google, Nextdoor, and Facebook play a larger role in the home service space, you have to decide if you want to align with them or fight them.
Feel free to drop me a comment or a question in the comments section below!