Trying to rank No. 1 in search engine results for home improvement contractors can be frustrating and time-consuming. It seems as though Google constantly changes how it decides who to place at the top of the search results, and those with unlimited budgets always seem to win.
When it comes to search results—paid or organic—there is just one thing to know about search engines: their primary goal is to help people find what they are looking for. If you can help Google or Bing do that, you will rise to the top.
Here are seven paid search strategies to help you.
1. Focus on How-To’s
Homeowners are always repairing something, adding something new or making improvements. When beginning to look for solutions, they usually turn to the Internet to get started.
The how-to segment on YouTube is the most popular type of YouTube video—by large margins. How-to videos often bring in better views than many one-hit wonder viral videos.
Identify the most popular how-to questions that usually lead to sales, such as by surveying your customers or even simply running a Google search. Create a video around these how-to questions. In your video have overlaying text, banners or callouts that give viewers a next step that makes sense to them. These do not need to be elaborate; in fact, YouTube has how-to videos on making videos themselves.
And of course, run ads that drive web traffic to these videos.
2. Test for Viability First
Paid search pro Jake Baadsgaard, founder and CEO of Disruptive Advertising, says that testing for keyword viability first is key.
“Ranking for keywords you think are important is great, but driving revenue for the business is more important. Quickly test for viability by placing a high bid on keywords you think are most relevant to your business and see if they drive sales at all,” Baadsgaard says. “Don’t worry about profitability right out of the gate as your campaigns can be optimized over time. Focus on what keywords can actually produce sales and then work from there.”
So before jumping into whether certain keywords will have immediate returns, ensure that they are relevant and focus on an ROI over an extended period of time.
3. Piggyback on High-Performing Keywords for Local Home and Garden Shows
Home and garden shows attract customers who want to make their homes better. These are ideal customers because they have the attitude and desire to make changes now.
In the weeks leading up to these shows, your future customers are searching online for ticketing information and deals, location info and to see who will be there to showcase their products and services.
Try creating a page on your site dedicated to your involvement in the show. Include your booth number, what you will be showcasing and provide a special perk for Internet visitors who come to your booth.
Then create ads that target high-ranking keywords related to the show, and send those eyeballs to your landing page. These keywords are not hyper competitive or actively bid on.
They won’t cost you a lot of money, and it will be easier to rank well and be seen.
4. Ensure Your Messaging is Consistent
According to Baadsgaard, “Specific keywords should have ad copy and landing pages that match what the visitor was looking for originally. Setting up ad groups with no more than three to five keywords that are very closely aligned will make this process easier.”
“The key benefit you will achieve will be an improved click-through-rate, which will increase your quality score and drive down the cost of your clicks,” he explains.
Additionally, there’s nothing more frustrating to readers than to click on something only to find the keyword was misleading according to what information the copy actually offers. Don’t lose your audience by providing them with these inconsistencies.
5. Show Off Your Customer Reviews
Consumers like to see four or five stars next to the names of contractors they plan to do business with. Run image-based ads that show off your average star count.
Send traffic from the ads to a page on your website that spotlights your strong ratings, customer comments and reviews. Highlight your company on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Google and Facebook.
This will build confidence and trust in you.
6. Always Be Remarketing
Remarketing helps you target people who have visited your website in the past. When done right, remarketing can turn past customers into lifelong brand ambassadors for your business.
There is no easier or more consistent way to stay in front of potential customers than with remarketing. Wherever they go on the Internet, you can be there reminding them that you are the best option. If you don’t already know how remarketing works, visit adroll.com.
7. Use Landing Pages
According to Baadsgaard, “it is important that you keep your messaging consistent. Most people point their ads to their homepage, which is rarely the best point to start.”
“I recommend building landing pages that are service specific and consistent with the keywords and ads that brought the visitor to the site in the first place,” he said.
There are many ways in which you can work to better rank for specific keywords related to home improvement. By following the above suggestions, you will see your search engine rankings continue to improve over time. As most contractors do not have an SEO guru on staff, many choose to outsource to firms that specialize in this area—something you may want to consider as you look to build a stronger online presence.
Jake Baadsgaard, founder and CEO of Disruptive Advertising, contributed to the content of this article. Disruptive Advertising is a paid search firm located in Provo, Utah. They specialize in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) management, Conversation Rate Optimization (CRO) and ROI focused analtyics.