When it comes to local home services marketing tactics, the keyword is “local”. Most home services businesses operate over a specific service area and it’s vital to be able to attract customers in that service area.
Today, it can’t be just a case of setting up your website and hoping for the best. As a home services business, you should include local marketing tactics in your marketing toolbox or let the competition beat you to your ideal customers.
Luckily, there are some local marketing strategies that can move the needle and draw attention to your home services business.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how important local marketing is for home services businesses. We’re also going to talk you through five local marketing strategies you can use to bring in new customers and dominate in your service area.
The importance of “local” in marketing
According to Search Engine Journal, “Google reports that searches for “near me” have tripled over the past five years, reaching an all-time high in May 2020.”
It doesn’t take hours of research to realize that when someone is desperately searching for an emergency plumber because the pipes are leaking, or a roofer because part of their roof has blown off, they’re going to want someone local that can get to them quickly. They won’t want someone that lives in a different state or even, necessarily, a different county. They need someone fast, which means a local business.
The latest search trends show people search with local in mind when finding a home services contractor. Google and other search engines consider this assumption and prioritize local factors in the search engine rankings.
If you don’t appear in local searches, then your company is missing out on those coveted opportunities to get new customers from “near me” searches.
However, don’t despair. If you’re not currently getting the results you want, you can do something about it. There are both immediate and long-term strategies available to you that can boost your local online visibility, making it easier for new customers to find your home services business.
Read on to find out how you can use local home services marketing tactics and strategies to attract new leads and grow your business.
5 local marketing strategies home services contractors should invest in
While you should definitely keep up with organic SEO to climb the search engine rankings and with other marketing strategies, here are our top five strategies that will help you attract and gain local customers:
1) Local SEO
As we said above, with local SEO, that doesn’t mean you ignore general SEO practices. What it does mean is that you also focus on everything you can do to come up when people search for a home services business in your area.
Why is local search so important? Well, from Google’s own statistics, “76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.”
While we’re going to talk specifically about local SEO in this section, the following four strategies will also help you improve your local SEO and gain visibility.
So where do you start if you want to be found in your local area? As with many things SEO-related, it starts with choosing the right keywords and using them well. In addition to important keywords and phrases for your services, you need to include keywords that people will use in your local area.
If you’re a local plumber in Worcester County, Maryland, for example, it’s important that you include key phrases that spell that out, such as “Plumber, Worcester County, Maryland,” “local plumber in Worcester County,” and more. You’re aiming to show not just what you do, but where you are, so that local searchers can find you and get in touch. Done successfully, you’re likely to show up in the listings when people search for “plumber near me”. That’s incredibly powerful and shows searchers that they can find someone local when they need them.
When you do that, you have a far greater chance of coming up in a local search. You may also appear in the top three listings in the local pack or map pack. If you do, you will gain a separate listing on the right of the Google search listings with important information, such as your contact details, opening hours, where you are, and your website address. The only way to gain entry into the local pack is to create (or claim) your Google Business Profile and ensure you have a complete, well-keyworded listing. We’ll discuss your Google Business Profile in more detail later.
Here are the ranking factors Google uses for local search:
Any search engine specialist will tell you that you need to post fresh, quality content on a consistent, regular basis. That’s because the search engines are looking for new content that answers the questions their searchers have. They want to see top-quality, new content and they will reward it with visibility, including in local search.
User-generated content also counts, such as any reviews you can get. Again, if you can consistently get fresh reviews, it will have an impact on local searches.
You need to show that you offer relevant, specific services to what the searcher is looking for. Make sure you target all of your services with local keywords.
You might be the closest business to a potential customer, and the distance does matter in local results, but if another similar business offers a more relevant result to what they are looking for or has a higher star rating on Google, they will show up ahead of you in the listings. While you can’t move your business, you can ensure you use the right keywords and answer questions that searchers are looking for.
If you’re the largest, most well-known roofing contractor in Chicago, you will show up higher in the local rankings because of your prominence. However, if you’re not, you can still get found by following the steps we’re outlining for you, so don’t give up.
Potential customers can now use voice search to search for “Emergency plumber open now,” or “Roofer open now.” This will bring up any local businesses that are currently available.
To take advantage of this, including your opening hours on your Google Business Profile and your website and you should come up in searches.
You can find more information on local SEO straight from Google in their document, All Business Profile policies & guidelines.
2) Digital Advertising
In addition to local search, why not try running Google and Facebook ads to help your business get found?
You do need a budget, and some home services keywords can be quite expensive, but paid ads on Google will pop you to the top of the search results, while you wait for your local SEO efforts to start working.
With paid ads, whether on Facebook or Google, you can tightly target your audience, by demographics, the local area, specific keywords, and more. That gives you a great way to get your business in front of people who have already shown an interest in your type of business.
Facebook shows ads in people’s feeds as they scroll, and with the right targeting, you can reach your ideal customers.
Whether you use one type of ad or both (we suggest both!), you can tailor your ad to say what you want it to say instead of relying on whatever results Google brings up for you in the SERPS.
3) Google Local Services ads
Google’s local services ads aren’t available to every company depending on your state/city, but luckily, home services is one type of business where you can run these types of advertising.
Just like with Google and Facebook ads, you pick your keywords and set your budget, choosing eye-catching copy that should attract your potential customers. You only pay when people click your ad to find out more information.
These ads are designed to give potential customers all the information they need to get in touch with you. This makes them ideal for home service businesses.
However, you do need to be Google Guaranteed to qualify to run local services ads. If you’re not, you can find out more about how to qualify and apply in Google’s article, How providers qualify for Local Services Ads.
Google will perform a check on your business, involving looking at licensing, background checks, insurance, and more. If you pass this and get verified, you do stand out more in search as a quality business, and it gives your potential customers more peace of mind when thinking about hiring you.
4) Reviews & Ratings
Word of mouth has always been important for home services businesses, but online reviews can take that a step further. While it’s great if you have previous customers that recommend you to people they know if you can persuade them to leave you a review online, that review might reach hundreds or even thousands of people they don’t even know. Try to get customers to post reviews on your Google Business Profile, on important review sites, like Angi (formerly Angie’s List) and Yelp, and on your Facebook page.
This provides social proof for people who are considering using your business. It adds to your image as a professional business that cares about its customers and does quality work. In fact, almost 80% of people will look at reviews online before they choose a home services company. Not only that, but they prefer to look at your newest reviews, posted in the last month.
It’s therefore important to consistently request reviews and to track your reviews and follow up with a reminder if anyone hasn’t posted one.
It’s also important to respond to your reviews, good or bad. People want to see genuine, honest interaction from the people they do business with. They want to see that you take the time to say “thank you” for great reviews and that you respond and do your best to resolve any negative reviews.
And, as we said above, reviews count as user-generated content, which helps to boost your local SEO.
5) Your Google Business Profile
We mentioned earlier that claiming your Google Business Profile and completing your profile is how you can appear in the local pack on Google maps. If you haven’t yet claimed your GBP for your home services business, it’s really important that you do. You can verify your business with Google by claiming your profile and you’ll get better results in local searches.
Not only that, but you can enter highly keyworded copy in your listings, in your main profile, and in the services section. This helps you get found in both local and organic searches.
You can also interact with your customers on your profile. You can answer questions, reply to their comments, comment on their reviews, and more.
There are a lot of different sections on your GBP and it’s vital that you fill in all of them with as much information as you can. The more you do this, the more of a chance you have of appearing in the local pack.
Don’t forget to add your opening hours so that people can search for you with your business services -plumber, builder, roofer, pool cleaner, architect, etc. – and the search phrase “open now”.
It’s also important that you add the right business categories as this will help you get found.
Make your GBP as vibrant, responsive, and attractive as possible, with consistent, frequent posts, videos, quality images, and more.
Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your GBP as reviews are so important. Google loves to see good reviews and will reward you with higher visibility, and it is great social proof for new customers too.
In addition to the five strategies we’ve listed above, you’ve got to make your website worth visiting, keep up your business listings on sites such as Yelp, keep your brand top of mind, and deliver exceptional work and great customer service. There’s a lot involved to become more visible in both local and organic search and an awful lot involved in marketing any home services business well.
Take a Tour of the Leading Business Intelligence Marketing Software
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Instead, you can manage every aspect of marketing your business from one straightforward dashboard and get reports showing you the full picture whenever you like.
You can manage your Google Business Profile and all your reviews from the platform. You can update over 80 business listing directories in one go, without needing to leave our software. Manage your email marketing, your social media, your content strategy, paid ads, and more, right from our dashboard.
In fact, everything we’ve talked about above in our five local home services marketing tactics can be done from our all-in-one platform. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, and it works.
It also saves you time and money and ensures your marketing budget goes as far as it can, without wasting any of it.
Want to learn more? Why not book a demo with us and see how we can help you dominate locally and get new customers?