Do you ever worry about what shows up when people search your company on Google? While there are all kinds of results that benefit your brand, it pays to pay close attention to local search results! In today’s podcast, Nolen and Jason discuss these topics and other aspects of your Google Homepage. So if you’ve struggled with low traffic or poor reviews, be sure to listen in.
Helpful Tips on Google Homepages:
Regular GMB (Google My Business) updates make your site more valuable to Google.
Make sure you create enough content that other people aren’t controlling the narrative for your company and brand.
Avoid concentrated negative feedback by consistently asking for reviews.
What is a Google Homepage?
When a potential customer searches your company name/brand, the result that pops up is what’s known as your Google Homepage. You’ll see a knowledge graph on the right-hand side that contains crucial information about your company, including contact information. The listings on the rest of the screen may arise from many sources, such as:
Your Company Website
Your Most Popular Published Articles
Social Media Posts or Profiles
Citation Companies (Yelp, BBB, etc.)
Listicle Articles (“Best Roofers in Dallas” if you’re lucky!)
Listings from Lead Sellers (like Homeadvisor)
The sum of all these listings and features is your Google Homepage. From this homepage, consumers or commercial prospects will build a perception of your business. That’s why you must control what shows up when people search your name.
The Knowledge Graph
Think of the knowledge graph as a hub where people can access info on your company without ever stopping on your website. There’s a wealth of contact and location-based information. Potential customers can even contact your team directly from the knowledge graph by phone call or instant messaging. The Google Homepage feature also provides convenient buttons that link directly to maps and your homepage for those needing directions to your office or your website.
Those are just a handful of the features housed in the knowledge graph.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did you know that your knowledge graph contains a section for direct questions to your business? This handy feature allows local consumers to interact with your company almost directly, learning handy tidbits and history about your brand. While anyone can post answers to these questions, this feature offers one fantastic opportunity.
You can post questions to your FAQ, then answer them!
Think of some of the most popular topics people bring up about your company. Then, you can proactively answer questions about your roofing team’s services, your experience, and your warranties. Answering questions might encourage someone to investigate your services further or even prompt a call directly from the Google Homepage!
Google My Business Posts
Businesses can also use their GMB accounts to create posts within the knowledge graph. You can use these posts to promote your latest blog articles further, show off ongoing promotions, or even introduce your team members. There’s only one catch: posts disappear off the knowledge graph after seven days. Consumers can still access them, but they won’t be visible after that period.
Try posting at least once a week if you want to get the most out of the GMB posts.
You can further improve their functionality by adding pre-programmed calls to action at the bottom of each post. For example, “Learn more” is perfect for segueing into a blog article, while “Call now” is an excellent option for encouraging impulse calls. Again, experiment to see what sort of formatting works with your audience.
How to Enhance Your Google Homepage
Want to take back control of your Google Homepage? Start by reviewing all the materials that Google likes to see for your business. Then, you can start creating positive mentions of your brand through various channels.
Any of these listings look fabulous for your brand. However, you don’t want negative social media posts showing up because your company hasn’t been active online! Of course, it’s not the end of the world if that happens, but you’ll need to get busy if you want to improve your reputation.
Steps to Improve Your Company Image
Take an active stance on updating your Google My Business account. Start posting regularly, and take some time to upload some quality photos of your work and staff! These create a more personable feeling for your brand, and they look great in the knowledge graph. Be sure to make that FAQ we talked about earlier too.
Next, you’ll want to get start regularly posting blog articles each month. “How To” posts are powerful fuel for website traffic, and you can tackle some pressing homeowner issues. Competent contractors can make these posts travel farther by sharing them on social media.
Finally, be sure your company appears on all the popular citation directories. The BBB, Yelp, and Manta are all great listing companies for roofing contractors. It will make it easier to collect reviews from all your happy fans as you complete your projects.
If you are a roofing contractor, it goes without saying that roofing marketing is essential to generating leads for your business. Turning those leads into sales is another beast entirely, but if you can’t reach your target audience, you can’t convert those into sales.
While being honest and direct with your target audience is essential, the methods you reach are just as important. There’s an old saying that goes something along the lines of “it doesn’t matter if you have the greatest product on earth if your customer base isn’t aware of it.”
For those roofing contractors out there looking for new ways to get the message out to prospective clients, there are several ideas that you should consider to reach your potential customers and grow your client base.
Table of Contents
It might seem like an old-school way to go about it, but canvasing is tried and true. There are a few situations in life, like meeting someone face-to-face. The most effective time to canvass an area for roofing contractors is right after a storm.
When canvassing, you should prepare for absolutely anything. Face-to-face interactions can only leave so much room for preparedness. Have a script ready, if at all possible, to help navigate most situations. Ensure that you set a few clear objectives for yourself, like setting up an appointment, getting contact info, or making a sale. And most importantly, FOLLOW UP. Follow-ups are where most sales occur, so make sure you don’t just contact the prospect once and forget about it.
2) Direct Mail
While also considered “old school,” direct mail is another effective method to get straight to your customer. Today, many roofing companies are using postcards, which could be an effective way for roofing contractors to get the word out about their company.
The cost of generating a mailing list and creating postcards is a relatively low cost that can considerably impact your business regarding generating leads.
3) Local SEO Rankings
Some say that SEO for roofers is dying, but more than a few studies suggest SEO is alive and well. Your SEO rankings are a great way to provide content for your prospects and generate potential leads in the future.
The key here is to focus on local SEO. Your business likely operates in a local geographical area; nearby users within proximity should see your listing and website on page one. Google My Business will help account for 80% of your ranking, so signing your business up for that is a must.
4) Pay Per Click Marketing
Here are a few stats about pay-per-click ads that will probably blow your mind if you are a business owner:
On average, 41% of clicks go to the top 3 paid ads that display on the search results page
85% of those who use the internet use it to find businesses local to their area
Pay-per-click visitors are up to 50% more likely to purchase an organic visitor
PPC marketing is one of the fastest and most effective ways to generate leads for your business and should be one of your business’s primary marketing methods.
5) Advertise on Facebook and Instagram
With the progress of technology, social media has become a staple of pop culture. Millions upon millions of people worldwide use these services to communicate and share, so it should seem like a great idea to advertise through those avenues.
Using geographical location services, you can target your service area with targeted ads to reach the geographic location you want. Targeting is a great way to build leads and gather information on some of the hottest platforms going.
Facebook allows you to set your marketing objective for lead generation, which can drive new customers to your roofing business.
6) Form Strategic Alliances
While it might seem like everyone else is your competitor, that is not necessarily the truth. The marketplace will never have just one option (and legally can’t due to monopoly laws), so working with others in the industry can be beneficial.
It might be beneficial for roofing contractors to work with hardware stores, particularly with big suppliers like Lowe’s and Howe Depot in our area. Partnerships can give you a greater reach to get a more excellent range of leads while providing that business with more walk-in customers.
Don’t think you have to fight the world when other like-minded businesses can help you with your goal.
7) Eye The Weather
As crazy as it might sound, there are storm apps that will alert you when storms are coming into a specific area. Here’s something even more strange: potential customers may need work done to their roof in the wake of a storm.
I’m sure that you can connect the dots here, which is why it pays to keep an eye on ads on apps like this. You can stay on top of those areas that may be affected by coming storms and be prepared to be the first to punch in the eyes of prospective customers.
8) Email Marketing
Email marketing campaigns are akin to the physical postcards your company might use for through-the-mail promotions. In this day and age, you can reach a far more significant amount of people in a shorter amount of time with e-mail marketing.
The great thing about email marketing campaigns is that they are incredibly cost-effective. Studies show that for every $1 spent on email marketing, there is $40 in terms of return on investment. That is a considerable investment that can generate tons of sales and leads for less than traditional methods.
Email marketing is an excellent method to drive engaged consumers to take action with your business and services in 2022.
9) Content Marketing
You can and should use content marketing to build your authority and credibility in the area you service. The content method generates a vast amount of leads, which then turn into sales.
The goal is to generate organic traffic to your website where prospective customers can see your business offers and gain exposure to your brand. Getting that brand recognition is a massive key to marketing and something companies covet.
Branding is a great way not only to get more eyes on your product but to like and begin to trust your business.
10) Hit The Local Trade Shows
As is the case with direct mail marketing and canvassing, there are instances of marketing locally that can be genuinely beneficial to your company. Trade shows are great because you can keep an eye on what the competition is doing, create new business partnerships, and generate more leads that can convert to even more sales.
The key is to follow up. Research speculates that over 80% of leads generated from trade shows don’t get follow-ups and that the vast majority of sales occur during follow-ups. The leads will be there but following them is critical when hitting up the local trade shows.
11) Go To a Chamber of Commerce Event
COC events are significant for merely networking with other area businesses. Networking is a great way to meet others in the community and perhaps create partnerships that can be mutually beneficial. Remember that your competition is always theirs, but they do not have to be your enemy.
Using connections with local businesses can help both sides mutually. No one method will make your company a juggernaut, just as no one marketing method will help reach the customers needed to grow your business.
12) Generate Reviews
One of the crucial ways to create a trustworthy and reliable business model that prospective customers will trust and lead to future sales is to have reviews on your company. Companies can say all day long that they are this or that, but when customers who have used the business leave reviews, it allows prospective customers to get a feel for the business.
When your business has quality reviews, you are more likely to land sales of prospects on the fence. These positive reviews foster a trust level in your company, becoming a marketing pillar for prospective customers.
When you receive positive feedback, feature it. Let those who visit your site for the first time see these testimonials that your business is excellent.
Cold calling is a bit of a dying breed since there are many ways for prospects to block unwanted calls. Partnering with a telemarketing firm can generate leads based on specific criteria and even call people to set up appointments with your business.
For local businesses, using all of the available tools is smart, though the telemarketing method is undoubtedly going by the wayside in recent years. It makes sense to try if it is available to you at a reasonable price.
Much in the same vein as the reviews, having positive results on review sites are essential. Take HomeAdvisor, for example. HomeAdvisor is built for consumers to see what businesses are out there that can be trusted and deserve your business.
The only negative to this is that HomeAdvisor isn’t exclusive with the leads they generate; they will share them with other business owners in your area, so you are still competing for those customers.
15) Angie’s List
Another of the review sites available for perusal when finding a local business to solve your needs, Angie’s List has the name recognition that HomeAdvisor does and a reach that is just as comprehensive.
The key with Angie’s List is to ensure that your business profile is as full and detailed as possible. When you have a ton of relevant information in your business profile, you are more likely to succeed at developing leads in your industry.
The key with all these marketing methods is to be persistent and versatile; no one approach will grab everyone’s attention and draw all eyeballs to your product or service.
The cost is minimal to sign up for Thumbtack, another network that will help you generate leads. It is essential to keep your profile as filled out as possible. Add in testimonials, images, and as many descriptors as you can.
It also helps to have quick response times because prospects can see this, which will help generate more leads. In most cases, the business owner who responds first will win the competition for that individual’s business.
17) Create a Video
In today’s marketplace, video is rapidly becoming one of the most effective ways to communicate with prospective customers and generate new leads. Video marketing is one method that any roofing contractor should consider.
Your company does not need to spend excessive money to create a professional-looking video commercial that you can use for your website and optimize for YouTube search results.
Take the time to educate your audience and give prospective targets a reason to opt for your business over others.
18) Answer Frequently Asked Questions
Answering questions might sound simplistic, but the fact of the matter is that your competitors likely aren’t doing this or not doing it right. Your customers will probably have a ton of questions, and giving them the option to answer them all through your website will be an excellent method for drawing prospective customers to your site.
Not only that, it creates brand recognition. When someone has a roofing question and recalls that they got a previous answer on your website, it makes brand recognition that will have prospective customers remembering your business above all others.
19) Bring a Personal Touch
Regardless of how you decide to deliver your content to the customer, the key is to make it stand out from the rest of the competition. Uniqueness isn’t the easiest thing in the world to portray, but one thing that you want to make sure you do not do is homogenize your message to the point that it doesn’t stand out.
Add a personal touch to your marketing. Use testimonials and real reviews to give your website and company a realism level. The goal is to make your customers feel special and feel like they connect with the brand you are projecting.
Get people talking by giving a little bit of a personal touch in how you market to them, and they will begin to relate to your brand far easier.
20) Optimize Your Website
You will likely hear this more than a few times, but your website is one of the essential tools you have for marketing. Regardless of how your product reaches the eyes of prospective customers, they will more than likely head to your website before doing anything else.
Your website is the first impression that they will get of your company as a whole. Make sure that your website has everything it needs to create a great first impression. Sanford University even studied that 75% of people will judge a business based on its website.
Make sure that everything you need to appease your customer is there. Answer questions, provide quotes, or at least point them in the right direction to get one. Anything to make the process as smooth as possible.
21) Showcase Your Portfolio
One of the best ways to generate trust with a prospective customer is to display the work you have done before. Photos of completed projects with testimonials are the best way to show your prospective customers what kind of service you have to offer.
When possible, showcase pre-existing conditions of a job as a “before” and “after” kind of scenario. The contrast will help give prospective customers the quality of work that your company can do and give a clearer idea of what your company can do.
DataPins is a Local SEO tool that allows roofing companies to showcase their jobs portfolio with schema markup, geo-coordinates, and descriptive captions.
22) Make Your Services Feel Valuable
When competing for customers with other businesses in the industry, you become part of the crowd for better or worse. When you are on even footing with others in the industry, it becomes a matter of luck to win over the business from others.
But you can change this by providing a unique sales proposition. An effective sales pitch essentially creates a reason for your customers to choose your business. Be as specific as possible with the benefits you can offer the customer and communicate how this is beneficial to their problem in specific.
Your business can use many marketing tools to stand out in a sea of competitors and give you a leg up when finding prospective customers for your business.
So you’re a newb when it comes to marketing for roofers—big deal. The reality is that everyone has to start somewhere, and there’s no better time to start than now. Embarking on a new business venture can be both exciting & intimidating. There’s the lure of the unknown and the challenge that comes along. At Roofing Webmasters, this podcast wasn’t created to earn new clients (we have a line out the door) but instead to impart our knowledge of what it takes to become a successful roofing contractor in 2021.
No Money, No Problems
Nolen Walker, the founder of Roofing Webmasters, started from humble beginnings. Like those of you reading this post, he didn’t have the money to invest in big-time marketing right away. So instead, he spent his time mowing lawns & painting curbs to build enough cash to parlay into a long-term investment.
Planting your flag as a digital footprint, albeit a comparatively minuscule one, lays a foundation that you can build on many years later—Google factors in tenure when assigning trust to a particular brand or entity. Claiming a domain name now (even if it shows a dirt cheap website) is still a step in the right direction for prospective roofers. Here’s what you need:
It would help if you had a website and domain name ASAP. Although you can’t expect to succeed on Google organic with a template website, having any website at all is better than not having one. Why? Tenure matters in the eyes of Google. So while you won’t directly benefit from your website today, you will be setting the stage for future endeavors in terms of lead generation.
Remember, you have limited funds, and so you have to make the most of them. You can’t compare yourself to other roofers with massive budgets because that will only discourage you from trying. Even if it is a baby step, the first step can start a meaningful push to lead to sustainable success. Domains usually cost 9.99. Go for a roofing domain name that has a dot com extension.
Google My Business Listing
If you do nothing else with your web presence, make sure you at least claim & optimize your local Google listing. GMB listings account for both your Google My Business profile & Google Maps address. Every business owner in the world can do this free of charge if they have a legitimate business.
Google explains how to claim your business which is the simplest way to establish a web presence with no money. Make sure you add company photos to your profile as you take them. As a newb, you may not have many to start, but your GMB can be continuously improved over and again. First, maps addresses must be verified, which is most commonly done via postcard mail. Once verified, you can rank on Google Maps.
Google Reviews (And Other Reviews)
Once you’ve claimed & optimized your Google listing, you should pursue as many reviews as possible. Even if you have a dirt-cheap website, consumers can find appeal in a GMB listing with several positive reviews. If a prospect searches your brand name, they will see your GMB listing in the knowledge graph on the top right of search results.
Google is not the only platform on which you should generate reviews. You also want to disseminate them to business directories like Angie’s List, BBB, MapQuest, etc. But perhaps more importantly, you want to get them on Facebook, which serves as a social media platform as well as a top business directory.
Speaking of Facebook, social media platforms are free to market and present a powerful web entity for roofing newbs with no money. Sure, you can’t advertise on Facebook or Instagram without funds, but you can certainly market yourself on them. Facebook marketing is primarily about establishing a business page that will show up on Google search results.
With Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, you have a chance to generate some organic impressions on the platforms themselves. Unfortunately, Facebook no longer empowers brands to show up on organic feeds as a way to discourage the clickbait that has plagued the social network over the past decade or so. But you can still use it to your advantage, as a newb roofer with no $.
Transitioning to a Higher Level of Marketing
Once you transition from newb to moderately successful roofer, you should take your earnings and re-allocate them towards superior marketing. The first step will be contacting a professional web designer who can replace your old site with a newly customized one coded for SEO.
Since your domain will already have tenure at this point, you can leverage its age to hit the ground rounding with your newly designed website. Yes, that’s right, you keep the domain that you bought for 9.99 some years ago but now energize it with a superior design. Combining tenure with SEO creates a perfect storm of digital promotion that one can enjoy the benefits of for years and decades to come.
Roofing Webmasters Can Help
Remember, this post is not for people who already have a dominant online presence; it is just a reminder to those who want to reevaluate once they gain that position. Roofing Webmasters has been working with roofing contractors for years, and our data supports consistent excellence in roofer internet marketing. We attend to detail, review the latest algorithmic trends, and constantly look for advantages to put our clients over their competitors on Google organic rankings.
Most roofers have an “off-season” because of weather changes, and this hiatus can last quite a while, depending on the region of your business. Some contractors ditch their marketing during down seasons to save money. However, their logic is wrong, and such a decision costs them money in the long run.
Still, roofers don’t want to pay for marketing services while they’re not working. The team at Roofing Webmasters came up with a solution by offering a payment plan known as; Pay Per Lead. The PPL format allows companies to generate roofing leads and pay on a per-lead basis.
Pay Per Lead Marketing
Monthly services require a fixed fee at the end of each month—services like web design, SEO, social media, and more. But for roofers in the off-season, paying for these tasks seems wasteful. PPl plans provide an intriguing alternative for this very scenario. With PPL, the roofer pays ONLY when a lead is generated.
That means that when no leads are generated during the off-season, the roofer pays nothing. Still, they allow their website to continue to be worked on by the team at Roofing Webmasters. With PPL, contractors receive all the same website work as monthly clients but don’t have the burden of paying a fixed fee in the months when zero money is coming in. Advantages to pay per lead marketing include:
Payments will parallel leads, meaning down seasons will cost you far less, and off-seasons will cost you nothing. Sure, when the leads start flooding in your inbox, you will have to pay for them, but that only occurs once the marketing campaign works. With the PPL payment plan, you only pay for qualified leads.
Receive all the same online services as monthly clients. Some contractors ignore the necessity of ongoing marketing and choose to put off their marketing for long periods. They suffer the consequences in the Spring when the demand for roofers ascends, and they have lost out on leads to companies that have year-round optimization for their website and online presence.
Assessing Your Competition
A particular company has earned the top spot on Google because they’ve invested in year-round marketing that has solidified their trust and authority with Google. Furthermore, users who navigate their website enjoy their experience based on how they behave on the website. For example, they might stay on the site a little longer than a typical website because the call to action or design engages them.
The saying goes that you get out what you put in, and while it’s a cliché in many cases, it is highly poignant when it comes to marketing roofing services online. At Roofing Webmasters, we can do as many services as you like. The more you pay us, the more services we can do. We provide SEO, website design, Local SEO, Google Maps, and more.
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