10 Marketing Trends for Contractors and Trade Services for 2018
1. Security (SSL Certificate) – Security is now a ranking factor for Google, and it applies to sites that are selling goods online as well as services. In 2018, Google will determine a site without an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate as unsafe. Implementing an SSL Certificate is a relatively easy process. If you’re not sure if your website is secure, look in your browser’s top address bar for “https://” at the beginning of your website address.
2. Mobile Friendly – With over 50% of Google searches occurring on mobile devices, having a website that is not responsive (mobile-friendly) is like advertising exclusively in the yellow pages. In order for your website to be successful on mobile devices, it has to be both responsive and fast. Website speed directly impacts viewer conversions. Google has a tool to test website speed (testmysite.withgoogle.com)
3. Voice – With the growth of voice software, many companies are adapting to non-visual content that can be relayed over Siri or Alexa. If a customer is driving and asks Siri a home improvement question, the answer could be found on your website, in your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section.
4. Conversations – Having an active and useful presence on social media enables you and your team to personally connect with customers and prospects. And I’m not talking about churning out random content for the sake of saying something on social media. I’m talking about using social media to start real, valuable conversations every day. Social selling is the new model of business development today. Even company owners need to have a voice and presence, and above all, be approachable.
5. Posting Projects – Every time you complete a project – large or small – that’s an opportunity to create a brand impression through multiple marketing channels. Make it part of the customer relationship process to have your service personnel photograph every project and document every engagement. This is highly valuable content for search, social, and testimonial support.
6. Videos –Video content reaches 3 times more viewers who watch 5 times longer than typical graphic ads. Video accounted for 75% of all internet traffic in 2017 and there are no signs of it slowing down. Videos don’t have to be complex productions. They can be short before/after segments, or “ask the expert” one minute segments.
7. Frequently Asked Questions – The FAQs section of your website will help with organic search optimization, while giving viewers precise answers to the questions they have. One of our clients made it a point to write down every question they were asked over a three month period, big or small. Upon writing down the answers, they were able to implement a highly effective FAQs section on their website.
8. Reviews – Reviews have become essential to all regional contractors and trades. If you haven’t yet formalized a process for asking for reviews upon each project or service call, that should be your highest priority in 2018.
9. Paid Search – With various changes in the structure of Google’s search engine results pages, every contractor will have to introduce paid search to increase their digital marketing presence. The days of relying only on organic search ranking is gone. Whether you start implementing a pay-per-click program or social media advertising, you will be paying more than you did five years ago for online visibility.
10. Beyond Local – With mobile search now the norm, Google takes into consideration where a mobile searcher is physically located when they perform a search. Local search results are influence by where a business is physically located when the search is being done. Even if you frequently work a large geographic area, Google will display the local businesses closest to where the viewer is searching. One way to broaden your geographic reach is to us individual project posts to display projects or service conducted outside your immediate region. It is also helpful to generate reviews in the towns or cities beyond your immediate geographic area.