Internet Marketing Methods to Grow Your Home Improvement Business

Last month 22,200 people searched online for “Home Improvement contractors New York” and 33,100 people searched for “Contractors New York” indicating a strong demand for home improvement related services. The fact is another Contractor in your local area is ending up with this business. Most Contractors entered into the profession thinking that they would open up a business and the business would generate from word of mouth and referrals. This may be true for a select few Home Improvement businesses, but it is more likely that if you want to compete, you need to market your services.

Traditionally, Contractors are not marketers! But if you do what I recommend in this article, you can not only stay competitive, but you can also potentially blow away your competition. According to the Wall Street Journal, only 4% of Contractors market their business, and most are NOT doing it effectively. The key to Home Improvement marketing is to acquire, retain, and re-market. If you do all 3, you will have a steady stream (or even a flood) of leads coming into your Home Improvement business.

The best way to grow your Home Improvement business is by using Internet marketing. Forget TV ads, expensive Radio, or Newspaper advertising. We know very few Contractors for whom these marketing mediums have actually ever worked for. In fact, their lack of accountability, measurability, and limited geo targeting capabilities will leave you wondering where your investment went. You need to be where your prospects and clients are, which is online searching for the products and services they need.

Marketing Methods:

Conversion Focused Web Design

To effectively market on the internet, you need a conversion focused web site. What you DO NOT need is a website that collects dust. Think about it, just about every home improvement business has a website of some kind. Most are poorly conceived by graphic designers or stock templates, and were implemented with no strategy, no calls to action, and are basically just like brochures. A brochure is not going to cut it as we move forward into a more competitive marketing space on the internet. Most of your competition has a brochure, but to convert traffic into prospects and then into customers, you need a much stronger pull to get the prospect to want to do business with you.

An internet marketing consultant can help design and organize your site to move you beyond a simple brochure to a highly productive lead generation machine. Also, an effective web solution should put you in control of your site and content. Make sure your site is built with a Content Management System (CMS) that will allow you or your control staff to make simple edits without having to hire your designer at $100+/hr for each little web change needed.

Organic Search Marketing

Organic or Natural Search Marketing is similar in concept to Pay Per Click, but for organic search marketing results you do NOT have to pay per click. It is a much longer and slower process, but it is where 80% of your prospects are going to find you. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a process by which your site is engineered to show up for certain keywords in the search engines. Organic search results can lead to a consistent stream of leads for your practice, but patience and time working on your site (and off of your site) is required to take advantage of this strategy. Make sure if you outsource your SEO work, you deal with someone who understands your business, will not spam the search engines, and is someone you can trust with your message and reputation. One wrong move here could leave you black listed by Google and the other major search engines.

A solid SEO strategy is rooted in delivering good quality keyword rich content to your site. Writing content for the web is a lot different than writing content for a brochure or off line marketing collateral. Make sure you work with an SEO team that understands the complexities of search engine optimization, can create a realistic plan, understands your business, and can measure the results.

Pay Per Click Marketing

Thousands of potential customers are searching online every day for Home Improvement contractors and related services in your local area. With the right message and a conversion focused Pay Per Click marketing campaign, you can get immediate leads and new clients into your practice. Pay Per Click marketing delivers ads in the search engines to prospects that are not only local to your business, but looking for exactly what you are offering at the exact time they want it! It is highly targeted, and a highly measurable marketing technique unlike anything else in existence.

The problem is Pay Per Click marketing, or PPC, is extremely competitive and you really need someone who knows what they are doing to make it successful. If you are going to invest in PPC, you need to make sure you track conversions (emails, phone calls, web forms, downloads, etc.). Without tracking this data, you will not know how effective the campaign really is. Also, PPC marketing needs to be constantly monitored and optimized every day to avoid stagnant and lack luster results. If you do this, you will not only compete in your market, you will dominate.

Landing Pages

Internet marketing for Home Improvement business is competitive, and if not done correctly, you can squander your marketing dollars pretty quickly. Developing a custom landing page is a technique to develop a small 1 or 2 page website focused around a very specific service (Plumbing, Roofing, Kitchen Remodeling, etc.), and developed around a strong call to action.

By utilizing a focused page to send targeted traffic to, you are properly aligning what someone is searching for in the search engines with the exact result they are expecting to see when they click on the pay per click ad or organic search result. Conversion rates can increase 100% or more using a landing page strategy. Landing pages tend to work best when used in conjunction with a Pay Per Click marketing campaign. When it comes down to it, effective marketing is all about doing it better than your competition. Landing pages, when used correctly, can dramatically accelerate your lead generation efforts and squeeze more out of your Pay Per Click budget.

Social Media

Social media sites are where your prospects and customers are spending a lot of their time. So how come most contractors are not utilizing this marketing strategy? It is most likely due to a lack of time and lack of knowledge on how to use Social Media to your advantage. Get on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and at least start engaging with your prospects and customers. Post relevant articles and quick tips on troubleshooting your AC unit, or post excellent bathroom tips for remodeling and renovating your bathroom. You can realistically post whatever you want to talk about that helps present you as an expert. Social Media is all about engagement. Also, Social Media can help your organic search results, build your email marketing database, drive more traffic to your website, and help with reputation management.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great strategy to use for retention and re-marketing, and a way to present yourself as an industry expert. You need to stay in front of your existing customers and potential prospects every month. The average prospect needs 6-7 touches from a business before they actually do business with them. Mailing out letters is not the answer and it is very expensive. Email marketing is quick, measurable, and extremely effective. Keep your customers engaged and aware of all the services you have to offer and any new exciting breakthroughs in the field of home improvement.

When developing an email marketing strategy, you need to plan it out carefully and make sure every campaign is created with a strong offer or call to action. Don’t be too pushy or overburden people by sending out more than one email campaign per month. Email marketing is a key piece to the internet marketing puzzle and can help maximize all of your marketing efforts.

If you are a Home Improvement contractor, I encourage you to implement all of these proven marketing strategies into your business today. The longer you wait, the more your competition will gain a larger share of the market (and their friends, family, co workers, etc.). All of these strategies need to be worked on and improved upon over time, so do not think that what worked today will always work tomorrow. Create a clear strategy to maximize your internet marketing investment and set realistic expectations. With the right plan and execution, internet marketing will not feel like you are taking a risk by spending your money on it, and hoping for something in return. Internet marketing is a tried and true investment that will deliver consistent returns for your business.

Bradley Eisner is a Certified Internet Marketing Consultant (IMC) with WSI and has a passion for helping Home Improvement professionals market their businesses more effectively using the internet.

7 Ways to Make Working at Home Productive and Enjoyable

1. Create a daily routine- This is very important. Without a daily routine, the chances are very good that you will not be able to get to your work due to other external factors distracting you from it. I like to do my work during the mornings between 8 and 10. This is more than enough to stay on top of your business.

2. Do not forget to exercise – I can guarantee you that you will become less interesting in your online business if you do not give yourself some time to go to the gym or take a long walk. This is an excellent method to enhance your creativity and it will reflect in your business.

3. Make sure you are not distracted when busy working – You will definitely have more time available to spend with your family if you are successful with your online business. Therefore, it is not wrong to ask your family not distract you from your work during the two hours per day you have set aside for your online business. It will definitely help to improve your productivity and your relationship with your family will most certainly benefit from it.

4. You must be able to make a mind shift – This is a very important point. When you finished your work for the day, enjoy the rest of it spending time on your hobby or hobbies. Spend quality time with your family etc. Make working at home productive and enjoyable.

5. Read about your niche – You must become a guru in the specific niche of your online home business. Read as much as you can on your chosen topic. The more you read the more knowledge you will have to share with your readers. This will also enhance your specific brand because readers will come back to your site for information and answers on their questions. You will be able to give them informative answers.

6. Remember to socialize – This is a very important point. What I mean is that you must make sure you leave your office (house) and meet with your friends. I love to do it at least once a week. This will recharge your batteries.

7. Keep on going – If you are new in the business; do not become negative when things look a bit difficult. You will feel lost in the beginning. You have to learn so much and when you eventually start with it, the results will disappoint you. The important strategy here is to focus and do not let disappointments distract you from your main goal. Believe me, when you feel like nothing is working, then just keep on going with what you have to do and you will succeed.

I know you will succeed in your online home business. Make use of these 7 ways to make working at home productive and enjoyable. As I developed my own routine in my business, I got used to it and things just got better. Enjoy your online business at home!

Jan

10 Awesome Home Products – Kitchen Appliances

Whether you want food that is healthier, easier to prepare, or just tastes better, having the right kitchen appliance makes a huge difference in the results you get. With today’s hectic lifestyles, there are more stylish home accessories for a chef than ever before. Knowing which ones to choose to get the best results for your money is the hardest part. These are some of the most awesome kitchen appliances that you will find on the market today.

1. T-Fal Non-Stick Grill/Griddle – There is no end to the ways you can use this indoor grill from serving up large amounts of pancakes to grilling burgers for a party. It easily switches from the grill plate to the griddle. It has an adjustable thermostat that allows for keeping foods warm or for grilling and a pan underneath catches the fat from meat. Dishwasher safe nonstick plates make it a breeze to clean up.

2. Sanyo Countertop Microwave/Convection Oven/Grill – This oven is a great tool for getting all of the baking options you need in one small space. It offers three different kinds of ovens in one. Bake, grill, or microwave as normal. Depending on the type of food you are fixing, it will prepare everything you want in no time without the need for heating up your full-sized oven or an additional toaster oven.

3. T-Fal Simply Smart Cool Touch Deep Fryer – This fryer is much different from those that use to be available for home use. It is safer, particularly for those homes with small children since the outside of the fryer doesn’t heat up. It also works with a closed system that won’t allow hot great to splatter out.

4. All Clad 6.5 Quart Electric Slow Cooker – Whether you want to use your own recipes or purchase the already prepared frozen meals for the crock pot, this stainless steel cooker offers a wide range of cooking options. The black ceramic insert is dishwasher safe and, best of all, it delivers great meals whether they cook for two hours or twenty!

5. Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Pressure Cooker – This is the top of the line of pressure cookers and offers quality and ease of use. A pressure cooker can cook foods up to 70% faster, uses no oil for cooking, and leave foods super moist and tender.

6. Bosch Integra 800 Series Dishwasher – These are the quietest, most dependable dishwashers on the market. It has more convenient features than most dishwashers including a quick wash cycle and one for half-loads. Best of all, its Energy Star rated so it uses less energy!

7. Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine – As popular as coffee drinks are these days, an investment in a quality espresso machine will quickly pay for itself and this one is well worth the investment. It offers superior taste, great features, and is easy to use. The stainless steel construction also makes it a great quality machine.

8. KitchenAid KSB560 Blender – From making smoothies to crushing ice, this blender is a must-have for every kitchen. It offers high performance and durability at a fraction of the cost of the most popular brand.

9. Cuisinart Prep 11 Food Processor – This is the choice of many home chefs for chopping, shredding, pureeing, slicing, and kneading. Its features offer a lot of versatility and it is designed to make it easier to clean up than other models.

10. Kohler Wellspring Touchless Kitchen Faucet – Not only is this one of the most convenient appliances you can add to your kitchen, it should be included on every list of home improvement tips. People are more aware of spreading germs than ever before. Now, when you are handling raw meat or have sticky dough on your hands, you don’t have to worry about spreading germs or grime to your faucet.

While most of the products listed here are convenient for all types of cooks, there are also specialty items available for specific types of cooking that you might enjoy. Any of these appliances are wonderful home products that will help to improve the functionality of your kitchen and the taste of your meals!