Put Pricing on Your Remodeling Website for Better Leads

I tell any remodeling business owner to put pricing on their website, either directly or through a lead capture — a user entering their email address to access the information. More often than not, I get a shocked response, followed by one of these types of objections:

  • I can’t just put my pricing out there because then my competitors can see it and undercut me!
  • What if people can’t afford my services or don’t want to pay it when they see the price before even talking to me?”
  • I have to know more about their project because my pricing depends on what they want.

None of these objections matter to your prospects. At the end of the day, they just want to find out if they’re financially qualified to hire you.

Why you should put pricing on your website:

  1. The internet has given buyers power, and 60 percent of them want to know about cost right off the bat.
  2. Your competitors are scared to show pricing, too, so get ahead of them.
  3. The ranking potential for content surrounding cost is buried treasure.
  4. You’ll increase traffic on your other pages too and built momentum for your entire site.
  5. If someone can’t afford you, they won’t call — you’ll save time to devote to others. 

Being completely transparent about your project pricing ranges is difficult but worth it. Providing prospects with the information they’re looking for, like cost, can grow your business.

Answering Common Objections

“If I put my pricing on my site, my competitors can go look at it and undercut me.” This is true to some degree. Your competitors will do some competitive research, especially when expanding their service area or offering new remodeling services. But your primary focus: is providing value through your services. Competing on price alone is a hard game, but adding value to homeowners comes in a variety of ways.

You have two types of competitors: those who disclose pricing and those who don’t. Ninety percent of searchers haven’t made up their minds about a brand before starting their search, so you have ample opportunity to capture and nurture leads by providing them with answers to their top-of-mind questions.

Sixty-two percent of those searching consult a search engine for more information, while 29 percent want to talk to a salesperson. Businesses that are transparent about their pricing on their website are keeping leads in the funnel because they can complete more of their research and request a personalized estimate based on the pricing figures without having to talk to anyone first. If you get ahead of your competitors by talking about your costs first, you have the opportunity to increase the number of leads you generate — you’re the one providing prospects the answers to the questions they are researching online.

“What if they don’t want to talk to me after seeing how much it will cost?” Talking about cost is a qualifying tool, as at least half of those prospects are not truly qualified leads and 50 percent of those deals are lost because of budget. Your sales team should re-evaluate their expectations and sales goals to align with the reality that not every prospect will choose you. The sooner prospects know the information that matters most (which is most often price), the sooner they can dialogue with companies who fit their budget.

“I have to know more about their project because my pricing depends on what they want.” True, and that provides a value to remodeling prospects. Your services are tailored to their needs. You can provide them added value by giving them an idea of what their dream kitchen or bathroom remodel might cost. There are several ways you could do this:

  1. Provide price ranges: When you talk to a homeowner in person and they ask about costs, you likely give them a range. Simply do the same thing on your website or downloadable cost guide. For example, “You can expect a powder room renovation to cost between $7,000 and $15,000.”
  2. Share specific examples: Prepare “case studies” of some of your best projects outlining what all you did and how much it cost. For example, “This gutted kitchen remodel with new layout planning and top grade finishes cost the homeowner $76,500.”
  3. Create a Remodeling Cost Calculator: Something as simple as a cell value dependent spreadsheet will work to provide prospects with content to engage with and answers to their top-of-mind questions. Plus, you are capturing more organic searchers from high value cost calculator search queries. 

Who’s Searching and How Often?

VERY often. And if you write quality content on the topic of cost before your competitors do, you can outrank them in the top search results.

Further, adding location-based keyword targeting to your content strategy will help your site rank even higher for search queries by users in your specific area. For example, “Kitchen Remodel Colorado Springs” has an average of 300 monthly searches and is very easy to rank for based on the current content landscape.

The Snowball Effect of Website Traffic

I’ve noticed a trend among businesses that talk about cost on their website: the traffic gains are not isolated. Their cost page gain traffic, and the other pages on their site gather additional traffic. 

This is primarily because Google likes to send traffic to websites that people like to be on. The more times your website is landed on and the more pages a user visits in their sessions there, the more Google will want to send traffic to your site, therefore increasing your organic ranking potential. 

The “more, more, and more” continues to snowball as you optimize your website pages and publish new content, thereby building constant momentum month after month.

You can learn more about how one remodeling company boosted their revenue by putting costs on their website here: https://marketing.builderfunnel.com/remodeing-cost-case-study.

Sources:

https://research.hubspot.com/charts/what-buyers-want-to-talk-about-in-the-first-sales-call

https://www.weidert.com/whole_brain_marketing_blog/14-statistics-that-make-the-case-for-inbound-marketing

https://www.marcwayshak.com/sales-statistics/

http://community.chorus.ai/blog/deals-at-risk-chorus-ai-s-early-warning-system-helps-you-gain-confidence-in-your-pipeline

See Builder Funnel at Summit in Orlando

Builder Funnel is not only one of our valued Annual Sponsors, they will join other great exhibitors at the Annual Remodelers Summit in September. So while you are networking and learning from some of the industry’s finest, make sure to check out these great companies!

Securing Your Website: It’s Time To Lock Things Up

I’m sure you pay a lot of attention to security. You lock up your materials, tools, vehicles, and job sites. Your office probably has an alarm. And your phone undoubtedly requires a password, a secret pattern, or your face to unlock it.

But what I’m not sure about is whether or not you’ve thought much about securing your online presence.

If not…it’s time.

Google’s latest update to its Chrome browser displays website URLs differently according to SSL certification status. Secure sites start with “https” rather than the non-secured “http.”

In Sept. 2018, sites without SSL are marked “Not secure” in the address bar, while https sites get a lock icon in green. By October, the “not secure” message will turn red with an exclamation point, drawing users’ attention.

If your site doesn’t have SSL certification, you’ll get the red warning sign. Google hopes it will act like a stop sign for people looking at unsecured sites.

What’s an SSL certificate?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which creates an encrypted link between the server a site lives on and the browser someone’s using to interact with it — it makes sure any data passing between the server and browser remains private.

The certification says SSL is there and working.

Why is it important?

While it’s obviously important for businesses to encrypt data like credit card numbers when selling over the web, the security setting carries implications for any business site.

Your website is your front door online. As a remodeler, trust is a huge part of why you get, and keep, clients. Even if you’re not taking payment information online, you probably have a page for prospects to contact you, and landing pages for offers or events.

But you’re not taking or storing anything like credit cards or social security numbers on your site — why do you need that extra layer of security? Users will get used to seeing green or red messages, and Google’s teaching them to inherently distrust red sites. 

Even if you don’t think it will affect your brand image, people may see the red and hesitate to even enter basic contact information. If web leads are important to you, showing your site is secure should be too.

You don’t need any red flags about not being trustworthy on your own website.

It affects your Google rank

Google has been using https as part of its ranking algorithm for a while now, but industry watchers predict it will become even more important. Think of the time and effort that went into making sure your site is SEO-optimized, or the money spent on Google Ads for keywords. You want your site to come up first in a user’s search. Adding the SSL certification could help raise your site’s profile online.

Google has been working on elevating https over http for a few years now. With the latest changes, Google’s taking steps to make the web more transparent and safe for users — and users learn to trust those safeguards. Now may be the time to get your site SSL secure.

It’s Your Call: Weeding Out Unqualified Leads

It’s been a busy year so far, and economists predict the remodeling business will continue its strength. That means your time, and your team’s time, is at a premium. To use it efficiently, you’ve got to concentrate on the leads that will turn into jobs.

Without a crystal ball, though, it can be hard to predict. There are the dreamers, the tire-kickers, and the bargain-hunters. If you’ve been spending time going to appointments that get you nowhere, it’s time to weed out those leads with a pre-qualifying system.

Determine who is qualified

There’s always a spirited discussion about what remodelers and builders consider a qualified lead. The only way to know is to pre-qualify these leads before sending the Salesperson out to the home.

First, choose who in your office is going to do the qualification. You want to choose someone who’s good on the phone, can guide a conversation with open-ended questions, and who can understand whether the answers make the lead a good fit for you and your company.

Arm your lead-taker with information:

  • Project-cost guidelines. Figure these out from past jobs.
  • A script or take-in sheet to get the answers you need.
  • Access to Sales’ calendars, so they can make an appointment while on the phone.

As a general rule, people like to be contacted in the manner they used — so if a lead calls in, take the call or call them right back if they’ve left a message. If the lead comes in through an online form, email them and set up an appointment to get some more details and chat about the project. If they don’t answer, follow up with a phone call if they’ve left a number in the lead form.

What to ask

In your script or take-in sheet, you obviously want the basics — name, address, preferred form of contact, and how the lead heard of your company. That sourcing is vitally important to see how and where your marketing efforts are landing, and what channels are better at getting solid leads.

Even if you’ve got that information from an online lead form, taking the time to confirm it takes control of the conversation — it reins in the people who start detailing everything they want and gives those who are anxious about the process time to settle in.

Ask about the home — it’s age, how long they’ve been in it, and use that time to look the home up on Zillow or Realtor.com to determine its current value — if the project they’re looking at is too expensive for their home or neighborhood, better to know now. If the lead has recently moved into the home, there may still be photos of the interior from its time for sale. Copy and paste the URL to the take-in form if it’s digital or into a blank document for use by Sales.

Find out who lives in the home — adults, kids and their ages, pets, and get the names. Getting this information at intake helps paint a fuller picture for the Salesperson.

Now you can start to really talk about the project they have in mind.

Talk money upfront

This crucial step is uncomfortable for a lot of people. It seems abrupt — you’ve just established some rapport. But you have to know if your potential client has a realistic idea of what their project will cost and how they’ll pay for it. And they may not know project costs, which is why they contacted you. That’s totally fair.

Rather than ask “how much do you want to pay,” position it differently — “have you thought about how much of an investment you’d like to make in your home?” Again, they still may not want to open up that much to you. That’s where the project-cost guidelines come in handy. If you can ballpark a range for them, you’re just talking about the facts with no judgments.

You may hear an audible gasp at that point, or an apology for wasting your time, or any number of negative responses — and it’s saved unproductive hours for the Salesperson in travel and appointment time.

More likely, it’s what they expected or a little higher — but they’re still willing to move forward. It’s time to set an appointment. Ask who the decision-makers will be — it could be the person you’re talking to alone, that person and spouse, or may also include in-laws or adult children. Whoever is making the decisions should be at the initial meeting in the home — you need that buy-in to know the prospect is serious.

Ask if they’re willing to go to the next step — setting the appointment. Prep them for what to expect, set the time, and you’ve qualified a solid lead.

The handoff

Take notes throughout — on everything. Whether the qualifier is also the Salesperson or not, treat it as a handoff. Have the answers to the questions in the take-in sheet filled in, add notes, add the URL of the home on Zillow or Realtor.com. Tell as a full a story as you can.

These qualifying conversations can take as little as 10 minutes or as long as 45. But getting a system in place is a crucial first step in an efficient and profitable sales process.

 

How Remodelers Can Beat Declining Organic Reach on Facebook

You’ve probably heard all about Facebook’s declining Organic Reach by now. For those of you who are tracking your social media analytics, you’ve probably even seen the steep decline for yourself.

These numbers are a bit more deceiving than you may think, and there are tried and true strategies to help combat the decline.

So let’s start at the beginning.
 

What Is Facebook Organic Reach?

According to Facebook, “Organic reach is the number of people who had an unpaid post from your Page enter their screen.” In other words, if you share an article, image, video, or text post from your remodeling company’s Facebook Page without paying for it to reach a larger audience, then your Organic Reach is those who see this post in their Newsfeed.

The dramatic decrease in Organic Reach over the past few months has proven worrisome for some businesses who rely heavily on Facebook to be a free tool to reach the masses. Naturally, business owners and marketers everywhere are asking why there has been such a large shift.
 

Why Is Facebook Organic Reach Declining?

As you know by now, social media platforms are continually updating their algorithms to meet the ever-changing needs of their users. Facebook is no exception – they’re continually trying to find new ways to keep people in their platform.

So why is there a sudden drop in Organic Reach? There are two key reasons causing this decline:

1. Facebook has updated the definition of Organic Reach

Previously, Facebook defined Organic Reach as any post showing up in a user’s Newsfeed.

This was very deceiving because showing up in a user’s Newsfeed does not require that the post ever showed up on their actual screen or was even seen. In other words, if your post showed up in a user’s Newsfeed based on the Facebook algorithm, then that counted as 1 Organic Reach even if the user exited Facebook before scrolling down far enough to see your post in their Feed.

Since their recent algorithm overhaul roughly a year ago, Facebook updated their definition of Organic Reach to require the post actually be seen by the user in order to count as 1 Organic Reach. Naturally, the new definition is much more refined and decreased the number of Organic Reach in analytics nearly immediately.

If this shift was the only reason for the decline, then it would practically account for the drop off by itself. However, Facebook took another stab at updating their algorithm that led to a deeper decline as well.

2. Facebook is focused on their User Experience rather than their Business Pages

Facebook shifted the way they view their users vs the businesses trying to advertise and promote themselves on the platform.

This shift, unfortunately, makes complete sense. While Facebook gets their money directly from Business Pages on ad spend and from data companies, they indirectly get their money the users. In other words, businesses wouldn’t bother advertising on the platform if users weren’t buying from them.

In order to compensate for this, Facebook decided to put the user experience first.

Since most Facebook users have at some point been negatively affected by content saturation online, the platform updated their algorithm to make sure that only content that users want to see is shown.
 

How Can You Improve Your User’s Experience on Facebook?

Facebook is very focused on ensuring that their users stay their users. In an effort to do so, they updated their algorithm to improve their user experience. If you want your posts to continue to show up organically, then you should be focusing on the Facebook user’s experience as well.

Think of it this way. Content marketing has a critical piece of digital marketing strategy for years now. With every company in the world being able to write, publish, and share their own content on social media, it’s no wonder that content saturation is an issue on Facebook.

There are dozens of ways to improve the user experience, and they all begin by considering the buyer journey above your own content. If you are always putting your users’ experience above your own, then you will continue to improve your Organic Reach on Facebook.

Focusing on your end user doesn’t mean you need to make massive shifts. In fact, to prove this, I’ve put together 10 quick tips that you can implement today to help boost your remodeling business page’s Organic Reach immediately.

1. Quality over quantity wins every time

Facebook doesn’t care if you’re posting every day. They care if what you’re posting engages their users. Rather than posting as frequently as possible, try posting only what matters. In fact, try copying and pasting entire blogs into posts.

This strategy should trickle up to your content marketing strategy in general – try only writing blogs that people want to read, not just blogs that will boost your SEO. Helping the user is the new SEO.

2. Share content people want to see

Facebook measures a good post in several ways, including how people react to it. For example, a post that gets more comments, reactions, and shares will continue to show up at the top of users Newsfeeds and increasing its Organic Reach. Rather than sharing content you want to share, share content users want to see.

3. Use Facebook’s “Preferred Audience” tool

Facebook’s Preferred Audience tool allows you to narrow down who sees your posts. Instead of simply posting and hoping that your post makes it to the right audience, you can now specify who sees your post.

For example, some of your posts may perform better if you target specifically users looking for higher end projects while other posts will perform better if you target quick and easy renovations. Take the time to browse the tool and try a few new specific audiences to improve your Organic Reach.

4. Ask questions

If you ask a question at the end of your post, you’re more likely to get a comment because people love to share their opinions. This also increases your likelihood of getting reactions and shares because people interact with engaging and dynamic content, and they’ll want to share it with their friends.

All of these elements feed into the Facebook algorithm to increase your Organic Reach by proving that your content is relevant, engaging, and share-worthy.

5. Optimize your business page

Optimizing your business page leaves nothing to the imagination of a user. It includes your branding, messaging, and persona. It aids in the buyer journey on social, and it also includes any relevant URLs (such as to your website), contact information, and even mission statement.

6. Educate your followers on how to help

You can make sure your engaged audience sees your posts first by telling them how to update their settings. This alerts Facebook that your content is worth being notified about and will greatly improve your Organic Reach.

And if you think of this holistically, just as your Organic Reach is declining, users are seeing fewer posts that aren’t being sponsored, so this is a great way to improve your reliability with engaged users by letting them know that you’re aware of changes and are evolving along with them.

7. Don’t only share links

Post things other than just blog or website page links. If a user wants to learn more about your remodeling business, they’re savvy enough to find your website URL on your business page. Instead of focusing on only self-promotional linking, try using all of Facebook’s content sharing tools – create an event, album, or video directly in their platform instead!

8. Boosting posts

You may have heard the phrase that Facebook is becoming “pay to play.” Boosting posts is an example of this. Whenever a post is performing well organically, Facebook coaches recommend you boost that post. Rather than an ad, boosting posts simply means you are paying to increase the audience of a post.

Typically, these posts don’t link away from Facebook – they perform best as pictures, videos, or long-form posts. Alternatively, linking away from Facebook typically performs best in the form of an ad (learn more about Facebook Ads in this checklist).

9. Ask for reviews

Word of mouth is still an incredibly powerful tool. Reviews are the word of mouth of digital marketing. Whenever a client reviews your remodeling company, they are telling others like them that you are worth working with.

This alert is a clear ranking factor for Facebook – the more positive reviews you have, the higher your Organic Reach will be. Facebook’s algorithm rates those whose clients speak highly of them above those who are silent or negative.

10. Maximize your Facebook Advertising budget

Facebook has quickly become one of the best tools for advertising. This is an extensive topic, so be sure to download our helpful Facebook Advertising checklist or sign up for our upcoming webinar on how to improve lead generation through your Facebook Ads.
 

We would love to hear from you

Have you been able to beat the Organic Reach decline? We’d love to hear what’s been working for you! Shoot us a message on Facebook and let us know!

Download this checklist: https://marketing.builderfunnel.com/remodelers-facebook-declining-organic-reach

Sign up for our Facebook Ads Webinar this month: https://marketing.builderfunnel.com/facebook-ads-webinar

 

 

Google AdWords vs Facebook Advertising: Which One is Right for You?

We all have questions that we get a lot. For example, as soon as someone finds out you’re a remodeler, they probably ask you if you have friend discounts or if HGTV is realistic.

I’m going to address a question I get all. the. time. from remodelers. In fact if I’m honest, from PEOPLE all the time. I’ve been asked this question at a Remodelers’ Advantage Workshop in Baltimore, at a brewery in Grand Rapids, and even as a guest speaker at an International Social Media Conference in the Netherlands. As soon as someone finds out I work in social media marketing and search engine optimization, this is the first question I get.

I’m willing to bet you’ve wondered this (whether you asked aloud or not) at some point in time. “I have a limited budget. Should I be investing in Google AdWords or Facebook Ads?”

The quick and easy answer is “Yes.” So let’s dig in. (note: click images for larger view, click back to return to blog post)
 

The Basics of Facebook Advertising

Facebook Ads, in a nutshell, are simple, compelling, and can reach thousands with a very small budget. By nature of existing on a social media platform, they are just that – social. Facebook Ads are typically a picture with text, multiple pictures, a video, or some combination of all of these elements.

But beyond just the obvious, they can also carry weight because users see who their friends are following and liking which gives your brand even more promotion.

Consider your sales funnel. Social media sites and advertising target the top of your funnel. For many, your Facebook profile may be the first time they see you. If this is the case, it’s not because they were searching for you – it’s because Facebook has been gathering data on its users (such as interests based on other pages they follow) and is showing targeted ads.

In other words, those who see your ads on Facebook were not on Facebook to look for you – you simply showed up in their feed or side bar because you paid to.

There are two key options when putting a budget behind your Facebook marketing strategy, so let’s compare and understand those before we dig into the weeds.

If you’re pressed for time, here’s a complete checklist comparing Facebook Ads vs Google AdWords.
 

Facebook Boosts

Boosting on Facebook works best for brand awareness. If you have a post on Facebook that is performing particularly well, this is the perfect time to boost.

Once a post is already getting more organic traffic than usual, adding a budget behind it will give your post the opportunity to be seen by more people. Since your post performed well organically, Facebook recognizes that its users like this post so it will allow your budget to go farther.

Even with a boosted post, you can set a preferred audience. While not quite as targeted as a Facebook Ad, these preferred audiences are a great general target.
 

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads also work well for brand awareness, but they can also perform well for driving traffic to a link because Facebook has preset calls to action that you can embed in your ad.

Herein lies a key difference between boosted posts and advertisements as well. While boosted posts tend to perform best on posts that don’t contain links, advertising performs well with posts that do contain links. This makes sense when you consider Facebook as a business model – anything linking away from Facebook’s platform should cost more to promote.

Unlike Facebook Boosts, Ads can show up in several locations – the Newsfeed, the right hand sidebar, within Messenger, and other spots all around the platform. With extremely detailed targeting, you can ensure that those who see your ad will be interested. You just don’t know that they’re looking for a remodeling company (yet).
 

How Does Declining Organic Reach Affect Facebook Advertising?

You’ve probably heard of the dreaded decline of Facebook Organic Reach. You’d think it was Armageddon for Digital Marketers.
Realistically, this shift was just an equalizer. Facebook updated their definition of “reach” and simultaneously took advantage of the extreme popularity by brands of using their platform.

The business model makes perfect sense. Any time you are asking for someone to leave your platform, you are risking that they won’t return. Why would Facebook want people to leave their platform? It’s only natural that Organic Reach is declining in order to maintain Facebook’s popularity as a platform.

Driven largely by Facebook’s popularity, content has been saturating the platform. In an effort to stave back the quantity of links and articles bombarding its users every day, Facebook added a higher price tag to gain reach. This movement encourages content marketers to think twice before writing an article or sharing it on Facebook because it will cost more to be discovered.


 

Click Here to Download our checklist of Facebook Ads vs Google AdWords

 

Click Here For a Video From the Builder Funnel Team on This Topic


 

How Does the Facebook App Affect Advertising?

The Facebook mobile app complicates Facebook Ads even further. When in a browser, clicking an ad link typically opens in another tab which makes returning to Facebook that much easier. In the app, however, clicking an ad removes the user from the Facebook experience entirely.

And with current attention spans of under 5 seconds, it’s highly unlikely that a user will remember they were browsing Facebook before they clicked away to purchase a dozen pair of earrings during a “flash sale” (maybe that’s just me).

In an effort to curb their outflow of users, Facebook developed their own browser. Now, when a mobile app user clicks into an ad, they are never leaving Facebook.

The down side for digital marketers everywhere is that this can make tracking analytics that much more difficult for your website and any campaigns you are running that include Facebook Advertising. The up side, however, is that Facebook users are having a more seamless experience on Facebook, making their ad experience that much more enjoyable rather than an interruption.
 

Reasons Why You Would Choose Facebook Ads

We are always on our phones – yes you too. If you are marketing at the generations born with tech, you need to be in social ads to be relevant. Your target audience is always connected. In the 21st century, you need to meet your target audience where they are – and that’s on social media.

Beyond just hosting your target audience for hours a day, Facebook Ads are geared towards the top of your funnel. Or, more realistically, they’re geared towards people who are not currently in your funnel and could expand the top of your funnel.

In fact, Facebook has mastered the art of the “Lookalike Audience.” Rather than continually building ads geared at your client lists, for example, you can build out a Lookalike Audience. Since Facebook has such strong ties with big data companies, they are able to match people with identical characteristics from those you have already reached.

You’ve probably heard of the “drip methodology” of constantly reminding your leads that you exist. Facebook Ads are another powerful way to remain relevant by occasionally targeting your lead lists and running an ad geared towards getting them to convert.

If you are looking to grow your audience, expand your brand’s reach, remain top of mind, and improve your brand awareness, then Facebook Advertising is a great solution.
 

The Basics of Google AdWords

Google AdWords are essentially bids on keywords that populate advertisements within a Google search. Showing up in a Google search requires that the searcher have entered specific keywords into the Google search bar that your company is then paying for to be discovered in this search.

Let’s consider your sales funnel again. The top of the funnel is geared at people who are researching remodeling companies. The middle of the funnel is geared at people who are researching YOUR remodeling company. The bottom of the funnel is geared at people who are making a decision on whether they want to work with YOUR remodeling company.

Google AdWords target the top and middle of your funnel. Since AdWords are targeted keywords, a user must already be searching for “remodeling companies in Seattle” or “bathroom remodeling in Dallas” to show up.

I’ll say that again because it’s so important. Those who find you through Google AdWords are already leads because they were searching for your services, your company, or something related when they selected your ad to learn more.
 

What Is the Difference Between Organic Search and Google AdWords?

Organic search is just that – it happens organically. In simpler terms, organic search happens naturally. A user who finds your website through organic search did not click on a paid ad to find you.

While both forms of traffic originate from a Google search, organic search requires that a user clicked on a search result rather than a paid Google AdWords ad.

In order to show up in an organic search, your company must be utilizing search engine optimization (SEO). SEO can show up in dozens of forms, but in this scenario it typically means that you are targeting topics and keywords that your audience is searching for and writing more content about them.

This typically means blogging about bathroom remodeling, kitchen remodeling costs, and other related topics that are popular questions among your clients. When a Google user searches for “kitchen remodeling costs,” then you would show up organically for that search.

In order to show up for Google AdWords, all your company has to do is pay. By selecting specific search terms, you can target specific audiences who are searching for the services you deliver. After adding a monthly budget or maximum keyword bid, your ad will consistently show up when a user searches those terms.
 

How Do Google AdWords Targeted Keywords Work?

Here’s a sample scenario of how Google AdWords work. In this example, you are trying to increase the amount of luxury whole home remodeling projects your Seattle-based remodeling company pulls in annually.

When setting up your advertisement, you can either build out a plain text ad (to mimic an organic search result) or you can build out an image ad. Setting up your ad will include selecting what keywords you want to show up for during searches as well. In this example, you may want to target search terms such as “award-winning whole home remodelers,” “luxury remodelers,” “high end whole home remodeling,” and other terms along those lines.

Let’s say a Google user is searching for “award-winning whole home remodelers in Seattle.” Google AdWords is able to geotag searches, meaning that only those who live in Seattle will see your ad. Since you chose “award-winning whole home remodelers” as a search term for your ad, then your ad will show up either above the organic search results or along the right-hand bar of Google.

If the user clicks on your ad, then it comes out of your budget. This is what is referred to by the name “pay-per-click” – you only pay if someone clicks on your ad. Facebook Ads are largely set up as a pay-per-click functionality as well, whereas Facebook boosts are generally used to gain a larger audience to the Facebook post itself.

Clicking on your ad will then deliver the user to a specific page on your website that you choose. In this example, it would probably be a pillar page (a long form content page describing every facet of that topic, example: https://www.builderfunnel.com/remodeler-marketing) about whole home remodeling including information about past projects, client testimonials, awards you’ve won, project costs, and more.

You can also link a landing page (a short page without a navigation menu that is concentrated on asking a user to relinquish their information for a download) if you are looking to convert leads immediately rather than letting them self-qualify themselves by researching before filling out a form.

This landing page could be promoting an eBook you have written about whole home remodeling for luxury homes in the Seattle area including trends, timelines, design ideas.
 

Reasons Why You Would Choose Google AdWords

Google AdWords are perfect for trying to pull in those who are searching specifically for your services. At this point, a click is already a lead.

When using pay-per-click, you are bidding with others to pay for each click of specific keywords. For example, if you are bidding on the keyword “Seattle remodeler,” you may run into some pretty stiff competition since there are likely hundreds of Seattle remodelers who want to appear in Google for the same keywords. In some instances, you can pay for $1.50 – $6+ for a similar keyword.

Facebook’s cost for a click is still typically below $1.50 because it doesn’t have the same authority for searches as Google, and its clicks aren’t based on keywords but rather by the audience you build. One key to note is that when you are paying for a click on Google AdWords, however, is that this person is already a lead because they are searching specifically for your keyword.

Another way to set up Google AdWords is to ensure that anytime a user searches your company name in Google that you are the top result. This naturally will cost far less because there will be no competition or bidding wars for your company name. If you set up “Builder Funnel” to always to direct to builderfunnel.com, then you can guarantee that anytime a user searches for you, they will find you.
You can also set up “re-targeting”.

Once a user clicks on one of your ads, they will continue to show up in other places online. You may have noticed that after clicking an ad for premium yoga mats on Google, suddenly they’re in every article you read and even on Facebook. This is a major benefit to Google AdWords – once a user shows interest, the ad continues to follow them in an effort to increase conversion rates. You can also set up re-targeting on Facebook that functions very similarly after a user has clicked on the ad.

Another good reason to use Google AdWords is if your SEO isn’t working well yet. Rather than waiting for organic search to slowly increase as you build out your blog or content pages, you can direct traffic to your blog subscription page. This will increase your page views which is a strategic move to tell Google that the page is relevant and deserves to show up in more searches.

This method is like investing in protein shakes to improve your workout so that you can get in better shape – Google AdWords are like the protein shakes because they improve your SEO (your workout) which will get your website in better shape.
 

How Do Facebook Ads and Google AdWords Work Together?

Facebook Ads and Google AdWords do not need to work together, nor do they need to work in silos. Since they are targeting largely separate audiences, they do not interfere with one another or create large overlaps.

Facebook Ads are great at showcasing your awards, recent projects, and other brand awareness topics. They are targeting people who may not even be searching for remodeling yet but have shown an interest in related topics like home maintenance, interior design, and related publications or TV shows. This audience, however, can be narrowed down to the right region to the zip code, number of kids, income range, employer, and other buyer persona details.

Google AdWords are perfect for pulling in traffic that is already searching for what you have to offer. This audience is likely engaged and actively seeking remodeling services, but they may not be ready to make a decision yet. They’re gathering information and researching companies, costs, and more.

Both advertising tools are deeply powerful and can grow your business when harnessed properly.
 

Click Here to Download our checklist of Facebook Ads vs Google AdWords

 

Click Here For a Video From the Builder Funnel Team on This Topic

9 Things to Look for When Choosing a Web Company

Your website should be more than an online brochure with pretty pictures of the projects you have completed. It should be a living, breathing, lead-generation machine. It should be the “Hub” of your digital marketing/content strategy and treated that way when looking at building or re-building your remodeling company’s website.

Choosing a website developer to work with can be daunting task. There are likely hundreds or more in your local market and there are Do-It-Yourself (DIY) outlets such as Weebly or WIX. And there’s always a friend-of-a-friend that “does websites…”

When looking for a Website Development firm, look for these 9 things when considering who to work with.

Breadth of Service

Many web development firms will build a website, launch it, cash your check and wish you luck. So you have the “hub” by having your website completed, but unless you have an internal staff of marketing pros to handle all of the associated “spokes” such as SEO, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media, Video, E-mail, etc. you have nothing but the brochure I mentioned above.

It is important that the firm that develops your website should also have a plan for what happens post-launch. Who will be responsible for writing copy for the site that takes SEO into account? How will you drive traffic to it? How will the site integrate with your social media? How will leads be handled? How often will the site change and who will be the point person on that?

The firm you choose does not have to offer every service needed but, at the very least, they should have 2-3 partners that they work with on an on-going basis to handle them. For example, the last firm I worked with did not handle SEO but we brought their partner into the planning stages prior to building the website, worked with them on the copy and then post-launch as well.

Portfolio of Work

Take a closer look at prior work.

  • Visit the websites that the firm has developed and click through them… Do they navigate well? Is it easy to find information? Are there broken links or 404 Errors (missing pages or bad links)?
  • Does the work reflect the type of website and quality that you are looking for? Remodeling sites rely heavily on presenting high-quality images of prior projects… Do they do that well?
  • Is there variety among the various websites in their portfolio? Or, does it look like they have used the same “template” and just changed the colors, images and dropped in a different logo?
  • What types of websites do they have in their portfolio? They don’t have to specialize in remodeling websites but they should understand what makes your website and our industry unique?
  • Contact the clients presented in the portfolio and ask them about their experience in working with the prospective firm. Easy to work with? Project completed on-time? Within Budget?

Technology

Many web development shops are design boutiques that create beautiful work.. really stunning visual sites.. but they lack functionality. As remodelers you may be drawn to them because of their ability to present your high-quality images but be very careful that you don’t wind up with a website that (1) can’t be updated easily, (2) can’t be found on a search engine or (3) doesn’t capture leads.

Look for a firm that not only creates professional, visually appealing sites, but also builds them on reputable content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress. The prospective firm should have a clear and demonstrated knowledge of website hosting, DNS, Domain issues and E-mail configuration as well.

In addition to the 3 above, here are more things to look for:

Ownership of website: Insure that once the website has been completed, that your company owns the website, including all code, copy, images, etc. This may mean purchasing the limited rights to stock photography, video, etc. but whether you are hosting the website yourself or not, insure you own it at the end of the day.

Project Plan: Ask to see a project plan from a previous client that they worked with, or even better, ask that a rough project plan be included in your proposal.

Process: What does their production process look like? Look for a firm that has a discovery phase before building anything.

References: Ask for them and contact them.

The Prospective Company’s Website: I know there is a saying about the Cobbler’s Children’s Shoes but if I’m trusting a web development firm to build my website I want to see that their own website is solid (no broken links, typos, incomplete pages, empty portfolio, etc.)

Do a Google Search: This likely applies to any vendor you work with but a cursory google search on the name of the prospective company is likely to uncover any client satisfaction issues that you should be aware of.

Summary

Because a website is so vitally important to any reputable remodeling company, choosing the right partner to work with can be a critical business decision. A poorly designed or executed website goes further than just an image problem; losing qualified leads because prospects can’t find or don’t like your website can negatively affect your bottom line. Take your time and choose wisely.

Did we miss anything? We would love to hear any tips or advice you have in finding good or strong web partners to work with. Please refrain from posting ads or links to firms you have worked with… We want to focus on other things to look for… or perhaps any red flags to watch out for?

5 New Platforms to Consider for Your Remodeler Marketing Strategy

*This post has been updated to reflect 2020 data.

Our team at Builder Funnel attends the annual Digital Marketing Conference INBOUND in Boston every year. We know we are always bound to come back to Colorado Springs overflowing with new ideas, inspiration, and technology updates for the coming year. 2017 was no exception.

With a heavy emphasis on storytelling, social media marketing, video marketing, and emerging technology, it’s fair to say we came back with our notebooks full of ideas.

How do you stay on top of an industry that is constantly evolving everyday? Let’s start with what you’ll need to know about emerging technology in the Digital Marketing realm.

1. Off-Site Publishing for Remodeling Companies

Blogging has been an important aspect of content marketing, search engine optimization, and social media sharing for the remodeling industry for years. But how does an increasing amount of mobile users affect this?

In fact, roughly 86% of time spent on mobile is in apps (and nearly all of that is spent among the same 5 apps). That means that the vast majority of searches conducted on mobile are directly in apps such as Facebook, Google Maps, and Instagram. So what does this mean for the future of search?

Medium is an increasingly-popular off-site publishing blogosphere that has taken the internet by storm. A popular app as well as search engine, Medium offers the added benefit of not only sharing your brand with new viewers but also of capturing more views on mobile in particular.

The biggest differences between Medium and your own blog include the following:

  • Medium articles are optimized for people rather than bots factoring in search like on your website
  • Medium is all about the aesthetic experience of reading on a mobile device whereas mobile websites still tend to be an afterthought rather than a forethought
  • Medium opens the door to audiences that don’t use Google as heavily for their search engine whereas your website heavily relies on Google to be found
  • Medium boasts 30 million monthly visits to its stories, whereas Google boasts 1 billion active users between all of its platforms (Gmail, Google+, Google search, etc.)

If you’re looking to gain some traction or even just begin blogging altogether on Medium, check out this helpful article to get started.

2. Podcasting for Remodelers

I know your initial reaction to this idea, because it’s the same as mine. A podcast? Talking and recording it? What can I possibly talk about for 20-40 minutes? How do I set a schedule for this? Where do I publish? How do I get people to listen to it?
But if your biggest question was “why,” then I do have the answer to that.

A voice adds humanity to your brand. And a thoughtful, intelligent voice boosts you as a thought leader rather than just another remodeling company.
If you think you don’t have enough content to turn into podcasts, consider every single success story you could tell – how many problems you’ve solved, designs you’ve developed, and lives you’ve improved.

And, as you may have guessed, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Podcast Republic, Stitcher, and CastBox are among the top apps used on mobile. In fact, 104 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly (Infinite Dial 20) and 45% of monthly podcast listeners have household income over $75K.

Podcast viewership skews to 25 to 54 year olds and with the increase in speak to search tools such as Google Home and Alexa, podcasts are built directly into the software. This style of content has never been easier to digest.

If you don’t plan on starting your own podcast any time soon but would still like to try speaking on one, give us a shout! We just launched our Builder Funnel Radio podcast, and we’d be happy to interview you!

3. Voice Search with Google Home, Alexa, and More

Are you Team Alexa or Team Google Home?

These voice search techniques are transforming the way search engine optimization works. The way people speak and interact with a human-like product isn’t the same way they type. Our brains have been convinced that we type out searches one way because Google taught us how. But now, with the emergence of speak to search applications, we are re-learning how to search.

Now, I ask questions. Are your blogs and website optimized to answer questions?

4. Video and Live Stream for Remodeler Marketing

Have you heard video referred to as the currency of social media?

It’s true. According to Wordstream, 1/3 of time spent online is watching video and 85% of internet users watch videos online. In fact, 50% of video consumed is done so online, and a staggering 92% of mobile video viewers share with others. And if you want more gasp-worthy statistics, read the full article here.

Beyond just social sharing, video has proven to increase landing page conversions, email click through rates, and search engine standings. According to OptinMonster, 66% of consumers prefer watching a video to reading about a product.

So what does this mean for your remodeling company?

It means that video is critical to your remodeler marketing strategy.

Videos can be used all along the Buyer Journey by viewing them as integrated with your Sales Funnel. For example, when people are still in the discovery phase and are looking for information on your company, a video within your blog talking about the same topic could be helpful.

Or, if someone is considering your remodeling services, an educational video or a quick video about your company culture could help close the deal. If you’re ready to convert someone, a testimonial video or proof of performance is the perfect option.

Live video has been increasingly critical for businesses on Instagram and Facebook. Facebook claims that videos uploaded natively or hosted live on their platform receive and audience of roughly 10x that of YouTube in its algorithm.

If you are new to live video, I recorded a quick video to give you some background.

5. Maximizing Messenger for Remodelers

Perhaps you’ve heard that Facebook Messenger plans on being the only app you need to use (other than Facebook, of course). The statistics for 2016 and 2017 Facebook has rolled out seem to hint that this could be the future.

Messenger can now be used by business pages on Facebook in very strategic, communicative methods that can’t be overlooked. This app generates direct engagement with potential leads by engaging them in conversation on the spot. Messenger users can send message directly to your remodeling company

Facebook page rather than fill out a Contact Us form, for example.

But beyond just engaging in conversation, Messenger offers these other incredible business applications:

  • Sending content such as eBooks to users
  • Booking meetings through a scheduler
  • Engaging users during and throughout events (such as Inbound, for example)
  • Chatbots coded to answer basic questions users may have when interacting with your Facebook page

Facebook boasts that 11% of the world’s population uses Messenger actively, from video or voice calls to sharing images or engaging with brands. This is another channel where people already are expecting you to show up, and it’ll hurt your business if you don’t.

Implications of Emerging Technology for Digital Marketing

As marketers, we’re no strangers to emerging technology seeming to be unpopular but then resulting in disrupting the entire field. As 2018 approaches, it’s imperative to consider these upcoming trends moving forward with your marketing strategy.

If you have any questions, feel free to find us on Medium, check out our Podcast, ask Alexa, watch one of our videos, or shoot us a message on Facebook…

4 Reasons Why Instagram is a Powerful Marketing Tool for Remodelers

You’ve discovered Instagram among the barrage of evolving and emerging social media platforms. FINALLY – a platform that you understand. Pictures, a caption, and maybe even a few related hashtags. Easy!

Instagram’s simplicity is part of what draws users to it. It’s minimalist and streamlined – and it’s in everyone’s pocket. And whether you’re willing to admit it or not, that’s a good place to be in the 21st century.

As simplified as Instagram may seem compared to other social media platforms, it still has a few tricks up its sleeves. Here are a few of our recommended tactics to maximize Instagram as a social media marketing, selling, and recruiting tool.

1. Brand Awareness and Consideration

Imagine your Sales Funnel.

At the top, users are mostly still becoming acquainted with your brand. They’re learning about your remodeling service offerings, discovering helpful resources you have, and comparing you to other remodeling companies in the area.

Here is where Instagram can come into play as a major factor for remodelers. Not only does it showcase that you are a modern company keeping up with trends, but it also showcases that you take pride in your completed projects.

When considering a remodeling company, homeowners want the assurance that their home remodeling project will be “Instagram-worthy” as well.

Sharing pictures on Instagram of your completed projects, your team on the jobsite, happy clients loving their new spaces, and any other imagery that boosts your brand will set you apart. Instagram shines for remodeling companies in the consideration phase.


  

2. Hiring and Recruiting for Your Brand

Are you hiring?

Instagram is a remarkable recruiting tool for remodelers. Like showcasing your brand to homeowners in the consideration phase, Instagram is perfect for showcasing how great it is to work at your remodeling company! From smiling selfies to stunning projects, your Instagram can show off your craftsmanship, expertise, and awesome team.

If you’re actively seeking job applications, you could even include your “Contact Us” page as the link in your profile. You could post an image encouraging curious individuals to send you a Direct Message and hear from people directly through Instagram as well.


  

3. Storytelling with Video, Imagery, and Stories

Instagram is constantly updating its platform to optimize its ability to tell stories.

Now, rather than only posting single images, you can upload multiple images and videos to your Instagram. This allows you to post mini albums of completed remodeling projects by room, provide a walk through with one of your teammates, or even a quick video kicking off a social media promotion or competition.
The options are nearly limitless.

Instagram now also offers an element of its profile that is similar to Snapchat. You can take pictures on the spot, add text or other fun effects, and add them to your story very quickly and easily. This aims to add ongoing stories and daily updates, for example, which may not be finished products that you want loaded on your permanent Instagram profile. These images or videos only last for 24 hours before they disappear.

Another benefit of the time constraint is that it urges your followers to check in on you daily so they don’t miss an update, keeping you top of mind if you participate in this Stories option.

Storytelling is still an important aspect of Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing. People feel connected with stories they can relate to, aspire to, and appreciate.


  

4. Communication and Direct Messaging with Instagram

Instagram now offers direct messaging through its platform.

Previously, users would have to leave comments on images to contact a brand or company. Now, if a user browsing your gallery of beautiful remodeling pictures is interested, they can send you a message immediately through their Instagram profile.

With one less hurdle to keep in contact with users and brands, Instagram improved its user experience both for browsers and brands.

The only down side to direct messaging? Instagram has become yet another platform that you have to check constantly to make sure you’re not letting any leads slip between the cracks!

Instagram Marketing for those New to the Platform

If you’re new to Instagram and aren’t sure how to set up your profile, do hashtag research, and other optimization basics, check out this helpful video we put together.

What are your initial thoughts on Instagram for your business?

The Critical Lead Tracking Step That Most Remodelers Are Missing

If you are a part of Remodeler’s Advantage Roundtables or have been a part of Remodeler’s University for a while, you know the importance of lead tracking. Where are you getting the most leads? The best leads? (the leads that translate to design and construction agreements).

Most remodelers are doing the basics, and are at least tracking the following categories of leads (or something similar):

  • Word of Mouth/Referrals
  • Signage
  • Direct Mail/Print
  • Internet/Website
  • Events/Shows
  • Paid Media
  • Other

This is a great start, but there is a huge gaping hole in one of these large lead buckets: Internet/Website.

If you’re doing a good job marketing online, your website should be producing 20%-40% of your leads which is a big chunk of your overall lead flow. If you don’t have more insight into where those leads are actually coming from (SEO, PPC, Social Media, etc.), you are going to be throwing a lot of money out the door.

Let me explain.

Google Analytics Isn’t Enough

Most of you probably have Google Analytics set up, which is great. That’s the standard when it comes to website analytics, but today that’s not enough. Google Analytics does a great job of telling you where your traffic is coming from, but it doesn’t “close the loop.” Where are our leads actually coming from? Remember… It’s not just about visitors.

Let’s take a look at a quick example:
If someone finds you on Houzz, then clicks through to your website, and finally, that individual fills out your Contact Us form, what will Google Analytics tell you? It will tell you that you received 1 visitor from a Referral Website (Houzz.com). That’s helpful, but it’s not the whole picture.

Capturing Part of the Equation

Because this person filled out a form, you call them to see if they are a good fit to work with you. As a part of your Lead Intake Process, you ask how they found you. They say they found your website. Chances are good that they don’t remember they clicked through from Houzz (or any other website for that matter).

So, now you have 2 pieces of information that are sort of helpful, but they are giving you false information (or at least not the full picture). The true picture is that you got a lead from your website, but they arrived there from Houzz. The picture you have is that you got 1 lead from your website. Separately, you know you got a visitor from Houzz, but you don’t know who that visitor is.

We need to connect the dots. Why, you ask?

Because many of your online sources require either time, money or both. Using our current example, Houzz has a free version and a paid version. If you’re paying for Houzz, don’t you want to know how many leads it’s producing for you? Grouping all Internet leads together doesn’t do your marketing budget justice.

How to Close the Loop

So, how can we close the loop on our marketing efforts and get some more visibility into what’s happening on our website? It requires some extra tracking, but it’s not rocket science.

Here’s what it can look like if you’re tracking your website correctly.

  • Column 1 shows Visitors to your website for various traffic sources.
  • Column 2 shows Contacts (Leads). These are people that have filled out a form on the website.
  • Column 3 shows Customers. These are leads that have actually paid for services and done a project with you.

 

And if you want to drill in and see where those referrals are coming from, you can:

 

Above, you can see Houzz has generated 1,022 visits and 65 contacts (leads). We can also close the loop and see we’ve generated 2 new customers from Houzz.

By putting the tracking system in place, we can measure various online paid media channels we use (Google Pay Per Click, Facebook Advertising, Paid Houzz, Home Advisor, Angie’s List, etc.). When those annual contract renewals come up, it’s much easier to make the decision to continue or stop.

No more flying blind!

Next Steps

If you haven’t checked out our Perfect Internet Marketing System for Remodeler’s Cheat Sheet yet, that would be a great next step. It walks you through:

  • The Tools You Need and Recommended Options
  • Estimated Costs for the Technology
  • The Skills Needed to Implement a Full Digital Marketing Strategy

And if you really want to get into the weeds on this stuff, check out the full post I wrote for PowerTips over here.

Refill your coffee first – it’s a meaty post!

Are you closing the loop on your marketing efforts? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

PowerTips TV Throw-back Thursday: “The Page on your Website that’s Destroying your Reputation”

This week we are taking a closer look at what can go wrong with your website, no matter if you are just getting started, re-building or even evaluating your current website.

On Tuesday’s PowerTip, Dave Kelley provided 5 things to keep in mind when looking at your domain name strategy, and today we throw it back to an episode that focuses on what can go wrong when someone gets a 404 message on your website.

In this re-run of PowerTips TV, we reference your company’s brand personality and at the bottom of this page we provide a free download if you are in the midst of figuring that out. Download & Enjoy!


Did you know there’s a page every website has that can make you look horrible? Well there is, and it’s called the 404 error page. This page is shown whenever someone tries to visit a page on your website that simply doesn’t exist. And even if your website doesn’t have a 404 page set up, the browser will display it’s own.

In today’s episode of PowerTips TV, Mark Harari will not only explain the problems inherent with the 404 error page, but give you tips on making the page an asset, instead of a detriment, to your brand.

What do you think?

Please share your stories, questions or comments with us in the comment section below!


great 404 error pages

Resources Mentioned:

And here’s the free worksheet Mark mentions in the video!

Click Here to Download the Worksheet