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How to do digital marketing for contractors – Our best tips and advice

Picture of Ben Spray

Ben Spray

Managing Director of We Are Marketable

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is crucial for reaching customers and remaining competitive—and that goes for contractors as much as any other industry. However, many contractors don’t know where to start when it comes to digital marketing or have limited resources to dedicate to it. Implementing some fundamental best practices though doesn’t have to be complicated or overly expensive. With a strategic approach, contractors can build brand awareness, generate leads, and increase sales through digital channels.

Define Your Ideal Customer Before determining which digital marketing tactics to focus on, it’s important to have a clear picture of who your ideal customers are. Consider factors like:

  • Type of projects they typically require – commercial buildings, custom homes, etc.
  • Business size – small independent contractors vs larger construction firms
  • Location – target a certain city? Offer services regionally or nationally?
  • Values and attributes – budget-focused? Environmentally conscious? Work with established brands only?

Having an ideal customer avatar allows you to create more relevant messaging and content tailored specifically to them across marketing channels. It also helps focus your efforts on the platforms where your potential customers are actually spending time.

Update Your Website For most contractors, the company website is the digital hub and first impression for potential customers searching online. An outdated website lacking key information is likely to have visitors quickly click away rather than convert into a lead. Ensure your website includes:

  • Summary of your services clearly outlining what you do
  • Bio and credentials for key team members
  • Photo and video galleries displaying past project examples
  • Client testimonials evidencing quality of work
  • Clear calls-to-action to contact your company for inquiries

Also optimise technical elements on your site for search engines:

  • Use relevant keywords contractors search for in page titles and content
  • Ensure fast load speeds – under 2 seconds is best
  • Make phone number, address and emails easy to find
  • Implement strong site security measures

Finally, provide options to request quotes or services directly through contact forms on your site. This makes conversion easier versus only listing phone/email details.

Leverage Search Engine Optimisation One of the top ways customers find contractors is through search engines like Google. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) improves visibility so your business appears higher in related searches. Some key areas to focus on include:

  • Local SEO optimisation so you rank for searches in your specific area. This could account for over 50% of website traffic. Complete listings on Google My Business, Apple Maps and Bing Places.
  • Optimise page speed and technical site performance. Faster sites tend to outperform competitors.
  • Produce long-form blog content showcasing thought leadership in your services. Aim for 1,500+ words using keywords in a natural way.
  • Get backlinks from relevant industry websites, directories and local citation sources. Quality backlinks signal authority to Google.
  • Analyse competitors link profiles and identify new link-building opportunities.

The goal is to appear on page 1 of Google for searches like “Nottingham bathroom renovation contractors” or “Manchester commercial roofing companies”. Track keyword rankings over time to measure ongoing SEO success.

Promote Your Brand Through Social Media While potential customers use search engines and websites for research, don’t underestimate the power of social media for spreading brand awareness too. Over 50% of all internet users engage on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn monthly.

Contractors should focus social media efforts on 3 key areas:

  1. Paid Social Ads – You can target highly specific demographics with social ads based on factors like location, age, interests, behaviors and more. With accurate targeting and effective messaging to align with your ideal customers, yields from paid social ads are typically significantly higher than more broadcast methods. Start with modest budgets and experiment across platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to determine which delivers the strongest ROI.
  2. Organic Business Pages & Profiles – Creating and optimising free business profiles on social platforms ensures customers can learn about your services, see project examples and contacts you easily. Proactively publish updates showcasing current work 2-3 times per week alongside engaging industry news and articles reshared from other sources. This provides visitors more reasons to follow, share or interact with your page over competitors.
  3. Reviews & Ratings – Today over 90% of consumers read online reviews before contacting contractors so prioritise generating positive verifiable feedback across Google, Facebook and industry rating sites. Satisfied clients are usually happy to oblige with an honest review when asked proactively after project completion. This social proof builds trust and credibility with new website visitors researching options.

Launch Contractor Based Video Content

With video set to account for over 82% of all internet traffic by 2022, it’s fast becoming a necessity. Video content builds meaningful engagement that standard images or text cannot always achieve. For contractors specifically, explainer videos, behind-the-scenes project snapshots and even live streaming have huge potential.

Costs for professional corporate video production however have traditionally been prohibitive for smaller businesses. Fortunately, with just smartphones and affordable accessories like mini tripods, contractors can self-produce effective videos without huge agency fees.

Focus initial efforts on your highest-value services and publish videos natively on your website, YouTube channel and social media feeds. With authentic, helpful content, users will engage organically over time. You can then amplify viewership for important videos using paid promotion. Track viewing metrics and add calls to action to download offers, request quotes etc. to determine tangible ROI.

Conclusion

With 71% of customers likely to switch contractors due to poor digital user experience, no contractor can afford to neglect their digital marketing strategy anymore. By focusing efforts on your website, SEO, social media and video using the recommendations above tailored to your specific customers, contractors can significantly boost brand visibility, leads and sales online.

Remember though that digital marketing for contactors works best when existing alongside traditional lead generation and advertising channels rather than completely replacing them. Utilise the unique advantages of digital while ensuring your full marketing mix covers top media channels your customers actually engage with.

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