Understanding the Importance of Effective, Local Digital Marketing
Nearly 46% of all Google searches are for a local product or service and 28% of local searches result in a purchase within 24 hours. So, how much of your business is coming from this market of internet researchers?
Local marketing online is the name of the game for home services and home improvement businesses. Prospective customers first turn to online resources for information, and importantly, to find out who is ready to meet their home’s needs. When someone looks for a plumber, home remodeler, roofer, or HVAC specialist, they are narrowing that search to someone “near me.”
Marketing a small business begins with understanding the major marketing channels available—then learning how to target these resources to appeal to your local audiences. An optimized website is the foundation of small business marketing, with email, advertising, and social media playing supporting roles in lead generation and traffic to the website.
Strategies like content marketing, paid search, search engine marketing (SEM), and search engine optimization (SEO) all augment marketing goals and ideally are tracked for return on investment (ROI).
The goal is to implement a marketing approach focused on the most successful marketing efforts for your specific target audience and industry, putting your budget where it’s most effective to drive business. And how can you do this, if you don’t know what’s working?
Why local digital marketing matters for home services & home improvement
When it comes to projects and services for their home, your customers need help and they are in search of experts to support them. These homeowners want to find you – it’s your job to make it easy for them.
Optimizing websites for mobile usage, loading speed, and ease of use for a seamless and intuitive user experience is the first step in getting found. You have to have a website that s set up for success before driving visitors. Those visitors then need to easily find you on the device of their choice and once there, easily find the information they need whether it’s a replacement windows buying guide, a tool to choose between asphalt or metal roofing products, or simply a project cost estimator.
The challenge is standing out in a crowded field of competitors. When customers are faced with lists of providers offering the services they are looking for, successful local marketing online becomes the differentiator that makes your business the top choice.
3 Examples of Successful Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
The key benefit of employing proven local digital marketing strategies is improvement across key performance indicator (KPI) metrics.
1. Combine SEO and SEM to improve clickthrough rates
Synergizing SEO and SEM amplifies the impact of both tactics. Focusing on improving organic SEO and SEM tactics like paid search dramatically improves clickthrough rates (CTR). An SEM-only strategy leads to single-digit CTR but combining SEM and SEO can increase clickthrough by 60%.
To learn more about this strategy (and others), check out our ebook, Don’t Stop at the Top…
2. Optimize websites for local search results
Steps like claiming your Google Business Profile (GBP, previously Google My Business) listing; adding local business schema markup to your website; placing your name, address, and phone number on web pages and ensuring that information is up to date; and adding your business to local directories all improve organic local SEO and optimize local search results.
3. Highlight satisfied customer testimonials
Customer reviews are powerful. Most people look at reviews before making a purchase decision and positive reviews influence those choices. Third-party review platforms are out of your control but you can monitor and respond to those reviews. You can also try adding customer testimonials and stories to your website, which provides credibility to your brand, while also giving your SEO a boost.
How do you know if your strategies are actually working?
Local marketing online is more than trying one best practice after another. To understand the impact of those efforts on successful local digital marketing, it’s important to define and track metrics such as:
Return on investment (ROI)
Calculating ROI provides insight into which marketing efforts are bringing the most bang for your buck. Know how much you are spending on every tactic or campaign and the return on that investment.
Lifetime value (LTV) of your customers
LTV means knowing when repeat business happens and developing a system to keep track of referrals from existing customers that lead to new business.
Improving website traffic
Using SEO and SEM to drive website traffic and engagement is invaluable. Tactics like adding valuable and relevant content that draws in visitors and keeps them on your site are key to driving website traffic. Website analytics should be a cornerstone in the KPI mix.
Figuring out what works (and what doesn’t)
Tracking KPIs and specific marketing metrics will help you quickly figure out what works, what doesn’t, and what is most cost-effective.
Tailor your local online marketing to strategies and marketing channels where your customer is found and engaged. Keep track of lead costs and the value generated by each lead. Then, base campaign decisions and marketing budgets on those numbers.
For example, Facebook might be a great source of leads, but might not be a cost-effective method of advertising for your specific industry and locality. Without tracking performance metrics you’ll never know. But there’s an easier answer…
Putting the local digital marketing pieces together
A methodical approach to your local digital marketing strategy—paired with proven tactics—is the key to local marketing success. It’s how home service business owners like you stand out in a crowded marketplace, optimize marketing spending, and, ultimately, grow.
Schedule a personalized consultation to learn how Socius Marketing can improve your local marketing strategy and help grow your home improvement business.