- Advertising a construction or a trade business is not as easy as some of the other industries that have a wider social media reach and interest due to their topic.
- If you want to advertise your construction or trade business you have to be extremely precise - what channels to use, which keywords to target, what audiences to involve and so on.
- Your website should also be your number one priority when advertising online and it should include crucial information for your users to make it easier for them to find you and your services in your desired location.
Working with tradies, we often get asked what’s the best way to advertise a construction or trade business. We know being a tradie can be tough; the hours are long and the competition is fierce, but if you get it right the rewards are good.
Across Australia the ability to find the right trades has never been easier. A customer no longer needs to spend time and effort going through the local paper or Yellow Pages to find a plumber or sparkie. It’s never been quicker to jump on Google, type in the exact issue that needs to be sorted and instantly check out a tradie’s credentials and reviews. So,
- If you’re not in the online world, you’re missing out.
- If your website isn’t clean, clear and optimised for mobile, you’re missing out.
- If you’re not collecting reviews or testimonials online... you guessed it, you’re missing out.
For this reason we believe the best way to advertise as a construction business has to be online.
How Do I Start Advertising Online?
Sadly with Google, unlike Yellow Pages, you can’t just change your name to ‘AAAA Plumber’ to be first on the list. It takes a combination of items to get it right and to be found online. You should start at the point of purchase for many customers looking for a tradie - your website. When building websites you should ensure their pages are 100% optimised for browsers and mobile with a solid collection of keywords for all core products and services.
It’s a competitive marketplace, and organic SEO is the best foundation on which to build an online marketing campaign. It is vital that your site is being picked up by Google and ranked on keyword searches. Clear call to actions and an easy ability to make contact/request quotes are a must. If you’re building your own site then make sure you have plenty of these to prompt people to act.
If you’re on a restricted budget we would see an investment in SEO as a must for tradies and construction workers. If you’re doing it yourself, a good tactic to create better SEO will be to get your Google Business listing to ensure locational search and reviews to be found. Claiming your Google My Business listing is a fast, easy and free way to get noticed online. It’s simple to do - just enter your details and verify your address, and the business is up and running.
To help with organic link building we’ll also recommend listing your business on directories such as Yelp!, HotFrog, Yellow Pages and more. Once these items are aligned, you’re ready to set up your online ads using the Google Networks.
Be clear about the areas you work in and provide services for.
There are over 4,500 searches Australia-wide for builders, and you really do not want to be fielding inquiries from all over Australia if you only work in Sydney. There is no point in getting business across the country if you are not able to service it, be very clear about the geographic areas and boundaries you work within. A Google Maps location on your business listing will help keep you tied to a local audience.
How Much to Spend on Advertising?
If you are looking to spend on advertising, we recommend going to a place where people make their decisions. Investing in Google Search will ensure you’re top of mind and search rankings are high when people need you most. Do your research and know how much keywords are likely to cost before going ahead with a paid campaign on Google. The average cost for Plumbing keywords can be in excess of $30 per click, so be sure to factor this in when considering a paid campaign. Google’s Keyword Planner Tools can help guide and structure your ads and budgets.
To budget your campaigns determine the value of a sale. $30 per click may sound expensive but if the average remuneration for a plumbing job nets you a four to five hundred dollars then it’s money well spent.
If it’s general awareness you’re after, then you cannot go past Facebook advertising for value and reach. Using Facebook’s audience targeting tools is a great way to hone in on a specific audience with exact behavior and instincts. A Facebook advertising campaign can be implemented with as little as $5 per day and provide a great way to grow leads, advertise a specific offer or product and boost awareness of your brand. Consider spending $200 - $300 over a number of weeks to build momentum and generate leads.
The beauty of both platforms as a means to advertise is they provide instant feedback on what is working and what’s not. Both sites take a day or two to gather momentum but the signals are similar for each.
In both instances it’s vital to ensure ‘Relevancy’ for your ads and the pages they point to. Using Plumbers as an example, if your landing page isn’t correctly set up and optimised for plumbing terms & locality, then your ads will score badly.
Be specific about the types of plumbing services you offer, the locations your service and mention both of these items on your online landing pages and your advertisements.
What Metrics Shall I Pay Attention to?
Primarily click through rate is your number indicator of success. Between 1-4% click through is a good starting point for each channel but look to increase these as you learn and test creative executions, keywords and landing pages.
Facebook has an easily identifiable relevance score that is visible in the reporting metrics. This looks at audiences targeted and the way they engage with your ad and your site after they’ve clicked.
The greater the relevancy score the greater your click through is likely to be and the cheaper the clicks will cost.
We usually aim to achieve a click through rate of less than 30c for our clients and an average click through rate of 6% for Facebook advertising to new leads. Utilising retargeting ads to those people who’ve already engaged with your ads will amplify these results even further.
Google provides a Quality Score for your ads which rates the keywords you bid for against the keywords on your website. If these match up, then your score goes up and your ads continue to get served.
The 3 biggest mistakes we see service business make with their advertising are these:
- A me focus, not a customer focus. Too often the heading and focus of the ad/website/leaflet is on the services provided, not on the benefits for the prospects. Eg: “Your local plumbing experts”. Seriously – if you are a plumber, you should be an expert at plumbing. It’s a given. You need to be showing how you are different, and more caring and customer focused than all the other local plumbers. You need to build trust as fast as you can. eg: “the plumbers who turn up on time, clean up our mess, and guarantee you don’t pay a cent unless your problem is fixed”.
- Confusion. Many websites make it confusing or difficult for the prospect to contact them. The phone number and contact form is buried on the contact page instead of being on every page. The call to action is vague - like Contact us. A better strategy is to tell people why they should contact you – like “Get a Fixed Price Quote”.
- No Testing and Measurement. Sometimes just changing one thing like a headline or special offer or image can have a dramatic impact on conversions (enquiries). But most small businesses don’t try this. It’s very easy to split test website landing pages, Google Ads, Facebook Ads – even print runs of flyers to see what people respond to. The split testing must be measured to see which version gave the better Return on Investment, and Google Analytics and other programs make it easy to do this. We’ve seen conversions change from 1% up to 26% , just by split testing one element at a time.
Founder: Commonsense Marketing
Watch and learn these scores and adapt to them with each and every campaign. Start small with budgets and slowly increase your spend as you refine your ads and you'll see the conversions come through. With a little patience, a bit of research and a sharp eye for reporting you’ll soon be able to secure regular leads and sale opportunities for your trades business online. Beating the competition and allowing your business succeeds online and in real life.