Search engine marketing (SEM)—a digital marketing strategy used to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages—is in a constant state of flux amid changing trends. Many remodelers use digital marketing for lead generation, including search engine optimizing (SEO) via their websites, buying paid traffic from Google or Microsoft, paying for ads in neighborhood-oriented sites and using third-party lead generators. No business ever captures all the leads; however, it’s critical to be sure you’re not missing the most profitable opportunities available.
Several objectives for consideration:
An effective SEO marketing strategy begins with audience targeting. This concept entails taking your audience of prospective customers and segmenting them into different categories based on behavioral characteristics, demographics, interests and intent. For example, grouping audiences based on first-time homeowners vs. homeowners living in their forever home. Segmenting your ideal customer profiles enhances your SEM campaigns by delivering personalized messaging to each audience. Personalized campaigns result in higher conversion opportunities and brand awareness.
As many home improvement professionals begin their SEM journey, the most common roadblock is keyword creation—the words or terms people enter into their search engine—and targeting. Ideally, when you are setting up marketing campaigns, you are only creating campaigns around keywords that are relevant to the services your business offers. For example, a roofing contractor will look for queries related to roofing replacements.
Once you find your list of keywords, the next step is to figure out the intent behind each search. A great way to figure out keyword intent is to think about every search on Google as a question that a homeowner is asking; your job is to answer it.
For instance, a homeowner who is beginning to plan for their project will often search broad questions such as: ‘How much do I need to budget?’ Homeowners who are further along the process tend to ask Google more specific questions. Another way to determine keyword intent is by using different match types. These are offered as you create your targeted list of keywords. So, if you have potential homeowners that are knowledgeable about what they are looking for (specific queries), you can potentially set up your keywords to match exactly—meaning you can look for a specific audience that matches the search query, “Bathroom remodeling in Austin, Texas,” for instance.
Another way to pick your keywords is by reverse-engineering your web pages. Your website should already be saturated with the words and phrases that most strongly express your company’s value proposition. By advertising on searches for the same keywords, you’ll benefit from a higher quality score, and visitors will likely spend more time on your site.
The next installment will delve into ways that concepts like geotargeting and dayparting impact the user experience.
Gregg Hicks a new business leader for Modernize Home Services. He has 20 years of experience across web analytics, SEO, social, SEM and affiliate marketing, and is a longtime marketer of home improvement services.