Roofing Contractor Marketing Step By Step Breakdown


In this guide, we’re going to go deep into the specifics of roofing contractor marketing in 2018.  Starting with the absolute essentials, we will be guiding you through how to set up manage and build a roofing lead generation system for your roofing business that you own and can depend on.

Inbound Marketing Versus Outbound Marketing

For roofing contractors, outbound marketing would be direct mail, flyers, door knocking, purchasing leads etc. Techniques where you first acquire a simple piece of information about your target homeowners and then create online or off-line campaigns to those targeted people for your services.

Roofing SEO, on the other hand is all about inbound marketing. It is attracting homeowners to your business by creating content that is resourceful to them and leads to purchases. Inbound marketing have a lot to do with setting your roofing business as an authority in your city/town by using roofing content marketing, press releases, roofing social media marketing and search engine optimization, etc.

Although both methods should be used by a business to expedite growth, they are two completely different approaches. Another way to look at the two methods is while outbound is a quick turn on/turn off feature and inbound campaigns take some time to build up but has a snowball effect as time passes.

In this article we want to focus on the methods that are currently working for roofers in 2018. Methods that are most efficient and brings the greatest return on investment for your time and resources a business puts in. I once asked a mentor of mine, what is the best way a roofing contractor can grow his business today?  He answered the door-to-door knocking and Google maps optimization.

image of Voted best roofing marketing

The image above shows a screen shot of our conversation, some of you may know him from his YouTube channel.

The first one door to door knocking, simply works – if you’re in front of homeowners faces letting them know you’ll do a free estimate right after a major hail storm, you’ll get somebody to say yes. Since most companies don’t want to build their business on the door knocking the neighbors over and over again, the second answer is a lot more appealing: Google maps optimization.

Keyword Research – Find Out Demand

The first thing that we have to look at is the search volume. This is doing some preliminary research to find out how many homeowners are actively looking for roofing contractors around your area. Using a free tool by Google: Keyword planner, we will be able to get a good grasp on that data. Just sign in with your G-mail and search by a general keyword likely to be typed in by a homeowner looking for roofing contractors around you.

For example: Roofing Brooklyn New York

Picture of roofing keywords

In this example above, we are looking at roofing keywords in Brooklyn, New York.  As you can see, just with three general keywords – we surpass a search volume of 1,060 per month.  Over 1000 people that are searching for roofing contractors around Brooklyn every single month using just with those three words.

So the question becomes, who are they being led to? What is it that these searchers are seeing and where is majority of their business going?

To find that out, we can type it in into Google this and ourselves is what we see. (Disclaimer:  I am searching this from New Rochelle New York, since Google maps is based on Geographic location of the searcher, the results I see may be different than what you see when you are searching the same terms).

 

Now let’s break down the first page of Google. For the sake of readability, the next few sections of this article is going to be in order of importance of by user experience. We know that over 65% of local searches and up choosing a company from the maps 3 packs. Roughly 25% choose a company from organic listings and the rest 10% – 15% click on Google ads.

Google Maps 3 pack – Does it work?

So first up would be Google maps Three pack.  Anybody who has been on top positions in Google maps would love to tell you that it works, since only three businesses can be out there for a given city, most roofing contractors are very proud when they are one of them. But how well does it really work? Is it worth your time and effort to get your business up there? So let’s take a look at a few things that people often over look:

As you can see, not only does this part come over the traditional organic listings, but also all information the homeowner needs to give you a call right then and there they have it in front of them.  The reviews, phone number, linked website, if they’re on their cell phones then they can see how far you are located geographically, perform a one click to call.  It’s the most interactive mechanism in the first page and it is only getting better. You shouldn’t be surprised when I tell you that over 65% of local searches end up choosing somebody from the maps. Let that sink in for a second, literally over half of people that search for businesses locally is going to pick somebody from the Google maps. As you read further on, you will realize this to be the pinnacle of roofing contractor marketing. This is because Google does a great job at catering to the searchers needs, if you break it down you can see that all domain information a searcher would need to make a decision right then and there to give it will for our call is available right at the maps.  The number of reviews you have, recent work through photos, your phone number, if you are currently open are not, and how far you are located from them geographically along with driving directions.  After the epidemic Opryland plan call calls to your business in the last two years, you’re probably familiar with the fact that over 60% people searching nowadays are on their cell phone. So on the cell phone, a lot of these actions people are able to access it just with one click right from their search page. This little tweak is huge, peoples attention span gets shorter and shorter, a lot of times even visiting your website to find your phone number or search for reputation can be an obstacle. Having this interactive placement available for them to get all the information right after they searched is very convenient.

Moving on, given you are in the maps 3 pack for major roofing keywords in a large city like Brooklyn New York.  What kind of results can you expect?  Well there is no exact amount of actions, inquiries I’ll call of that is guaranteed like Google or any other platform.  So anybody giving you guarantees is the sign to avoid.  However, we have general guidelines based on case studies from other roofing contractors that are at the top of maps along with some simple mathematics to make sense of it.  We know that over 60% of the people searching is going to pick somebody from the maps, and since only 3 companies can be on the maps pack at a given time, all things being equal, you will have roughly a 33.33% chance of being “picked”.

60% x 1,060 (Search Volume) = 636

636 x .33 = 212 People

Not bad right? Out of those 212 people, a fraction of them will visit your website, A fraction of them will give you a call and the rest will perform miscellaneous browsing to find out information about your business for a possible purchase in the future. Here’s an article that breaks down what people click on your listing. To increase the percentage of people that convert from your website, Check out our roofing web design page.

Which ever action they take, we can all agree that an extra 212+ people interacting with your listing right after they searched for relevant keywords like this example will have a positive impact on your business.

Review Generation Campaigns

So, a good objective would be to increase the chance of them interacting with our business, correct?  What are the major factors that are at play?  We would have to alter something that makes our listing more appealing than the other two. The biggest factor by far is the number one reviews and the number of stars they see. Stars beside the words from recent homeowners who purchased your services is people look for today. A recent study found that 84% customers trust an online review as much as a personal one. Understanding the importance of this will motivate you to implement proper review generation campaigns.

If one has 48 reviews while the other two have 5 – you can bet that the company with 48 reviews will  take majority of the attention.

Three ways we can generate reviews rapidly are:

  • Review cards
  • Guaranteed Five Star Review Technique Using links
  • Emailing Receipts for Reviews

Below will break down the first method and leave the other two for future articles:

The Review Card Method

Sample Review generation card for roofing contractors

The card above is an example of something you can print out and have available to hand out to customers. A simple step-by-step instructions for your customer to know exactly how to go online and give you a review.  It’s not that people don’t know how to leave a review,  it’s just that lady a customer with the physical card lets them know how important it is for your business as well as prevents them from easily forgetting to actually do the task once you’re gone.

We recommend companies to print out a couple dozen of these and have them handy in your truck or whenever you go out  customers houses and at the end of your job,  when everything is complete the following script can be said:

You: “Alright ma’am, I’m glad that you liked her work now if you had to rate us from 1 – 5,  one being terrible and five being excellent – what would you give us?”

Homeowner: “Well, you guys did great job. I’ll give you guys a five!”

You: “Thank you very much, we strive to do our best and our business runs on our reputation as the kind words of our customers, here’s a little card we have that will take you through to leave us a honest review.  We would highly appreciate any feedback”

 

Obviously this little script can be changed to your own liking.  But the main point is that, when you’re face to face with your customer and you ask them how you did – unless you do something horrendous, most times they will give you five.

Then handing them something physical that they’ll be holding as they walked back into their house will increase the likelihood of them actually going onto the phone and writing one.

Organic Listings – Content Marketing for Roofers

So now you are in the Maps 3 pack for major searches in your area, you have more reviews than the top competitors, which is resulting in getting some decent amount of calls from qualified homeowners. This brings the next part, google organic listings. About 20 to 25% of the people searching for services will scroll down to organic listings.

Adapting to Shorter Attention Span Homeowners

It’s funny because if this article was about just 2 years ago, the percentage of people the click organic listings was a lot more hence this section of the article would be at the very top. But as time passes, Google Adapts people’s attention span getting shorter and so should we. We’re at a point now where people don’t even scroll down to the bottom of page 1.  So if you are in position 8, 9 or 10 on the first page for a keyword, not only will homeowners not go that far down but based on the increase in number of ads that run in the prime hours of the day – you’re likely to be pushed to the 2 page of the search results at those very times!

Image showing percentage of traffic you will getBased on position

 

The chart above shows the amount of traffic your listing gets based on their position on organic results.  As you can see, there’s a big difference between position 1 and position 2 and it dramatically drops off after positioning 5.

In the roofing industry, there are several large lead generation businesses which dominate majority of the cities for general keywords. Trying to rank organically Against Lead generation companies like Homeadvisor, Yelp and Angie’s list is not only difficult but a lot of times not worth your resources.

Now there is a percentage of homeowners will scroll down until they come across the first real business (Instead of a directory like Homeadvisor) but the percentage is quite small and I’m mentioning it for what it’s worth. This is why it is absolutely necessary for you to be in the Google maps 3 pack because large directories are actually not allowed to have map listings!

Winning Against Homeadvisor in Organic Search Results

As a covered above, Maps brings more results and according to Google’s guidelines for Map listings, you need to have a verifiable physical location which directories do not have. So in other words, large directories like Homeadviser is actually not even allowed to have a Google maps listing hence you never see them there! So prioritizing to get in the Maps 3 pack is a no-brainer .

Once you have that down, a lot of people will think that next would be to try and out rank all the major directories in organic listings. Directories like Homework spread their link juice and power through hundreds if not thousands of cities across America. If you laser focus your links strategy going For a single city With authority and trust, It is possible to outrank them. However, this is not only difficult but a lot of times not worth your time and resources.

Lead Generation Through Roofing Content Marketing

A much better strategy for organic listings is Content marketing. This is a systematic approach through running a blog on your business website where you are creating relevant and valuable content targeting an audience in a consistent basis to eventually encourage them to make a purchase decision.

If you have ever run ad words, by checking your “search terms” (what people typed into Google search bar before they clicked on your ad) you can quickly realize that there are hundreds of unique and often seemingly bizarre keywords homeowners type into Google when they’re looking for roofing contractors.

The objective in content marketing would be to target long tail keywords and providing in-depth answers to pre-sale questions. Let’s define them:

  • Long tail keyword: Usually this is defined as a keyword that has at least three or more words in it. Often they tend to be more specific into your niche and the services you offer compared to general keywords.

Example:

General keyword:  roofing brooklyn ny

Long tail keyword: roof flashing repair near brooklyn bridge

  • Pre-sale questions:  A lot of homeowners are not even sure that they need your services when they need them.  They just know that there is a water leaking down from the right side of their ceiling. Such a person often searches into Google what we like to call presale questions. Example: “Roof leaking from both sides doing the rain, what do I do?”

 

Image of organic traffic for a roofing company

If you have looked at Semrush data, It’s a great way to see what keywords other top roofing contractors are targeting to grow their business. If you’re wondering how companies like this getSo much extra traffic, Image below shows some of the long tail keyword state target.

Example long tail keywords top contractors target

 

Your website and maps was optimized for words like “Roofers Brooklyn NY”, it would not show up for a searches like the above unless you had a blog post where you answer related question.

Running a regular content marketing routine where you are targeting long tail keywords is a great way for your business to bring in relevant traffic constantly to your website.  Though the search volume is not as great as general keywords, the local competition for a long tail keywords in the roofing niche is generally very low and is a great way for you to create a strategy to target a couple new keywords every a month and be well on your way to be bringing in hundreds of potential customers to your website. An extra plus to this is that as you get more relevant traffic coming to your business, the more trust you gain in Google’s eyes. Often you are able to rank for other much more competitive keywords due to this trust you built overtime.

The only section left in the first page of Google is that ads section. Whether you do bing or Google, pay per click as the name suggests it is getting visibility at the top of search engines for specific keywords which you bid on and pay for every time people click on them. Google pay per click has a notorious turnover rate, many people try their platform only to realize that you’re able to burn through large amounts of budget quickly often without getting much results at all.  I’ve even come across contractors who swear that it is a scam and just a way for a billion dollar company to get your money for nothing.  So let’s start with some of the basic over view ideas.

In my opinion, Google ad-words should not be the main bread-and-butter for a roofing contractor – but to clear things up, it is definitely not a scam.   It is a fairly complicated platform built a around a bidding algorithm and when amateur agency owners run it or even worse: Google representatives – it will cause you to lose a lot of money.  Representatives are taught to use the platform; they are not trained to run ads optimized for roofers!

Google pay per click will allow you to be at the top of the search, right in front of customers who are typing in relevant keywords for your services and they will allow you to be up there in a matter of hours if you’re willing to pay their price per click! Once upon a time that used to be the majority of the equation, who is willing to pay the highest bid for that keyword, would get the top position.

But the obvious flaw in that system was that any advertiser with the highest budget could force their self at the top even if their service,  website relevancy,  and ad intent was not in line. So Google did what billion-dollar companies do, created the greatest bidding system for search engine advertising that took into account for all those factors simultaneously.

Your Ad will show up in the ranks based on many factors but here are the main ones:

1.     Ad relevancy

If the keyword you’re targeting is “roof repair brooklyn heights” does the text in your ad generically say your company name and slogan?  It should be laser targeted so the text shouts out the searcher that you in fact do roof repair in Brooklyn Heights.

2. Landing page relevancy

If the keyword you are going for is “roof repair brooklyn heights” is there a page in your website that is built to serve people typing in similar phrases like “roof repair brooklyn heights”?

If you look at large lead generation companies that has a entire business based around running out of words,  you’ll see that they have thousands of pages on a high-speed website which caters to  tightly keyword groups and match types.  As I said about, this is just a peek of the iceberg. To summarize: If you don’t optimize your ads according to the keywords you’re targeting and follow it through by a landing page that it’s relevant – then you’re likely going to waste a lot of budget without getting optimal results.

We should know that for a price of a click to stay at that price, there has to be companies out there that keep on either paying that price or biding for a higher price.  Meaning, that somebody out there is still being able to make it profitable.

Tracking Your Marketing Dollars – Key to Roofing Marketing

If you look at any large brick-and-mortar business in today’s era, Whether it is roofing and construction or any other industry – One common denominator is that they are obsessed for knowing exactly where their roofing marketing dollars are being spent. If you got a billboard built by a highway and you around the same time you started doing restaurant table ads – Unless you have a system to track, you will have no idea which vertical is working, and even if you do, you won’t know exactly which one is working better per dollar spent.

For about $3 a month you will able to know exactly how much money putting it and exactly how much money it is bringing back.  Call tracking works by assigning you an external phone number for tge customers to see and when they take action you’ll be able to check with an online dashboard which advertising is responsible for bringing you which calls/inquiries.  It opens a whole world of data,  you’re able to see the quality of phone calls overtime if it comes from Google Maps compared to if it’s coming from Homeadvisor.  I highly recommend each and every roofer,  if you want to have a chance in 2018 in moving forward you’re going to have to know exactly where to reinvest your money

Publicity – The Principals Stayed the Same, Platforms Evolved

The view of your business to the public send me the best free roofing marketing.  In the book guerrilla marketing”  jay Conrad,  a marketing genius had stated how a local business can  take small actions following  proven concepts in strategic places can amount to dominating your market.  Basically, every bit of news that is out there about your company is your current level of  publicity.  Every good testimonial and review what you get from your customers should be showcased on a pedestal in places where people can see it.

The most important place for this to be all visible at his when your company name is search for him to search engines like Google.  The 10 listings that come up when your direct business name is typed in,  is referred to as your business resume. All the marketing you are doing for your roofing company,  whether online or off-line,  a vast majority of it will find themselves here.  Even if you  are passing out flyers on the street,  once customer comes across as an reads it – more often than not, instead of calling your company directly from the number on the flyer,  they will search your business up on Google first to see  what comes up.  This is called the brand name search,  at this very moment they’re not looking for a “Roofing Company in Brooklyn”,  they are looking for pacifically you by your brand name. You probably picked up by now,  for your business to shine in the brand-name search it will start with having a good amount of reviews in Google

Know Your Unique Roofing Marketing Angle

Many business owners think that they have to appear large corporations for customers to taken seriously. In our experienced this is absolutely not true, In fact Ouisie people resonate more with companies that are personable. The reason is this, people buy from businesses that they can relate to. When you have a dull website,  which never talks about any of your team members or other business started, people commoditize your service in their mind.  They get the feeling of a general handyman being sent to their home – not a roofing specialist.

You want to own the fact that you run a small business, people will see your truck,  your sign on the neighbors lawn,  when you go to places they will feel your energy, see your crew up on the roofs wearing the company shirt.  This is personable.  This has its own magnetic force.  This will allow you to create content right from your iPhone without any filters and people will still love it.

Using Leverage by Choosing a Specific Niche

This is part may sound like common sense, because you’re probably heard it before.  That is to choose a niche within your roofing market that you believe you can be best.  For example, you can niche down as being the best steep roofing company for residential homes.  A lot of business owners fear that this will making the company so specific will cause it to miss out on a lot of business, however the truth is that  people will is to think of you when they have that particular problem.  You don’t have to only do that service, it’s just that you will be marketing yourself as the best in that particular service. We all know that once you get in the house you can be referred for all you other services. It’ll make it 10 times easier for you to market because your marketing will be laser focused too specifically all residential homes that have flat roofs,  you’ll be on your way to be a big fish in a small pond, I’m in marketing, that is a win.

This can go a lot deeper,  what is it that you’ve want your company to be known for?  Find your strengths and triple down on them.  Do you service 24 hours?  Train the crew and create systems to be able to market catchy hooks such as “Will be at your doorstep in 28 minutes flat,  whether that be in the middle of the night or”  then live up to that statement.

Press  Release Marketing for Roofing Contractors

“Press releases are dead” – We hear this often in the roofing industry. Though the techniques for syndicating have evolved since 2016, the benefits are still clear. Want to announce new information,  whether it be to introduce opening of a new location or even a holiday promotion that you’re running?  How else can you have 300 to 400  News Platforms talking about it without it looking overwhelming and fishy? The answer is press releases.

The main point where people get it wrong is they try to use it only for Search engine Benefits. If you are use it for how it is meant to be used by putting a real converting marketing hook and syndicate it real live websites that are locally relevant – You are bound to get positive results. Although the quantity of traffic to your business is low,  the overall benefits are well worth the price.

Video Marketing for Roofing Contractor

Video is one of the most underutilized platforms  in the roofing marketing space. YouTube is the second-biggest search engine but people still don’t incorporate it. The biggest reason this happens is because people imagine creating video is expensive or troublesome.  When in reality it’s actually easier than ever before.  Your customers do not really care if you are using a $3000 camera with a four man crew or it is just you shooting a quick one with the iPhone while you are on your way to do a morning leak repair.  However they do care that they can see you,  interact with your business, and relate to you.  My recommendation for roofing companies would be too shoot a video every time you go to a home.  It can be as simple as explaining on the video one of the problems you see when you’re up on the roof that you are going to now solve.

When it comes to reviews – Video reviews are king. Something as simple as asking the homeowner to give you a 1 minute review of how the experience was.  You’ll be surprised the extent video review will go in the eyes of your future customers. Just think about it,  people already trust companies that have more reviews and realistic statements posted from the mouth of their previous customers – what if there was a live video that they couldn’t find on your search results,  Your YouTube channel,  or your website. This space is still wide open for roofing contractors, waiting to be dominated by the ones who are ahead of the market.

Social Media Marketing – Simpler Than You Think

It’s 2018 and we are not really hearing questions “does social media marketing work”  that much anymore. Everybody’s aware that if you’re able to come up in a platform that your customers Browse everyday,  you obviously you have a chance in  getting some real estate on their mind. For roofing contractors,  there’s really only a handful platforms which you need to be on.  Facebook,  Twitter,  YouTube.  Of course having accounts in the top 10 will help you justify your brand in Google’s eyes but don’t really have to be active on them.

Facebook is the only way you can advertise to  the exact demographic down to relationship status.  Meaning,  imagine showing your ads to homeowners who are making over 100,000 a year, is a homeowner and lives in a high-end geographic location? If you could only show your ads to them, would you say that it’ll increase the chance of you getting sales? Well one thing is for sure, It will definitely decrease the chance of you wasting your money on people who will not be able to buy in the first place.

This is just the start,  you can specify down to their relationship, the number of kids they have and much more.  Basically,  the more you know about your target market and the type of people who are willing to spend money – you’re at could be coming up in front of only them.  This protects you from not wasting money on clicks from people who are not going to buy in the first place.  The price of running a Facebook ad is still very under priced whereas Google PPC might be already quite expensive based on which city you are in.

Our recommendation would be to start off with a retargeting ad.  This would only be for people who already have a decent amount of traffic coming to their website.  Basically, only 10% – 18 %  of the people that comes your website is going to make a call to action,  the rest of them just go away.  Imagine if there was a way to show your ads to people who not only fit your perfect demographics but have searched for a roofing contractor  recently, and then came to your very own company website but did not call.

How qualified do you think they would be?  I’ll say they are as qualified people as it gets! This is called roofing re-marketing and there’s a good chance  you have experienced it.  Remember last time you were shopping for a new furniture, you  landed on a few websites to check it out,  and then forgot about it?  Later on that week you were browsing through your Facebook,  and on the right side the very chair you were looking at coincidentally started showing up?  Well that was no coincidence. The online store that you had checked out,  had a pixel that allows them to re-target their visitors. This literally cost sense and with a budget of $50 – $100 you can do some decent damage.