What do general contractors have in common with two entrepreneurial disrupters to the banking industry? Before I read this article about Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, cofounders of TransferWise, I would’ve said, “not much.”
The two friends grew up in Estonia, which became independent from the former Soviet Union before the two were teenagers. Later in life, the two found themselves both working in London. Kristo was paid in pounds but needed euros to pay bills in Estonia, and Taavet was paid in euros but needed pounds to live on. The brilliant solution of depositing funds into each other’s bank accounts based on the day’s exchange rate cut out the banks, which charge high fees for money transfers.
Again—what does a former Skype employee (the company’s first) and a finance professional with experience at Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Deloitte have in common with general contractors?
After the Soviets left, the entire country assumed a DIY culture. Taavet is quoted in the BBC article as saying:
He goes so far as to generalize all Estonians as being “more entrepreneurial” because they had to “build their country from scratch.”
Use Local SEO To Generate Business
General contractors know about building from the ground up, and they also know very little goes exactly to plan. Innovation is so common on the job site, it isn’t even talked about. It’s just called, “whatever it takes.” The architect drew it like so, and it needs to look that way. The best builders can conceal their innovation so perfectly, the finished product looks as simple and smooth as the blueprints. If only the walls could talk.
My point—it’s time to be entrepreneurial and innovative in a new way. You run your own business. You can adapt and innovate on the job. Now, it’s time to apply old-school marketing in a new way online.
One of the most common ways builders advertise is by posting a sign in front of the houses they are working on. It’s free advertising for the duration of the project in
a spot typically unavailable for advertising.
Start By Looking At Your Website
Now, it’s time to post your sign on the Internet. Same concept . . . different approach. When a search-engine user looks for general contractors in your area, he or she will see your
sign—only, your online sign is much better because the person doesn't have to remember to call you later. Your customer can immediately click the link to your website.
On a mobile device, the person can directly call you from the search engine results by clicking a button (if you use a real savvy marketer).
When a potential customer gets to your site, he or she should find easy-to-understand content and easy-to-use navigation. There are a variety of strategies and tools to engage, educate, and convert visitors into customers and then followers. For example, a visitor should be able to instantly find a touchpoint—a way to interact with your brand to move them towards a solution to their desire. For example, a button that says, "Schedule an appointment."
Adaptability is critical to success in every facet of your business. You don’t have to be a builder long to realize new technologies, codes, and regulations change the way you work.
The old advertising model is expensive, uninspired, and irrelevant to the way people interact with the companies in their lives. The new model is different, for sure, but wait until you settle into it.
The speed at which technology advances has been the tsunami disrupter across every industry in the last decade. Just look at your handheld device. That used to be a cell phone. Just a phone. But, think about how much more it contributes to your business now—guys on the job can place orders, get written change orders, provide visual updates, and a lot whole lot more.
Your future customers and followers are doing the same thing. They are managing their lives through their smartphones, hand-held devices, and computers, and they want to conveniently learn, research, and purchase through them. Give future customers and followers the place to do it.
3 Of The Simplest Ways To Boost Local SEO
Review the keywords on your website. This can get complex, but for starters, here’s a real-quick crash course:
• Broad keywords are short words or phrases relevant to general areas. For instance, “plumber,” “home repair,” and “general contractor.” They are important to include, but remember, these are highly competitive search phrases.
• Long-tail keywords are more specific and therefore have less competition. For example, “plumbers in Upton, MA,” “24-hour emergency home repair,” and “licensed general contractor.”
Takeaway—think about the search terms your future customers use to find companies providing your services . . . and products! If you’re a certified installer of a particular brand, include it in your keywords.
Verify the ZIP code you list with your business is the same one the post office recognizes. Address data inconsistencies are a main cause of many Google ranking problems.
Spread your address around like a business card. Claim a listing in every legitimate directory you can. If the site allows you to backlink to your website, do it! Authoritative backlinks boost SEO rankings. Start with these major directories: