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I’m going to be honest; I haven’t even opened the yellow pages in over five years. Every year I’ll come home to find one sitting on my front stoop and every year I will place it in the same cabinet above my fridge not to be touched again until its replacement comes next year. I know I’m not alone in this, in fact I’m in the majority, 67% of Americans never used last year’s yellow pages. That’s a lot of wasted trees and a lot of wasted marketing dollars. So the real question is; who is paying to have their ad in the yellow pages and could their advertising budget return a better ROI elsewhere?
The internet has supplanted, for quite some time now, the yellow pages as the primary source businesses and people use it to search for products and services to the tune of 90%. Yet, some construction organizations have not made an effort to make their presence known online. The reasoning behind this is twofold: fear of the unknown and the fear that digital marketing is extremely expensive. Well fear not! The following five steps are easy even for computer novices and can be done in a very affordable fashion to provide an outstanding ROI for your marketing dollars.
1.) You NEED a Website
It doesn’t need to be flashy; it just needs to be clean and professional. Your website is going to be the first impression of your company for the bulk of new contacts and first impressions carry a lot of weight. The good news is building a website nowadays is very affordable, even a moderately tech savvy person can produce a simple, viable website with the essentials, in just a few days. Even if you hire a professional website design team, (ahem, Pantera Tools) the cost will still be probably much less than you’d imagine. This should be your first, second, and third priority if your company does not have an active website and you’re looking to generate more revenue.
2.) Get a Company Email Address
If your website is the first impression, your email address is your business card. Scotty2hottie@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org do not inspire confidence for potential clients, opt for something more professional like Scott@Franklinplumbing.com and you will get a better response. You will generally have the option to link an email address to your domain when you first get your website up and running so there shouldn’t be much, if any additional cost.
3.) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
For those not well acquainted with internet speak this step might seem intimidating, but SEO isn’t really that difficult to comprehend or implement with moderate success. Here is a brief overview. When a person types something into a Search Engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing) the search engine will “crawl” the entire internet landscape to find the closest match for what the user is searching for. So if your company is Franklin Plumbing and is located in Denver and someone types the keywords “franklin plumbing” into Google, chances are your website will show up. However if someone types the keywords “Plumbers in Denver” into Google you may not show up, unless you have SEO. When building your own pages you will be able to add keywords, tags, and descriptions so that your company will be included in these searches. That’s a basic overview and should suffice for you to implement some basic SEO into your website, however SEO is a very deeply layered discipline and if you want an extra boost to your page rankings you can always get help from SEO experts.
4.) Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC is a cousin of SEO and also deals with getting your website more publicity on search engines but it works in a different fashion. SEO works with “Organic” search and is what the search engines objectively deem to be the closest match to your search query. PPC on the other hand is “Paid” search wherein an organization pays to have their website linked to specific keywords. You can tell which results are SEO and which are PPC generally based on their position on the page, PPC ads will generally be listed on the side of the page and up top in an off-colored box, SEO results are displayed below. Depending on the keywords, PPC can get a bit costly because organizations will be competing to be linked to the same keywords. There are many free tools available for those looking to maximize their PPC dollars.
5.) Client Success Stories
Having client success stories on your website provide a level of credibility that you cannot achieve with pure advertisements. For instance, if you see an advertisement for a company saying “we’re the best!” you’re going to take that with a grain of salt, however if you’re talking to a colleague and they say “they are the best” you’re more apt to believe them. Client success stories can come in the form of case studies, testimonials, pictures of completed work, and reviews and can be seamlessly added to your website to give you instant credibility.
These are just some first steps, but if you perform them diligently you’ll see that there is nothing to fear from a cost or technology standpoint. There a plenty of free resources on the internet to help you get started, but if you are looking to get started with a construction oriented group of professionals feel free to give Pantera a call at 1-877-219-9777 to see what we can do for your organization.