This is a much needed upgrade version to our popular original article Digital Marketing for Tradies Made Simple. Since then digital marketing for Tradies and digital marketing in general has evolved at a rapid rate and now with the first recession in 29 years and uncertain business climate affecting us all, we feel an upgraded version would be the most beneficial for Tradies and people working in the trades industry.
Tradies, the backbone of the Australian economy – Slugging it out day after day fixing leaky taps or installing new floorboards. Make no mistake, it is back breaking labour yet they put their money where their mouth is and persevere. Maybe it’s their relaxed attitude or casual appearance but they oftentimes have a reputation and perception that’s quite far from the truth.
Take for example the controversial Snickers ad that’s having a little fun with the trade industry. Their hard working, down to earth attitude and modesty however can also be their downfall as they often do very little if at all to promote their services and even getting more word of mouth ( a large portion of their revenue stream) is overlooked.
This digital (and traditional) marketing for tradies made simple article will try to address some of these issues and highlight some points and strategies tradies can use to promote themselves and their business to drive in new and returned business.
While marketing techniques for tradies follows marketing principles for any other industry, there are a few areas you want to put your efforts on to get maximum returns and that is local SEO and Word of mouth. This is because unless you are a large corporation that can serve customers in many states, you will need local customers – this is when local SEO comes in and word of mouth is what’s going to give you an edge over your competitors.
digital marketing for tradies
In this day and age, if your customers can’t find you on the Internet, do you even exist?
If you still don’t have a website at this day and age, it’s long overdue that you get one as soon as possible. A trades website is the first step and vital to doing business today especially now since the pandemic has fast tracked everything to online. Yes, even in traditional brick and mortar businesses and that includes trades.
A great website doesn’t have to be big or expensive. It just needs to provide the best user experience and information to your clients.
A website that contains great and relevant content with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) optimised with your industry specific keywords will not only do great in local search but also act as a platform for customers to sing your praise.
A website that has shareable buttons will make things easier for your clients to share content and your business details with their friends and family. Social media buttons on every page is even more ideal. For special offers, you will need an opt in form to collect your customer details. Put in some extra efforts for your term and conditions and what’s covered in your rates and it will separate you from the good to the great.
It is also a good idea to build on your website an opt in form to collect your customer details, specifically their email address. This is so you can send them emails of offers and latest updates to raise brand awareness and build a relationship with them before they are ready to become customers. As such, email marketing provides one of the highest return on investments for your trades business
Put in some extra effort for your terms and conditions and what’s covered in your rates and it will separate you from good to great.
Below are some important features to have on your trades website to make it more discoverable when your customers search for your services on search engines like Google and Bing:
Location, Location, location
Make sure your business name, phone number and location are in titles and headings in searchable html form and map form are included in relevant pages (Home and Contact Us page minimum). Ideally you want a different page for a different location if you have multiple locations to maximise the benefits of being found on all locations.
If you serve only local clients and your location is not on your main pages then you will not be able to show up in local search. Make your location on your website a priority! We will cover local search optimisation in detail further below.
User experience is probably the most important factor when designing your website. This is because many factors that attribute to user experience is also what Google directly uses to rank your websites against your competitors. Websites that have the best user experience will almost always rank higher.
What exactly is user experience?
User experience deals with the process of how your customer interacts with your website, including all aspects such as branding, design, usability and features and functions.
Ways to increase user experience include:
- Improving the speed of your website.
- Adding security features and encryption to your website.
- Making your website mobile friendly and optimised for all devices .
- Generally making your customer’s experience as efficient as possible compared to your competitors.
services and products
Make sure to have a separate page for every service or product you sell and of course include your business location on all the relevant pages. This maximises your chances of being found on search engines.
Anything that makes your customers’ life easier is good, and such is the case with Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs sections or web pages.
What’s more, FAQs are displayed on Google search results page which means more real estate for your website.
If you do have FAQs on your service pages, try to do more than 10 as Google directs customers to your website rather than on the Google search page itself which means more visitors to your website and that’s a good thing!
Statistically, there’s a strong correlation between the amount of content you have on your website and its ranking. If you think about all the websites that you go to, I think it’s safe to say that most of them will have a fair amount of content or user engagement, and it’s not by chance that they’re ranked so high.
The more you write about your services and related topics, the higher the chance you will rank. Websites that have a blog attract more visitors to their website so start brainstorming all the questions you think your most ideal costumes will ask you and start writing them down in your company blog!
A highly targeted case study that’s well written and addresses the right issues with measurable results will do wonders to promote recognition and credibility with other local clients. It establishes social proof and authority that are key to persuading visitors to customers.
local news and events
Have you recently made contributions to the local community or school or have you purchased a new van or ute for your business? Share it! Even small or what may seem insignificant events can help to boost your recognition and establish rapport with your local customers. Sometimes what seem like insignificant news can play to your advantage because you appear more relatable and easier to work with than larger corporations.
Testimonials on your website provides great social proof. Whenever someone says something great about you or your business ask them if you can use their comments. If your service area has a tight knit community, recognising that a comment or testimonial comes from a friendly neighbor will definitely put you in their priority list when they need your services further down the road. It your clients have a linkedin, social media or business page, linking to them will create valuable real-world connection.
Study have shown people mainly write reviews when they are not happy with a product or service. That’s why it’s imperative that tradies go above and beyond to ask for good reviews. Review snippets can be seen when people search for your company or when you advertise on Adwords with reviews extension so it’s a core aspect of your business you want to put effort into and get right.
ADDITIONAL WEBSITE OPTIMISATION TIPS
- A speedy websites that provides the best user experience will always rank higher than one that is outdated and unintuitive
- Make sure your website is secured with SSL
- Make sure your website is mobile responsive so it provides the best user experience on every device it’s viewed on
- Understand and implement the most important elements of great web design
social media for tradies
Social media is king when it comes to sharing content online especially for B2C businesses and of course for Tradies. Depending on where your customers hang out, focusing on two to three social media accounts is adequate, anything more and spread yourself too thin. You don’t want to dilute your marketing efforts because social media marketing takes a lot of planning and effort to gain an audience and followers.
FACEBOOK MARKETING FOR TRADIES
Facebook is still the number one social media platform to use for Tradies marketing due to the sheer number of users that are on there. Another thing going for Facebook is that it’s users tend to be older than other social media platforms (majority of them are over 35) and that’s where the bulk of your customers come from.
INSTAGRAM MARKETING FOR TRADIES
While Instagram’s users tend to be on the younger side compared to Facebook, it is arguably the best social media platform to be on to promote your business and brand. It trumps Facebook in a number of ways:
Higher Organic Reach and Engagement Rate
Just because you have 100 social media followers doesn’t mean all 100 of them will see what you posted. In fact, you will be lucky if your content gets in the feed of 10% of your followers. This is due to the fact that social media companies want you to pay them for exposure and that there are a lot more companies vying for a user’s attention than ever before.
Statistically speaking, engagement rates for social media tend to be low but Instagram is the highest of the bunch (Over four times more than Facebook). This means your customers are more active in engaging with your brand and spreading the word.
Ability to explore interests and locations
The ability to make your content more discoverable with hashtags and location is a major advantage to using Instagram. Furthermore unlike Facebook, hashtags generally attract more engagement.
Factors affecting if your content gets seen
There are over 100 ranking factors used to determine what a user sees on their feed or home screen and they are a combination of the following:
Freshness of content – you will more likely see recent posts than ones from a year ago.
Interaction of a page – How a user interacts with a business account or page determines their likelihood of seeing future content from them
Feedback of posts type – The feedback of a post will determine if it permeates to other accounts. If a post was flagged as inappropriate or reported enough, it will no longer be shown to other users
Engagement of posts type – What type of content a user interacts with recently will affect if certain types of content will show up in their feed
Engagement rate of posts – The engagement rate of a post will determine if it will show up more often to other users
Make no mistake, it is still possible to grow your business organically (without money) but depending on your products and its niche, it may be less effort to grow your business via social media advertising or ads. It will definitely take less effort.
social media marketing tips for tradies
- Social media is primarily used as a brand awareness and customer service tool
- The best time to post is when the majority of your clients are online but few of your competitors are. How do you know what time? By running tests!
- Include location tags in your posts so you can to attract local clients.
- Have a strategy in place, that means researching what type of content your customers like to see and engage with and the times they are most active.
- Social media marketing is all about being social, this means engaging with your clients and industry influencers for collaboration opportunities and shout outs.
- Consistent posting is crucial if you want your content to be seen and to stay relevant with your followers.
- Leverage your best posts by a post boost or an ad and reposting them further down the track.
- Read more on Social media marketing guide fundamentals
local search engine optimisation
With recent algorithm updates, Google is giving higher priority to local businesses on search result. This means bigger companies with huge advertising budgets no longer have the upper hand and small businesses are enjoying a much needed boost to their business online. To find out more and how to rank higher in local SEO, please visit our blog how to improve your local SEO. In it we emphasis on the three ingredients to get right with local SEO and they are:
- Set up Google My Business Account and link it to your website.
- Add location data to your business account emphasising on address and telephone number.
- Link to local established websites such as community, school or newspaper.
Having claimed your locations and phone number will enable your business to be found locally and be well on your way to ranking a high position in search engines.
What happens if you don’t serve a large enough city or your business is located outside what your clients typically search for, how do you show up on Google local search?
Traditionally, there are three ways to show up on Google maps based on location search:
- Your physical shop is located within the city’s CBD.
- There’s no other business like yours in the area people are searching.
- Your SEO is miles ahead of other similar businesses in that area.
If you are located outside the city where your clients typically search for and you want your business to show up there, you will have to:
- Physically move your office to the city (expensive option).
- Rent a virtual office or post office box there.
- Ask a friend or colleague to lend you their mailbox so you can claim it as a working address.
- Improve your SEO so much that it’s miles ahead of the local competition.
Make no mistake, it’s much much harder to rank for a location your business is not located in but the results may be worth it.
LEVERAGE LARGER LOCAL CITIES
Larger cities get more search. If you want your business to gain more online traffic, you can leverage nearby large cities to your advantage.
This strategy is often used by the tourism industry. If a tourism business is located on the outskirts of Sydney for example, they will aim to rank for keyphrases such as “ attractions near Sydney “ or “ day trips from Sydney “ etc… Well guess what, you too can leverage nearby large cities to your advantage!
One thing to note however is that it’s going to be difficult to rank when you have a lot of competitors around that area. Tourist attractions/destinations are a little different because they (typically) do not have a lot of competition.
Search Engine Marketing
ppc and GOOGLE ADS
Paid ads such as Facebook and Google Ads can be very profitable IF you do it right. If you don’t, you will end up wasting a lot of money with little to no returns.
While it is beyond the scope of this article to cover all paid advertising platforms, the most important thing to get right for your trades business is targeting the location of your customers and laser focus on your most desired customer demographic.
Below are some general tips to get your ads campaign running smoothly so you will at least not waste too much money and get a positive return for your ad budget:
- Segmenting your services and products – e.g. don’t just put up an ad for handyman, be as specific as possible!
- Laser focus on your ideal demographic particularly the location of your clients.
- Research and use keywords that have high search volume but relatively low competition.
- Create compelling ads that are relevant, demonstrates a value and clear call to action
- Don’t just point your clients to your home page and call it a day. Make sure to create a separate landing page for every service you offer!
- Test your ads rigorously overtime to get the best bang for your buck.
Check out the most common mistakes you’re making with Google Ads
Although digital marketing plays a major role in promoting your business, we must not forget about traditional marketing. In fact, for local businesses a traditional approach may be what separates it from larger international companies that serve the same industry.
WORD OF MOUTH
For businesses that only serves clients within a particular location, word of mouth is especially important in well, spreading the word so to speak. This said, seldom do Tradies leave a platform for their customers to sing their praise. The idea is to make reviews and sharing of your content as easy as possible. Below are some ideas you can use to promote word of mouth the old fashion way:
You’ll be surprised at how many times Tradies forget this. They turn up for work, complete it and leave an invoice and off they go to their next client or the local pub. A basic business card is one of the simplest things you can give to a client. A business card set up as a fridge magnet or with a promotion for returning customers is an even better idea.
Connecting with Local Chamber of Business or Meetups
If you’re servicing clients locally, it is especially important to become friendly with the locals (from a business perspective and also personally of course!). You may want to check out a local Meetup group or join your area’s business chamber. A local business chamber also has the resources to help you start and grow your business.
Branded Company Car
If you’re constantly doing jobs in a particular region, a company car will do wonders to your brand recognition and promote word of mouth.
We hope you got something out of our marketing for Tradies made simple article. Bear in mind, these are just tip of the iceberg. What marketing strategies has worked for you? Please share below or subscribe to our Newsletter to the right for future articles delivered straight to your inbox.
LET’S FACE IT
Marketing can be incredibly tedious and time consuming. What’s more, you stand to lose a lot of money very quickly. This can happen if you don’t have the knowledge and experience to know what makes a great marketing piece, who to target, the best marketing software and of course years and years of experience in the field.
If you need assistance with the heavy lifting, please do not hesitate to email us or give us a call.