“How do I get more home improvement leads”
MANY CONTRACTORS RELY ON PAY-PER-LEAD SERVICES TO DELIVER THE CONSTRUCTION LEADS THEY NEED. BUT ARE SERVICES LIKE THUMBTACK THE BEST OPTION? HERE WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE BEST WAYS TO DRIVE HOME IMPROVEMENT LEADS TODAY.
LEADS ARE IMPORTANT. They’re really freakin’ important.
That’s why there are so many pay-per-lead services and listing directories trying to appeal to construction companies, claiming that their leads are better than the next service. And it works. There are business owners that swear by HomeAdvisor. There are others that say Thumbtack is the best thing since sliced bread. Still others claim that they aren’t sure how they’d stay in business without Angie’s List. Oh, good old Angie.
One thing’s for sure, though. These services drive leads. They have to because that’s how they make their money. One way or another, they have to drive leads and a lot of them. But at what cost does this come to their customers and what ever happened to lead quality, anyway?
How do these services use SEO to drive home improvement leads?
Pay-per-lead sites like HomeAdvisor, as well as directory-type sites like Angie’s List are essentially SEO companies. What’s SEO? As defined by Search Engine Land, "SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the process of getting traffic from the free, organic, editorial, or natural search results on search engines.” Basically, doing the necessary things to get found online. These lead services optimize their websites to come up first on Google, ranking higher than the smaller home improvement businesses to which they sell leads. That’s right—you're paying your online competitor to push your company’s own website down in the rankings.
Lots of Home Improvement Leads doesn't necessarily mean lots of sales.
If you’ve been in the contracting business for any length of time, chances are good you know that not all leads are created equal. You may also know the extremely high costs of chasing bad leads that don’t bring a sale. Those expenses add up really quickly not to mention your lost time meeting with tire kickers. Not fun. With no real incentive to deliver quality, just quantity, sites like HomeAdvisor can spin your business into a fury in a hurry.
Doesn’t it make more sense to put your efforts—and your money (even “free” sites like Angie’s List post companies with lower quality reviews over those with higher ratings if they pay enough for “advertising”)—into attracting high-quality, pre-qualified even if it means getting less of them overall? Pre-qualified leads close at a much higher rate, resulting in a lower cost of customer acquisition (CAC). This means more time for you to work on the things in your business that matter most—things like improving field productivity and margins.
Alternatives to HomeAdvisor and Thumbtack for Driving Leads home improvement leads
I like to think of it like this. Using pay-per-lead services is like renting—when you stop paying you’ve got nothing to show for your money. In fact, it’s actually worse than that. Most times, you have to dig your company’s website out of a hole because remember, these sites work hard to rank higher than your site.
But what if—while you're “renting” the leads you need—you’re also working to “own” a lead generation machine for your business? At least you would be investing in your future so that one day you can say goodbye to renting your business's online presence.
How do you do it? Much like they do! Build a beautiful and informative website for your construction company, optimize it using SEO so that it comes up really well in search results in the regions you service, and utilize other tools like social media, Google reviews, and email marketing to help convert website visitors into new customers. Here’s an interesting article on creating a lead generation system for you business. Driving leads this way is truly an investment rather than a cost because the content you create on your website will help your business close sales for as long as your website is live.
I guess it really comes down to this—would you rent your primary excavator and dump truck forever? Of course not. So why would you rent your lead generation machine?