Years of connecting homeowners and home improvement professionals, including those in windows and doors, we’ve learned quite a bit about how to use paid search advertising to help with that matchmaking. Modernize Home Services packaged those learnings into a YouTube Series “Taking Paid Search to the Next Level.” Here are the first three things you should focus on to improve your search marketing.
1. Search ads need to provide answers
Homeowners have questions when it comes to window replacements. And since your ad is the first thing the customer sees, it must show you have what they are looking for. Use clear language to communicate you have the answer to their question. Be direct and avoid irrelevant information. Your ad is what the customer uses to decide if they should visit your landing page.
Therefore, the landing page needs to reward them for their click by answering the question they searched for. Consistency is key. If a visitor clicked your ad that specifically promoted “replacement sliding doors,” the landing page should provide information about that company’s sliding doors. If the answer isn’t clearly displayed, they won’t stay on your site. You will fail to capture them as a lead, and your advertising spend will be wasted.
2. Bid on the right words
Paid search advertising is about picking the right keywords. Advertisers bid for and purchase exposure to potential customers based on the words users type in their search engine. Since there is a huge variety in how searches are phrased, search companies give advertisers the flexibility to bid on words and phrases in many ways. While the most obvious searches for your trade might be “window installations” or “sliding glass door replacements,” you might be surprised by the number of keywords homeowners use in your territory.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the choices and options. Google, Amazon and Microsoft suggest keywords based on a simple description of your target customer. Start with basic keywords and see which ones have the highest conversions and at what cost. After gathering that data, you can adjust and try different keywords.
Another way to pick your keywords is by reverse engineering your web pages. Your website should already be saturated with the words and phrases that most strongly express your company’s value proposition. By advertising on searches for the same keywords already found on your landing page, you’ll benefit from a higher quality score, and visitors will likely spend more time on your site as a potential customer.
3. Remove friction
Friction describes anything that interferes with good digital communication. Friction prevents homeowners from finding, discovering or learning things they are interested in. From the advertiser’s perspective, friction prevents conversions.
You want homeowners to convert by filling out a form, sending an email, calling, texting or talking to a website bot. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. For example, a customer might experience friction while filling out a form if it asks too many questions. Try testing to understand where the friction is. Maybe a form that requires less information from the customer will convert better. Sure, your sales team wants to know as much as they can about homeowners. But for each additional question you ask, your response rate can go down by five to 10 percent.
To eliminate friction, streamline your prospects’ digital experiences as much as possible. Don’t distract them with fancy graphics that don’t advance the sale. Also, avoid promoting irrelevant content that could make them leave your website.
Other sources of friction are found in your website’s layout and loading speed. Abandonment rates can go through the roof if the page layout is awkward or if pages load slowly. Your website should be optimized for mobile views based on our data showing more than 60 percent of homeowners search for contractors using their phones.
Watch for friction and find ways to smooth it out. Review your analytics often to see where users get stuck and abandon pages. Pay close attention to click-through-rates, website visitors, bounce rates and conversion rates. After all, it’s only when the consumer takes action that you can move to developing a relationship that builds business.