Where do customers go when they want to hire a company for construction services.
When prospective customers type in what they want – for example “fence company in Los Angeles” – that’s your chance to appear automatically as a top supplier on Google.
There are three primary ways you can rank for this search query:
- Organic Search Results
- Organic Maps 3-Pack Results
- Google Ads
At Edeska, we specialize in ranking our clients via all three of these methods. For a beginner marketer or a business owner, Google Ads would be the fastest way to rank on the top and to start generating leads immediately.
What is AdWords?
AdWords is a service offering small online advertisements through Google. AdWords ads have a standard format and they can appear in Google search results and on other websites too.
For example, let’s suppose a customer wants to find a construction company in New York. The customer might type into Google a phrase like “retractable awnings in Los Angeles” Google will then display websites about awning services in Los Angeles in the main part of the screen, and, in a column to the right of the screen, related AdWords advertisements. A typical AdWords ad in this case might look like this:
If you’ve never run a Google Ads campaign before, this article will guide you through the process; from creating ad copy to keyword lists, finding the right ad extensions and boosting your click-through rate. And, if you’ve been running PPC ads for a while, this guide can be your refresher course.
Step 1: Competitor Analysis
A competitive audit is an essential strategy for running a profitable Google Ads campaign, especially when planning your match type keywords. There are two ways of doing this research. Either manually searching for for keywords most relevant to your business and seeing what competitors show up or by using a tool like Spyfu.com to find out the keywords your competitor’s are currently advertising for. For example, plug in a competitor domain name like accentawnings.com on the homage.
Click "Adwords History" to view the active keywords the competitors is marketing for. Spyfu only shows 3 of the most clicked ads in the account for free. Spyfu charges $99 a month for more detailed competitor AdWords history and the tool is certainly worth it. We use Spyfu for our clients and actually offer a detailed overview of your competitor's AdWords history in each free proposal we provide to our clients. Please request this free proposal by clicking here.
Alternatively, you can just search for keywords that you feel are the most relevant by manually searching for certain terms and seeing if your primary competitor is advertising on that keyword. For example an awning business, you could search for awning, awning company and other keywords that a potential buyer would search for.
From there, you can click on these ads and do a detailed analysis of the website and landing pages your competitors are utilizing. Take meticulous notes on the ad-copy, common design elements and copywriting employed by your competitors. Phase 1 of every Google Ads campaign should be marketing for these same keywords as active keywords that one or more competitors are advertising for show that these keywords are profitable to advertise on.
Step 2: Account Creation and Keyword Selection
The first step is to create your Google Ads account.
If you decided to use your existing Google account (i.e., your Gmail account) to create an AdWords account, then you do not need to follow this step. However, if you created a new Google account for AdWords, then you will be required to verify your account.
Once you are signed in to Google AdWords, the system will prompt you to create your first campaign.
You can choose your campaign settings (name for your new campaign, audience language, location, network settings, bidding and budget options, etc.) as shown in the following example:
You will need to provide the following basic information to create your campaign and then click the Save and continue button at the bottom of the page when you are done.
- Budget: Enter the amount you're willing to spend on average each day for this ad campaign. Your budget will help determine how many times your ad can be shown each day.
- Locations: Select the locations where you want your ad to appear (location of potential customers).
- Networks: Select where you want your ad to appear. You have an option to select devices on which you want your ad to appear or use the default setting.
- Keywords: Enter search term keywords that will trigger your ad.
- Bid: Enter the most you are willing to pay for your ad.
- Text: Enter the text of your ad.
Setting a budget
To start with, you can go low, just a few dollars a day. And Google gives you a number of controls on how the money is spent. For instance, you can put a cap on how many dollars a day you will spend on the ad. Once the cap is reached, your ad will no longer show and you don’t spend any more that day.
Create your ads
This is where you need some finesse. The ad can only be 130 characters long so every word has to count. You need to provide a link to your landing page, enough information about your business to let prospects know they are headed to the right place, a website or landing page URL for display, and a succinct message of what problem you solve, what you are, where you are (if you only want local traffic) and a call to action.
DO NOT send people to your home page. Send them directly to a page that continues to answer their question and gives them a way to contact you.
At this point, Google will ask where you want the ads displayed. You have two choices:
- Search network: it will only appear on the right of the search results page.
- Display network: different sites that display AdWords ads.
To keep it simple, just go with Search in the “Campaign Type” selector for now.
Put in your daily budget.
Remember that it is important to think about keywords from the point of view of your customers. They may not know the term “underpinning” and may try to search on something like “repair building foundation.”
As you go through the process, Google will also ask you to define keywords for your ads. Following this, the choice of options for how Google will match searches on keywords to your ad might seem overwhelming. However, there is a simple logic behind it.
Google will match keywords used by visitors to your ad as an exact match or an approximate (“broad”) match. For example, if you ask for a broad match on the phrase “repair building foundation,” then Google might also show your ad if somebody types in “mend building foundation” or “repair building base.” On the other hand, suppose your company is specialized in underpinning and you prefer to work exclusively via other contractors or insurance companies. Then you might insist on an exact match for “underpinning” to make sure you only get contacts from people who know they need exactly your kind of service.
Single words as keywords are often just too general. For instance, somebody typing in “building” might simply want to know about how buildings are constructed, rather than find a contractor for a job. Indeed, users of search engines increasingly understand that to get the information they want, they need to put more detail in their search requests.
There is also a tendency for people to use greater precision and more keywords the closer they are to making a purchasing decision. For example, “eco-friendly loft renovation company in Galveston” would suggest somebody is relatively close to asking for an estimate and perhaps placing an order for a building project.
Start Running Ads
After you have finalized the bid, campaigns, adgroups and keywords with high buyer-intent you can go ahead and launch the ads.
Google does more than give you control. It also provides accountability. It tracks and reports:
- How many clicks you receive on your campaign
- The click-through rate (CTR) telling you how efficient your ad is at getting clicks
- The average cost per click you are paying
- The average position of your ad on the search results page
To get complete accountability, you also want to track how many leads and customers you get from this campaign. We would also recommend setting up end-to-end attribution through a call-tracking system like CallRail.com or CallTrackingMetrics.com.
We also recommend using a form plugin on your website that can track the effectiveness of each marketing campaigns for events, registrations, and other lead generation initiatives by tracking campaign parameters like source, medium, term, content, name, and Google Click Identifier (GCLID). You can then pass campaign data to your preferred CRM for additional tracking and analysis.
Search Engine Optimization
Step 1: Competitor Analysis
Successful SEO campaigns begin with keyword research. We recommend starting with a few manual searches for what you expect to be the most important keywords for your business. undefined
Keyword research tools like Ubersuggest, Keyword Tool, and Answer the Public are great because they are based on actual search data. And they can help you uncover keywords and phrases people search online to find your construction company.
Then, you can incorporate those keywords on your site and create custom content to address topics that potential customers want to learn about.
This can help to boost your rankings in search results and give your construction company a leg up against competitors.
Step 2: Content Creation & Article Writing
Once you have analyzed the keywords with the highest buyer intent and the articles and pieces of contents from competitors that are ranking the best, we advise that you start the content creation process.
You start by researching popular trends, topics, and already well-received pieces of existing content across the topic areas your business typically covers. Then, you look for new and unique ways to create content that communicates a similar message -- with a twist. This might mean that you leverage a new, more engaging medium, update the statistics, or employ a better design.
We typically recommend a minimum of 10 unique blog posts every month.
Step 3: Link Building
Google has confirmed that links and quality content are two of the three most important ranking factors for SEO.
A link’s quality is also determined by a domain’s sitewide authority.
In general, a link from a site like NYTimes.com will have a MUCH bigger impact than a link from a no-name blogger.
Anchor text is the clickable text section of a link.
As it turns out, Google uses anchor text as a ranking signal.
For example, let’s say you get a link to your site with anchor text: “paleo desserts”.
Google sees that anchor text and says: “Hmmm. That site used the anchor text: “paleo desserts”. The page they’re linking to must be about “paleo desserts.”
rel=”nofollow” is a tag added to a link that tells search engines: “Don’t count this link as an endorsement.” Obviously, when it comes to SEO, you want to get normal, “dofollow” links whenever possible.
Step 4: Rank Tracking
We recommend you install Google Search Console or a more advanced rank tracking solution to track your rankings on a monthly basis.
Keep a look out for pieces of content that seems to be "breaking out" then double down on that content.
Local Map Pack Ranking & Optimization
Local SEO is important.
In fact, 46% of all searches on Google are local.
Which means that, if you’re a local business and you don’t have your local SEO in order, you’re missing an opportunity every time someone searches for your products or services online.
The Google “3-pack” is the collection of the top-three results for your local search.
Step 1: Competitor Analysis
Step 1: Create Google My Business Listing
Head to google.com/business and click ‘Start Now’ and enter your business name. If you have the same name as another business in your region, you’ll see the autocomplete function suggest those businesses for you. This is to allow you to see if your business listing already exists (to avoid accidental duplication), and to add a new GMB profile to an existing business if you’ve just opened a new location.
Enter the address of the business location
(Only if this is where your business engages in face-to-face interactions with customers).
If you’re a Service Area Business that delivers goods and services to your customers, you’ll need to tick the box at the bottom of this form. SABs have two options here:
- If you can receive customers at your business address, enter your address here, tick the box and click ‘Next’.
- If you don’t have any premises where customers can visit you, leave the address field blank, tick the box and then tick the ‘Hide my address (it’s not a store)’ box that appears below.
All businesses that deliver goods and services directly to their customers will have the option to specify a Service Area in the next step.
Specify service areas (Service Area Businesses only).
Before you can choose your business category, you’ll need to specify the areas you serve, so that Google can accurately surface your business for searches in those areas, even without a physical address. Enter one or more regions, cities, or ZIP codes that your business serves.
N.b. At the time of writing, Google My Business is phasing out the ‘Distance around your business location’ option and has stated that these will be replaced, so we’d recommend forgoing this option and specifying regions, cities, or ZIP codes instead.
Choose your business category.
This is a very important field that will not only strongly influence the kinds of search terms you appear in Google for, but also appear within your Google My Business profile. It’s also something worth testing when you come to update your Google business listing.
While you are able to adjust this later (which will require re-verification – more on this later), we’d recommend researching competitors and looking through a full list to find the most accurate category for your business.
N.b. Some Google My Business features are category-specific. For example, hotel listings show class ratings and list any amenities offered. Food and drink businesses can also add URLs to their listing for online orders, reservations, and their menu, and they can even add menu items directly into GMB. Services and health and beauty businesses may be able to add a booking button to their listing.
These are just a few examples of the sophistication that Google is developing for GMB, so it’s worth staying up-to-date on new additions to Google My Business.
Add a contact phone number and website URL.
Neither is compulsory but are strongly recommended if you want to take advantage of GMB functionalities like call tracking. If you ever need to change this when updating your Google business listing, be sure to make those changes to all other business listings, too.
If you don’t already have a website, Google will even give you the option to create a new ‘Google Website’ based on the information you’ve provided. However, as we’ve shown before, there are plenty of reasons local businesses need their own unique websites.
Complete your Google My Business Verification.
Google obviously needs to be able to prove that your business is where you say it is, and for entirely new GMB profiles, you have three options:
- Postcard verification. This is the most-used verification process, and is available to all businesses. With this process, a verification postcard will be sent to the address you entered earlier (it should reach you within five days). Once received, you can entered the code in your GMB account to verify the business. If your code doesn’t show up, you can click the ‘Request another code’ banner at the top of the screen in GMB.
Step 2: Business Directory and Citation Building
Whether you’re creating a brand new location or moving addresses, citations are very important. Cleanliness and consistency across the web can actually help boost local ranking signals. A citation is any mentioning of your brand across the online ecosystem. Part of your local SEO strategy should be to:
- Make sure your business information can be found on niche local directories.
- Make sure your business information is on data aggregators. Data aggregators help push your business information around the web. Check out how complex the U.S local search ecosystem is! This shows you how certain data partners feed information online.
A great way to get started with citations is to perform an audit.
Step 3: Generate Reviews
ow many times have you used a review or testimonial to help make a consumer decision? Did you know that 91% of 18-34 year old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? How about that for the power of online reviews and reputation?!
Since you’re creating a new business location, you need to make sure that your business has a review generation (and reputation management) strategy in place. Using the voice of customers is a great way to build credibility. Users trust online reviews from consumers that have used a product or service before, and most often make a decision based off of those reviews.
To get started, your business needs to develop a strategy or plan. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry, there are some great reputation management tools out there! The best tools will not just help you to build reviews, but to manage them as well. For the managing aspect, focus on responding to user reviews. This is a great way to show your appreciation and to show you value your customer’s voice. These little tips will help your business succeed in the local market.