3 Best Practices for your Builder Business Blog

Posted by Spencer Powell

Dec 7, 2012 7:45:00 AM

Business blogs can be somewhat challenging for a few reasons: you shouldn't be self promoting, you need to create timely, relevant content for your readers and you have to be consistent.  Let's take a look at some best practices to ensure your blog reaches the level of success you're looking for.

best practices for builder businesses
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Topics: builder blog content, builder blogging, builder blog articles

Turn Your Builder Blog into a Lead Generation Machine

Posted by Spencer Powell

Nov 16, 2012 7:41:00 AM

lead generation machineBuilding a blog is a lot like building a house or a commercial building.  What you build and how you build it says a lot about how you are as a business person.  Naturally, using great materials and taking the time to ensure everything is tight and well designed leads to your work being sought after.  Building something shoddy means you're going to have some skinny kids.

Don't Have a Lazy Blog

You've likely dealt with subcontractors who like to take multiple-hour lunch breaks, and can never seem to get everything they need with a single trip to the hardware store.  Your blog can be just like those guys, or it can be like the consummate professionals you want to work with.  If you want your blog to both express that you offer a premium service and get people to contact you, there are three things your blog has to do:

Offer Interesting Content

Some people think a blog is a place to stand there and shout like a used car salesman who's had too much coffee.  You can do that, but ultimately you'll be better served by taking a softer approach to your selling.  Write your blog posts from a perspective of, "I'll help you better understand more," and your readers will come to respect you as an expert in your field.  Who do you think they'll want to go to when they have a project?  This will attract a lot of work.  Just steer clear of too much technical detail, and remember to always write about your customers, not yourself.

Ask for What You Want

There are two things your marketing needs to ask for: contact information for your e-mail list, and the sale.  Some people need to be told to buy, or at the very least fill out a form asking for you to contact them.  Otherwise, they might hem and haw forever, while their dream home or business remains just a dream.

Make and Test Offers

Pay careful attention to what you're offering.  When you give something such as a discount, a free estimate, an ebook about how to get what they want from a contracting company or an "extra" of some sort, see who actually responds to it.  Different offers will attract different people.  The more kinds of offers and the more ways you offer them, the better.  Test an offer's wording, its look, and where you offer it.  Test constantly.

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Topics: builder blog content, builder blogging, builder lead generation

Improving Your Organic Position on Google - A Guide for Builders and Remodelers

Posted by Spencer Powell

Oct 31, 2012 7:38:00 AM

google addwordsAdwords is a great way to make Google work for you and bring plenty of targeted traffic to your website.  However, Adwords is just a tool, and like any tool it's possible to become over-reliant on it.  The best way to make sure people searching for the kind of work you do is to have organic positioning, which has little to do with Adwords.  As well, there are problems with Adwords.

Adwords Isn't Everything

Some studies have found that having the top paid position for a keyword is like being ranked lower than that through being organically positioned.  Keep in mind that Adwords is expensive, and is only getting moreso.  Plus, the tasks involved in managing Adwords can easily turn into a full-time job, so you might as well take that energy and organically spruce up your site.  The following are some tips to get your site a lot higher in the search rankings.

What are You Offering?

If you don't have your value proposition lined up, work on that first.  Once you know what you're offering, think carefully about phrases that sum it up, or at least go along with it.  Be sure you don't ignore the other search engines, because Google isn't everything.  You should also keep an eye out for phrases that go along with the unique problem you solve.  Why do people use you to build or remodel for them, instead of doing it themselves or hiring someone else to do it? 

Keep the Keywords in Site

Once you've found some traffic-driving keywords, use them all over your site: prominent places in your pages, the titles and headings of your pages, in your meta tags, everywhere.  Just like what you build, the small and rarely noticed details are what separate "some guy with tools" from a true professional tradesman.  While most people won't notice if you skillfully put in the right phrase here and there, the search engines will.

Tinker With It

Your website is a living thing.  Don't fall in love with one type of content.  In some cases, building a landing page for a particular keyword that explains it instead of something more general can do a lot for your ranking.  Ideally, you should keep adding interesting, unique content to your site until you sell your business and retire. The goal is to get onto the first page of Google, which is like having Adwords -- for free.  Keep working on it.
jimmy donnellon – inbound marketing professional

Blog Post Written by Jimmy Donnellon

Jimmy is an inbound marketing professional with a background in public relations and marketing. Jimmy helps his clients found on the web, convert visitors into leads and helps them track their results.

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Topics: builder blogging, builder seo, google positions

Is your Remodeling Company Dedicated to Content Marketing?

Posted by Spencer Powell

Oct 25, 2012 7:15:00 AM

content marketingOne of the best things about the building trades is that it's usually a "one and done" deal.  Your client calls you with a project, you go and do it, and once it's done right you get paid and move on to the next thing.  You don't have to keep on doing the same project week after week, or even month after month.  Sometimes you can even take some off time to rest and get your head together. But good luck doing that with a blog, right?  Once you've got a blog, you need to have all kinds of content swimming through your head like Hemingway in his prime, right?

No!  You don't need to be some kind of literary genius, constantly scribbling out ideas when you can't add anything to your blog in the normal way.  As a matter of fact, you might very rarely have to think up "special" ideas for your posts.  Whether you realize it or not, with every remodel you do, you're doing things worth blogging about.  The following are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing, so you can pump out the content like a champ.

1. Make Yourself Look Like an Expert.

Sometimes people will e-mail you or post on a forum with a question, and you'll be tempted to just answer it privately.  Resist this urge.  First, make the question and answer public on the forum, if not on several.  Then, turn your response into a super-detailed blog post.  Don't be afraid to spend an entire day answering the crap out of that question, as well as some additional questions that will inevitably come up.

2. Share the Lessons of Your Teachers.

One of the best and worst things about the building trades is that most knowledge is passed down by watching someone more experienced do something, and having them give you advice.  This is great because it keeps the knowledge very practical, but it's terrible because it only reaches insiders.  On your blog, share the lessons you've been taught, and your customers will see you as a lifelong student on a quest to be the best remodeler you can be.

3. Outsource.

If in doubt, hire a ghostwriter.  They're great for brainstorming, and posting for you while you're on vacation.  A competent writer will ask you're targeting, and will write in a voice appropriate for that crowd.  The best writers' work won't even need much editing.
spencer powell inbound marketing certified professional

Blog Post Written by Spencer Powell

Spencer is the Inbound Marketing Director at TMR Direct. Spencer specializes in helping clients create and execute effective inbound marketing campaigns.

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Topics: builder blogging, builder content marketing

6 Builder Tips for Improving Blog Conversion

Posted by Spencer Powell

Oct 9, 2012 7:25:00 AM

builder tips improve blog conversationTraffic and leads are important for all builder blogs, but it is also important to understand how conversion rate effects these factors.  When you improve your conversion rate, you are more likely to increase your lead generation, even when you do not have more traffic.

If you are noticing a decline in your conversion rate or are simply interested in boosting your conversion rate, check out these six tips for improving blog conversion.

1.  Align Your Content with Relevant, Targeted CTAs
One of the most important aspects of lead generation is understanding calls-to-action (CTAs).  It is essential to place one on every blog post.  If you do not currently use CTAs in your blog posts, it's never too late to start.  If you already use them, consider how you can make them more relevant.  Think about the specific resources that your building company customers need.  This may mean creating some entirely new CTAs.

2.  Use New CTAs to Optimize Your Evergreen Blog Content

High traffic articles will be a continual source of lead generation for your company if they continue to be updated.  Examine your analytics to find articles that have high search rankings and are still generating a significant amount of traffic.  Include newer offers with high conversion to boost the rates of these evergreen articles.

3.  Give Your Banners and Highlighted Offers a Makeover
People don't want to see the same banners and offers every time that they visit your web site and will lose interest if you don't change them once in a while.  Simply updating one of these aspects of your site can boost your conversion rates.  Your analytics information is your best friend with this process.

4.  Experiment with Different CTA Buttons
Don't be afraid to try different CTA buttons to determine which ones work the best.  Consider simple vs. complex buttons.  Think about the tone and layout of your messages.  Examine the statistical significance of each test that you run.

5.  Include Links to Offers Throughout Your Blog Posts

In addition to button CTAs, include text within blog articles.  For example, if your company has an eBook entitled "Top Kitchen Remodeling Projects," include a link for it in your article about house renovations to consider before trying to sell.

6.  Include an Opt-In E-Mail Form

Some of the simplest methods for increasing blog conversionare the most effective.  Including an opt-in e-mail form on your web site is no exception.
spencer powell inbound marketing certified professional

Blog Post Written by Spencer Powell

Spencer is the Inbound Marketing Director at TMR Direct. Spencer specializes in helping clients create and execute effective inbound marketing campaigns.

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Topics: builder blog content, builder blogging, builder blog articles

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