We last covered this topic in December 2018, and now we're back for a third helping of advice about how to build website traffic. Because let's face it, about 25 to 30 per cent of your sales should come from marketing, and your website should ultimately be your greatest marketing weapon.
A website is like a 24x7 TV station about your business, says Paul Denys of Ottawa-based Denys Builds Designs. Therefore, driving traffic to your website remains a growing concern that contractors need to understand and master.
For starters, do you even have a website? If not, perhaps it's time for you to realize the '90s are over. Denys launched his site in 2000, giving him nearly 20 years experience in running one now.
“Anybody that doesn’t have a website nowadays, you wonder if they’re in business,” he says. “I could see subtrades, but if you’re a contractor…” Denys did not need to finish that sentence, but if you relate, you better get yourself a site pronto!Blogging
We've covered how important blogging is to building traffic on several occasions, but here is another tip to help make your blog attractive to potential clients.Be You:
“If they’re going to blog, they must let their personality shine through,”
Ron Roberts of Lenexa, Kansas-based Filthyrichcontractor.com advises. “Don’t try to be a super professional, don’t worry about perfect grammar, let the raw personality shine through because people are either going to love it or hate it.”
So the takeaway here is to not overthink things; just let your mind flow and be yourself -- don't write what you think people want to read. Get Quoted:
When it comes to websites, it's really not as simple as 'build it and they will come.' Denys advises that garnering media attention is a good way to help drive traffic.
“So the more you’re committed to this venture, the more you’re listed in articles with the newspaper, the more you’re listed on something related to renovation, the greater the chance you’re going to be on page one or two (of search results).”Get Listed:
There are countless online directories and signing up with them is a sure-fire way to help drive traffic. Denys suggests doing a search on your competition and finding out where they’re listed. Among the directories/websites he suggests signing up for: Hotfrog; Oldhouseonline; LinkedIn; ZoomInfo; Constructiondir; and FineHomebuilding.
In terms of seeing results from this, Denys says “it all sort of feeds in on itself.” For instance, one of his project listings on FineHomebuilding got picked up by a magazine, generating a lot of interest in his business as a result.
“Using all these directories and listings seem to be working in synergy, as they all tie in together to give him more exposure" he explains.
Another tip Denys offers up is to periodically guest write an article for an industry-related publication (he's written for Renomart and Ottawa Living, for instance), and ensure that the article includes your web address. Linkbacks are gold to begin with; getting one that targets your specific demographic is like the Holy Grail.
So how did he learn about all this? Surely Denys has some kind of SEO background? Not at all. He simply did his homework. “Google is our friend,” he said laughing. That leads to another tip...Invest the Time:
The time you spend researching traffic increasing methods may seem like a hassle, but as evidenced by Denys' experience, it clearly can pay off.
“Hopefully, if you’ve done this for (several) years, your feelers will be stretching out into the web more and more.”Ask an Expert:
Don't be shy about hiring an SEO expert and checking in with them a couple of times per year to get the lay of the land in terms of what's changed and what you should be targeting. The fact is the rules of the Internet world constantly evolve, so it's nearly impossible for anyone to do their day job and keep up to date.