Are you like the majority of contractors who receive an overwhelming amount of spam emails and calls promoting Google Ads?
This type of spam is not uncommon in the industry, but unfortunately, it can lead many to dismiss the platform altogether. In reality, however, Google Ads is one of the most valuable advertising tools you could use as a contractor.
What Are Google Ads?
Google Ads is an online advertising platform that allows businesses to create and run ads on Google search results and its partner websites. While these ads can appear in many places online, the most common type of Google Ad appears at the top of search results for specific keywords.
Google Ads appear for searches related to your home services business, like “painters near me” or “pest control in Phoenix,” You only pay for the results, like when people click your ad to call your business or visit your website. Google Ads are especially effective if you’re a new contractor who needs to build up their customer base or if you want a fresh influx of work quickly.
Why Google Ads Is The Best Advertising For Contractors
Compared to other advertising methods, Google Ads are relatively inexpensive. There’s typically no huge upfront cost to get started, and you can scale your budget however you want.
The ads are also highly targeted, meaning your ad is shown to people who need your services and are actively looking for them. As a result, you’re not wasting your time, money, and effort putting an ad up in front of someone who will never call you, which can happen with other advertising methods, like billboards or TV ads.
Some other reasons why Google Ads works great for contractors:
- You can quickly measure your return on investment at any time.
- Google Ads integrates seamlessly with other sales tools, saving time and effort.
- You can spend as much or as little as you’d like.
- Google levels the playing field for large and small advertisers alike, so you aren’t losing out if your budget is modest.
- You can quickly get to the top of search engine results.
- You can reach out to people who have visited your website before.
- You can build brand awareness in a crowded industry.
- You can access tons of data to make your ads even more effective.
One Little Catch
With the above list of amazing benefits, there’s little doubt that Google Ads are a great investment for contractors.
However, like most things, there is a catch: Google Ads can be complicated.
Especially if you’re just starting out, navigating the platform can be confusing and frustrating. To manage your Google Ads yourself, you’ll need to understand how bidding works and learn keyword research and metrics. You’ll also need to invest time into monitoring and perfecting your ads, making adjustments whenever necessary.
If you’re doing things right, you won’t have time to do all of this and run your contracting business. So instead, many contractors opt to have someone manage their Google Ads for them. But, again, there’s a lot of spam out there to contend with, so making sure you have a Google Ad management company that you trust is key. Projects Plus Marketing has been creating successful online marketing and paid advertising campaigns since even the beginning of Google Ads. What’s more, our team has a contracting background ourselves, so we understand your goals as a contractor and can help you get there in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
Google Ad Terms You Should Know As A Contractor
Since Google Ads can be confusing to navigate and understand at first, there’s no surprise that it seemingly comes with its own lingo. Even if you plan on outsourcing your digital ad management to an expert, it still helps to know the basic terms you’ll likely come across often.
Campaign: A campaign is a group of ads that have a common objective. Campaigns share a budget, location targeting, and other settings.
For example, you might run several ads for a specific service you recently started offering, or you might want to promote all your services to the same audience or location.
Targeting: Google Ads allows contractors and other businesses to really hone in on who their best customers are and only show their ads to people who fit that criteria.
For instance, if you find that those of a certain age, gender, or household income tend to hire you more often, you can set up a targeting formula for that. You can also target your ads based on location. The more you can hone in on who your target audience actually is, the better your ads will do in the long run.
Keywords or Keyphrases: Keywords or keyphrases are the string of words that searchers type into Google in order to find your ad. In a Google Ad campaign, you’re able to choose which keywords you want to appear for.
Say you’re a house painter looking for more exterior painting projects. You could choose keywords like “exterior painting,” “house painting,” and “house painter.”
You can also choose which keywords you do not want to appear for. If you’re only want residential jobs, you might decide to set “commercial painting” and “office building painting” as negative keywords so you don’t want your ad budget appearing for services you don’t actually offer.
Bids: Google Ads work similar to an auction, so you’ll also need to set up the maximum amount that you’re willing to pay, or a bid. You’re also able to customize your bids for different keyword groups.
Ad Strength: During the ad creation process, Google will give show you your ad strength, which is a score based on how well your ad follows Google’s best practices. Higher ad strengths mean better performance, which, in turn, means more and better jobs for your home services business.
Landing Page: A landing page is a page that searchers are directed to when they click on your ad. Google Ads get people’s attention, but landing pages will seal the deal. So it’s important to have landing pages that are relevant, engaging, and straightforward.
Click-Throughs or Click-Through Rate (CTR): A click-through refers to someone seeing your ad and then clicking on the link through to your landing page. Clicks turn into leads, so this is a key metric to watch to see how effective your ads are.
A click-through rate measures how many people clicked your ad in relation to how many people saw your ad. If your home services business has a campaign with a 1% CTR, that means that 1% of all the people who saw that specific ad clicked on the ad.
Impressions: An impression is another important data point you’ll want to understand. An impression is counted each time someone sees your ad.
Impressions can give you a good idea of how impressive your click-through rate actually is. For instance, if you have a CTR of 1% and 1,000 impressions, that means about 10 people clicked your ad. Now, imagine you have the same click-through rate but 10,000 impressions. You now have 100 people who clicked on your ad. Big difference, right?
Which Type Of Paid Ad Is Best For Contractors?
Now that we understand the major impact Google Ads can have on your home services business and some of the basic terms, what is the secret sauce to having a successful ad campaign as a contractor?
At Projects Plus, we’ve found the most success with Responsive Search Ads. These types of ads are bigger and more prominent in search results, and they perform much better for our contracting clients than traditional search ads. According to Google, responsive search ads have between a 5 – 15% higher click-through rate on average than standard ads.
Responsive search ads are a flexible ad format that arranges your ad headlines and descriptions to be more engaging to various target audiences across an array of search terms. For example, if you’re a flooring contractor, your ads might appear differently when someone searches for “vinyl flooring” as opposed to “hardwood flooring.”
There are a lot of advantages to this style of ad, as ads that read naturally and are spot on to search intent generally get the most traction. When crafting your responsive ads, we suggest writing between 10 – 15 headlines of varying lengths so they can easily be mixed and matched to the search query.
How To Advertise Your Contracting Business On Google
Getting on to responsive search ads is a good first step for contractors wanting to get their feet wet with Google Ads. However, since our experts have been doing this for many years, we’ve got more tricks of the trade to share.
Here is some of the best advice you can get as you manage your digital ad campaigns.
1. Focus On Your Best Services and Customers
When you start creating your campaigns, ad targeting will be one of your best friends. Like we mentioned before, Google Ads allows contractors to hone in on what types of customers they want and set up their ad campaigns to only show ads to those who fit that criteria.
Targeting lets you get the biggest bang for your buck if you set it up correctly. For example, if you are a contractor who services your entire state, setting your target location statewide will cost you more money than setting it to key areas within your service area. So, concentrate on the cities and zip codes within your service area if you want to establish a better reputation in.
You want to apply this method of targeting to your services as well. For instance, if you’re a remodeler and want more kitchen remodels over bathroom remodels, you can adjust your keyword groups so that you’re spending more on ads for keywords that include “kitchen remodel” and less on ads for “bathroom remodels.”
This way, everyone gets what they want – you get more of the jobs you actually want to bid on, and those in your target audience know exactly what you will and won’t be able to do for them.
2. Set A Reasonable and Competitive Budget
Most Google Ad management agencies have their own approach to ad budget. Because budget depends so much on where you live and who your competitors are, we’ll keep this one simple: just don’t overspend.
When setting your budget, see what the going rates are for where you live and who you want to outperform. If all of the contractors in your industry are setting their budget to $500 for a certain keyword group, but yours is set to $2,000, you’re wasting your money. Sure, you’ll outbid your competitors, but you would also do so if you had set your budget to $550. So evaluate what others are doing in your industry and do just enough to outperform them.
If your services change seasonally, it’s a good idea also to reevaluate your budget before each season. For example, if you’re a landscaping company, your customers will surely be more interested in your snow removal services in the winter and your lawn care services in the summer. Seasonally these different keywords will have different costs as the demand trends change. So, at the start of each season, check in with competitors and CPC rates to make sure you’re not overspending at any time during the year.
If you’re not sure how to find out what your competitors are spending or even who your competitors are, then Projects Plus Marketing would be happy to help you.
3. Have A Kick-Ass Landing Page
Your Google Ads will get people’s attention, but your landing pages will seal the deal. So, it’s important to make sure that your landing pages are all about converting. Minimize links to other pages on your website as much as possible, and make sure the most important aspects of your page (AKA your call to action and contact forms) are at the top of the page.
Over time, you’ll be able to see if the work you’ve done is reaping results or not through the data you collect on these pages. If the metrics aren’t up to snuff, try tweaking small things to see if that improves your conversions. For example, something as simple as adjusting the color of your buttons or the fonts on the page can do a lot to draw in those leads you’re wanting as a contractor.
4. Take Time to Consider Your Ad Strength
After creation, your responsive ads will be up for approval from Google’s team. During that process, you’ll be given an ad strength score, ranging from “Incomplete,” “Poor,” “Average,” “Good,” and “Excellent.”
Ad strength is a factor in how often your ad appears, what area of the page your ad appears on, and which keywords you appear for, so it’s vital to have the best score possible. You’ll want all your ad campaigns to be rated either “Good” or “Excellent” to see the best results.
5. Don’t Forget To Track Your Results
Google shares a ton of data on your campaign, so use it to your advantage! Regularly check the metrics of your Google Ads account and adjust accordingly depending on what you see.
Impressions is a metric on how many people see your ad, and you’ll want to check this metric often. The majority of people need to see your ad about 7 times before they’ll actually click it, so the higher your impressions, the higher your click-throughs and conversions will be. Impressions is also great for branding, so if getting your name out there is another goal of yours, this metric will show you whether or not you’re reaching that goal.
The most important metric to check, however, is the number of leads you’ve gotten since starting your campaign. Have you gotten more leads? Are they good-quality leads? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then your ad campaigns are doing their job.
6. Work With A Google Ad Specialist
Yes, Google Ads is the best advertising you can do as a contractor. But that doesn’t always mean you should do it yourself. The fact is that this type of advertising is high-specialized. Sure, you could do it yourself, but you would also be wasting a lot of time and money trying to figure it out when a specialist can get you where you want to be in half the time.
One type of customer most contractors dread is the “Homeowner Special,” the customer who thinks they can do everything themself. You don’t want that in a customer, so don’t be that type of customer, either. If you do decide to invest in a Google Ad management agency, it might just be one of the best investments you make for your home services business.
Highly-Skilled Google Ad Management for Contractors
Contractors get a lot of Google Ad spam, but that’s in part because Google Ads work. They are affordable, highly-targetted, and proven to work for large and small businesses alike. If you want your home services business to get in front of people actively searching for your services, it’s time to invest in Google Ads.
Projects Plus Marketing offers Google Ad management services at a fraction of the cost that many other agencies charge. Our experts have been in the industry as long as Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords) has been around. If you own a home services business and want to hire a trusted agency that knows how to help you reach your goals, you’ve got our number. Talk soon!