Generating Reviews For Remodelers

Easy Ways To Generate Reviews For Remodelers

How Important are Online Reviews For Remodelers?  Very Important.

Actually, very very very very important.  That’s just how important online reviews for your remodeling or home improvement company.  If you’re a remodeler and not getting online reviews, you’re missing out.

Home-improvement-company-customer-reviews

At The Marketing Corner, one of the biggest things we tell our clients to help give their home improvement website a boost and move them up in Google page rankings is to get online reviews. For obvious reasons we tell our clients to claim their Google Place Page and their Yahoo Local Page.  Even only a handful of reviews on various sites will do wonders for your Google page rank. Not only does Google search your site for keywords and content, but it also searches the rest of the web for your home improvement company.   If your remodeling company is mentioned a lot, your home improvement website will move up in the rankings.  One of the best ways to get your home improvement company’s name out there is by using online reviews.

How Can Remodelers Get More Online Reviews?

Just Ask.

Many home improvement companies that we work with are already collecting reviews from very satisfied customers.  In fact, many remodelers have great customer testimonials that are collected on comment cards or even hand wrote letters.  Unfortunately, this is a problem.

90% of all adult consumers look to online reviews before making a purchase.  If you have a binder full of glowing customer testimonials–when can you show this to your potential home improvement leads?  The answer… you can’t.  Yes, you might show them all these customer reviews once you’ve already sat your customer down at the kitchen table and done your sales pitch.  But you can’t do it before when they are shopping your remodeling business or home improvement company online.  That is why online reviews about your home improvement company and remodeling business are so important.

So how can remodelers be effective when collecting these online reviews? Just Ask!

Ask your clients or customers to do a review for your home improvement company online.  Any satisfied customer should be happy to do this for your remodeling company, so make it as easy as possible for them.  Send your home improvement customers an email with direct links to the review sites to make it easier.  These review sites could be things like Google Local, Yelp, Houzz, Angie’s List, etc.  Additionally, you can give them incentives like special discounts or acknowledgment after they write a quality review on your home improvement company.  Once your remodeling business gets these reviews, have them placed on your website on a designated testimonial or review page.

It is no surprise that 96% of people trust recommendations from people they know; however, what is even more interesting is that almost 70% of people trust recommendations from people they don’t know.  Getting quality reviews for your remodeling company will help you gain more home improvement leads.  How does your home improvement company  look online?  Download our free template to grade your home improvement company’s online reviews.

The Big No-Nos for Getting Your Remodeling Company Reviews.  

There are some practices that will actually hurt your remodeling company’s Google ranking if you’re not aware or careful.  So if you are a remodeling company that cares about your Google rank online, don’t do the following:

Don’t post a review yourself or have anyone from your home improvement company do so—This will not only negatively affect your home improvement website’s Google rank–(The thing that makes it appear in Google on page 1)– but if anyone finds out you or your remodeling company posted your own review, you’ll be a prime target for negative word-of-mouth.
Don’t have someone who shares your business owner’s last name post a review.   Google isn’t a fan of nepotism.  (However, it does take into account common names like Smith or Jones).
Don’t have more than one person post a review for your remodeling business from the same computer or device—Google likens posting multiple reviews from the same computer to ballot stuffing and that’s a major no-no. It will both hurt your home improvement company’s website page rank and your remodeling company’s reputation.
Don’t get all of your home improvement reviews in one shot. Keep reviews about your remodeling company coming on a consistent basis over time.  Google looks for content updates on a continual basis and getting new home improvement reviews each and every month is a great way to make that happen.

So go get those great remodeling reviews to help your home improvement website’s page ranking and bring in more home improvement leads!

Ready to get started?  Download our FREE guide to monitor and improve your Home Improvement Reviews online!  Are you looking for more online reviews?  Contact us today to learn how our software can help your company get more reviews today!

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5 Home Improvement Website Tips

5 Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of Your Home Improvement Website

At The Marketing Corner, we are often approached by remodeling companies who know they need a good home improvement website for lead generation, but who know nothing about what this actually entails or what to expect from a website company. We have even had the occasional home improvement professional come to us after being sold the world by another web company--and being charged for it too!--receive a below average product or even a disastrous project!

home-improvement-website-tipsThese remodeling companies and home improvement professionals tend to agree that they would have fared way better had they been better informed before approaching a company to build their home improvement website.  At The Marketing Corner we constantly believe in educating remodeling professionals--so that you can make better decisions regarding your marketing.  The Marketing Corner has put together a list of the most important things to remodeling professionals need to know before building a home improvement website.We're not trying to teach you to build the site yourself here--thats our job--but we want to give home improvement industry professionals some idea of the things you should know and the kind of information you need to have a great home improvement website for lead generation.

1. Figure out your home improvement website's objectives, sitemaps and content

As home improvement industry professionals, we all know before starting any project there needs to a plan.  The same goes for getting an entire home improvement website built that will generate you leads.  Even though remodeling professionals are outsourcing the technical stuff--like the actual code of the website-- you still need to be prepared with a solid gameplan.  This will help you tremendously when you start out with your home improvement website company because you will know exactly what you want and expect from a good website.So here's what you need to do: 

Define your goals for your home improvement website

Spend a little time thinking about what you want from your home improvement website and the best way to target your remodeling customers.
What are you building a website for? Is it just meant to be a simple brochure-type display of your remodeling services for your company, or do you want it to be an information resource that you update regularly?  Do you want to generate home improvement leads from your website, or just use it as a source of information?
Do you want to have a blog on your site that you can use for news and views?  At The Marketing Corner we highly recommend you do!  (Here's why blogging can generate more home improvement leads.
Do you want to have social media links that send people to your social accounts?

Draw up a rough sitemap for your home improvement website

A home improvement website sitemap is simply a list of the pages you want your remodeling company's website to display. An example of a simple, common sitemap we use for our home improvement clients is as follows:
Home
About Us
Services
Service 1
Service 2
Service 3
Gallery
Contact us
You can add in anything that you feel your home improvement website needs for better lead generation. Some other commonly used examples are:
News
Blog
Resources

Gather your content for your home improvement website

At The Marketing Corner, we can not stress enough how important of a step content gathering is to the entire process of a home improvement website.  When we work with our clients to build a home improvement website we assist them with gathering and writing content.  If your remodeling company chooses to work with a web company that is going to help you with your content then it doesn't need to be perfect, but you need to have some basic stuff information gathered.  Look though brochures, flyers, product information of your company to try to gather as much useful information as possible for your home improvement website.  Again, we always suggest to work with a website company that can help build and write useful content on your home improvement website.  Never under estimate the value of good copy for lead generation.
Having information related to your remodeling company ready and set out when you get together with a company that will build your home improvement website will save you money and help your project along more quickly.
Remember – your content for your home improvement website doesn't have to be perfect (and a good home improvement marketing company can help you with that) but you know your remodeling business better than anyone so you will be able to say it right!

2. Hosting and a domain for your home improvement website

You've probably heard both of these terms before--but many remodeling industry professionals don't know what they mean, or how they effect your home improvement website and lead generation.  Web hosting and a domain are vital for your home improvement website.  A good home improvement marketing website company should manage this all for you, but again, we want to provide you enough information so you know what they are talking about!Your domain is the address of your home improvement website. For example, www.themarketingcorner.com is our domain. If you don't already have one, you should decide what you want yours to be and ask the home improvement website company who is working on your site to find out if it is available.  In general, at The Marketing Corner, we recommend your domain name should be your company/service name or at least something closely relating to it. An unrelated domain name will just confuse potential home improvement leads. Additionally, if you are an American company, it is nice to keep a .com address so people can identify you as a company, where as if you are a Canadian company a .ca address might suffice.Hosting is the place all of the the files for your home improvement website sit. When someone types in your home improvement website's domain (the address for your website), these files are accessed so that the visitor can see them. Hosting packages come in different sizes for different needs, and the costs depend very much on the size of your site and the company that hosts it. 

3. The different kinds of home improvement websites (Custom coded vs. CMS - Joomla/Wordpress)

There are really two different kinds of home improvement website available to remodeling companies both with certain pros and cons.A custom coded home improvement website is a site that is created by using a specific kind language (code) that can only be changed by someone who knows how to write and update the code. This was how all home improvement websites were created before the advent of CMS systems.

CMS (Content Management System) home improvement websites, for example WordPress, are home improvement websites that are built on a predesigned system. They have a user-friendly 'back-end' that you as the owner can get into to update your own content.  At The Marketing Corner, we find this type of website extremely useful if you plan to do regular updates like blogging or news on your home improvement website.

Most of our remodeling clients have a mixture of both of these types of home improvement websites.  Pages that aren't updated regularly we tend to custom build for our clients due to the specificity of their needs.  However, since we always encourage blogging to keep website content fresh--we use a CMS for all of their home improvement blogs.

4. What a home improvement website should cost

Answering the question of how much a home improvement website should cost---is almost as extensive as asking how much should building a house cost?  

Obviously as builders and remodeling professionals we know that this one question has a million follow up questions--such as how many rooms, how many bathrooms, what materials are being used, where are we building the house, how high end of finishes do we want in the house... the list goes on.  

A good home improvement website company will never just give you a quote without explaining all the pieces that are involved in building the website for optimal home improvement lead generation.  For example questions that The Marketing Corner asks are-- how large of a site do you want, how much capability to change the site is necessary, how much content are we writing vs being provided?  These questions can help us determine what exactly your home improvement website should look for to generate enough business for your remodeling company.  Its true, one size never fits all--and it couldn't be more true when building a home improvement website for your company.

We'd love to talk to you about your upcoming website, and give you a few pointers.  Additionally if you're looking to update your website--contact us here for our very affordable priced options that will bring you free home improvement leads.

5. What to look for when choosing a home improvement website company

There are two different kinds of companies that build home improvement websites. Marketing companies (like The Marketing Corner) and development houses. If you are a remodeling company looking for a really big website (like-- Amazon) then a development house is the way to go. In our experience, we have found that many of our clients require much smaller and less intense websites then Amazon.  For smaller home improvement websites development houses are not suited because they don't deal much in design and content.  They will not be able to help remodelers with your home improvement website content and advise you on best practices for design etc.  Marketing companies, like The Marketing Corner deal more in front-end home improvement website design.  That is, they build smaller sites but focus on the design, functionality, lead generation capabilities, and content.  A good home improvement website company will be able to help you to put all of your ideas into your website and advise on best practices for your content and how to get the maximum value for home improvement lead generation.  Questions to ask your potential home improvement website company:

Are you going to design something for me or use a pre-made template?
Ideally you want someone who is going to design a home improvement website to your specifications for your remodeling company – you want to be happy with it!
Are you able to help me with my sitemap and suggest some ideas?
While your remodeling company have already created your own home improvement website sitemap, you should definitely be able to discuss it with your website design company to see if they have any thoughts or suggestions for the best layout.
Are you able to source images for me – or will I have to get my own?
Copyrighted images are increasingly becoming a major problem on the Internet.  If you don't already have your own pictures for your website, you definitely need to find a home improvement website that can help you source these images.
Do you have copy editors to help me with my content?
We always suggest having your copy reviewed by a copy editor.  A good home improvement website company will be able to advise you on your content and adjust it for best practices on your site for the best lead generation.
Do you include SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as part of your service?
This is a huge--again this is huge!  Many times we see contractors who have paid a lot of money for a home improvement website with no SEO built into it!  SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of coding your home improvement website so that it gets found when a potential home improvement lead looks for your company on Google.  Minimum search engine optimization must done for your home improvement website or you have no chance of Google and other search engines finding you! A good home improvement website company should include at least the minimum in their cost, but having SEO as a service will obviously cost you a lot more---but in our opinion is worth it!

Anything else you still want to know about getting a home improvement website built? Feel free to ask us – we'll do our best to give you all the advice that you need to make the most informed decision.

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Summer Home Improvement Marketing Ideas

5 Hot Summer Home Improvement Marketing Ideas

Are you looking for new, fun, unique and creative ways to market your building or remodeling company and generate more home improvement leads this summer?  Its time your remodeling company tried our top 5 summer home improvement marketing ideas!

Summer-Home-Improvement-Marketing-Ideas

Hot Home Improvement Marketing Idea #1:  Create a partner package

Partner with non-competing home improvement businesses that share the same target audience to develop a winning package for new home improvement leads.  If there isn’t a non-competing home improvement business available in your area– perhaps your remodeling company could partner with a restaurant, or theatre, and could partner together to create a package.   Each company could then market and sell the package, and all three would split the proceeds.

Hot Home Improvement Marketing Idea #2 Festival Contests

Summer is a fabulous time for neighborhood festivals.  Have your home improvement company rent booth space at popular festivals your potential home improvement leads and customers attend, then run a contest that collects contact information in return for a chance to win a prize.  Make sure you follow up with customers once the festival is over.

Hot Home Improvement Marketing Idea #3–High Impact Banners

Identify summer hot spots in your city or town– think of areas like beaches, pools, attractions, that receive high traffic, then strategically place large vinyl banners well within view.  Vinyl banners are a minimal investment and your remodeling company should be able to maximize their exposure to many home improvement leads.  

Hot Home Improvement Marketing Idea #4–Hot Weather Promotional Items

Its hot out, and to make sure your remodeling company gets noticed, its time to give out promo items that home improvement leads will actually use!  If you’re exhibiting at the county fair or another large festival, think of things that your customers could use then— and not just stuff in a giveaway bag.  Things like coolie cups, fans, water bottles and other promotional items are perfect for summer home improvement marketing to drive leads.  (Check out some water bottles for your home improvement marketing plans here).  Additionally have a stack of these items at your location, and give them away to anyone who enters your remodeling company on hot days.

Hot Home Improvement Marketing Idea #5–Temperature-related discounts

Launch a fun campaign that gets new home improvement leads into your location during the dog days of summer!  Have your remodeling company offer a discount based on how high the temperature climbs. You’re remodeling company be able to land home improvement leads and close more sales on days when customers would otherwise stay indoors.  Of course, make sure your home improvement company’s showroom is air-conditioned to keep them inside longer.

What other creative summer home improvement marketing ideas do you have? We’d love for you to share them with us!

 

About The Marketing Corner

The Marketing Corner (www.themarketingcorner.com) is an integrated and full service marketing agency specializing in the home improvement and remodeling industry. Based in Chicago, Illinois, The Marketing Corner works with service large retailers and manufacturers, small independent contractors, and everyone in between.

Signup Here for a Free Marketing and Lead Generation Session with The Marketing Corner, and see how our team of experts can help transform your remodeling company’s marketing.

Follow The Marketing Corner @themktgcorner

 

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7 Tips To Build Your Business With Facebook

Top Tips To Build Your Remodeling Company With Facebook

With 1.3 billion people (think- potential home improvement leads) accessing Facebook every month using 20 million apps each day, Facebook is an invaluable tool that can be used successfully in the home improvement, building, and remodeling industry. The question is, how can Facebook best work to bring home improvement leads to your business?

Home-Improvement-Leads-Facebook

If you’re like most remodeling company owners, your day is already filled with everything it takes to keep your company running and successful.  If you don’t have a professional home improvement marketing team there are some simple ways to use Facebook for your business to capture home improvement leads that aren’t overwhelming.

New Home Improvement Leads Love Great Images

There are two primary images Facebook uses to identify your home page: the cover photo, that small square in the upper left hand corner; and the banner, the long horizontal image that dominates the top of the page.

For remodeling businesses, the cover image should be used for company logos, while the banner can serve as an excellent place to showcase your building products and remodeling services to engage with home improvement leads.  If your remodeling company is running any special events, promotions, or seasonal offerings, your business should update its Facebook banner image.  Remember, keep in mind that Facebook is an extension of your home improvement company, so to effectively communicate your company to home improvement leads, it should be consistent with your company’s voice across all of your home improvement marketing pieces.

Also, be sure to include relevant and flattering images with your Facebook Posts.  More of your Facebook audience, and more importantly more home improvement leads, are sure to engage with your Facebook posts if they are accompanied with an image.

Take advantage of the About section

Include a brief description of what your building or remodeling company does and how you serve your customers and home improvement leads is great for the About section. This is also a good place for your mission statement, website, contact information and anything else that will help home improvement leads better understand how your company can help them. It’s also a good place to include links to any other social media profiles you have such as a Twitter, YouTube, etc.

To Drive More Home Improvement Leads Use Tabs

Tabs on Facebook are a great way to engage home improvement leads and help them convert as a follower of your Facebook page.  Experiment with the different options available like hosting contests, providing optimized videos of customer testimonials and jobsites and updating photo albums with completed remodeling jobs.  Also, again, be sure to include links to your business’s other platforms as well. Adding social media platforms on all of your online sites, provides new home improvement leads a complete picture of your business—what you do, who your clients are and how you interact with them.

New Home Improvement Leads Expect Engagement

Its true, in today’s society, customers view Facebook as a digital customer service channel that is open 24/7.  Responding to customers via your social media channels as quickly as possible is important especially in gaining the trust of new home improvement leads.  If a customer or new home improvement lead posts a question on your business Facebook page, it is extremely important that you respond within 24 hours.

When The Marketing Corner works with remodeling companies or builders, we respond to all inquires from fans via social media within hours.  We are constantly working to showcase our home improvement and remodeling customer’s great customer service across all their social media sites.

Track Your Progress- Gain More Home Improvement Leads and Sales!

Facebook offers some great analytic tools for tracking your Facebook page activity.  This information is viewable on your Page Insights dashboard and definitely important for remodeling business owners to understand the power of social media marketing and gaining home improvement leads. On this dashboard, a business owner can review post engagement, likes and shares to see what type of information is being shared across all your platforms.

 

Post That Get More Home Improvement Leads

Posts that get and keep the attention of fans and future home improvement customers mostly are accompanied by an image. Your future home improvement leads that are on Facebook love to share!  It’s reported that 91% of mobile Internet access is for social activities. Ask your fans and potential future home improvement leads questions and get them involved by running contests about your remodeling company!

Check out some of The Marketing Corner’s posts here– https://www.facebook.com/marketingcorner 

Use Facebook Ads To Target New Home Improvement Leads

If you have the budget, Facebook ads are a great way to reach new customers and target home improvement leads.  Facebook makes it easy to define your audience, choose your demographic, and set a realistic budget to get a good home improvement marketing ROI. 

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There are a variety of different ways to use Facebook to build your remodeling, building, or home improvement business.  Implementing just some of the tips above will get you started, and make you successful to find home improvement leads via social media.  Most importantly, the key is to monitor and engage your Facebook fans daily, and keep them informed on what is going on with your remodeling company.

For more quick tips on how to build your business using social media, visit more of our home improvement lead generation and marketing Tools4Pros articles on Social Media.

 

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