Lead Generation and the Internet
Another important element of being relevant to homeowners is being there to provide an answer when they ask a question. And the vast majority of today’s homeowner questions are asked through a search engine.
Search engines like Google and Bing can be a home service company’s best friend or worst enemy. On the positive side, they give you an amazing opportunity to present your solutions at the very moment that potential customers are curious. Unfortunately, they give your competitors the very same opportunity.
For home service companies to “win” the search engine game, they have to play on two fields: SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
The first, SEM, is a pay-per-click strategy where you bid on select search terms and pay to serve a link to your content to homeowners in their search results. Though obviously much more targeted, this process is very similar to buying traditional TV and radio spots where you pay to serve your commercials to a certain demographic audience.
The second, SEO, is a website content strategy where you work to build and interconnect information on your website that will be valuable to homeowners. Search engines regularly “crawl” sites and evaluate how valuable they think the information is. If they deem that your site is more valuable than another for any given search, they’ll serve yours above that one in the search results. Because SEO involves adding content and links within your website, it falls more in the category of web development than “advertising” in the traditional sense.
What both elements have in common is the need for content that answers homeowner questions. The only difference is whether that content is served through paid promotion (SEM) or organically because a search engine scored it as relevant (SEO).
While companies used to make new commercials and ads once or twice a year, now creating new content should be an ongoing process. It’s important to have a strategy to continuously craft new content that will give potential customers more confidence and more understanding of the solutions you offer and why they’re better than the competition.
Continuing to create new content allows you to build your relevance for potential customers by both broadening the topics you cover and going more in-depth on specific topics.
As content is created, you can also edit format it for use across different platforms like social media and YouTube. Some platforms are adding automation and artificial intelligence to the content deployment process. This process of predicting content needs and serving relevant content to specific audiences is often called “content intelligence” and it will continue to evolve as a powerful tool for marketers.