By Alexander Ruggie
Marketing is critical in any business, but especially so in the construction trade where it’s still possible to be a blue collar entrepreneur competing against the likes of massive McMansion builders and cookie-cutter tract housing projects. Construction professionals in smaller to mid-sized companies, or even one-man operations using effective SEO marketing strategies can still compete with the bigger players or even dominate niche markets that aren’t cost effective for larger companies to target.
For those just starting out in the trade, there is the usual hurdle of battling all others in the area for the same jobs, but reaching that audience is easier than ever. The days of placing a photo ad in the yellow pages and naming your company “AAA Contracting” to get prime placement in the front of the alphabetically oriented construction section are long gone, and while that may scare some more traditional operations, it should be seen as a boon to those with any computer skills at all. Even two-finger typists can still create and execute an effective social media campaign, Outbrain or Taboola ad that places them right in front of their potential customers.
Individuals or companies who desire to reach their audience with more resonance and authority would do well to hire an SEO marketing firm to reach out to their demographic for them. This allows the same differentiation of labor that a foreman would use on a job site to get the most out of his crew. In the same vein that you wouldn’t have a roofer take on plumbing jobs, the office administrative assistant shouldn’t be tapped for the company’s marketing efforts. To accomplish the greatest number of priorities in the shortest amount of time with the least expense, it is crucial to hire these services out to the professionals trained to do them.
Search engine optimization (SEO) sounds like a heady term, but in reality it is just a descriptor for the act of adjusting a websites parameters, structure and content to better place it in the market. Successful SEO campaigns can elevate an individual or company’s website from obscurity in the past-page-one netherworld of Google to prime placement right next to other major players in the business.
Localizing SEO strategies can also do wonders for smaller construction outfits by increasing their presence in smaller communities. This may seem like a backwards strategy to some, but in reality being the top search result in many various low population areas may yield more jobs than being a sidelined player in bigger communities where a company may not even get the opportunity to bid on a project due to lack of exposure.
Many more traditional companies may view simply having a website in general as the extent of their needs in the online world, but as consumers go deeper and deeper into the digital realm for all of their needs it is becoming equally imperative for businesses to work in concert with this approach. Additionally, many websites built before the onset of the smart phone revolution may be doing more harm than good when consumers search for those services with their phones. If sites aren’t optimized for mobile devices they end up lagging in loading times and many other problems that instantly turn consumers off.
Making it easy for a potential customer to access the information about your company is absolutely critical to compete in the mobile marketplace. All indicators point to a steady increase in searches done with smart phones and when a potential customer reaches a company site that isn’t optimized for their device it almost becomes self-inflicted negative advertising for that company with consumers who have come to expect information instantaneously, and it may even taint your image with this audience en masse. A construction business, like all others, requires marketing to be successful, and while it may be initially challenging to position a company online, the cost of not doing so is far greater.
Alexander Ruggie is the public relations director for 911 Restoration, a home restoration company that specializes in disaster recovery and water damage solutions.