The latest Google Partners Connect event focused on digital marketing tactics for Home Services providers like plumbers, electricians, contractors and repairman. Ben Tyson, Google Program Lead, explained the growing value of digital marketing as the home service business model changes in response to millennial home owners and mobile devices. Frederick Vallaeys, CEO of Optmyzr, then explained 5 tips to “Be Found on Google” (stay tuned for Part 2 later this week). Here is a summary of what Ben Tyson had to say:
The Traditional Home Services Business Model Has Changed
15 years ago, if your potential clients had a leak or problem with their roof, they would ask a friend for a recommendation or flip through the phone book to find a service provider like you. They would then call a phone number, and perhaps after some phone-tag, set up an appointment for service. This traditional business model has changed dramatically with the advent of mobile devices.
Now your potential clients are picking up their phones, doing a search for your service, and maybe checking out some reviews online or texting a friend for a recommendation. But unlike 15 years ago, within moments they could be connecting with a business through a messaging service, booking app or direct phone call.
Wants Control & Convenience
The 21st century consumer demands 24/7 access to information and immediate replies
Has more options
Consumers are more informed due to the vast amount of information available online and the ease at which they can access it. A Google case study found that a person looks at an average of 22.4 online resource before purchasing a home service!
Has High Expectations
The easier devices become to use, the higher our expectations for a seamless, easy experience online.
To stay competitive in a broadening online marketplace you will need to reach your customers in the right moment, by recognizing and adapting to the changes in consumer behaviour in your industry. Ben Tyson discussed 3 Truths about Digital Marketing in Home Services:
Truth #1 – Some Moments Matter More than Others
Google shared that less than 2% of home services businesses are set up to identify and measure those moments through a website. That means most home service companies are missing out on a tremendous amount of opportunity online.
Many home service providers who are sticking to their traditional business models are failing to recognize a shifting demographic. In 2018, Google estimates 21.6 Million households in the US will be headed by millennials. The millennial’s path to purchase is very different from that of their parents. They demand:
- Immediate Action
The ability to act on something whenever they are motivated to
- High Expectations
This tech-savvy group expects relevant, frictionless experiences online
- Unscripted Decisions
People are becoming more loyal to their current need than a brand, and are willing to change their purchasing habits in favour immediacy rather than brand recognition.
Is your business website meeting the needs of this growing group of homeowners?
Truth #2 – Intent Trumps Identity. Immediacy Trumps Loyalty
Almost half of all “home improvement/remodeling” Google searches are on mobile devices. Two thirds of consumers use search engines and websites when researching home services. Only 15% of users used a rating or review website when considering a home service provider, and the average user only considered 1.2 businesses before completing a purchase. This means your business MUST be visible online, and more visible than your competitors, if you want to reach your potential clients.
Truth #3 We Are All Falling Short
The digital landscape is changing so quickly many industries are struggling to keep pace. Consider the taxi driver at odds with Uber, or the small hotel competing with the likes of Airbnb. To be competitive online you need to be visible at all the moments that matter on your customer journey (remember people look at 22.4 resources on their path to purchase). How well does your marketing plan address these digital components?
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media
- Local Business Listing
- Website Experience
- Display Marketing
- Promotions & Marketing Campaigns
Truth #4 Don’t Overthink It!
If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, or just like a lot of work, consider getting some help. You expect your clients to call you when their problem exceeds their expertise. Google Partners like Ontario SEO, are the emergency plumbers of the online world. We can help you adapt your marketing approach for the modern home owner. We have the time, knowledge, resources & desire to make your home service business succeed online.
Want to learn more about our approach to digital marketing strategy? Get a free audit of your website and marketing channels.
Stay tuned next week for part 2 of our blog on Google’s 5 Tips on Being Found.