What Are Google Local Service Ads [and Why Are They Important for the Roofing Industry]

What Are Google Local Service Ads [and Why Are They Important for the Roofing Industry]

Reading Time: 6 min

Google goes to great lengths to try and match businesses with customers as simply as possible, minimizing the search process, as well as cutting out the middleman.

With Local Service Ads, it has gone one step further.

Local Service Ads 101

Google Local Services Ads has developed precisely for the purposes of meeting the needs of the local supply and demand.

Its main goal is to find the perfect match – the perfect client that requires your specific services at a specific area, or vice versa, the perfect service provider that matches all the requirements of the searcher/potential customer in a designated area.

So how does that work in practice?

First of all, it is very important to underline that with Google Local Service Ads you only pay for relevant, quality leads, i.e. those that are related to your business and are requiring your specific services. You won’t be wasting money on just any lead, or on just any click on your ad.

Here is how and why.

How Do LSA Appear in Google Search Results?

Local Service Ads (LSA) appear in the form of boxes at the very top of Google search results when people type in their specific query – above Ads, Maps and the organic results.

These boxes show the company name, phone number, city, ratings, number of reviews from Google My Business, and the “Google Guarantee” badge, which we’ll explain later.

For example, if people are searching for roofers in their area, three boxes/ads will appear, with the option below them to show more roofers in that area.

Now, once the searcher clicks on that option, or on the listing, they are prompted to specify the exact roofing service they need and the service area.

This is a type of screening process that allows businesses to be matched with real, quality leads.

If you fit the area and the needed job, you will be matched to the customer, and if not, Google will connect them with another LSA and save you the cost.

If you’re a good fit, the potential customer will be able to see your entire profile containing all the services you provide, your service areas, as well as your licensing, background information, more reviews, and other highlights.

It's a match - Local Service Ads

If they are satisfied and you match their needs, they have the option to call you, i.e. call the number listed in the ad.

The displayed phone number will be Google’s tracking number and not your business’ number. Once the customer calls it, it will be forwarded to you.

It is very important to be diligent with your leads, answer the calls, or call back because, in the end, it is up to you to turn those leads into customers.

All of these incoming calls and leads are recorded in your account, and you can see and manage all the new leads, booked ones or completed ones, as well as ask for customer reviews.

Google Guarantee

An important feature of Google Local Service Ads, and very significant in building trust with potential customers, is the new Google Guarantee feature.

To put it simply, Google can provide a full endorsement for service providers, i.e. guarantee that they are verified and licensed, and also protect the customers along the way.

People trust Google, and the Google Guarantee will bring you both a better reputation and more leads.

What is the Google Guarantee

So how can you become “Google Guaranteed”?

You have to go through a certain screening process. This involves meeting all the licensing and insurance requirements and going through a background check.

The process is very thorough, and all the technicians employed at your company, especially those who go to customers’ homes, must pass the background check.

Additionally, you are required to report all new employees, as well as recertify periodically.

Local Service Ads Industries

Local Service Ads has reached a great variety of industries and markets across the US and is still spreading, with plans to go international in the near future.

For the moment, there are five main or core categories:

  • Electricians
  • Locksmiths
  • Plumbers
  • HVAC
  • Garage Door Service

Apart from those, there are 25 more, but not all services of the following industries are supported in all markets at the moment. They include:

  • Painter
  • Roofer
  • Carpet Cleaner
  • Upholstery Cleaner
  • Air Duct Cleaner
  • Handyman
  • Mover
  • Home Improvement Pro
  • House Cleaner
  • Appliance Repair Service
  • Junk Removal Provider
  • Auto Service Technician
  • Auto Glass Service
  • Roadside Assistance Service
  • Lawn Care Provider
  • Pet Care Provider
  • Pet Groomer
  • Event Planner
  • Photographer
  • Tree Service Provider
  • Pest Control Technician
  • Water Damage Service Provider
  • Window Service Provider
  • Window Cleaner
  • Tutor

How Do Local Service Ads Rank?

Another good thing about LSA is that it doesn’t require you to do the keyword research or ad testing. Google is the one that decides which keywords are relevant, and all you have to do is select job types or categories that you cover.

So how is the ad created then?

Well, Google creates it automatically when the relevant search terms are typed in, based on your business information from the profile you created.

Now that you know how they appear, let’s find out how exactly your ads will rank on Google.

There are several important factors that will result in a higher ranking:

  • Proximity to the customer, i.e. if you are in the area where the customer requires services
  • Good reviews and ratings
  • Responsiveness to customers
  • Business hours
  • No major or multiple complaints about your business

Ultimately, when it comes to ranking, it is practically out of your hands – Google deals with the entire process, you just have to make sure you are responsive and available for inquiries, and that you do quality work in order to get great reviews.

How to Get Started with Local Service Ads?

If you wish to sign up with Google Local Service Ads, the first thing you need to do is go to their signup page where you will enter all your relevant information, including verifying your licensing and insurance.

Local Service Ads Signup Process

After that, you will set up an estimated weekly budget and will receive leads according to it, i.e. you will pay for every lead, but will not go over your maximum weekly budget.

Once your budget is spent, your ad will not show up until the beginning of a new week.

But before you receive any leads, you first have to go through a verification process, as was described in the earlier section “Google Guarantee.”

Google will contract a third party which will then run your background check, as well as verify your insurance and licenses.

Once you are approved, you are in the business!

Local Service Ads and the Roofing Industry

When it comes to the roofing industry, one thing is certain – it is moving towards the digital marketplace – if it’s not already there.

It is important to acknowledge that because if we don’t –  if you, as a roofing business owner don’t – you stand to lose new customers, and risk staying behind the competition.

Google Local Service Ads is an upgrade and an ideal addition for your roofing business because it operates locally, and helps you connect with the perfect customer, the one that needs your specific services, in your specific area.

If their roof is leaking, for example, they don’t have time to waste on searching through numerous roofers, trying to find who is available or closest to them.

With LSA, your ad will appear at the very top of the search results, with all your info and the number they can call immediately.

This is another very important thing with LSA. They appear at the top, above everything else, above the organic search results. So, if you think that having a website for your business is enough, you could be mistaken.

Your website may be in the top ten or even top five search results, but these search results, as mentioned, are moving downwards quickly, due to the appearance of Ads and now LSA.

They are less and less visible, and these new types of ads are more and more visible – with LSA being the first thing you see.

Final Thoughts

Investing in digital marketing, and above all in Local Service Ads, is a smart move.

Many roofers that lacked proper digital marketing strategies have experienced a drop in the flow of leads and call volume.

On the other hand, however, those who have been using it the right way, jumping to the opportunities such as these local ads, and sticking with them for the long run, they have experienced a higher ROI.

Google has simplified the process of getting new leads, as well as cut your costs in paying for them, so jump on the bandwagon and reap the full benefits of it.

Is HomeAdvisor a Waste of Money?

Is HomeAdvisor a Waste of Money?

Reading Time: 4 min
SPOILER ALERT: This blog post is not just a crappy theoretical text full of bullshit and unproven presumptions. It’s based on time-consuming research my team has done to finally answer this question that pops up in literally every conversation with roofers looking to find more leads.


To answer this burning question, we put some serious effort into research. We diligently analyzed the experiences of 246 roofers with the services that pages such as HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, Houzz, and Porch offer.

We went to hell and back cause we knew the truth is out there… 🙂

Read on to see what we found out.

How Do These Services Work?


Simply put, HomeAdvisor is a service or an agency that matches a consumer with a contractor that provides a product or a service that they need.

And how do they sell themselves to you?

Bottom line, they tell you that they have a lot of leads in your area and from your niche, and once you pay them the money – a membership fee and a fee for each lead – you just need to sit and wait for your leads.

And will you live to see the moment when they get you your leads? Nobody fucking knows. It’s a matter of luck, I guess.

What we found out during our research is that they either send you bogus or low-quality leads and charge the hell out of them, or they simply take your money and you never hear from them again.

If that isn’t a scam, I don’t know what the hell is.

And if you think you will get any kind of refund or apology from them, you are gravely mistaken.

 

In the light of what we just said, this would probably be a more accurate description of how they operate:

So Why Do Roofers Go With Them?


Leads, leads, leads…

Sometimes it’s difficult to get new AND quality leads that using crappy services like Home Advisor starts to seem like a good idea.

This is especially the case if you’re just starting out in the roofing niche. After investing a lot of money into starting your own business, you definitely need cash to start flowing in as soon as possible.

In these situations, you WANT to believe these services will give you a good bang for your buck. But, as we all know it too well – if something sounds too good to be true, then it usually is.

These experiences illustrate the point pretty well:

One of the marketing tricks that pages like Home Advisor and Angie’s List use to make you give them your money is that they will serve as a reliable source of client reviews that will help you stand out from the competition if you do a decent job.

And then you figure this out:

 

https://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Many-Local-Angies-List-Certified-Contractors-Are-Unlicensed-to-Do-Work-430273523.html


Angie’s List announces layoff of around 70 sales employees

Are There Any Satisfied HomeAdvisor Users?


Of course, there are occasional good reviews, a job well done, a match made in heaven – but there has to be, doesn’t it? How the hell else would they attract any number of subscribers and get users to enlist on their directories?

Good reviews and successful matches are exceptions that confirm the rule. Every once in a while they have to do what they say they do in order to stay in business.

So the question is, to trust them or not?

As one roofer so eloquently put it:

Bottom Line


Is subscribing to these scam services a smart move?

Home Advisor and its pals are really nothing more than niche directories at best. They’ve created an audience and they make money by renting access to that audience – the key word being “renting.” They can’t guarantee you’ll get the leads, and the leads you do receive, you don’t own yourself.

All in all, with these kinds of services, you don’t own the leads, you are not generating your own assets, and it is only a short-term solution, if it ever works.

Their only guarantee is that they will take your money.

Now that you know this, are you ready to change your marketing game plan? Call us at (347) 269-3804 and let’s talk about REAL ways to generate leads.

Mobile Friendly Website Importance

Mobile Friendly Website Importance

Reading Time: 3 min

Why should your roofing company have a mobile friendly website

20 years ago, there were around 1 million websites that you could visit. Ten years ago that number reached 150 million. Also, around 2007, there were approximately 1 million mobile friendly websites and that number will rise to 150 million by the next year. That number will be even higher with each passing year. Estimated number of mobile phones being used today, worldwide, is around 3 billion which means that many people experience the Internet through their mobile phone and not their PC. The change is constant and successful companies know that they have to adapt to every change in the business world. Since millions of people use their phones to access the internet, not having a mobile friendly version of your roofing website can be compared to business suicide. The only thing you need to understand is that if you successfully “capture” and reach your potential clients on their mobile phones, you will reach them on all other platforms.

Why is Mobile Site Important for Your Business

Smartphone popularity – everybody has a Smartphone these days. Most of the people can’t imagine spending a day without their Smartphone. The thing about Smartphones is that they are easy to use, affordable, the selection is vast, and they are ideal for browsing while on the move.

Mobile internet – More than 40% of people use their mobile phones to browse internet content and to get the information they are looking for. Those people will go online at least once during the day and you should use that opportunity to capture new leads.

It is cheap – Because mobile phones screens are different, that means that you will have to redesign your website to be mobile compatible. But don’t worry, that change is relatively cheap and easy to do.

GPS – Some people use their phone just because of GPS. When you are in a new city or if you are trying to find a business that offers specific services, GPS is your best friend. Mobile users can easily reach your work address as well as your mobile phones via Google Maps.

Competition – Take out your mobile phone and try searching for your competition online. I bet that most of them have their websites in the mobile version. You need to stay ahead of your competition, so if you don’t have a mobile site, you need to make one as soon as possible.

SEO – Mobile friendly web page will help your business by improving your websites’ ranking on mobile-friendly search engines (Yahoo, Google).

User Experience – 10 years ago, it was hard to create a mobile friendly website which will offer great user experience. That is not that strange once you consider that, ten years ago, bandwidth was low and servers were much weaker. That is no longer the case today. A great mobile business website will do wonders for your roofing business.

Ok, now that we have talked about the importance of having a mobile-friendly website, let us talk about things you have to keep in mind when creating a mobile-friendly page. People use their phones because they want to save time. What that means is that your web page needs to be well optimized and it needs to load fast. Make sure that your content is easily viewed and don’t cram too much text on one page. Mobile screens are small and too much text can create chaos.

So that would be it. If you wish to attract more leads, then make sure that you have well optimized and designed mobile website. If you do that, your roofing business will bloom!

Marketing a Roofing Company

Marketing a Roofing Company

Reading Time: 3 min

Best way to market your roofing business

If you own a roofing company that offers residential as well as commercial roofing service, then you already know that you can’t just rely on your skill and experience to secure the constant flow of new clients. We know that you can have many roofing problems. If you focus more on commercial roofs and if you work with construction project managers then you should shift all of your efforts into building long-lasting relationships and networking. On the other hand, if you are focused more on residential roofing then you probably know that quality workmanship and great customer-contractor relations will secure you excellent referrals which will bring in even more business for your company. So how to make your business stand out among others using marketing?

 

Offer something unique

Best marketing message you can send is to let people know that the services that you offer are better than the services from other companies. You have to let them know that with you, they will receive things other roofers can’t offer them. You can provide them with free inspection or even free patching once you replace their roof. If you are in the residential roofing business, you need to let your clients know that you care for them and that you are ready to address any concerns they might have. This will show them that you care for your clients and that you know what you are doing. You probably know what your competition has to offer so make sure to inform your potential customers that there are things which you can do cheaper, quicker or better than them. Don’t forget to list years of experience and referrals when marketing your business.

 

Target clients

You need to find out who would be your ideal client. Once you have that picture in your head, you can focus your efforts on particular areas of marketing that requires roofing services. If you don’t do that, you can end up spending thousands of dollars in the wrong direction. You can end up marketing to an entirely wrong group of people that don’t need your services. You can spend far less money and get much better results if you market to the right group of individuals. You need to become a detective and find out the age of buildings or homes, business or household income, and you need to find people who are authorized to make decisions.

 

Strategy

If you primarily talk to construction project managers, try to find out anything about the future projects so you can enter your bid. If you are in the residential roofing business, the good idea is to mail or hand out flyers in the neighborhood where you have just completed a roofing project. With a good referral, this will generate an inflow of leads. Don’t forget to list years of experience and referrals on your flyer. When you are working on a project, put signs throughout the neighborhood and don’t forget to put your company logo on your vehicles.

 

Online marketing

It is 2018, and everyone is online. I mean everyone. You need to have a business website where you can list all of your services, expertise and where you can build your credibility. Digital marketing for roofers is must! Make sure that you include testimonials from past clients, albums with before and after photos of completed roofing projects and list details of roofing products and materials you offer. Hire a specialist to place your business site high on the first page of Google search engine. Start your social networking pages such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. You can build your audience and advertise there, which can bring in more leads.

Roofing Companies Problems

Roofing Companies Problems

Reading Time: 3 min

Main problems every roofing company faces

 

Roofing is an old industry. From the beginning of time, there was a need for a roof over our heads and since then, there are people who provide that exact service. Numerous roofing companies have closed their doors for business over the past few decades. That is not so strange because being a roofer requires hard work whether you are an employee or the owner. Yes, it is a hard job, and people will often ask roofers why do they still do what they do? The answer to that question is often the same; because you love what you do and because you help people. And of course, there’s money in the business. After all, you are providing your clients with professional service backed by your skill and years of experience. Nothing great comes easy in life, especially if you are in the roofing industry. But if you sink your teeth into it, you will receive great rewards in the long run.
In this blog post, I will address the main problems every roofing company faces sooner or later.

 

Price

There is not much to tell about this, so I will make it short and clear – balance your price. This doesn’t mean that you have to sell yourself cheap, this means that you should find that “sweet spot” where you will be able to attract new clients by fair pricing and still enough money. Before every roofing project, you need to do your math and figure out how much money will you need to cover all expenses and stay well above zero.

 

Competition

Competition is high in the roofing industry in the United States. There are well over 95,000 roofing companies active throughout the nation. If you are in the roofing business, then you know how things can get competitive. Don’t get scared by it. There are ways to position yourself ahead of anyone else, just like in any other industry. It is up to you how you will advertise your business, but just remember, we are living in a world where people spend most of their time on the internet, which leads us to the next thing.

 

Marketing

Over the past decade, many things have changed about how people receive information and how companies advertise. Roofers often lose business because they are advertising like it’s 2008 and not 2018. As I said, everything is different today than it was ten years ago. People are connected to the internet, and 85% of the things they see, hear or read are coming from the internet. You can’t expect your marketing to be effective if you advertise yourself in the phone book and not on numerous business pages online. I can talk about this for a couple of more pages, but we don’t have that much time. The most important thing you need to do is to position your business site on the first page of Google in front of other companies and leads will start coming, so yeah, internet marketing for roofers is a must.

 

Bad reviews and unhappy clients

If you are in the roofing business, then you probably know that things sometimes don’t go as smoothly as planned. Mistakes are sometimes made or they just happen. If it ever comes to any accidents, the right thing to do is to be there for your client. After all, they are the ones who paid you because they believed that you could do the job right. Do the right thing because the reputation of your company is on the line. One bad review can harm your business. If people read or hear bad things about your company, they will hire someone else. Be careful while carrying out any project and always be there for your clients.

How Important Are Online Reviews for Getting More Roofing Leads [And How to Collect Them]

How Important Are Online Reviews for Getting More Roofing Leads [And How to Collect Them]

Reading Time: 7 min

This indeed is a great question. Especially because changing a roof or fixing it is probably one of the most costly investments one can make as a homeowner. Therefore, when it is time to hire a roofing contractor, people will want to know that their money will not be wasted.

Now, there’s some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that you can develop trust and present yourself as an expert roofer relatively easily. All you need are recommendations. But the bad news is that personal recommendations can be so fucking difficult to collect. Roof replacements and repairs are not a regular occurence so people might not even remember the contractors they hired several years ago.

This is where online reviews come in. Read on to understand why they matter, how strongly they influence potential customers, and which strategies you can use to get more reviews for your roofing business.

Why Online Reviews Are Super Important for Roofers

As you may notice, the question really isn’t whether online reviews matter. Because they do, A LOT. Just have a look at the results of Bright Local’s Local Consumer Review Survey:

According to this study, an incredible 93% of consumers said they read reviews to determine the quality of a local business.

In addition to this, 73% said positive reviews make them trust a local business more.

Get out of here! These numbers are fucking incredible! If you find them hard to believe, think about it this way:

Each person (yourself and myself included) wants to make sure they won’t be throwing their hardly earned money into the wind by hiring a wrong company. They’ll go through reviews in detail until they find the right company. According to Bright Local, they’ll read around 7 reviews before they decide that they can trust a business.

Now, if you don’t have reviews or you happen to have fewer reviews than your competition, people that are searching for a roofer in your area will probably contact the roofer with the largest number of (good) reviews.

Don’t let that happen. YOU need to be that roofer.

Can Reviews Help You Rank Better

A lot of people wondered the same thing and did some research to find out whether there’s any correlation between the number of Google Map reviews and increased rankings.

It turns out that having a larger number of reviews can actually improve your business’s ranking in Google Maps and the chances of getting into the 3-pack. You won’t be able to see the impact at the same moment reviews start dripping, but you can expect to be pleasantly surprised in a few month’s time.

Also, if you already rank well in Google Maps, but you aren’t receiving a good number of monthly phone calls, it’s very likely that you don’t have ENOUGH reviews. Getting some more could give you the boost you need to stand out from your competitors.

How to Generate Reviews for Your Roofing Business

Now that we explained why having online reviews is a must in 2018, let’s talk about ways to generate them.

So, what you need is 10 or more reviews on your online properties like your Google Maps profile (the most important), Yelp/Home Advisor/Houzz profile, and your website.

These don’t need to be all 5-star reviews. As a matter of fact, it’s even better if they aren’t. I mean, realistically, what are the chances that every single person you worked with perfectly satisfied? Bullshit, I know. That’s why having only 5-star reviews will look fishy to say the least.

So how do you actually collect the reviews? Here are some tried out methods:

  1. Ask your old clients

You probably have a database of all the customers you worked with. Simply put together one email template that has your .review link in it and gradually send it out to people in your database.

If we’re talking about a very old client and you’re not sure whether they’d remember you, you can first hop on a phone call and and then follow up with an email.

  1. Ask every new client

Make it a standard practice to ask each client to leave a review after the job is done. If you’ve already put the .review link on your business card, all you need to do is tell that’s the place to go and leave a review.

Remember to follow up after a few days in case they forget to do it or they didn’t have time.

  1. Ask friends, relatives, and employees

You’ve probably done a roofing job for some of your friends and relatives. Why not ask them to leave a review for you? They’re usually more than happy to do it.

Also, if you’ve done a roofing job for any of your employees, that’s another great chance to get a review.

  1. Do review swaps

Join a few roofing groups on Facebook and get in touch with a few local roofers. Ask them whether they’d like to do a review swap. They’ll leave a review for you and in exchange you’ll do the same for them.

BONUS TIP:

Create some type of incentive for every person who leaves a review. For instance, you can reward them with a $200 coupon that they can also share with their friends. If you constantly send out coupons, sooner or later, someone will share it with their friends and send you a new client.

Last but not least, it’s important to mention the timing. Don’t just go ahead and use all these strategies I’ve outlined at once. It’s actually better for your Google Maps listing to have a steady stream of reviews coming in over a longer period of time.

For example, getting 1 review each week over the course of few months is actually better than getting a ton of reviews in just a few days. “Slow and steady wins the race” rings true in this case.

The Quickest Way to Get New Reviews

There’s actually a quick and pretty easy way for you to create a steady stream of new reviews and really dominate your local area.

You can do that by owning a .review domain.

As you probably know, there are many types of domains: .com, .net, .org, .info, .co and others. .review is simply one of them. However, unlike other domains, it can be used to set up your review funnel in a pretty awesome way.

Here’s how this works:

Let’s say you’re a roofer from Dallas. You can claim a domain bestrooferindallas.review, bestrooferdallas.review, yourcompanyname.review or any other variation you want.

Now, the trick is that you won’t actually be using this domain to showcase your reviews there. Why not? Because Google Maps reviews bring the most value. They are integrated into search results and show up automatically whenever someone is searching for a roofing contractor in your area.

So what are you going to do with this .review domain? You’re actually going to redirect it to your Google Maps review section. And then you’re going to place it on your business cards besides your website URL, on your website, on your flyers and promo materials, and in your email signature.

That way, you’ll have a neat shortcut through which prospective customers can have a look at your current reviews and existing customers can leave new reviews super fast!

Now, how easier is that than telling them them to go to Google maps, find you there, click on the reviews, and then leave a review? And how neater is it than giving them a crappy link with your business ID that is a sequence of letters and numbers? If they accidentally delete one letter or number, the link won’t work and you won’t have the review.

You can even set up a funnel for leaving reviews where the 5 stars rating is already checked. How cool is THAT?!

Another great thing is that you’re not limited only to Google Maps reviews, but you can do this same thing with any directory where people might be looking for roofers, such as Yelp or BBB. It works perfectly each time.

YELP: bestdallasrooferyelp.review

BBB: bestrooferdallasbbb.review

HOUZZ: houzzdallasroofer.review

Google Schema Review

Last but not least, you can also integrate reviews into your website. That way, when your website turns up in search results, it will have a nice star rating right under the URL. This is something that very few roofers are using so it will definitely make your website stand out and catch potential clients’ eyes.

Just to demonstrate my point, it took me around 10 minutes of scrolling down and going through search results for several different locations to find ONE roofing company that was using the 5-star method:

Right now you’re probably thinking: “If no-one is using this, it must be some complicated shit”. Actually, it’s just the opposite. All you need to do is take a piece of code called Schema Review, fill in your information, and simply paste it into the code of the page you want the stars to appear for. Done!

Now that you know reviews matter, what are you waiting for? Stop sending potential clients to your competition by missing out on something so simple and yet so powerful.

If reviews are not a priority in your plan for getting more leads, it’s about time to make them one! You can do it by yourself or you can contant online roofing marketing company.

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