Establishing A Strong Online Presence: A Guide For Small Home Service Businesses

Establishing A Strong Online Presence 1

Thanks to advances in technology, small home service businesses now have a much easier time connecting with potential customers. Even better, you don't have to spend as much as your competitors to grow your business. Online marketing isn't free, but it's much less expensive than buying television advertisements or placing ads in local newspapers or magazines, evening the playing field for home service contractors worldwide.

If you're not sure how to get started, review this guide to establishing an online presence for small home service businesses. You'll learn why it's so important to have an online presence and what you can do to make sure potential customers know about your company and its services.

Establish a Strong Online Presence for Your Home Service Business with CraftJack. 

The Importance Of Online Presence For Small Home Service Businesses

When you want more information about a service provider, what do you do? If you're like most people, you visit the company website and learn more about the business. In 2021, 76% of consumers revealed that they check a company's website before visiting a physical location. That means a website is no longer optional.

It's even more important to have a strong online presence for small home service businesses. Many home service providers operate out of their homes or manage their businesses on the go. They don't have physical locations, making it critical to have a professional website and active social media accounts. If you don't have a website or your online presence isn't as strong as it could be, now is the time to start building your digital assets.

Identifying Your Unique Selling Points And Creating A Brand

In the business world, a unique selling proposition is a reason your service is better than the services offered by competing firms. The first step to building trust online is identifying why people should buy from you instead of buying from one of your competitors. To figure out your USP, you must understand your customer base. Different types of customers want different things from their home service providers. You can't satisfy every potential customer in your service area, so you must find a way to cater to a specific target audience.

Here's an example:

A landscaping company that creates lush gardens complete with pagodas and fountains has a different USP than a landscaping company that focuses on offering low-priced lawn care services. The first company may cater to wealthy customers who are more concerned with the appearance of their landscaping than how much it costs to achieve their desired look. The second company is more likely to serve budget-conscious consumers who just want to have their lawns mowed without all the frills.

The next step to identifying your USP is to conduct in-depth competitor research. Check each competitor's website to find out what services they offer, how much they charge, and whatever else you need to know about their businesses. As you do your research, look for things that set you apart from other businesses. Maybe you provide the same service for a lower cost or better after-sales service than some of the competing firms in your area.

Finally, make sure you understand your strengths and weaknesses as a home service provider. If you don't have any employees or subcontractors, you may not be able to complete big jobs. There's nothing wrong with that, but you need to know how that limitation affects your ability to find customers and retain them. In terms of strengths, maybe you have a specialized skill or an industry certification that many home service providers don't have.

Building A Website For Your Business

As mentioned previously, building a website for small home service businesses is no longer optional. When a potential customer goes online and searches for service providers in their area, you want your business to show up as one of the top options. Once they land on your website, they should be able to find out what services you provide, what hours your business is open, and how to contact you if they want to get an estimate or request more information. If your online presence is weak, potential customers may doubt your credibility, making it more difficult to grow your business.

If you're setting up a website for the first time, choose a sensible domain name. It may be the name of your business or a keyword related to the service you provide. For example, if you offer housekeeping services in Miami, you may want to incorporate those keywords into the URL. Keep your domain name as short as possible to make it easy for people to remember how to access your website.

At a minimum, your site should have pages that list your services, explain your credentials, and make it easy for customers to contact you. The site should also be easy to navigate. Don't make visitors click several links to find the information they need. Consider working with a professional designer to ensure your website is both attractive and functional.

Establishing A Strong Online Presence 2

Creating A Social Media Presence

Many home service providers make the mistake of ignoring social media, believing it's only for teenagers or people who want to stay in touch with family members who live far away. The truth is that social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. With just a few minutes of effort per day, you can use social media to reach hundreds or thousands of potential customers.

The first step in using social media for small home service businesses is to set up accounts on all the major platforms. Don't just set up one account and call it a day — make sure you have at least two or three accounts. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are some of the most popular networks. If you provide services to commercial businesses, consider creating an account on LinkedIn, a platform designed for professional networking. TikTok is also an option,  but its user base skews young, so it may not be the best choice if you're targeting older homeowners.

Once you set up your social media accounts, be consistent about posting. Publishing one or two posts a month isn't enough to build up your momentum and make social media a successful component of your marketing strategy. Write about your services, post before-and-after photos of recent projects, highlight some of your customers, or do whatever else you can to show that your company is a reputable one. Be prepared to respond to comments or private messages from potential customers.

Doing Basic SEO To Increase Visibility Online

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an essential component of building an online presence for small home service businesses. In simple terms, SEO is a set of techniques used to improve a website's page rankings in Google and other search engines. The higher your pages are in the search engines, the easier it is for potential customers to find you.

One of the most important aspects of SEO for small home service businesses is keyword selection. Keywords are words or phrases people use to find information online. Examples include "Miami cleaning service," "landscapers in Pittsburgh," and "San Francisco general contractors." If you don't have any SEO experience, consider working with a professional to choose relevant keywords and incorporate them into your website.

Another way to make your site more visible is to do local SEO, which allows you to improve your site's page rankings for hyperlocal keywords. For example, if your main keyword is "Seattle roofing company," you may want to target keywords like "Lake City roofers," "roofers in Queen Anne Seattle," or "roofers in Seattle University District." Targeting individual neighborhoods makes it easier for customers to find you when they perform local searches.

Monitoring Reviews And Testimonials Across The Internet

Few things are more powerful than online reviews for small home service businesses. Reviews and testimonials give you insight into your customers, letting you do a better job meeting their needs. They also enhance your credibility, as customers who see your reviews will know you're running a legitimate business.

One of the easiest ways to get reviews and testimonials is to ask for them. When you complete a project, simply ask the customer to leave a Google review or write a testimonial for your website if they're satisfied with your service. If necessary, offer some type of incentive. Busy customers may be more willing to write a review if you offer a small discount on their next service, for example. Once you get started with reputation management for small home service businesses, make sure you're consistent. Don't stop asking for reviews or letting customers know how much their testimonials help your business.

Utilizing Email And Ads To Build An Online Presence

Your website is one of your most important assets, but it's not the only tool you should be using to establish an online presence. If you want to reach more customers, take time to learn the basics of online advertising for home service businesses. Google and other companies offer paid advertising to help home service providers connect with more people and promote their services more effectively. Using these services to run ads can help you build your business while you wait for your SEO efforts to take effect.

Once you start using paid advertising, it's critical to track your efforts and tweak them as needed. Keep tabs on how much each click costs you, how many clicks you're getting, and how many of those clicks turn into paying customers. If you're not getting the results you want, try targeting different keywords or changing the ad copy to make it more interesting to potential customers.

Email marketing for small home services businesses is also highly effective. Once a customer agrees to give you their email address, you can use the information to send them personalized messages and make sure they know what's happening with your business. For example, you can email customers about current discounts or announce new service offerings.

If you're new to email marketing, it's important to be aware of the rules outlined in the CAN-SPAM Act. The act governs the use of email messages for commercial purposes. Although you're allowed to email someone without asking for permission, you must give them a way to opt out of your messages. Following the law shows potential customers that you operate your business in an ethical manner.

Once you have a list of email addresses, you can break it into multiple segments, allowing you to send laser-targeted messages to small groups of potential customers. For example, you may want to segment your list based on whether each person is a homeowner or a renter. Another option is to segment your audience according to their history with your company. Potential customers need a lot of information to help them feel comfortable buying from you, while established customers may be more interested in discounts or other special offers. Segmenting your list allows you to meet the needs of both groups.

Building Trust And Establishing A Reputation By Displaying Positive Reviews And Testimonials Prominently On Your Website And Social Media Profiles

Another step in creating a brand for small home service businesses is displaying positive reviews and testimonials wherever possible. It doesn't do you any good to have unread reviews sitting in your email account — you need to publish them to make sure potential customers can see them. Make a habit of posting each review or testimonial to your website and social media accounts. You can even incorporate reviews into the overall design of your website, making them more prominent.

Once you have a strong online presence, CraftJack can help you take your business to the next level. We offer quality leads to help grow your business and make sure you have a steady stream of customers.