Perhaps you’ve known for a while that your online business presence is the key to consistently generating field services leads. Maybe you even started researching how to attract customers online, but didn’t have the time or technical know-how to see it through.
If that’s you, you’re not alone. Even after the number of consumers who used online search to find a local business shot up to 93% in 2020, a majority of small businesses in 2022 (57%) still didn’t have a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Here’s a simple guide to get you going so you can start generating more field service leads online. And remember, even tackling just a few of these steps right now will make a big difference in the long run.
If you haven’t created a website for your field services business, now is the time to start. A website gives your business more credibility, and it also means you’re more likely to show up in local customer searches and makes it easy for customers to contact you for new work. While starting from scratch may sound intimidating, it’s probably easier than you think. Many common website builders like WordPress and Squarespace have pre-built templates and in-app hosting plans to make things quick and simple. There are also plenty of agencies you can hire to help get you started.
If you already have a website, make sure to keep it updated and take some time to make sure customers can find and understand what they need to know about your business and services. Consider how your website holds up to these questions:
It’s important for customers to be able to find and interact with your field service business on social media – and that requires more than just a personal profile page. If most of your customers are using Facebook, make sure to create a business profile and post at least once a week to signal to potential customers that you’re still in business and available for work. If a lot of your customers get inspired on Instagram to start new projects that require your services, create a business Instagram account and start posting images that showcase your capabilities and portfolio.
In case you didn’t know, it’s completely free to claim your Google My Business profile! If you haven’t taken advantage of this freebie, it’s well worth the time since it uses your business location to help you show up in local customer searches. Google rewards businesses with fully completed profiles and ones who continue to post updates, add pictures, and answer questions submitted by prospects by pushing them to the top of search results. Be sure to keep your name, address, place, and hours updated in addition to checking out features like appointment booking, SMS text communication, and offers to maximize your listing visibility.
Listing sites like Thumbtack or Angi can be good options to help feature your independent contract or home-service business to a larger number of prospects. If you use them, be sure to verify the accuracy of your information and give detailed accounts of what your business does, the services you provide, the locations you service, and your commitment to customer satisfaction so prospects have enough information and confidence in your services to reach out. Since some business listing sites like Yelp allow customers to leave reviews, take the extra time to respond to each one professionally. A little personal touch goes a long way.
For your small business to appear in relevant search results, you need to know which search terms are right for your business. There’s no universal cheat sheet for this task. You have to work to identify what your potential customers might type into the search bar when they’re looking for local businesses that offer the services you provide.
There are many ways to do this, but the simplest and cheapest route is to create a Google Ads account and start typing in keywords related to the services you provide into the Google Keyword Planner tool. Perhaps start with each type of service you offer, then add in your local city or service areas to help modify the original search phrase. Google will then provide you with a list of relevant search terms for your business and how difficult they are to attain top visibility for.
Once you identify your top search terms, you will need to create pages on your website that use those key terms. Now, before you get any ideas about slapping a list of search terms on a page and calling it good, you should know that won’t help your SEO. Google’s search engine algorithm promotes pages with good user engagement, so the more your customers and prospects find the content relevant and valuable, the more Google will start seeing and listing your business as a valuable contributor in your industry.
Create pages that focus on each main service you offer, and start a blog that expounds on topics related to your business offerings that your customers and prospects may find useful. Think topics like “3 Things You Should Know Before a Home Renovation Project” or “How to Get Your Lawn Green and Lush Again.”
Your book of business isn’t just good for keeping historic record. Stay in touch with your customers by sending them helpful blogs, new deals, holiday cards, and you should also post new social content. That way, when they have new work that needs to be done, your business will come to mind first.
Customer reviews are one of the most influential factors when prospects are making a purchasing decision, and Google and business listing sites know it. The more high-rated Google reviews you have, the more likely you are to rank higher in local service searches.
How do you get customers to leave reviews? Ask them! Once you have a customer who trusts your field service business and has had a great experience with you, they’re usually more than happy to recommend your business to others. At the end of a project, ask your happy customer to leave you a review online or to refer your business to others. You can even be so bold as to say, “Hey, if you post a picture of our work on Facebook, could you please tag our company?” Just be open and transparent that their review or post will help you out as you work to grow your business.
While the thought of growing your online business presence can be intimidating at first, tackling each of these eight steps one at a time is the best way to start seeing real business growth that’s efficient and scalable.
Looking for more help and advice to step up your online presence for your field service business? Check out this podcast episode on “Marketing in a Recession: Prepare to Rebound.” In this podcast, we’ll take a look at whether marketing is worth the investment for contractors and what you can do now to help your business thrive in uncertain economic times.