Getting Noticed in a Tough Marketplace

This issue’s “NAHB Remodeler of the Month,” Scott A. Jacob, president and chief executive officer of Jacob Sunroom & Exteriors, Fairview Heights, Ill., said something during our interview that resonated with me: “I’m 50 years old and not a computer person, but I’m learning. Five or 10 years ago my business was hardly getting any leads from the Internet. Today, my sales rep will say the homeowner already knows the company story based on what he or she found on our Web site. I believe the Internet will be the No. 1 lead-generating tool in the future.” (Read more from my interview with Jacob.)

Depending on the study you read, anywhere from 63 to 94 percent of consumers research products or services online before making a purchase. I’m one of those consumers. I especially like to read online testimonials from someone who already has made the purchase I’m researching. For example, I recently needed a third bid for a drywall project in my condominium building. I found the highest-rated drywall installer in my area on Yelp.com and gave him a call. Just as the testimonials stated, he was on time, efficient, and his pricing was thoughtful and fair.

Although consumers are doing research online, not many of them turn into solid leads. According to Tom Audette, business development director for Three Deep Marketing and presenter of last month’s Qualified Remodeler- and Exterior Contractor-sponsored Business Growth Webinar, “Six Reasons Why Internet Marketing Isn’t Working for Your Home Improvement Business and How to Fix Them,” only 2 percent of visitors to your site become an inbound lead. Audette says multiple calls to action on your Web site can increase the odds of turning a visitor into a lead.

When visiting Jacob Sunroom & Exteriors’ Web site, I immediately noticed a call to action on the home page: The company captures visitor information by offering a home-improvement giveaway. You may not be able to offer a
giveaway but there are several other tips and tricks Audette shared in the Webinar that you easily can implement to improve your site and generate leads. He even explained how to get reviewed on sites, like Yelp.com, so homeowners (like me) who prefer testimonials will be more likely to find you. If you missed the Webinar, you can access the recording at
www.exteriorcontractor.com/webinars2010.

The Business Growth Webinar Series is an important supplement to Qualified Remodeler magazine, especially as businesses struggle in the current economy. This month’s Webinar, which is presented by Rich Harshaw, founder of Monopolize Your Marketplace, will explain how to separate yourself from the competition and stand out as the best option. Please sign up for the free Webinar today at www.exteriorcontractor.com/webinars2010; it takes place Nov. 17.

The Webinar series certainly will provide new ideas to get your company noticed in a tough marketplace. Some of the ideas may challenge you just as becoming Web savvy has challenged Jacob. Fortunately, he’s already reaping the benefits of learning something new.

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