Short answer: both! Ideally you should utilize both SEO and PPC in tandem for your home services marketing campaign. Both are great at driving relevant traffic to your website. And you can turn that traffic into new leads and new customers for your home services business.
But using both PPC and SEO might not make sense for your home services company since each strategy serve different purposes and generate leads differently.
So can you be sure you're choosing the right strategy for your business? Refer to your digital marketing plan.
Your digital marketing plan will guide you on which tactics to use so that all of your marketing efforts work together to drive your business in the right direction.
And if you don't have a fleshed out digital marketing plan just yet, use the following rules of thumb.
When to use PPC advertising for Home Services companies
Pay-per-click (PPC) uses search engine advertising to bring interested buyers to your website (or landing page). This means that when someone searches for a buyer intent keyword, you're visible to that person and you can pull them towards your brand and offer to make a sale.
Use PPC if you:
- Want immediate results. With PPC you get a better online presence up and running in a matter of a couple weeks.
- Are just getting started in digital marketing. If you don't have a big fancy website yet and are just getting started, you can fire up a PPC campaign and run the traffic to a landing page, or a simple 1 page website. Normally, PPC campaign traffic is directed to an optimized landing page separate from your main website anyway. This is to increase conversion rates for lead generation.
- Are running a seasonal or time-sensitive offer (like tree removal or drain clearings). With PPC you can start and stop ads instantly so you can control when they're available to the public.
- Want to target your audience by keyword, location or time of day. PPC geo-targeting allows you to get hyper specific with who you target, where and when so you can generate specific types of leads.
When utilizing PPC, you only pay for the traffic that actually clicks your ad and comes to your landing page. This means you're only paying for the results of the campaign. Important: Make sure you run PPC traffic to a landing page, and not your homepage. If you run traffic to the homepage of your main website, your prospects will likely leave without ever becoming a lead and that's budget lost.
You are also paying for the top spot on Google - prime real estate in the the search engine results pages (SERPs), showing up just below the Local Service ads (yet another way to advertise your business on Google):
Is PPC ever not a good option?
So glad you asked. PPC is fantastic for an immediate boost in lead flow, online visibility and definitely works well long-term as well - as long as your PPC campaigns are managed effectively and are in alignment with your overall marketing strategy.
To get the most from your marketing efforts, use PPC and SEO together. As the graphic shows below, a mature website will rely the most on SEO, but can also use PPC to supplement traffic and leads.
We recommend marketing your home services company with PPC until you can ramp up and invest in your SEO efforts.
PPC is leads now, SEO is leads later.
SEO does take time and capital to see an ROI but once you are ranking in Google the organic leads will roll in without any ad spend.
When to use SEO for home service businesses
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the act of optimizing your website to rank higher on search engine page results (SERPs). Google's algorithm takes into account hundreds of ranking factors that gives signals on how relevant your site is to the user's search query.
Use SEO if you:
- Already have a website, but it needs an upgrade. To reap the total benefits of SEO, you need to have a full featured website to drive traffic to.
- Need more leads and consistent traffic to your website. PPC is paid traffic, and SEO is organic, or natural traffic. This means that with SEO your traffic doesn't depend on money spent, so it's more consistent than it would be with PPC on its own.
- Can wait more than 3 months to see results. Good things come to those who wait! You will need a lot of time to ramp up your SEO efforts. It often takes anywhere from 3-6 months before you see noticeable improvements in your website rankings.
That being said, we usually see great improvements in the first month after do basic on-page optimizations to our client's websites. Good SEO is good SEO.
When it comes to SEO for home service companies, local SEO is what really matters. As a service-based local business you want to show up in the local maps results, not outside of it.
Optimizing your Google My Business listing is imperative to local lead generation.
What's the difference between local map results and organic search results? The user's intent. When someone searches using city or location phrases like "Bellingham", Google makes sure to show them local businesses.
Looking to get started with SEO or PPC?