Home service business owners have a lot on their plates to make the operations of their businesses successful. On top of that, they hear a lot of claims and statements made about marketing in the industry. Unfortunately, a lot of what’s said about marketing in the home services space is either not true or highly exaggerated.
Here at Leadhub, we talk with potential clients all the time — and we hear the same marketing myths over and over:
- Your website will start ranking as soon as it’s launched
- Your home service business can rank number one anywhere
- Paid ads immediately increase lead flow
- Bidding on your competitors’ names secures you more leads
- Anyone can do SEO or paid ads
We want the marketing process and its impacts to be crystal clear for our clients. Let’s take a look at some of these common myths and, more importantly, the truths that owners of home service companies need to know.
Myth 1: Your Website Will Start Ranking As Soon As It’s Launched
There’s a common misconception that the simple act of launching a new website for your home service company will immediately shoot it to the top of Google’s rankings. This could not be further from the truth.
There are so many variables at play when it comes to ranking better in search results — particularly with how the design of a website affects SEO. The bottom line? Not all websites are created equal. A site that lacks structure, wasn’t built for mobile and is neither fast nor accessible is going to struggle in search — no matter how new it may be.
But what about a new home services website that is built with SEO in mind, like Leadhub’s Griffin template? How soon will it start ranking? The answer depends.
How Quickly Does A New Domain Rank?
If the site is on a brand-new domain, it’s going to take up to six months for Google to even crawl it. (Crawling is how Google “reads” your site and determines the type of search queries it might help answer.) Once a brand-new site on a brand-new domain is crawled, it’s probably going to take up to another six months to gain some traction.
“There’s only so much we can do to make a website crawl,” said Katie Stone, an SEO Specialist at Leadhub. “We’re at Google’s mercy. We can submit our sites into their queue, but they crawl at their whim.”
Does An Older Domain Rank More Quickly?
The answer is a bit more encouraging for those home service companies that already have a decent site and just need a redesign. If that’s the case, it usually takes around three months for the site to take off and start ranking.
Remember, a new website is part of a long-term SEO play. Any person or company who promises you’ll immediately shoot to the top of search results is either lying or doing something shady.
Sure, your site might get there in the short term — until Google catches on to whatever the “SEO expert” did and punishes your site or delists you from the rankings altogether. By that point, the “expert” has your money and is conveniently not available to return phone calls or texts.
Myth 2: Your Home Service Business Can Rank Number One Anywhere
Even if you have a super-efficient, SEO-focused website, every home service business owner must remember this: Only one company can rank in the number one spot for any given keyword or search query. It’s not always going to be you — AND it’s guaranteed to change over time.
“It depends heavily on where you’re located and the competition you’re facing,” Stone said. “You may be in a city or state up north that doesn’t rely on air conditioning. If you get your HVAC company’s site redone with SEO in mind, you’re going to shoot to the top because there’s not a lot of competition. However, a company in a hot city with an HVAC company on every block is going to have a much bigger challenge.”
It's also important to keep in mind that you don’t have to rank number one to get leads from your website. Sure, it helps — don’t get us wrong. However, a company that ranks near the top and has a well-managed ad spend is going to get the leads it needs.
Myth 3: Paid Ads Immediately Increase Lead Flow
Speaking of ad campaigns, they aren’t going to magically transform your company’s bottom line overnight. There are several factors that go into campaign performance — and they can vary from client to client and industry to industry.
The good news is ad campaigns should start creating leads much quicker than long-term strategies like organic SEO. Here at Leadhub, we typically want to see paid ads generating conversions within the first 30 days.
“We treat the first 30-60 days of a campaign launch as a ‘learning’ period where we gather as much data as possible to then begin making adjustments based on performance,” said Albert Salinas, the Digital Advertising Lead at Leadhub. “It can take several days or weeks for new campaigns to reach a point where there is enough substantial data to draw observations from. This can all be impacted by the campaign's daily budget, keywords, geo-targeting, ad content and landing page experience, to name a few.”
There is a lot that goes into Google Ads or any other type of digital advertising. They’re not as simple as they may seem — and they need a bit of time to start working.
Myth 4: Bidding On Your Competitors’ Names Secures You More Leads
Let’s be real. It sounds kind of fun to place ads on your competition’s names, right? That way, your company shows up in ads when people search for the company down the street.
You should resist this temptation for several reasons:
Poor Keyword Quality Scores
Keyword quality scores will likely be poor if you bid on your competitor’s name because you’re hopefully not mentioning the competition in the content on your own website. “Even if you did use another company’s name on your website, you could potentially run into legal issues if the brand name is copyrighted or protected in any way,” Salinas said.
You’re also going to have a higher average cost per click (CPC) with this type of ad campaign due to those lower quality scores. If Google does not see strong relevancy from the keywords you target to the ad content (and ultimately the page content where you’re sending traffic), you’ll likely pay on the higher end to target those competitor brand keywords.
Triggering A Bidding War
Finally, you might actually start a bid war with a competitor who may not have been previously aware of your presence. “In some situations, your competition will then begin to target your brand name and other keywords in retaliation, which causes the floor price of your keyword bids to rise — and eventually it increases the cost per click for everyone targeting those terms,” Salinas said. “It can quickly become a war of attrition where no one really comes out as the winner.”
Myth 5: Anyone Can Do SEO Or Paid Ads
Hopefully it’s clear by now that you want to put your company’s website and digital advertising efforts in the hands of a trained professional.
SEO, alone, is constantly shifting. Google releases new changes and updates all the time. Consumer habits change, like using TikTok or AI to search. Paid search needs constant attention and monitoring. Business owners simply do not have the bandwidth that is required to do this on a daily basis.
“As an SEO specialist, I have parts of my day, every day, devoted to reading industry news. I’m consistently performing research experiments to determine best practices for our clients — best practices that consistently change from month to month, if not day to day,” Stone said.
If you want to do SEO and ads right, you must devote your career to it or hire someone who already has. Sure, there are tweaks to a website anyone can do to make it more SEO-friendly, but it’s never going to be enough to accomplish what you want.
Trades Industry Marketing That Works
It can be difficult to cut through the claims of agencies and marketers trying to plant seeds of doubt in your mind. There are many flashy, tempting statements that are so easy you may desperately want to believe them. But real marketing that is designed to have a lasting impact, increase your leads and drive success requires strategy and skill.
That’s why Leadhub strives to use our expertise in the marketing sphere in partnership with our knowledge of the home services industry to truly offer the most transparent and effective marketing solutions.
Are you ready for your home service company’s SEO and marketing efforts to be in the hands of the professionals at Leadhub? Contact us today for a free discovery call.