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Thursday, October 17, 2019
Have you ever wondered what it really takes to attract painting customers who are searching online for a painting contractor? Here’s a hint: it’s not complicated.
Sure, there’s plenty of technical work going on in the background. But you don’t need to know about all of that to know how to get customers. All you need to know is this: People search for service providers on Google. Google’s job is simply to answer their question.
Most customers looking for someone to paint their house have no idea what companies are in the area, so they aren’t searching for your company name. They’ll search using a phrase, called a keyword, like “painting contractors”. Here’s a chart with the estimated monthly search volume in the United States for the keyword “painting contractors”, as well as related keywords.
Google’s search engine is smart enough to know that someone probably wants to hire a local painting contractor whenever they search for any of these phrases. In a few thousandths of a second, their search engine looks at websites about local painters in the area and picks out the most relevant ones. Ten lucky sites show up on the first page.
How do you get to be one of those ten? It’s based on hundreds of factors, but there are a few really important ones. Is your site full of rich content relevant to the keyword in the search? Are you rated well online? Does your site load quickly, is it well-written, and will it show up well on any device? Are they confident that you’re still in business? There is also one major factor you can’t control, which is how close your business office is to the person searching for a provider.
To rank well, you need to answer all these questions positively. All the technical jargon that website providers try to tell you about – backlinks, citations, alt tags, schema – those are simply things they do to help answer these questions better.
The reality is that if your website is up-to-date, full of good content about painting, and mobile-friendly, and if you have dozens of positive reviews, you’re probably going to search very well within a half year of your site launching. Unfortunately, most providers can’t provide these things. That’s why they try to sell you on a bunch of technical stuff they know you won’t understand.
So the next time a web provider tries to sell you a website, ask them to see their painting content. Ask what they’ll do to help you get reviews. Ask if they keep the site up-to-date, and if they will update it regularly to match Google’s preferences. Also make sure to take a look at the website they’re trying to sell you, and then take a look at competitor sites. You want to make sure your site is going to look clean and modern, so people will want to read it once they click on it. If a website provider can’t deliver on the basics, there’s no amount of technical know-how that’s going to help them get results for your business.
To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your painting contracting business get more customers online, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.
Sunday, October 13, 2019
The economy is still strong, but it won’t stay that way forever; some experts are predicting a downturn in 2020. Click here to learn how to come out of a rough patch in the economy better off than ever.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Some painting contractors start out with big goals. For many, however, the goal of starting a business instead of working at someone else’s isn’t a world-changing one. Some owners don’t enjoy working for someone else and want to try working for themselves. Other people just enjoy building things from scratch instead of following someone else’s directions.
In the early days of a business, the best goal is the one that gives you the motivation to get out of bed every morning and work longer than everyone else. It’s extremely hard to start a business. It’s especially hard once you start hiring people, because human resources becomes significant, whether you want it to or not.
Once your business is past those early days of unexpected roadblocks , new bills and empty schedules, it’s time to figure out what you want your business to do for you. Think of the things that a small business can provide – high income, schedule flexibility, doing the work you want to do, the opportunity to grow and manage people, and even passive income – and prioritize what matters to you. Based on this, build 1, 2 and 3 year goals, and evaluate them monthly to see how you’re progressing.
These goals will be very different depending on your priorities. For instance, if you prioritize setting your own schedule and doing the work you want to do, your goals will center around earning enough to be comfortable without having to work more hours than you want. You’ll want to be able to schedule vacations, and have the time and money to take them. Gaining the ability to fill up your schedule months in advance will provide you with the certainty you need to take a week off without worrying whether you’ll be able to pay the bills when you get back.
On the other hand, if you’re prioritizing income growth and a path to an income stream without you having to be on-site, you’ll need to prioritize growth. In order to provide a passive stream of income, you’ll need many teams working at any given time. This means that you’ll be working long hours and putting the profits back into your business for those first few years. You’ll need to get proficient in managing people, and in hiring people to manage people.
Whatever your goals are, make sure that the business decisions you’re making support those goals, and that you’re still on track to get where you want to be three years from now. It’s easy to get lost in day-to-day work and suddenly realize that you’ve been working 60 hour weeks without even intending to overschedule yourself. Taking a step back each month to evaluate whether your business is meeting your own goals will help you to avoid this. After all, if you can’t enjoy the benefits of working for yourself, why bother with all of the added risk and complexity of running a business?
To learn more about how ProPainter Websites can help your painting contracting business earn more customers, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Have you heard of NextDoor? It’s a private social network for neighborhood communities. It’s not an endless “feed” of selfies, beach pictures and political opinions like Facebook. Every member is verified, and neighborhood members can view the conversations only within their neighborhood.
There are more than 236,000 neighborhoods on NextDoor, and each of those neighborhoods has a minimum of 10 or more members; some have hundreds. The odds are good that there’s a neighborhood using NextDoor near you.
If that sounds like a good, free opportunity to get more customers, it is. That doesn’t mean you can post about your painting services on NextDoor however. NextDoor doesn’t want their community forums to turn into the classifieds section, so they don’t allow businesses to post about services. They also make money by selling advertisements, so they don’t want to let businesses do it for free.
What you can do instead is ask your happy customers to think of you the next time they use NextDoor. Many people ask about their neighbors’ experiences with local providers on NextDoor before they select one. In fact, asking for local business recommendations is one of the most popular ways to use NextDoor.
The opinions aren’t only subjective, either. Each category (including “House Painters”) has a list of service providers, ranked by how many votes they’ve received, along with previous conversations between neighborhood members discussing house painting providers. Providers near the top of this list are likely to receive many calls from an active NextDoor community. This is how one happy customer can turn into many customers in the same area.
So the next time you’re at the home of a thrilled customer, don’t just ask if you can put a sign in their yard. Ask if they’d be willing to recommend you to friends and neighbors – including on NextDoor!
To learn how ProPainting Websites can help your business generate more business, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
When customers see (or hear) something that causes them to doubt the quality of your work, they are less likely to be satisfied with that work – even if it was exceptional. Click here to learn how to make your residential painting customers confident that you’ve done a great job.