Are you a landscaper in search of new clients? Or, are you a moving company looking to take advantage of the hot real estate market? Maybe you sell and provide maintenance for heating and cooling systems or you specialize in waterproofing basements – all markets that are in high demand, as extreme weather becomes the norm. Whatever home service you provide, you need to make sure your potential clients can find and access your website from their mobile phone. Why? Because, according to market research firm Catalyst Canada’s 2014 Canadian Smartphone Market study, Canadians are using their smartphones to shop online whenever they can. They shop while standing in line, commuting to work, checking out the new windows (or drapes or flooring) in their neighbour’s house, and even while shopping in person at a store. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, it is unattractive and hard to navigate on a smartphone. This means you’ll be cut off from both existing and potential customers while your mobile-savvy competitors are available at their fingertips to attract their hard-earned cash.
As of 2015, 68% of Canadians own smartphones, which is up from 55% in 2014, according Catalyst Canada. This represents a 24% increase in just one year, so the lesson for home services companies is very clear: having a site optimized for mobile is no longer an option but a necessity. All forms of content, including any images and video, should be mobile optimized, the report says.
Small businesses need to stake their claim on mobile today, says digital services company, nanorep, just as these companies did on the web not so many years ago. That means making sure all their information is easily viewable and usable on mobile.
And that is only the beginning: cutting through all the clutter on the mobile web requires help from a mobile-savvy professional. This is an expert or firm who knows how to make the mobile site for your contracting business pop up whenever potential customers search for “home improvements” or “remodelling” on their smartphones, or give your paving business prominence when someone searches for “driveway resurfacing.”
There are a number of ways to make a mobile listing for your home services business stand out from the crowd.
Tactic 1: Let your photos help you get found
You need to make your photos as search friendly and user friendly as your mobile website content. A Marketing Land article about Houzz recommends including keywords (like “small kitchen remodel”) with photos – that can make your photos (and your site) easier to find during searches. To decide what embedded keywords to use, ask yourself what services and products your customers seek most from your company. For instance, asphalt-paving companies should embed words such as driveway repair and fix asphalt. Carpentry or construction companies should embed words such as home reno and kitchen upgrades. Instead of sprinkling the occasional photo through your site, which may be difficult to find on a smaller screen, create collections like the “ideabooks” on Houzz, which bring together a template customers can use to start thinking about what they want out of a project.
Tactic 2: Try adding videos
Use short-form video for long-term impact. Lowe’s is a well-known retailer in the home services space, but it became a poster child for effective video and social marketing with a campaign using six-second Vine videos on Twitter. Study examples like these as you consider video for mobile marketing in the home services space. The key is to create informative, direct videos that tell customers what they want to know, backed by images of the home services they are seeking. For instance, Edmonton homeowners with leaky hot tubs can see what’s wrong and how it can be fixed by watching videos by Bernie’s Hot Tubs.
Videos can also show customers what exactly is involved in the projects they want to execute, such as this time-lapse video on YouTube of a kitchen renovation posted by Ottawa’s Mr. Kitchens. Less than two minutes long, the video helps pique the interest of potential customers and enhances their chances of contacting the company that gave them this useful information.
Tactic 3: Offer a reward to entice people to visit
Everyone loves to get something for nothing. Adding a special deal for people who click-through to your mobile site can drive engagement and increase your opportunity to attract more customers. For example, Mr. Handyman’s mobile site offers $25 discount coupons to smartphone users who provide their name and email address.
Tactic 4: Make it easy for customers
Take advantage of the fact that people are on their phone by adding an onscreen button to the listing, so people can call your company directly. Also include a button that links to directions to your bricks-and-mortar location if you have one, so they can find you fast. According to online marketing firm Unbounce, adding these “call-to-action” buttons to online ads significantly boosts consumer interactions and sales, so including them on your mobile site can only help you attract more customers.
These are just four tactics that can make your mobile listing stand out from the crowd and generate traffic for your company. Yellow Pages’ expert website design services are always optimized for mobile, and our professionals will help you create a dynamic presence for your company across all digital platforms.