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2021 Lens for Internet Marketing
by Max Cron, CMO at Benchmark Payment Networks
What’s the state of affairs in 2021? Having a strong digital presence is vital to attracting new business this year and from now on. Here are a few ways to improve your digital presence and grow your business. New customers are going to have a tough time finding your business in the vast sea of information that is the Internet. This is a modern problem that every business faces today. Being able to stand out from the crowd on the Internet is a must for your home inspection business.
First things first: finding a marketing budget. The best way to bolster your marketing budget is to decrease expenses in other areas. Outside of your payroll expenses (if you have them), take a close look at all your administrative and technology expenses. How much are you spending on office supplies, internet, subscriptions, phone services, credit card processing, and even your office coffee? We do a deep dive on our expenses once a year and we usually find several areas where we can reduce expenses. Can you negotiate a better deal with your internet or phone service provider? What about bigger discounts on your office supplies and business cards, etc.?
One approach that many home inspectors are finding effective at lowering their expenses is Benchmark’s Zero Cost credit card processing program. With this program, your business can completely eliminate the fees you pay to process your customer’s credit card payments. Instead of you paying the processing fee, your customer does. Right now, you’re probably paying around 3% to process payments. Now, you can bring that number to 0%. That means you can save thousands per month, and you can invest those savings into growing your online presence. Below, we have a few sections on how to expand your online presence, and get more clients.
Modern Website Means Modern Business
You have a website, but unless you are updating it every few years, it will appear dated. Like any industry, online design evolves with the times. Having an easy-to-navigate and informative website is essential to communicating your message, and increasing sign-ups for home inspections. Talk with a professional about upgrading your site if you have not recently.
One simple fix is to add strategically placed buttons and easy to use sign-up forms. On our website (GOBPN.com), we recently added contact forms on more pages, and saw an increase in inbound leads. Another important part of your website is interactive content. This can be quizzes, image-based media that highlights parts of a home inspection and the reasons they are important, or anything that involves the potential client being more involved in how the content is displayed.
Importance of Landing Pages
The creation of landing pages that are separate/in addition to the homepage is important. These are the pages that Google or Facebook ads link to on your site. Many people drive traffic to their website’s homepage, which I believe to be a mistake. The reason is that the people who search for home inspectors on Google are more ready to buy than the average person who stumbles across your website. Therefore, you need to offer them a way to contact you or sign up for an inspection immediately. The best landing page provides a bit of contact information and possibly information about your services and prices. The problem with sending people to your homepage is that it might be overwhelming. There might be pages and images and reviews and a blog and possibly more. You don’t want people who are ready to buy getting lost or confused on your website. Landing pages are key to converting ready-to-buy people into clients.
Run Social Media Ads to Capture More Clients
Having a strong website is definitely step one. Now that your website is ready, you need to drive traffic to it. The best way to advertise a home inspection business is to run digital ads. Having ads that run when people search “home inspector” or similar terms on Google is key. We have found it worth it to outbid our competition to be the first ad that is shown on the top of Google search results page in your local area. If you set up your website correctly with Facebook’s Pixel, you can send what is called remarketing ads to people on social media. This means that you can send follow up ads on social media to people who have visited your website after searching on Google.
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This system of first running ads on Google, and afterwards “remarketing” to prospects is extremely strategic; it is important you follow the order of where the ads are displayed. When people search for your business on Google they are actively seeking your business. Some marketing companies will recommend advertising first on Facebook or other social media. While I think it is important to have a first touch presence on these platforms, it can waste your money unless you are only using social media for remarketing. This strategy is not for every business type, but for home inspectors, it is the way to go.
Step one is to run Google ads targeting keywords that you select and to outbid your competition. The people who see these ads are the ones who Googled “home inspector” or any other keywords you choose. The ads could target “Seattle home inspector” for example. From there, interested users will click on your ad and be directed to your website. Step two is applied to those who have visited your website from that initial Google ad. Step two is to run remarketing ads on social media to send potential customers to your website for a second visit. Make sure the remarketing ads are sent out on a very tight timeline. This is a simple feature in Facebook Ads Manager. You want to retarget people who have visited your website in the last 7 to 14 days. Facebook’s automatic setting is to retarget people the past 30 days. For home inspectors, I believe this is too long of a sales cycle to convert. It’s essential to get them with remarketing ads while your business brand, logo, and website are on the top of their mind. Now that you have a great modern website and are running two rounds of ads, you need to come up with an offer.
Offers Are the Key to Conversions
Have you ever seen a product online that was $25.99 and now is $19.99? Often those products were always $19.99, and companies add in a fake discount to incentivize people into buying. The same thing works with a limited-time offer. You’ll see a website have an offer that says “Only 10 left!” Often these are just marketing tactics to increase sales. While some of these offers can be a bit gimmicky, and others may not apply to home inspectors, there does exist some offer that is right for your business. There are many types of offers that you can implement to increase the number of conversions on your website. The key is figuring out which one is best for you. Right now, Benchmark is offering a free 30-minute marketing strategy session if you sign up for the Zero Cost Processing Program. For your business, clearly a buy one/get one free offer is not applicable to home inspectors. Neither is a large discount like 30 percent off. But here is one offer that is used by home inspectors: “We offer inspections Monday–Friday, with Saturday inspections available upon request. Our schedule fills up quickly, so make sure you BOOK NOW!”
Saturday is a day many people are not tied up with work and is a great day for a home inspection for many people—whether they work from home or not. By saying it is by appointment only, and being that it is a desirable day, it puts pressure on people to call and book now. Add in the text that says “our schedule fills up quickly. BOOK NOW”—this adds more pressure to call now. This tactic works, and you should implement something similar. Figure out your offer, and you will drive more people to convert.
Get More Business With Online Presence
Let’s do a recap. First, get a better, more modern website with strategically placed contact forms and landing pages, if yours needs updating. Run ads on Google, and then retarget on social media. Have an offer that incentivizes buyers to make a decision now. The result for 2021 is that you’re getting more clients and have a system set up to keep them coming.
About the Author
Max is the Chief Marketing Officer at Benchmark Payment Networks (BPN), and resides in New Orleans, LA. With his many years of Digital Marketing experience, Max has created an awesome & effective digital footprint for BPN. Benchmark is a leading payment processing company that specializes in bringing your fees to zero dollars per month. You can contact him at MaxCron@GOBPN.com if you want to chat about marketing and payment processing.
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