Let’s be honest here – Contractors specialize in their trade, not understanding how Google works. Google Ads is often overwhelming for any small business owner, especially contractors – It’s just not what you specialize in!
It’s common for contractors to focus strictly on their projects and totally neglect their marketing and business needs. Obviously, projects are your bread and butter, but you have to also focus on expanding your business. Leave your Google Ads for contractors to us.
Let’s get into Google Ads for contractors!
Step I: Introducing Google Ads For Contractors
At the end of the day, Google Ads is a tool that simply promotes your website to the top of Google’s search results.
It’s a “PPC” (pay-per-click) system meaning the more you bid for each click, the higher your website shows up in the search results!
Here’s an example from A Deck Above of what a successful contractor Google Ads advertisement looks like:
When a potential customer clicks on your Google advertisement, it immediately redirects them to your website, or more specifically – a “landing page.”
Depending on the search, contractor “keywords” (the Google search term) can cost between $0.50 – $25.00 depending on what your services are. For reference, Lawyers can have costs of up to $100/click.
When you create your contractor Google Ads account, you can set a limit on how much you want to spend per day, and Google will not exceed that.
As you increase your spending, you’ll see more traffic come to your website!
Does My Contractor Business Really Need Google Ads?
Paying for traffic is really a short-term solution to finding immediate clients for your contractor business. The long term solution is SEO, which you can read more about here
With Google Ads for contractors, you can see immediate results if done correctly.
The issue is that not everyone who has a Google Ads account knows how to run it correctly, or efficiently.
Should You Hire a Contractor Google Ads Expert?
Google Ads is a complicated system, especially for contractors. It takes a ton of time, lots of effort, and emotional energy to put your business at the top of Google and hope people are interested.
You have to be careful not to waste your valuable marketing budget on an advertisement that’s a dud. That can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing!
Some common mistakes with Google Ads for contractors are setting the bids too high or too low on a keyword, and wasting the day’s budget on the wrong phrase. Make sure you know who you want to be clicking on your ads!
Some contractors have the time to learn this all and avoid these mistakes, others do not.
Usually, Google Ads run about $500/month, but… with this plan, you can simply pay for the leads you get instead
Before we begin our Google Ads for contractors breakdown, you’ll need the following:
- An active Google account
- An aesthetic engaging contractor website
- A monthly marketing budget between $150 – $900
Step II: Contractors’ Keyword Strategies & Google Ads Plans
What is a keyword?
A keyword is a word/phrase typed into the Google search bar. Here’s a few examples of contractor keywords:
- Roofing contractors near me
- General contractor for hire
- Concrete contractors near me
- Deck builders
- Electrical contractors
When planning a Google Ads for contractors strategy, you must consider people’s intent when they search for a contractor.
Simply enough, try to sit and think about what you would search for on Google if you wanted to hire a professional in your specific contractor service. Then add these terms to your keyword plan.
Developing a keyword plan is a critical step when developing your PPC strategy. It tells you how viable each keyword is, how expensive, and how many people search for it! The best tool for this is Google Keyword Planner.
Here you can see an example of a keyword plan from Nashville, TN.
Not only can we see the relevant keywords people are searching for, but more importantly which keywords they’re not searching. It also lets us know the range of the cost per click (CPC).
From here, we develop a strategy for our Google Ads Campaigns.
Step III: Creating Contractor Landing Pages
We want to make sure people are visiting specifically created “landing pages” for these ads, and not the home page. This is one of the most important steps for Google Ads for contractors.
When someone searches for “fencing contractor near me”, or “local house painters,” or some other specific contractor service, they want to see that exact service offered right in front of them.
Having the Google ads traffic go right to the landing page where customers can directly book your services increases the chance of a sale!
Ideally, you have to create landing pages for each of the services you want to advertise for.
Each landing page should be designed to drive the customer toward a call to action (CTA), and follow the sales funnel we’ve posted below:
Discover more about custom contractor web design here
The most important part of any landing page is the call-to-action.
This is the key to getting these potential customers to work with you. It also helps you track your progress and ROI on these ads.
Getting a free estimate is the quickest way to securing a new customer. It helps communicate the details & specifics of the project while securing a contact of a customer looking for your service.
Alternatively, directly reaching out to a contractor can be equally as effective. This is where we use “contact us”, “get started”, or “call now”.
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Step IV: Creating a Contractor Google Ads Campaign
It’s totally free to create a Google Ads account. After you create your contractor Google ads account, we’ll want to first focus on building our first campaign.
1. Campaign Goals
After you’ve created a campaign, the first step is to set up the kind of campaign you want to run: Search or Display.
2. Search Network Campaigns vs. Display Network Campaigns
We recommend just using Search network campaigns instead of Display network campaigns. Search campaigns show your ads on Google search results, Display campaigns show your ads alongside Youtube videos, product blogs, online shopping carts, etc.
Display tends to be more for e-commerce products, rather than in-person services. We want to focus on customers actively searching for your contractor services.
3. Locations & Budgets
After you’ve created your first campaign, you’ll need to consider two crucial questions:
- Where do you want to advertise?
- How much do you want to spend per day?
Each campaign has both location settings and daily budget settings. Location settings define where you want your ads to show up, and daily budgets are exactly how much you want to spend each day on this particular campaign.
For contractors, locations tend to be regional and not national. Jobs that bring you across the country don’t usually tend to work out. Local jobs tend to be the target.
The budget breakdown references how much your total daily spend on keywords is.
If your budget is at $20/day – you can have up to ten $2 clicks bring, which could potentially bring you a few jobs!
4. Keyword Bidding
Think of each keyword as an auction item. Each other contractor’s Google ads account could potentially be bidding for that traffic. Google awards traffic to the highest bidder on each keyword.
You manually can decide how much you’d like to spend on each keyword, per click. You can also choose one of several bidding strategies Google offers. There you can set a maximum bid per keyword.
Step V: Generating Contractor Ad Groups
Let’s define what an Ad Group is. Strictly an Ad Group is a series of customized keywords within a given campaign. Let’s go over a few examples here:
Inside all of these Ad Groups, there are a collection of keywords associated with each and a collection of actual advertisements associated with each!
Here’s a graphic from Word Stream that shows a hierarchy:
- SKAGs (Single Keyword Ad Groups)
The simplest way to capture traffic from paid search results is to create single keyword ad groups or “SKAGs” within your Google Ads account.
“SKAG”ing is how we ensure each Ad Group has 1 major keyword it’s advertising for, and thus one landing customize page as a result.
Here’s an example of what a “Foundation Inspection” contractor SKAG would look like:
Each of the keywords listed above are showing the same advertisements. This means we can custom design these ads to be only for a foundation inspection and its corresponding call to action.
Here’s a good example from Complete Building Solutions:
This Google Ad is focused strictly on converting foundation inspection contractor jobs traffic, to a customized “foundation inspection” landing page. This will exponentially help convert that traffic into phone calls!
Now you’re seeing the full picture for Google Ads for contractors.
Step VI: Writing the Contractor Google Ads Themselves
Writing the actual ads themselves tends to be the most subjective part of generating a Google ads account for contractors. As long as your SKAG keywords are included within the ads, and you have the CTA to match, you will see some success.
When finishing building your contractor Google ads, you’ll want to create two nearly identical advertisements for every ad group – but with one small variance between the two. With this model, you can tell which ad variance works better. We call this A-B testing.
For a few more ideas on writing your contractor Google ads, check out this awesome resource from Word Stream.
Now I have to note that you can always hire a marketing professional to help manage your contractor Google Ads account. It is all dependent on the math – so let’s break that down.
Step VII: Do The Math
It’s absolutely essential to ensure you’re making your money back from your Google Ads account. Here’s the first step to that
- Understand Lifetime Customer Values
How much does one customer make you in total?
Do the research yourself by asking yourself
- How much on average do I earn from a job?
- How many total jobs does each customer hire me for?
- How many times am I being hired?
Multiply these values together and you’ll get your lifetime value of a customer.
Depending on the contractor service (as there are many, with vast differences in budgets and costs), the value is going to be very different.
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
This is arguably one of the most important parts of understanding your Google ads budgets. If you spend $5000 to get one job, the math just doesn’t add up!
Now if your CPA is $100/job – we’ll start to see some improvements on your bottom line.
Figure out how much you’re spending on your Google Ads accounts in 30 days total, then divide that value by the number of jobs you booked during those 30 days.
If your total Google ads spend last month was $1000, and you booked 10 jobs, you’d have a CPA of $100
- Total Costs & Return On Investment (ROI)
Trying to balance the total costs and ROI can be some of the most challenging parts of efficiently running your contractor marketing. Let’s break it down:
ROI = Lifetime Value ➗ CPA
In this example, our Lifetime Value is $5,000 and our CPA is $100.
You’d have a 50X ROI on this marketing campaign.
For most of the contractors we work with, their typical ROI ranges from 10X – 90X.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Contractor Marketing Packages, feel free to check it out here!
Here are a few more blogs related to Google Ads for contractors. Check them out and let us know your thoughts below!