Wednesday, December 5th, 2018
What’s the furthest town or city you’ve worked in? How far could you travel and still be a "local contractor" in the minds of your customers?
It seems only natural that a homeowner should want a local contractor. But it's worth understanding what "local" means, why local is so important, and what you as a contractor should do to yell "I'm Local!" from the highest rooftop (or fence or deck, or whatever part of the home you repair or renovate).
What does "local" mean?
We ran a survey and found that 51% of consumers would disqualify contractors living 15, 30 or 45 miles away from their home when searching for a specialty contractor.
Why would one homeowner consider 15 miles as "local" while another considers 45 miles as local?
The service type is one factor: a homeowner may prefer a plumber or HVAC contractor located in their town or very nearby because the visit will be short and their services may be needed annually. On the other hand, if a homeowner is hiring a kitchen remodeling company or a painter who specializes in antique homes, "local" could include a larger area, like the county. For more specialized contracting services, the definition of "local" may expand.
Population density could be another factor: it makes sense that the more rural the area, the further away a contractor could be and still be local.
These factors aren't just relevant to home improvement services. When you think about your local gas station vs the local airport. Unless you live next door to an airport, the term "local" in this example will mean very different distances.
If you've got a bigger service territory, it's good news that for 49% of our survey respondents, distance was not a factor when deciding which contractor to call.
Why Local Matters
Homeowners like to "shop local" when it comes to contractors, but for different reasons than when at a farmer's market. In the context of home contractors, "local" suggests a number of benefits:
Benefits to Being Local:
In short, Local FEELS more trustworthy.
Google knows an individual searcher's location. So they know where every deck, fence or landscaping business is relative to the searcher's location. And Google gives a lot of weight to proximity, continually boosting the importance of distance in updates to its algorithms (the programmed logic that it uses) to searches related to local services and businesses.
In the end, Google is trying to help homeowners. And if someone is searching for a fence, siding, deck or windows remodeling company, Google knows the homeowner cares about distance. It has to decide who to show up in the Map Pack, also called the "local pack".
In a recent industry study, proximity or distance came up as the #1 factor.
Don’t take your local-ness for granted. You need to make sure you’re communicating “local” on your website and on any social channels, review sites, or directories you’re on.
You’d be surprised at how many businesses make it difficult to find their location, even when they are a location-based business. From specialty contractors, like deck remodellers, fencing contractors, landscaping businesses to newspapers, radio stations, and community organizations, too many businesses frustrate their visitors by not having a “contact us” or “about us” page with the essential details or who they are and where they are.
Make sure you display your address on your website - but not just on the home page. A visitor might land on any page on your site, right? Show the town you’re in and the area you serve on every page by putting this critical information in the header and the footer of your site. If you just put it in the footer, your visitors will have to scroll to find out if you’re the “Patriot Fence Company” they’re looking for.
A “Local” website is more than an address. Of course, your visitors want to know the services you provide and see examples of your work. This content should also communicate that you’re a local contractor.
How? With a steady supply of photos, videos, blog posts, reviews and other content that makes it clear that you are a vital and constant presence in the neighborhood (or larger service area).
BigNet Leads creates websites for specialty contractors that are optimized for local search. Our expertise in "local search engine optimization" comes from working with over 700 specialty contractors over ten years.
Our Local "Live Build" Engine Boosts Conversions
LiveBuild (TM) is a powerful local-marketing engine built into every website.
When a visitor from Middletown lands on your site, they’ll see the name “Middletown” everywhere. They’ll see photos and reviews from Middletown and other towns near Middletown.
A visitor from Northford will see different images and references to your community. Our dynamic, live-build feature inspires trust from the first few seconds the visitor lands.
Ready to boost Your Local Web Presence with a site that is optimized for local and will win the hearts of Google and homeowners in your service area? Contact us today.