The Complete Digital Marketing Guide for Contractors – 20 Specific Steps

Has your contracting business become stagnant? Are you looking for ways to increase your customer base? Advertising and word-of-mouth referrals are important in maintaining your regional business presence. Whether you already know it or not, potential customers are searching the internet for the services that you have to offer. In this digital age, it’s imperative that you utilize all of the resources available to you to through digital marketing.

This extensive digital marketing guide for contractors will help position you as the go-to contractor in your region.

What exactly is digital marketing?

This form of advertising relies heavily on the internet to reach a broad range of possible customers. As most people are connected through some form of online communications such as computers, tablets, or smartphones, they’re likely to look for whatever services they need in this space. Digital marketing can be found in many channels:

  • Websites and landing pages
  • Social media platforms
  • Search engines
  • Email
  • Paid advertising
  • Local directories
  • Reputation platforms
  • Display advertising
  • Content creation

Rather than the one-way delivery provided by traditional advertising methods, digital marketing offers a way for back-and-forth communication so that customers can interact and connect with potential contractors for services that they want, such as for help with remodeling their home or keeping up on their landscaping chores.

Are you relying exclusively on referrals?

If you’ve been fortunate enough to maintain your business solely through referrals from satisfied customers, you deserve a round of applause as this is a great accomplishment. However, your competitors may not be as successful.

The competition will take advantage of a digital marketing guide for contractors as a way to build their businesses. Pretty soon, it’s likely that they’ll be in the top position for services that you also provide simply because they maintain a digital presence. So, what can you do?

20 steps will help you to establish and maintain digital dominance in your region

I’ve developed this checklist to help you to position yourself as the go-to source for contracting services in your area and to maintain your ranking. Make sure you complete all of the steps for maximum impact. Whether you choose to do this yourself, hire a digital manager in-house, or outsource to a professional marketing agency, taking full advantage of all digital platforms available to you can help you to truly position your business as the leading service provider in your region.

The Complete Digital Marketing Guide for Contractors:

1. Define your business goals

You already know the services that you provide for your market whether for new residential or commercial builds, construction, home improvements, or maintenance and upkeep. However, business goals are designed to describe what your company expects to accomplish over a specific period of time.

Both short-term and long-term goals are extremely important for the overall health and wellbeing of your company because they allow you to measure your success and assist with general planning for the next financial quarter, year, or even decade. One facet you can address is where you want your business to be in five years.

For example, a valid short-term goal regarding advertising your business is to complete all 20 steps provided on this worksheet. Some goals may be made in regards to revenue, profit, customer satisfaction, or sustainability.

What other goals can you think of?

2. Set your digital marketing/advertising budget

If your contracting business serves multiple sectors, such as both residential and commercial, it can be difficult to pay to advertise to both, especially if your business budget is limited. Rather than spend just a little bit on each, it’s more beneficial to focus your advertising dollars on just one sector at a time. As your business grows, you’ll be able to re-evaluate your advertising needs to include other clientele.

This technique isn’t putting all of your eggs in one basket. You’re still providing all of your contracting services, but you’re just not paying to advertise for all of them. For instance, if you dig one hole a mile deep, you’re more likely to strike oil than if you dig two holes a half of a mile deep each.

3. Determine average CLV – customer lifetime value

CLV is used to put a dollar value on how much a customer is worth to your business over the course of your relationship with them. One thing you should take into consideration in calculating customer lifetime value is how long that relationship is expected to last based on the type of services that you provide.

Will your relationship with the customer be over once the project is completed, or will the customer hopefully keep calling on you to provide continuing services? An important point to remember is that it’s typically less expensive to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one.

If you own a lawn care business, your client relationship is likely to be longer than if you own a custom home-building one, so keep this in mind when making your calculations.

4. Determine an acceptable cost to acquire new customers

While your overall marketing strategy will include ways to keep existing customers as well as converting new ones, most of your advertising will be aimed at getting new customers to turn to your business for contracting services. This is referred to as customer acquisition cost. This expense is important because it can reduce the CLV.

When you’re first starting out in the digital marketing realm, it’s recommended that you spend no more than 30 percent of your CLV on bringing in new business. As your profits grow, this number can be re-evaluated since your CLV may change as well.

For example, if you’ve determined that your CLV is $3,000, you should aim to spend up to $900 in marketing to pick up a new customer. If you can spend less, that’s even better.

5. Define your ideal customer profile

Broad marketing is too generic to be of any use to draw in customers. You can’t make everyone happy, and your message gets lost in vague descriptors. While it may be true that nearly anyone could be a potential customer depending on your contracting services, you’ll make the most of your advertising bucks if you specifically identify your ideal customer.

Think about what need to draw customers to your business. You’ll target your marketing campaign through social posts, advertisements, website copy, and other digital message options around those specific pain points.

If you’re a residential electrical contractor, you may focus your efforts on homeowners in your area while a masonry contractor might set their sights more on construction or building companies.

6. Clarify your marketing message

When a consumer is searching for contracting services, they know what they want. When viewing your marketing messages, they want to know right from the start that you’ll give them exactly what they’re looking for. By viewing it from the customer’s point of view, you’ll be able to clearly and concisely provide them with the information they need to choose your services over that of your competitors. Your marketing message is your headline that will determine if the customer continues with you or moves on to someone else. What sets you apart from the competition?

For example, door and window contractors might want to emphasize areas like excellent customer service, extensive experience, and a tidy environment once the project is complete.

7. Develop a content marketing strategy

Once you’ve set your goals, identified your ideal customer, and set up a short-and-sweet marketing message, you can use this information to develop a marketing strategy. Without some form of guide, how will you know if your content is actually working? Building your content around these previous items will help you to know if you’re making progress on reaching the goals of your contracting business.

You’ve probably heard of the term branding. You want your potential and existing customers to be able to readily define you so that they can more easily connect with the services you have to offer.

If one of your goals as a roofing repair contractor is to increase your customer base by a certain percentage, you’ll want to combine this with the information that your ideal customer is commercial property owners in your region and your marketing message focuses on your many years of successful job completions. In other words, how will everything you’ve learned so far in this worksheet help you to reach your goals?

8. Optimize your website for conversions

Having a website is an absolute necessity in this digital age. Not only should it be convenient for potential customers to use and find information, but it should also let them know without a doubt what you’d like them to do. You want them to choose your contracting services over the competition, so make it easy for the customer to do just that.

The most common way to do this is with a call to action, or CTA. Using a term or phrase, such as “call now” or “request a quote,” are a couple of popular examples. Your CTA should be located at the top of your webpage, and you can include additional options throughout the content and at the end of each blog post.

The CTA should include your contact information, such as phone number or email address. Alternately, you may include a button or a link that directs the customer to a page where they can find your contact information or connect with you online.

9. Create a compelling and valuable lead magnet

When you have a strong email list of current and potential customers, you have the possibility for additional business through conversions or referrals. A lead magnet is something that is offered in exchange for customers giving you their contact information, such as email or cell phone number, so you can keep them up to date with any changes or improvements to your service offerings.

Everyone likes free stuff, and you’ll find that people are willing to give you their contact information if they’ll get something that they find useful. You might offer access to an e-book you’ve written, a how-to guide or a subscription to your blog posts. Whatever you give the customer in return for providing their contact information should be something that they feel they’ll benefit from and should be related to your area of service.

You don’t have to look very far for an example because this worksheet is a perfect lead magnet.

10. Claim your Google My Business page

Google uses certain algorithms in determining who comes up in the top spaces in their search listings. The more information that they have about you, the better your chances of rising through the ranks when customers in your area are searching for contracting services. Fill in all of the fields as completely as possible for the greatest impact.

You can add information on services provided, hours of operation, service areas and more. Additionally, pictures or videos of projects that you’ve completed can have a dramatic impact on drawing new customers to your services.

If you haven’t yet claimed your Google Business page, you can do so at

11. Claim/optimize business listings

Did you know that there are over 80 citation sites where you can get your contracting business listed? These business listing sites provide consumers information narrowed down by industry and niche. Because of this, having your business included can increase your ranks and improve your SEO search capabilities. When your contracting business is listed on multiple relevant sites, you are seen as more of an authority in your field.

With so many citation cites available, it can be hard to find the time to list your contracting business on more than one or two. You can have the process automated for you by signing up for a platform such as or

12. Monitor and manage your reputation

The reputation of your contracting business may be considered its lifeblood. This is where prospective clientele will turn to view customer satisfaction regarding your actual project history. While unhappy customers are all too willing to post their grievances online for the world to see, satisfied customers may need some encouragement.

You certainly want your good reviews to outweigh the bad, so you’ll want to help your ratings along by making it easy for customers to review your services. Provide a link on your website and request a positive review in your follow-up email or text message once the project is completed and you’re sure that the customer is happy with the work.

Customers are more willing to take time when they can simply click on a link, so why not make it easy for them? To create a link for customers to use Google Review, visit

13. Claim/optimize relevant social profiles

Make sure that you have profiles on various social media platforms. Although it might seem like it would be better if you put your name out there anywhere you can, it’s actually more helpful if you choose those platforms that are more relevant to your potential customer base. When creating content, keep it informative, compelling, and even entertaining at times to draw in viewers who may later convert to your services.

If you’re an interior design contractor who focuses on homeowners, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Houzz are great matches for you. However, if you cater to hotels or other businesses, LinkedIn would be more appropriate for you.

14. Set up/optimize Facebook Ads

You don’t have to take chances of overreaching your intended audience on Facebook if you set up your advertising with Facebook Ads. People get tired of seeing ads that have no meaning for them. You don’t want any negative associations with your contracting business if at all possible. Facebook’s Ad Manager uses an algorithm that’s designed to have your ad pop up to viewers who may actually be interested in your services, which will encourage them to click.

You can get started at .

15. Set up/optimize Google Ads

If you want to remain competitive, Google Ads can be very helpful. While you only have to pay each time a potential customer clicks on the provided link, these clicks can add up quickly when you’ve established a good digital presence. You can get the most out of these advertising dollars by optimizing your keywords to specific services and creating a dedicated landing page to maximize your cost-to-benefit ratio.

It can be extremely helpful to talk with a professional before you begin using Google Ads so that you don’t waste your hard-earned money.

16. Target and retarget your ads

Digital marketing research shows that it takes 10 or more times of seeing an ad before a customer commits. After your first set of ads hits the stage for your targeted demographics, it can lose momentum over time due to search engine algorithms that are often based on continued activity.

By going into your chosen ad sites and making small changes and updates regularly as you go, your contracting business ads will continue to remain relevant and follow prospective customers to the various sites that they visit all across the internet. If you want to keep your ads front and center, retarget them frequently.

For example, your first set of ads may target homeowners in a certain radius if you’re a painting contractor. However, you may decide that you’re willing to travel a bit farther to expand your service area. You’ll need to retarget your ads to include this new audience of potential customers.

17. Monitor your competitors’ metrics

To keep up your rankings as the go-to contractor for your services in your region, you’ll want to stay aware of how your competition is doing in their digital marketing campaigns. This will help you to find any weak points and ways to improve your overall strategy in comparison. Some key factors to consider include domain authority, keyword rankings, and backlinks.

While this sounds like a lot of research to undertake, a strong competitor analysis tool, such as, can take out the guesswork and provide you with all of the information that you’re looking for to improve your digital presence.

18. Determine your KPIs – key performance indicators

You can easily see how well your digital marketing guide for contractors’ strategy is working at a glance by choosing some key performance indicators to compare over time. This will make it easier to determine how successful your campaign is working to help you to reach your goals. You can see how much your business has improved through facets such as increasing conversion rate, lowering customer acquisition cost, or expanding social media engagement.

When you select KPIs, you won’t have to take the time to research every aspect of your marketing progress any time you just want a quick look. When KPIs are moving in the direction you want, it helps you to know that what you’re doing is working so that you can do more of it. Alternatively, if your numbers are moving in the wrong direction, this will let you know that you need to change your strategy.

Selecting relevant KPIs can be made easier by consulting with a reputable marketing agency. They’ll do all of the research for you and compile the data into an easy-to-read format, perhaps a chart or graph, to help you along.

19. Set up weekly and monthly reporting

There are several platforms that will track your marketing efforts for you. Whether you choose Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Insights, Facebook Ads, reputation monitoring, call reporting, or some other method, you’ll be able to measure the impact that digital marketing guide for contractors has on your contracting business. By staying on top of this provided data, such as weekly or monthly, you’ll be able to determine if you need to make any changes in your campaign quickly, which can save you on long-term advertising expenses.

While you may be able to get the most extensive measurements by using multiple sites, choosing the one that best suits your goals will be easier, making it more likely that you’ll use the provided data to your advantage.

20. Enjoy business growth by embracing your niche

In the first few steps, you’ve identified your ideal customer, narrowed your marketing strategy, and clarified your marketing message. This has allowed you to identify your niche, meaning your specific area of a larger market. There are riches in niches, so embrace yours. This positioning is how you want prospective and current clients to view your contracting business. You want these consumers to associate your business as the definitive solution to their specific problem. The goal of your advertising campaign is to build your authority in this position.

If you want to be considered as the best gutter contractor in a geographic area, make sure that this is the central message of your digital marketing efforts.

Don’t be left behind in the digital marketing age

To adequately stay above your competition, it’s imperative to start marketing to a digital audience sooner rather than later. Although each step is important, it can take a lot of time and work if you try to do it on your own. Since 2007, I’ve helped position contractors to increase their online visibility and success. If you have any questions regarding this digital marketing guide for contractors, feel free to reach out and connect with me at [email protected] I’m always happy to help.

Download the 20 step worksheet here.

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