In the Painting Business, we rely heavily on a few things. Obviously, we rely on quality painters, trusty equipment, best practices, and a plethora of other facets unique to the Painting Business world.
There is one process, however, that is essential to any business structured the way our Painting Companies are: we have to close sales.
The Painting Contractor Sales process, at its core, much like every other sales process, we know consists mainly of three things:
We also know one very harsh truth: getting painting leads can be tough.
In a DIY Age, tons of homeowners are choosing to paint their homes and businesses themselves. While you can scream up and down that it’s a ton of work, it takes special equipment, and that it’s incredibly difficult to do well without experience, homeowners are excited to get on YouTube to save money by doing things themselves.
So, we know, then, that people who go searching for Painting Contractors in 2019 are already serious about hiring one.
We also know that in 2019, people WILL find their next painter online.
So, you’ve got a painting website, you’re posting pictures to Facebook, and your nephew is managing your LinkedIn profile.
There’s just one problem: you’re not getting online leads.
Then you overhear some “Marketing Guru” talk about the “Holy Grail” of online marketing: Pay-Per-Click.
What is Pay-Per-Click (PPC)?
Pay-Per-Click is a great way to get noticed in the search engines as quickly as possible. If you think of it in racing terms, PPC is the sprint in the digital marketing race.
Simply put: you pay a Search Engine (e.g. Google) for “Ad space.” You select a “bid” that you are willing to pay for a higher position on the results page. Each time someone clicks on your ad, you pay that Search Engine a certain amount. Higher positions mean higher bids (more money per click).
We’ve all seen these. You go to Google and type in, “restaurants near me.” The first few results you see on the top of the first page have those little green letters next to the links: “Ad.”
First, these companies can potentially get higher visibility and traffic, and therefore more leads. Sound appealing? Of course.
Second, most of us probably sense that these companies have a certain level of credibility or legitimacy.
But, why would an ad make a company seem more legitimate?
The answer: Because they are at the top of the first page
Theoretically, if your company can afford the likely excessive costs of paying for PPC, they must be at least efficiently managed, but most likely very well off financially.
So, we’ve seen the pros of pay per click…but what are the cons?
We already know that it’s expensive. If you’re the top result on the front page of Google, and you’re paying anywhere between $5 to $20 per click, can you afford to keep up? Bearing in mind, of course, that clicks do not equal sales. In fact, the majority of your clicks can be tire-kickers, spambots and even your competition which leads to you only spending money not getting qualified leads. Beyond the click, you must have an informative, tested sales process that leads to closing sales.
If your conversion rate for sales is 30%, and you’re paying $20 per click, you’ve got to bring in some pretty high numbers to make that make sense.
And trust us, there are companies out there that can afford this, and they aren’t your local neighborhood painting contractors. When you use pay-per-click, beware the second con: competition.
A little competition is healthy, right? That’s what they always said in little league. But when using pay-per-click, you’re automatically inserting yourself straight into the majors. Could your local minor league baseball team go up against the Yankees and expect to win?
No offense to your minor league team, but there’s just one fact we can’t ignore: the Yankees have money, power, and resources that your local minor league team doesn’t.
Similarly, your local painting outfit can’t compete with the national giants: CertaPro, Fresh Coat, etc. They have the money, power and resources to make pay-per-click make financial sense. If you choose pay-per-click, giant companies can and will gladly outbid you.
Lastly, PPC is a complicated process. It’s something that takes constant monitoring and updates, and has to be based around optimal timing, targeted audiences, and a slew of other data-driven specifics. Unless you know how to optimize pay-per-clicks, you’ll have to hire someone who knows what they’re doing, which only adds to your cost and to your list of managerial duties.
PPC can be a help or a hindrance. If you have a budget that you are willing to risk and you have the knowledge to create a campaign that is not thrown together but researched, tested and then retested; it can help you get a quick leg up on your competitors. But there is a steep (and expensive) learning curve to PPC, which means you will pay through trial and error or through a PPC professional.
So, what’s the secret here? If I can’t afford pay-per-click, how can I get online leads for my painting company?
The answer isn’t necessarily simple but growing your painting business’ online presence involves something called organic search optimization. By making relevant, trustworthy, and consistent websites, webpages, Google My Business listings, consistent and quality social media posting, etc., you bolster Search Engines’ opinions of your quality and trustworthiness. And, you’re gaining it organically instead of paying for it.
Need help optimizing your paining business’ online presence? APPC’s Web Services specializes in just that and can help get your painting business the credibility and leads it needs.