If you’re an electrician, local marketing isn’t easy.
No kidding, right?
Marketing yourself as the local electrician requires a subtle mix of in-person and online strategies. You might already be getting lots of electrical work through word of mouth, but you also need to be thinking about how to connect with current and prospective customers on the web.
In this day and age the likes of Alexa, Siri and Cortana have entirely changed the way “word of mouth” business is acquired and the way people search for electricians.
If your local marketing isn’t getting you the results you are expecting, it’s probably because you’re not being consistent with your marketing and message, or you’re just not targeting the right prospects.
Maybe you feel scattered – or maybe you’re just not sure which strategies you should be using in your marketing mix.
I get it.
There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all marketing solution for electricians, but there are a few methods that have worked well for my clients. Here are five quick ways electricians can amp up their local marketing.
#1: Set up Google My Business
As you probably know, Google provides a service called Google My Business, or GMB for short. When somebody uses Google to search for an electrician, Google often displays the Google My Business profile of a local electrician and will also use the information to display three local electricians at the top of the search results page. This section is called the Map Pack or 3 Pack.
Google My Business pages have become a popular stop for consumers – and it’s easy to understand why. 80% of all consumers say that they trust an online review from a stranger as much as they would a recommendation from a friend.
That’s 80% of your potential customers!
With most of your prospects reading the reviews on Google My Business pages before hiring a local electrician, it’s safe to say that you really need a Google My Business page. After all, Google can’t display a listing that doesn’t exist, can they?
Or put another way…
Not having a Google My Business page is like trying to win a lottery without buying a ticket!
To get started with Google My Business, you’ll need to claim your listing. Once you’ve done that, you can update your profile. You should make sure to:
- Verify your name, address, and telephone number
- Add your service hours
- Add the URL of your website
- Add photos of your business
- Set up the Call or Message option
Going forward, make sure to monitor your reviews and respond to customer comments and complaints as quickly and professionally as possible. Even a bad review can be a marketing opportunity!
#2: Update Your Local SEO
If it’s been a while since you updated the on-page SEO on your website, then it’s time to revisit it. Why? Because for local electrical jobs, SEO is often the major differentiator between online success and failure.
Local SEO uses keywords that include local words. For example, “electrical service” is a general keyword; “Boston electrician” is local.
Using local keywords can help you land a spot in Google’s coveted 3-pack. This is the group of three business listings that appear at the top of each page of local search results. The companies whose listings are in the 3-pack get the lion’s share of the clicks, so you want to be there!
Other aspects of local SEO to update include:
- Getting your company listed in local business directories
- Standardizing your NAP (name, address, phone number) listings anywhere they appear online
- Using local keywords in your URLs if possible
- Adding local keywords to tags on your website
These things all help raise your profile and make it easier for local customers to find you online.
#3: Target Your Ads to Local Customers
Marketing your electrical business online doesn’t stop with SEO. You can also target your ads on Facebook and Google AdWords, so they display only to local customers.
The benefit of this, of course, is that you pay for advertising based on the number of impressions your ad makes. Narrowing your audience to only local searchers means that you’ll have a better chance of getting the clicks and conversions you want.
Location targeting makes sense. The more carefully and accurately you define your audience, the more new customers you’ll be able to attract. And, you’ll also have an easier time connecting with existing customers!
#4: Join a Referral Network
You expect to spend some money on marketing and advertising, but wouldn’t we all prefer to get referrals from people who know us? Referrals are free, and they’re likely to be pre-qualified, too. After all, few of us refer a friend to a business unless we know they’re interested in it!
You can look for online referral networks and local networks, as well. It’s possible that your Chamber of Commerce or a local business organization has a working referral network. Another good networking group to look for is your local BNI chapter.
Referrals can come from people in similar or related businesses. For example, you could team up with the owner of your local plumbing company to get referrals. Many other local companies also have a lot of overlap, so referrals make sense.
If your area doesn’t have a referral network and you can’t find one online, don’t give up! Instead, start one yourself. Reach out to other contracting businesses in your area and suggest that you might be able to help one another by making referrals.
#5: Combine Your Marketing Efforts with a friend
Sometimes, marketing can be a solitary affair. You might feel that it’s a burden you have to bear on your own – but what if that weren’t the case?
One of the best ways to give your marketing efforts a boost is to pair up with one or more of your business friends. Here are a few suggestions:
- You can agree to keep one another’s business cards and brochures in your trucks and share them with your respective customers
- You can team up to co-sponsor a local event
- You can offer joint promotions (buy something from us, get something from them at 10% off)
- You can offer package deals where you bundle your services together, sell them in both establishments, and share in the profits
These are just a few ideas. Pairing up with one or more local companies is a great way to increase your visibility, attract new customers, and make yourself an indispensable part of the community.
Local Marketing Is a Must…
While the world marketplace is an increasingly global one, electricians are still a service that consumers need to find close to home. In rural and smaller communities, people also understand that hiring a local electrician supports the community and creates a favorable climate for residents and business owners alike.
I hope these five local marketing tips help you take your electrical business to new levels in the coming year.
Oh and, if you need help to set up your Google My Business page, send me a message.