Building a marketing strategy for construction companies is a complicated but important process. A robust digital marketing plan will codify your goals, help give your business a competitive edge, generate new leads, and strengthen your relationships with existing customers and prospects. In this post, we’ll discuss best marketing practices for construction companies who are leveraging organic search and gated content to better reach their audience.
Organic search and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Organic search results are the unpaid listings that appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engines like Google decide which websites to prioritize for given search terms based on a complex, proprietary, and constantly changing algorithm. No one outside of Google knows exactly how their algorithms work. But by and large, the “better” Google thinks your website is and the more relevant it is to a given search, the higher it will rank on that keyword’s SERP.
Every construction company should think about search engine optimization (SEO) when building their website and generating new content. SEO is the process of updating your website’s content so it will rank higher in search results. This includes both the content that is visible to users and the back-end code that only search engines can see. Advantages of organic search for construction companies are that it’s essentially free, and enables them to reach high-intent users and increase web traffic and leads. Page 1 of Google search rankings capture 97% of all search traffic–so organic search is a great way to maximize your web presence by not only driving potential buyers to your doors, but also taking them off the market from less savvy competitors.
There are several disadvantages to focusing on organic search, however–it’s highly competitive, and search engines can be very opaque about the algorithms they use for ranking. It also takes a long time to see results, so plan on six months to a year of waiting before you begin to see increased web traffic from your SEO efforts.
Local SEO is crucial for construction companies that have a local or limited geographic footprint. Local SEO are the results users see when they look up something location-specific on Google (for example, “construction companies near me”). Ranking highly in local SEO can give your company a lot of exposure and lend a lot of legitimacy to your brand, especially amongst high-intent prospects in your geographic region (who are likely your ideal customers anyway).
But how do you go about optimizing your website for organic search? Basically, Google needs to think that your page is more relevant and answers the user’s query more effectively than your competitor’s. One of the most surefire ways to do this is to get other people to vouch for your site by adding links to it on their site. A website with many quality and relevant inbound links is usually ranked highly on Google.
However, the number of other sites that link to yours is not always within your control. So start by ensuring that your web pages are relevant to the keywords your ideal prospects are searching for. Identify a base keyword, for example, “Construction companies in Dallas, TX” Optimize your homepage for this term by using it in your title tag, meta descriptions, headlines, and on-page content. Don’t just shoehorn the keyword in willy-nilly; integrate the language naturally and use synonyms when appropriate.
Once your homepage and main product/service pages are optimized, create landing pages or blog posts for particular keywords that you haven’t been able to integrate naturally into your main pages. That way, you can capture users with a highly relevant landing page and give them the opportunity to click through to the rest of your site. As an added bonus, blog content is also a great tool for nurturing leads through the sales funnel via email drip campaigns.
If you have a web developer on staff (or if you partner with a B2B digital marketing agency), make sure your site is well-optimized for mobile devices. In recent years, the number of mobile-first users has skyrocketed, and Google prefers websites that have an aesthetically appealing and dynamic mobile layout.
Best content marketing for construction companies
Content marketing is incredibly important for B2B companies. Before they will contract with you, prospects will need to feel confident that you are an expert and a reliable source of valuable information. The two components of content marketing that can help construction industry companies achieve results are blogging and gated content.
Post consistently on your blog.
Populating your website with industry-relevant blog content is crucial for organic SEO–having a quality blog that you consistently post content on can improve your rankings by over 300%.
Your blog posts don’t have to be novel-length: try to avoid posts under 400 words, but 400-600 is a good range for articles that are meant to be bite-size and easily absorbed. If you have time for a longer post, Google’s algorithms love blogs that are 1500-2500 words.
Make sure to choose topics that are relevant to your target audience, and avoid promoting your brand too heavily. Include one short promotional callout at the end of the post, after the reader has already garnered useful insights from the content and is ready to learn how else your company can help solve their problem.
Use your blog to improve the internal linking on your site as well (which, as discussed above, is helpful for SEO purposes). If you have a main landing page for a product or service, link to the relevant blog posts from that page, and vice versa.
Develop longer-form gated content to generate leads.
Gated content is a subset of content marketing, where companies develop a longer or more comprehensive piece of content that is protected by some kind of digital paywall (typically, users have to either purchase the content or provide their email address and other contact information before downloading). Gated content is a great way to both generate new leads and position your brand as an industry leader and expert in your field.
The key to gated content is creating an equitable exchange between prospect and business: they get genuinely relevant and helpful information or insight from you, and you get a new lead that’s specifically interested in your content and business.
Some good examples of gated content for construction companies may be a “Comprehensive Guide to Commercial Roof Decks,” or a case study on a huge project you recently completed. Don’t try to push your brand too hard in these pieces–but by demonstrating your expertise and authority, you’ll go a long way in persuading prospects that your company is the best choice for their project.
The bottom line
The best marketing for construction companies positions your brand as an expert in helping your customers, and your website (and the content you put on it) is the most effective way to establish and communicate that expertise. At ZAG FIRST B2B Marketing, we’ve worked with dozens of construction companies, architects, general contractors, and other construction industry business leaders to optimize their website and develop relevant, value-add content that is tailored to each individual customer segment.
To find out more about best marketing practices for the construction industry, check out our other blog posts or get in touch with our team!