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SEO vs. PPC for Roofers

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Updated May 15, 2019
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PPC vs. SEO for roofers

Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

If you’re a roofing company that wants to get more leads, but don’t know where to start – SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-per-click advertising through Google Ads and Facebook ads) make a lot of sense, but which one will bring you the highest RETURN ON INVESTMENT?

You may think that SEO is slow because it involves creating content, getting links and making technical changes.

You may think PPC is exorbitantly expensive because each lead can cost you up to $100 a pop, and you still have to close them.

You may think BUILDING YOUR BRAND takes a lot of time – but you know what – building HomeAdvisor‘s brand by paying them to do marketing and taking there leads is ALOT QUICKER… but it doesn’t mean it’s better.

Have you noticed that using ‘pay for lead’ services – you’re spending money on the quick fix, but ultimately the leads get more expensive, and you constantly are trying to battle it out on price?

PPC vs. SEO for roofers

When you build your own company up – through PPC, Brand, Design, and Content Marketing / SEO – you reap the long-term benefits of your hard work – not someone else. Not some faceless corporation who just wants to extract all of the profit it possibly can, like HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, Houzz, or Thumbtack. They’ll serve up the same lead to you, and 5 competitors and then watch you battle each other in a no-holds-barred brawl, where no one’s a winner and you all come out bruised and with razor-thin profit margins.

Building your brand, running PPC campaigns, and doing content marketing and SEO is different. We’ll share how this leads to long-term value for your brand in a little bit…

But first we’ll talk through the basic activities of these methods first, so you understand what they all entail.

A basic list of activities for ROOFING SEO

Usually, SEO is something you hire an agency for, bigger roofing companies might hire a specialist, but the benefit of hiring an agency is that they’ve likely run a ton of tests, have different clients in the construction industry, and can scale our their sub-specialists for each of the key components of SEO:

  • Creating/expanding the content on your website regularly/rhythmically like 4 blog posts a month, and using videos.
  • Finding ways to get links from around the web back to your website, from other websites.
  • Making technical changes on your website, and increasing the landing pages on your website for different cities, and adding new functionality to get more search traffic.

A basic list of activities for ROOFING PPC

Pay-per-click advertising is a blanket term that can cover:

  • Running brand awareness and lead generation ads on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Running ‘Just in time’ ads through Google Ads.
  • “Google Guaranteed” Ads or Service ads from Google.
  • Making ongoing changes to the ad copy, and images run that drive people back to landing pages on your site.
  • Some PPC experts will be part of the landing page building as well on your site, or through services like ClickFunnels, LeadPages, or Unbounce.
  • Other’s will help you tweak your existing pages so that there is efficiency between your PPC and SEO efforts.

A basic list of activities for BUILDING YOUR ROOFING BRAND

You likely are already spending money on brochures, yard signs, truck wraps, and event marketing like trade shows or event booths. If you’re not – or even if you are, ramping up your BRAND-BUILDING activities outside of PPC and SEO helps everything. We consider social media presence part of this, but often the broader range of building your brand will include EXTROVERTING out into the community in every way that you possibly can.

This includes things that don’t always result in direct sales, like being part of community events, sponsoring things, and being visible at the highest level you possibly can.

  • Being present on Facebook and Instagram through 2-5 regular posts weekly.
  • Putting a yard sign in the yard of every customer that will let you during and for a couple of weeks after you install a roof or siding.
  • Putting up a booth at local music festivals.
  • Being involved in local trade organizations, the chamber of commerce and networking groups.
  • Building more brand awareness through surprise and delight campaigns (like our awesome client Northface Construction who has brownies delivered to every home that buys roofing or siding through them.)

How do SEO & PPC Stack up in a head-to-head matchup?

Mind you – both this client’s SEO & PPC teams (separate in this instance) are specialized in the roofing industry/construction industry.

PPC / Paid Ads – 2 Months & 11 Days – Ad Spend: 6.75k Management: 2.3k – Total: Around 9k

Leads: 35 Conversions (good and bad)

Conclusion: Because paid ads sometimes bring in some riff-raff, the lead quality isn’t always as high, and organic is usually a bit better.


SEO – 2 Months & 11 Days (same time of the year) Total: Just SEO – Around 4.5k / With 9 content marketing videos created: 10k

Leads: 40 Conversions (good and bad)

Conclusion: SEO takes a while to get going, but when it does, leads from SEO are some of the best leads outside of referrals you’ll ever get.

(Of course, SEO takes a while – and if your website hasn’t been around awhile – leads might trickle in for 3-9 months before a more sustained growth period, but if it’s done aggressively / consistently SEO is powerful.)

“I would do SEO just because it’s a long term plan.” – Josh Swisher, Northface Construction

So what’s best for you if you could only do ONE?

When I asked this potent question to an existing roofing client of ours – he said, and I quote:

“I would do SEO just because it’s a long term plan.”

And there you have it.

A man of many words. 😂

What is our suggestion for the whole Roofing SEO vs. Roofing PPC Debate?

Do both!

And not only should you do both – you should double down on your BRAND-BUILDING activities outside of roofing digital marketing too.

If you’re 35 years old and below – you might be over-looking a ton of opportunity to build brand awareness by being out in the physical world through events and other community organizations.

If you’re 45 and above – you might be under-valuing the fact that 80% + of the workforce will be millennials, and thus soon HOME-OWNERS – are spending upwards of 3 HOURS A DAY on their phone (often using Instagram, Facebook and looking up stuff on Google.)

That means they use Google for everything and make decisions for 1.5 million dollar homes on Instagram. Do you think they won’t use social media and Google to buy a 15k roof?

We strongly suggest you are doing Roofing SEO – putting out content regularly, earning links back to your site, and making technical changes on your site – all to rank higher on Google in a rhythmic, regular and aggressive way. (When we do this for clients we give them a live dashboard, and report monthly on our progress for traffic and estimated revenue.)

We also believe you should be paying for Google and Facebook Ads – at least through Facebook in your area, promoting your best offers and content, as well as “Google Guaranteed Ads” and direct keyword matches for things your ideal customers are searching.

The next level is video – Using video on a regular basis is huge. Not only through brand-focused ‘Selling videos’ that showcase what makes you different from your competitors and are intended to get more leads, but also content marketing videos that will increase time-on-site when people visit for SEO, but also remind all of your existing customers and network on Social and Youtube that you exist, and are THEIR HOOKUP for roofing and siding, increasing referrals and being omnipresent – we call this effect Professional Visibility.

If you want your roofing company to increase your leads, and increase your Professional Visibility, send us a message now to get started with a free SEO demonstration. 

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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

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